See if this sounds right. Last night I was stopped at a stop light, had a little bit of idle trouble, the tach bounced up and down a bit. I tapped the gas pedal a few times to settle it down, which usually works. Only this times the idle completely dropped, the headlights, radio and dash lights all went out and a yellow warning light poped on under my tach. This happend for about half a second then everything came back on. WTF? So I get to my girl friends house and stay there a while. Get back in my car excpecting the alternator and battery to be dead, car starts right up and I drive back home. I get out my multi -meter and check the batter terminals, the multi meter reads between 13.1 and 13.4 volts, going up and down beteen there for about a min. I called a friend of mine and he said a diaode (sp?) on my alternator poped and I don't need to replace it right away, but if it does it another time it should be ok, but if it does it a second time, bye bye alternator.
So does this sound like what happened? And if so where is the cheapest place to get quality alternator? I have heard a place called zygmunt (http://www.bimmerparts.com/index.html
) is good, is there some where better?
Also, how hard it is to change an alternator in a parking lot with only a ratchet and a few other hand tools with a car too low to reach underneath for anything? I've got the bently manual but don't have time to look it up because I am on my lunch break, so detailed steps aren't needed, just a difficulty level.