Sometimes its the little things that get you

by Janie Jones

Little things irritate the piss out of me sometimes.

However, little things can thrill me too.

For the last year and a half or so, since the Jeep died, I’ve been driving a 4 door Buick Century.  It’s a 1999 and a hand-me-down vehicle.  But I have it on good authority that the previous owners took good care of it, and for a 16 year old car, it’s not in such bad shape, just things wear out on a 16 year old vehicle.

When Leif-Mom first gave it to Leif/me, it came with two vehicle remotes.  One sorta worked, sometimes, so we thought it needed a new battery.  A new battery was bought to no effect.  The second one never worked.  We checked into getting new ones at a the local Buick dealership and they wanted an obscene amount of money for a new remote, in excess of $200.  At the time I was still primarily driving the Jeep and generally the Buick was the “back-up” vehicle, so we didn’t see the need to worry about a new door remote.

Fast forward, Jeep dying, Leif getting a new truck and the Buick becoming my primary vehicle.  The key on the driver’s side door sometimes doesn’t work and the back seat doors don’t have locks.  The trunk doesn’t have a release button inside car, so you have to have the key to get in the trunk.  If you have the car running, you have to have the trunk key on a separate ring, or you have to turn off the car to get in the trunk.  Pain in the ass if you’re picking someone up in the winter who has bags.  It’s also a pain in the ass if you want to get in the back seat of the locked car.  You have to unlock the front, then use the unlock release button to open the back, then either leave the front door open or reopen it to re-lock the back seat doors.  As the key/lock is old and cranky, sometimes the driver’s side lock doesn’t want to unlock with the key, so you have to go around to the passenger-side front door, unlock it, then because the passenger side doesn’t unlock all the doors, you have to climb over the seat to unlock the driver’s-side.

Was that irritating to read?  I applaud you if you got through it all.  But if it was even mildly annoying to read, try dealing with this in the freezing cold, laden with book bags, and purse, and computer and lunch box, and big mittens, or sometimes shopping bags filled with groceries.

So somewhere along the way someone told me there’s a locksmith in Big City that fixes/sells/reprograms remotes.  I knew of the place and it’s not far from where I’m living.  About a week ago I was driving by and saw their sign saying “We program car-door remotes!”  So I pulled over and went in.  As it turns out they were able to tell me that my circuit board must be bad, and they didn’t have the proper replacement parts.  The guys were nice and suggested I try looking online because sometimes you could find a complete, brand new remote for around $25 bucks.  If I was able to get the one I needed they said I could bring it back and they’d program it for me for $40.

It was still rather a lot of money all told, but I was getting really fed up with the scenarios above.  So I did a little surfing, and as I have an Amazon Prime membership, I was able to find some remotes pretty cheap.  But when I went to find one for the car I have, I discovered that what was coming up didn’t match the model number of the remote I had.  The model remote I had wasn’t even for a Buick Century!  It was for a Chevy Tahoe.  Somewhere in all the chaos of moving the other remote got lost, but apparently I ended up with the remote that never worked, and now I know why.  Wrong car.

So, I followed online instructions to find out which remote model I needed for a 1999 Buick Century, and found one for $15, and I got free shipping.  It also said that the remote would come with directions for programming the new remote myself.  Well, thought I, these instructions probably won’t work with my car, but I can always go back to to the locksmith.

The new remote arrived on Friday.  I was on my way out to the farm, so it sat in the car all day yesterday.  This morning, back in town I saw the package and decided to give it a whirl.  The directions to program the remote directed me to go online to the company website and enter my car info.  Expecting a hassle that would end in frustration and a trip to the locksmith next week, I gave it a try anyway.  The result was a series of steps requiring me to put the car key in, take the car key out, put the car key in, and hold the button down (think the tune of the hokey pokey).  Then listen for three chimes and do it all again, and that’s how you set the remote!

Well, stars and stripes!  The remote hokey pokey actually worked.  Exactly as it said it would.  The first time.

I now have a functioning car door remote.

I did a little happy dance.  Oh yes.  I really did.

Amazing how exciting something so little can be.

Now I want to just walk back and forth to my car, locking and unlocking it remotely.  I need to go to someplace and buy a bunch of stuff to put in the trunk so I can open it with the new remote.

Yes.  I know.  I’m a dork.

But it worked.  And it only cost me $15.  Not $200.  Not even $40 to have the locksmith program it.  Cheap and effective.  How often does that happen!

If only you could see the dorky grin on my face right now.

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