Voyage au centre de la prairie
July 2, 2018 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Where in Chicago can I get my car underground as cheaply as possible?

I changed my car battery and apparently my model year (2003 Acura TL S) has a bug where the radio antitheft code won't work unless I punch it in somewhere with little or no radio reception, like an underground parking lot. Yes, I thought this sounded insane too. I know there are underground lots in the loop - I'd rather not drive down there and pay the minimum and everything, but if there's one where the radio reliably goes dead then I'll give it a shot.

Proximity to Logan Square a plus.
posted by theodolite to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As an alternate approach, can you (readily) disconnect the antenna from the radio? If so, perhaps that would have the desired effect.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:49 AM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hmm, I found some directions here but it seems like something I'd screw up.
posted by theodolite at 9:58 AM on July 2, 2018

You know the section of lower Wacker that makes you feel like you're playing Midtown Madness? You know, where you'd go to get your car out of impound if it got towed downtown? You know, the place my phone always sends me to when I'm driving downtown off 290, and then extremely unhelpfully loses all variety of reception the moment I lose track of where I am? THAT'S where you want to go.

Pull off to the side in one of the areas that smells like piss and deceased pigeons and reset your antitheft. There are lots of nooks and crannies where you can pull off (but not, like, leave your car and park it).

In my experience the area of lower Wacker under the church that doesn't believe in doctors is the absolute worst for all phone/radio/gps reception, so that's probably where you should go. Early morning on a weekend is generally when the traffic down there is lightest.
posted by phunniemee at 10:12 AM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

The Trader Joes/Aldi's/etc complex on N Clybourn has an underground garage with very limited reception. Also would check Spothero for likely suspects as well
posted by huskerdont at 10:32 AM on July 2, 2018

The Whole Foods (formerly Dominick's) on Halsted and Washington in the West Loop has an underground garage, as well as the Whole Foods in Sauganash at Cicero and Peterson/Caldwell.
posted by hwyengr at 10:37 AM on July 2, 2018

I hear you on not wanting to pay for parking, but on the flip side, you could park on one of the lowest levels of the Millennium Park garage and do a quick photo opp at the Bean or visit the Art Institute to make it feel more worthwhile.
posted by me3dia at 11:40 AM on July 2, 2018

Response by poster: Just came back from the Clybourn Trader Joe's, since I needed to get groceries anyway. Tried re-entering the code in every corner but no dice. We need to go deeper!
posted by theodolite at 1:13 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Whole Foods at Belmont and Ashland also has lower level parking. No cell reception down there FWIW.
posted by Xalf at 2:34 PM on July 2, 2018

Response by poster: The ancient Acura forum scrolls say you need to be at least two levels down. Is that true of any of the Whole Foods lots?
posted by theodolite at 2:50 PM on July 2, 2018

Sorry, Whole Foods is just one level underground. I believe you can get two levels down at the Grant Park/Millenium Park Garages but they’re not cheap.

My spouse says the garage at the Hyatt Regency (151 E Wacker) has multiple levels underground.
posted by Xalf at 6:28 PM on July 2, 2018

Response by poster: FIXED! After trying every part of Lower Wacker to no avail (and skipping the Hyatt because the minimum was $39, holy moly), I gave up and tried these radio antenna disconnection instructions. It took 45 minutes of cramped fumbling but I did it! This is very exciting for a mechanical dunce like me.
posted by theodolite at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

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