Jan 29 2010

Car maintenance

Category: Familyjarod @ 10:27

I’m not one for buying a new new car. Been there, done that, they cost too damned much. So the past four vehicles we’ve bought have been used. You can get a helluva lot more car for the money, but do run the risk of getting a vehicle that hasn’t been particularly well maintained or has some hidden defect. Fortunately, for the most part, that hasn’t been the case with any of the used cars we’ve bought. However, with my latest car purchase just over a year ago, a 2004 Volvo S60 R, there’s been a fair amount of maintenance and/or repair (~$3k worth), and it wasn’t until a few weeks after I got the car home that I realized it had two different pairs of tires front and back, after the front left one developed a leak that only seems to leak when its really cold out. Made it out of last winter and into summer, and didn’t have any problems with the tire for a good 10 months. Well, back to January again, and its been well below freezing quite a few days of late. One day earlier this month, I drove around with the tire a lot lower on air than I realized, and I’ve either damaged the tire or the rim, because the car just doesn’t ride as smooth as it should right now, due to excess vibration/bumpiness/whatever from the front left. The tire needed replacing anyway, so I’m starting with a set of new tires first, and hoping the rim is just fine. The stock tires on my car are Pirelli P-Zero Rosso high-performance summer tires. Not the greatest thing to drive around New England in, especially in the winter. I’m too cheap or don’t care *that* much about performance such that I’d buy a set of winter tires *and* a set of summer tires, so I just bought the highest rated all-season high-performance tires that will fit my car from Tire Rack, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, which also happen to be quite reasonably priced. Here’s hoping I like ‘em. Can’t be worse than the air-losing, not-much-tread left Toyo pair on the front end of my car right now, at least. (The rear pair is actually in pretty good shape, and I plan to keep those, just in case…).

The car is also due for yearly MA vehicle inspection by the end of the month. One tiny problem is a crack in the windshield, which is grounds for a failed inspection. Fortunately, windshield replacement in MA is 100% covered by insurance, doesn’t impact deductible, etc., and my insurance guy referred me to Riverside Glass, who says they can get me a new windshield installed later today, meaning I should still be able to get my inspection done before the end of the month, and not have to drive around in an illicit vehicle (like my wife has been doing for the past month… she really needs to get her car in for inspection like yesterday, and there’s no reason it won’t pass, she’s just … busy, or something…) :)

Still need to put my iMIV iPod adapter back in the car too. I yanked it and shipped it back to the mfg a few months back due to it constantly ceasing to work in its so-called “Advanced” mode, where it displays track info on the stock stereo, allows iPod control from the stereo, etc. It kept wussing out on me, and only working in standard mode, where you have to hit play/pause/skip directly on the iPod. Less than ideal when the iPod is stashed away in the glovebox. Anyway, they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I have some theories about funky id3 tags in some of my music possibly throwing the thing for a loop. Either way, getting tired of the same four CDs in my changer, will be nice to have the iPod back in action in the car.

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