Back On the Road Again

I’m back on the road again, it’s time I leave you now
And maybe I’ll see you next time, that I’m around
Until then I hope your happy baby and good times come your way
I’m back on the road again, I’m on my way

Car is fixed and loaded back up again. I’m making final preparations to depart. Consider me computer/Internet-less for the next 5 days or so. Feel free to call me though…Dunstan only likes to talk for so long.

The New Plan

After having John Elway Subaru take a look at it, my uncle (Danny) helped me pull the car to Strictly Automotive in Denver (where we originally got the car).

The issue appears to be a broken rod, which makes some sense with regard to the symptoms I was experiencing.

They’re going to replace/repair the short block assembly at cost, which is still going to be expensive. The guy at Strictly doesn’t think that it has anything to do with a the oil change.

So that’s that.

I should be on the road by Friday, hopefully.

I think I’m going to stick to my original plan, pretty much delayed a week. I’m also hoping to make a stop at the Maker Faire 2007 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds on 20th.

Car Woes

Well, Red October is sick.

Had it towed from Bakerville back to Golden at the John Elway Subaru Dealership.

$152 (after AAA discount)

They took a look and there’s something all crapped up in the engine.

To replace the lower engine block would be 4 to 6…thousand. Keep in mind the car actually isn’t worth that much (KBB has it worth no more then 5000, less in its current condition, natch).

The dealer up in Seattle suggested getting a new used engine. That will run around 3000 when all is said and done.

Car ownership sucks.

Enjoy my (and Dunstan’s) personally addition to the lolcats meme.

Red October Repairs: Conclusion

When I left off, I had an appointment to get Red October serviced at Merrill Axle & Wheel.

Mom happened to be in town, so she was able to come with me to play chauffeur. This made things easier and cheap.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be the only cheap thing about my alignment.

When I initially took my car in to Mobile Mechanics, I was holding my breath for the dreaded news. Something along the lines of “you’re entire left wheel is SOL and needs to be replaced.” When he said I just needed a simple alignment, I was pretty happy; however, I still kept some of my reservations.

So off to Merrill Axle & Wheel. I have an appointment first thing Thursday morning. About at hour later, I get a call. To soon to be done, this can’t be good. They’re going to need to replace the steering knuckle, strut and mount assembly. Total damage: a bit over $900. Egad!

However, I can’t say enough good things about Merrill Axle & Wheel. The mechanic talked me through the entire thing and walked me though all my options. He was very informative and at no point did I think he was pulling the wool over my eyes. The mechanic at Mobile Mechanics recommended them to me and I cross checked that with Car Talk, so you know they’re good.

P.S. Funny story about why I finally got around to posting this. Someone called me up and said, “You’re going to think this is weird, but I found your blog….” Long story short, she was looking for a recommendation on a place to get her wheels aligned. You can probably guess where I sent her.

Red October Repairs

With only 4 weeks plus one day of school left (including finals!), I’m slowly starting to shift gears back to Seattle. Of course, there’s about 2000 miles and a few days of driving between here and there (I’m taking the long way). First order of business is to get Red October in tip top shape for the journey home. There have been a few problems nagging me that I haven’t bothered to get fixed.

A stop at Mobile Mechanics on Colfax got me the information I need (it was also the best kind of information, free). I need a complete wheel alignment, to fix the rattle I need to get some welding down, and to fix the low idle speed I needed to add some BG44K to the tank.

I picked up a can of BG44K at Big O Tires on the way home and also stopped at Mountain Mechanics so see what welding would cost. At minimum, I’m looking at around $60. I called Merrill Axle & Wheel and setup an alignment appointment for Thursday morning.

12 Hours of Uber Productivness

I’ve been pretty productive the last 24 hours or so. Here’s what I’ve accomplished:

  • Got a good start on my housing for next year…maybe even almost finalized
  • Called tech support to try and get my laptop fan fixed (it’s been really noisy of late and needs to be replaced)
  • Got an appointment setup for Red October (my car) to get some things diagnosed and fixed, including:
    1. Constant pull to the right
    2. Low idle speed (~200 RPM) with jumps to regular (~1000 RPM), bad O2 sensor?
    3. Under body rattle at lower (<800 RPM) speeds
  • Got a bunch of blog posts out of the way and cleaned up my desktop a bit

Tech support has been less then helpful. They want $75 to expedite my diagnostic. Otherwise I have to give up Apollo (my Tablet) for 3-5 business days, which can’t happen because I do all my school work on it. I can buy the part myself for $36 and change, plus shipping.

If you figure the drive down to Lone Tree and back is about 23 miles each way, I’m looking at $5 in gas for a round trip. If I do that twice (once to diagnose it, once to actually get it fixed…both while I wait), that’s $10 in gas…or almost a 1/4 of the cost of the part. Bonus: There is a Krispy Kreme in Lone Tree, which I’ve been craving since my dream yesterday.

My plan is to drive down there and turn on the charm and logic. Turn the computer on, show them the racket it makes, and get them to order the part.

Plan B is to talk with Nick Lew from SAAS and see if he’d be willing to get the part for me under warranty and have it shipped to me for a modest fee.

Plan C is to order the part my self.