Earlier this week I had a lunch date. I locked the office on my way out and noticed that my keychain looked weird. It seemed smaller. I kept looking at it trying to figure out what bauble had fallen off.
Oh. My car key.
I had a brief panic attack because OMG I lost my car key! What am I going to do?
When I got back to the office I cleaned everything out of my purse and backpack and shook them out. I checked all my pockets in my coat and all the folds of my clothes. I searched around the office but it was gone.
This happened once before. The top part of the key is plastic and the plastic broke. Only that time found out because the key was in my hand and the keychain at the bottom of my purse.
I knew we had spare keys at home but Bob was going to be home late. I left him a message to ask if might modify his plan to meet me at the park-n-ride with a key. Then I remembered that even if he couldn’t meet me, there’s a local bus that I could catch at the park-n-ride that would get me within reasonable walking distance of the house. All was not lost.
Then I remembered that two offices ago we had tandem parking so everyone had to keep an extra car key in a little dish by the door. I still have the little dish in the back of a drawer. I found it and it had an AAA battery, some gummy hard candy, a broken binder clip, and my spare key.
That solved the immediate problem. Once I got home I checked around and we had a total of 4 spare keys, but they were all valet keys. We could probably live with valet keys except the trunk latch in the car is cranky and won’t work about every 1 out of 3 times so it wasn’t a permanent solution.
I finally called Toyota. My car is a 2001 with 98K miles on it. It runs fine but it’s at the age where every time I bring it in there’s something. I’ll tell them, “That funny little handle is wiggly,” and they tell me they’ll check it out and then I get a call, “That funny little handle is what holds the car together, we need to fix it, $400.”
There was no reason to be optimistic about the key. I was sure they were going to tell me to just buy a new car or else get a crowbar for opening the trunk and after that use a bungee to keep it shut.
Turns out all you need is your VIN and $5. It took me longer to drive over there than to make the keys. (Of course I bought a bale of them.)
Love a happy ending.
And usually as soon as you pay for a replacement, the old one shows up.
Now that you have plenty of keys, your car will suddenly expire. That’s the rule.