Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Car Chronicles: Ghost in the Machine

Through the miracle of modern technology, it's no longer necessary to go through the typical dealer song and dance:

"My brand new car is making a strange random noise.  It's turning on one of its secondary motors of its own accord (and it's a Sienna, not an Accord, duh) for no apparent reason."

"We'll have th'service department check 'er out."


...umpteen inconvenient hours later...

"Uh, Ma'am, theer's nuthin' wrong w'your car."

"But it's making a NOISE unlike any other car I've ever had."

"Uh, Ma'am, I dunno what t'advise you." (Meanwhile looking at you with an expression on the face that reads, "Aw, Jesus, why do I have to deal with women...")

Instead of that scenario, intrepid Lawrence crawled all the way under the thing, aiming the iPhone upward as he scanned the undercarriage trying to isolate the source (you can hear the motor-sound amplify as he homes in on it, but then it spontaneously switched itself off before he located the exact source):

It kicks in at random times, scaring the crap out of us.  At the point when this video was taken, the car's engine had been switched off for seven hours.  It's NOT the coolant fan, obviously.  I have no idea why a car would want to bring part of itself to life after being idle for seven hours.  Is it communicating with the mother ship?

Anyway, life having modern-day conveniences such as iPhone, I was able to forward this video to the dealer to initiate their investigation before I even bring the thing in, thereby minimizing the degree to which I get the run-around.  We'll see what they say about it. 

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