We had more car problems over the weekend as our family car, the 1997 Saturn SL 1 decided not to start, at all!
We drove back from our visit with my sister and mother, who finally got to see Ava. My mom lives in Rhode Island and doesn’t like to drive to places she’s not been to before. We tried to convince her to take the train out here, but that fizzled. My sister works as a contractor in Iraq ( she posted earlier about some of her experiences there). She just came back for a two week vacation, and with so many things going, she was in no mood to drive the six to seven hours to get out here. Furthermore, she has four dogs. Yeah, very interesting situation. For us to go out there also posed problems. We had a tough experience driving with Ava to New York City, the last time we went anywhere, and were not keen on being in the same car with a screaming baby for seven hours. Plus, we were very weary of Silvia’s dogs, that love to jump up on you and get in your face with licks.
We were prepared and the trip went well. It was good for Ava to meet her other grandmother and her other aunt.
In any case, on the way back, the Service Engine Soon light came on, and we were concerned about the car. Thankfully we made it back to Pennsylvania in one piece. But Sunday, Jaime drove the car to church, and after church, we went out and found that the car would not start, at all. Nothing. We checked the battery. Fine. It worked. We played around with this and that, shifting into neutral, tapping the starter, etc. Nothing worked. Moreover, the door locks would not automatically lock. Also, the trunk would not pop open upon lifting the lever. I had never seen that combination of troubles. The lights worked, the car beeped when you put the key in with the door open, but the dome light, the door locks, the trunk lever and the starter did not work at all.
Yesterday we towed the car to a friend’s house, Steve, who is pretty knowledgeable in cars and loves to do hands on work. We again tinkered with everything we could think of. We thought it could be the Park Neutral Position switch, but that seemed to work just fine. We checked the fuses, but the ones we checked were just fine. Finally, it got late, and we decided to call it a night. Jaime and I drove with Ava back to our house. When we got in, Steve called to let us know the car started. What was the problem? A fuse. The body fuse was out. Steve had done some more research on the web to see if others have had this problem, and indeed someone else had this very problem.
Steve replaced the fuse with the radio fuse (no urgent need for the radio until we get new fuses), and the car started just fine. The Service Engine Soon light is still on, but I think that’s for another problem. I’m taking it to Saturn today to see what else might be wrong with our car. Ugh! No rest for the weary.