Holiday Monetary Madness

The Christmas holiday is over and I’m broke, yet again, from all the giving of…money, but not from buying so much for friends and relatives, this time it’s different.

Last Wednesday, just a two days after Christmas, on my way home from work I noticed my ABS light illuminate. No big deal, huh. I just thought I would wait until the weekend and take it into Sears to get my brakes checked. Well, it didn’t work out so easily.

The following day on my way into work, I had to pick up my boss from the dealership because his Check Engine light came on. Well, ironically, on my way to pick him up, my Check Engine light came on as well. So, with this new addition, I started to get a little worried. I still proceeded to pick him up and we both went into work.

At the end of the day, I decided that when I drop off my boss to pick up his car that I would drop off my car at Sears so they could do a diagnostics and then let him take me home. But it wasn’t that easy. As soon as I dropped him off and was on our way to Sears – which was only a few miles down from his dealership – my car began to run hot and accelerated sluggishly. I turned on the fan, this seemed to help. As I was pulling into Sears is when the overheating got worse. When I stopped and turned off the engine, I popped the hood, to look to see where the smoke was coming from that I had briefly saw on my way over, and noticed that my battery was the culprit.

To make a longer story short, Sears could not diagnose the engine to see why the Check Engine light or ABS light was on, but they could check the battery and the alternator. They came to the conclusion that my alternator was bad, was putting out too much voltage to the battery and blew the battery, so much that it blew the caps off. There goes $500 to Sears and a day out of work on Friday.

Well, after picking it up from Sears Saturday morning, the fun did not stop, my car was still not fixed. The Check Engine light was still on and the engine was still sluggish. I took it back to Sears and they stated that they could not do anything more to find out the issue. So, by one of the mechanics recommendation, I took it to Pep Boys around the corner (which is probably where I should have taken it in the first place) for them to find out what was wrong. First thing, $100 would be out of pocket just for them to diagnose the engine to find out why the Check Engine light was on. After they checked it, they found that my ignition coil and some plugs were bad. Grand total for them to fix it – $690.

So, now I am $1200 dollars poorer without the satisfaction of holiday giving.