Friday, May 27, 2016

10 years!

10 years ago, I bought a car. I documented it here: link

I can't believe I've had this thing for 10 years. I was pretty stoked when I got it. These days, I'm stoked when I can get the electrical to work.

Since I've had it I've made a few changes. The original owner had put a cold air intake in the engine. When I was out of work, I needed money, so I took that thing out and sold it. I think I got 200 for it. So, actually, I made that one change. I can't think of anything else.

Couple other stupid things about this car. Every 2 years, I have to pay to pass emissions. $150. It never passes (3 things are tested, always fails one), so I pay the $150 to waive it. My local garage said that they think it's a carbon build up inside the engine, that it would cost about $2000 to fix, and even then they wouldn't be able to guarantee that would do it. So I drive around with an idiot light for that.

There's another idiot light for my seatbelt. Something like a seatbelt tensioner is not working. A shop quoted me $200 to fix that a few years ago. Seems like my seatbelt tension is fine; I've never noticed any issues with it.

A few years ago, I started noticing weird grinding noises when I'd step on the clutch. I forget how I came up with the diagnosis, but turns out my wiring harness by the ignition switch was melting. Apparently this is a problem with some VWs and it was a problem with mine. I ordered the parts off of Amazon (it was cheap) and went about fixing it.

That lasted about a year or so. The second harness started melting again. Most of the electric components (wipers, signals, radio, HVAC) would stop working. Most times, a whack to the left of the steering column would get everything back on. But eventually, the whack stopped working. The garage said to fix it, they'd likely have to pull all the wires and replace them at the source. That sounded like a major pain, so I recruited my pal Kyle on New Year's Day 2015 and we soldered the bits and pieces back together. All the wires are now exposed, because to remove the cover from the steering column is a major pain.

These days, it's over 100k on the odometer, having flipped over last May. It starts every day, but the electrical is still suspect. I have to give the wiring harness a nudge to get everything working. I had the oil changed for the first time in over a year about 2 months ago. It hasn't been washed since last summer, I think, when I had the kids wash it. New tires went on shortly after Kyle and I worked on it last year.

It's always gotten me to where I need to go. It still holds all my band gear in the trunk (though it's empty now; stuff is at Cain's house now). It's still too small, with the kids getting bigger. Anytime I need to take them anywhere, we're all stuffed in there. But it's been by my side for a decade now, and it's the longest I've ever owned a car.

I plan to drive it for 2 more years. After that, Haley will be 16 and I'm hoping to give it to her. It's paid for, and it will be fun (will it??) to teach her how to drive stick. It'll be the perfect student car and it'll actually be a cool car for her to have.

Plus, it'll be fun for me to get myself another GTI. Or something.