Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rear Wheel Drive vs Front Wheel Drive

BMW Z4 M Coupe - Front Angle, 2006, 1600x1200, 1 of 65

Other than the fact that front wheel drive is better in the snow and is generally more fuel efficient I was wondering what the other major differences were.  More to the point I was wondering why expensive cars normally have rear wheel drive.... BMW, Audi, Mercedes etc....

There was a great article in the Globe and Mail on this yesterday:

As it turns out, basically a rear wheel drive is more fun to drive, which I can attest to from test driving a couple nice BMWs.  Unfortunately around here, handling in the snow is also a major drive-ability factor.  This is taken care of with the variety of AWD systems available in the Audi, Mercedes and BMWs of the world.  If you have ever been on one of these vehicles, rear seat space in the middle is extremely limited by the hump from the rear wheel drive train.  But lets face it, it's not very often you would be squeezing three people in the back seat.

If things work out I will be upgrading to a rear wheel driving machine for my next vehicle, now I am looking forward to it even more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2011 Kia Optima Facebook Page

I found a 2011 Kia Optima Facebook page.... It doesn't seem to get much action but just as a point of interest go check it out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rust-Proofing - Globe and Mail Article

Check out the above article in the globe and mail today.  Oil spraying is another term for Rust Checking or Krown Rustproofing but I'm not sure where the author of this article researched for this???  As far as I know Rust Checking or Krown involves more than spraying used oil on the underside of your vehicle.  They drill little holes and spray the stuff all over the place, most older cars you see around with the rust proofing stickers on them look great.  The cars are probably worth less than the rust proofing that has been applied over the years but they look good regardless.

Personally I am not a big fan of rust proofing, it is fairly expensive, messy and is more useful for people who want to keep their cars for 10 years or more.  Most new cars these days are built to resist the formation of rust unless you get chipping from rocks or other debris which rust proofing will not protect you from.  The biggest rust proof scam going is the dealer applied undercoating..... it's a total money grab for the dealership, don't take my word for it research it for yourself.  If you want to rust proof, the annual Krown treatment would be recommended by most.  I wouldn't go with Joe Bob's Oil Spray or whatever the heck the author is referring to in the article!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bridgestone Blizzaks - Winter Tires Day 1

Last night I had my winter tires put on, I know it's early but we are going on vacation next week and could very well come back to 25 cm of snow. It's better to be safe than sorry, and with my factory tires I would be VERY sorry if we had snow.

As expected the Costco car guys loved the Optima.  The cashier said how he had a Forte and loved it as well but my car was beautiful.  He mentioned how he had a dog and the salesguy told him that he was covered for any damage the dog did to the material in the car, I didn't have the heart to tell him he probably paid $500 or more for that without even knowing it.  He seemed happy enough about it all so that's all that counts, not everyone is as hard to get along with as I am.

I find the Blizzaks great for driving, they stick to the road and soak up the bumps far better than my original tires.  They look good too in my opinion, I am glad I never went with the black steelie rims and smaller tires.  Once my factory summer tires are toast, which will probably take about one more year, I am really looking forward to getting some good rubber on this car.  

I dropped back to Costco for the recommended re-torque today, a guy popped out and did it in five minutes and I was on my way again.  Can't wait to see how they work in the snow, that's probably not too far down the road.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kia - Website and Oil Changes

Price Your Kia Vehicle

I was in for oil change #2 today, which as I noted previously is overpriced at $59.99 + tax.  It does include hinge lubrication, checks all major components except brakes and tops up fluids..... but still over priced.  I skipped recommended tire rotation of course because I have the new Costco Blizzaks on the way.  I got a call and they are in now so I will be getting those tomorrow and let you all know how they are.

Anyway, after I helped myself to two cups of coffee and a few timbits I went over to use one of their handy Internet stations (they have 4 now) and checked out the Kia website among other things.  They have really improved their online calculator which can be found here:

Much better than before, next thing you know they will enter the 20th century and salespeople will have car pricing available in their offices..... we'll see.

So after waiting about 45 minutes my car was done. I noticed I only have 5mm remaining on each of my front tires and 7mm on the back, not great after one year of use, maybe I can squeeze 3 years out of them but it will be cutting it close.  I've got to say I booked this appointment on two days notice and was in and out in less than an hour, that's good service.  I really don't have a major issue with paying the $59.99 + tax.  (That they also add shop supplies to and comes to $74 in total)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Formula 1 Great Retiring - Another just not trying.

Michael Schumacher

So once upon a time not that long ago you are winning every Formula 1 race driving for Ferrari..... then fast forward 10 years and you are yesterdays news and this is how you are treated:

I was at once a huge and the smallest Schumacher fan, I have always been the one to go for the underdog and he was NEVER the underdog at Ferrari.  I also love a winner and he was a WINNER.  I was probably one of ten people in Newfoundland watching Formula 1 back in the late 90's to early 2000's and he simply dominated.  He was brilliant, ruthless, cunning..... everything a race car driver should be.  These guys risk their lives every day for our entertainment (and a hefty salary), but they have about a 5% chance of dying on the job.  I'm pretty sure I'll never be impaled on a pen at work or have severe lacerations from paper pushing, but a one in 20 chance of dying on the job should ensure you a pretty high pay cheque.

