Thank you again for the responses! Yesterday I checked all of the fuses in the cabin, and they were all perfect. I opened the hood to check the fuses/fusible links there, and sure enough, a fusible link, and 3 fuses were blown. In this car, there is a fusible link that is specifically for the alternator; it was completely blown and melted on top, so we picked up a new fusible link and a fuse tester while I was replacing the "bad" battery. The fusible link was a pain to get out, but once we got it out and replaced it, BOOM! All the gauge lights, dash lights, headlights, power seats, windows, etc started working, but there were still a few things that weren't. Apparently when this fusible link blew, it caused those 3 others to blow as well; the radio fuse, the "dome" fuse (I'm assuming this meant the dome lights? Considering they still weren't working after replacing the fusible link), and most importantly (ha ha) the telephone fuse was blown. Once these 3 were replaced, everything works perfectly!
Thank you so much for the quick responses; I was so lucky for it to just be a $26 repair (including new power steering fluid)!
I have not checked all the voltages yet for the alternator, but I left it running for about 25 minutes just sitting there with the radio on and everything to test it, as well as a few test drives, and it still had plenty of power (no battery light popping up on the dash, lights dimming, hard re-starts, etc)! I will check the voltages today in the daylight, just to make sure!
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 AT 12:04 PM