About a decade ago I was driving our Honda Element to work when the tire essentially ruptured. I was on the highway doing about 100km/h in morning traffic when it happened. I was safely able to pull over to a shoulder and changed out the tire. Something caused it to blow out the side walls rendering the tire absolutely useless. I changed the tire in a matter of minutes and still made it to work on time.
I tell this story because my wife had a similar incident on Tuesday. Only she struck a pothole that had formed after the rain storm. This was on a side street doing about half the speed I was doing. However, the tire still exploded. Because the tires she has on her car are designed as high performance tires and are very thin, the rubber sits closer to the rim.
My wife drove the last few kilometers back home and parked the car thinking it wasn’t that bad. I’m now waiting at the local Kal Tire getting a new tire put on. I’m hoping there isn’t much damage to the rim and that everything will work out. The folks here at Kal Tire have great customer service and appear to be very efficient.
Because my wife hardly drives the car, the wear and tear on the vehicle is minimal. Financially we are lucky to only need to replace one tire. Where as normally they recommend two in order to keep the wear even. The car will get the tires rotated and balanced before I get it back.
Now that I’m done today’s blog, I’m going to finish the rest of my hour waiting here to surf the Internet. That way I can tackle the yard work when I get home and keep myself active as the sun comes out.
We have a large home and three vehicles. But we are without a garage to park our vehicles. We have a good sized U shaped driveway. I will often park right in front of our home at the apex of the driveway.
Our daughter generally parks on the side of our home. Sometimes she will park in the driveway behind my car. But it’s my wife who gets the carport. Yet the back end of her car is always hanging out. Our carport isn’t the right size for a vehicle.
Since my wife doesn’t drive as much as myself or even our daughter, she tends to keep her car parked. In fact, she drove only about 4000km last year. This is good for keeping the mileage down. And since she loves her car and wants to keep it for many more years, I decided to get her a car cover and really protect it.
In my next home, I want a two car garage. I love my car, but I also use it as a daily commuter. No point in throwing a cover on it. It would be nice to store it away every night just to have it clean and warm to start my day.
Our daughter has been driving our 2003 Honda Element on her own since August 2019 when she got her N. She may not have always sounded happy that she got to drive the car because it wasn’t newer like mine or her mother’s. But she still calls it “her car”.
Recently she mentioned that the Check Engine Light came on. Naturally we asked when she needed her next oil change. She was unsure because she didn’t ever watch her mileage. Turns out she was within a few hundred kilometers of needing it done. So she planned on going in sometime soon. No big deal.
The other day however, her Battery Light came on. That was interesting since we had bought a brand new battery days before she got her N. Turns out that today the car just would not start. My wife drive out to where she was and gave her a “jump”. As our daughter arrived at home, the car died and she coasted into the driveway. Seems like the alternator is shot.
After looking online, it appears to be a nuisance to get this replaced, although rather simple. So now I have to decide if I want to attempt it on my own, or pay someone else to do it for me. I’m leaning towards getting somebody else to do it. Mostly because it’s cold and wet outside and we do not have a heated garage. If it was summer- I’d sure give it the ol’ college try.
So all things considered, it’s only may that this added expense would happen right before Christmas, and right after we have spent a butt-ton of money on gifts. Le Sigh. It needs to get done. Oh well. Time to call a mechanic.
Today I finally put new tires on my 2016 Rogue. It’s hard to fork over about a thousand dollars for four tires. But if I can go 3.5 years on them. Not too shabby.
I was really tired having to go in to Costco this morning after a night shift in order to get my tires installed So I went for a walk to keep myself from deflating before I needed to go home. I was pumped when they called me to tell me the car was ready earlier than planned- as I was exhausted.
Enough puns, as you can see- the tire on the left was my old one. Hardly any grip remained. I kept them in case I wanted racing slicks. Actually we kept the old tires for use in our garden. We wheel will be planting some potatoes and other root vegetables in them. It makes for easier removal of the vegetables when they are ready to harvest. Or so Pinterest tells me.
I don’t want to hang around this post anymore. I’ll try and swing some better content tomorrow. So I guess this is end. Sorry if it fell flat.
