Friday, February 11, 2011

Thank you, Honda!

It's been cold in Kentucky lately. We've had more snow than I remember getting - ever - and I am over it. I'm ready for spring. Apparently, so is my car.

A few days ago, it was snowing all day long, and I cleared snow off my car at least three times - every time I moved it, to be exact. The last time was at 9:30 PM when I finally left BCTC, where I was teaching a class.

The next morning, we were running late - and my car door would not open. That is, it did make a click when I used my key FOB, but the lock would not disengage and the little button did not come up. That was a new one to me. I pulled on the door, wiggled the handle, tried to turn the key manually - nothing.

Since my Honda Accord - a car I really like a lot otherwise - has only one - count-'em - one door with a key hole, once the driver's side door is inoperable, I am screwed. Dear Honda, that's really a design flaw. My daughter's Toyota has key-holes on two doors - just sayin'....

Unfortunately, I was parked behind my daughter in our driveway and both of us needed to get to school and work right about NOW. Luckily, there was just enough room between her car, my car, the flowerbed and the tree in my front yard that she could back out - across the frozen tundra that is my front yard - back onto the driveway - and onto the street. Crisis averted (sort of) day #1.

(By the way, as I was fiddling with my car that morning, I suddenly remembered that I was scheduled for a continuing education class at 8:30 am so I asked my daughter drop me off at the building where the class was being held. When I walked into the classroom, I found out that the class was not until the next day - and I had to walk halfway across campus to get to work. Happy Tuesday to you...)

Tuesday evening - My daughter's schedule sort of matched mine, and she gave me a ride home. It had not gotten warm enough for the lock to thaw, but efforts to open the car were sort of successful. The driver's side door still would not unlock, but it opened for a moment so I could get in the car to open the other doors. Interestingly, I can't open the driver's side door from the inside, either.  Maybe this will fix itself by the morning. Yeah, right.

Day #2 - Wednesday morning - No chance. The driver's door won't open, and I am sort-of uncomfortable driving a car that I can't get out of in a pinch. I am *not* limber (or small) enough to scramble out of the passenger side door in case of emergency.  ("Sure, officer I'd love to give you my license and registration, but my window is frozen and I can't open my driver's side door...." I wonder, if he'd buy it or if I'd get shot?) So again, I hitch a ride with my daughter. She ends up having to wait around for me in the evening, but again, our schedules sort-of match.

That night, my daughter is over it. My Thursday will start way earlier than hers - and end later than hers. I don't really blame her for not wanting to get up at 6, if she really does not have to. So, I park the unlocked car on the part of the driveway behind the gate and decide that I am going to try to get the lock to release in the morning. To that end, since I did get the (locked) driver's side door open, I followed my friends' advice and sprayed WD40 into every nook and cranny I could find on that door, inside out and sideways.

Day #3 - Thursday morning, I get up a little earlier to warm up my car. Since I still can't unlock the driver's side door, this involves me climbing into the back seat and reaching over the front seat to start the car.  Not a good idea (!) - and if that baby starts moving, I'm in trouble.  But all goes well.

I check on the idling car a few times over the next 30 minutes, but that lock and the button won't budge.  I even put a blanket on the outside of the door in hopes of insulating the whole thing - to no avail. Still - gotta get to work!  In the end, I decided to take my chances with the frozen driver's side door - maybe make a short detour to the mechanic on the way to work?

I debated between "parking structure" and "mechanic" on the way in, and the parking structure finally won out.  I decided that my early arrival would give me a prime spot close to the parking attendant and that I could ask him to keep an eye on my car during the day.  (Like *that* was going to happen...)  I also kept trying to pull up the button while I was driving - again - to no avail.  Finally, I parked the car and was about to talk to the attendant, when I pulled the button one more time - and it opened!  Hooray!  It's open - for good!?  If all else failed, there was always AAA.

Of course, that evening, the door was frozen again. I had to teach, so I moved my car to BCTC where I prepared myself for the possibility of having to climb into the car from the trunk by unlatching the back seat so I could push it over if needed. Again, I am in no shape to be climbing into my car from the trunk, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

After class I discovered, that opening the door was essentially an issue of timing.  If I clicked the door open with my key, and I pulled the handle within a fraction of a second of the click, the door would open without the button going up.  That could be repeated.  That's how I ended up getting into my car on Thursday night and Friday morning. That's how I am planning on getting into my car until it warms up.

It's supposed to be in the 60s on Sunday.  I'm looking forward to it.

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