Getting a car they way you want it is normal!

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Jul 10, 2022
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I was talking to someone who's 82 y.o. yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner, and he had fond memories of the '67 Corvette that he once owned. It dawned on me no matter what age we are, we seem to love getting our cars setup the way we want. And of course, there are cost and timing factors that are limiting.

For example, when my wife's GM SUV needed shocks and struts, I went to some lengths to get Bilsteins installed.

I drove my used car purchased in 2016, 6 years with the cheap tires the new car dealer put on it, waited until they were worn to get the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 4's on.

Even brakes, it bothers me when I see cheap rotors with rusted hats. Felt good to take those off. I tend to wait, not throw things away that are still good.

Seems like there's always something on the back burner. Are you waiting to do any maintenance or upgrade on your car? :)
 
Been a while but I did like getting my cars set up the way I wanted. But after that… I expected them to stay that way. Getting harder for me to get excited about doing things under the hood.
 
The hvac blend box is stuck on the Focus, fortunately on defrost and feet, so I've just left it for a year now. I'm thinking of having a look at it soon!
I don't think I'll use this guys method though! :LOL:
 
I was talking to someone who's 82 y.o. yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner, and he had fond memories of the '67 Corvette that he once owned. It dawned on me no matter what age we are, we seem to love getting our cars setup the way we want. And of course, there are cost and timing factors that are limiting.

For example, when my wife's GM SUV needed shocks and struts, I went to some lengths to get Bilsteins installed.

I drove my used car purchased in 2016, 6 years with the cheap tires the new car dealer put on it, waited until they were worn to get the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 4's on.

Even brakes, it bothers me when I see cheap rotors with rusted hats. Felt good to take those off. I tend to wait, not throw things away that are still good.

Seems like there's always something on the back burner. Are you waiting to do any maintenance or upgrade on your car? :)
I have a similar issue with my Accord. I bought it in July of 2019 and CarMax only put two new Vredestein Quatrac 5s on. The other two tires were the OE Continentals. The mis-match has been bugging me, but I can't bring myself to replace all four yet. I'm on a matching set of Blizzaks for the winter, but this spring I think I'll finally install some Michelin Pilot Sport AS 4.
 
I've become more practical as I've gotten older, and more patient with things such as less than perfect car cosmetics. They all wear out eventually anyway. I maintain my cars well, but try not to waste money on unnecessary mods etc.
Financially, it generally pays to be patient with spending on cars. Except for safety and reliability related items.
 
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I have a similar issue with my Accord. I bought it in July of 2019 and CarMax only put two new Vredestein Quatrac 5s on. The other two tires were the OE Continentals. The mis-match has been bugging me, but I can't bring myself to replace all four yet. I'm on a matching set of Blizzaks for the winter, but this spring I think I'll finally install some Michelin Pilot Sport AS 4.
They are terrific tires and worth getting (actually at Costco for my car they were barely over $200 when some other touring types were $300+!). When I got my car used, the new car dealer did a trick I honestly would not have thought of. The trunk contained a full-sized spare on an alloy rim, barely used (pebbles in tread). So they mounted it on the rear left, and took closeups of the rear left 1/4 showing that tire armor all'd, implying the car had new Dunlop OE's, the red and yellow dots were plainly visible in the online pics (very expensive online in 2016). Then they put it back in the trunk and replaced the tires with Rydanz Roadster R02's: "Made in China, Engineered in Europe!" :ROFLMAO: $85/ea online at Walmart at the time. They actually seemed ok believe it or not, but seemingly worsened as they wore. By the time I got the Michelins, 3/4 leaked and even when Costco mounted the new tires 1/4 had a bead leak so they redid...

btw I love my spare as the rim is mint, all other 4 are peeling and 1 has bad curb rash. Still has grease pencil from the factory in Japan...17 years ago!
 
I have far less years ahead of me than I have behind. If there is something that I truly want then I know to get it now.
The Japanese car specialist gave me that advice when I asked him what he thought about shocks and struts...point being if you get them now, instead of next year, you enjoy them for 1 more year (the car is a 2006, is it likely to need 2 more sets of shocks and struts, or 1, in the car's useful life)...but the other factor of course is the expense. But once the expense aspect can be eliminated, your point makes total sense. (y)
 
The most I wanted to configure my new prius turned out to be menu items. Turned off the lane assist the day I got it home. Got into the computer and turned off the "three blink minimum" turn signal passing feature, and got the auto up/down windows to work the way I wanted. Invested in factory rims and additional sensors for my snow tires. Then there's the dorky stuff like getting my radio station presets in numerological order, and the same across all my vehicles.

