Spring is HERE!

Hey all,

Winter was a very busy time for me and I didn’t have much time to write in my blog. I’m so sorry about this. It’s still good to see you’ve been visiting me and plenty of e-mails have popped in during this time despite the lack of new posts.

But finally, Spring is here! We are all just SO happy about this since this Winter was extremely painful. There was so much snow, a lot of cold and that means a lot of pain in the a** for just about everyone living here. Cars don’t work too well in such conditions, on newer cars it’s easy to break the bottom frame protection plastic with the snow and so on. Those of you who don’t see Winter very often and are jealous at us – don’t be! Really, it’s not as good as you might think. Yes, there is snow. I think I can still find it from somewhere and I can send it over to Abu Dhabi in a box if you wanna see it so much :) Everyone should experience snow in their life just to see what it’s like and experience the winter “pleasures” like skiing and such. But having all that junk for almost half a year is NO GOOD. Alright, enough of this snow talk.

So, how did our cars live through the Winter? Well, first of all the Vette was ofcourse in the garage so she didn’t really mind. It was cold, yes, but what harm does that really do… However, the Audi and also Suburban were in constant use (especially Audi) and these did experience a few issues.  I can remember that in the beginning of Winter Audi showed its battery light and after some while the systems began messing up and everything died quite suddenly. All the electronic systems inside began to switch off one by one like in a crashing jetliner (yea, it was night in my case, too!) and soon even the transmission and engine began acting real weird. They are completely electronically controlled so what else would you expect… Anyway, I recharged the 110 Amp battery and drove it to service the next day. I first thought that the battery had finally died down in the cold and the systems didn’t want to charge it anymore. However, it wasn’t the case. In fact, the alternator brushes were gone so they had to replace those.

We also cracked the bottom protection a bit and managed to hit an ice ball so hard that a bit of the front bumper paint came off from one place. Should have it fixed soon I guess…  Although that didn’t break anything, I once drove off the road into the snow on a street simply because it was a curve, suddenly such a huge cloud of snow came at night during snowstorm that it just blocked my view completely and since I saw lights of another car coming towards me, I decided to keep to the right and that’s when I hit the snow wall. And there was no help of the Quattro there! We were so stuck that I asked a plow truck driving by to pull us out and he broke his towing rope. Then soon a Dodge RAM passed by who was gladly willing to help us and pulled us out with no big effort. The next time (well, 20 minutes later) I got stuck while just driving in the middle of the country road. The snow had blowed onto the road so much that it got really tough there. Ofcourse I didn’t push the ESP OFF button soon enough so the traction control didn’t let me push gas anymore which brought the situation to a stuck end. There was absolutely no way to get out of there by ourselves since the Audi was sitting completely on its bottom. Soon enough a tractor drove by and although we didn’t have a rope, he drove to the next fuel station, bought a rope for us and came back to pull us out. There are some nice people left in this world, huh?

We didn’t get stuck much more but it was just a lot of pain all the time trying to live your life normally.

But anyway, the spring!!! It’s here, just like I said. As you see, I can’t be happy enough about this fact. It’s a very important milestone this year, I’d say :)

Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED

The Corvette is out of the garage and just before I took it out, I installed the high quality LED daytime running light bars to the front. They are invisible when they are off and nicely glow under the grilles in the nose during the daytime. Although the law requires them to switch on and off automatically depending on the headlight switch setting, I decided to wire them through a separate switch in the “cockpit” so I can always decide myself when I want them on. Interestingly, there is a feature on these lights which automatically dims the lights by about 50% if you shoot 12 Volts to one of the additional wires. S


o, I decided to configure them in an interesting manner somewhat resembling the new Audis. Whenever the turn signal is blinking, the LED light dims to 50% while the turn signal lamp is glowing. It’s a really nice effect and probably also adds a lot to safety. I’ll try

to get a video of that for you in a short while.Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED with Sidemarkers

The Vette passed the technical inspection without issues and we’ve been driving it around for a couple of weeks now. The radiator was leaking from last Autumn so I had that repaired and the driver’s side electrical window had lost the last teeth from the moving mechanism so it wouldn’t move totally up and instead made terrible noises. The teeth were repaired and now everything is OK. Ofcourse I’ve been also configuring the carburetor but seems like I can never get it perfect…

The Suburban decided to fail big time… Driving it a week ago we noticed there was something dripping to the asphalt all the way behind our route and I figured out it was coolant. Firstly I thought that it could be the rear heating system pipes since the leak seemed to be near that area. However, it happened to be the typical Vortec engine issue instead – the intake manifold gasket. G

ot it from the shop yesterday and now it’s OK.

