Friday, January 18, 2008

Corolla - The End

Its been a while since I updated about my car so here it goes.

I did eventually buy the K&N air filter like I was planning. It definitely gave the car a boost in performance and gas mileage. The gas mileage of the car has been very good. On most tanks of driving to work and home, I get usually about 32-34 mpg.

Since this was a used car at 77,000 miles there were several parts that needed replacing. The struts on the car were the original when I purchased it so I updated them all to KYB struts. They give the car a nice ride and great handling. I also replaced most other parts dealing with the suspension and steering like the sway bar and ball bearings. All these parts were just wearing old and needed replacing. I didn't run into any issues with any parts breaking or failing. The engine and transmission both ran smooth.

The one issue I ran into was that the car started to burn oil. After 3000 miles the car would be below the add oil mark on the dipstick. I had put in some engine restore from Wal-Mart into it. It is supposed to seal any scratches and restore compression. In lots of cases it also stops oil burning because most causes of oil consumption are from oil seeping through scratches.

Unfortunately I'll never know if the oil burning was resolved or not. I was traveling the day after a big snowstorm and ended up rear ending another car. Soon after that I was then rear ended by a truck. My car was declared as totaled. Sad but true.

It was a good car while it lasted. There were several features the car was lacking though that I would have liked, the main one being cruise control. So now that I'm in the market for a car I guess I can make sure that the next car has the things the old one was lacking.

For now though, I guess this car will be laid to rest.

Here you can find pictures of my car before and after the accident:

Here you can see information regarding the cars mileage and maintenance:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Corolla Update

I've had the car now more almost 4 months and have driven well over 3,000 miles. I've been driving it to work and back as well as across the state to see friends and attend events.

Having no cruise control I thought would make traveling more difficult. It was a little challenging at first, but you get used to it. It also tends to keep you a little more alert because you're having to pay attention on a regular basis.

Well, with the car, my first travel up north, I got about 37 mpg on the tank of gas. This had a combination of city driving, highway driving and back country road driving. I was very pleased with these results.

For Christmas, I went home and which is about a 300 mile trip. This is all highway miles too. From these tanks of gas I found I was getting 35 mpg. I was happy, but I was hoping it to be higher. I was driving around 75 mph and it was raining most of the way, so that most likely hindered my mileage.

The following weekend I made another trip and drove 65 mph the whole way while following a friend. This tank I got 45 mpg. I'm not going to be able to drive 65 mph on the freeway all the time, but if I can keep it at about 70, then I'll most likely be able to get around 40 mpg which I think is a very good compromise.

I'm looking at ways to improve it even more. One thing I plan on getting the the next couple of weeks is a new K&N air filter. I think I'm just going to get the filter to go into my current setup, but there are the kits for my car that can be installed, and are supposed to increase horsepower. I'm not sure though if this is a good thing. I'm afraid it will actually harm my gas mileage.

All in all, I'm very happy with my car and things couldn't be going better.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

From a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue to a 2002 Toyota Corolla CE

For 6 years I'd owned the same car. A 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue. I loved that car. It was black with a red interior. It had a 5.2 liter V-8 with a 2 barrelcarbeurator hooked up to a 3-speed transmission. A month ago I learned that thesuspension was about to bust and it would cost over $500 to fix it. I was veryunhappy to hear this news. Escpecially since that was more money than the carwas worth. I made the decision to get rid of the car. Shortly after I moved inwith my brother as I was starting a new job. The first day of my new job wasalso the same day I purchased my first car. I had scoped it out a couple daysprior. It was a 2002 Toyota Corrola with 77,000 miles. This was less than halfthe miles on my previous car not to mention 15 years newer.

The Corrola is the CE model, white with a gray interior. It has a 1.8 literengine with a 4-speed automatic transmission. This was quite the change for me.First off, I went from having a V-8 to a 4 cylinder. I went from carbureated tofuel injected and from pushrod to DOHC. Its funny because the Corolla actuallyaccelerates quicker than my Chrysler did. I also now have overdrive with the newcar, something my old car was definately lacking. Another thing I gained arestruts over the old coiled springs method. The biggest change, and the reason Ichose this car, is the gas mileage. The Fifth Avenue would get about 22 mpg whenI did all highway driving but would drop below 15 mpg during the winter monthwhich made it very costly to drive. The Corolla is getting me over 30 mpg, whichis exactly what I wanted.

As great as the new car is, there are some things missing. One was the powerwindows and locks. Towards the end of the the Chrysler's life they stoppedworking so this wasn't a huge deal. Another thing I lost was the wiper settings.On the Fifth Avenue I had plenty of control over the frequency of the wipers. Onthe Corolla I only have fast or slow, although you can hit it to do one quickswipe which is quite handy. Something else I'm missing are my nice andcomfortable power seats. Now I have just plain gray seats that don't offer muchcomfort. Last but not least, I don't have any cruise control.

All in all, I love the choice I made and would make the same decision again if Ihad too. Sure the car could be better with the extra features, but as it is itsgood enough for me. I bought a custom plate for it so it matches the car welland I have several upgrades for it planned already.

Here are the specifications of my car:
2002 Toyota Corolla CE
77,000 miles
White with Gray interior
1.8 liter DOHC 125 hp 125 lb-ft
4-Speed automatic with overdrive
30/39 mpg (city/highway)