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Car Key Caper

Caper may not be the most accurate word, but I like the alliteration.

It so happens that we have two cars, a 1998 Subaru Legacy wagon (the wife's car) and my 1994 Saturn jalopy.

Last Friday, I let somebody borrow the jalopy, but she forgot to return the key to me. I went on my bike to pick up the car on Sunday, and used my spare key to drive it home. I never bothered to put the spare Saturn key on my key ring.

Today I thought I would drive to the Food Lion grocery store for some tomatoes, some canned goods, some mushrooms, some wine, some bottled water, etc. This is my favorite grocery store in our little town.

I drive down there in the Saturn, listening to a Terry Gross interview on the radio, and when I arrive, I realize that I have used the Subaru key. Back home, in the driveway, I had inserted the Subaru key into the Saturn, started the car and driven away without problem.

The wrong key, you understand. But it worked. The Saturn key was on the shelf at home.

Once I was finished with my shopping, I went back to the car ... but this time the Subaru key decided not to work in the Saturn ignition.

Luckily, I was able to call my secretary, who arranged for a colleague, L., to rescue me in his Jeep. He took me back to my house, where I picked up the spare key, then dropped me off once again at the grocery store.

The mystery is, why did the Subaru key start the Saturn in the first place?

Thanks, L., for bailing me out.



Click and Clack

It sounds like you should have been listening to Car Talk.
I can only speculate at what happened. I'm thinking that when a car declines in age, the key hole in the ignition wears down to where you can slide the key in and out while the car is still running. (Or the ignition is still engaged) The last time you (or the wife) removed the Saturn key, the ignition may not have been completely off and locked. Then when you inserted something else that approximately fit, you were able to turn the ignition on. Upon arriving at the store, you turned it completely off, locking the steering wheel as it should. This time your key that approximately fit didn't work.
To test this theory, see if the Saturn key can be removed while the vehicle is still running. This has happened on a couple of my previous elderly vehicles. (one of them being a 94 Mazda)

Veeeeeery Ineresting

I enjoyed this story very much. It's one of those "Why is this happening to me" stories.

Re: Veeeeeery Ineresting

Jeeeem. You're a geeeeeenius. The Saturn key can be taken out while the motor is running.
whooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa mannnnnnnn thats craaaazy. haha. no really thats happened to me several times, my friend can drive his Camry with any key.

May 2018



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