"The way shops run"? In nine years of teaching, two of my top students were women. And there are just as many clueless guys out there so you don't get to fall back on that lame excuse in this day of political correctness nonsense. I can find a whole bunch of stuff wrong on ANY car that hasn't been in the shop in a while, especially my own '88 Grand Caravan. The few times it's been up on a friend's hoist, I am amazed at how much I find that needs attention that I never realized because the thing just refuses to break down. It runs and drives just like when it was new, but a conscientious mechanic could easily justify recommending $2000.00 worth of repairs. You might call that "being taken advantage of". I call that looking out for my well-being.
Now, to get our sleeves rolled up and down to business, the multiple symptoms and dandy observations suggest a charging system problem and low voltage to the various computers. If I'm right, you're going to run into a slow cranking situation or a no-start, and you'll need to have the engine jump-started. The place to start, hopefully before it gets that bad, is to use an inexpensive digital voltmeter to measure battery voltage before starting the engine and when the engine is running. I can walk you through the steps if necessary. If you have a Harbor Freight Tools store nearby, they have a perfectly fine voltmeter for less than ten bucks, and it's often on sale for $2.99. Walmart, Radio Shack, Sears, and any auto parts stores and hardware stores sell them too. You don't need any fancy special features, just a basic voltmeter.
I'll be out-of-town off and on for the next few days, but I'll be checking back for your reply when I get home.
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Thursday, July 7th, 2011 AT 9:15 PM