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mbumby
Yessssss! Happy Bumby 
2nd-May-2008 07:09 pm
car
Brought the car into the dealer today to have them install a bunch of stuff, mount the full size spare on the rim, program the keys...

I went armed to try to convince them to at least look at disabling the "headlights are on if it's dark". The person who checked me in listened to my arguments (even before I hauled out the "I don't believe it _is_ federally mandated" card) and told me my arguments made sense and she'd have the guys look at it.

They were still looking at it 7 hours later as I was calling to wonder if the last shuttle that was about to leave was going to pick me up.

They have declared VICTORY. It's not dark enough for me to be sure, but what she says they did makes sense -- trick the sensor into thinking it's always light out. Charged me half an hour of labor. The daytime runners are still on all the time -- none of the solutions they came up with (remove the high beam bulbs, trick the e-brake into thinking it's always on, which will mean that I'll always have the dash light, and if there ever _is_ a problem I won't know) were ideal, but when they mentioned this to me I suggested that they give me a switch -- and most of the time they work as delivered -- but if I flip the switch before I start the car, it will trick the e-brake sensor. She'll be talking to them about feasibility and calling me -- probably next week.


I'm rather a bit puzzled as to their pricing. Today (when I got home) I got a mailing with a coupon indicating that the Oil & Filter change & Tire rotation (basically the service that determined the time for this dealer visit) would cost only $46.95 with coupon (some models higher) -- price had been $52.45. But even $46.95 is more than I would have been charged for that portion of the service. Maybe that's because I bought the car there and got a coupon book?

I say "would have been charged" because I don't think all the portions of the bill that were part of that maintenance added up to what I was told it would cost. And there was something else that I knew the price of which cost ... quite a bit less than I was led to expect. But, they did come VERY close to their estimate. I'm wondering if someone goofed and didn't put about 2/3 of the cost of my maintenance into the estimate, so they tweaked some values to get the price down.


I know I griped about the price of the keys before -- so when one of the keys wasn't perfect (it works to run the car and to open the door -- but only in one orientation) I took it back in. They'll be ordering another one for me.
Comments 
3rd-May-2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
If you Toyota is like my Camry there is a light sensor on the top of the dash by the windshield. I bet a small cap with a white LED in it would allow you to fool it into believing that it is light out if you turn it on before you start the car. And something like a joule thief:
http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/joule.htm
would let it run on essentially dead batteries.
4th-May-2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's where the sensor is... I don't know what "the guys" did to trick the sensor (pulled a fuse? snipped a wire? shorted the sensor?) but I snuck out Friday night when it was dark and started the car just to see the headlight out. Wheeee.

I don't yet know if the DRLs (which do not depend on the light sensor AFAICT) will be dim enough for me to be happy with them coming on, but this is SURE a step in the right direction. (And I love my car more now than I did Friday morning.)

But I _like_ the joule thief. I may need to do something with that. Thanks.
4th-May-2008 12:16 am (UTC) - Keys -- value-added Pain In The Anatomy
Back when car keys were inert pieces of metal, I discovered the vital importance of having 2 sets on my husband at all times.

The first time that he locked his only set in the car after eating lunch there, my boss at the time was very obliging about driving me out the 12 miles to hubby's workplace.

The second time the keys got locked, they got duplicated shortly after that, despite all of Alan's promises & protestations. One set for the ignition, and one to share the big key ring with the PO Box's, the instrument cases' and the church keys (which don't open bottles, just a church). That means less drive time with a full keyring hanging from the ignition switch, which is a good thing for it, according to Click 'n Clack.

When we bought our first new car, which came with 2 radio-chipped keys and a valet version, I insisted on ordering a 4th one right then, despite the $30+ pricetag. The salesman looked only slightly askance, but said wisely said nothing, except to put it on order.
4th-May-2008 07:08 pm (UTC) - Re: Keys -- value-added Pain In The Anatomy
I probably should have ordered extras that day -- but I didn't realize WHAT a hassle it would be.

I'm happier now having a spare somewhere on-or-near my person, and in the various other places I expect to find spares.
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