My strong #2 son!
I’ve had just the worse “carma” lately.
It started last Friday. I had dropped my #1 son off at a local junior college to take the CLEP test to try to get credit for freshman composition (I drove, because I had to pay for the test with a credit card). We were told it would take at least two hours to finish, so I returned home and parked my 2009 Honda Pilot in the driveway in a shady spot. A short time later, I got back in the Pilot with my #2 son so I could drive him to meet our friend Glen to play disc golf. I tried to start the car. It made a noise, but the engine wouldn’t turn over. Oh, oh!
As I was pondering my next move, #1 texts me to say he was done with the test (which included an essay) . . . after 35 minutes! Oh, oh! Fortunately, we have another car, the Mercury Villager #1 drives. Unfortunately, it was behind the Pilot in the driveway
What to do?
I looked at my #2 son sitting quietly beside me in the Pilot and said, “Someone’s going to have to push this heavy car into the street.” I knew if the Pilot could just clear the driveway, I could maneuver the Villager around it. Competitive lad that he is, he jumped out of the car and ran behind it. And, as you can see from the crudely drawn graphic above, darned if he didn’t shove the Pilot just enough into the street that 1) no oncoming car would hit it, and 2) I could drive around it.
I called AAA Texas to come and try to figure out what the problem was with the Pilot, drove #2 to meet Glen, and then picked up #1 (fortunately, he always has a book to read just in case he’s ever stranded by his mom for more than an hour).
Sam tries to start my unstartable car.
AAA Texas sent out Sam, who also couldn’t start the Pilot. But he did notice that the key icon was flashing on the dashboard and determined that the problem had to do with the car’s security key. AAA towed it to the Honda dealer. John the service advisor finally decided that the Pilot’s immobilizer needed fixing. Really? How much more immobilized could my car be?!?
Of course, there were no Pilot immobilizers to be had in all of Houston . . . nay, all of the great state of Texas. One was overnighted from the plant in Ohio . . . where it apparently sat at FedEx in Houston, not to be delivered to the dealer until Monday. Meaning I didn’t have my car all weekend. Extremely annoying!
So that meant I was sharing the 1999 Villager with my #1 son. I used the red minivan Monday to run errands. After shopping at Kroger, I put the bags into the back of the car, got in the front seat, and proceeded to turn the key.
The Villager’s dashboard: Nothing to see here.
All I heard was click, click, click. Oh, oh! Please check my back—I think someone slapped a “car kick me” sign on it.
Yes, yet another call to AAA Texas and the chance to sit in a hot car for 20 minutes waiting for service. Oh, and while I was waiting, John from Honda called with an update on the Pilot. Even after putting in the new immobilizer as well as a new battery, the car wouldn’t start. So for the second time in a year, the Pilot needs a new starter. Why was I suddenly thirsty for lemonade?!?
As you’d expect, none of the Honda dealers in Houston stocked a Pilot starter; it had to be overnighted from Dallas. Joy of joys!
Henry tests the Villager’s battery.
Meanwhile, AAA’s Henry came to my rescue. The good news was the alternator was fine; all the nickel-and-dime machine needed was a new battery. Soon I was on my way home.
When Honda John called again yesterday, I literally held my breath. Would I ever get my Pilot back? Yes! The maroon mobile finally was ready to roll. The repairs were under warranty, so all the aggravation cost was my time. I’m just glad we have an extra car.
When I slid into the seat of my Pilot after that long four-day absence, I immediately sought out the one thing I truly had missed while driving the old Villager: XM radio! Oh, how I yearned to once again listen to the ’60s on 6, ’70s on 7, and my other favorite stations. I had forgotten how many commercials inhabit FM radio; it’s so irritating.
I’m hoping that my “carma” is on the upswing now. But just in case, I’m trying not to drive the Mister’s Honda Odyssey!