I never really named our mini van, but when I did refer to it, it was in the feminine, as Betsy, and in later years, as Good Old Betsy.
We bought Betsy as a used car in March 1999, nineteen years ago, from Thrifty Car Rentals. It was the district manager's wife's personal car and had just been delivered to the used car sales lot that day. We were looking to replace our worn out mini van with a newer model, and this one had all of the bells and whistles. We bought it and then waited until it was detailed to drive it home.
As I described in my last post, Betsy has served us in a variety of ways, including as a cargo truck. It has been a good car, but starting last fall we began having battery issues. Tom had the battery replaced, but it didn't seen to hold a charge. We don't drive Betsy that much anymore, not since I retired. I used to drive her to work every day. Lately, every time we would try to start it, the battery was dead.
Tom bought a trickle charger to keep the battery going, but then noticed that charger was working most of the time. I went on line to do a bit of research and decided it must be the alternator. That would be a pricey fix, and there was a caution to have a thorough diagnostic work up before buying a new alternator. It could be something simpler.
We found a well established auto electrical shop and took it in Monday. Turns out there was a phone charger left plugged into the charging port way back by the back seat, most likely left there when we transported the family to the cider bee in October. The thorough diagnostic tests gave the battery and the alternator and the electrical system a clean bill of health. But that charger was drawing a constant electrical current, which didn't allow the battery to "sleep" and drained it over and over.
So what we learned from Betsy is to not leave phone chargers plugged into charging ports, at least not in older cars.
And by the way, as soon as we got Betsy back from the repair shop, we began loading her up with yard debris. After three trips to the yard waste transfer station over two days, all of those piles are gone.
Good Old Betsy!