And again

Exactly one week later, and on the exact same stretch of road, the speedometer on the MINI started giving me erroneous readings again. A couple of restarts and it did not fix itself like it did last time. However, at some point it just picked up as I noticed it was (probably) reading correctly.

Unlike last time, the rev counter did not under-report.

Bermuda triangle-like area of San Diego ??

This Can’t Be Good

So I was driving at what I thought was around 50 when I look at the speedo and see it say around 20 and around 1500 rpm. This seemed real doubtful, especially since I was in 6th gear. When I came to a stop at the next traffic light I watched the needle go to zero, below zero and even more below if it could.

After I restarted the engine at a gas station everything seemed back to normal but I wonder if this is the start of a (no doubt expensive) sensor of some sorts taking a crap.

Gran Turismo 5 and The Stig

So I was at E3 this week and one of the games on display was the (heretofore) mythical Gran Turismo 5. I remember when I joined Sony 4.5 years ago GT5 was “imminent” and yet only this week has it actually been seen in the wild, for real. But what does this have to do with you, dear reader? Well, GT5 is the ultimate driving sim (my own loyalties totally aside) and in this demo video premiered at E3, you get to see The Stig driving the Top Gear test track….. start paying attention around 58s into the video.

Coming November 2010 for PS3. Too right, it only does everything 🙂

Five Year Refresh

This August will be the fifth anniversary of owning my MCS cabrio, will probably be at the 109k mile mark by then, give or take. In the last few weeks three new MINIs have started parking in our lot at work making it five in total (out of maybe 60 cars) which is pretty good, I think. But these shiny new models are making my MINI look a bit tatty.

It doesn’t help that my seat covers have faded badly from the abuse of the desert sun, not to mention my stripes that appear oxidised (the only way I can think to describe them) and generally crappy. So I’m thinking a makeover is in order – new seat covers and new stripes, and a good luxurious detail.

For seat covers I will most likely return to Wet Okole, but I’m not sure which of the following colours to choose. Any suggestions? Remember, my MINI is light silver (click on the image for the Wet Okole colour page).

Car Seat Covers Colors - Wet Okole Hawaii
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

For stripes I’m toying with the idea of getting some aviation themed stripes custom-made, maybe a plane towing a banner that says “MINI Cooper S” ? Cheesy? Stick with the black stripes? Something else?

Any thoughts appreciated, I want to make Carrie look like a new car again!

A Car For Three Seasons

This weekend, Teri and I went to the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival where I had purchased a balloon ride for us to celebrate our 8th anniversary; awesome ride, taking off with about 40 other balloons at the same time (some pictures on my flickr).

We took the Mini because it’s way more fun to dash around the high desert back roads than in the Camry, and also because the Camry cooling system failed last week and was in the shop for repairs. But the problem with my Mini is that the a/c sucks, or rather it blows, and not in a good way. It’s been like this since day one and I’ve never been sure if this is a problem with the cabrio or just my example of it. So for much of the trip we might have been better off with the top down and the 95F wind in our faces than the sad effort from the a/c.

It works well below temps of, say, 90F but above that it’s not great unless you are 3″ from the vents, and that’s with the blower on level 3. Doing our weekend shopping around town in 105F yesterday it felt like it was blowing warm air rather than cold, and since we’re pretty much stuck at these temps until October, the Mini will be used as sparingly as possible. Which is a bummer.