I was visiting a friend this weekend in the Berkshires and we had a situation. We stopped at a farm to buy some maple syrup; and my friend got so excited to jump out, that she didn’t turn the key completely off in the ignition. We spent a bit of time sampling flavors and learning about tree tapping (this part has nothing to do with the car repair, it’s just fun to relive it). When we got back to the car, the battery was dead. Luckily for us, the adorable farmer had a ton of tools handy to help us.
We got the car started again; but, when she lifted her foot off the gas and the rpm’s came down to an idle, it immediately died again. Now, these two ailments don’t really go together; one is a battery issue and one is an idle issue. (I was a tad perplexed.) After a few tries we decided she would just drive two-footed, never letting the rpm’s get too low, and we’d get back home. This was a successful tactic and we made it home.
After a couple of calls to my mechanics, they both agreed that what probably happened was that, since she never turned the key fully off, the electronic idle control became stuck and needed to be reset. After shutting the car off for 10 minutes and started it back up, it has been fine ever since.
There’s quite a bit of guesswork involved in car repair; and sometimes it IS something stupid that we do ourselves, to cause the issues. Try to pay attention to all details when driving….and don’t lock your keys inside, or leave your lights on…I’ve been seeing a lot of that lately!