So about 2 weeks ago, after work, I went to pick up some Chinese food for dinner. As I was pulling into the parking lot my battery light on my car dashboard lit up and then went out. Then it came on and stayed on. I pulled into a parking spot and pulled out my manual and it said something to the effect of pull over immediately and call for help. Well, I am stubborn. I first picked up the food I ordered and then drove 25 minutes home in rush hour traffic. It was a stressful, nail biting experience, but I made it home.
Once I got home I started googling the battery dashboard indicator light in Toyotas. I found that it mostly likely meant that my alternator had gone bad. I deduced this because for about 2 months I had been hearing a whirring noise after long drives. I had googled the whirring noise, but didn't find anything significant and it wasn't too annoying. Well, FYI, a battery light and a whirring noise means your alternator has gone bad. The whirring noise was the first indicator of the failing alternator. (I never had any problems with a dead battery or anything like that).
Well, my car is about to be 11 years old (in about 3 months) and I never had the alternator replaced on the car. So, I guess it was about time to get a new one. It cost (along with an oil change, rotation, etc,) approximately $863. That was after I talked the service advisor into giving me a discount of about $50.
Right after I had the repair done I received a travel voucher reimbursement for $539 so I used that to cover part of the repair. I used another $324 from my work travel fund to cover the remainder of the repair. I could have used my emergency fund, but I just didn't want to! I have about $600 in outstanding travel vouchers right now so once I receive those- in August- my work travel fund will be back up to about $1,000.