I was thinking about something while driving into North Vancouver on my regular commute a few weeks back. I thought it to be funny as an observational humor moment involving masks. All because of a few rear view mirrors.
Then yesterday, I happened upon this image on Instagram. I chortled pretty loudly to myself as it was exactly what I’ve been thinking for weeks. I’m sure many of you are seeing this trend as well.
Now, I’ve heard people crack jokes about drivers being solo in a car but still wearing a mask. A driver could be wearing a mask for many reasons. Maybe they make multiple stops. Or perhaps they just dropped someone off or are about to pick someone up. Or maybe they simply forgot they had it on. But the reality is, the less a person touches their mask, the less chance they have of inadvertently making themselves sick.
Humor me and wear a mask people. It is a good idea to keep one in your car as well. By all means- throw a spare on your rear view mirror. You won’t be alone, take a look around.
It’s always fun to see your vehicle hit certain milestones. I was on my way to work this morning when a numerical one hit my odometer.
Yes, I’m a dork and stopped to get a photo of it. Good thing it was 5am on a Sunday and no one was on the roads.
I get pleasure from the simple things. Like seeing my odometer hit 123,456km. Yup, I also reset my Trip counter to add in the 7.8! I’d been planning this moment for a few days. Now to figure out what the next fun milestone will be. I can’t believe I’ve owned this car for three and a half years already.
Do you get little pleasures from numbers and sequences like I do?
I find the biggest downside to winter is warming up my car. I can deal with snow and even ice. I just hate waiting for my car to get warm and de-fog.
This morning I decided to sit in my car and write this blog as I waited for my windows to clear up. I did my best to wait for complete visibility, but I’m cutting the blog short so I can start driving as the rest of my car warms up. My seat warmer works really well and I just feel like getting going.
I’ve owned my 2016 Nissan Rogue for exactly three years. I bought it the day I took a promotion and became a supervisor at my work: Changing It Up. The car received its regular oil change today. I also had the brake fluid flushed. My vehicle hasn’t required anything major considering I have put on 108,000 Kilometers on it since new. The service department was surprised by two things.
First, that I haven’t had to change my brakes. They told me that most people get new brakes between 50-60,000 Kilometers. Mine are on the verge of needing replacement, but can wait until the new year. The service department said I must be really gentle on my brakes. Um… not really, but I guess the vehicle tells a different story.
Secondly is my tires. They still have quite a bit of life to them. The tires came with the vehicle and are stock as well. Nowhere near high performance or high mileage quality. I’ll probably get some all-season tires in the Springtime. No need to fork over money for winter tires at this time either.
All in all I will say that my Nissan Rogue has been a great vehicle. “Five out of five stars- Would Buy Again.”
I did however forget to put insurance on it again this year. I noticed as I left the dealership that it expired yesterday. Oops. Time to get that rectified immediately. Wouldn’t want to have my car not taken care of since it’s been taking care of me for three years without complaint.
Over the past month or so my windshield has been getting abused. I don’t much care for it.
It’s very frustrating to be driving down the highway and hear that loud PING as a projectile leaves its mark on your car’s glass. I had three separate small ones all appear at various spots within a few days of each other. Every time I get in my car I think, “I should get that looked at and repaired”. But I never do.
Then this morning as I drove home from work- a massive attack occurred. I was even able to witness the projectile as it flew at my car. It was a dull grey image barreling directly at my line of sight. It wasn’t until it hit my window and scared me that I mentally zoned back in. Now there is a large crescent moon chip in the center of my windshield. The diameter of the damaged area is larger than a quarter- this is definitely a fifty cent piece sized chunk.
So I guess I’m glad I didn’t get the other three chips repaired. It would feel like a waste of time. On my next day off- I’ll be looking to get something done about it. Until then, I’ll just have to do my best to not focus on it… Good Luck Joe– it’s right at eye level. I better not buy a new vehicle like I did years ago when I got our minivan windshield replaced. Even though our Pathfinder was a great SUV and much better than a minivan. I still love my 2016 Nissan Rogue, so just a new windshield shall do.
