Category Archives: Family

Car Won’t Start & Alternate Side Parking Is in Effect

Thursday of last week, I had the third biggest scare of my life (giving birth and then quitting my job would be #1 & #2).

I went out with my daughter to move the car from one side of the street to the other.  Living in New York, you get used to these things; especially when you don’t own a home or a driveway.  It was early, about 1pm in the afternoon, perfect timing to get a new spot: when everyone is at work.

As I reached the car (3 blocks away from where I live), I pressed the remote key and nothing happened.  I was thinking to myself: “Maybe I’m too far away.”  I get closer to the car and pressed it again–nothing.  Hmm.  Okay.  I thought, the battery must be dying in the remote, let me change keys.  Did that, and came back and again nothing happened when I pressed the button.

Now I’m panicking.  This was a new car, well 4 months old, but it was still new.  I take the key and open the door myself and put it into the ignition.  Nothing happened.  No lights…no anything, everything was dead.

“Oh, poop” I said (I did my best censor myself cause that was not what I wanted to say).  Alternate side parking was in effect for Friday and I was in no mood to pay $150 for a parking violation.  Who wants to give their city money if they don’t have to?  I could avoid it by sitting in the car, but could I really keep my daughter occupied in the car for 2 hours without being able to roll down the windows?  I don’t think so, besides, we’ll go crazy in the car (or sweat to death because it is summer here).

I’m on the phone making frantic calls to my husband, B, and my Mom.  I warned B that there could be something wrong with the car and I was trying to figure out what to do.  I called my mom to ask for a boost because my first guess was that the battery was dead.

She agreed to come over and give me a boost.  Days like these makes me feel so happy that I live 20 minutes away from my mom.

While I waited for her, I was thinking of everything that could have happened that could have caused the battery to drain.  “Maybe it was a door not closed all the way?”, “Maybe it was the headlights (even though their automatic)?”  “Did I leave the radio on?”  It didn’t matter, what ever I was thinking it would have to wait until my mom came.

When she did finally arrive (20 minutes later), she gave me a boost and the car started.  Great!  No ticket.  Now I just needed to find out what went wrong.

Going down my list in my head I didn’t see anything, so I convinced myself it was a fluke.  While driving my mother to the store, she said maybe a light was left on.  I look up, and there staring me in the face was the over head light in the permanent ON position.

Who in the–my daughter.  She has this thing with lights.  She likes to turn them on.  The last time that we were in the car (Monday), she must have turned it on before she left (which she tried to do again today).

So I’m glad that it wasn’t a fluke, but I’ve learned some hard lessons:

  • Make sure everything is off in the car, including the lights.
  • Stop the sticky fingers from turning on things that shouldn’t be on.

Since the event passed, I’ve just been moving a bit slower getting everything out of the car and checking everything twice.

Have something like this ever happened to you?

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