Sunday, July 17, 2011

DAY 65 - Squeaky Clean!

The sun went down, and the temperature finally dropped to 88 degrees. It was hot, but I decided to go ahead and give Zelda a bath in the driveway. It didn't take long, and after I got all the water off with the chamois, she looked pretty good. I blew the water out of the wheels with the air compressor, and I'm going to respray the wheels tomorrow with the Armorall Wheel Protectant. That stuff gets a big thumbs up from this driver. It makes the wheels so slippery that the brake dust just blows away. I love it.

I also cleaned the glass with Windex tonight The windshield and the nose had a lot of dried bug remnants from the past couple weeks of driving. Tomorrow I'll use the RainX I bought a few weeks ago. I'll probably give the whole car another coat of the Meguiar's Tech Wax again tomorrow, too. But I'll probably do it a little at a time so I don't get overheated. Of course that's after a morning of geocaching with my son and my nine year old grandson. Fun fun fun.

The car continues to grow on me. I'm really starting to like the appearance, and I'l learning more about the iDrive system. Today I learned you can vary the categories or the information displayed on the Satellite radio readout. I think a light bulb must have lit up above my head when I discovered that option. I also reset the system to lock the doors when the car starts moving. I kind of like that feature.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

DAY 64 - Need a wash

Aside from the occasional idling issues, the car continues to run great. The odometer is currently at a little over 1,900 miles. The only other issue is that the iDrive lady is hard of hearing. Either that or I mumble. When I try to tell her what radio station I'd like to hear, she misunderstands me. It's easier just to dial it in.

Rear driver's side door needs some type of adjustment. I know the cabin is tight, but the rear passenger door closes quite nicely on the first try. The dealer is going to have to address this issue and get it fixed — if I ever get over there.

One of the things I've noticed is that the car gets up to speed with relatively no effort. I pull away from a light and before I know it, I'm cruising along at 60 mph. The steering is responsive, almost intuitive. And the brakes are more than adequate. From a design standpoint, the car has a great look and actually appears to be moving even when it's standing still simply because of the body lines.

I'm happy with it so far. Except for the fact that it needs to be washed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

DAY 49 - Rough Idle Returns

I'm still experiencing that strange idle situation. I pull into a parking lot and put the car in park. Then the tachometer does a little dance from 600 rpm up to 900 rpm. It keeps doing that as long as the engine is running and the car is in park.

Had another incident last week when I pulled into a McDonald's parking lot. The idle was rough again, but it was more severe, as if the engine was going to die. Then it would rev up a bit more, then back down, almost die, and then rev back up.

Has anyone experienced this? And do you think it's something the dealership can fix?

Friday, June 24, 2011

DAY 42 - I'm back

It's been two weeks since I've posted on this blog, and I apologize to those of you who have been visiting and hoping to read more info. So let me bring you "up-to-speed" with what's been happening since the last time I was here.

My wife and I took a road trip to Marshalll, Missouri, last weekend for a family reunion. It's a little under 100 mile trip from Kansas City and it's pretty much a straight shot east on I-70. It was a sunny day, and the car performed great with a couple of exceptions: First, I'm pretty certain I need to make a visit to the service department at the dealership to get an alignment. The car wanted to wander slowly to the right when I let go of the wheel. Not a severe degree of wandering, but enough to let me know there was something not quite correct. It didn't matter which lane I was in. It wandered to the right in both of them.

Secondly, the car seemed a little noisier than the Lexus. Perhaps that's to be expected, but I wasn't expecting it. It's probably the runflat tires that are the culprits for the noise, and I guess I'll just have to live with it for now.

I passed the 1,200 mile break-in number on the odometer yesterday, so I'm going to start doing a little more accelerator punching when the opportunity presents itself. Occasionally. The price of gas is the only reason I don't punch it more often just for the sheer joy of it. When I do throw caution to the wind, I'm sure I must have a look like Mr. Sardonicus for the next mile or so. In case you've never seen that old William Castle film, you might want to google it and get a look at the guy. You'll understand when you see him.

So that's it for today from this reporter. I hope you'll leave a comment and tell me what's going on with you and your car.

Friday, June 10, 2011

DAY 27 - Another RPM Issue

A few days ago I posted an article regarding an irregular engine revving issue that I experience with a cold engine. Here's a LINK to that post if you want the background first.

Something similar happened this evening. I had just come off the highway after a 7 mile trip following our son to a friend's house. We pulled to the curb and I put the shifter into Park. The A/C was running and the engine oil was at operating temperature of about 240 degrees. Within a few minutes after stopping the tachometer needed decided to move from 700 or so up to about 1200, very similar to what it had done in the garage when the engine was cold.

On this occasion, the needle did very similar gyrations to what it had done the first time. I'm wondering if it might be something that's programmed into the car to keep the engine cooler. But I have no basis for that speculation. After 30 seconds or so and a few trips from 700 to 1200 and back again, it quit moving and settled in at the 700 mark.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's had a similar experience and what the result was.

DAY 26 - Oops!

I missed a day. And I'm actually writing this on day 27. It was just a very busy day and nothing really happened of any significance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DAY 25 - A Quality Issue

In my job, I spend a lot of time inside various vehicles. I check their options and look at the quality of their material and workmanship.

Since buying my BMW, I've been noticing things. Today was the day I noticed a lot about the interior quality and material of leather seats.

I was primarily looking at GM models today. These included the Chevrolet Malibu, Impala, HHR, Tahoe, and Traverse. I also got inside a few Cadillacs including a CTS, DTS, SRX, and Escalade. I learned something about the leather seats in these models that I wasn't aware of previously. And it was actually a bit of a shocking surprise. What I learned was that the leather seats in these vehicles are not made like the seats in my BMW.

In the models I examined, the seat back and seating area appears to be leather, or something reasonably similar in appearance. However, the side of the seat bolster is some type of mesh fabric. I was actually very surprised when I noticed it for the first time, and it became an obsession as I went from one model to the next, typically finding the same thing in each one.

I can understand this to some degree in the lower end model HHR, maybe even in the Malibu. But I'm thinking the Impala and ALL of the Cadillac line deserve better. They should spend the money to give the buyer the leather in that area and not cheap out and give them something that's not going to wear nearly as well in the long run. I'm still upset with Mercedes Benz and their obsession with the MB-Tex.

Obviously, GM is in a rebuilding mode since their bailout by the taxpayer, and if they can save a few dollars per vehicle, then I presume that's what they're going to do until things turn around and they become more profitable. This post is by no means meant to be a negative shot at the GM products. It's simply pointing out one of their cost-saving design elements that I find a bit unconventional and, well, actually a little tacky. I really think they could do the right thing with the seats and save the cost of that small amount of leather somewhere else in the manufacturing process. But that's just my opinion.

I'd love to hear yours. I'd especially love to hear from someone at GM who could provide some information and justification for why they're using that cheaper material. If there's a reason other than cost, I'd love to know about it.