argh of the moment
Anybody who's been around me for any extended period of time, or really not even that extended of a time, is aware of the fact that my car squeals like a stuck pig every time it starts up. Especially in cold weather. The squealing is loud enough to wake everyone with semi-functional eardrums in a radius of three city blocks. As the weeks have gone by this noise has become progressively worse, to the point where the car would periodically squeal even after its initial warm-up. I knew it was a problem with the car's serpentine belt, and figured the belt just needed to be replaced.
Well today the car made a *new* belt-related noise and I popped the hood to discover the belt was incredibly loose and needed immediate replacement, lest my car stop working altogether. I give my ever-so-helpful bro a call and he comes down to where I am to give me a hand. Initially I wasn't too upset, the cost of a new belt would be $17.17 plus the frustration of putting it in. Unfortunately Dave discovered upon his arrival that not only was my belt frayed beyond use, but the tensioner was broken. That's the thing that, in case you hadn't guessed, keeps the belt at the right tension.
How much do tensioners cost? Around $130. Dave ferried me about town to gather the necessary parts and I dropped my car off at Mowry Automotive. On the plus side, they finished it today and I'll be picking it up momentarily. On the down side, today I'll have shelled out 250 unexpected bucks on my car. On the plus side, I had the money in the bank - so no more debt.
Oh well, at least the car won't squeal anymore. It better not anyway, otherwise I may have to change its name from the "Party Saturn" to "Squealey McSqueal" or "Piece of Crap."