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Almost held Hostage: Group 41 Batteries for Sale

I made it!  

What was going to be a simple three day business trip from Michigan to North
Carolina and back...well, wasn't.  I had driven 14 hrs to NC on Wed (usaully
a 10-11 hr trip due to traffic congestion/construction (the real first sign
of summer).  After my meetings all day Thursday, I decided to make a short
leg back Wednesday  night from Greensboro NC to Princetonn WV and resume my
trip at a liesurely pace this morning.  So ten minutes into the trip, my
Battery display comes on...goes off...comes on.  Hmmm.  So I shut off the
climate control just in case, but an hour and a half goes by and all gears
are illuminated on the shift (this is an automatic) display, then the trip
computer display goes off and I pull over, realizing that the alternator is

By now I'm at mile marker 163 (20 miles south of the Ohio border) and can now
safely use the V-8's built-in car phone to call AAA.  Luckily, after many
connections between different AAA regions, I finally get ahold of the
appropriate one in West Virginia and they dispatch the local AAA approved
towing service.  So I'm thinking, this is Friday, doubtful there's an Audi
dealer or Bosch-authorized service facilty in the land of NASCAR,  and I have
time to think out my options while waiting for said flat-bed.  He arrives
within the hour (its 90 degrees fahrenheit outside and humid/muggy) and tells
me the nearest audi dealer is in Charleston WV, which I had passed 100 miles
ago.  Not only that, but there is an additional $10 charge because of the
flatbed, which is not covered by my AAA basic, and all miles over three!!!
are assessed $2 for each mile!  I would be trapped here (dealer's don't stock
Bosch 110 V-8 alternators), or I'd have to get a rental car and come back
later in the week.  

Luckily, this service station from where the tow truck was dispatched was
only 5 miles away.  After checking for alternators "You sure its not a four
or five cylinder?" , they said they could have someone check into it next
Friday!  I had devised a better plan.  The conversation went something like
this:  "Give me three batteries that will fit where the one is now.  Should
be group 41, don't need the 49 that's in there now.  Will be 650 amph versus
720."  "I dunno, let me check--yup and it's $30 cheaper"  ... anyhow, to make
a long story shorter, they partially recharged my battery and had three group
41 batteries delivered and I was out the door in an hour and a half and $290
poorer.  Why group 41?  Well, they fit 84+ audi 5000/4000/100/200 cars and I
know I don't need the batteries but was sure someone else could.  Without the
alternator, my partially charged Big Boy and the other three batteries
carried me those 500 miles home safely, though it was awfully hot in the car
(must've lost 5 lbs in the process). 

So here's the deal:  If you're in the Detroit area or are going to Mt
Washington and are even thinking of getting a new battery, I'll sell them at
50% off (i.e $42 ea.)  E-mail me privately if you need particulars.  It's
late and I'm too tired to check out the brand/warranty right now, but they do
have the audi vent holes on the sides for you under-the-seat types.  Tomorrow
I'll check into the alternator.

Igor, didn't you do a write up on alternator brushes a while back?  Just let
me know when and I can check the archives.  Oh, and one more thing.  If you
accelerate at night and your headlights seem to go dim, and then get bright
again when you ease off on the accelerator, have your charging system
checked.  This had started over a month ago intermittently.  I replaced the
battery 3 weeks ago but did not make the connection (what was I thinking?).

-Ingo Rautenberg
'90 V8Q 174k and in need or alternator care
Bloomfield Hills, MI