What’s your automotive news for the week?

This was a pretty slow news week from what I could find. I certainly didn’t see anything that would be worthwhile to write about without wasting your time, so I’m opening it up to you fine people once again so we can all check in on each other. How are things on your end? If you got to do something car-related this week that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

37 Comments

  1. Drove up to Cincinnati last weekend with a rental SUV full of stuff for my sister (they moved not too long ago). They ended up not having the SUV I booked so they gave me a double upgrade at no cost… so that ended up with me getting a Suburban. It was honestly really nice. Great highway manners and the cylinder deactivation meant I averaged 24 mpg in something the size of a cargo ship. It was just good to get out and be on the road again though. So I’m now looking into road tripping out to family in California with the Mustang and working remotely from there a few weeks. Managers don’t care where we sign in from as long as we sign in, so I may as well take advantage of that.

    1. Congrats on the doubler! There is one rental car company I won’t rent from, because years ago we had reserved something economy with cruise for a long road trip over a long weekend. They called me the day before to tell me that they probably won’t have what I reserved available at the time of my reservation, so I should be prepared to wait 2-3 hours at the store. I asked about a complimentary swap into an available class, because, you know, common practice. They told me they don’t do that. I’ve never been back, Enterprise.

      1. Ha, same here, rented at Enterprise in Canada and they slapped me with a lot of fees that were not mentioned in the rental contract. No, thank you.

  2. Drove the 944 to work, took 50% longer than cycling.
    Broke the piston rings on the scooter when trying to fix the cylinder foot gasket again.
    Only nice thing, traffic wise, is the used road bike I bought: definitely not the material that’s making me slow… at least I look quick.

  3. I found out the gas station nearest my house gives a discount for having a grocery store loyalty card. After all the times I’ve filled up without using it, I probably could have bought a hamburger.

  4. It’s not car news, but it’s a small nod towards a missed normality. I’ve been helping a friend of mine off and on over the last few years re-do his basement and put in a mini movie theater complete with tiered seating for a few couches. It’s finally ready for ‘opening night’ tonight so the kids and I are getting some candy and heading out to the movies. It’s not first run screenings, but hey – big screen and sound, here we come!

    1. Oh, I guess I had some car news related to movies, too. A local nonprofit had a social distancing fundraiser by hoisting a screen in the parking lot and showing drive in movies. I took an old car that has an AM-only radio, so I brought a boombox to pick up the movie’s audio, which was transmitted on FM. I should have checked the batteries first…

  5. Hoping to do some work on the 535i this weekend to sort out the (apparent) flooding issue. Flooding on a carburetor is something I’m familiar with correcting, but with EFI, it’s a new ballgame for me. Hell, I didn’t even think they could flood, but with all the sensors that can contribute to fuel mixture, there are hundreds of dollars worth of troubleshooting options for me to waste money on. It needs some maintenance on suspension as well, but I think I’ll just include those parts for the next owner.

    1. last week my car had an injector stick and fill the cylinder with fuel. it wasn’t just so flooded it couldn’t start combustion, it was so flooded it couldn’t crank the motor. had to pop the spark plugs out on the sidewalk and spray gasoline through the spark plug hole, all over the engine bay.

      old cars are no fun sometimes.

  6. My “fun car” is dragging me down a bit, and I’m sure this only feels so hard because of the surrounding apocalypse. Anyway, after spending 3250$ on a timing belt change and more, I thought the car would be “fixed enough” to just do a long list of friendly maintenance. Nope.

    First, the Hyundai shop used three full working days – luckily for me, I had a fixed price offer – and after getting the car back, the transmission acted up. So after much empty talk from Hyundai and another day at their garage, I took the car to an independent, reknown, auto transmission shop. It was low on fluid, which seems to have never been shifted in its 180k kms. A flushing would be 800+$. Yikes. Also, the OEM shop discovered that a former owner had “repaired” a radiator leak with glue. It’s leaking again.

