/ sigh /
Well, my formerly trusty 1995 Nissan XE pickup (4 cyl) is starting to go wonky on me. Over the past 48 hours, the electrical components (radio, A/C, windshield wipers, headlights, etc.) have started to work less and less effectively. Tonight, during a 15-minute drive, all of these systems really began to conk out. They kept working, but barely – my headlights were especially dim and the radio sounded “shakey” on any station, AM or FM.
Now, for the past 48 hours, the charge warning light (looks like a little car battery) and the brake fluid light have been on intermitently – yet I’ve been able to start the car and brake as normal. Then tonight, as all the electrical components began to fade, the anti-lock brake warning light came on for the last minute or so of my drive. As I pulled up to my home, I felt the power steering completely fail as I parked.
OK. What might I be facing here? The manual says that the charge warning light can indicate a loose, broken, or missing alternator belt. I can perhaps check for that myself in the morning, provided I can find the alternator and alternator belt. I have no clue where they are and can’t tell from reading the manual.
What’s a likely price range for a repair like this if I bring it to a shop? I’m hoping it will be a simple alternator belt replacement, assuming that’s a cheap procedure. I’m also hoping that it’s merely an battery problem and that a new battery will make everthing OK … but I’m not holding my breath on that one. My biggest worry is that this repair will require a new alternator, which I understand is pricey.
BTW, batteries don’t die while driving and cause electrical failure, do they? Upon startup, yes, but not while driving, right? This assumption on my part is why I’m thinking “alternator”, not “battery”. But I’m hoping “battery”.
FWIW, the truck has 135,000 miles, and is on its second battery. The current battery was installed in December 2000.
Any ideas anyone can offer will me much appreciated. Thanks in advance!