Your thoughts on maintenance please

So with Carrie now at 90k and hurtling towards 100k I’m thinking about strategies to extend her life or, more accurately, save me money in the long term. All of the following have been suggested to me, any one think they are all worth doing at this time?

  • transmission fluid flush – no brainer this one, can a lube place do it, or is there special equipment needed?
  • fuel injector cleaning – people tell me this is a con and these days they are self cleaning, so not sure about this one
  • supercharger oil top up – this seems like a good idea if it will give me another ~50k before it dries up

Oil change is in 3000 miles so maybe I’ll take it to an independent MINI dealer and have the oil and supercharger oil done at the same time?? Anything else you can suggest for the almost 100k MCS?

Happy Birthday Carrie!

Another year has passed, today marks the 4th anniversary of taking ownership of my ’05 MCS cabriolet. I’m just a little under 90,000 miles which makes me average around 22k a year, sadly almost all of that is getting to work, not a whole load of pleasure motoring.

Touching wood, the car has been trouble free for the last year. I’ve been using the top a lot more and the infamous wear in the fabric is getting quite noticeable (at least to me), the clinking noise from the top while driving with it up is still there, never could work out where it is coming from. Right now the biggest problem is the twisted seatbelt and two months of dirt on the exterior. I’d give her a bath for her birthday but we’re going on holiday in a week and she’ll just be sitting outside for two weeks so I will do it when we get back. I think she’ll get a transmission fluid flush too, got to keep her regular.

Happy motoring to all!

4 Rules For the San Diego Commute

We all want to get to work quickly, safely, and enjoyably. After several years now of driving on San Diego’s freeways for the morning commute, here some tips I’ve come up with based on my daily observations.

  1. When merging into evenly-spaced traffic, slow down to 40mph. This makes it safer for everyone – the cars on the freeway who have to brake to let you out, and everyone behind you who is now worried about how they are going to get out of the on-ramp at such a slow speed.
  2. When merging into tightly-spaced traffic, accelerate quickly past any space that someone opens up for you. Only the very last 10 feet of the ramp is actually available for merging. It doesn’t matter that you will have to make someone brake hard to let you out. They should have been making a space for you anyway, the rude monkeys!
  3. When merging into light traffic, be sure to merge in the first 5 feet of the ramp. The dashed white lines between you and the freeway indicates the “bad driver” zone, only bad drivers need that much space to accelerate and move smoothly out.
  4. If it’s 6am in the morning and pitch black outside, you must be wearing sun glasses so that everyone knows you are a prick. The exemption to this rule is if you are driving a BMW, we already know you are a prick.

Following these rules will make your’s, and my, life on the road much easier. Note though that these are more advanced rules, I am already assuming that you are talking on your cell phone, changing lanes without notice or space to do so, blocking people from pulling out etc. If you aren’t already doing those then I suggest you master them before moving on to the 4 steps above.