Tag Archives: problem

VW Stuck in Park

I see from my server logs; I am starting to get hits on people searching for help with the same VW stuck in park problem I had. In hopes that this helps others out, I’m posting the steps I got from VW’s roadside assistance below. These instructions worked on my 2002 VW Golf GLS with an automatic transmission, but may or may not work on any other vehicle. And I make no claim that they are safe to use on any vehicle. So if you follow these instructions, you do so at your own risk!

  1. Press down on the break pedal 5 times.
  2. On the 5 time, hold down the break pedal and start the car.
  3. Let the car run for 5 seconds, while still holding down the break pedal, and then turn it off.
  4. Again while still holding down the break pedal, give the key a one quarter turn in the ignition.
  5. Still holding down the break pedal, move the gear shift so that it is between Neutral and Drive.
  6. Finally, with your foot holding down the break pedal, start the car. Hopefully, you can now shift your into whatever gear you need and drive it to the nearest VW service center to get it fixed.

Trying to lose my business? (Part 2)

Perhaps I am old-fashioned but I feel when you say you are going to do something, then you should do it. Case in point, this morning I dropped the car off at the dealership to get that shifting problem fixed. I dropped it off at approximately 7:45 AM CST (-06:00 GMT). My appointment to have them look at my car was for 9:30 AM CST (-06:00 GMT). When I dropped the car off, they told me they would call me back when the car was done or if it would require parts/maintenance not covered by the warranty.

It is now after 4:00 PM CST (-06:00 GMT) and have I heard one peep out of them? Nope. Feeling more than a little indignant at this turn of events, I tried calling them. I got a hold of a receptionist who asked me a couple of questions; presumably to route my call to the correct portion of their service dept. Then I was put on hold…

For all of 60 seconds. *Grrrr* After which I got transferred to some nameless persons voicemail. *Grrrr^2*

I was polite and left a message simply asking them to call me back with an update. I even went so far as to give them both my work and home numbers again. And to tell them when I would be leaving work, so they would have a better chance of catching me. Not that I have seen any sign that they’ve tried calling, but I am still trying to be nice and give them the benefit of the doubt. Now, I’m waiting again for them to call me back.

Update: About 10 minutes after I called the dealership, they called me back to say the car was fixed. All the repairs fell under the warranty, so I didn’t have to pay a dime. For those curious as to what was wrong:

  • The brake light switch (what they call the sensor for the ASL) was bad.
  • Additionally when they checked the car with their diagnostic software; it reported there was a problem with one of the engine coolant temperature sensors. So they replaced that as well (again this was under warranty).

Am I pleased with the customer service I received? Not especially but now that we have the car back (and particularly since they didn’t charge us for any of the parts/labor); I’m not quite as upset about it as I had been. Would I buy another VW from this dealer? It’s a bit too early to say. Their sales and finance departments are great, but the so-so treatment from the service department makes me feel hesistant to say yes.

Trying to lose my business?

Back in April, we bought a new car from Carousel Motors. And until yesterday, it’s been great. I let me explain…

Yesterday, I went home for my lunch hour. When my time was up, I went down to the car to get back to work. The car unlocked and started up without any problems. What was a problem is the ASL light turned on and stayed on. Normally, this light turns off once you press down on the brake pedal. It’s there to prevent you from shifting into gear without having the brake pressed to avoid accidents. Except now, my foot was on the brake and I was still stuck in park. I fiddled around with it for a bit, but couldn’t get aything to happen1. I rushed back inside, called by boss and worked the rest of the from home via the corporate VPN.

After work, I called the dealership but found out the service department closed an hour before I called. I talked to the salesman who sold us the car and he suggested calling the VW roadside assistance 800# to have them tow the car out. I called them up, waiting on hold for several minutes and then got to talk to *mumble, mumble #1*. He had me go out ot my car and try several things to get the car out of park. I was just nearing the end of his instructions when the battery in my phone died. *grumpf*

I tromped back up into the apartment and called back on a wired phone. Again I had to wait several minutes and then I got to talk to *mumble, mumble #2*. I explained what was wrong and what I’d done so far. He gave me the complete instructions and I wrote them down. Then I set down my phone and ran outside to try them. Success! I could now get my car out of park! Before I ran back inside to relate my success, I turned off the car and tried starting/shifting normally. No luck, that was still screwy. I went back inside, picked up the phone and… And nothing, all I got was dead air. *double grumf*

I called the roadside assistance a third time and once again had to wait several minutes for the privilege of talking to *unidentified pissy man*. This guy never gave me his name. I told him everything that I’d been through and the resuylts of their procedure for getting the car out of park. I asked if I was supposed to be ok now, or if I still needed to get it to the dealership? He grumpily answered that “of course I needed to get it to the dealership.” All this around, though not entirely their fault, was not exactly making my evening any better.

Today, I called the dealership and their receptionist was waaaaaaay to gorram happy for 7:45 AM. Fortunately, she quickly transfered me to their service department. And they answered the phone with a “Good Afternoon”. While time is relative and there was a period in my youth where I always used “Good Morning” as a greeting that was high school for crying out loud. Still, she could have just been tired by the early hour of the day, so I didn’t go off on her. I explained my problem and that the roadside assistance people had given me a procedure to get the car out of park. She said since I could technically drive it; their first opening to have somebody look at the car is next Monday. I made the appointment, but it left me feeling very disappointed. I think if this is the average level of customer service I get from them then when we replace our other car, it’s not going to be another Volkswagen. As much as I like driving the car and as good as their sales department is; if the rest of their team is lacking in customer service then it’s not worth it.

