With all the news about high gas prices, auto MPG estimates keep popping up in ads and articles. I’m astounded at the fact that many cars get the same mileage as my 16 year old Volvo wagon.
Granted, it’s a low pressure, 120hp four cylinder pushing 3,500lbs of steel around at 22 city/25 highway.
But c’mon Chevrolet! Your HHR has only 30 more horsepower, weighs 400 pounds less and gets the same 22 city and only 30 highway. And you try to pass it off as fuel efficient?
And Volvo? The V50 gets 168hp, weights 3200lbs and pulls 20 city/ 28 highway. 16 years and 400% increase in fuels costs and they can only gain 50 hp from the same net mileage?
Rusted & Busted
After two summers without AC I just couldn’t handle seeing my sweaty, miserable daughters melting in their car seats as we drove 2 hours to Jellystone park to camp. Robert, my occasional mechanic, had quoted $900 to replace the condenser and upgrade to R-134. With Bush’s stimulus check in hand I brought the Brick in for the operation.
Five days later I’m out $1800! Turns out it needed other work in addition to the upgrade. What a surprise. Now we have a new timing belt, new water pump, all new belts, new bushings and the front of the engine is straight and doesn’t squeal. It’s nice to have chilly air and a quieter engine, but DAMN! I probably would have just kept driving w/ the windows open if I’d known I also needed to spend $1000 to just keep the thing on the road. But I guess now the Brick and the family are protected from overheating.
DIY Interior & Sound
I started installing sound dampening last weekend and continued yesterday. After doing a bunch of research I decided to go with RAAM Audio’s RAAMmat BXT and Ensolite closed cell foam. It’s been pretty messy but it’s making a big improvement. I’ve done both passenger side doors so far and will be reinstalling the front passenger side speaker today and hope to see improvement is sound.