Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brownsville Walmart

Sunday November 16…9:30pm

I was up at sunrise and after my first coffee I set out to figure out this alternator problem. When started and running, the voltage at the battery reads 11.2 volts. It should read somewhere around 13.5v.
When running, if you disconnect the battery, the engine should continue running from the power being generated by the alternator. The engine dies as soon as I disconnect the battery. I disconnected the main power wire from the alternator, and it is generating voltage of .96 volts. I come to the conclusion the alternator is done.

I phoned 2 nearby auto parts stores and one said they have the right one in stock. So I removed the alternator, and put it in my backpack, and rode my bike the 2.4 miles (3.9 km’s) to the auto parts place. Got there, and the guy brings out the new alternator. It’s not the right one, despite me telling him on the phone beforehand what the differences were between the one he brought out and the one I needed.

He calls another one of their stores, and finds they have the proper one in stock. But it was about another 5 miles away so that was too far to ride. I went back to the Walmart, and Steve drove me in their motorhome to the other parts store.

This alternator was exactly the right one. We got it back to Sherman and I installed it right away. I started the engine, and to my disappointment, the volt meter reading on the dash was exactly the same! So I did some more tests and came to the conclusion that the new alternator was no good either. This is definitely an odd situation, but it’s not totally unknown in the auto parts world.

So I called them back, and had them test my old alternator that I had left behind. It was definitely no good, so at least I don’t have to go looking for a different solution. The new one they gave me must be defective. They have ordered me another one, but it won’t be in until tomorrow lunch hour. Very frustrating, but nothing we can do about it.

While I was doing all this, Ruth was taking advantage of being able to run into Walmart everytime she thought of something we may need, or may not have enough of while in Mexico. The cupboards are getting full!

We spent the rest of the day in the Walmart parking lot. Not a lot of fun, but we did enjoy reading and several hands of Euchre. And, it was bright and sunny, with the temperature about 70F (21C).

Hopefully tomorrow everything will go smoothly!

Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…390

November Fuel $ 434.74 CAN

November Grocery $421.54 CAN

November Overnight costs $ 32.80 CAN

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