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volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/21/19 6:18 a.m.

Per my request, the dealer had the bad bearing awaiting me when I came in to pick up my car.  

Unfortunately, being a sealed bearing and all, there wasn't much to see.  I did turn it, and it did have some wobble in it, which matched what I'd observed on the car.  The dealer had to return it to Mazda, being that it was a warranty repair, so I couldn't cut it open or keep it.  

Shot the bull with the service manager for a bit- he was the same guy who rang me out at 5:30 last night as had checked me in at 7:30 that morning.  I told him, "I hope you get overtime", and all the employees laughed.  He said, "I haven't gotten O-T since I was shoveling coal for a living."  Nice guy. 

No charge for the repair, returned the loaner, and wandered around the showroom for a few minutes hoping to lay eyes on an nD, but alas, not only were there none on the showroom floor, there weren't even any in the lot.  I guess it is November, in Baltimore.  

A+ rating all around for Heritage Mazda in Towson, Maryland.  

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/2/20 9:20 a.m.

As some of you may be aware, around March of this year some crazy virus came over from another country and as a result, my job suddenly became mandatory "Work From Home".  At that time, the 3 was about 800 miles shy of needing it's 30,000 mile oil change.  In normal times, that would have meant an oil change would be forthcoming in the next 2 weeks.  

Today, I happened to be driving into my old office to take care of some things I had to be there in person for (I'm still technically on WFH status, though we do have permission to come in as needed), and the odometer on the 3 just clicked over the 30k mark.  I've had the jug of Castrol waiting patiently on my workbench at home for months now.  laugh


volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/3/20 9:12 a.m.

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/10/20 7:53 a.m.

Oil change and tire rotation helper.

TurnerX19 SuperDork
9/10/20 8:05 a.m.

This photo is the first indication I have seen of Simca on the Volvo lot. What a collection!

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/10/20 8:26 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Hehe.  That's because the Simca has been buried in another shed for about 6 years.  It saw sunlight for the first time in that long last weekend when I pulled it outside.  I've been in the process of overhauling the main shop/ garage complex on the property, as you can probably tell from the fresh-looking building structure above. 

I've been sort-of toying with selling off the Simca, TBH.  I bought it around a decade ago and haven't really done anything with it.  It's brown because the whole body is surface rusted.  Everything's pretty much there, and it even has a good title, but the engine is seized and the interior is toast.  My plan was to make a little Euro-trash rod out of it, but if someone showed up at my door with a fistful of hundred-dollar bills, a trailer, and a couple of beers, I'd probably be inclined to help load it. 

mr2s2000elise SuperDork
9/10/20 9:40 a.m.

Great photo 


If I was that lucky kid, at school I would tell all my friends , "my dad has all the cars from CARS, in real life!"

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
8/18/21 7:36 a.m.

I was sitting on the couch last night and realized that it would be 3 years ago today (that is, today's today, not yesterday's today, which today would be yesterday) the Little Blue Go Kart arrived in my driveway, 192 miles on the odometer and gleaming Eternal Blue.  As of today, 38,843 miles read on the odometer as it sits outside in the parking lot of the office I now go to, on average, once a week.  Another oil change was done at 35,000 back in April...for those keeping track that means 5,000 miles put on it between last September and this April.  Back in 2018 when I signed the papers, I was banging on that many miles every fiscal quarter.  

After 3 years, I'm averaging 36.6 mpg over 121 fill ups.  Average fuel cost per mile is 6.6 cents.  One unscheduled maintenance activity, that failed front wheel bearing, covered under warranty.  

Well, until a few weeks ago.  I was traveling for work, perusing southern Georgia, and happened to notice I'd picked up a hitchhiker.

Well, shoot.  The OEM tires were getting pretty thin, and I'd planned on replacing them before this coming winter anyway.  Unfortunately, I was in a little town in rural GA with 3 tire shops, all of which had plenty of options for big honking truck tires but not so much for the 205/60R16 roller skates my little sporty car wears.  I was 700 miles from home, so the factory donut wasn't going to cut it, and there was no way I was going to patch a sidewall puncture and trust it at 80 mph on the interstate.  So I punted, found the cheapest single tire (Mastercraft!) anyone had in stock, and had them toss it on.

I mean, it's fine.  It's round, black, and holds air.  I may buy another OEM wheel when I get the new tires, and just keep this one as a full-size spare.  I'll have to see if it'll fit in the spare tire cavity under the hatch floor.  That wheel had a bit of curb rash on it, anyway.  cheeky

When I got home, I decided to deal with the notice the MVA had sent me in the mail.  3 years- time for the first emissions test.  Luckily, Maryland makes this super easy for modern cars.  You drive up to the self-service kiosk, dip your card, hook up the cable to the OBDII port, and the computer spits you out a report.  $10 and 10 minutes later, I was passed and out of there.  It was really convenient that the kiosk was open 24/7,  meaning I could take care of it before work.

It really has been a great car.  Short trips or long hauls, just me or the entire family, or loaded up with chicken feed, garden supplies, and paint.  Hauling transmissions for the LeMons car or lumber for the garage or pipe for an emergency plumbing repair.  The interior is dirty but holding up well (I've been meaning to take it in for a good detail one of these days; I tend to vacuum it out every few months but it could use some more attention) and so far it's incurred 2 small dings and 3 scratches- two of which were the result of children riding their bicycles too close to it.  It gets a bath every few months as well; again it's probably well overdue for an exterior detail.  

In 2 years it'll be fully paid off, and as of now I've no intention of replacing it.  My biggest decision right now is what new tires to get for it.  I'm leaning towards something like a Grand Touring deal from Michelin, or possibly Pirelli.  Something quiet, good-wearing, and a little stickier than stock.  Fuel economy may suffer; I don't really care. These OEM Bridgestone Ecopia LRRs are...fine...but if I'm going to keep this car, I want something I'm confident in.  

Duke MegaDork
8/18/21 7:57 a.m.

Congrats on the anniversary!

For an all weather daily I always go Conti DWS in the current version. Good in the dry, great in the rain and light snow.  Not terribly expensive. Relatively quiet and smooth. Decent lifespan too.

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
10/12/21 1:28 p.m.

Just turned 40,000 miles on Sunday!

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
3/31/22 9:46 a.m.

45,396 miles - time for another fresh batch of 0W-20 and a new filter.  The last oil change was almost exactly 5 months ago, so I'm back up to averaging around 12k miles per year.  However, instead of the daily ~100 miles or so I had been driving back in 2019 to and from the office, there's been more long-haul work trips.  So, lots of highway miles. 

Back at the 40k oil change I also see in my record book that I replaced the air filter.  I checked it, and it still looks spotless, so back in it went. 

It's also been about 5 months now of the new rollers- Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 in 205/60R16.  Fuel economy has, predictably, suffered.  The lifetime average of the car has been 36.6 mpg on the Bridgestone Ecopia LRR tires, now I'm down to about 32 to 34 or so.  But everything about the car is better.  The ride is quieter, the handling is better, and stopping- I've yet to have the ABS intervene, even in the wet.  They even grip well in snow.   Very much recommend these tires. 

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