So when we got the bus, it had two issues: dead batteries and no power steering.
This bus takes three car batteries. It took us four tries to find a parts store that sold the right size, but eventually managed to find them at a good price ($65 each, after tax). We were able to switch them out on the lot.
That much was easy. The other issue was the more daunting one. We didn't know what was wrong with the power steering, only that it didn't work on our new bus. The issue was gonna cost us anywhere from $90 to $700, depending on what the issue was. We may have dragged our feet a bit on taking a look at it.
So fast forward to yesterday (Monday, October 5th). We finally get up the courage to go take a look at the damage. While we're at it, we decided to take some time for Bel to explain to me how exactly the big vroom machine went go. The conversation was about as follows.
Me: what is this "liquid cool" container?
Bel: So essentially, [a very good explanation of how coolant actually works which I just realized I cannot remember]
Me: Ok that makes sense. And what is that hose down there?
Bel: Which one?
Me: The one that's just hanging there. I think it's dripping. That's not supposed to be there, right?
Bel: ...no. No it is not... /Crawls under the bus/ ...I think I found where it goes. There's words here. Hey, I'm gonna read you some letters. Can you put them in Google?
The words turned out to be "fahrzeug hydraulik 61289" which, in turn, happens to be a kind of power steering fluid pump. So Bel reattached the hose.
One trip to the store later for some new power steering fluid, a funnel, and Orange hand wash, and we had ourselves a functioning bus!
Oh btw, it turns out you can use transmission fluid for your power steering. I never knew that.
Cost of batteries: $195
Transmission fluid, funnel, and Orange: $30.92
Total cost of repairs: $225.92
We're under budget!