Alternator Replacement

The alternator on the Sentra hasn’t been functioning very well. When you start the car, the dashboard battery light stays on. This means the battery is not being charged. It only goes off when you rev the engine. Also, the headlights would go brighter when you rev the engine. This means the voltage is low and only goes up when revved. I’ve had it repaired several years ago but I guess it’s finally reaching the end of its life.

Last night, Michelle forgot to rev the engine as she drove off. The battery drained and the engine died. Good thing it happened at the parking building already. With the aid of two security guards, we pushed the car to the side. Then I brought down the other car and jump started the Sentra so that I can at least park it properly.

Yesterday, I dropped by the nearest decent car shop I could find and have it checked. I ended up at Rapide. As suspected, the alternator needs to be replaced and it cost a whooping P14,500!!! But with few options (battery was about to go flat again), I gave them the go ahead and after an overnight stay at the shop, I finally got the car back.

So far, everything seems to be working fine. The dashboard battery light turns off as soon as the car is started. The headlights also stay steady when you rev the engine. Here’s hoping for another several years of operation.

Oil Sending Unit Replacement

The Sentra had been leaking engine oil for the past few months. Not too much to be an environmental disaster (I hope not) but enough to leave unsightly black oil spots on the ground. Whenever I visit a car shop, I ask mechanics to look for the source but to no avail. Some recommended that I get an engine wash to make finding the leak easier.

Last week, I had a complete wash: body wash, under wash, and engine wash. I then gave it a week for the oil to leak out then I had it checked at a car shop. They found that the leak was at the oil sending unit (it’s actually sends oil pressure readings). I’ve had it replaced before but that was before the engine swap so it seems I need to change it for the new engine. I had it replaced (for P1,830).

I hope that was the only problem. But so far, the car doesn’t seem to be leaking oil anymore.

Car Maintenance Day

Jeanne had to skip class today because I had to have the car fixed. The accessory belt had been squeaking for weeks, and a few weeks ago, I noticed a leak in the power steering hose. Finally, this week, the air conditioning conked out. Probably another leak. So first thing in the morning, we dropped off Michelle at her office. Jeanne and I then went on to Fusion R to get the accessory belt and the power steering hose fixed.

Fusior R was still closed when we got there so we had to wait until it opened. Good thing Jeanne was sleeping for most of the time. After they opened and leaving the car with the mechanic, we went to the battery shop to talk to Eric. But he wasn’t there so we instead went to the mall to have wait out the repairs. We got there early and it was  still closed. So we stood around, bought breakfast (yogurt drink, hopia, and bread sticks) at a convenience store.

Once the mall opened, we windows shopped, visited the bookstore for a reading session, visited the toy store, and visited the bookstore again for another reading session. Finally, we had lunch (gyudon bowl). After lunch we went back to Fusion R to pick up the car.

But it’s wasn’t over yet. We went on to Frigid Zone to get the aircon fixed. I thought they had a problem figuring out where the leak was and after a while they showed me tiny bubbles coming out of a hose. I figured a leak is a leak so I asked them to proceed.

After the car got fixed we went to a nearby coffee shop to meet and finally talk to Eric. After an hour or two discussing plans, we headed home. Jeanne was very appreciative of the fixed aircon. She said “It’s good that we got it fixed, dad.” But alas, it wasn’t so. Gradually the cooling disappeared and soon it was just hot air coming out. But it was already late and the shop was already closed. So we just picked up Michelle and headed home.

UPDATE: Went back to Frigid Zone and they fixed another leak. And I bet that was the main/real leak.

Philips X-treme Vision Headlight Bulbs

Since I was on car repair mode, I decided to replace the Sentra’s headlight bulbs. They, actually just the low-beams, went bust over the last few weeks and I have been running around on fog lights. Or on high-beam where possible.

I was pretty impressed with the busted lights, Philips X-treme Power Headlight Bulbs, which had lasted almost four years so I decided to get them again. But the only one available at the shop were DiamondVisions. I pressed them and they offered to get X-treme Visions, apparently the replacement for X-treme Powers, from another branch. It took a long time in coming so I had to leave without new bulbs.

I was finally able to get them tonight after groceries. I tried to install them before leaving the mall but I wasn’t making any headway. I gave up and headed home where I gave it another go. This time, with the aid of an LED keychain light, I finally met success. Now I have not just 50%, not just 80% but 100% more light than stock bulbs! Night driving’s gonna be so much more fun!



Busted Evaporator

Brought the Sentra to Frigid Zone today. The aircon wasn’t running and I figured there’s a leak somewhere. The diagnosis: there’s indeed a leak and it’s in the evaporator. That’s the bad thing. The worse thing is that I had that same evaporator installed brand new from the same shop just over a year ago. I was naturally rather unhappy but it is past the warranty period (6 months). At least I was able to get a small discount, a longer warranty (1 year), and an assurance, unverifiable until next year, that the new evaporator is of a better make.