Saturday, May 18, 2013


Security systems are dumb.

I've never owned a vehicle with a security system before.  The Pilot that we replaced my Camry with is a 2004, though, so it came equipped with a security system.  Even the radio has an anti-theft system.  Okay, don't really care, but the price was good and it ran great so we bought it.

Fast-forward a couple months.  The Pilot has these nifty interior lights that are great when retrieving pacifiers and sippy cups when you're unloading in the dark. The setting that makes them come on when you open the doors doesn't keep them on long enough for me to unload both girls and carry them into the house separately, so I flipped the switch for them to stay on.


That was on Wednesday night.  I went to the Pilot Friday to run an errand and the automatic locks didn't work.  Realized the battery was dead.  Dead dead dead.

Thankfully, the errand wasn't urgent and the Mechanic was on his way home anyway, so I just waited for him to give me a jump start.

Only when we jump started it, the horn started blaring.  We'd set the stupid security system off, just because of a dead battery!  We couldn't figure out how to turn it off either since I don't have a key with buttons.  We set it off again when we disconnected it and by that time I'd found instructions to turn the car off and lock and unlock the driver's door.  Thankfully, that was the last time the horn alarm went off.

Unfortunately, while out running my errand, I wanted to listen to some music.  Turned on the CD player.  Nothing happened.  But a little word appeared on the display. "Code."  So I tried your usual 123456.  Then 12345.  Then I started hitting buttons left and right and succeeded in locking the entire system up.

Turns out, there's a little five-digit code to unlock the radio after the alarm system gets set off.  It's supposed to be on a little card that comes with your owner's manual.  But, since we are the 4th owner of this vehicle that little card is long gone.  In order to obtain the code, you have to get the serial number of the radio.  Thankfully, you push a certain combination of buttons and the serial number scrolls across the display.  So I put that number in my phone.  But, the only time I would remember to get online to get the code was when I would get in the car to go somewhere and want music.

So today, thanks to a reminder email from the Mechanic, I got online to get the code.  Took me several websites to find the place where I could do this, but eventually I got there.  Only I didn't just need the radio's serial number.  I needed the VIN number, the zip code, email address, and phone number given when we bought it, plus the serial number.  Thankfully, I found the VIN number without having to go outside to the mosquito land.  But, I guess since we bought the Pilot used, our information doesn't match their database.

Of course, they have a number to call when your information doesn't match.  But it's a Monday through Friday, business hours on the Pacific coast kind of number.  And then I noticed: even the website has operating hours!

I can't even set my clock in my vehicle!

I love my new ride, but some days, I really miss my old '89 Camry.

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