Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jump-Starting a new Honda Odyssey

Yes, I'm the proud owner of a fairly new Honda Odyssey. And I did the stupid thing of leaving the lights on over part of the weekend. And when my wife went out to start the car, lo and behold, the battery was dead. Now on a car with so many electric features (there is only one key hole on the outside of the car, they expect you to use the automatic door locks for the rest of the doors), having a dead battery leaves you in a world of trouble!

It took some time to find a place that sells jumper cables. Fortunately, the local Obi (like Home Depot) has an automotive section. So I go out well before the sun rises this morning to jump start the car. And as soon as I attach the jumper cables from the good battery, the honda odyssey goes into "Help! I'm being stolen!" mode with horn a blaring. I'm sure my neighbors loved that!

Well, after almost 2 hours of frustration, I finally discovered that ADAC (the equivalent of AAA in Germany) will do a courtesy jump-start for AAA card holders overseas. And they were pretty prompt! The tech (who didn't speak hardly any English, but we were able to communicate) knew exactly how to disable the panic mode: put the key in the outside of the driver's door and lock and unlock the car. I guess my putting the key in the ignition wasn't good enough for the car, it needed to be in the outside door. I'm told that using the lock/unlock on the keyless entry would have had the same effect. But I'm disappointed that my car will always panic when I try and jump-start it from a dead battery. I guess I just can't jump start it in the dead of night without disturbing the neighbors for a few moments while I get that key into the door...