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16th-Feb-2008 05:27 pm
After driving a bunch of new cars, all of which were disappointing in several ways, and a couple of used cars, which were annoying or depressing, I decided that I really didn't want a project, I wanted a car, so I decided to go with something new.

Went to the dealer, knowing that since my tastes are so "out there" that there was NO way I'd be driving one home.

They happened to have one manual transmission one on the lot -- they'd received it yesterday -- on the back end of a trade -- and while it's missing one of the "really cool but very expensive" items, it was exactly the car I'd have wanted. Although the color is the least important part of it, it was even in the color I would have wanted!

One of the guys there, who is himself just starting to learn about this car was reading about some of the points.

One received a "VERY GOOD" from me -- Unlike any of the Corollas they've made since they retired the body-type that started with the 1993 I last bought, it has FOLDING MIRRORS. Very handy for a small garage.

The "BIG GRUMBLE" it got was that it has daytime running lights. I turn my headlights on during the day anyhow, and I'm enough of a control freak to be able to want to turn them OFF. The spouse's car has daytime runners, and trucks don't notice you turning off the headlights to say "you're past me". Also, when approaching a military gate, they want you to turn the lights off, and one just can't. Also, when leaving a campground really early in the morning, it's polite to not shine headlights into all the neighbor tents. Also, when approaching an astronomical observation location, it's polite to not have ones headlights on. Yes, I do all of these things. In the spouse's car, applying the e-brake is enough to turn them off, but this car is a little more clever, thus harder to outsmart: If the e-brake is on when the car is started, the lights stay off -- until the e-brake is turned off -- at which point they come on and do not go back off. If they're not very bright, this may be less of an issue, but I have yet to see them in the dark.

The "Mini Grumbles" are that one cannot display the odometer or trip odometer unless the car is on, and they occupy the same location.

The "I don't know HOW I feel about this" is the oil filter. I do my own oil. I haven't found the filter yet. It's not a normal filter. You just replace the guts (and the gasket) -- the outside of it isn't thrown away. In any case, I'll need a SST for that. And help finding it and coaching to be able to do it right. I'm all for less waste! But I don't like it when I don't understand something.

And now I have to jump through all the hoops for the insurance company so they'll cover it and the registration will go through, and all of that.
16th-Feb-2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Hmm, those are good points on the DRLs. I had thought they were good ideas, but clearly I just hadn't thought about it.

Turning off white lights when approaching an astronomical observation site isn't just "polite", it's required. The very least that will happen to you is that you'll be asked to leave, and if you refuse, they'll ask again, more strongly. I would hope that astronomers aren't vandals, but I can guarantee that they think about violence against glass whenever a white light comes around.

People doing imaging may just take a baseball bat to you and/or your car.

If I ever get a car with DRLs, hopefully they'll be powered from a separate fuse. Then it'll be a simple matter to put a switch in line with the fuse. You might want to consider that as well; since it's tied in at the fuse, you don't even have to cut any wiring to do it.
16th-Feb-2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
I think they're the same bulb as the high beams, so I need to be very careful however it is I disable them. I intend to get the shop manuals, so hopefully I'll be able to learn a bunch and get some ideas there.
16th-Feb-2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
BTW, I do take the fuse for the dome light out of my car, for astronomy sessions. If there's a fuse for the DRL, you may want to just yank it.
16th-Feb-2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
And I might indeed. Good idea that. Thanks.
16th-Feb-2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the new car. I hope you figure out how to disable the DRL.
17th-Feb-2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Thanks & thanks.
16th-Feb-2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the new wheels. I'll look forward to checking them in the not-too-distant future.

You will be at Pizza Lab, I trust.
17th-Feb-2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Um... I don't *WANT* my car to be turned into pizza. And you wouldn't want anything my car has turned into pizza.

I'll be there if I can think of something that I can bring that will be not-proto-pizza that folks won't be annoyed at me for.
17th-Feb-2008 12:09 am (UTC)
17th-Feb-2008 12:38 am (UTC)
17th-Feb-2008 12:17 am (UTC)
17th-Feb-2008 12:39 am (UTC)
17th-Feb-2008 01:29 am (UTC)
As far as the oil change goes, if it has a standard "filter inside the metal basket you take off before changing the oil," you can get a "socket" for it at any BigBoxAuto store for around $6 or so.

