Monday, January 30, 2012

Crazy HHR Door Lock Drama

Our Chevy HHR is possessed... really.

Both key fobs stopped working a few months ago. Even with new batteries.  Fobs are pricey so we started  locking the door with the inside button  and unlocking it with the key-- old school style. 

But what to do when the actual key won't unlock the door?!

Yep, you read right. On Friday night, the key went in the keyhole but wouldn't turn. 

Have you ever heard of such a bizarre thing? 

And scary! What if a mean dog or killer was after you! Yikes!

Our situation wasn't that dire, thank goodness.  My hub and I had met in a nearby town so luckily we had two cars.  But it was after dark and we were exhausted from work and grocery shopping at Walmart. 

Funny how bad stuff always happens when one is exhausted, isn't it?   

So what did we do?  

We drove sixteen miles home-- hub soldered three spots inside each fob and put in new batteries to give us four possible shots. Two keys and two fobs.  

We drove back to the car to try but expected to have to leave it overnight. 

Guess what? The first key fob tried worked!  And seeing the headlights flash on was a beautiful sight to see!

I don't brag on my hub enough but let me say now for all posterity: He is a soldering genius!!

Have you looked inside a key fob? The insides are tiny. Don't know how he did it. 

And actually, both fobs work now but we are too gun shy to lock the door. It is still a mystery why the door wouldn't unlock with the actual key and we don't want to take any chances.  

Online research shows many complaints concerning keyfobs, doorlocks and even an ignitions that won't turn off so probably the HHR is just a poorly made Chevy-- it is being discontinued, after all.  

But my hypothesis is that the car is possessed and in need of an exorcism. 

What is the weirdest car glitch that you have experienced? Have you or anyone you know had bizarre problems with an HHR?
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  1. Our car has some kind of warning beeping sequence that it plays once you get it going. No lights, just a cheery ditty from our tired 15 year old car. Strangers think it is kind of cool--a new driver moved it for me once and said it had talked to him. We've tried to get it fixed but no one in years has worked how to stop it or why it sings.

    1. How quirky and fun to have such a haaapy car!

  2. +JMJ+

    I've been watching reruns of Top Gear (UK) lately, and it seems to me that you'd make a great interviewee, sharing this story on the show. I love the way you jumped from a perfectly logical and mechanical explanation to the possibility of possession. LOL!!!

    1. If they could figure it out, I would sure go on the show! In fact, you've reminded me of the funny Car Talk show on NPR-- you know the guys who did the voices for the Rusteze owners in the Cars movie. I should call in-- they are never stumped.

      I thought you might get a kick out of that! hahahaha

  3. My HHR has/had a ghost as well! It's never refused to let me in with the key, but both FOBs did stop working around the same time, soldered one, and both started working again.
    The ghost isn't in the FOBs, though it does have to do with the locks, and other various things often occur after the locks do their thing.
    What's really odd, is all this started happening after I killed a deer with the HHR. Within a couple of days of hitting the deer, my power door locks began locking/unlocking on their own. It happened while driving, sitting idle, at a drive through, at the gas station. It never really bothered me till I noticed, when the locks locked themselves, if I wasn't aleady moving, I had to wait for the locks to unlock themselves before I could pull the shift lever from Park! This caused a few headaches, sitting at the gas station waiting for the ghost to unlock my door locks again, so the shift lever would come out of Park. This occured for a couple of months, no dealers or mechanics were able to reproduce it, and *knock on wood* it stopped and hasn't returned. At the same time, my headlamps began to turn themselves on and off during the daytime. Sitting at a traffic light, one day, a VERY bright and sunny day, the headlamps flicked on and off three times on their own. This problem actually never fully went away, doesn't happen every day now, but at least once a week, I notice the lights have turned themselves on when they absolutely should not have, a few taps on the cover over the BCM(body control module)usually turns the lights off. I blame it on a restless spirit of a young deer that lept to its death in front of my HHR.

  4. I hope you'll welcome me to whatever club this is, because I had no plans to be here until this morning. Our 2010 HHR gave us some trouble back in January, just sitting there and not responding to the key fobs -- I took a hole punch, punched out 4 little disks of aluminum tape and stuck those inside the Lock and Unlock buttons in the fobs, and everything seemed hunky dory.
    Then this morning, the Unlock button made the lights flash like always, only the doors didn't unlock. Using the key to unlock the driver door set off the alarm (of course! I'd be disappointed if it didn't) and the chime we usually get when leaving the key in the ignition started bonging away. I cycled the locks with the buttons inside and got the car started, but it kept trying to re-lock them when they were already locked, or unlocked seconds after I locked them with the fob in a parking lot. Walked back outside after being in the store for 20 minutes or so and the doors were all unlocked again, on their own.
    Sixteen months left in the lease, and now the guys at the dealership say we're out of warranty...

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  6. I've also discontinued using HHR door lock system. I think this lock security system is vulnerable, instead I've started using igloo home door security lock system.

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