Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Theft Deterrent System

So, the car I purchased this summer (2000 Toyota Rav4) came with a Theft Deterrent System. I've known that Toby had this feature all along, but today, I truly experienced it!

I unlock and open my car door the old fashioned way- with a key. No fancy key fob with buttons or anything. Well, today I go to open the door, and I must have turned the key the wrong way, because all of the sudden Toby freaked out and started blaring a loud alarm sound off and on like a bull horn. I tried to remain calm, but was horrified because I'd come out of work a little early (having worked a 9 hour day yesterday), when most people don't leave work until sometime between 4:30 and 5:00. So I was trying to think fast about how to stop Toby's alarm from disrupting all of my co-workers at the office.

The office windows where I work are tinted, so I couldn't see in, but I was just imagining people gathering to look out at the freak show... seriously felt like I was living an episode of The Office.

I tried pushing different buttons to no avail. So I grabbed all the manuals out of the glove compartment and started flipping through those.

Then I called my dad on my cell phone (he works at the same office), and he could hear the problem without me saying too much and said he'd be down in a minute. Then I thought I'd call my friend Jenn b/c she also has a Toyota Rav4.

I left a message on her call phone. Then dad arrived. He tried several things, but the alarm sound continued at high volume.

Jenn called me back, and told me to just "push the button." Um, I don't have any button to push... she has a newer Rav4 with that key fob thing. Hm... she then looked up a phone number for the Liberty H. Miller Toyota dealership here in the Springs and texted it to me. What would we have done in the days before technology?! Well, probably wouldn't have never-ending alarms go off like this- ha, ha. Thanks Jenn!

So I called the dealership, and the receptionist who answered politely listened to my problem, and replied that she had never had a call like that before! So she transferred me to a technician. This technician was the most patient man ever. He said alarm systems are installed post manufacturer's production- so they are all a bit different... but most of them have a button on the lower left side of the car by your left foot. So we found one small round nob down there. My dad was in the driver's seat at this point, and Toby seemed to calm down if the door was shut. So my poor father, who is 6 ft. 4 in. tall, was trying to bend over, with the car door shut- to reach this button... while I stood outside the car and held the cell phone on speaker by his head through the rolled down window so we could continue to get instructions from the technician guy... with his right leg all the way over in the passenger's seat to allow for him to bend over.

OH DEAR! I really lost it when my dad says to the technician, "Sir, I have to contort my body here in order to reach this button. This is VERY difficult!" I was laughing so hard but trying to keep my dad from seeing my laughter as he was desperately working to help me. It very well may have been one of the funniest moments of 2011 for me, though.

Oh, but then the technician starts saying, "Hello? Hello? Are you there?" I panicked as if my only lifeline was lost, and then noticed the phone was somehow on mute. With all of the bending craziness, I think my dad's face bumped the mute button my phone. We quickly figured that one out and continued to talk with this most patient man.

Finally, we found a booklet describing the Theft Deterrent System... and on the very back page it reads, "In the event that you lose your securi-key..." with instructions on how to stop the horn with just an old fashioned key. And come to find out, we were not at all working with the correct little nob in the most awkward of places, but simply had to open the door with the key, push a button conveniently placed next to the steering wheel, turn on the ignition, and then hold and push that button again.

Wow. The technician was on the phone with us for a whopping 22 minutes! That poor man- our call may have been the funniest part of his day- or given him the worst headache. When we got Toby silenced, he told me to have a good rest of my day. I said, "Sir, it can only get better from here!" and thanked him profusely for his kindness and time...

A big shout goes out to my dad who also contorted his body in the heat to help his 27 year old daughter in her moment of crisis. Oh, what a memory!

I'm so thankful I wasn't at a wedding or funeral where the noise would've really been a major interruption and nuisance. I'm grateful I wasn't on my way to the airport or hospital and needed to get there quickly b/c the car wouldn't start! And it wasn't a real thief, and it did finally stop. And there were so many people to help me (and technology did benefit us after all). And hey- now I know how to control the system- and it works!! Oh, and I don't think people could really hear it in The Office b/c no one came out... but I guess I'll know for sure tomorrow. :)


em said...

absolutely laughing my head off...hilarious! what an adventure :)

dawn said...

I am enjoying a few laughs here at your sweet dad's expense...contorting his body while calling a stranger "sir" on speakerphone.

Great story, Suz.

My car has been locking me out...here's a link to my saga...http://dawnsgoodlife.blogspot.com/2011/08/i-dont-think-my-car-likes-my-perfume.html

thanks for the laugh!

David and Kristi said...

Oh my goodness, that was hysterical! I wish I could have been there to see it all. Your poor dad! So funny, but I can only imagine how uncomfortable he was...haha! Yea for dads! So glad you figured out the alarm, and THANK YOU for sharing. You brought a huge smile to my face!