Just give me a Chevy…

Isn’t that what President Bush said sometime when he needed to get out of the White House? I don’t remember the circumstances really. Here is why I quoted this. Our Prius remote start or smart key had low battery alert last week. I couldn’t get to replace that immediately. I did some research and found this is very do-able myself. So I bought a replacement battery (a cr1632) and went about replacing it. There are some videos on YouTube that clearly explain how to do this. The problem is after the replacement, the car wouldn’t start! With the low battery warning I was better off. So I tried another new battery and same deal. So I called the dealer and was advised to get both the car and the smartkey to him. Of course, I had to get the car towed. A simple design overthought and I had to shell out the money. Why won’t the Toyota designers not have a mechanical backup key to start the engine? I found that the dealer I go to always – Ardmore Toyota – is about 20 miles and out of reach of my AAA towing coverage, which covers you for only 5 miles radius. My auto insurance company was better and would cover the distance if I went to another dealer. Ok, so I changed the appointment and am waiting for the tow truck guy. The same towing guy works for both AAA and Allstate – so after I cancel AAA appointment, he calls me and reminds me that I needed towing and he works for Allstate too! So the hit is Towing – $0 (hopefully, $49 charge for assessment and $99 for re-programming if required. About $150 when you run out of remote battery!! On another note, one of our smart keys was lost – literally went down the toilet 🙂 – and a replacement smartkey for the Prius is $600!! Nice way to make money on a piece of printed circuit board, a plastic cover and some moulding costs.

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