Nearly There!

Got in the car this afternoon and the temperature readout on the OBC read 99F, I can’t believe its not even May and we are almost at 100. My in-laws said their car said it was 101 around 2pm so maybe it did reach the magic mark but it looks like we are in for a nice warm summer.

I wish the a/c was better in this MINI, my ’02 had great air conditioning but it had the auto a/c whereas this one does not. Its alright when moving along at 60+ but at street speeds it doesn’t seem to do a whole lot.

No More Pulley Parties?

[Update:] Decided to bite the bullet and go for the pulley install while the Webb-meister is still around. Sunday, May 7th 11.00 am, Carrie will be getting a little bit faster.

Was reading today that the infamous Pulley Parties by Randy Webb are coming to an end, only three left (LA, SFO and CIN) before he hangs up his pulley removal tool. Not sure of the reason (I suspect his real business is keeping him from touring the country to do the parties) but its a bummer as I want to get the 15% pulley at some point, but had figured I’d wait a year or so. I either have to get it done May 7th when he is in LA or find someone else who can do it when the time comes.

Acoustic Fuel Warning

I got to check out all the programming at the weekend, it was very cool to be able to open the top from outside the vehicle. Took a while to be able to verify the acoustic fuel warning, though, and when the time came it didn’t sound. Looking at the invoice from Brecht I see that I said (and the advisor wrote) “customer states program car to sound (acoustic fuel warning) when gas tank is empty“. So I am thinking that the bell is going to sound when the car is empty? Not sure I need that: the fact that the car is no longer moving is probably indicator enough. Now I have to decide whether I really care about this or not; probably not.

New Badges

Received my new magnetic badge holders and badges last week, installed them over the weekend. Well, when I say over it took 10 minutes…. Anyway, here is how they look for now. I might buy my own magnetic printer paper and try my hand at making my own.

Service Update

Had a call from Brecht this morning to say that the car had gone to the body shop on time and it would be ready to collect tomorrow lunch time. However, on the way over the SRS light had come back on so they had to take it back to have it looked at: they have diagnosed a faulty sensor in the seat but the replacement part will not be here until Tuesday so it looks like I have to go through this again sometime soon.

Had an email from Brecht this morning telling me I had missed my appointment and if I wanted to set another one up, to let them know. When I checked in yesterday, the advisor couldn’t find my appointment and had to enter everything in again. I guess I was in there somewhere.

MCS Convertible vs Chevy Cavalier

I can’t get my car until Friday, thanks to the fact that they didn’t put the new windscreen in today and I have to wait 24 hrs after that, so I will enjoy my rental car for a couple of days: a Chevy Cavalier (ack, wrote Vauxhall the first time!). Whilst the two cars surely can’t compare, the Cavalier does alas beat my beloved Carrie in the following:

  • air conditioning – it really works in the Cavalier, is quite tame in the MINI
  • radio quality – the FM radio in the Cavalier is crisp and deep, not at all in the MINI
  • rampant good looks – ah, no not really, just kidding here.

It was great to be at the service centre today, more MINIs than you could shake a stick at, all varieties and colours. The new service bays at Brecht are open and the experience was way better than before, much more space and more efficient for processing. Too bad they couldn’t get the windscreen in though, means I have an extra day’s car rental to pay for. But, whilst it sucks to have to pay $150 for the car, its still less than the $2500+ markup I would have paid had I bought there.

Service Scheduled

Finally got through, took maybe 6 calls in the end. As always, once you are through to someone they are a delight to work with but you get the feeling they will only answer the phone when they feel like it. Anyway, Carrie will get her first check-up on Wednesday at which she will:

  • get the 12,000 mile oil change service
  • have the windshield replaced
  • have the clock fixed (replace the speedo unit)
  • have the SRS warning light fixed (probably wiring harness issue)
  • have the tailgate open warning light fixed (see above?)
  • key programming:
  • put the top down with the key
  • daytime running lights on
  • low fuel warning sound on
  • auto unlock doors on key removal

Should keep them busy for a day or two. Probably will have to get a rental car as its rare they give me a loaner (the downside of buying elsewhere) but perhaps with so much to do I will get lucky.

The tailgate warning light is a new one. Started last week in the rain, didn’t see it again until this evening. Only thing in common I can think of is rain. Every time I accelerate between 2000 and 3000 rpm the light comes on, goes off when I ease off, comes back on again when I go back up.

Service Scheduling: Revisited Joys

Its been quite a long time since I’ve had to try scheduling an appointment with Brecht, and I’d totally forgotten what a frustrating experience it is. Two phone calls so far have gone unanswered, I’m invited to leave a message but I don’t think in my three years of MINI ownership they’ve ever returned a call, not even to tell me my car is ready for collection. So I’ll put them on speed dial and keep trying throughout the day…..

Wiring Harness and RSS Woes

Update: I managed to find a fix for the RSS problems – publish it via Feedburner instead. Mark tried it, it works, and we are back on I’ve no idea why it works there and not directly from the WP feed but I guess I care not. Not like I work in the web application development space 🙂

The SRS light is pretty much on the whole time now and I’m pretty confident/hopeful that is to do with the wiring harness issue that MINI wrote to many of us about. Coming home tonight in the pouring rain I enjoyed a different symptom – the boot warning light kept coming on, usually when I accelerated. Then it would go off and come back on again. Every time this happened, the interior light came on too. It has to be a wiring deal!

In other woes, I’ve been delisted from – wah! Mark wrote to me recently to tell me that my RSS feed wasn’t working on his site but I am at a loss to know why. I assume it happened during the upgrade to WordPress 2.0 but the RSS feed URL is working fine at and other places so I don’t know what to suggest. In the meantime I’ve been booted off. If any of you are RSS gurus and can see why my feed might not be working there I’d appreciate the info, seems like my traffic was largely due to Mark’s site.