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About Ti-Jean

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  1. The Sonata is doing fine but I only have 600 km on it. General level of comfort, NVH, roominess and performance is way ahead of my Corolla, that's for sure. The Corolla is a perfectly good compact car but my mistake when choosing the '05 3 years ago was going down from a Honda Accord, a car that I really liked. First of all, everyboydy knows that the Gen 9's driving position is awkward. I had to have my feet too close (especially with winter boots on) in order to have the steering wheel still too far away and the seatback too upright for comfort. I trimmed my dead pedal which helped but the lack of a telescoping wheel made getting the right driving position impossible. My Sonata desn't have the telescoping wheel but the seat-wheel-pedals relationship is good from the outset. Listening to the radio or CD on the highway was next to impossible. Too much road noise coming from the floorpan, fenderwells and firewall I guess. I put better 3 way speakers in the doors and saw no change. On bad pavement and concrete highways and worst of all, in rainy weather, it was painful. It's a car that made you drive at slower speeds on the highway. The suspension was a bit jiggly on bad city streets, read everywhere in my area. Things were better with 195/65-15 Yokohama TRZ's I put on it but not the best. The car got tossed around quite a bit in windy conditions on the highway. Light, narrow and tall cars can't defy the laws of physics no matter what. But as a city car, it was great. The interior was well laid out but contained too much hard plastic causing various intermittent rattles. Heating/ventilation controls were of the ancient cable operated variety and felt cheap. Too bad because the platform felt very stiff. Engine management and electronic throttle (DBW) were less than perfect. I had the no-start condition once in a while after being stopped for a couple hours and also began to experience the hunting fast idle last winter in the -12 to -15C range. The fast idle was too fast (up to 2000 RPM) and throttle just off idle was jerky when cold. Also, the engine RPM was always racing up on a fast 3-4 and 4-5 upshift. Like the electronic throttle was behind the curve for a fraction of a second on those occasions and made me feel I was shifting like an amateur, though I drove manual transmissions all my life and never experienced this behavior in any other car. Gearing of the 5 speed was also less than perfect. 4th was too tall and close to 5th which left a big hole between 3rd and 4th and killed acceleration in 4th. The Corolla would last for ever but was lacking in general refinement and details surprising coming from a company like Toyota. I would have kept it maybe 3 more years (like I usually do) but the 4K discount on an '08 Sonata was one I couldn't resist. Cash deal mind you and fully paid for so it's not like I did a dumb thing to refinance a car that was not actually fully paid for before re-embarking on another loan or something. Toyota is taking a big chance by delaying the 10th gen one more year, so let's hope it meets and exceeds all expectations so it can go chasing Civics, 3's, Lancers, Sentras, etc. and have a chance of winning the war instead of relying on the Toyota name and typical Toyota reliability and resale value to enrole new customers. On that subject, I had an e-mail conversation last week with a lady I know (low 50's) who's been driving Hondas for 20 years and she just traded her '04 Corolla for an '07 Elantra. Things are not static and do actually change in the auto-industry with newcomers Hyundai/Kia starting to attract old time Honda and Toyota repeat buyers. I also being one of them.
  2. Yep! I guess that I wasn't completely happy with my Corolla and fell for the $4000. discount on the '08 Sonata GL with manual transmission. Saw the car in a dealer lot last wednesday and picked it up the next day! Here is my story in this thread I opened in Canadian Driver. Scroll down for some pictures of the new beast.,52971.0.html To all the nice people I met on this board, I say thanks for your insight and passion. Au revoir!
  3. If you REALLY want whitewalls, you should go all out and get a Landau vinyl roof with opera windows...
  4. If you are more into durability I'd go for these; I put a set on mine when the car was practically new and upgraded to 195/65-15 as on the S and LE. They are great in the wet but I use a dedicated set of wheels and tires for the winter so can't comment on their winter behavior.
  5. This is probably how I got a LE armrest for my CE on eBay for about $15. US. My stock cover now sits somewhere in my garage.
  6. It is certainly possible. If her car was built after the TSB date, then the running change was already made and all cars made thereafter would have used the newly recommended oil. Toyota changed several things from one year to another in the Corolla and Matrix. IIRC, Toyota increased the oil capacity by just moving the marks up on the dipstick, the crankcase isn't larger. I wonder why they did that. The '05 models don't seem to have a problem running on less oil, and to my knowledge, Toyota has never told '05 owners to put more oil in their cars. Exactly. I actually made the demonstration on BITOG with pictures of both oil dipsticks side by side. So now, I don't really worry if my '05 is slightly overfull. The '06 Matrix was made around October '05 when we took delivery in November. So it was made before the TSB but with the bigger oil pan and 5W-30 recommendation.
