Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The rabbit hole

I guess it's time for an update on the Hybrid. Yeah - still have it, still driving it. Still spending way too much time while I'm driving thinking about driving. Oh well, I got a lot of time on the road with not much better to do.

Very cool news is that I've now filled up 3 times (yeah, only 3 times since Jan 24th) (and see what I mean by spending way too much brain capacity on my driving habits?) and the mileage is consistently calculating about 46 mpg. Twice or more than what the Subaru got, so that's great.

My issues with the AUTO-STOP, however, continue. My last entry on this was way back when, and I'd learned from someone on the online forum who'd been to his dealer a few times for this issue that when your A/S stops engaging, that unlocking the door with the key, as opposed to with keyless entry, would resolve the issue. And so it seemed.

For a few weeks.

Then we had our first snow storm in Denver. Not only did I have to drive all the way to DTC that day, but I also was taking Ginger to the doctor for her procedure that prohibited her from driving (Roger picked her up). Anyways, that was a record 3 hour commute that included GETTING LOST ON THE WAY TO WORK.

AND, the A/S was not engaging. It was an extremely cold day and I'd seen references to the hybrids not performing well in the cold, though as to the details of 'not well' was I hadn't paid attention. When I dropped Ginger off I got out and unlocked the doors with the key, to no avail. There were some other things going on which served only to brighten my mood even more. Then I got on the highway, amdist the dirty slush, and found out I couldn't spray windshield washer fluid on my windshield. I was so blinded I finally managed to limp off of the highway, but by the time I found a place I could pull over and clean the windshield, I was in a totally unfamiliar industrial neighborhood where I could do nothing but make wrong turns trying to get back to the highway.

I ultimately ignored the issue and it eventually resolved and the A/S worked again.

Then it snowed again. And it stopped working again. The engine has to warm up to a critical temperature before the A/S even kicks in - so by that time you're well on the way to work so stopping to unlock the doors isn't really an option. So I resorted to whining on the online forum again.

Which is when someone else posted that I had to not only unlock the doors with a key, but lock then unlock with the key. Then, if that didn't work, believe it or not, to try dinking with the climate control in the car. Turn it on to AUTO matic climate control, or turn it off. Then lock / unlock... Really pretty unbelieveable. But, I'm in software development, so I replied that I'd play along -- the next time the car misbehaved.

It snowed again on Tuesday, and yes, once again that was my day to go to DTC - hrumph. A/S didn't engage, but I didn't care. Wednesday I was in the mood to tinker. When 15 miles from home the A/S didn't engage at a stop light, I turned off the car, got out and locked / unlocked the doors with the key. (nah -- I didn't feel a bit foolish) This didn't work, but I didn't have the rest of the trouble shooting instructions with me, so I went on to work.

At lunch, armed with the instructions I headed out. I've started to recognize the hiccup that the engine does when it's warmed enough to A/S, but then it decides not to. It did the hiccup 2 blocks before I got to the restaurant. So I turned the climate controls to AUTO. Voila, the next stop light the A/S engaged! And did so into several stops back from lunch, so I took it out of AUTO mode, and immediately it stopped working for 2 stops, back in Auto, worked for 2 stops!

I went back and immediately posted my findings to the forum. I realized that the reason my problem shows up when it's cold is most likely because it is then that I typically flip the climate control in and out of auto mode because I don't like the defroster in auto mode.

And then -- all the speculation came to a screeching halt. Any guesses?



Anonymous Brian said...

If you're getting 46 MPG, then why are you worried about it?! It's like Andrea's Dad would say -- "That rattle bothering you? Then turn up the radio!"

3/15/06, 11:38 AM  

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