Monday, March 29, 2021

Cars, cars, cars...

 So, my son's 2009 Mazda 6 shredded its serpentine belt a few weeks back. It looked something like this:

After pulling the belt off, we found that the tensioner wasn't spinning, which was what was shredding the belt. So we pulled that off, and it looked like this:

Pretty sure that outer circle should be concentric with the inner one, not offset. That's a lot of rust, too. So, we ordered these parts:

Now, my son had to go out of town, so we borrowed my parents' van, which he took to a D-Now that he was leading. That Saturday, with a little help from my wife, we put the tensioner and the new serpentine belt back on, and everything seemed to work great! I also installed the replacement washer fluid reservoir, to replace the one that was damaged in an accident last year. During that process, I had to hammer a little of the steel back into place that had been twisted during the accident. I managed to clip my thumb at one point with the hammer, through the glove I was wearing and across/under the thumbnail. Do you recall that I'm on a dual anti-platelet treatment? Here's the result:

A week and a couple days later and it's still looking pretty much like that (just waiting on the under layer to heal and push the dried blood blister out). Still, I got it done, got the car put back together, and all seemed well. Took the car to get a couple new tires (as two of them were quite worn; it needs an alignment pretty badly) and filled it up with gas, too. It was a good, productive day. We even replaced some of the black tape with red tape after reinstalling the passenger headlight (which we removed to 1) replace the washer fluid reservoir; and 2) make it easier to get to some of the areas where the serpentine belt went). The red tape isn't a perfect match, of course, but it's nicer, I think, than the black (which is still present on the front, as we didn't replace all of it yet), and looks something like this:

My son got home that Saturday evening, and took his car to church the next day... and it was making an awful rattling sound (which it hadn't made the day prior). After we got it home, I made this recording:

After sharing with a few mechanic friends, it's pretty much been determined it's rod knock. My only question for my friend Murphy is why it couldn't have started that knock the day prior, before I filled it with fuel and put two new tires on it or even before we put the time, effort, and money into replacing the serpentine belt and tensioner (close to $200 for just the tires, well over $200 with tires, fuel, and the new tensioner and belt). That was an irritating day.

But, we still had the borrowed van (my parents were out of town for a couple of weeks), and that was quite useful in the interim. Since then, the boy has bought his first car on his own,  2021 Hyundai Kona. Looks a little like this:

He really likes that car (but got a nail in the left rear tire sometime yesterday; he did get that patched today, as it was cleanly in the tread). Also, it was a good experience at Allen Turner Hyundai in Pensacola - highly recommended if you want a new Hyundai (or Genesis, as they also sell those). Or perhaps a Chevy at their dealership in Crestview which is where we bought our Chevy Volt a few years back. I've also heard good things about Terry Thompson Chevy in Daphne, which is where we get our Volt serviced (the reason we went over to Crestview to buy the Volt is because of the fact that, when we bought it, they had both 2016 and 2017 Volts on the lot there, and the one 2015 Volt at a significant discount - in fact, it was the same price new as a used 2015 Volt with 10 or 20 thousand miles on it, and the new one was a Premiere model (uplevel) vs the base model used one, and the used one was also in Pensacola, whereas Terry Thompson didn't have any Volts in stock at the time we were shopping).

Anyway... anyone want to buy a 2009 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring - that probably needs a new engine, but has two literally brand new tires on it? It has all the goodies - heated leather seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, sunroof, blind spot monitor, automatic HID headlights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, heated auto-dimming side mirrors, etc.

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