Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Electrical gremlins

Well, the bike is in the shop again. More electrical troubles. I picked it up last Tuesday and it made it until Friday morning on the way to class. I only pushed the bike a block or so, but that really doesn't make me feel that much better.

25 August 2005
I took off to go to class, but I left my sunglasses in my van. mollo started work today as a substitute teacher. I intended to get my glasses out of the van at the HS parking lot and then head out for class. As I pulled into the left turn lane to get into the school's lot, my dash went blank and the engine stopped. I squeezed the clutch in and coasted to a stop, just barely making it into the schools lot. I wound up taking the van to class and getting the bike towed. I checked the battery connections and fuses, but didn't see anything loose or obvious. I could turn the key on sometimes and get some, all or none of my dash to light up. I was guessing it was grounding out somewhere. Since the bike has a history with electrical gremlins (though none in the last year and a half) and is still under warranty, I plan to get things taken care of professionally.

Lunch rolls around and I make it over to drop the key off at the local Kawasaki shop who had so promptly arrived to tow the bike. They hadn't looked at it since they needed the key. No problem. I get a call back about 45 minutes later with someone saying, "Hey dumb*** your battery cables were loose. Come get it." Not a very reassuring call. I knew I had checked the cables and they were sound.

I finished up at about 5pm and headed over to pick it up. I coughed up the required fee for tow and inspection (non-warranty stuff) and hop on the bike to take off. mollo has already taken off at this point. I get to the end of the driveway, signal to pull out and notice that my blinker indicator isn't going off. So I press the button again. Nothing there nor is the signal blinking. Then the dash's lights, LCDs, and needles do a chase around the dash (think chasing christmas lights) and the bike dies without even leaving the driveway.

All righty then! It's a pretty small parking lot (only 10-15 spaces) and the front of the store is nothing but floor to celing windows but nobody in the shop notices or is willing to help a customer push his freshly "repaired" bike back up the driveway to be looked at again.

[nostalgia]I miss Bob. He was my mechanic in SA. I trusted him to deliver, and he always did. If there was ever a problem, he stood by his work and never charged a penny more than he promised. Anytime I took my bike in to be looked at, he detailed the bike at no charge. That isn't a small task. I don't really (ever) wash my bike. Bob cleaned every nook and cranny. He even cleaned my rear shock and spring. Quite a task. *sigh* I'll have to post more about Bob another time.[/nostalgia]

30 August 2005
This time the diagnosis was that the battery was damaged. It had tested great earlier. Now it was very weak and it goes into great discharge if you tap it. Something inside the battery broke. Whether it was the cause of everything or a symptom of something else, we shall see later. I got a new battery under warranty and took off with it about 5:30pm. I actually rode it to and from school as well as a couple of errands on Wed & Thr.

02 September 2005
On the way to class Friday morning it did it's thing again. Lights on and off for a few seconds, then dead. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I didn't have to push the bike very far, but I was still a bit miffed. I again called for a tow and they promptly showed up to get it. They came in to get the key from me and I was in the middle of my first clinic performance exam! Glad the instructors are so very nice there. That could have been worse.

06 September 2005
The regulator/rectifier is now to blame. A part has been ordered, but it takes a week to get parts in. Neither warranty or shop is willing to pick up the tab on express shipping. There will probably be more to this before long.

So I am out a vehicle for another week. The past two weekends I have been in Houston and mollo has been stuck without a vehicle. This weekend, I am at least in town.

Electrics, can't seem to live without 'em. Sometimes it's tougher to live with them.

1 comment:

mokru said...

Wow, really makes you want to kick in someone's teeth when they don't take you seriously doesn't it?