When my wife and I buy a car, we get it serviced at the dealership for the first few check ups. After the warranty kilometers are gone, it’s time to give the smaller automotive shops our business.
Our Honda Element is at 286000 kilometers now and still runs smoothly. I recently took it to a tire shop to get a screw out of the rubber and the guys were efficient and reasonably priced. They also didn’t try and upsell me on other stuff that I didn’t need. Kudos to them. I’ll be back when I need new tires!
Today I dropped off the element at a fellow’s shop that he runs from his home’s garage. He’s our neighbor’s son who is Honda Certified and has worked on our vehicle in the past for us. He’s putting in new shocks and the like in order to smooth out the ride. He’s always been able to take our Element in and get it back to us in a timely manner. I appreciate the work he does as well since working on cars is his passion.
Supporting a small business or local shop is important to me. Without these people, who generally take pride in their work, the car dealerships would gouge us every time we dropped off our car for service. Owning a car is expensive no matter what you do. But the freedom that comes with a vehicle is invaluable at times. Especially for my family where we have nonexistent public transit nearby our home.
Here’s to you small automotive businesses! Thank you for being a great alternative to the dealerships.
Today we are driving North. This will be the furthest North I have ever driven. Prior to this was back in Grade Eight in 1988 when I went on a band trip to Prince George. That was memorable because we stayed at the host homes of one of the schools up there.
But today we are driving for about another four hours past Prince George. Driving North. I can’t get over how far this is from our home.
But it’s not the furthest we’ve driven from our home. We drove South one time almost all the way to the Mexican border. Driving South usually means warmer weather and a more fun destination.
Earlier this year we headed East. Not quite out of Alberta. But getting pretty close. The distance is almost as far as our travels today. But the time to get there is quicker. Most likely due to the route and my tendency to get a speeding ticket in Alberta…
As for driving West- Gold River On Vancouver Island was the furthest so far. Can’t overly drive through the Pacific Ocean. The ferry only gets to the islands nearby.
Do you enjoy roadtrips as much as we do?
What’s the furthest you’ve driven?
Any sights you’d recommend on the drive North through British Columbia?
I commute 56.9 km from my home to work and the same for the return. It takes about 45 minutes on average each way. I’m lucky in the sense that I usually miss the bumper to bumper driving because of my start and end times at work. Usually.
I don’t mind this commute. I listen to the daily news report on the radio as I drive. It also clears my head after a day of working. This allows me to devote my time to my family when I arrive at home.
Mornings like today are spectacular to drive home in after a night shift. I get to enjoy the sun peering over the trees and casting a light onto my destination- my home. My neighborhood lights up with activity as well. Birds, rabbits and squirrels darting around the streets. As if my drive home has turned me into a Disney Princess and the small woodland critters are greeting me on my journey home.
Or else I’m just really tired and need to get some sleep and stop tripping out. At least I made it home alive…
Today was a day of roof racks. How exciting! One was for my Nissan Rogue. The other was for our Honda Element.
The Rogue was super easy, but super expensive. I shopped around to find crossbars, however it seems that Nissan Dealers all charge the same. $350 after taxes and five minutes of my labor and the Rogue is ready to start transporting stuff. It does look pretty slick mind you.
The Element was more challenging. Since the vehicle was discontinued a few years ago, accessories aren’t readily available from dealerships or online. So it was time to improvise and see what other people have done. After a couple of YouTube videos and a sense of, “That looks easy.” I took on the challenge.
We had an old display shelf that was the perfect length and the bars are durable. The Element is already boxy, so the square metal tube from the shelf fits in nicely. I hit the hardware section of a few stores to find a metal corner edge, bolts and some pins. I measured out the bracket sizes and cut four pieces with my hacksaw. After filing the edges, I bolted them into the roof. (The Element had bolt holes hidden in the top side panels making it easy to attach these brackets.) I used an angle grinder to slice out the perfect slit in the rails. Then I drilled holes that lined up with the brackets and tested my pins. Everything fit perfectly. Lastly was to remove everything once more and give it the first coat of black paint.
