25 March 2008
Gwendolyn's lack of thirst was diagnosed as ignition problems (P1320, for you fans of OBD II codes); the fix was to replace the spark plugs (which I was going to do anyway) and the ignition coils. Unfortunately, there are six of each, and, this being a sideways V6, you can bet that three of them are a wicked sumbitch to change out. Each coil is around a hundred bucks, and the standard plugs are tipped with rare and precious Unobtainium, so this is a serious hit to the wallet; on the other hand, I'll have no problem blowing off the plug service at 120k, since it's only 14k away. I am still somewhat perplexed by the notion that using less fuel last tank was 23.2 mpg, about 10 percent better than seasonal around-town norms somehow constitutes a "malfunction," but it does change the emissions pattern, and inasmuch as the new ozone rules are likely to mandate closer inspection of vehicle emissions, I've got to implement the fix.
For the day, they handed me the keys to an FX35, a sort-of-SUV built up on Nissan's FM platform. Curiously, its dynamics, over my usual Bad Road course, were almost identical to what I experience in my own car, which took some doing considering that this particular FX, a 2005 model, was rear-wheel drive (an AWD version is also available) and Gwendolyn is a front-driver. Truth be told, I'd rather have the smaller EX, if only because it's not so tall as the FX. Not that I'm inclined to go car-shopping after paying the repair bill, of course.Posted at 7:36 PM to Driver's Seat