Locked Up

The keyless entry feature on my wife’s 1991 Buick Roadmaster quit working.

“Eh, use the key”, said I.

“Uh, uh, baby. You fix that thing”, she seemed to say.

So, the local car radio and security installer says to me, “300 Dollars, plus tax.”

Checking on eBay, I learn that the device he intends to install is $47. So … $253 labor?

Let’s try something else. A plain-jane remote unlocker from China is $5.98 with free shipping. What the heck, I bought one, and here it is.

Buick Remote

It’s the little box with the red wire. That’s right … $5.98, and four hours labor.

It was a hairy bitch of a job, requiring hours bent over in back of the station wagon, much reading of OEM wiring diagrams, fussing with splice connectors that REFUSED to make contact, repeated testing of circuits with meter and paper clips …

Yes, I made $64 an hour doing it myself, but it was painful, and there was more than one moment where I feared I might fail.

“Why”, you might ask, “is the OEM receiver still connected?”

Because, dear heart, the driver’s door lock solenoid depends on the keyless entry receiver to reverse circuit polarity during lock/unlock cycles. Can you believe it?

Good thing that part of the box works, else I would have needed to add a couple of relays.

The moral of this story is: Don’t feel bad if you take yours to the installer. I almost wish I did.

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