I broke my key off in the Beetle’s ignition lock last night when I left the office.
The Beetle has always had, shall we say, a “sticky” ignition. Sometimes it takes a little fiddling in the lock to turn. I’d actually found that the easiest way to turn it was to turn it from the passenger side; I got more torque on it that way. But week before last, when it got really hot, it became quite finicky. How finicky? Well, I spent half an hour trying to turn it one night when I left the office. VW Beetle message boards suggested some graphite, and that made things better. Sunday, on the trip to Bethesda and back, I had no trouble at all. Nor yesterday morning. But last night…
I fiddled with the key for a good twenty minutes. I could feel the lock almost go. And then the turn would stop. I kept turning, turning, turning…
…and the switchblade key came apart.
At this point I had no idea what to do. It was now 7:30 at night. Obviously, it was going to need to go to the dealership to get a new ignition switch and key, and that I couldn’t do until morning. But I also had no way of getting home — the unfortunate reality of living 35 miles from the office; anyone I could have gotten a ride with back to Pennsyltucky had long since left for the day — so I went to the dump of a hotel across the street to crash for the night. (And then to the Target across the street for a cheap polo shirt to wear at work today.)
I was going to need a dealership to replace the ignition lock; VW Beetles have funky laser-etched keys. I thought it would easy — “There’s a Volkswagen dealership just three blocks down York Road!” Only… it’s not anymore. It’s a Subaru dealership, and their service department was sympathetic but couldn’t help. So I’m having the Beetle towed to the closest VW service department, and that’s in Parkville. I had literally no idea where Parkville even was when the Subaru dealership said that’s where I’d have to go. Turns out it’s twelve miles from the office, which means that I’ll have to figure out a way of getting there, too, to pick up the Beetle when it’s done.
Fortunately, the tow is covered by Geico, and I have that arranged. The truck should be here in about an hour and a half. And then we’ll see what the damage is.
Best! Week! Ever!