Posted By RichC on May 9, 2007
Tried to post this photo from the Palm Treo via Flickr, but it didn’t work this morning … hmm? Anyway, after filling up my Volkswagen TDI with some left over B100 at home ($2.50/gal – leftover from last year), I stopped at the Sunoco renewable fuels station at the I-71 Mt. Gilead exit 151. Price was a little higher than the $2.63 diesel across the bridge, but then I could only squeeze in $10.00 of biodiesel. (B-20 = $2.83)
The more pressing issue of replacing my failing alternator was accomplished with the generous help of Bruce Bowling of our local CinciTDI group. He just happened to be attending ImpexFest IV this past weekend and offered to pick up my pre-ordered Bosch alternator and bring it back with him. (I’ll ship back my old core; $100 deposit) Thankfully Bruce was able to stay, along with his son Eric and grand-daughter, because this was not a simple alternator swap. Accessing the alternator on an A4 TDI required a little more knowledge than the average VW owner or perhaps even weekend TDI handyman? The surprise for me was that it required significant force to pry the old alternator forward after removing the bolts, I thought for sure something was going to break, as there didn’t seem to be an easy way to do this.
Once out, the question of “is the problem the alternator?” continued to haunt me; thankfully buying the new alternator, and not just the pulley, was the right call. We were able to detect a grinding sound when spinning by hand. Once all was reinstalled (pretty straight forward) the little diesel was back to the appropriate ‘clatter.’ Again, my thanks to Bruce for his wisdom and wrenching skills.
The only glitch came when I switch on the air conditioning today and nothing happened. Simple … we forgot to put the plug back on the AC compressor! It was a hot and tight reach to get that plug back where it belonged today … can you smell my burnt flesh?