We've had some bad automotive juju around here over past few days. Fortunately it wasn't the beater van that is the primary income transport vehicle. This was not only a vehicle repair exercise but a logistics problem as well. Both the second oldest daughters car and the prodigal son's jeep crapped out at the same time. Both are college age, off for the summer and have jobs they need to get to. Both are in the city but living in an apartment on the other side of town. (this is a drive that puts you in another state if you live in Rhode Island).
Prodigal Son is working a house sitting job whence he can be stationary. His jeep will not kick over the starter. Daughter is home, but her car is a Moletov cocktail and has two recalls on it and the gear shift mechanism is completely effed.
I've rebuilt brake systems and fuel systems stem to stern, even rebuilt a gm 700r4 transmission. I suspect I can fix the girl child's car, but I have some serious time constraints. Boo ( the girl child) needs to get to work in the afternoon on Monday and Tuesday. So I figure if I can get the boy child's jeep up and running, she can borrow that while I resolve her car problems.
Saturday morning early I pick up the wicked smaht and prodigal mechanic in training son, all tools loaded into the beater van and we head to the apartment were dead jeep resides. Digital multimeter test on the battery shows 1.7V. A few possibilities: battery is bad, alternator is not charging the battery, or the cable harness from battery to starter to chassis is kludged.
We remove battery, purchased two months ago at Walmart and head off to..Walmart. New Battery installed, the jeep starts. Multimeter test shows the incoming charge on the battery is 13.94 volts. Alternator is working fine. The battery was a p.o.s.
Son says, "thanks for helping me out Dad". I muttered something like, "you're welcome", but until he reads this post, he won't know how good that made me feel.
Monday morning Belle and I transport Boo's car over to a local mechanic for some serious surgery. The non-warranty stuff was done at the local shop. The recall work was done at a nearby dealer. Daughter picks up the car and there are problems. The short version is that the local shop neglected to replug a connector in the steering column, which the dealer fixed. The dealer broke loose a heat shield on the exhaust system, which the local shop fixed...after Boo bitched them both out. I got a very apologetic call from the local shop.
The best part was when my daughter called on her way back to the apartment to say her car was running great and, "Thank you Daddy".