A year ago I had the starter and flywheel replaced on the Chevy. However, where I had that job done the guys apparently didn’t know how to properly install the starter on this car and by now the flywheel looks a bit like an elderly grandma with not much left of her teeth anymore. That was found out yesterday in the shop, as well. I was really mad about this because now I need to replace the flywheel AGAIN. And probably from my own pocket. At least I won’t take any of my cars to that shop from now, that’s a FACT. It was close to my home so it was always comfortable to take the cars there, but their job quality is now beginning to show itself. When fixing the starter a year ago they also managed to mess up the distributor clamps which hold the distributor cap in place. They had fixed that with a pair of cable straints and called it done. Now the distributor housing probably needs replacing, too. How can someone work like this? And how could I be so stupid not to act on these things earlier? Should have complained about their distributor solution at least!

Anyway, a  couple of photos from weeks ago of the Vette with the new lights installed :)

Oh, and a little Winter memory from a couple of months ago…

Estonian Winter Road

Update on my 3 cars

Hey all,

Summer is a busy time and in addition to personal life I also have to do multiple jobs. However, I thought I’d give you an update on how all the 3 cars are currently doing.


This must be my most reliable car of them all. I can say that after the new brakes were installed in Spring, we’ve driven this car around whole summer without any need for maintenance. Well, ofcourse I do the oil changes and filter changes as necessary, but nothing has broken or worn out. Somehow everything just works. Recently though the starter began to demand a bit too much energy and is rotating the engine slower than it did. Just need to take it off some time and send to rebuild. Nothing serious anyway. The retractable lights are having some vibrations when going over bumpy roads and this is a rather usual thing with such lights on any car. The construction and retraction mechanism wears out and causes a play to some degree in the whole construction. We tried to tighten the light systems and had some luck but to make them perfect I have to remove the front bumper assembly and disassemble the lights a bit for better access underneath. This car is certainly turning heads around the city every time we drive it. Some people want to race and the others just want me to spin the tires from traffic lights. The exhaust is really loud now and in the combination with manual gearbox you really get the greatest bang for the buck. All I have to do is take the foot from the gas pedal when the RPM is somewhere around 4500 RPM and the rumble which then comes from the engine is absolutely stunning. I must record it one day for you to hear.

We also attended the end of July American car cruise in Tallinn and we took some nice photos, too. It was rather enjoyable, although I really prefer driving the Vette a bit stronger than just idling in the convoy :)

1979 Corvette C3 in front of Estonian Parliament Building
1979 Corvette C3 in front of Estonian Parliament Building

See more photos of the cruise…

Audi A6:

Our newest family member the year 2005 Audi A6 is behaving nicely. It’s a really economical car with around 31 MPG (7.5 liters per 100 km) average from my experience. Sometimes in the pure city driving it rises a bit but not significantly if you don’t utilize all the 165 kilowatts. I did find out an issue with the car shortly after purchase and it was in the transmission – apparently the torque converter lock was worn out and therefore began causing RPM jump and later really noticeable torque jump at constant speed. Fortunately there are still some nice car stores around – they agreed to fix that issue themselves no questions asked and some time ago I got the car back from the repair. Now everything is perfect. By the way, the torque converter issue seems to be a typical problem on these vehicles when I made a quick search in Google.

All in all, I am VERY glad that I decided to buy the Audi. It’s a very good car in every aspect – nice looking and elegant, very well made interior, great handling, 4 wheel drive, economical yet powerful diesel engine, perfect factory audio system etc. I really recommend it!

Chevy Suburban:

When the Audi came the Suburban was replaced as my daily driver. Since I moved a bit away from the city we have a lot more driving and the fuel economy of the Audi is about 3 times less. At the moment the truck is certainly the least driven of all our cars and sometimes we just take it out for fun. It’s a cool vehicle to drive but I must say that if I just want to go around and drive for pleasure, I prefer the Vette and for all the other needs I use the Audi because it’s just so comfortable and also cheap to drive. We also use the Suburban to tow a trailer when we need to. Sometimes just around the horse farm.

The car itself runs fine and the only issue with it is the steering pump which is leaking. It’s a new (refurbished) pump and it basically began leaking after just a few months from installation. Quite sad, really…