Out of Love?

The difficult thing, in any relationship, is the ability to keep things fresh.

With girls, you visit different places, try a new restaurant, buy some flowers, or sing a song.

With a car however, you can…upgrade some parts? Try driving with different shoes? In other words, its more difficult. And it will cost money.

So I have had my car now for almost 6 years and in those 6 years the relationship has gone through its ups and downs, but I have always loved my car and have enjoyed more good times than bad. And even now, the thing I most look forward to during a work day is getting into my car and driving. Most of the time I drive without the radio on – mostly because I relish the sound of the engine, but also partly because the car is too loud to properly hear any such music.

My odometer showed 225,000 km the other day. And the car is starting to show its age. The engine doesn’t sing as sweetly or rev as easily as before, the looks are not as stunning as they once were, and there are some quirks that need to be addressed.

Rock chips sustained to the front end from a drive to Calgary. Respray to fix it would be ~$500.

If you have been following along, you have probably seen the engine light which keeps haunting me occasionally, then goes away on its own. Speaking with Ocean from Chikara Motorsport, seems that there is probably an oil leak somewhere that is hitting a sensor and causing an occasional misfire. This misfire happens so intermittently that I can’t repeat this problem – sometimes it happens once a week, and recently I haven’t seen it for over a month.

Headlamps starting to fog up. Some TLC will fix it though…

I recently drove a newer car and spent a week away with this other car. This new car was SO GOOD – everything was immensely communicative, it was very comfortable and still very sporty, and had newer touches like Bluetooth connectivity and iPod connection. It was basically like my car, but updated. And in perfect working order. It looked pretty damn good too.

Rock chips and damaged front lip. Hard to look at for long…

When I got back to my car, I was sort of relieved to see it. Although I felt guilty for leaving it in a parking lot in the rain for a week while I was having the time of my life with this other car in California. On business. It felt like I was cheating on the car somehow, while it waited for me in the rain.

Window doesn’t open past this position. Need to diassemble the door trim and re-grease some of the moving parts.

The car that I had on this 3700km test drive re-calibrated what I could do with a car. I had so much confidence in this newer car that I found myself getting braver, and not just because the grip limits were higher (if anything they were lower), but because it was so easy to DRIVE. I found that when I got my old car back, I tried to drive it the way I drove this newer car, I found new limits to my car but it wasn’t quite as exciting somehow.

Significant number of stone chips will warrant a windshield replacement eventually…

So what now? Recently I was given the news that I may need a new engine. The engine still pulls strong and runs well in all situations, but it doesn’t have the power it used to.

Toyo Proxes 4s that I’ve had since 2009. Work great in the dry, “interesting” in the wet. There’s definately a few kilometers on them…

I have taken care of my car since I got it almost 6 years ago, when IT was the new car that I was trading in place of the Subaru Legacy I once had (see my story – My First Car for more details). Back then, it was the upgrade, the younger, sportier, more exciting car.

Front bumper hasn’t sat quite right since I plowed it into the curb in the snow. I bought snow tires shortly after.

I’ve been catching myself visiting the website of the car I have driven, as I am heavily considering buying one and trading in my Miata. I sit there, reading reviews I have read already on a car I have driven already, configuring the car online to the spec I want (even though there really aren’t that many choices for options) as if I have given up on my car already.

Self-inflicted damage from the garage closing on the rear trunk. I’ve painted in the sections to prevent any corrosion (although the trunk lid is made of aluminum). Respray would be ~$500.

To fix my car back up to the standards I would want the car to be at (mostly cosmetic, but there are some internals that need upgrading), would cost me ~$10,000 to $15,000. Compare this to the cost of a new car of at least $30,000. Is it worth it?

Still pretty damn good looking though….

Let me know what you think!

4 Comments Add Yours

  1. Cousin Eva

    first of all, you were in CA and we didn’t get to see you even for a minute?! secondly, 225k miles??? wow! i’ve never passed 80k on any of my cars…if that’s a good thing or bad thing.

    so here’s my two-cents: for that amount of money to be put into fixing your car back up, you might as well put that towards a new car. is the miata even worth the $10-15k? if not, try to sell it and use the proceeds towards a new car and enjoy another 225k miles =)

    • Jon

      Ha thanks – that’s the way I’m leaning right now. My car isn’t worth the $10k. And to be clear, I’m speaking in metric so it’s actually 225,000 kilometers (which is roughly 141,000 miles).

      And I only had 5 days to drive down and back, and so only made it to Monterey.

      I do plan on making the drive again covering the lower portion of the coastal highway, and would definitely come to visit you guys in that instance.

    • Cousin Eva

      still, 141k miles is a good amount of “breaking in” LOL =) yes, next time you drive down far enough we’ll get together.

  2. Jobic

    Time to put the MX5 behind you and get on with another car. You will love your new car as much as your first and second car.


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