Day 36-Quarantine-Car Doctor

Today was doctor day for the Deathstar. I took my Toyota Avalon to the dealer for service. For the very first time since 2005 I overran the recommended oil change mileage. Since this car has given me the best reliability and service of any other that I have owned I wanted to continue adhering to the maintenance practices I began when I bought it.

2005 Toyota Avalon, I fondly named it the Deathstar.
1983 Mercury Sable, I got Christmas cards from the tow company every year
1992 Oldsmobile Intrigue-I really loved this car

At the beginning I had the oil changed every three thousand miles which was the recommended practice of all the American auto makers for many years. After four years of this, Toyota came out with new mileage guidelines and set the marker at five thousand miles. I have driven this car for more miles than any other car I have owned by a large margin. I have owned two previous cars a Mercury Sable which made it to 110,000 miles and followed by an Oldsmobile Intrigue which I sold at 120,000 miles. My Avalon is currently at 158,000 miles and might be the final car in my life.

I am not afraid to push this car hard, I have driven it at 100 mph for extended miles when traveling the western states on very good roads. I have loaded it with all types of equipment and materials as one would use a truck for. I have driven it in the extremes, 110 degrees F through the desert of Arizona and -30 degrees F in the Chicago area. Most of the miles were racked up while traveling the USA and Canada on interstate highways, but many miles were driven on the gravel pothole filled back roads of the country. One thing I have never done is to race with the car. I learned my lesson once when as a much younger man I accepted a challenge to drag race a youngster while driving my GMC van. The van had a very big motor and was notorious for it’s ability to haul ass. The light turned green and I floored the accelerator. Much to my surprise my opponent streaked out ahead of me. My van went clunk and coasted across the intersection. I blew the transmission. I was lucky to get home by driving slowly in low-low gear.

When I reserved my spot with the dealer I asked what kind of protective gear I should wear. The attendant told me they practiced social distancing and wiped down all the chairs between customers. When I arrived, much to my surprise the waiting area was set up so every other lounge chair was removed and the ones that were there were six feet apart. I bought my computer so I could continue to read my book, and as I sat in the bar area I witnessed an employee come through and wipe down all the seats with disinfectant.

2020 Camry TRD

2020 World’s Ugliest Car

I resisted any impulse to buy a new car, although I spotted a special sport model Camry which I liked. If the Avalon model looked as good as that Camry, I would have driven home in a new car. Unfortunately for the dealer I happen to think the 2020 Avalon is the ugliest car every made by anyone. The entire time I was waiting I never came in close contact with anyone except the service advisor and I stayed six feet away from her. She handed me my credit card holding it by the edges.

On my drive home I took the interstate highway and found traffic to be just a tad less than normal for the time of day. Going to the dealer, I took a state hwy that passes through Frankfort, and traffic was non-existent. Gasoline prices vary from $1.99/ gallon in Frankfort, to $1. 35/ gallon in Bourbonnais where the dealer is located. As usual, I had just filled my tank in Frankfort yesterday so I didn’t need gas.

Yesterday in a Zoom meeting with my Tuesday night Stray Bar Club friends, I promised to stop and visit Bob and Carol from Manteno a town next to the dealer. In the interest of staying COVID-19 free, I opted out of the visit. I also skipped my usual stop at the Farm and Fleet store where I load up on bird seed when I am in the neighborhood. Instead, I rushed home to the solitude of my castle where I have not seen, nor heard a single soul except for the news broadcaster on TV. This too shall pass.

Another Rotten Apple

It is unusual for me to rant about the same company two days in a row, but my current favorite Apple, has raised my concern. This morning I read a news bit about Apple developing a car. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh my ass off. This company that sits on a mountain of cash because of its current product line which they pretend to know a lot about is looking at getting into something they know nothing about. Excuse me Apple, but when you get your existing computers, and software right maybe you can take on a new project.

All day long I kept getting visions of an Apple car streaming through my mind. Like driving along in  my Apple-aero when a message on the dash display reads “Upgrade available, download immediately. Push not now or it will happen automatically in 59 seconds.” Or how about a sudden shutdown that lasts for an instant and then resumes as if nothing has ever happened. Since we are all smart and believe in keeping our Apple products current we upload each new upgrade as soon as it arrives, but then the car does not work with any of the government infrastructure like auto slow, or stop for red lights because the Apple gurus decided older car models didn’t need the feature anymore.

Cars-Funny-Crash-Image.jpg

Maybe I’m getting excited prematurely, but I just don’t see these guys owning the smarts it takes to design and build a car.

I had another flash that I was driving along when the car changed directions. A message flashed on the dash display, “your route has been changed to take you to the XYZ donut shop to take advantage of the daily special.”

I’m driving along when the message says “connection lost, manual intervention required.” I panic as I don’t know how to get to the destination without a functioning GPS, and I can’t ask SIRI because the system is down.

I’m sorry Apple, but you haven’t convinced me that your computer scientists know how to dress themselves, and the thought of having them design a car for me is scary as hell.

Another message appears, “Upgrade required to fix bugs in the braking, and steering systems.”

Toyota Finally Convinced Me

This afternoon I took the Death Star to the Toyota dealer for some attention. As usual I checked in at the Service Department, and walked through the shop to the customer waiting area. The engineer in me always scans the shop for the population of Cadillacs, and Toyotas being serviced. This time a Tacoma pick up truck caught my eye. It was in the air on the rack, but did not have the bed. A closer look revealed that it didn’t have wheels, suspension, engine, transmission, drive train or anything else either.  All of it lay on the floor in neat piles around the body. Nothing looked damaged and I wrote it off as a project to build a hotrod. That didn’t make sense either so I crossed the yellow line and asked  a technician about what he was doing on this vehicle.

Here is what he told me: The truck was recalled by Toyota for a rusted frame, and this truck was in the process of having it’s frame replaced. Owners were offered a replacement frame, or a buy back at 150% of the truck’s value. “What was the problem,” I asked?

The frame manufacturer, a US company, skipped a cleaning step after forming the frame, and the primer did not stick to the metal. That allowed moisture to get at the steel, and caused it to rust. Recalls do not happen unless people die from the defect, so these trucks must have been crashing because of frame failures.

I am totally impressed with Toyota’s analysis of the problem and getting to the root cause. I have written about my early experiences with Toyota when they first arrived in America. I was a young man firmly convinced that small cars were more gas efficient and therefore polluted the atmosphere less. I bought a 1969 Toyota Corolla Station Wagon. It was the worst car I ever owned and also the shortest lived car I drove. I Owned it for two very long years out of which it spent twelve weeks in the shop waiting for parts to repair a defective crank shaft. When it was all done I got a new crankshaft with the same problem as it had. I know, because I met the new owner about a year after I sold it, and he asked me If I had crankshaft problems with it. That caused me to boycott all Japanese made cars for thirty-seven years.

My experience with the Death Star has changed my mind and I will probably never buy a UAW made car again.

Here are the photos of a very disassembled well used Toyota Tacoma being fitted with a brand new frame.

IMG_1944

IMG_1945

IMG_1946

IMG_1947

IMG_1948

 

KetoJENic Vibe

Keto Junkie 🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

Quotes Database

Your Site Of Influential Quotes!

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

myserenewords

Seeking Solace in the Horizon of Life & Beyond.

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

Parties & Events

events, fun

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Survival Garden

How to make it

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Gamintraveler

Travel Couple and Digital Nomads on a World Travel

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site

blogsense-by-barb

at the Re-Birth of America!

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

THE WAKING GIANT

United States Second Amendment Pitbull

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

Aspiring Conservative

Conservative blog with articles about today's politics!