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Man what a day it has been.

So I mentioned the car's starter battery was shot. The replacement came in, so I made an appointment to get it (and its new mounting bracket) installed. I brought the car over today, they installed it, at lunch time I went back and paid and got the car.

When I got to work, the car suddenly lit up a bunch of dashboard warning lights and the screen showed the Red Hazard Triangle and the Check Engine symbol and the Main Battery symbol. I called the car place back and said, "Hi, WTF?" and they said "Um, bring it back in."

So I set off driving to the car place, about two miles from my office. Every time I stopped at a stop sign or a red light, the car was having a little more difficulty accelerating. Eventually I couldn't get it to go above 25, then 22, then 17. Shortly after passing the highway, I was creeping along at 7 mph (and dropping) with my hazards on and I decided this was stupid, and pulled over and called AAA for a tow truck.

Half an hour later, the tow truck arrived and took me to the car place, where they apologized profusely and said they'd fix it at no charge to me. About an hour later (after watching a lot of C-SPAN) they let me know it was a weird, unpredictable (but known) bug in the Engine Control Unit, and they had reset the computer and done extensive testing and that should take care of it.

I got back to work around 3:30 and worked until 5:15 and then tried to get cheesecake and pastries for Sarah, but failed because the bakery was closed, and now I'm home and tired.

I think I will have a drink.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
You have a Prius, don't you? 'cause that sounds a lot like what happened to my dad with our older-model Prius when the dealers had done something to it.
Feb. 7th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Why yes, it is a Prius.

The mechanic said he's been working on Prii for 8 years and he's seen this happen four or five other times, and every time he's just had to reset the computer and everything was fine. Hopefully that pattern continues!
Feb. 7th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that's more or less what happened with ours.

I know the older model one did have the computer replaced at one point, but I think that was due to a known bug in the very early models. (It's basically from the first year you could really get them in the US.)
Feb. 7th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Ours is the old model, the first type sold in the U.S. -- we got it in 2003, but it's a 2002. Last winter we had some similar cold-weather starting issues, and when we took it to the dealer they said it was a bug in the computer and did a firmware replacement which took care of it, at least for the time being.

Hopefully this isn't a problem again next winter. The new battery they put in is much more powerful than the old one, so it ought to hold a charge much better.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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