EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/10/22 6:23 p.m.

So, back in the day (2005) I had a Porsche 944 and a Pontiac Fiero.  I autocrossed both and generally just ripped around town in them.  Well, family priorities changed and when we were getting ready to travel to China to adopt our daughter I sold both of them to help fund the adoption.  There was no suffering on my part, like I said family priorities were just different.

We happen to have two birth children, the oldest drove my Audi 90 until he moved out west.  My other son and I built a Corvette together (that ended in tears, you can read about it here https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/my-latest-mistake-star-80/105684/page1/ but I will just let you now I sold it when he got expelled from school)  My middle son is in the Navy now, doing fine so he pulled his E36 M3 together.

 

Well, now that my daughter is 16 she and my wife bought her a car. 2015 Chevy Sonic hatch back with automatic transmission.  We thought about getting her a manual, as my wife can drive stick, but ultimately we decided that an automatic was fine, no biggie.

 

 

The stats:

2015 Chevy Sonic LS (Base of the base models)

Automatic Transmission

1.8 gas engine

5 door

96,xxx miles

Manual roll up windows (may daughter almost didn't understand that you needed to roll them up yourself, lol)

No cruise control (it is the basest of the base models)

Steel wheels with plastic hub caps

 

My wife and I call it the hedgehog (as in Sonic the hedgehog) My daughter calls it "Rory"

 

My daughter  saw my son and I working on the Corvette together when she was younger so when she got her car she asked if I would teach her how to work on the car like I did with her big brother.

  "You bettcha, kid".

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/10/22 6:27 p.m.

Plans for the car:

Motor mounts (there is a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel)

Oil change / oil filter / cabin filter / air filter

Wiper blades

Spark plugs

Fuel system cleaner in a bottle

key (the car only came with one key)

exhaust gaskets

deep wash / polish / wax  (probably wait until spring as it is salty road weather in the mid west right now)

Steering wheel with cruise control then reflash the ECU to know it has cruise

Wheels there are some aluminum 16 inch wheels at the local pick and pull yard

 

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
1/10/22 6:30 p.m.

We've had a 2014 1.4T auto about 3 1/2 years now and it's been solid. Being the 1.8 you won't have the PCV/Intake/valve cover problems, so that's good. There's decent aftermarket and support online. Our's handles great.

I'm car shopping and, while it's not what I'm looking for,  if the right deal came along on one I'd snatch it.

The factory 17's look good and anything Cruze bolts on. RS suspension sometimes come up for sale from guys lowering their's. Its a little stiffer and 20 mm lower.

That's basically the same motor as in the Saturn Astra

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/10/22 6:32 p.m.

First piece of the puzzle has already arrive.  the motor / transmission mounts.

For just a little more than the price of just the upper motor mount that I could find locally, I was able to get the upper motor mount, the upper transmission mount and the lower transmission strut mount.

 

My daughter and I will tackle changing those out when it is just a little warmer in the garage.

I do know that I may need to get one longer bolt according to some you tube videos of replacing the universal fit upper engine mount, so we will make sure to do the swap out when the local hardware store is open.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
1/10/22 7:30 p.m.

My daughter has a 2012 LTZ turbo 6 speed and loves it. She has about 150k on it now. 

 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/10/22 7:57 p.m.

In reply to EricM :

Are you going to take her to a few autocrosses, at least for the experience?

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/10/22 8:12 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to EricM :

Are you going to take her to a few autocrosses, at least for the experience?

Yup, as is tradition with all of my children. :-)

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/11/22 10:34 a.m.

In reply to EricM :

Good dad!

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/11/22 10:15 p.m.

A text from my daughter during her lunch hour, "can we work on the car tonight?" 

 

We will start with the hardest stuff fist, because, why not?

 

Let's jack it up and get to the lower transmission mount strut

 

Here she is with the breaker bar getting the big bolts loose

 

Out with the old and in with the new

 

Here she is putting the new one in, notice the orange persuader there, we had to massage it in a little bit.

 

and here she is pulling the top passenger side motor mount

 

here are the old parts, it looks like the top mount had been replaced recently, that is the easiest one to get to, we replaced all three contact points and though it doesn't drive like a Cadillac, it is a lot smoother.

 

while putting the battery back after doing the transmission top mount as I was trying to put the ground cable back on, latterly the last thing to do, I snapped a small ground cable.  Everything else went so smoothly, I am glad it was just this for our issue.  I called my brother in law thinking I would have to solder the cable.  He came over with all his soldering stuff, looked at it and then just clamped a new end on it and bolted it up. LOL

 

So, the biggest item for this car is already done.  Next we will do all the maintenance items, I orderd the stuff on line and it is due to arrive Thursday.

