10 February 2015

Murphy's Law- GPS Chapter

I wanted Sara Jean to see "The Riverwalk" in San Antonio. The plan was to spend one night in Dallas with loved ones, then head further South from there.
 From "Alamo Town" we'd then continue West on I-10 to Phoenix.
I estimated the entire trip would add 2000 miles to the odometer on the new SHO, and I really didn't want to do that. There was also another problem-
The community our son lives in does not allow cars to be parked on the street overnight. With his car and two motorcycles already residing there, there would be no room in the garage for any vehicle we brought.
Renting a car was the obvious solution.
After comparison shopping, the Hertz deal seemed unbelievable-
Mid-size "whatever"... one week... unlimited mileage... $248.
Sign us up!

The car waiting at the rental agency turned out to be a Chevy Malibu equipped with all the stuff you'd normally expect AND Sirius XM radio.
It DID NOT have a GPS receiver. No sweat... we have two portables.
I grabbed one, plugged it into the power port to insure it still worked, and figured we were ready for our adventure. Only after starting out did I realize I had grabbed the older of our two Garmin GPS units. Oh well, what could go wrong?

South to Dallas and at the start of our hop to San Antonio, all went well.
About an hour North of San Antonio we stopped for a bite to eat. Starting the car for our last leg to the "La Quinta Inn", the GPS failed to come up.
Cycle off/on... Nothin'.
Urgently... cycle off/on... Nothin'.
Desperately... unplug the unit, then plug it back in... Nothin'.
... Curse to myself for not using our AAA membership and having them send "Triptiks" for the entire trip to Phoenix.
Pull out the fuze to see if it's obviously frazzled. It's getting dark and I can barely see the fuze, much less tell if there's a gap in the filament.

Oh well.
I drive into town, spot the first La Quinta Inn we can see, and go in to get directions to where we have reservations.
All is good.

Next day I get on the computer and find a Radio Shack. I take the unit with me and me and the friendly clerk replace the inline fuze... Nothin'.
Heck with it. The rest of this sojourn is just a matter of insuring we stay on I-10. Who needs "Carmen the Garmin" anyway?

Gotta be the battery, right? The unit is old. Lithium-Ion batteries don't last forever.

Safely settled in our Winter quarters I take a closer look at the unit. I'm fearful of trying to replace the battery myself... there's no obvious place the unit pops apart to remove it.
So I get on the computer and find a "Batteries Plus" store nearby and call 'em...
"Do you replace GPS batteries?"
"Yes sir we do."

At the store I hand him the unit and he asks, "It's gonna be $35. Would you like me to give you the battery to replace it, or do you want me to do it for you?" I'm pleased the cost isn't MUCH more.
I tell him I'm scared I'm gonna break the thing trying to replace the battery. He smiles, shrugs, and says "No problem. I'll do it. Can you come back tomorrow to pick it up?"

Next day I go back and he hands me my GPS. I turn it on and the display lights up like a CHAMP.
But after it acquires the satellites I try to program it for "Home" and it won't respond to touch.
We cycle it off/on.
No dice. I hand it back to him.
He says "Let me have a look and I'll give you a call."

Two days later, the phone rings...
"Greybeard, I somehow tore a ribbon-conductor in your unit when I replaced the battery. Getting that part would cost more than buying you a new GPS.
So we're getting you a new unit. It'll be here in four days."

A NEW GPS unit for the cost of the battery replacement!
Isn't it nice to know there are still honorable business people around?
Guess where I'll be buying my batteries from now on?


cary said...

They've always been good to me.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

My GPS battery stopped accepting a charge. Remembered this post. Went into Batteries +.Twenty minutes and $35 later, my GPS is running.

Thanks for the tip!