Category Archives: Automotive
Last night I sealed a deal to sell my Miata. Its a bitter-sweet experience that will live on in my memories for years. Ok, so its just a car, but its a Miata, Miata owners understand. A very nice family from Tampa is buying it and I couldn’t be happier to deal with such nice people. They will be picking up the car this evening.
On the positive side for me, it will free up a space in my garage to park my Jetta. I’ve been leaving it in the driveway…much to my dismay. And it will help us pay down another bill, so thats a good thing. I was just happy to find some local buyers and not have to jump through any hoops with out of state buyers. Plus these people seem very nice and its a pleasure to deal with them.
So its been a while since I posted to my blog, and for that I apologize. I’ve been super busy lately. A quick update on the car situation, I did get and love my Jetta. Sadly though it is time to sell the Miata. I listed it on craigslist and will today list it on a few other sites, but it will be a sad day when its gone. I actually did get a call about it the day after listing it on craigslist, but the guy was from Tennessee, and I’d really rather deal with someone locally. I’ll post more updates soon as things slow back down to normal (I hope).
Last night we took a drive past Lakeland to pickup my Jetta. We had put down some money on the car on Saturday so the seller would hold it for me. I then got money from the bank on Monday to pay the rest of the cost of the car. After a quick trip to WalMart (another story in itself), we went to pickup the car.
Its really nice and in great shape, but I am going to have a mechanic check it over on Thursday just in case. I’ll post some pictures soon…
I spent a lot of my weekend looking at potential cars to repalce my Miata with. I literally probably looked at hundreds of cars, listings and dealer websites in this area. I found two Jettas that I really liked which are at a dealer, and several that looked/sounded ok from the ad that were for sale privately. I am going to look at the better priced Jetta on Monday and see if it is as nice as the pictures and ad say it is. If it is, I am going to see if they will let me take it home overnight and have it looked at by a local mechanic, since its used. Hopefully I’ll be taking it home tonight and straight to a shop to be checked out. If everything is good, I may have found my car! It is super nice in the ad, the pictures look great, and its the highest end model they made in that year, has all the safety features and leather with tinted windows… I can’t wait to check it out in person.
Its taken me a while to get here, but I have something to admit. It saddens me to say this, and I can’t believe I’m actually thinking about this. Its like the voice of reason or practicality has broken thorugh my mentality about owning a 2 seater sports car in a family of 5. Yes, you got it, I am thinking of selling my Miata and getting a more “family” oriented car. I am NOT selling my Miata because I don’t like it, or I think there is anything bad about owning one, even in my family situation. I just think it would be much more practical and convenient to have a 4 door family car. I am definately going to miss the fun “zoom zoom” my Miata brought into my life. Liz and I will both miss driving it, going on dates together in it, and all the other fun things we experienced with it.
A few people who know me, know that I’ve had over 15 different vehicles in the last 12 years. So I have a bit of a record of not sticking with something for long. I assure you its not one of those “get a different car” itches. The plan right now is to get something more comfortable for the family, something we can all fit in and go on a short trip without having to take the van. It will be more economical, more practical, and will simply fit our family circumstances better than owning a 2 seater convertible.
One day, when the kids are older, I will definately get another Miata, its just too much fun not to. And for the people who scorn the Miata or men who drive them, all I can say is you must have never driven one. Or at least never ridden in one with a driver who can handle the abilities of the car. As for me, I’m sadly parting with my Miata, but will one day be driving one again.
I was talking to my wife about cars and options for replacing the Miata. My youngest daughter Abby said “Why does he want to get rid of it…I like the Miata”. It breaks the heart!
On the way home Friday evening, I stopped by the local Advance Auto store and picked up some anti-freeze fluid for my new radiator. I was also going to get new radiator hoses, but they don’t carry the hoses I would need for my Miata. So I just got some shop towels and the anti-freeze. Then I ran to sweetbay and picked up some distilled water to mix with the anti-freeze.
When I got home, I got started right away on my task of replacing my radiator. It took me a while to get started, as I was trying to figure out how to get access to everything I needed to get to. At one point I thought I’d have to take off the cover under the engine compartment to get to the bottom of the radiator, but fortunatly I managed to give up on that and was able to do my job without having to remove the cover. Getting the old radiator out took me the longest time, as I had some trouble with the lower hose which seemed stuck. I finally got all the hoses and bolts and connections off the old radiator and pulled it out. I installed the fans on the new radiator and then dropped it in fairly easily. Then re-connecting a few hoses and wires and I was off and running. I ended up doing a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water, but only by accident. I read online that the miata radiator takes 6.7L of liquid, so I got three gallons of distilled water and a single gallon of anti-freeze. I got way too much fluid and ended up not even using a whole gallon of each type of liquid.
I took the car out for a spin and made sure there were no flow problems or overheating issues. Everything works great and it was a much easier job than I thought it would be.
I received my new radiator from radiators.com within 2 hours of me ordering it this morning. I will be picking up some distilled water, anti-freeze and hoses tonight and begin the transplant procedure. I hope the patient survives the surgery, I hear the surgeon isn’t that good.
Last night my Miata came down with a fever and a runny nose. I pulled into the garage to find my temperature gauge all the way to the H and white steam was starting to roll out from the engine compartment. I immediately checked it out and found a crack in the top of my Radiator. It was spraying out white steam from the top of the radiator.
Since my baby was sick, I had to take Sarah to school in the van and then drive the van to work right from her school. I was only a little late for work which wasn’t too bad.
I checked around online for some prices for a replacement radiator and found a website radiator.com which I used to contact them about a radiator for my Miata. They are a direct to consumer distributor, and have price matching and guaranteed lowest prices which was good. I ended up getting a new radiator, with a lifetime warranty for my Miata for $169 with free same day delivery to my home.
The miata.net forums have a good garage section with a guide showing step by step how to replace the radiator on your own. So I will save a little money by doing the replacement myself. On the way home I have to stop by an auto parts store and pickup some radiator fluid and hoses, but most likely I’ll have it all done tonight or at the latest sometime tomorrow. I really hope I can get it fixed tonight, because Liz and I are going on a date tomorrow night to celebrate our 9th anniversary.
I set my own personal gas price record today. I had to stop for gas on the way to work this morning and actually paid $3.05 per gallon which is the absolute most I’ve ever paid for gas. I wish we could have the prices we had back in past years, when it was under a dollar a gallon. Its funny how we are as consumers, prices go up and we are shocked, and then we find gas for a couple of cents cheaper and we think its a deal! I’m still of the mindset that this is almost 2008 now, we should getting around with electromagnetism or hover boards and flying cars or something. I mean really, we need to get going here, afterall we have to build the “Enterprise” in just over 200 years, which is not much more than two average lifespans away. 🙂
Some days around 4pm I get a traffic alert from my local news organization. Usually its reporting accidents. Sometimes they just like to tease me by sending me alerts like this one below:
3:58 PM 10/25/07, MALFUNCTION JUNCTION, Traffic flowing freely
One thing is almost certain, that when I drive through “Malfunction Junction” it won’t have any free flowing traffic problems. 🙂