California Rolla

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About California Rolla

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  1. My CE has play of about 3/16 inch when disengaged and other cars have had it, too. I think it's a fairly simple cable winch. I actually like it because if the brake flops back and forth, I know it's not engaged, and that's a good thing if the car is moving. Years ago I burned the living crap out of the brakes on a rented pick-up truck by leaving the parking brake on for a trip through the mountains. I noticed I had screwed up when I got out and smoke was coming out of the wheels. Not too cool a move.
  2. That's weird. Your first time, I'm thinking, you know . . . Santa. But then the second time, that's kind of scary if the lights run down your battery and leave you stranded. I just went out to my 05 CE and found that without a key in the ignition, if you pull *back* on the stem, the headlights come on as long as you hold it, but a spring turns them off when you let go. Could it be that the spring is frozen/worn/combo of the two and the handle somehow settles into the on position? On my '86 Camry I loved the feature that you could leave on your headlights and they would automatically turn OFF. That's when I really got into the habit of turning my lights on during the day for safety. With daytime running lights on the Corolla it's no longer a conscious issue. Does anyone know if Corolla headlights are eventually supposed to extinguish themselves when the engine is off for awhile? It's hard to believe that designers would back off from such a great innovation. No idea how the mechanism worked. It sounds you have it in reverse.
  3. Thanks, Tinto. I think I'll get some, since style rules here in California.
  4. First, check your trunk for deviled eggs you may have forgotten. Then call your dealer. From everything I've heard, Toyota has addressed this problem in the recent models.
  5. I couldn't help but notice that the web site says that Canadians idle their cars too much. I'm not Canadian (although I descend from some), have spent time in cold weather and shared the tendency not to want to let the car freeze back up if I could avoid it. Plus, I was on a web site for woodworking and read posts from rural Canadian guys telling one another to be careful driving in winter weather. I got the distinct impression that they were well aware that a breakdown on a deserted road was much more dangerous than in a warmer clime. Heat equals life and when that car heater shuts off . . . . To our Canadian friends, stay warm and please be careful out there. And don't idle so much! (just kidding)
  6. I've had a LOT more experience with my new Hydroedges in rainy driving out here in (formerly) sunny Southern California. They are awesome! Driving at freeway speeds through puddles results in zero hydroplaning. They grip the road as though it were dry pavement. Wet roads are just not an issue. It's like driving a different car. I look forward to driving in the rain. They were not cheap but I am so glad I decided not to risk my neck to save a few bucks. I ended up just tossing the virtually new OEM Integrities -- what a waste. Oh well, I'm looking forward to 90,000 safer miles and not looking back. I know I must sound like a shill for Michelin, but I have no relationship to the company other than that of ecstatic customer. I'm going to give my wife some Hydroedges next. I vaguely remember there was some glitch on one web site that made the Hydroedge not appear as an available fit for the '05 Corolla. But they are made in a size that fits just fine.
  7. Isn't most of the important manufacture, like parts forging and welding, done by robots? Great engineering extends to the manufacturing process; assembly is a technology unto itself. With all due respect to auto workers, they are only human. They would be the first to acknowledge that modern cars have tolerances and precision that go well beyond the skill of hands of mere flesh and blood. These days, if one car is a "lemon," you can usually expect they all will be. The vast majority of problems arise out of mistakes in design, not variabilityor human error during assembly. I'm not worried about where my Toyota was built.
  8. How many people have mudguards, are they dealer or generic, and how do they do? I don't have mudguards and it seems like the paint in the wheelwells is just waiting to get dinged up by gravel, (and eventually start to [shudder] rust). Obviously, first choice would be some of them metallic naked lady silhouette mudguards, but doubt they come in Corolla size.
  9. Gee I hope idling doesn't cause damage. We spend half our time here in Southern California waiting through lights and sitting in traffic jams, all in idle.