    That is with the backdrop that my local shop couldn’t repair the steering fluid leak on the Camry that I myself failed to fix, too. So we’re waiting for a new price there as well.

    Basically, I am not used to spending money at all, and I just want to bask in the glory of driving nice cars. An impossible conundrum, and that hurts in a weakened state of mind.

        1. That’s suits well, since the so-called helpers only push you into the abyss… getting up from there is on you, and maybe some magical thinking.

          1. “Magical thinking” is the level below proper magic? So a dæsh of crazy will do?

          2. “after this, it’ll be sorted and i can just enjoy it” – me, 2009-present

  7. Replaced a broken cup holder in the wagon, and reinstalled the fixed cluster in the m5. All is working!

  8. I detailed my wife’s daily this morning after a business trip that took us through the Pittsburgh area and back (about 400 miles round trip). Pittsburgh is a seriously underrated city, I absolutely loved it (not sure in the winter though). And since I live in the Mid-Atlantic region , it promptly rained this evening.

  9. I’m still fighting the brakes on the Buick. It seems that the lines weren’t clogged like I originally thought. But rather the piston in the proportional valve has gotten moved from it’s neutral position and is blocking the rear brake line outlet. This is apparently a safety measure to prevent further loss of brake fluid in case of a rupture or what have you. There is a little plunger on the valve to reset this, but it only works for the front brakes. So I’m hoping to undo the brake line and push it back forward. Unfortunately, said brake line is the only one that is rusted tight and won’t budge. Going to spend the weekend using periodic douses of penetrating oil and see if I can slowly work it loose. If that doesn’t work, things may have to get a bit more drastic.

    1. Remind us, what kind of Buick is it again?
      When the fitting is that stuck I would consider replacing the line anyway, so “drastic” isn’t irresponsible here I guess.

    2. You can not reset the differential pressure valve by poking it from the brake line hole. The proportioning valve and residual pressure valve is after the shuttle valve getting in your way. You should be able to make it move back in place by opening the front lines and pumping hard and just plain standing on the pedal.

      That pin is to open the delay valve that is there to allow a little pressure to build in the rear circuit before the fronts are applied. The pin is there for when you use a low pressure bleeder “ball”.

      1. Yeah, the problem with that is the valve wasn’t the only issue. Turns out the master cylinder itself is clogged up on the rear lines, so there wasn’t any fluid there to begin with. I discovered that when I undid the lines to the proportional valve to reset it and no fluid came out. Wound up removing the valve completely, giving it a clean, rest the pin, and put it back in. Plan on tackling the master cylinder later this weekend.

  10. So it is finally safe to say that I finished the wheel chair lift equipped conversion van project for my friend. He called Thursday saying that he had made it back to So Cal with no problems. If for no one else but myself the following is the list of repairs/upgrades I did a bit here and there as scheduling allowed and issues popped up over the last ~2 months.

    Plugs, wires, cap, rotor, coil, air filter.

    Oil change

    Fuel filter which was packed with crap and required replacing a section of fuel line.

    Front brakes.

    Belt
    Re-wired to remove the battery saver that the lift was connected to.

    Replaced the battery.
    Charged AC
    Replaced blower, which had been intermittent and wouldn’t not work when I tried to test it until the day before he was set to leave.

    Turn signal flasher, again it was an intermittent and in this case I just replaced it and luckily that fixed that problem.

    Added a house battery with automatic charging relay so that he can’t run down the vehicle battery running the lift, but if the lift battery is drained starting the van and letting it run for 30 sec will connect the batteries so the lift can run off of the alternator/starting battery.

    Added inverter for charging wheel chair on the road and other 110v needs

    Added power point sockets in a couple of places.

    Repaired the wiring to the TV.

    Replaced the TV.

    Replaced the coat hanger rod across the back.
    Added eye bolts for hammock.