Typically with a beater, they get good struts, brakes, and tires, but lower-tier. Make a half-hearted attempt at fluid filming to get maybe another year or two by slowing down or freezing rust in its current state. Will mod as necessary to get rid of DRLs and AC-with-defrost.
 
My Civic LX was treated to aftermarket rims shortly after I purchased it. I also bought the rubber mats and trunk mat along with factory Honda mud flaps and I had a remote starter installed. The Ford F-150 recieved tinted windows, mud flaps, a bed cover and new factory rubber mats front and back. I also have the inside truck bed done with a line X type of product with a rubber bed mat. I like buying little mods that enhance the value of a vehicle.
 

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The hvac blend box is stuck on the Focus, fortunately on defrost and feet, so I've just left it for a year now. I'm thinking of having a look at it soon!
I don't think I'll use this guys method though! :LOL:
are you sure its stuck? that used to be the default setting when there was an issue (something disconnected or vacuum leak)

Anyone work on or remove anything recently such as radio?
 
My Civic LX was treated to aftermarket rims shortly after I purchased it. I also bought the rubber mats and trunk mat along with factory Honda mud flaps and I had a remote starter installed. The Ford F-150 recieved tinted windows, mud flaps, a bed cover and new factory rubber mats front and back. I also have the inside truck bed done with a line X type of product with a rubber bed mat. I like buying little mods that enhance the value of a vehicle.
When I got my Lexus used, and shame on me for letting the used car mgr. rush my test drive, two major things were wrong. Brakes shuddering, and driver door would not lock/unlock with the other 3, and smart key not working.
1. Is it any surprise the used car mgr wouldn't return my calls?
2. I made an appt. for service, and the svc. mgr turned out to be cool, and he fixed these things gratis. The brakes were with genuine Lexus parts as everything returned to me and in Lexus boxes (they were a GMC dealer). Here is where I learned that replacing caliper bolts is part of the job--I'm not really sure if they are stretch bolts, I rather doubt it?

With the door actuator not sure if OE parts--they had the car all of 25 min. I was expecting to see missing clips or rattles or the panel loose, etc., no such thing. It's been 6.5 years. Can't describe how happy I was when I got the car back and I could touch the door handles and the car would respond. The little things! (there were other neglected things like high mount bulb burned out and cupholder broken, and in 2016, I got factory OE carpeted floor mats for $16, gray not beige, every website had a low price) NOS I suppose. :)
 
I could write a book on all the little things I've had to fix or improve on the 2010 Traverse I bought in February when used cars were scarce & overpriced.
Amazon & UPS trucks were here almost daily for awhile, plus a few trips to the junkyard (I'm OCD about broken or missing trim pieces).
Everything's caught up now and just today since I had the day off I installed a trailer hitch & harness. Now I'm ready for the boating & jet skiing season next year.
 
I could write a book on all the little things I've had to fix or improve on the 2010 Traverse I bought in February when used cars were scarce & overpriced.
Amazon & UPS trucks were here almost daily for awhile, plus a few trips to the junkyard (I'm OCD about broken or missing trim pieces).
Everything's caught up now and just today since I had the day off I installed a trailer hitch & harness. Now I'm ready for the boating & jet skiing season next year.
I too put a hitch on an Enclave when it was 10 y.o. I wasn't sure I'd succeed, everything had severe rust. I started the job on a Friday night at 10:30 PM EDT and finished about 2 1/2 hours later , even opened a Guinness at that hour to rejoice :ROFLMAO:

It was cheap, Draw Tite $105 on walmart.com, then the next week I ordered a CURT wiring harness (4 flat) from Home Depot, a 2" ball with the mount, and a tester from amazon.com. Dropping the mufflers was something I'd never done.

When all was said and done, in looking online, I'd realized I'd never put the washers in around the tongue area, where those strips go into the bumper with the nuts, so out those bolts came but still accessible.

What I learned was patience there....I had sprayed PB Blaster the night before into the holes. I had to start gently with the actual hitch bolts. Screwing in very slightly, backing out, over and over. Very gradually, until finally, they could go in with resistance. Only then, did I chase the threads.

