Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why I hate car security systems

Through circumstance, we have ended up with the second car parked in the driveway under a car cover. This is not optimum, just required for the time being. This car wasn't being driven much anyway, so we parked in on the side of the driveway under the oak tree and I bought a cheap (read, not waterproof) car cover to keep the bird offerings and tree drippings off its paint.

Bad car owner that I am, I don't check on it much, just leave it sitting there under its gray cover. So I've let the battery run down --- twice. (So sue me.) I found it was dead the second time when I went outside Sunday to retrieve some CDs from the 10-disc changer in the trunk and there wasn't power to eject the CD holder from the changer. So, Monday afternoon (AFTER having a flat tire on my other car and the garage door opener acting up again (see previous post) -- great car day!) I stripped off the car cover to put the trickle charger on the battery and found both front windows rolled down. The day after a rain. Rats. No apparent cosmetic damage to the interior thanks to the shelter of the oak tree, but now the passenger window switch doesn't work right.

Now, when I covered up the car, the windows were closed. I would be willing to swear to it. So I scratched my head and tried to find out what happened. I asked my husband for the keys (it's his car, nominally) which he keeps on the security system remote keyring. After the charger had run awhile, I started the car after dinner and let it idle in the driveway. It was OK: "Fresh Air" was on public radio and the heater worked just fine, so it was quite cozy. I mean to drive it today when I go to the bank, and since wasn't sure how the buttons worked on the remote, I looked it up in the owner's manual. The writing wore off the remote years ago, so you have a large gray button and three small black buttons, all the same size.

That's when I found out that you can roll down the front windows with the remote. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT? My husband carries the remote in his pocket, and at least twice a week sets the car alarm off by leaning on it and accidentally depressing the remote control buttons. It seems that last week, he leaned a little too long on the button and rolled down the windows. Which I couldn't see because of the car cover. Which allowed the rain to come in and wreck the power window control.

Oh, yeah. The remote also allows you to turn on the dome light. Which I also wouldn't see under the car cover. Which might explain the low battery.

As of today, he has a new keyring.

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