Then I'll prolly pull the key cylinder and get the key code and order a new key on line.  The dealer wants $120 for a new key, uh berkeley that.

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/12/22 10:47 a.m.

a few notes from last night

 

On the engine mount, the universal (non OEM) part is thicker and one of the bolts needs to be longer.

On the engine mount one of the holes had left over material from the casting process and needed to be filed out.

 

 

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
1/13/22 2:34 a.m.

Cool, it's nice to see more projects documented with the kids :-)

My daughter and I had a great project on her first ride and now I just cleared some space in the garage so we can get going again. 

For some reason though I feel that you chose a more relevant first driver car than we did ;-)

Gustaf

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/13/22 5:09 p.m.

 

The mail person dropped off some stuff :-)

 

 

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/17/22 7:52 p.m.

Well it was Maintenance Monday for us.  (we spent the weekend skiing).

 

The wiper blades went really fast, before i could take any pictures she said, "ta da!"

 

 

Here she is pulling the glove compartment to get to the cabin filter

 

 

 

YUCK, and to save time I'll just show both the cabin and air filters.

 

There was a lot of sandy stuff in the air box so we vacuumed that out.

 

Next time we will tackle the spark plugs and pull the ignition tumbler to get the key code.

 

cheers.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/18/22 6:08 p.m.

In reply to EricM :

The amount of sand that accumulates everywhere in the interior & engine bay down here is just ridiculous. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
1/18/22 6:44 p.m.

I have a teenage daughter in my house. She has a similar appearance, although blonde instead of black hair. She is frequently spotted ghosting around the house in torn up jeans, chuckies, a hooded sweater, and you guessed it- flyaway hair that completely envelopes her face/head/upper shoulders. 
 

I don't think I'm ready for her to drive yet, though. 
 

 

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/18/22 6:58 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to EricM :

The amount of sand that accumulates everywhere in the interior & engine bay down here is just ridiculous. 

Lol, i'll bet. Looking at the filters I would bet they hadn't been changed in the 96000 miles before.

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/18/22 7:00 p.m.
Recon1342 said:

I have a teenage daughter in my house. She has a similar appearance, although blonde instead of black hair. She is frequently spotted ghosting around the house in torn up jeans, chuckies, a hooded sweater, and you guessed it- flyaway hair that completely envelopes her face/head/upper shoulders. 
 

I don't think I'm ready for her to drive yet, though. 
 

 

It comes up fast.  Though I have had two older children so I am somewhat prepared.

 

Nothing really prepared me for her growing up on the whole. Time waits for no one.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
1/18/22 7:02 p.m.

In reply to EricM :

My oldest two are also boys. Oldest is in Seattle on his mission, 16 year old is learning how to drive. Teenage daughter is 13, and every bit as sassy as you'd expect... 

Following along for the car shenanigans!

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/21/22 6:13 p.m.

OK strap in, this will be a long post with a lot of very intricate steps.

 

Tonight we put injector cleaner in the gas tank.

 

First we took the gas cap off

 

 

 

Then we  dumped it in.

 

Whew, I'm exhausted.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
1/21/22 6:16 p.m.

In reply to EricM :

Lemme know how it works. I need to run some through my old Dodge.

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/22/22 6:05 p.m.

Oil change and spark plugs.

 

 

 

 

 

I think we could have gone a while before changing spark plugs, this way though, we are good to go for a very long time.  and doing all of the maintenance at once we know the exact mileage on all the wear parts.

There is already a new serpentine belt and alternator on it.  I suppose I should pull the inspection cover and check the timing belt.  I prolly should have done that when we did the motor mounts.... meh.

 

Well other than the mentioned timing belt, we are all caught up on the engine.  now we can decide if she wants to go with aluminum wheels.  We will need to get a second key sometime, but honestly, I am waiting until it is warmer to work on the car, lol.

 

 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
1/23/22 9:55 a.m.

   Might consider adding the valve cover gasket to the list, the last thing yu want is for a spark plug hole to fill up with oil.  It's hard to get the oil out and you might have to take the plugs out to get the valve cover off, and you don't want a bunch of oil going into the cylinder.

    It's great you are teaching her there is no need to buy a new car.

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/23/22 1:21 p.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

Thanks, i'll add that to the list.

EricM
EricM SuperDork
1/25/22 9:02 p.m.

 

Picked up some specialty sockets "e-torx"

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