24,028 mile service

boardwalk chrysler wasn't honoring the latest set of chrysler coupons so i took my car to autowest dodge chrysler jeep. in addition to the oil change and tire rotation, i mentioned the recurrence of the air bag light and the repeating problem with error code po456. i was given a gigantic panel van as my rental car.

i was promised my car in a day, but got it back in two due to a couple of mild complications. it turned out the airbag problem was actually a faulty seat belt connector, so they replaced it -- i could tell just driving it off the lot that they got that right.

they did a pressure check on the fuel system and found a small leak in the gas cap, replacing it as well. that too must have been the right answer because i haven't had any problems since.

two problems that would be easy for a dealer to blow off and both were fixed quickly and correctly. very impressive. they'd get full marks except when they returned my car it had been shat upon pretty heavily by seagulls -- problematic because washing my top is a by-hand, two-step process (i have to wash/brush it, let it dry and then waterproof it again).



i'm leaking, i'm leaking again

the engine light came on the day before i was due to do* the las vegas, NV -> santa clara, CA drive. desert chrysler were super-helpful and able to take me in in the early afternoon. a quick check from them (so quick, in fact, that i had not left the lot in my [free] rental) revealed the return of error code P0456.

good news and bad news. the good being that i can make the drive back to CA, no problem. the bad being there may be something tiny wrong with the fuel system causing this evaporation leak light to come on. i'll need to get that checked before the 3-year/36,000 mile mark (since i don't have to pay a deductible before that).

*gotta dig lyrics in writing


welcome the snow beast

my brother referred to my del sol as a "snow pig" due to its lack-of-ease on snow packed roads. the combination of a 50/50 front/back balance, along with a relatively light curb weight, made it tricky on slick streets.

the cruiser comes from the other side of the tracks ... not only is it heavy (probably to the front), but it also has anti-spin and ABS. it runs great on the snow and ice. but the automation is heavy-handed enough that it's hard to have a feel for the car ... i still don't fully trust it, but it laughed at other cars on an icy road in CO and was rock solid on both recent snow drives through UT.

i almost certainly would have had the traction features added if they hadn't have already been included on the car, but i'm glad i didn't have to ...

the convertible top is easily the most insulated i've ever experienced. even in the near-zero temps, i was driving with the seat heater off and heat on the lowest setting with the dial cranked about 3/4 of the way ... compare this to a ride under very similar circumstances in my hardtop sirocco 20 years ago -- i had to drive with the heat on full and my jacket on just to stay comfortable.

the two drives i've taken through UT have been punishingly brutal -- including passing a sander spewing marble-size gravel last night. the car's taken it absolutely in stride.

20,836 mile service

chrysler is posting their oil change coupons online again. since i'm back in CO, i had the change done there -- they neglected to do the tire rotation, which is fine since it's not technically due on this service.


a new low

in eastern UT


a record never to be broken?

my mom gets discounts on gas for buying groceries at the local safeway.
she lives alone and buys very little, but that didn't keep me from
getting a 70¢/gallon discount on gas on my new year's eve fill-up.

because of the downward spike in gas prices and this abnormally large
discount, will this end up being the cheapest gas i buy in the US for
the rest of my life?