And There Was This Too

7 Feb

On top of my horrible work week and frustration from school, my car started having trouble.

Thursday, I drove to class–without incident.  I drove home.  I attempted to set my remote start when I was in my parking place.  It effed up as it sometimes does, but then acted very weird.  I ended up taking the key out after a lot of button pushing.  Then, the car wouldn’t start again.

Since the car was acting completely fine until I was trying to set the remote start, I figured that must be the problem.  I called Car Toys, who installed the remote start/alarm system right away.  There was no easy answer.  They told me to remove the fuse.  Still, there was trouble.  Rusty would not start.  Of course, it was 4 pm on a Thursday.  Auto places probably close around 5 PM.  I HAD to work all day on Friday and again Saturday morning.  On Sunday everything would be closed.  I had to work all day Monday and Tuesday.  The most pressing problem, aside from having to work during auto repair business hours, was that I had to drive from work to class and back on Tuesday.  I have a class presentation (with a partner) worth 10% of my grade that day.  Cool cannot miss ANY days at work.  I was in trouble.

I thought it would be best to panic for an hour and a half.  And be mean to poor Cool when she got home from work.  Then, I called Triple A.  They sent the battery truck to my apartment.  They tested all the the battery (dead), the fuses, alternator, starter, and if anything was drawaing charge away from the battery (0%).  Unfortunately, it was really cold down by the river.  And I felt obligated to stand down there while the guy messed around with Rusty.

The battery needed to be changed, and luckily one was on the truck.  So I paid $130+ b/c really, I had no choice.  The guy installed it, but it was sort of floating around in the hood.  The battery guy took forever (and it was so cold) to secure the battery down.  He said I should still go to the auto store and pay $3.00 for a strap to secure the battery better.

Anyway, the guy finished, ans did I mention it was fucking cold?  Rusty started.  Then I turned it off.  He needed to do some paperwork.  So I had to turn Rusty on to get the odometer reading.  I put in the key, turned it. . .  And nothing.  After all that.  Rusty still did not start.  It was cold.  I had to be at work the next day.  The battery guy re-ran the diagnostic tests.  Same results:  Alternator OK, starter OK, fuses OK, battery fully charged, nothing pulling power from the battery. . .

But my remote start somehow worked.  Rusty would start if I used the remote start, but not the key.  I didn’t know why, but it was cold.  I had a chill, it was getting late, and I had to be at work all day Friday.  I tipped the guy $10 because we stood out in the cold for an hour–and because he seemed to try so hard.

Friday, I used remote start to get to work.  At lunch, I made a Saturday appointment at Car Toys.  I was going to be screwed if the remote stopped working, because the key wouldn’t start Rusty.  At all.  And the thing about remote start–since it’s a manual remote start has to be set up a certain way when you park.  You can never just decide to engage remote start.  Things have to be set up when you get out of the car the time before.  On Friday, I drove from work to home, using remote start, without incident.

Saturday morning was frosty.  I turned on the remote start early so I wouldn’t have to scrape the windshield ie THE worst.  I had to re-start the remote start a second time.  When I got outside, the remote start had turned off.  It would not start a 3rd time.  The key would not work.  I.  Was.  Fucked.  Cool had to drop me off at work.  And I was freaking out because while I had to be at work, the auto mechanics that had been open for Saturday were probably closing.  And when was I going to take the car in before class on Tuesday?

Another battery guy came to my apartment.  This guy sucked.  He dropped the alarm/remote start fuse somewhere in the hood.  He didn’t know what to do.  I was not all about standing out there being cold anymore.  I was worried auto shops were closing as time was ticking.  I had him call for my triple A tow.

I had to use my one free tow for the year.

I didn’t know where to go.  So I took a gamble between Sears Auto that is open all day Saturday, but who couldn’t do anything with alarms/remote start.  Or.  Go to Car Toys, who could fix the remote start, but were REALLY expensive for anything else.  I chose the latter.  The remote start still worked so I figured the problem must have something to do with that.

On Saturday, Car Toys is SUPER-busy!  And they were all confused about who’s car was towed there.  But they didn’t pay attention to me waiting in line or Cool’s (uncharacteristic) shouts–“The towed car is hers!”  I dropped it off and went to the mall.  When they finally called they said the rods that secured the battery were all rusty and corroded and were blocking battery power.  Which didn’t make much sense to me since the remote start (but not the key) worked twice on Friday.  But I was already paying the labor fee since they looked at it, so I agreed to pay a total of $53 for Car Toys to fix it.  Even though I knew it was a $3 part.  What could I do?  Rusty wasn’t staring at all and I HAD to be at work Monday and Tuesday and get to class Tuesday.

So on top of a horrible week, the car trouble was ridiculous.  But I’m still thankful for AAA.  I would have been seriously effed up the A if it weren’t for their service. . .

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