Faults 2 and 3?

Looks like I may have a bunch of things for Brecht to do when I get back from my next trip home. Minorly, my clock seems to be a time machine. I noticed it was 4 minutes ahead of my cell phone time a couple of weeks ago and today it is 6 minutes ahead. No big deal, but a little annoying.

More majorly, I’ve noticed that my lights are staying on after the engine is switched off, it happened once at night and once during the day (when the lights were off, but I was parking in my garage). The dealer never did any of the key programming I asked for so I’m not sure if the lights are ‘staying’ on as a default feature or as a problem. I didn’t wait to see if they went off after a while but in order to turn them off I had to turn them ‘on’ again and then off. I looked again this morning when I got to work and they weren’t on this time.

I’ve now had Carrie for a month and spent 2000 happy miles together.

Wherefore Art My Plates?

Got my new plates in the mail on Tuesday, I suppose now I have to put the front bracket on and install them. Looking back, I ordered ‘MNI AV8R’ on June 17th so I am hoping they will show up soon. Maybe I will hold off putting on the regular plates until the personalised ones come. Plod won’t know I have the originals and I think I can display the temp tag in the window for up to 6 months.

First Fault

My first piece of warranty work looks like being the passenger air-bag sensor. For the last week or so the air bag warning light has been staying on about 70% of the time, and at the same the passenger “air bag off” light is illuminated. This is true whether I have a passenger or not. Some of the time when Teri is in the car the lights will go off after a few minutes of driving.

Now, I do have the Wet Okole seat covers on the front seats (yeah, I know, still need to put up pictures of those) but I don’t see how they can be interfering as I thought it is weight-based. I think I’ll take the covers off and see if that fixes anything. Otherwise, its going to be an early trip to Brechts.

Frustrating Weekend

Had set myself some projects for the weekend, got the non-MINI ones completed in good time but got nowhere with the ones for Carrie. First up was installing the stripes. I had done the white stripes on Sarah myself and it had been really easy and looked great. I don’t know whether it was because the new stripes were of a much better quality or something else but the left stripe had lots of tiny bubbles in it and the right stripe ended up with a big crease in the middle. They had to come off and go in the trash. Too bad, though, as they looked great. So I will buy another set (maybe a different design, too) and this time get a professional to do the install. Maybe I just got lucky first time around?

Next up was the XM Direct install. I already knew I probably wouldn’t be able to get the antenna from the boot to the dashboard in any tidy way but I could at least do the hookup to the CD changer. Step one is to remove the screw that keeps the moulding in place over the CD changer port. The screw turned and turned and turned but would not come out. I know my DIY skills are poor but even I should be able to unscrew something and take it apart.

More MPG Trials

I’ve now done one and a half commutes using my new motoring strategy: on all flat pieces of road and going up hills I maintain 70mph or about 3000 rpm, and going down hills I’ll go faster but not so fast that the it feels like I am hurting the fuel consumption. If I turn the OBC to current mpg and notice that it is less than the average then I ease off.

So, the results… trip one started with a little city driving, then to Brawley and back to San Diego, got my best mpg yet – 26.9 (OBC said 28.1). Trip two started just outside El Cajon on the freeway to Brawley and the OBC currently reads 31.3 so I am hopeful of a 28 or 29 mpg. I’m impressed with the results and doing 70 ain’t so bad.

Carrie Gets a Bath

In anticipiation of putting on her stripes, I gave Carrie her first bath this weekend and a nice Zaino wax finish, she looked great. I was impressed at how waterproof the top is, the beads of water just sat on the fabric and were easily wiped off with a cloth. I have some 303 protectant that I will apply every now and then to keep it looking good. I am already noticing white marks on the top where the roof is wearing, seems like a poor design but it is what it is.

Unfortunately it was 108F during all of this fun and when I was finished I decided that drinking a beer whilst naked under the bedroom fan (sorry for the visual) was in order and I never did get to the stripes. And driving to San Diego yesterday we were attacked by white flies and now Carrie is as dirty as she was before.

Josh has some good tips for extending your mileage on his website. I tried some gentle driving techniques on the way home Friday and back here Monday and currently the OBC is indicating 26.1 which is better than previously. Not as good as his 29 though. One problem I have is that my highway commute goes from below sea level to 4500 feet and back over quite a few miles, its not the Grapevine but it does cause a 3-4 dip in the mpg just to get to the top. I’m curious to know what I’d get for fairly level highway driving.

I did get the universal garage door opener working, though which made me happy. Still to do: the stripes, the window auto-up circuit and the XM direct installs. But they might have to wait until it gets cooler.