All that’s left is to figure out how to add crossbars in order to retain the durability. So far the roof rack for our Element has cost about $20, some recycled materials, a few fantastic YouTube lessons and a couple of hours of labor. Not too shabby I guess. Plus I really enjoyed working with my hands creating something useful for our car. I can’t wait to see the finished product and go camping!
Last year I made a quick bed and storage space for our Honda Element. Read about it here: Camperizing Our Honda Element. I did this design to maximize our storage inside the Element for our camping trips.
Last month I installed a Keyless entry: Keyless Entry Install. At that time I also replaced the tail light super quick since it was cracked.
I want to do more to the car now. I was hoping to add a roof rack. But our local Honda Parts dealer doesn’t carry the crossbars since the vehicle has been discontinued. My next step was to watch videos of people who made their own roof racks and bars. It doesn’t look too difficult, just time consuming to find the parts and put it together. Once done- I’ll be able to put a carrier basket on top or use our car topper again.
To get to the top of the car, I am wanting to add a ladder from Gobi Racks. It is a bit pricey, but fits perfectly on the back of the Element. It will add to the ruggedness look of the car. And add ease to climb up.
Our oldest daughter who will be driving the vehicle the most doesn’t seem impressed with my plans. She thinks it’ll turn into a “Hippy Van”. I’m wanting to keep the car for many years after she is done driving it. Plus, technically it is my wife and I who own it- we will modify it to our choosing. Perhaps some daisy decals and peace signs stickers?
I’m looking forward to camping this summer. I am picking up crossbars for my Nissan Rogue with a hope to purchase a kayak or two in the future. There’s something about living in BC that makes me want to be more outdoorsy. Having roof racks on vehicles makes it easier to transport stuff as well.
Like many of my friends living in the Vancouver and surrounding areas- we are feeling the pinch of astronomically high gas prices. Current prices are anywhere from $1.55/L to $1.70L. Of course the Long Weekend is here which always sees an increase in pump prices as well. Ugh.
My work week has me driving 110km each day- just to and from work. I also don’t live anywhere that has decent transit. I have now resorted to making a weekly trek across the border to the USA to fill up my car. After exchange rate, today I paid approximately $1.25/L. For me is about $15-$20 of savings every fill. That is a significant amount of money in the long term. After filling up this morning, my car has informed me that I can get almost 600km from this tank of gas. That gets me through the weekend and work week until I have to fill it again. I’m lucky that I only put on 40km round trip from my home to earn those savings.
Looking at going electric in the future is definitely something to consider. Yes, I’d love to own an electric car. But I have two major issues: Nowhere to charge it at work and my home power fails in the winter regularly. That would kind of leave me stranded. So until I can figure out a more permanent resolution- punching pennies at the pump is the way to go.
We’ve had our Honda Element since 2003 when the first model came out. We picked up a mid price range Element EX in five speed manual transmission. A fantastic crossover suv with hardly any issues. The only thing that became bothersome over the years was the door locks.
Having the key stop working to unlock the doors began within the first couple years. Twice the dealership repaired the locks at no charge. I guess it’s a known issue for Hondas. Eventually we just became accustomed to not locking the car or restoring to crawling in through the trunk. I’m too old for that. Time to see about a keyless entry for the vehicle.
Last week I went to one of those car audio places to see about getting a keyless entry installed. Cheapest unit and time was going to cost me $500. Ugh. Time to search the interwebs. I found a couple of videos on YouTube of people who had figured out how to install the keyless entry. I picked up a genuine Honda part on Amazon and had it arrive at my home two days later.
I came home from work yesterday and picked up the mail to discover the package. Alright, Amazon is pretty awesome. After watching videos of other people installing this part, I figured I could hammer it out before dinner.
Reading online and watching videos saying that it can be installed in five minutes meant the challenge was on. I hit my stopwatch from the moment I opened the car door to the time it took to install the part and put everything back.
2 Minutes 23 Seconds.
We can now lock and unlock our door. Best $140 I have spent in a long time. The part had a spot all ready for it. Now I see why people love owning Hondas. Our Element is essentially the same as a CRV with many of the same parts interchangeable. Keeping costs way down on repairs.
