Monday, May 19, 2008


1995-2000 Dodge Stratus photographed in USA.My car is a bit more silver
and has better wheels :) ... ]
but it's rustier too!
Image via Wikipedia
So my 11 year old Stratus (don't laugh, it's paid for and it gets 34 mpg on the highway... keeping a car for 11 years is actually a rather green thing to do compared to buying a new one every 2 or 3) started having electrical problems... first the tach would randomly cut out, then the odometer too.

Took it to the local dealer, Grand Chrysler in Lowell, (who has been very good to us over the years) and they said it was electronics behind the dash... 500 USD to fix. Meh.

I decided I could live with a tach that cuts out, I shift by ear anyway. But last week, enroute to Holland to my client I noticed the idiot battery light on, and random other dash lights too. Fortunately the battery had a good charge, I was able to make it back to the dealer in the afternoon, just barely (by not running anything, it got hot and stuffy in there) on what the battery had in it.

They took another look, and reported... "you have a mouse problem"... apparently something had chewed the ground wire enough to make things erratic. So no circuit board replacement, yaay! When I told my wife we had mice, she laughed and said she had seen chipmunks exiting the hood area of the car several times.

So you darn chipmunks, that's the last time I say you're cute, you almost left me stranded. I'll be putting mothballs in the engine compartment, find somewhere else to stay warm.

Can you top that one? What's the strangest car repair story you've got?

No comments: