(Not) A Breath of Fresh Air

I was parked at the airport last night, waiting to go up with a friend when a silver MINI pulled up alongside me and motioned for me to chat. The driver wanted to ask me a question: with the auto a/c package is there any way to vent the outside air into the vehicle. This is probably the one truly annoying feature of my MINI: the answer is no. I’ve asked online, I’ve asked service advisors and it seems like with the auto a/c there is no way to vent outside air without it being heated or cooled before it gets to me. If I buy another MINI it definitely will not have the auto a/c feature.

Of course, if anyone knows that it can be done, please tell me!


New car fever has subsided and given way to mod fever! First off, this weekend I received the Blitzsafe adapter that will allow me to run my iPod through the stereo. The head unit in my MINI has no aux input so the only other option is to use the FM transmitter (which I have and it sucks). But this adaptor connects to the CD changer port and gives you RCA leads to play with. Tonight I will go to Radio Shack, buy a long RCA to stereo headphone jack cable and my iPod will be kicking it.

This weekend I’m getting Sarah dyno’d to see just how much power she really has. I’ve read that stock MINIs can have as much as 15hp difference between them and I’ve long felt that my S is not as powerful as others. This weekend we’ll find out (if CA hasn’t been washed away by then).

And then in two weeks time I am having the pulley replacement and the Alta cold air intake installed. Its going to be like a whole new car.

Heavy Rain and Bald Tyres = No Fun

Was going to post about my scary experience coming home last night by you can read db’s account of the very same thing. I really felt like I wasn’t going to get up the hill, had fears of sliding back down into the traffic. Shortly after I got out of the mess my flat tyre light came on but I pulled over and they were all fine.

I’ve haven’t had these tyres long so I am disappointed they haven’t lasted very long but I think the wheels are in desperate need of an alignment and I am sure that had a lot to do with it. So I am off to the tyre place this morning to swap them for new ones. Maybe I’ll have the back ones rotated to the front too?

(Sticker) Shock and Awe

So at the dealer Friday I’m sat minding my own business, reading the BMW-oriented magazines (golf and resort living) when I catch a piece of a conversation taking place in front of me. What I heard was “ninety-two thousand”. Looking up, the male half of the couple says thats more than he wants to pay and could he look at the 3-series instead. Minutes later he’s sat in the car (a lunking BMW convertible) telling his partner that this is the one he really wants. She says he should have it. Later on I walk over and check. Yes, that car had a sticker price of $92,000. Talk about shock and awe.

In other news, it is reported that Brecht’s have eliminated their market value markup on the new MINIs on their lot. Although I’ve kinda decided to stick with my baby I might go take a look see, if they had exactly what I want I could be swayed….

One of the reasons for staying with Sarah is I think she looks about as good as a MINI can get, the chili red, the stripes with JCW signature, the flag roof. There’s seldom a day where someone doesn’t compliment me on it. The convertible MCS wouldn’t ever look that good.

Headlight Fixed

I was able to get Sarah into Brecht’s yesterday afternoon, had to drive in hideous conditions to get there, plenty of wrecks off to the sides all the way up I-15. Many people have told me that Xenon bulbs just don’t break but my MINI is special and thats what it turned out to be. Fortunately they had a spare lamp and I was fullly lit (so to speak) in a couple of hours. I’m glad I am still under warranty – the bulb was $190!

Coming back along the 125 that connects 52 to the 8, there was so much rain on the road that I could feel Sarah almost continually aquaplaning/hydroplaning and the DSC light was coming on almost all the time. It was very unpleasant. I think I may need to replace the front two tyres (again, they are new last summer) for better traction.

Headlamp Update

Well, I couldn’t get Brecht’s to see me yesterday, said to call back today and see if they could take a look. I am told that the Xenon headlamps rarely fail so I am sure its a 10 minute loose wire job. Brecht’s now has a dedicated MINI service rep which is good in a way but also bad as now the other reps won’t take my call; I can only speak to him, and he’s hardly ever free to pick up the phone. And he doesn’t return voice mails, either, it seems. There aren’t many times I wish I was driving a Honda but I’m sure the light would be fixed by now if I was.

Broken Headlamp

This morning I was thinking about how long its been since my last problem with Sarah, it seems like its been ages especially since I was going to Brecht’s every month for the longest time. Well, I jinxed it. On the way home tonight I noticed that my driver’s side headlamp isn’t working. This happened once before and it turned out to be a loose connection, hopefully it will be the same again. When I book it in, I’ll try to get the V.39 software upgrade at the same time.

Ever-widening service schedules

Sarah is currently at 44.5K miles which means a scheduled oil change is coming up. The MINI ‘adapts’ the service intervals depending on your driving style and over the last 1000 miles the mileage at which the next service will take place is getting further out. It looked like it was going to be at 48K but now its up to 49,300. I’m pretty sure my warranty expires at 48K, that’s going to be a bummer.

In other news, thanks to the high-tech folks at eschwa this has been the first spam-free morning in a long time. Long may it stay that way.


It seems like all my MINI blogsters are buying new MINIs and I want to join the craze. This lunchtime I spec’d out a tasty Purple MCS Convertible, loaded it up with accessories, coming out at $28, 204 before tax and dealer markup. I added white stripes but of course being a convertible I can’t do a union jack roof. Current finances won’t let me do it though when I sell the Jeep, that plus the trade-in on the current MINI would get me the car with probably the same payments and remaining finance term as I have now. Other option is just to mod this one out with pulley, intake and all but everything I read suggests that the ’05 models handle so much better than the ’02 that I have that really I should start from there.

I really don’t want to extend the end of my car payment terms or else I’m never going to be able to buy my plane. So many toys to own, but so little money.