The other day, some yahoo on Yahoo! was looking for “a car that could go 100,000 miles without requiring service.” He has a better chance of landing a date with a model. (Or, I suppose, an ex- model.)
I mention this because Gwendolyn, my long-suffering I30, went in today for a spa day or two, and she has just under 170,000 miles. The major issue to be addressed was a small power-steering fluid leak, which motivated the following prayer: “O Lord, I’m okay with having to replace the whole pump, but please, please, please don’t let it be a bad steering rack.”
And lo, my prayer was answered. It was the high-pressure line in the steering system, which is pricey, but not rack-and-pinion pricey. Still, if you add to this the de rigueur oil change, the replacement of a fried headlight, a new serpentine belt — the old one was starting to crack — and a new passenger-side mirror to replace the one that was sheared off by a semi who insisted on outrunning my approach via a left-turn on-ramp, you come up with a hell of a lot of money, at $1350 or so, or almost exactly two-thirds the price of a new steering rack. And I probably could have taken it somewhere else and saved a couple of coins. But Bob Moore has been good to me this century: they serviced my second Mazda and sold me this Infiniti, and I’ve seldom had any reason to grumble. And they sent me off today in a Q50 while they minister to my car.
This is my third experience with the Q50, and I didn’t like it as much as its predecessors: the steering felt somewhat twitchy, which suggested I keep the speed down, not an easy task with a 3.0-liter turbo. (I think this is the first turbo anything I’ve ever driven.) Still, it was comfy, though the ride is a bit stiff; the A/C was properly glacial, the stereo was Bose, and the controls were comprehensible. But that keeping-the-speed-down business irritated some jerk behind me who thought I should be tailgating the guy in front of me as much as he was tailgating me. As I exited, he showed me a finger other than his ring finger. Just as well: I’d hate to imagine that jerk actually wearing someone’s ring.