Mar 26, 2016
RAY: This was sent in by a fellow named Roy Harvey, who writes:
The year was 1971. The car was a '65 Rambler Classic with power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, six-cylinder engine, and no air conditioning. In other words, my parents gave me their old car.
The year and the car aren't important, but there are some cars for which you couldn't have this particular condition. It had about 80,000 miles on it -- and let me tell you they were hard ones.
I was driving to school. About halfway through a 15-mile trip, the alternator light came on. It was daytime, so the headlights were off. The heat and blower were already off. I turned off the radio, but the light persisted. I began to worry. I then turned on one control on the dashboard -- and it wasn't the ignition. The alternator light went out.
This told me what the problem was, and I continued on to school without concern. I later fixed the problem with a few simple tools.
Here's a hint: As far as I know -- and I know but Roy didn't -- this switch actually had no direct electrical connection at all. In other words, it didn't have any wires hooked up to it.
TOM: Oh, no. Bogus. Oh, bogus. But we do have a winner. Congratulations, Dr. James Randolph from Long Beach, Mississippi!