March 05, 2020

When one light goes on, they all go on

I have had the most STRESSFUL day ever.

This morning, it was time to take the kids to school, and there was frost on my windows. So I started the car and then started scraping the windows, which took about three minutes.

When I got back in the car, Noah said that the car wasn't on. I was confused and said yes it was, as I put it in reverse and released the brake. I realized that just the battery was on. I was sure I had started it, but I don't know. Either way, I just shut it off and then tried to restart it and it wouldn't work. The battery was working, but the engine wouldn't turn over.

Then I shifted shifted it to park, shut off everything, and tried to start the car. Just the battery came on. Then my key was stuck in the ignition! I was halfway down the driveway, almost in the street, and since I couldn't get it started, I put the car in neutral to push it back up the driveway.

Well, it rolled backward a little, halfway into the street. I hit the brakes, but I had no way of getting it back into the driveway. The parking brake engaged, and then I was really screwed. With the parking brake on, I couldn't push it forward, even in neutral. I was literally halfway into the street (and my street is very narrow. Thankfully, we don't get much traffic.

I was panicked. I had to get the kids to school, but Jerry was at work and my parents were on vacation. It was my turn to carpool with Noah's friend, so I wasn't able to do that. I had Noah call them to let them know that my car was all messed up and I couldn't drive. I'm SO GRATEFUL that Noah's friends' mom was able to drive--she even went out of her way to pick up Noah and Eli in order to drop off Eli at school and then take Noah to school. The kids were 10 minutes late, so I felt really bad; but otherwise, they would have had to miss school.

After they left, I called my dad. He talked me through a lot--disconnecting the battery, trying all sorts of different things to get a response. There were so many indicator lights on!

I was watching YouTube videos about each problem I encountered, and one of them was helpful in manually shifting gears. After shifting gears, I was able to push it back up the driveway, but only a foot or two. I had a 2x4 board behind the tires to keep it from rolling back down.

My brother, Brian, came over to try to help. If for nothing else then to help me get it back in the driveway somehow. He couldn't figure out the problem, either. I got to play with Luke and Riley while he was messing around with the car, though. I gave Luke Eli's old iPod, and he uses it like a phone (he can send and receive text messages and FaceTime and all that, as long as he has wifi).

He took a selfie and sent it to me. So funny!

He FaceTimed my mom, which was funny to watch, too. I don't think he understands that she can see him, too, so my mom got lots of views of the ceiling and floor while he walked around talking to her, hahaha.

Riley was adorable, wanting to pet the cats and Joey. She used to be afraid of Joey, but Becky told me to start acting like everything was totally normal, and not to lock Joey in a bedroom or keep him away from the kids. It was instantaneous--the last time they came over, I didn't make any big deal at all about Joey being here, and the kids were totally calm around him. I'm glad that Riley's not afraid of him anymore.

Anyway, Brian couldn't figure out what the problem was, so we pushed the car into the street and then pushed it back into the driveway (horizontally, so it wouldn't be angled up the slope of my driveway).

Some of the indicator lights seem to show that what happened had something to do with shifting gears while the car wasn't started and the emergency brake went on. It then got "stuck" with the emergency brake on somehow.

I was outside from 7:10 until 1:15, other than the hour when Luke and Riley were here. I read the manual, watched YouTube, read forums, tried EVERYTHING I could possible think of, and it just seems like my car is totally screwed.

The car isn't under warranty (except for the engine) anymore. Getting it towed and then fixed is way too much money. I just don't know what to do. I'm trying to cancel our trip to San Francisco due to the coronavirus issue, but I've been on hold with Delta for an hour now. Estimated wait time is 3 hours, 38 minutes. Good grief. If we can cancel the trip, then we'll have the money for the car.

Today has just not been fun. I'm frustrated and stressed out.

Noah is going to be taking the city bus home from school--he's never done that before. I remember doing it a few times when I was his age, and I really should take advantage of it more often. The ride is only $1! He'll have two transfers, but they are super easy (it's not exactly a big city). Then they will drive him right to our house. It's a 30 minute drive by car, and it will obviously take a little longer to get home, but they will get him here for $1--I can't believe it. It costs me more than that for gas money.

Let's just hope I can get everything back to normal soon. I hate days like this!


  1. That sucks about your car! I hope you can get it fixed! My kids are the opposite of your nephew, they think everyone can see them. they'll be like “daddy look at my (fill in the blank)” and then I have to describe it to my Husband because if I say that he can’t say them, it’s meltdown City!! Also they will ask my husband to hug and kiss them (through a regular phone call) and my daughter will put her lips and face right to the screen like he’s there. Lol.

  2. I'm not sure if it will work on your car or only on older cars but if you turn the key 3 times in rapid succession (not all the way on just flick it 3 times) error codes should appear, usually where you mileage is. You can then google the error code with the make and model of your car and it should tell you exactly what the issues are. Good luck! Car issues are the worst

  3. Dunno if this will help, but if you know someone who has AAA, they can use one of their free tows on your car, provided they are with you when it gets towed. I would be happy to do this for you, but sadly I am in California - maybe you know someone closer? ;) Good luck! Car trouble sucks :(

  4. Oh man. Car problems seriously suck. I hope that you find a solution soon. Great news about Noah and the city bus though!!


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