I’m happy again with the car. Now to possibly upgrade the stereo!
Hey person who owns that white car with the “Empire” logo. I like your style. Even though yours is on a Mazda, that’s totally cool! I wish I could’ve had a “geek moment” with you standing in the parking lot. Maybe one day we will meet each other. But I doubt it. All I have is this photo.
You see, I saw your car and parked next to it. Just so I could get this photo. I went shopping and when I left the store- your car was still there. Exactly like a Storm Trooper, you missed it. A fleeting moment that my Instagram followers got to enjoy along with me.
For a few decades now I’ve wanted to own a hearse.
Ya, one of those vehicles that drive dead people around. I have a few specific models that I’m interested in. But I’m not really a “car guy” so I’d probably have to spend a good deal of money on a used one in great condition.
There’s something about the look that I just admire. From the curtains on the windows to the fake top and landau bars. There’s always a new design coming out that showcases both the elegance and the celebration of life that once was.
From a modern Tesla Hearse- Check out the windows. Simply stunning.
To traditional looking Funeral Coaches that more resemble a temple on wheels.
Hearses tell a story as much as those that ride inside.
I hope to not have my last ride in a hearse be my first. Of course with Halloween around the corner- it gets me thinking about owning one more often. It’d be a great Halloween decoration! Maybe my wife will buy me one for my 45th birthday? Hint-hint
We insured our Honda Element today in order for our daughter to learn how to drive a 5 speed manual transmission. I thought it was a good idea at the time of deciding it. Only cost us $708 for four months insurance. OUCH. But at least it won’t cost us much more… except…
Ok, not gonna lie. I knew we would need a tune up service for the car. It had been sitting for about 18 months. So no big deal. Really. I have started it up and moved the car a few times. My daughter and wife had driven it a bit today. They filled the tires and got some gas. I decided to take it out for a drive when I came home from work.
It probably wasn’t the best idea. Lots of driving for a car that has been stationary for far too long. That “Check Engine” light did not disappear. On my drive back to the house from the store, my little Element began to “Jack Rabbit” when I was in 2nd and 3rd gear. I pulled over and shut off the car for a bit before driving again. The car ran smooth for a bit, then began Jack Rabbiting once more. I made it home and have decided that I won’t drive it this weekend until after I get it looked at.
Hopefully it won’t cost a small fortune and that all it takes is simply a couple of twists and turns to tune it up right.
Random did it. She turned 16 yesterday and went and got her learners permit today! She passed the test without issue.
So my oldest is now learning to drive. I raced home from work so that I could take her out for a spin. She slapped the “L” on the back of my car and we got ready to head out. Being her first “official” driving experience (she may have moved the cars a few times over the past year in our driveway, but I won’t tell) she did everything by the book!
She walked around the car- twice. She sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted her mirrors, steering wheel and seat. Her seat belt went on, she started the car and the radio got turned off. As we drove, she used signals, drove just below the speed limit, shoulder checked, and focused. Our trip up the road to the gas station was one of the most perfect by-the-book rides I have had since probably my road test 35 years ago.
Starting with the good habits is difficult. I know how I drive. I know what my car is capable of. I also know how to *ahem* bend the rules a bit. I had to put all of that behind me and talk with her about how to drive properly. She did great- and her smile afterwards was worth it all. Like back when I taught her how to ride a two wheel bike. She was so proud of herself. That was eleven years ago…
But she’s still my little girl. And I am proud of her accomplishments as well.
I’ve owned my car for about a year and a half now. I have given my car an oil change and put aftermarket air in the tires. Time to start thinking about adding a bit more flair to it.
My stickers were the first addition. Just to make it more “Star Wars-y“. Because, well I’m kind of a fan of the franchise.
Now I have a set of metal dice hanging from the passenger side visor. I don’t know what else I can add to my car. Maybe it’s time for a steering wheel cover or license plate frame. Or something ridiculous like a door light.
