OK, I have sorted out several repairs, threw a ton of money at the car, and am still in deep trouble. After 800 bucks the cooling system seems ok, but when I tried to get it through the smog check it came back not ready on the cat and the evap- in IL this means no pass, even though it is almost definitely due to the overheat code it threw, but the procedure to retrain the computer is long and complicated. I went through most of it yesterday, I was pretty sure we'd survive, but when I got home and shut the car off it would not re-start, went through all the fun tricks it always does when the battery is discharged, which means, of course, that it once again reset the computer. The alternator check shows AOK but from my hours of reading on here this afternoon it looks like that doesn't mean much. The battery seems to take a charge when I hook up the charger, but this car has eaten batteries since new (I believe this is its fifth) so I have no faith in that either. I have a 200 mile trip that I have to make, I would love to use this car and think it would finally reset the computer so I can get through smog, but I am not sure I want to take a chance on it making the drive. I could throw the small charger in the trunk and recharge it when I get where I am going (100 mi each way) but I don't know if it has that range in it. If I drag this thing into an auto parts with the free bat/alt scan is that any more definitive than the onboard warning? At this point I am tempted to call it an alternator problem, but I hate just throwing parts at the car blindly. Also, if I just drive the car in a normal cycle how long will it take to reset the computer? It is important as the plates expire end of month and they will not renew til It gets through EPA, so time is tight. It is an 03 v8 premium sport, btw.