Trans Am in the shop again

Friday night on the way home I stopped by McDonald’s to get some food for the family. Because the car overheats in the drive through, I pulled into a parking space. On Monday, the car mysteriously had a difficult time starting, but it has start both in the morning and evening ever since. So I didn’t think much of it that night. Well, after I got the food, the car wouldn’t start 😦 I got the hard to crank noise and the “click click click” of a dead battery.

On Saturday, I went to jump the car but I got nothing. I tried the correct way of jumping: positive and negative on good battery, positive on dead battery, negative on ground. NADA! So I connect the negative to the dead battery as well, again NOTHING! No matter what I tried that day the car wouldn’t start.

My layman’s diagnosis: dead battery and bad starter. Might be a bad alternator, if not I’ll have to return the one I bought Saturday. Now the problem of how to move the car.

I apparently let my AAA membership lapse in 2005 (that’s a good sign which means I haven’t had to tow the car in 2 years) 🙂 I called to renew with the hopes of using the service on Sunday. I was told there would be an additional $35 fee on top of the $10 signup fee plus the cost of membership which runs at $42 for basic and $69 for premium. I had premium service before: $69 for 100 miles free towing is well worth it. My cost for towing would be either: $87 or $114. I decided to call Ronnie White’s towing here in Wake Forest. I was told on the weekend’s it’s a $65 cost. That’s cheaper than my AAA membership, I opted not to renew right now. Ronnie White called back Saturday night and suggested I get it towed on Sunday where he’d do it for $40!!! I replied, “that’s perfectly fine with me! and cheaper than AAA“. The car is now at Wake Tire to get repaired.

It’s unfortunate, but I think most of the problems I’m having with the car that past 2 years all stem from the accident I had in 12/21/04 😦 Here’s a list of the things I think are busted on the car:

  • no A/C
  • clogged catalytic converter (clanging sound around the cat and very poor gas mileage)
  • not a very strong start
    • starter
    • battery
    • alternator (if battery wasn’t charging)
  • ignition related
    • optispark distributor (PITA to replace) 😦
    • ignition coil
    • spark plugs

I have some of the parts already which I was planning on doing sometime ago but never did it. I bought some MSD spark plug wires, NGK spark plugs, and a new MSD ignition coil.

Let’s hope it doesn’t cost too much.


3 thoughts on “Trans Am in the shop again

  1. A quick AAA tip for the future –

    If you have any friends who have a current AAA membership, they also get towing/etc service for cars you are merely a passenger of. So in the unfortunate incident that you were driving with a AAA member friend as a passenger *AHEM* their membership would kick in for your car if it broke down or needed towing.


    Sounds like you did much better off without AAA though, awesome.

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