Thursday morning my car was a bit sluggish on start-up. Driving to work I realized it was probably about time for a new battery. It's been about three years since the last battery, but I thought I'd put in a four year batter. However, it was a rough winter, so who knows. Left work, still sluggish. So, I added a trip to Sears for a new battery the next day - a day off so I could enjoy a four day Labor Day weekend and hunker down and organize my spare room.
I decided I'd still go to the gym. Still sluggish on start up, but I figured I could make it till the next day with the battery. Good workout. The craziness started when I went to leave the gym. The car started, but things clicked and dash lights flashed. Unsettling, but it stopped after a couple of minutes, so I headed out. Got part way down the road and the horn starts honking. Like in HONKING. Scared me to death. I pulled over. It stopped. So, I continued on. Thank heavens it's a short drive because the horn honked intermittently in three to four beep staccato rhythm all the way home, royally startling me every time it did. I realized I would not be going to Sears but to the dealer.
Fortunately, a friend offered to follow me to the dealership and pick me up. We had plans anyway, so we just altered them a bit. Well, the car wouldn't start. The horn was still beeping/blaring randomly and then the car simply wouldn't start. Made this horrible grinding noise as well. Obviously, it was going to have to be towed to the dealer. Fortunately, my friend waited with me.
I'd moved my auto service to my cell phone carrier. Kudos to them. They were friendly and efficient. I chose the service that could get here in 30 minutes. Took them a tad longer, but within an hour or so of calling, my car was at the dealer. They even followed up to make sure the two operator had arrived and all was well. Very satisfied with the service.
Curious as to what was going on? Well, apparently my "after market" security system had shorted out and drained my car battery. The dealer couldn't even start it with a jump box; it had gone into anti-theft mode. Good to know it works, but not quite as I expected. I also hadn't realized that the dealer I bought the car from had installed the security system and not the factory. I'll ask next time.
So, now I'm without an alarm system. I miss the little beeps when I lock and unlock the car, but at least it starts now. It wasn't exactly a cheap fix, but the dealer also found a couple of lights that were out and replaced those, along with a new battery.