    The biggest fight however was with the lift system, in particular the door opening, or should I say not opening intermittently. I repaired a bad ground, worked for a few days. Took the doors apart more times than I cared to count only to have them work again once I started trouble shooting. I brought in my friend who is a retired electrical engineer and we went through and figured out the schematics for the relay boards in the doors, re-flowed solder on a couple of iffy connections and even replaced the signal wire from the lift to the first door to open. Each time it seemed to be fixed for a couple of days. I had finally left the panels off the door I was able to troubleshoot while it wasn’t working. I traced it down to an intermittent relay or bad connection on the main board inside the actual lift, not the boards in the doors or the wiring to the doors.

    So I created an emergency override system. I added a couple of 5 terminal relays to interrupt the signal wire between the lift and the door and inject a signal directly to the door. It is controlled by a pair of switches mounted on a panel hanging under the driver’s seat. One switch to enable and a momentary SPDT to control open or close. That way if the button on the dash, or the remote doesn’t work he can use them sitting in the driver’s seat and if it happens when he is out of the van he can open the driver’s door and reach the switches while seated in his chair.

    I have found replacement relays so when he comes back up for follow ups with the doctors, once he gets his business up and running again, my EE friend and I are going to replace the relays and hope that eliminates the need to use the emergency override system.

      1. It is just a standard automatic charging relay from Blue Sea, but most brands operate similarly. The one I used is dual sensing so if either side sees over 13.8v for 30 sec it connects the two and once voltage drops below 13.0 for more than a few seconds it disconnects. It is so much easier than the old diode based systems. I went with the dual sense version and added a charger/maintainer on the lift battery so when he uses at a camp site or the like he can plug in that charger and it will top off both batteries.

  11. Had a storm here the other night, and a friend had a tree branch come through the steel roof of his workshop. Luckily it missed his Datsun 510 coupe (US import & v. rare in this country), although it hit the hood of the car in front of it about 6″ from the side, hard enough that the outer part has turned 90° and is pointing vertical.

    Trees down everywhere with 3 people killed including 2 drivers and a 4yo pedestrian.

  12. On Friday I traded my Kia Soul and my Dodge Grand Caravan in and got a 2019 Frontier with 25k on the clock. I looked at all the new ways of buying a vehicle from Carvana to Vroom to Carmax. I looked at all the dealerships in the area as well. Oddly when it came down to it this one was at Enterprise. Yes I got a former rental. A 2019 was the price of a 2017 everywhere else. I took advantage of the value of used cars being high right now. I wasn’t in the market for swapping out my Kia. I really liked my Soul and its great gas mileage. I was averaging over 30mpg. It’s just that my wife told me that I had done some good things with our finances and that I could go get a truck finally that I have wanted for a long long time to replaced my beloved 95 Tacoma. That had gone away when we had our first kid.
    This gets the opposite of the Kia’s gas mileage. One review described the gas mileage as “Uses fuel like a failed missile launch”. I am so looking forward to running this one into the ground and learning to do a bunch of trucky things with it.
    It’s name is Davey Crocket.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2148ac849e9a095ce0fbb441405a753e27fc86b609e42fd31bfd155223f14b6.jpg

    1. Congratulations on the new to you vehicle. I have purchased 3 former rental vehicles in the past for my commuter car. I used to put 125 miles daily on mine and would run the wheels off of them. (I bought 2 from Enterprise and 1 from Hertz). All of my cars (2001 Mitsu Mirage/ 2008 Rav4, 2011 Insight) gave me trouble free driving with zero unexpected issues ( the Mirage was bought with 12k mileage and finally traded in at 240k) . I worked for a short time shuttling cars for Enterprise as a part time job and befriended the resident mechanic. All the cars went in for oil changes/ wheel rotations at 3K mileage at my site so it quieted my fears of buying a used rental.

      1. The fact that they got regular maintenance is one of those things that helped me here as well.

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