Ok, those are cool. Hmmm…. or I could go very crazy and change the look of my car:
I could sport one of these! Or just buy another sticker… I could afford that aftermarket addition.
Often when I am sharing stories about my father, they aren’t always in the best light. But I have learned a few things from him that stick with me to this day. The one that sprung up in my mind today was of how to properly wash a car.
1977 Mercedes Benz 450SL similar to my father’s car.
In the mid 1980’s my father bought his “Dream Car”- or rather, bought a car from an automaker that he felt portrayed luxury. He bought himself a 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SL convertible in white with both a soft top and hard top. He babied this car for the first couple of years that he owned it. He taught me how to wash the car with care and diligence. I was about 9 years old at the time and had washed cars before, just not very well.
He explained the need to clean the car panel by panel, door by door, top to bottom. He showed me how to use a shammy with a bit of water on it to dry the car in perfect swipes. He explained how to care for the black soft top and how to properly clean the glass. I learned the right way to “ArmorAll” the leather and vinyl interior by spraying on a rag first to avoid overspray. This car was my father’s pride and joy. The first summer he owned it, he drove it everywhere. Every chance he had to take the top down, it was down. I associate automobile luxury with that white car. A car that was about nine years old when my father bought it. I believe he spent $20,000 on it and within five years had added another $12,000 in maintenance and engine repairs. He finally traded in the car for $7,000 towards a minivan. The minivan was purchased because my sister was hit by a truck on my 17th birthday & suffered two broken legs. This was the easiest way to transport her around. (Future blog post idea…)
I associate luxury cars with the color white now. That’s probably the reason I bought my Nissan Rogue SLawd in Pearl White. It was top of the line and luxurious to me. I have babied this car since buying it a few months ago. It is my Mercedes Benz.
At least I don’t think of Yugos as a luxury car. My father owned a white one back in 1981 that got in a bad accident.
It wasn’t even my fault. My wife was driving at the time. She bumped into a cement pole. Ever so slightly, but enough to cause a dent.
She felt so awful about it she had to call me and let me know right away. As crappy as the situation is, I’m not angry about it. Stuff happens. My car is bound to get more dings, dents and scratches as the years go on. The first one always sucks. At least this time I get to tease my wife about it.
The car doesn’t just have a backup camera, it also has two side cameras and a front camera. It also has sensors warning when you are getting to close to an object. Yet somehow, my wife was able to ignore all of these safeguards and hit a pole.
I’m not perfect by any means. The majority of the dents and bumps on our Honda Element came from me. I scraped the front bumper along a cement wall, I caught the front wheel well on a cable ripping out a bunch of bolts, and I once backed into a pole and damaged the tail light. None of these ever got repaired. They stayed as reminders of how stupid I’ve been.
The dent on our new car is getting fixed in a couple days. My wife doesn’t want the reminder. I’m ok with that. My baby will look brand new again. Maybe even a car wash is in its future.
I have a tendency to enjoy my music really loudly. Our home is wired up as well. However, having four other humans living here makes it difficult to agree on what to listen to. My children are also constantly practicing piano, guitar, flute, bassoon, clarinet or sime other instrument. So usually the music isn’t played at home.
Driving alone is my time to enjoy music. Loudly. No matter what style of music it is. From bluegrass to disco, metal to classical- if I’m listening to music, guaranteed everyone outside of the car is as well.
This is what Supernatural has taught me.
The music goes on when I’m enjoying a drive with my family. Usually at a comfortable volume. But… I’ll turn up the music when I really like a song. Or… I feel like pissing off my family in the car. This is especially fun to do to my oldest. Nothing like cranking out some 80’s hair band music while dropping her off at school.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Music is meant to be enjoyed. I enjoy music. I always have. As a teen, I had a car with two 12″ subwoofers that rattled the trunk something fierce. My stereos have refined over the years and I enjoy the Bose speaker systems that came in our vehicles. The Sirius XM has been a pleasure as well to enjoy. I’m not sure I see a value in paying for a subscription radio though. The regular FM channels are good, except for the commercials. I do have plenty of music in MP3 format I could use.
Honestly, what am I supposed to do with my old cd collection?