Saturday, February 19, 2011

Driving Christine.

When my father-in-law died, we inherited his 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We weren't entirely sure if we wanted to keep if or not, so we let it sit in the driveway for awhile till we decided. Last month we had the brakes repaired and got all the tags & insurance & whatnot to make it legal for driving in the State of Tennessee. Mister drove it for a couple of weeks, then turned the keys over to me to try it out.

I had been a passenger in this vehicle on several occasions and never noticed anything out of the ordinary. But the first day I drove it to work, I couldn't get the key out of the ignition. I tried all the normal ways I knew of releasing keys, and finally I got it out. I opened the door a little and flipped the auto-lock, and when I opened the door all the way to get out, the car started - without the key in the ignition. (I should point out that while the Jeep has remote keyless entry, it does not have remote keyless start.)


I told Mister about this, and he said, "Huh." He'd never had anything strange happen while he was driving it. I figured I had probably done something inadvertently, it being my first time driving a car with that many bells & whistles, and just put it down to new car ignorance. Several days went by with no incidents. The remote control unlocker stopped working, and I figured it just needed a new battery. I didn't think any more of it.

Last Wednesday, I went out to get in the car to go to work, and when I opened the door, the horn started honking. Repeatedly. I remembered the remote control thingy had a PANIC button on it, which will make the lights blink and the horn honk, and I thought maybe I had pushed it by accident (even though, remember, I thought the battery had died). I pushed the PANIC button to stop the horn honking, and it just honked more. Eventually I got it to stop.

When I got to work, I thought I'd try out the remote again. I got out of the car and hit Lock. Yep, it locked. I hit Unlock; again, the doors unlocked.

And then the engine started with me standing outside the car with the key in my hand. Thankfully, all it takes to get it to stop when this happens is a tap on the brakes.

I had a violin lesson that night, an hour north of town. I called Mister and said, "Will you come switch cars with me after work? Because I'm not driving CHRISTINE anywhere till we figure out what's going on." Which is kind of disappointing, because all weirdness aside, it's a pretty good ride. It's got a great stereo and seatwarmers too.

He drove Christine home without incident. (Of course.) Yesterday, though, when he drove it to work, the electrical display started flashing "REAR LAMP FAILURE." Mister got out and checked all the taillights. There's been one little side light out all along, but everything else was working fine.

We may or may not drive Christine today on our outing. As long as Mister's driving, I'm not too concerned. But if you don't hear from me soon, send out a search party.

Till next time ----


  1. Girl, this is crazy! Christine has a mind of her own, doesn't she? I've heard of cars' horns honking when you hit a bump or the radio turning on by itself but I've never heard of one cranking up by itself! Lawd!