  10. It's been raining cats, dogs and Shetland ponies here in normally sunny Southern California. Which gave me a chance to really test my new Hydroedges! Took out my CE on some mostly vacatn rainy roads and did my level best to skid. Took several turns faster than I would on dry pavement: couldn't get them to skid. Braked hard, then harder: no skid. I finally jammed on the brakes really hard and got them to skid a few inches. It was like stopping on dry pavement. These Hydroedges stick like glue! Great handling on wet and dry pavement. Snow is not an issue here, of course. Very glad I switched out of the Integrities. Since the Hydroedges are warranteed for 90,000 miles, figure I can enjoy them for a big chunk of the car's lifespan.
  11. That really is very decent of Hotchkis to post. If I decide to get sway bars, I know the brand I will buy.
  12. I ground the gears again today. It's third gear and I'm pretty sure that it's the seating in the Corolla that is making the reach a little bit of a stretch. I have long legs and long arms, but I think the arms are losing. Just have to make a conscious effort to fully extend that stick up to gear number 3. Sure enjoy driving my Corolla as I get used to it.
  13. Cost me $492.20 for four Hydroedges, installed with the disposal fes etc. paid, at Costco. Haven't driven much on them yet, but see a marked improvment over the Integritys.
  14. Very interesting, ILO. Well, for some reason I've been grinding my dogs! Since I've still got fewer than 2,000 miles logged, figure I'll get the hang of it before I wear those pups down too far. I don't know if other people feel this in the Corolla stick, but it's almost as though some kind of electronic device is actually engaging the clutch. What I mean is that sometimes there is a split second between letting out the clutch and the gears engaging, almost like it's monitoring whether it wants to mesh just yet. Very smooth mind you, and like it's making sure no gear jamming can take place. Sometimes I feel like letting out the clutch is only putting in a request for a new gear, which arrives on its own schedule. This new fangled technology . . . When I decided to get a manual, my mechanic wondered, "Why?" He said automatic shifters had advanced to the point where they get fine gas mileage and save you a lot of trouble. I knew he was right and wondered why it was so important to me. I concluded that I'm something of a control freak and want to be in charge of which gear my car is in, even if it's wrong! I have to say the Corollla is a tight, refined mechanism and I had to muster more finesse and precision to become one with the transmission. More like setting a Swiss watch than turning the handle on a meat grinder. Kind of learned to drive all over again when getting the hang of downshifting. Now I don't downshift as a rule, because it wastes gas and is hard on the gearbox. But it can take the place of brakes in a pinch and keep you on a mountain road without overheating your brakes. And it's another way to exert control over the beast. For me at least, that control is the definition of driving versus feeling like I'm just along for the ride. Heck if they still sold hand-cranked starters, I would probably buy one of those rather than depend on the ever-fickle 12-volt. And I still think this whole electricity thing might turn out to be just a fad . . .
  15. My perception of the amount of power in the Corolla may be a tad skewed since I migrated from a very old Camry. And I checked a list of "muscle cars" and did not find the CE. But when I take that tachomter up right near that red area -- danged if this sucker doesn't haul. The combination of light weight and the full 130 HP that you get at 6000 rpm is plenty of power for me. I mean gee whiz, look at the stats on how quickly it can get to 60 mph: a little over 8 seconds, which is not all that boring. Car and Driver were talking about the XRS model here: "It will strafe the anti-destination leaguers as they meander—cell phone in ear—toward some distant and unachievable terminus. Actually, the strange high-rev switchover point for the 2ZZ engine's variable valve timing and lift system almost begs a bank-heist-getaway driver technique. The high-lift cam is where the real excitement lives, and it's particularly effective in taller gears, where the thrust stays on longer. So you find yourself shrieking around freeways in third and fourth gears, zinging the engine wherever you go for maximum response." Now I know the CE has a different engine and 40 fewer horses, and it takes about a second longer to get to 60, but this is a good description of the Jekyll and Hyde split personality between the "good" or low-rev Corolla and the "bad" high-rev Corolla. The "switchover" mode makes it pretty hard to get bored -- in first gear alone I can launch to freeway speeds, and shift directly into fourth. Just like the C&D writer indicates, when I want to zing forward on the freeway, gears like third come to mind. Thing is, I usually want to be good and do not want power (which I have to pay for in gas mileage) all the time or at low revs, so it's perfect for an economy car (with an afterburner switch). When you make full use of the CE's 130 horses, it really isn't boring at all!