My Audi is now officially sold!

So I decided to sell the Audi. The contract became effective officially on Friday. Me and my girlfriend loved the A6, so why did we sell it? Well, it was indeed a very good car. Saying good, I mean good to drive and with great performance. It wasn’t as reliable as I expected, though. I had never owned a German car before and didn’t really know what to expect. I probably spent around 1500 EUR on its repairs over the one and a half years I drove it. Even before selling it to the new owner, I fixed all the important things that had come up and he got a nicely running car without remarkable flaws. I wanted to make the deal so that I knew I was selling a working car and that I could sleep well after giving the car over to the new owner. We had a 14 day return period which ended on Friday and if I had left some issues unfixed, they certainly would have come up sooner or later.

Reliability wasn’t the main selling reason. I’ve had the Chevy Suburban for several years and altough I have tried selling it once, I finished that process before it really went to a deal. I’ve decided that this Suburban is a car I want to own for years to come since it’s a car with good history and it sure is remarkably reliable. However, when I had the Audi I was always missing the driving experience of the Chevy which I do love. It just has its own specialities which attach me to this car so strong. It doesn’t have full time 4×4, it doesn’t have all the electronics, it doesn’t have the same fuel economy FOR SURE, but it’s still awesome. It is one of those cars which has a soul and it felt like the Audi didn’t. The Audi messed with my nerves a lot of times in situations where you just didn’t want any trouble. I don’t even want to get to the details cause I’m not sure how many of you are interested in them, but well, I hadn’t had any other car behaving like this. The Chevy has had its problems which have always been fixed but none of its issues have been so urgent to fix that I couldn’t even drive the truck and most of the things have always been an easy repair. The engine was messing up last winter by not starting up properly and consuming too much fuel with Check Engine light on also. I remember I thought that it might be something serious with the electronics. However, it ended up being the water temp. sensor located on the thermostat housing. Disconnect the single cable, take the wheel wrench, screw the old sensor off, install the new one and that’s it. 13 EUR well spent. The truck ran a bit rough right after and then stabilized shortly. The check engine light later went off and haven’t seen it ever since. I think the only very serious issue with the truck was this Summer when the intake manifold started to leak coolant quite rapidly and I had to drive it to the service shop where it was fixed for 200 EUR.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved the Audi and it served us well during the period we had it. Basically, I decided that since I already owned the Suburban, the Audi didn’t really have a proper status in our fleet of cars anymore as we are now living in town again and the distances driven are not so long. Good luck for the new owner and happy new kilometres!

Things going on with my cars these days:

The Suburban is working nicely and we serviced it a couple of days ago which included oil change and replacement of air, oil and fuel filters. The usual stuff.

Today I bought new tires for the Suburban. Since the winter is coming, it was about time to find a good replacement for the current Cooper Discoverer M+S tires which don’t have much tread left. So I was able to acquire four little used BF Goodrich All Terrains! They are basically like new and I got them for like half the price of new ones. What a nice deal, really. Will be installed next week and I will then post pictures, too.

The Suburban is still lacking some fine audio equipment. Tomorrow I will be testing an Alpine subwoofer with a friend and I will probably buy it to improve the bass effect in the car. It will certainly improve it a lot, that’s for sure.

The Corvette is in its garage and the yearly inspection has expired. I won’t inspect it this year anymore, it’s put away for Winter and waiting for next Spring. Meanwhile I am planning some engine work during winter since the engine is sometimes puffing out some blue smoke and I will check other items as well. I will work on the interior and try to fix some paint issues. I will be updating you fellas here on my blog.

So, that’s it for now. Enjoy a memorable picture of the Audi taken last winter. It looked nice:

Winter in Estonia - Audi A6 C6 3.0 TDI Quattro

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

Christmas Time! And Our Winter Adventures…

First of all, I wish a Merry Christmas and wonderful holidays to everyone reading my blog! It has been a real pleasure having you as my reader and I hope you all continue following this blog next year as well.

So, yesterday it was Christmas Eve and another snow storm began here in Estonia. Just like any other day, huh? Nop – this time I swear it’s worse than the one before. There’s already just so much snow that you wouldn’t believe. I don’t want to know right now what we’re gonna have by Spring. Anyway, we drove the Audi quite a lot yesterday and suddenly we noticed the red battery light had come on. Well, I didn’t think of anything too bad then since it could have been just a temporary sensor issue or whatever these computer-filled machines can come up with any day. So we arrived at our countryside and had our dinner etc. We had to take some guests to town and then the Audi started up nicely although the battery light came on again. The snow had already built up a nice layer over the little road we have there and we barely managed to get through. As soon as we got through the small road, the car began acting weird. Front lights went yellowish, ESP warning came, then ABS and suddenly all the dash went dark, then the exterior lights went out. We couldn’t see anything, just the engine was still running. We managed to drive it back through that horrible road and then the engine began acting up so we parked the Audi and shut it down. Now it’s sitting there waiting for a doctor. Will let you know how it goes…

Belarus JUMZ Tractor Excavator Escaping from SnowThis morning we woke up and found SO MUCH new snow that it was just hard to believe. Our little road was so full of snow that we didn’t even think of plowing it with our tractor since it would have been a huge mess. So we decided to plow a whole new road through the forest which ended up also on the same main road we use. That wasn’t very easy either. The Belarus Jumz russian tractor from the 1980’s is a real beast and it’s incredible how nicely it’s able to pull itself through everything. However, today we managed to get it stuck at least 3 times. The last time which was just some meters away from the main road, the tractor skidded a bit to the side and got so stuck that the only way to get it out was to use its excavator in the back. It took more than 30 minutes and in the middle of the process the engine died and it took a while to get it started again. Probably the fuel line got clogged somewhere.Belarus JUMZ Tractor Excavator Escaping from Snow

 

 

Once the road was open, I drove the Suburban out and it was pretty incredible how well it drove once you have gained some speed. Just a lot of throttle and through you go.

Here’s a picture of the larger motorway, pretty bad…

A Lot of Snow in Estonian Winter - Pärnu Motorway

Winter is Getting Deep Here – More Snow To Come

Hey all,

Just thought I’d show you some pictures of the snow we have here right now. As you can see, there is really a lot everywhere by now and thank god I drive an Audi Quattro. It’s the perfect car here although sometimes the snow gets so thick that a vehicle with more ground clearance would be even better.

We are expecting a great amount of extra snow from tomorrow and perhaps about 20 cm or 0.6 feet of increase in the snow layer.