‘Twas not the night before Christmas, ‘twas the night of Christmas. After spending the day with us, the kids and grandkids were ready to embark on their short trip back to their respective homes. Says my son to his sister, "Can I start your car and warm it up for you, Sis? Oh yes..that would be sooo nice of you. Here are the keys!"
Now, my daughter has a 2005 Ford Escape Minivan. Do you know about all the safety features this vehicle has? Why, you can’t even unlock the door without having the remote sensor’s special code punched in. The doors cannot be opened even with an extra key. You must have the remote sensor to get in. So, I ask you...what happens when the battery in the remote sensor runs down? Well you just take your extra key and unlock the door, right? Wrong! Remember I said you must have the remote sensor. Oh, yeah..that’s right. But..a low battery on the remote is another story for another time. Still, you must have the remote in hand to get into the car.
So..off goes my son to do this wonderful mission of mercy for his sister and he starts her car so that she and her daughter will be comfy cozy on their trip back home. One major problem...after he starts the car he closes the door. "Yeah..duh".. as my granddaughter would say..what’s wrong with that? Remember also I said you must have the remote sensor to get into the car. Where do you suppose that little dude was? On the key chain? That’s right! Ah...the wonderful Ford Escape safety feature kicks in and instantly upon closing the door...all the doors lock. What? All the doors lock? Yes, that what I said...all the doors lock. Wait a minute. How are you supposed to warm up your car before embarking on a short trip on a cold winter’s night? Roll down the window, first? Seems self-defeating for the purpose, doesn’t it?
So..here’s the scenario. We have a Ford Escape sitting in the driveway..running. You cannot get into it. Even with an extra key..you cannot get into it. The engine is running..what do we do? Did I mention... it’s running? Here’s an additional problem. Not only is it Christmas night...in addition there’s seven inches of snow on the ground. The snowplow went through our neighborhood about five hours earlier and it’s still snowing. Now what? Well...lets just call a locksmith on Christmas night with seven inches of snow on the ground. OK...good idea. While the daughter does that I get the old trusty "slim jim" out and start playing between the window and the door attempting to catch the latch and pull it up. After about 15 futile minutes of this I decide to get on the Internet for help. Big help...quit using the "slim jim"...won’t work on a Ford Escape. Another safety feature! "Have you found a locksmith yet, daughter dear?"... I yell out. "No one is answering", she yells back. Can’t imagine that, on Christmas night with seven inches of snow on the ground. "Keep trying"...the engine is running.", I shout back.
Finally...a connection, an answer, and the locksmith is only fifteen minutes away. He places a small air bag between the door and the door post, and after a few pumps of the little air squeeze ball...it forces the door open just enough for a coat hanger to reach inside..press on the automatic window opener and "voila"..it’s open!!! Ninety-five dollars and well worth it. A Christmas to remember....2009.