Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vehicular Madness

A while back my car started malfunctioning in an odd way. If it wasn't run every day, the battery would go dead. Didn't seem like such a big deal a brand new battery met the same fate.

It's been sitting, and I've been driving other things, but I finally got it into the mechanic and got him to poke around and discover the problem. Which was actually fairly easy to discover, considering.

See, I had figured there had to be a short somewhere draining the battery. I just had no idea how to go about finding it. Thus my need for a mechanic. Who, first thing hooked the battery up to a trickle charger for a few hours, then flipped it over to boost to try and start the car.

Of course being concerned about an electrical malfunction and a possible battery malfunction he checked the battery for heat as the boost kicked in, so he was under the hood and not inside the car when smoke began rolling from my dash.

It seems that my eight year old (give or take) stereo had decided to give up the ghost, by shorting out and drawing charge off the battery. Today, it decided to commit suicide by catching on fire.

Frankly with the amount of dust and dirt that must have made it's way into that thing I'm amazed it hadn't blown up earlier.

Luckily the mechanic was quick thinking and jerked the cables, and then dismantled the dash to see what exactly had caught on fire.

Hopefully re-installing the factory stereo (which doesn't have a CD player, but I'll survive without that for a while) will solve the short, which appeared to come from inside the stereo itself. Mechanic will be going over everything once the new battery is installed (I got it at El Marto Del Wal, it's got three year free replacement, they can give me a damn new battery) just to make sure there's not another incident, but he figures the culprit was the stereo.

So, possibly as soon as tomorrow afternoon I'll have my car back, yay!

And hopefully nothing else catches on fire.


mustanger said...

Farmgirl, It looks to me like you got real lucky. I've heard of trucks burning down right there in the middle of the road and no known cause. They just had to get out and away and let it go.

Anonymous said...

Leave the stereo out. It's healthier to listen to the wind rushing past the window anyway.

I have children, so there's always the delightful nagging and bickering from the backseat to listen to while I drive.


PA State Cop said...

I have investigated a number of Vehicle fires and the comman thread was aftermarket installations. The only OEM fires I ever did were arson jobs and this one stretch of Interstate 81 I called 10 mile hill. I had more car fires there then any other time in my career. Cars would pull that hill and combust at the top. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Seen it happen, girl. Hell, a trucker gave me an aftermarket I never installed cause it was already coated in a diverse depth of dust.. I think when I eventually tossed it, the can spat out a cloud.

Actually, friend of mine had that exact problem happen.. wana say that it's the little transformer in there, dust tends to gather and it warms up and.. well.. :P

Hope you're back on your wheels soon enough.


Jon said...

I had a wiring harness burn, while driving in rush hour traffic. By the time I finally stopped and had the battery disconnected, the damage was done. Changing it was a bear.

Glad this didn't happen when you were driving. Smoke coming from under the dash is more than a distraction.

Old NFO said...

Better sitting still than in traffic! Hope this 'really' was the problem!