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The Accident 
4th-Apr-2003 12:58 pm
Halloween 2008- Captain Hammer
So, I was driving home yesterday and a warning light came on in my car. Apparently the alternator/generator was telling me that it was shot and needed to be replaced. I called my dealership and arranged to bring the car in that night and have them take a look at it.
I dropped the car off and picked up a rental car, a Dodge Neon. I picked up dinner for monstersocks and me and headed home on Snelling. As I got close to the Highway 36 overpass I noticed some police cars and wondered if komatoast was getting busted again. It looked like they were handling an accident on Northbound Snelling. Once I got onto the overpass several cars ahead of me started swerving all over the road. I hit the brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting any of them and spun out onto the median. I got out of the car and looked at it to make sure it was okay. Then I noticed another car swerving which hit the Neon and skidded to a stop about sixty feet down the road. I went over to the other car to check on the driver. We talked a bit making sure we were both okay (she looked a bit familiar and did in fact go to Macalester.) A cop came by and told us they weren't filling out accident reports because there were too many and that we should just exchange insurance information and move our cars if possible.
So, I took a few pictures of the scene (it was pretty dark so they didn't turn out that great but a little tweaking of the Levels did produce some useful detail), we exchanged information and I slowly limped home in the Neon.

This morning I got to spend some time on the phone with the rental car company and the insurance company. I also got to pick up my car which has a brand new generator, new rear brakes and a fixed passenger side door seal.

And that's my story.
4th-Apr-2003 05:40 pm (UTC)
I take it it was snowing and people were carelessly ignoring that fact?

How exactly did the alternator/generator tell you it needed to be fixed? You have a light for that? All mine's been saying is "check engine" and it took two different dealerships and $2000 to figure out what was wrong with mine. And I didn't even get a rental car. I don't like you. But I'm still glad you're okay. Because I just lied and so you're still my friend.
4th-Apr-2003 10:13 pm (UTC)
Actually it was drizzling, when I left work I had to scrape ice off of all of the windows of my car. Most of the roads seemed okay but the overpass was icing up pretty badly.

As for my car, there was a little battery light on the dashboard that came on. I looked it up in the owner's manual and it said there was a problem charging the battery and if I turned off the car it might not start again. From what the mechanics said the battery was okay so since I caught it soon enough I might have been able to stop once or twice but I'd be stuck eventually.

I wonder if any of the places you took the car to use an automotive telediagnostic service? (That's my company's main business, telling mechanics how to fix the cars in their shops so they don't spend thousands of dollars doing lots of trial and error.)

The rental car wasn't free from the dealership, it was around $28 plus tax per day. If I'd been smarter I would have just had them drive me back to my apartment after I dropped off my car and I wouldn't have been in an accident (unless their driver had gotten into one on the way to my apartment) but I wanted to have a car in case they weren't done with mine on Friday.
4th-Apr-2003 08:42 pm (UTC)
that median shot looks quite beautiful this way. the snow makes it look very dynamic.
4th-Apr-2003 10:19 pm (UTC)
It seemed more like rain at the time, 'though a lot of the details are a blur. I was worried when I first looked at the pictures that I'd gotten rain on my lens before I realized it was just the flash catching the raindrops. They're much less obvious in the original than they are in the modified version
5th-Apr-2003 12:33 am (UTC)
Huh. On my way to work on Thursday (on 94 east, just west of Riverside) my alternator suddenly froze-up causing a terrible wailing and smoking.
But the wonderful mechs at Lancer had the truck towed in and fixed in under three hours. Amazing! Though they did charge me $300+ for the privledge.
If I had known my alternator was about to die, I could have fixed it myself for, oh, $50 in under two hours. Dammit.
At least I didn't get into any accidents.
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