Review: Rain-Sensing Wipers

I’ve had Carrie 7 months and today was the first time I’ve ever observed the rain sensing wipers in action. I’ve always been fussy about wiper use; I’m a minimalist, use sparingly or preferably not at all. My commute is now horrid stop/start most of the way and today was no different except that it started out in light rain, then stopped, then poured down in buckets and finally stopped again. I put the wipers in automatic mode and was very impressed at how the wiping frequency changed with the conditions. Only once did I get mad at it – during the heavy downpour the wipers went on super-fast which I really hate and the conditions certainly didn’t warrant that speed. Other than that, very well done MINI.

Official Word on the SRS Light

Well, I don’t know if MINI reads this ol’ blog but yesterday I got a letter in the mail on the subject of the air bag warning light:

We have found and repaired cases in which a wiring harness connector for the side air bag and safety-belt pretensioner has partially loosened. When this occurred the increase in electrical resistance caused the red airbag warning to light up.

The letter suggests having the vehicle looked at as soon as possible if the light comes on to make sure that it is only this problem rather than a serious one. The letter says that in all cases so far, this wiring defect would not have caused a problem with the airbags should an accident have occurred.

Finally, the letter extends the warranty coverage of the vehicle for defects that may occur, for this specific issue, to 10 years/150,000 miles. And there is a sticker for the warranty book to prove it.

Very interesting, I am still going to wait until the oil service in 1200 miles to have it checked but now I am hopeful this isn’t a seat cover issue at all.

Vegas or Bust!

I’d love to be saying ‘Vegas’ but with the (lack of) job situation this year I am sadly saying ‘bust’ to this weekend’s Mini Vacation in Vegas. I went to the first year and whilst it was enjoyable, I was on my own and found it somewhat unfriendly if you weren’t part of a group. So because of that I didn’t go last year but really intended to go this year. Instead I’ll plan on 2007 but in the meantime if you’re about to blaze up I-15, I hope you all have a blast.

Nice Compliment

Stopped at a traffic light on the way home from lunch, a guy in a pick-up truck next to me motioned for me to roll my window down (yes, I’ll admit that I did not have the top down today). He asked me if it was indeed a Cooper that I was driving and he said that he thought the Cooper was the ‘Beetle of his time’; when he was young the cool car was the Beetle, now the cool car to have is the MINI. Can’t think of a much nicer compliment that that.

In other news, the gas station here that is always expensive was showing $3.19 for premium yesterday! I got away with $2.79 at CostCo but we appear to be creeping up to the $3 mark again.

10,000 Miles

Passed the big 10k mark yesterday on the way to lunch. I didn’t have the camera to hand so can’t show you a picture but it kinda looked like this (though without the ‘P’). I must be driving like a granny as I am still 1800 miles from the oil service, and my warranty repairs. Its taken just under 7 months to make the 10k, helped largely by not commuting to work the last two months, but I think I am on for 18-20k miles in the first year.

SRS Definitely Broken

Both seat covers are now off but the SRS light and ‘passenger air bag off’ light are still coming on at random times, so its definitely something Brecht will have to look at. When I took the driver side cover off I noticed a lot of wires underneath the seat so I wonder if when we tightened the straps we damaged a wire or something? I’m only 4-6 weeks away from the first service so will wait until then.

Currently at 9992 miles, almost to the big 10k.

Pet Peeve #17

You’re on the motorway, an on-ramp looms, car coming along it wanting on the road with you. So you pull out into the second lane allowing the motorist to come out without having to worry about it. Next you’re alongside each other and the jerk stays level with you, you can’t come back into the lane so you either have to slow right down or speed right up. So much for trying to be nice.

Oh, pet peeve 17B: not moving out of the lane and having the other motorist floor it so they get there at the exact time as you and move out anyway expecting you to break or crash.

SRS and the Seat Covers

[Update] So I blogged too soon, go out for lunch today and and the SRS light never goes off. More than that the boot-open warning light is flashing every 10 seconds or so. I tinker with the boot and it doesn’t make any difference. Stays on a while, goes off for a while, blinks stupidly for a while. Argh, this stuff drove me mad with my previous one. Anyway, I took my seat cover off so now there are no covers on and we’ll see if the SRS light at least will now behave.
Three days without the passenger seat cover on and three days without the SRS warning light coming on. Hmmm…. no one else seems to have this problem with their seat covers so maybe it is to do with something under the seat being interfered with by the straps? I suppose I’ll do some more research and mucking about with it, because I’d really like the cover to go back on.

SRS Experimentation

Those of you paying attention may remember that I have had problems with the SRS warning light going on off all the time pretty much since I arrived home from the dealer. I hadn’t really thought that it was that big a deal but according to this article at MotoringFile it should be treated as an urgent problem. Well, I’ve lived with it for 6 months, I can live with it for the next two until my service is due.

In the meantime I’ve taken the seat cover off the passenger seat to see if that is somehow causing the problem. I can’t find anyone else complaining that their covers caused any faults but its worth a try before I take Carrie to the dealer.

The same article talks about the problem with the clock running fast, seems like it is a somewhat common problem with the 05/06’s and needs the centre cluster to be replaced. I’m happy to know it can be easily fixed. My clock is gaining about 10 minutes every month.

Should hit 10,000 miles next week!