Question about Ford Taurus

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My elderly uncle has been using my car lately since his nasty pollution hog 80's leaky deisel bucket volkswagons were laid to rest. I know he means well but everything he used to do to his diesels that kept the mechanics busy I fear he's doing to my car. But he is nearly at the end of his driving days and hates when I question him and so he does stupid stuff like sneak off when I am not looking and get in quick so I don't notice. With that is the latest torrid tale that has me feeling sick to my stomache that occurred yesterday evening and I can't get over this one until I gain some perspective. The guy is a retired airforce engineer okay and thinks everything practically in use today like fridges, vacumes, auto's etc are all **** poor designes(unquote) he modifies everything and has fixated ideology about practically everything. He obviously doesn't learn by trial and error because he does the SAME old stupid stuff like when he did a radiator flush on his HUGE ford diesel Raychem bus by sticking a hose in the radiator and going back to lie down (flooding the joint). Later he drags himself back to his project and decides to circulate the cooling system by letting the huge diesel engine idle while he goes back to lie down some more. I begged him not to that but he's hard headed. The fumes were terrible and I kept nagging him every 5 minutes to shut off the thing. He refused. Carbon was everywhere when the engine noise suddenly changed in tone very abruptly. My feeling was certain that change meant trouble. I ran to get him in a panic and insisted he come. It took him 5 grueling minutes to go to the bathroom, wash/dry his hands then get a drink of soda and mosey on down to the bus. Where there I stand doing a rain dance while speaking in tounges (that be FORKED tounges) while pulling my hair out. Why didn't I just shut the darn thing off I bet you wonder? Well because the engine runs without the keys so nobody steals the thing when he is away (he claims) and so I couldn't turn it off. The ending to the story only cost him 600.00 plus 150.00 labor to repair the radiator damage done by his silly stunt. I kid you not one more minute that beast would have blown a head gasket that how hot it got. Here's my beef.. YESTERDAY he went to go pick up a old buddy at the bart and have lunch (again on the sly) and realized the battary was dead. He grabs the quick charger out of the trunk and starts the engine. He high tails it up to bart and there was his Pal kicking it on a bench, whereby then the pair go to have lunch at some Jack in the box where they commence to engage in their usual 2 HOUR "eat and shoot the @%$! session" get this WHILE my car is left running outside the whole time while they casually BS. When he gets back I say where ya been? He confessed he forgot to turn the lights off after doing a midnight Walmart run to BUY TAPE the night before...(uggghh) and continued with the story that I just explained. I went nuts! He insists I am getting upset over nothing. I reminded him about the BUS ordeal. He refrained from comment. SO am I nuts or is he nuts? Frankly I prefer to be the nut case cause if you tell me he is nutty one that can only means bad news for my car right? What is your opinion ? Whats the worst case scenerio do you think I should be concerned about from that escapade regarding my car? Thank you for allowing me to vent in order to gain some peace of mind...or so I hope at least on this one crackpot thing as of late. end

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Hello, I am not a doctor but I don't believe either one of you are nuts. I think you are dealing with a family member you really care about, and you should be commended for that. Anyone can forget to turn off the headlights, but it is a little unusual to forget when it's dark. As far as the car, it's probably fine, the alternator is designed to maintain the charge of your battery. It's not designed to charge a dead battery, although people do it all the time after just such a situation as you describe. The extra strain could cause your alternator to fail prematurely. Also, allowing the battery to become discharged can over time reduce the life of the battery. I would say the worst case due to this incident would be replacement of the alternator and battery. I hope I have helped you and I wish you good luck with your uncle.

Posted on Feb 24, 2010


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