Monday, October 20, 2014

A strange compliment and ... stranded again.

I took a short lunch at Floyd's Grill in Hattiesburg (over on 4th street, I recommend it) and when I was leaving a sandy haired kid in a PT Cruiser pulled in right behind the Daytona, blocking me from backing out.  I was just opening the door to the Daytona to get in when the kid rolled down the passenger side window of the PT Cruiser and shouted "Hey, man!  You're driving something you don't see every day!"  Then the kid rolled up the window of the PT Cruiser and drove off.

Strange but ... okay.


After lunch the Daytona stranded me at the Walgreen's Pharmacy on Highway 98 west near Turtle Creek Mall and ... I can't blame anyone but myself.  It's not the Daytona's fault, no, it's my own fault for not understanding just what I had and what she could / would do.

Let me explain.

The reason that she stranded me is the factory installed optional alarm system.

I tripped it, by accident, and I didn't even know that I'd armed it or tripped it so, yeah, stranded.

When I bought the Daytona, John told me about the alarm system that he had the factory install before delivery was taken at the dealership and he gave me the remote to arm / disarm the system.  When I got the Daytona home I never used the alarm system ... that and she was always in the shop for the better part of the summer getting the gremlins worked out ... I just put the alarm remote in a tray in a drawer of my endtable by my bed at home and forgot about it.  Well, I mean I knew where it was if I ever needed it but I figured I'd never need it.


So, there's a tiny sensor / control unit on the dash ... just to the right of the jerryrigged horn button (because the steering wheel horn buttons don't work anymore) and to the left of the factory stereo.  Yeah, that little piece above the glass break sensor is the arming switch.  It has two lights; green for valet (alarm deactivated) and red for alarm (activated).  There's a tiny, tiny, very touch sensitive micro switch next to the green LED light ... you'd almost think it was just a ridge in the design.  

It's not.  

It's a micro switch that arms or disarms the Daytona's factory installed alarm system.  Touching that switch, breathing on it lightly, moving your hand near it within 2 feet or looking at it wrong switches the alarm from valet to active.  Activating the alarm will make the Daytona bark loudly and strand you with a quickness.

This is good and bad.

Good if someone is trying to steal your rare '89 Dodge Daytona Shelby.

Bad if you accidentally trip the alarm yourself.

Somehow, I switched the alarm on and didn't know it.  

I got out of the Daytona at the pharmacy, walked in, got two Altoids tins to build urban survival kits for my bug out bag and when I walked out I stuck my key in the door, turned the lock, opened the door and all hell broke loose.  At first I couldn't believe it was my Daytona that was making all the noise but it was.  The alarm has a separate horn that is really different in pitch than the factory horn which is why I probably spent ten seconds standing there next to my Daytona wondering which car in the parking lot had an alarm that was going off (it's a really busy / loud intersection so it wasn't immediately apparent that it was the Daytona's alarm that had been tripped, especially since the alarm horn sounded completely different than the Daytona's horn that I was used to).

I stood there after ten seconds shaking my head and just softly saying ... "No."




Okay, denial phase was over so let's see ... turn the key in the door lock?


Lock the Daytona with the power locks.  Shut the door.  Use the ignition key to open the door?


Stick the key in the ignition?


Alarm has locked out the ignition.  Completely.

I'm not going anywhere and the Daytona is barking like mad.

I laugh because it's just part of the adventure.  Another aspect of the Daytona's personality that I've discovered, by accident, and at a totally inopportune time.

I sit in the Daytona and the alarm shuts off.  Thank goodness for small favors.  I open the glove compartment, pull out all of the documentation that John gave me and find the optional alarm information.  I start to read it, for the first time since I've owned the Daytona (going on 4 months now) and it tells me how the alarm works, how to activate it, what it does ...  Okay, green is good, red is bad.  I look at the indicator on the dash: red.  I play with the activation button, switching it from valet to armed and back.  Okay, that works.  I stick the key in and try to crank the Daytona.

She doesn't like that.

She disables her ignition and starts barking.  Again.

So I sit there, in a barking Daytona, in the parking lot of a local Walgreen's pharmacy, and I re-read the instructions on how to use the factory installed alarm system.  I now know how to activate it, switch modes ... but how do you deactivate it?

You use the key fob.

The key fob.

Which is in a small plastic tray, in the middle drawer of my bedside end table at my house.

35 miles away, due west.

I put my head back in the seat cushion and laugh to myself.

Okay, I've never used the factory alarm system before but now I not only know how it works but I also know that it does work.  Extremely well.  Verily it doth.  I jest you not.

I call one of my coworkers and explain the situation.  Twenty minutes later he's there in his car to take me to my house.  So far, my 30 minute lunch is turning into a 3 hour lunch.  My coworker drives me home, it takes me 3 minutes to go into my house, get my remote, and get back in his car.  We drive 35 miles back to Hattiesburg.  I'm still laughing because I'm thinking that maybe it's not the alarm but something in the electronics has shorted (the Daytona's alarm never went off before) and that thought does not give me any kind of happiness.  I begin to hope that it's just something simple like the alarm got tripped and the remote will fix all of the problems.

We get back to the Walgreen's and I hope that the batteries in the remote are still good.  I point the remote at the Daytona and press the button.  The remote has two buttons on it marked "1" and "2".  Amazing, the thinking that went into the design of this remote for the alarm system.  I press "1" and hear the power door locks engage.  I try the door.


Okay, wrong button.

I press the button marked "2" and hear the door locks disengage.

Fingers crossed (figuratively speaking) I open the driver's side door, sit in the driver's seat, put the key in the ignition, turn the key in the ignition and ... varrrroooom!


It was something simple after all.

I look down at the alarm indicator panel, touch the selector and set the alarm back to valet mode.

I will never leave the house without the Daytona's alarm remote ever again, especially now that I know how to work it.

So, another aspect of the Daytona learned the hard way but, despite the 75 mile extra round trip I had to make today to get the remote key fob, it was something simple so ... Hooray!

1 comment:

  1. I do not think an alarm was offered from the factory. I have an 89 ES built in St.Louis where I worked for 30 years. It is not in my factory repair manual. It was most likely a dealer add on.