Thursday, March 03, 2005
Paranoid cars and dead batteries
On Tuesday, I was off for the day and since I was going a bit "shack wacky" we decided when Rob came home to go out for a while to walk around Wal-Mart. In the driveway, I asked Rob, "Which car do you want to take?" and he said "mine". So off we went in the Grand Am. The trip there was uneventful, but when we came out to go home, the car wouldn't start. Rob stated that the "security" light on the dash was on when he was driving home, but he didn't think anything of it because when he turned the car off and back on it went off (this has happened in the past). The security light was on and staying on, and the car wouldn't start. We called McPhee Pontiac to see if they had any advice. The guy in the service department said that "the car thinks it is being stolen which is why the security light is on", and "leave it off for 15 minutes to reset it". Well, as you can imagine, 15 minutes goes by and the car still doesn't start. At this point, I'm silently cursing the thing, wishing it would spontanously combust. So I called my dad to come get us and then a tow truck to take the freakin' car to Carroll Pontiac. Not quite the night out I wanted. As the tow truck was taking the car away, all I could hope for is for it to fall off the lift while somewhere on the highway and fall over a cliff. The next morning (yesterday morning) Rob took the cavalier to Carroll Pontiac to bring the key in and talk to them about the Car From Hell. About an hour after he came home, I decided since it was Wednesday I would take Colby to playgroup (we go every Wednesday). We get dressed to go out, and as I walked around the car (I'm in sneakers) I stepped in a snowdrift that went up past my shin. So, here I am, upset about how much the Grand Am is going to cost, carrying Colby since I didn't want him to get his shoes wet so we didn't have to change them at playgroup, and I have a wet foot. I got him strapped in, get around to the driver's side, grumble as I pull the seat forward since Rob was in it last (the joy of driving your own vehicle is NOT having to do such stuff), put the key in, and IT DOESN'T START!!!! (Please stop laughing, I'm not done yet. ) It seems that when Rob took the car out he left the lights on and drained my battery. (The lights in the Grand Am turn on and off automatically so to be fair to him he didn't know that my idiot dinger on the lights doesn't work). So, I get out of the car, SLAM the door, walk around to get Colby, step in the drift AGAIN with my OTHER foot (yes, now 2 wet feet), take Colby out, stomp back to the house, throw my keys in one direction, bag in another (no I didn't throw Colby thank you very much!) and tell Rob what happened. So, I call my dad to come over and boost the Cavalier. This led to the realization that the Cavalier needs a battery. At this point I'm ready to rip my hair out. So, we call Carroll, oh crap, there is a part that came before all this. Dad called in the morning (after Rob got back with the car and before I realized the battery was dead) and said he was talking to his boss who said that he had a Grand Am like ours who said that to clear the security feature you need to leave the car with the key in the "on" position for 15 minutes. We called Carroll to see if they would try that before they brought it in the shop. We called them to find that this worked. ALL WE NEEDED TO DO WAS LEAVE THE CAR WITH THE KEY IN THE ON POSITION FOR 15 MINUTES AND IT WOULD HAVE STARTED!!!!!!!! This is the fact that the guy at McPhee's failed to mention when he told us to leave the car off. Luckily, we have Roadside on our cell phones and it only cost 20.00. So the moral of this story is don't buy a car with the built in anti-theft system unless you know how to unlock it!