  7. I couldn't agree more with everything you said here. Any good 5W-20 won't destroy your engine before the end of the warranty and never ever use the heavy 40 and 50 weight oil as you engine won't be better off with it over the long term and you'll pay the price in poorer fuel economy and performance. If I were you, I might just go with a thin 5W-30 that will shear to a 5W-20 in short order anyway. The few dollars saved here will compensate your infinitesimal loss at the gas pump. Personally, I run Esso XD-3 full synthetic 0W-30 in mine. It's only available in Canada and has a big following over at BITOG and with the cognocenti. And remember that your driving habits will do much more for your mileage than a change from 5W-30 to 5W-20 ever will. BTW, I conclude that my GF's '06 Matrix with the bigger oil capacity (4.2 liters) had the new 5W-20? If so, that oil just looked completely finished when I changed it after only 4 months and less than 5000 km.
  8. Yep, all we have is the dome light and we don't need automatic lights because we have DRL's
  9. Exactly. My '05 doesn't have one but my ex-girlfriend '06 Matrix XR has the maplights. Both cars without sunroofs or auto-dimming mirror.
  10. Txs for the info montreal. BTW, I bought my Corolla at the same dealership you mentionned which is about 15 minutes from where I live. I wonder if they have heard of any '05 with the hunting idle issue and if so, if the fix is the same as your 2003?
  11. Shells website claims: "Shell Spirax GSX has been shown to work at lower operating temperatures in the FZG test rig. " No doubt that these products preform better at low temperatures. Too bad that draining the 1zz-fe manual transmission requires accessing a difficult to reach bolt, unlike the drainplug in the base of the oil pan. The transaxle drain bolt is no more difficult to reach than the oil pan's but you need a 24 mm socket and a length of plastic tubing with a funnel for the refill. I'm with gdes1 for any info you might get regarding the actual work done on your car, TSB, etc. I talked to my friend with the 2003 Vibe this week and his car is still having the issue now at 110 000 km. At my request, he reported the issue to his Pontiac Dealer (Candiac) before the end of his powertrain warranty but my guess is that they won't be very receptive at looking over it for free if a fix becomes available. Txs
  12. Anything that makes the load lighter on the engine will result in the cold idle rpms being higher than normal. If the rpms get too high, then you get that pulsing. Motors which have had 3 minutes to warm up begin to receive less fuel and the rpms stay below the danger point. I did not know that they make synthetic oil for the transaxle. With the manual transmission in neutral, there are still a few gears spinning freely in the lubricant, so if the lubricant is thinner at cold temperatures, there should be slightly less drag on the motor and consequently a slightly higher rpm for the same amount of fuel whose precise measurement is determined in advance. I used Shell Spirax ASX 75W-90. It's a full synthetic, same weight as the stock lubricant. I noticed no change in shifting during the summer or when the transmission is warm but a significant improvement in winter.
  13. Funny but my 05 has started to behave like yours recently. I can clearly see the rpm pulse between 2000 and 1600 when I put the car in neutral before stopping with only a few seconds warmup with temperatures in the -10C to -20C range. Each cycle lasts approx. 2 seconds. I had never seen this behavior in the past 2 winters. Could it be because the synthetic oil I put in the manual transaxle last summer is so slick when cold? The transmission actually shifts like a knife through hot butter now when cold. My cold fast idle now is more around 1900-2000 whereas it was more like 1800 before. Car only has 13 000 km and Esso XD-3 full syn. 0W-30 in the crankcase.
  14. I wonder what Montreal has to say about this simple fix? How come Toyota engineers and technical support have apparently gone to great lenghts to find a solution for this issue and oversaw this simple solution?
  15. Check e-Bay muzak. I got a nice new set-in-the-box 15" Corolla S hubcaps for my CE last year for about $50. shipping included to Canada. Those go on my stock 3 season wheels and I bought a cheap set at Wal-Mart for my winter wheels. Never lost a wheel cover in more than 25 years. Probably because I always change my wheels myself and take a close look at my hubcaps if I have to go for new tires for example.