Now having learned all of the above, none of it translated into the 02 sensor job hahahahahaha where I was baffled as to how penetrant could help get them out (answer: the indie told me have to crack ever so slightly, then spray in, and wait). Our hitch is really for a bike rack, not towing....Buick recommends only 1500 without the tow package from the factory...

edit p.s. couldn't resist: The Draw Tite 75528 was $105.49 in April, 2021, and now $180. Also got a Curt basket cargo carrier for $156, $221 per google today. I know it gets old but some of the price increases aren't reasonable...

edit 2: all is not lost, found it here @ $175, reasonable:

 
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are you sure its stuck? that used to be the default setting when there was an issue (something disconnected or vacuum leak)

Anyone work on or remove anything recently such as radio?
Just me messing with Focus these days, and I haven't been into the dash. The blend box flap has got some rubbery stuff that degrades into a sticky goo eventually, that sticks the flap in a position if you leave it sitting for a while. The controls are just cables from the twist knobs, and fortunately you can manually operated the blend door from the drivers footwell if you take off a cover. So I might just cut some holes in that cover to reach down and do the blend box that way, or I was thinking some solvent might dissolve or cure up the sticky goo seal so it hardens and works with some leakage around the edges...
 
I've invested considerable coin raising the trim level of my base Ecoboost Mustang to semi-Premium. Perforated leather, dual power seats, leather-trimmed door panels, 19" wheels, spoiler, ditched the plain chrome pony for a Mustang tri-bar trunk emblem, Ford Racing catch can, and Homelink. It looks much more the way I want, without having things I don't want, like the TV screen that comes on the Premium. I'd like to have the bumper cover & hood re-painted due to extensive rock chips and bug scars, and maybe a set of rotors & powder coated calipers from a performance variant of the Mustang. These things make it "mine" but are all OEM upgrades. I believe making a car suit your taste prevents it from being an A to B appliance.

IMG_20221030_174056817_HDR.jpg
 

Sister’s Corolla has the usual insulator jammed into bump stop issue, plus dampening is a bit weak after almost 150K. So, I should ask @JeffKeryk how he prefers for me to fix it. ;)

I also need to replace the radiator hoses and clamps at some point, all of the OE parts for that job are already here.

My own rides are in a state that I am satisfied with.
 
My 2016 Honda CR-V EX came stock. I added:

1) Weather-Tech front mats,

2) VLED interior bulbs (made a huge difference in the inside lighting at night and VLED brand have passive aluminum heat sinks so they last extremely long), (I had bought interior LED's from a company called Precision LED and they kept burning out),

3) an Apex high output alternator rated at 200 Amps at idle and 350 amps at a faster engine RPM (tested before shipping to me at 188 Amps at idle) and I had to put a shorter serpentine belt on the vehicle because this high output alternator has a smaller pulley on it so it spins faster,

4) upgraded the battery from 51R to 24F Walmart MAXX including bigger battery tray and heat shield, scraped away paint under body panel where the ground wire from the battery bolts down, scrape copper ground lug clean where it mounts and put Corrosion X Aviation on all connectors for battery,

5) 0-gauge wire from battery + to alternator output, 0-gauge wire from battery ground to engine mount ground by alternator, and 0-gauge wire from alternator to a 250 Amp low voltage fuse, and then through the fire wall, then ran beside passenger's door, coming out of floor under front passenger's seat terminating in a high current quick-connect,

6) a Mean-Well 2200 Watt 4400 Watt Peek very high reliability pure sine wave output with over-load damage protection inverter with 0 gauge wire and a quick-connect that mates with the one under the front seat, and now have Velcro on the bottom of inverter so it sticks to the floor behind the passenger's front seat, installed a hole with rubber grommet around it big enough for a 12 gauge outdoor extension cord to come up under the vehicle to connect to the inverter, and a cap on that hole when not in use,

7) had a vehicle upholstery shop add more heater elements to the driver's seat so than now I can turn on heat for the entire height of the back of the driver's seat for my bad upper back, and a switch so I can independently turn off the heated bottom of the driver's seat when I want a lot of heat for my back but do not want to cook my tail end.

8) got tired of hitting my head on the side of the back hatch, so I got support struts that open 2.16 inches more but still close to the same length from Lift Support Depo, and had a body shop roll back the upper lip of the back hatch so it does not hit the roof when the new longer struts cause the back hatch to open MUCH higher, 2.16 inches more at the mount point of the struts that is close to the hinge makes the end for the hatch that is far from the hinge open a LOT higher. NOT MORE HITTING MY HEAD, even when stepping off a high curb beside the vehicle by the open hatch.

9) I also had the vehicle spray under coated at a company that has a package deal that I bring it back every fall for 6 more touch-ups.

10) I got software for music and put together a collection of about 2000 songs of the type of music I like and put that on a flash drive that I keep in a USB port in the vehicle so I can play my music when I am using the vehicle.

11) Fumoto oil drain valve.

12) Did 3 drain and fills of the CVT with Honda fluid with about 1000 miles driving between each change to mix old with new.

13) Disassemble and lube front and back brakes, flush brake fluid with Bosch ES16 Brake fluid.

14) Added a club and an alarm that sounds inside my house if someone enters the vehicle.
 
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