Why my blissful new-car feeling lasted just a week

A lighthearted look at failing to see the light

I know. I never thought it would happen either. I got a new, well, new-to-me car, and it is one sweet ride. It’s a mid-size SUV that is easy to enter and exit, and it has a navigation screen that can tell me where I’m going whether it’s backward or forward. (Plus I can make phone calls and hear text messages without even touching my phone!)

As luck would have it, this new-to-me car showed a glitch less than one week into ownership. (Owning a car in my family is similar to a marriage commitment: “’til death do us part.” So far I’ve managed to outlive all my cars — but only because they died before they could kill me.)

The glitch is in the rear-camera navigation. Yesterday, while I was backing down my driveway, believing the camera and the lines indicating my path, the screen went black. I paused. My rear view appeared again — but upside down for a split second. Then the view appeared minus the lines, and, finally, the lines reappeared.

I maneuvered within those lines. Driving in reverse is no time to color outside the lines or think outside the box.

My son happened to be home, and I told him about the glitch; I didn’t think about it again until this morning.

I was leaving before a hint of dawn appeared in the sky, and my husband walked me out as I loaded my car for the work day.

“AJ said you were having issues with the navigation screen yesterday,” he said.

I told him what I just told you.

“Yeah,” he replied, nodding. “I told you that that was one of the complaints reviewers made about this model.”

(To be clear, he learned this after we had made the purchase.)

With my new-to-me car’s flaw in mind, I started the vehicle. I put it into gear. As I moved it through “R” to get to “D,” sure enough, the rear view from my car displayed on the screen. It stayed there for a moment even after I put the car into drive, and then the home screen appeared.

I pressed the gas to go forward but realized the car lights weren’t shining. I couldn’t see a thing in front of me. It was pitch black.

Humph.

Another glitch?

Since the rearview camera sometimes hesitates before appearing — or disappearing — I thought maybe the lights were going to hesitate too. I waited. I put the car in and out of gear. No lights.

Maybe the car didn’t like how I started it. I switched off the ignition, then started the car again. Still, no lights.

I opened the door, where the driveway seemed oddly lighter, and peered at the light switch. It was set to automatic, but I tried the manual setting for the lights to see if that would help me see.

No difference.

I put the car into drive and decided to move forward, thinking maybe the lights would appear when the car started to move. Nothing. It was pitch black in front of me.

Frustrated, I finally switched off the ignition, stepped out of the car, and said to my husband, who was still standing there watching all this transpire.

“Well, I guess I’ll have to wait until it’s light outside before I can drive,” I pouted to him, flustered that this ’til-death-do-us-part vehicle was already showing flaws.

“Why?” my husband asked me.

“Because the lights won’t turn on!” I fumed, wondering how he could remain so composed when this new-to-us car clearly wasn’t working correctly.

“What? I see the lights just fine.”

I looked where he was looking, toward the front of the car. The headlamps were lit.

What?

“Oh!” I said, suddenly realizing my mistake. “I forgot to take the sun shades out of the windshield.”

I burst out in laughter and am laughing now as I type. My husband shook his head in disbelief and (probably) disgust or even more disbelief. (I am still laughing.)

Despite my flaws, I made it to work OK, where I received a text from my dear husband.

“Make sure you take the sun shield out of the windshield before you drive home.” 😀

“Hahahahahaha! That was hilarious!” I typed back.

“A true blond moment,” he said.

I can’t deny it. (Although I can attest to the shielding ability of the sun shades I purchased. They are headlight shades too. If only they could conceal my embarrassment.)

Last week, before we purchased the vehicle from a nice retired couple we met through Craigslist, I had to add the car to my insurance policy.

When I added it as my “Commuter” vehicle, Geico nicely told me that I already had a vehicle listed as my Commuter. Would I like to edit the category for how it would be used?

My options included: commuter, pleasure, business travel, commercial use.

I was flummoxed. My old car most certainly was NOT a pleasure, nor would it be used for business.

My two-decades-old Buick Century was parked in my driveway as “a spare,” as my husband called it. (The vehicle purrs like a kitten if it starts correctly — and dies randomly if it doesn’t. It has a cracked windshield, passenger doors that don’t unlock easily, an AC unit that blows warm air on the driver’s side of the car and cold on the other, a horn that makes no sound, and other flaws that have kept my road rage in check. I might have mentioned these flaws previous posts.)

Reluctantly, I chose “pleasure.” I didn’t see an option for “a spare.” Nor did I see an option for “keeping it for future blog fodder” or “kicks and giggles.”

Although, as I am quick to find, my new commuter car is good for both blog fodder and kicks and giggles too…

Whether I’ve got glitches in the car — or just glitches in my thinking.

4 thoughts on “Why my blissful new-car feeling lasted just a week

    1. So true! This one doesn’t have a gas cap! I’m still trying to figure out how to get what’s playing on my phone tho play through the sound system… thanks for commenting!

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