The alternator on the mini-van puked in Vanderbilt, Michigan about 150 miles from home and 100 miles from our destination. We ran on battery and intermittent charging until Indian River when the voltage started to dive.
We pulled off and found the one, open parts store in town. They did not have the alternator we needed in stock. They called around and found one in Cheboygan, fifteen miles away.
We limped to Cheboygan mid-afternoon on Sunday and bought the alternator. The store had a roller table of loaner tools. I popped open the hood and looked at the mess.
The alternator is located under the dash plenum and is obscured by HVAC plumbing. Mrs ERJ picked up the look of dismay on my face. She asked, "I don't mean to cast any doubt on your mechanical ability or your "Y" chromosome, but would you be OK if I went inside and asked the parts guy if he could recommend a mechanic in the area?"
A very short time later Mark Snyder pulled into the parking lot. Then Brett Snyder showed up. They had been sitting by the swimming pool, enjoying the 90 degree heat when Dave, the guy from Advanced Auto called them. Mark and Brett are co-owners of Anytime Auto and Towing.
Mark looked it over. Then he looked at my family all set to spend the day on Mackinac Island.
"I have a proposal for you." he said. "The motor is hotter than a popcorn fart and we cannot work on it until it cools down. Whaddya say we give you a loaner car? You go do what you need to do and we work on your van on Monday. The advantage to you is that you are on-your-way in minutes instead of hours-and-hours, plus I charge you Monday rates instead of double-time Sunday rates."
And as quick as that, it was done.
So, if you find yourself with automotive problems and you are within a half hour of Cheboygan, Michigan I HIGHLY recommend Anytime Auto & Towing (231) 627-2153, alternate phone (231) 818-0479. Anytime is more than just the name of their company. They mean it.