So here he is risking his life for Mercedes and they gladly push him back into retirement to make way for Lewis Hamilton.  For the past number of years I have been a big Hamilton fan, I'm not sure why but that's the way it is being a fan.  For the past couple of races Hamilton is way off the pace, like he is mailing it in now for McLaren all of a sudden.  I am losing respect for him.  No matter what I am set out for I always give it 100%, ALWAYS.  I'd expect the same for someone making about $20 million per year race car driving.  If I could have any job in the world it would be race car driving, even knowing the risks.  Can you imagine what if feels like to drive a car 300 km/hr?

There are thousands of people like me yet sometimes these guys' ego takes over and they don't give it their all.  If you are not 100% committed you can have the best car on the track and still finish 10th..... wait Hamilton finished 10th last week in Korea.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wheel / Tire Info - Excellent Site

I found this site that has some real in depth info about everything you wanted to know and then some regarding tires.  There are no snazzy graphics or anything at this site but he really knows his tires!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tire Rim Protection

I was trying to figure out the best way to protect my beautiful aluminium rims from salt this winter. I did my normal ask on,80851.msg822373.html#msg822373

Poorboys Wheel Sealant seemed to be the solution but before I get to reviews on the product itself I have a funny story about trying to buy the product.  I went to the poorboys site and the product was $20 which seemed reasonable enough.  I proceeded to the checkout and selected Canadian shipping...... the total was now $1520.  I was thinking that $1,500 seemed a bit high for shipping on an 8oz jar of sealant that cost $20.  I`m sure it was some type of error in the shipping calculation but it did give me more time to review the purchase.

I checked out some reviews on the product and apparently nothing really gives good rim protection, and the poorboy`s stuff smells especially bad to boot.  That being said I am willing to give it a try but not for $1,520....  I checked Canadian Tire for rim protectant and they don`t have anything.  A lot of posts say just to try wax on the rims and clean them regularly.  The rims have a clear coat protectant on them which will keep salt away as long as the coating is still in tact.

I think I will just go with the wax and wash this winter and see how it goes.  If my rims get pitted from salt I won`t be happy but I think with some TLC  we will make it through unscathed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

So you want a new car for $10,000???

Check out the above video article from the Globe and Mail.  Apparently the best way to produce inexpensive automobiles is to save on R&D costs.  That means less on design, less on testing, less on working out the bugs, less on making sure the vehicle you are driving does not have catastrophic brake failure or combust unexpectedly.

What probably happens is that instead of 1 in a million drivers being injured or killed via vehicle design flaw, you get maybe 4 or 5 in a million.  I have no idea what the actual numbers are but you get the idea.  So for the price of potential injury or car flaw you get to save thousands on sticker price.  That would probably be frowned upon in North America but I think a lot of people would go for it.  Here is this totally acceptable car for China, cheap as dirt, just slightly more unreliable than main stream automobiles..... for 50% less than cars made here.  Government regulations would probably not let them be sold but it would be interesting to see what the consumer would do.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Winter Tires - The Saga Continues... and ends

So I had a nice plan to get a set of 16" X-Ice 3's from Costco for $970 on winter rims.... then today I called Kia just to make sure they would be a good fit and not have any warranty issues.  I remember when I bought the car it came with larger brakes which I thought was nice.  The thing I didn't account for is that those larger brakes would mean I needed larger rims to clear the brake callipers.

So they called me back shortly after saying they tried to fit 6" rims on a EX Luxury with no luck and the 17" steel rims would not fit but they had some 17" alloys that would fit..... and cost $210 a piece.  SO for the low price of $1640 + tax and installation I could get some 17" winter tires on alloy rims.  After slowing my increased heart rate I said thanks for the info but NO.  They also mentioned that if I damage my original rims it would cost about $600 to replace one, I guess as a last ditch effort to sell me the 17" wheel/rim package.... thanks but I'll pass.

So on to plan B.... keep my nice rims on all year round and bite the bullet on a set of 18" winter tires.  I wasn't looking forward to ugly black rims anyway so it was partly a blessing.  The unknown factor is how much a set of 18" winter tires would set me back.  I was headed to Costco tonight anyway for a cheap propane fill up (I still can't believe they only charge $12 to fill a tank), so a trip to the tire center was in order.

I gave them the size (225/45/18) and they said it would be a special order but all that meant is I would have to pay up front as opposed to paying when I pick them up, no big deal. They didn't have any X-Ice 3's in my size but they did have some Blizzaks they could order in.  They would be  $218 each as opposed to $140 for the 16"  version so they were more expensive but not prohibitively so and I didn't have to buy rims now.  There was still $70 off a set so all in with $15 installation fee per tire (which includes nitrogen and a 60 month road hazard warranty) the total was just north of $1,000.  I was ready to commit $970 to the X-Ice 3's so I guess that wasn't too bad and my rims won't look like crap for half the year.

In the end I think it all worked out well, can't wait to try them out after our first snowfall of the year!