Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rental Vehicle - Hyundai Elantra GL

2013 Elantra Landing_Page

On our recent trip to Myrtle Beach we had a Hyundai Elantra as our rental..... short side bar on car rental agencies....

So you go in with visions of $15 a day rental spinning in your head only to come out paying $300 for a week, how does that happen?  Well, here's how it happens..... Right up front you get charged airport fees, rental levi, sales tax and some mysterious miscellaneous fee to bring you up to about $180 for a $110 rental. (You can avoid some of this by renting away from the airport if you have some way to get from said airport to rental location, which we did not.)

So obviously I declined every other possible charge but here is where you get nailed:

#1 - Insurance - They will make it seem like the world will end if you don't get whatever super insurance they are peddling, save yourself the trouble and cost by getting a cheap rider on your own insurance if you are concerned about accidents, or just drive safely and save yourself all around.  The insurance can be more expensive than the car if you get the premium package.

#2 - Upgrades - No matter what you are renting, they will have something much better for just a little bit more .... per day..... $5 a day doesn't sound like much but for a week that's $40.  They wanted me to "upgrade" from an Elantra to a Corolla for $4 a day.  I would rather pay not to upgrade to a Corolla for $4 a day, obviously I passed on the opportunity!

#3 - Gas fill up whatever fee.... You can pay up front not to have to bring your car back full of gas, you also pay extra for the gas but the fee saves you the trouble of filling up.... getting gas is not that difficult.

#4 - Pre pay toll booth fee - You can pay to use the pass through toll booths rather than stopping to pay, it takes all of 20 seconds to stop and pay so just keep some change in the car and stop and pay.

#5 - Extra drivers - If you have someone with you as a second driver and you are not married, tell them you are married, then you don't have to pay for second driver.

So that's enough about the dollars and cents.... The car itself was fine for the two of us, never had the get up and go of the Optima but it was good for driving on well paved, flat roads, unlike those of Newfoundland.  Got about 30 MPG on average or 8 L per 100 KM.  It was good gas mileage, over the span of a week with constant moving including a 200 mile round trip to the race track we spent a whopping $35 on gas.  The seats were comfortable enough, the brakes and handling were fine for our tourist trips, AC worked well in the hot climate, overall no complaints.  I wouldn`t run out and buy one myself but I sure as heck would buy one over a Corolla if I was looking for a compact sedan,  and save myself $4 a day!

It seemed like a good solid compact sedan, currently going for $23,000 including taxes and fees on the Hyundai site.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nu Finish Car Polish - Spring Cleaning

Ok, so it was time for spring cleaning, got a few scratches from the harsh winter and my baby needed good spruce up.  I decided to go with the wash, clay bar, polish and paint sealant routine.  The only problem was that I didn't have any car polish.  I was also trying to decide if I would by a DA polisher to apply the polish but in the end I cheaped out and decided to go with the hand application method.

I noticed from a prior washing that my car's paint was peppered with those annoying yellow spots from salt and other residue from our hard on paint winter.  I gave it a couple of shots of TRIX which was covered in a previous post but that stuff is just difficult to work with and smells horrible, although it does get rid of most yellow spots.  I thought I would try a different approach.

So I gave it a good washing, applied the clay bar and then started on the polishing using Nu Finish.  I was going over all the polish options at Crappy Tire but settled on Nu Finish for two reasons.... the price was actually on the high end so I thought it would be good and a customer there said he uses it all the time and it works great.  I applied it to one section and started rubbing to see if I could get out the yellow spots and sure enough they started vanishing.  The only thing I will say is that this took a LOT of elbow grease, two hours worth of rubbing in a circular motion, but the results were great.  I also got rid of several surface clear coat scratches with this product.

I followed up the polish with a good application of my Poor Boys Sealant and the car was looking as good as new (except for the bumper damage).  Although I used up the better part of a full afternoon I removed almost all the yellow spots, got rid of several surface scratches and shined up my Optima beautifully.  Next time I may buy a DA Polisher just to make it a bit easier for the polish application.  I also have to do my better half's car.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Nascar Bojangles 500 LIVE!

So we were in Myrtle Beach on vacation last week and decided to take in the Nascar Bojangles 500 from Darlington Raceway.  We were staying on the beach and decided we would rent a room in Florenceville which was only 15 minutes from the raceway and about an hour and a half from Myrtle Beach so we wouldn't have to drive back in heavy traffic late at night.  The Bojangles 500 starts at 7 so I figured it wouldn't be over until close to 11.  

On a side note we stayed at Sandy beach resort in Myrtle Beach which was really nice and only about $100 a night this time of year with a full kitchen included.  Also, side note #2 beer is only $16 for a 24 at Walmart in South Carolina as opposed to $13 for a six pack here in Newfoundland.... life can be cruel at times.

So we left for Florenceville around noon, had a snack and got to the Comfort Inn around 2.  The place seemed ok from the outside but not great, the desk guy checked us in and spoke broken engish, I thought it was strange but moved on.  Unfortunately he forgot to check if our room was cleaned and as a result we walked into a small, hot, dirty, dingy, crappiest hotel room I have even seen (and ranked it accordingly on tripadvisor).  Seriously, the toilet looked like a public washroom at the end of a metallica concert.  I chased down the closest room cleaning lady and she said the guy shouldn't have checked us in but she would be right down to clean it, and she did come down right away.

At this point it was around 3 so I figured we would head down to the raceway to check on the parking situation and whatnot. I had been reading up and there is a large grassy field for parking but I hate crowds so that wasn't going to work for me.  We saw the local PTA were offering their school lot to park in for $10 and we took them up on it.  They said it was only about 1/2 mile to the track, as it turned out it was even less than that.  A good thing considering we had a cooler to drag packed with beer, water and snacks.  The locals showed us a short cut and in about 5 minutes we were in through the gates.  All along the way people were offering their driveways to park in for $20..... yes the USA is the land of opportunity.

So at about 4 we were at the raceway, went around to some of the booths, got a demo of the new Meguiars DA polisher that you use on the drill, got and freebies that were available (toy cars, bbq sauce, ponchos, shirts etc...) got some pictures signed by the Jeff Burton pit crew and made our way to our seats at about 5:30.  We were seated in Tyler Tower row 19, the seats seemed pretty good.

So a concert was followed by driver intros, multiple other niceties, anthem etc....  I have to tell you about the people sitting next to us.  There was a guy to our right who looked like an Italian mob guy.  At one point another guy got in his way trying to find his seat and he told him to sit the F%^$ down.  The other guy lipped back a bit and the italian like guy says "what the F%$# are you gonna do, we both know you ain't gonna do s&*^ so sit the F^&* down..... and he sat."  It was intense but fun none the less.  There also was a 12 year old in front of us who knew everything there was to know about Nascar, he was annoying but bothering other people so I didn't really care.

Anyway as it turns out this was the most boring race in Nascar history, we watched 300 laps and there was only one yellow flag for debris on the track..... ONE YELLOW FLAG IN 300 LAPS!!!  It was like a parade with Kyle Bush leading the way the entire time.  So we had an important decision to make.....

1) Stay till the end of the race (360 laps) and fight traffic back to the roach motel or
2) leave this boring race and go back to our nice room at Myrtle Beach

Since my better half said she would drive back to Myrtle Beach we left..... we never spent one single minute at our crappy hotel in Florenceville and felt great in our decision, even through we got gouged on the rate for a room we never used.  We had some fun, watched 90% of a Nascar race and had a good nights sleep.....

Here is the video evidence....