A Case of the Mondays….

I know I promised my next post here would be television discussion, but I had a case of the Mondays, and I really need to get it out of my system. And really (knock on wood), the case of the Mondays only applies to my morning, so let me tell you about it.

For starters, I found a cat turd on the bedroom floor. Got to clean that up. Yay.

Then, as I was getting ready for my day, the cat was sprawling on the floor, rolling around, showing off his irresistible white belly and meowing very cutely, so of course I had to rub the belly. And despite recognizing quickly he wanted to “play,” I kept trying to rub the belly while avoiding his primary method of “play,” which is his teeth. Yeah, you can guess where this is going… he bit the snot out of my hand. No stitches, thankfully, and because he’s not an outdoor cat, I don’t worry about the same kind of germs as I would if he were, indeed, an outdoor cat eating mice and birds and any other kind of vermin.

But the icing on the cake was my car. When I tried to start my car, it was dead. But to make matters worse, I couldn’t even get the key out of the ignition.

Okay, so seriously, I’ve had moments where I can’t get the key out of the ignition and you have to jiggle the wheel a bit to unlock it and it’s all good. So I tried that. Over and over. I think I had my wheels turned at a 90 degree angle at one point. Key, it was still stuck. The car wouldn’t even try to turn on, and when I called my in-laws (just one neighborhood down from me), my mother-in-law suggested I might need a new battery.

Well, now that she said it, it made sense. My battery is still the original that came with the car, which is a 2006 model. It’s due for replacement. And once she mentioned it, I realized that I had NO POWER in the car. The car wasn’t yelling at me for leaving the keys in the ignition when I opened the door. The open-trunk-button  (my battery is located in the trunk, the weirdo) wouldn’t pop open without my using the actual key to manually do so. Couldn’t lock the doors from the inside or out, except, of course, using the key manually. Which, of course, was stuck in my ignition.

My father-in-law came over, tested the battery voltage, and we learned I had next to none. So we jump-started the car with his truck, and immediately I was able to start the car AND get the keys out of the ignition (not simultaneously, of course), so he followed me to the local parts shop. They brought out THEIR battery tester, tested it, and….

…. it was fine. All the numbers were good.

I’m perplexed. I ran a few errands (bank, post office), and then went back to the parts store, because despite my switching out the little watch batteries in my keychain fobs two weeks ago, my keychain fob wasn’t WORKING. I’d have to lock the car manually from inside, which arms the alarm, and when I unlock the car with the key itself, it makes the alarm go off until I put the key in the ignition. I ask the service guy about it: what gives?

He checks my battery again. Numbers are good, better than the last time. But clearly, there’s a PROBLEM. He mentioned it may be my door lock activator control unit thingie: basically, if it malfunctions or dies, it can trick the car into thinking something is ON when it shouldn’t be, and it can drain the battery. That makes sense, but that’s an expensive part to fix and I’ll have to go to the dealer to diagnose it. And, of course because I live in Smalltown, USA, the closest dealer is 30-45 minutes away.

I called my husband with the news and told him what I thought the options were: 1) buy a new battery ANYWAY because mine’s old and draining it can’t be good for the remainder of its life, all of which will cost me a bit over $100 OR 2) make an appointment with the dealership, tell them all the crazy shit that’s been going on, and have them check out the electrical work, but if they find a problem, that’ll run me four figures to fix it.

First the trampoline smashing the siding of the house. Then the HVAC unit goes out. Now this. Bad, expensive things come in threes, I swear it.

His suggestion: neither. He wonders if he didn’t touch a circuit wrong when replacing the keychain fob battery, which might be making things go wonky. He suggested switching it out with my spare, and given that’s a free test, I said, “Okay.”

I’ve officially changed keychains, and the car sat for six hours at work and started just fine (unlocked fine too). Still, I want to keep driving it around, to see if the spare keychain fob gives me the same fits (it was also replaced; it died years ago), because if so, we’re back to my two suggestions. There’s no guarantee that replacing the battery will replace whatever issue I had (and seriously, why would the battery being dead have anything to do with my key getting stuck in the ignition?), and there’s also the concern that what I took for a dying keychain fob a few weeks ago was actually the symptom of another problem. Also, it bothers me because the ignition switch on my car was recalled some years ago (2007? 2008?) and I had to have it replaced even though I wasn’t experiencing issues. Was this the issue they were recalling for, and if so, why am I having it now years after it was fixed?

So who knows? Bad things come in threes, but I haven’t had to spend any money, yet. I’m hoping my husband’s suggestion will do the trick, and then I can happily forget this morning ever happened. If not, I think it’ll be safe to say any intended vacations are effectively off the table. We’ll see what happens. The day’s not over yet!

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