I spent a good majority of Saturday spending quality time with my Mazda.
I was so fed up with how disgusting the truck looked that, despite the imminent rain, I took great joy in washing it and throwing down some more wax on the hood. I spent a while cleaning the interior, horrified at the level to which the truck had stooped.
It ran great after a little TLC on Saturday, feeling strong and responsive (for a B2000, that is). Temperature gauge was perfect.
As I followed a Maserati later that day, I decided to momentarily quit texting, as kissing its bumper with my Mazdarati would not be good.
So anyway, fastforward to a cold Monday night on the heels of a super rainy Southern California day. I made it most of the way home from work before something "off" caused me to glance at my gauges. I noticed that my battery dummy light was illuminated and that the truck was on its way to overheating. I made it a couple hundred feet off the nearest offramp before the truck died. Unfortunately there was no shoulder. It happened just about that quickly.
Nothing under the hood looked too visually alarming upon later investigation. It would not crank enough to start, which leads me to believe the alternator's dead. (Having just a dummy light did not help me out!) The battery is relatively new, but I do not know the history of the alternator. I do not know the connection as to why it was overheating.
I'll update with more findings...