On Monday, I walked out of work to find our car wouldn't start. My dad figured it was the battery, so I went back inside and bought one for $100. Meanwhile, our family friend, Junior, came out to give us a jump. We were going to follow Junior to his house and switch the old battery for the new one, but we never made it. The lights in the car grew dim, as did our head & tail lights, so we pulled into a 7-11 and switched the batteries out there. Our car turned on, though the clock, radio, and our heater wouldn't work. As we pulled into our parking space at home, the headlights visibly dimmed and flickered.
We were just trying to hold on until I get my next check.
Then, today. We're on our way home from Thanksgiving dinner with my sister-in-law and her family. At one point, our speedometer went to 0, even though we were still moving. And then the car died, completely, right there in the road, five minutes from home. Thank god we were on a back road. My sister-in-law and her family came out and gave us another jump, and we made it another 3 minutes before the car died again. We abandoned it at the side of the road.
I got a ride to/from work today, and my sister-in-law's brother towed the car to the front of our trailer. Then he pushed it into our parking spot, with me steering. And now it's in front of our trailer, but it's making this weird, non-stop groaning/screeching noise. The car is off and in park.
I don't know what to do. Dad thinks it's the alternator. Others have suggested the starter, and maybe there's a short (and that's why the radio/clock/heater won't work). If I take my $300 bonus next check and the $300 I was going to use to take the dog to the vet, I can scrape together $600. Do we take it in and hope it IS the alternator and they can fix it? Or should we just try to buy a new car, which might come with a new set of problems?
And even if we DO decide to take it in, how do we get it to the auto shop? It's illegal to tow it yourself. We could do it to save some money and hope no police catch us, or we could have it towed by a towing service and take on another large bill.
I am so stressed and just so fucking DONE. That's it. I want to stop existing now, please.
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