I've found oil filters of that style to be cheaper, assumedly because there's less to it (though they come with a new gasket). My experience with these has been with motorcycle filters though.

I prefer filters like this. There's less to it, so there's less waste in the environment.
17th-Feb-2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Yeah... while Toyota isn't doing any incentives, he set me up with 2 years worth of them (6) -- so I know what they look like. I guess I'm environmentally happier with them -- although I'd never heard of them (or considered them) before now -- but since I'm a control freak & it's outside of my experience, I'm a little twitchy. Thanks for the reassurance.
17th-Feb-2008 04:44 am (UTC)
You might ask the dealer about disabling the DRLs. My car is a model that routinely comes with them, but they were disabled when I got it (it was used) as was the mechanism that locked the doors automatically at 15mph. I had them turn the door locks back on, but not the lights, and there was no charge for it at all.
17th-Feb-2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
At least yesterday they didn't know how or *if* they could -- at least the guys on the floor didn't (and one tried to tell me why it would be a bad idea -- but at the vehemence of my reaction he didn't push it) -- it's (really!) a 2009 model (so they were rifling through the papers they had whenever I asked a question). But I intend to get the shop manuals, so if nothing else, I can tell them what to do. I'm going to have to bring it in and have one of the mechanics show me the oil filter anyhow. (That they know about.)
17th-Feb-2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
This is obvious enough that it probably doesn't apply to your car, but I'll mention it anyway. On my Camry, the same switch that turns on the full lights can be used to turn off the DRL, just by rotating it in the other direction.
18th-Feb-2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's any such on this car, but I will surely check. Thanks.
17th-Feb-2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Good Luck with the new car!

I fear the stuff you don't like are now standards features on most new cars.

DRL are mandatory in Canada for instance.

The electric odometers are supposed to be harder to tamper with.

When a truck has passed you flash the lights will work as well as turning them off, works for me anyway on those few occasions a truck passes me.
18th-Feb-2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I've been told that flashing the lights is indicative of "danger" as opposed to turning them off which says "all is well, come on over". But that's what my mom used to do (back in the dark ages), so maybe we'll come back around to that.

But I still grumble, cuz I'm a control freak.
18th-Feb-2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the new car.

Mine also has DRL's that cannot be disabled. This seems to be the norm now.

I've always regretted that I never learned to properly drive a stick. When I was learning to drive the only thing available was an automatic, so that's what I drove. Beth had a manual for a while and I spent enough time playing with it that if it was a case of "We've got to get to the hospital and you're the only one who can drive and it's a stick" I could get you there, but that's about all I'll promise.
18th-Feb-2008 06:08 pm (UTC)

Heh. My '93 was a very forgiving beast, and I've offered to teach anyone who wanted to learn to drive a stick on that... but she's not around anymore. When I'm a touch more comfortable with the new car I'll probably extend that offer in her too.
18th-Feb-2008 08:09 pm (UTC) - lucky!
When my car was rear-ended on Thanksgiving night, the only used cars in the price range I wanted that I liked the important things about (like having no nasty sounds from the engine) were beige of one sort or another. Oh, they didn't CALL them beige, they called them "Champaign" or "Gold" or other cool-sounding colors. But even the one I got, "metallic cinnamon" is basically beige. Sigh. I had enough of beige in HS, when the uniform colors were brown, beige, and white, and everything else had to match. Shirts, socks, sweaters, etc. I had enough of brown, beige & white to last a lifetime, even if I hadn't always loved bright colors. LOTS of bright colors, preferably.
19th-Feb-2008 04:06 pm (UTC) - Re: lucky!
Metallic cinnamon *sounds* cool at least. Sorry the reality isn't as nice as the name.
18th-Feb-2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Congrats on finding something that will work for you! Let us know how you solve the DRL problem, okay? I agree that they're quite a nuisance!
19th-Feb-2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks -- and it's a deal!
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