Or I could just be grumpy from having to handle all this so flippin’ early in the morning.

1 Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. All I did appeared to make things worse. After my fiddling with it, the EPC light came on. Though after following the instructions from roadside assistance that light went back out.

Banana, Crackers and Gatorade… Oh my!

Well, I finally feel like I am at least partly back from the dead. But really, that’s getting ahead of myself; allow me to backtrack a bit.

2005. May. 7th. Ariesna and I were joined in wedded bliss. Unfortunately with her just finishing her degree and paying for a wedding money was tight so we didn’t have the cash to go some place exotic and we couldn’t really afford to spend more than a night away. So I picked a B&B just a few hours drive away. A helpful friend had recommended it as the most romantic B&B in the area. After the ceremony & reception, we drove out and enjoyed our one night there.

2006. Ariesna and I went back to the same B&B for an entire weekend. We ate out at a couple of nice restaurants, did a little shopping and hit up an art museum while we were there. It was a grand time, but by the end of it we were both tired. We got home, chilled for a while and eventually went to bed. Blissful slumber was interrupted at 4:30 AM by me waking up feeling like I was choking and/or drowning. I ran into the bathroom and spent the next 15 minutes or so kneeling in front of the porcelain throne. After getting myself cleaned up, I tried going back to bed but woke up a while later with the same problem. Again, I eventually got cleaned up and tried going back to bed. Later, I got the intense fun of making a trip to the doctor on what was supposed to be the last day of my vacation. I got weighed1, poked, prodded and a q-tip was shoved down my throat2. The doctor confirmed I had the flu combined with a sinus infection. However he was worried that I was severely dehydrated and wanted to put me on an IV to get some fluids in me. Alas after much poking (in both arms), they realized I was too dehydrated for the needle to go in properly. Eventually, they gave up on the IV and let Ariesna take me home. Though they did tell her to keep pushing fluids down me and recommended she get me to drink 2 liters of gatorade that day and keep pushing the fluids at me the next. She did so, continually waking me up from some of the best sleep I’ve ever had to drink, drink drink. And I don’t even like gatorade! *sigh* I mean the fruit punch version isn’t too bad but the rest…. yeck.

Anyhoo, I ended up spending the entire week home sick and now the night before I finally go back to the office I am feeling much better. I’m just not at 100% yet. My sinuses throb (and continually drain down my throat) and on top of that I’ve got an evening cough3 which feels like it’s going to rip my throat in half. But I’m still taking the anti-biotics the doctor prescribed and I’m hoping when the pills are gone so will be the last of my health problems.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering about the title on this post that’s pretty much all the food I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s been thrilling. 🙁

1 No, I’m not repeating what that lying hunk of metal claimed was my weight.
2 Apparently, that’s part of the test for strep throat. Only nobody warned me in advance. Incidentally, the test came back negative but it has a 15% chance of failure.
3 It only happens after 5. No idea on why that is, but there you have it.

Employment Woes

Wednesday morning, my supervisor pulled me aside to tell me since management wants to go into beta just before I take 2 days of vacation. And since one of those vacation days conflicts with a week long Microsoft training course I was signed up for they are pulling me out of the class. I wasn’t happy about it. She wasn’t either but the decision came down from on high.

Wednesday afternoon, a co-worker and myself had to drive 4 hours to my current employer’s home office. Instead of heading straight to the hotel, we stopped along the way to get dinner. We ended up hitting the hotel around 8 PM. When we checked in there was a message asking us to call our supervisor. Neither one of us liked the sound of that. We tried calling her back but got her answering machine. We left a message and I went to my own room. I had been laying down for just about an hour and was thinking of hitting up the hotel’s hottub when the room phone rang. I picked it up and it was my supervisor. She was calling to tell me the company had decided to close our office once the lease runs out. Apparently, there’s going to be some sort of transition plan if you want to move out by the home office and continue working for the company. But as I told a co-worker, I’d rather slit my wrists then move to keep working for this company. So I’ve got somewhere between 4 – 8 months to find a different job1. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night and I wasn’t feeling motivated for teaching the next day.

Thursday, I went into the office. I chatted with a few people and they were all sympathetic (and wanting to know what we were going to do). Then I checked on the classroom and it wasn’t setup correctly, so I got to do some last minute running around to get it fixed. Then I taught, trying not to put them to sleep. The two big problems with the class were that it had to be put together at the last minute and I had 3 different groups of people attending the class. Each group having a different, non-overlapping skill set; making it impossible not to be too basic for one part of the class while being totally over the head of a different part. *sigh* Still some people seemed to get something out of the class and nobody actually snored through it.

Thursday night, we drove home.

Friday, I went into my soonish-to-be-closed office and while it was a dark humor going around; most people seemed happier than I’ve seen them for some time. Maybe good things will come of this moronic decision. Who knows? I just know that I’m going to be much more motivated to find a different job (I’d been half-heartedly looking already) and the company’s customers who pay support fees are going to get seriously pissed off2.

So if any of my readers are in the Eastern Iowa area and are hiring, maybe you could let me know?

1 We’ve got some kind of extension on the lease so it’s anybody’s guess when exactly our office will be closed, but we do know it will happen sometime between September and December.
2 From what I understand the majority of the company’s best help desk personnel are in my office. So the customers will have to wait longer to get somebody to talk to them about their issue(s) and then wait even longer for that person to fix their issue(s).

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