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baadpuppy

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About baadpuppy

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  • Birthday 12/14/1971
  1. Honestly, I would say that your short commute is your biggest problem. I used to drive a dodge dakota back and forth to work. When I lived 6 blocks from work (unfortunately having to cross a major highway or I would've walked), I averaged 7-9mpg. On the last highway trip, I got 18mpg. That's a huge difference, and the only real difference is that 7-9mpg was all city and short trips, and 18mpg was all interstate/highways. When I first got that truck I actually got 22mpg once. My corolla has a running average of 35.14mpg in the past 12 months. That's 24,487.8 miles, 696.949 gallons. It has peaked at 42mpg, and gotten as poor as 31mpg. Most of that is due to driving conditions. good luck, jim
  2. My parents' 2007 Camry has remote trunk release. I think it is a separate button on the remote though. On their car, there is the opposite problem... if you turn the dash bright enough to see, the blue bezel lighting in the center console is way too bright. jim
  3. Thanks Fishexpo, that's good to know. Next time I am at the dealership I'll pick up some of those tall filters. I mis-remembered my odometer reading, and am about to roll 170,000 not 180,000, which means it was 12,000 miles from the last oil change, not 22,000. That makes me feel better.... a little anyway. Yet another thing I need to start managing better. Of course, 7500 miles per change would make it less of a chore. As it is, I need to get 2 more new tires, rotate the fronts to the back, get the brakes checked, and find out where the vibration in the front end is coming from. Oh, and I need a new windshield before march (inspection date) as I managed to crack mine rather good. jim
  4. My 98 is about to roll over 170,000 in the next week or two. Fishexpo, what is the "tall" oil filter? 7500 miles between oil changes sounds good. At 550 miles per week, I was looking at every 5 to 6 weeks for an oil change at 3000 between. 7500 between would be awesome. That'd be every 13 to 14 weeks. I'm ashamed to admit that my last oil change was approximately 12,000 miles ago. The oil is black, and was 2 quarts low this morning. I added 2 quarts of cheap dino oil (was synthetic originally) and a bottle of STP oil treatment, and also bought a normal filter and the synthetic oil I'll need to change the oil this weekend. I'm still getting 35mpg average, the car still pulls strong (but not as strong as it did when I bought it 11 months/24,000 miles ago). I'm also planning to change the plugs and wires back to toyota plugs and wires this weekend. And I'm finally going to get around to changing the tranny fluid to synthetic. Still, the car is doing great. This time next year I expect to see it over 200,000 miles easy. Assuming I keep up with the maintenance anyway. jim edit: corrected because I mis-remembered the miles by about 10,000, approaching 170,000 not 180,000.
  5. Yeah, I find it difficult to drive 2 vehicles at once. I live about an hour south of where all the "amenities" are, including my place of employment. It isn't easy to get assistance arranging to get a vehicle worked on. And I really hate to burn vacation time just to get vehicle maintenance done. I would have hated to have to sleep at work for 2 nights while my car was in the shop. Plus there aren't many good places to eat in walking distance of the office. By towing, I can perform the "trick" of getting 2 vehicles an hour away from home in one shot without a second driver, and then I can leave one of the two at a garage to be worked on while driving the other for "normal" business. jim
  6. sounds about right... kind of a ft ft ft ft that gets louder as engine load goes up and faster as RPM goes up. Sounds like air escaping from a small hole under pressure. I didn't realize how annoying it had gotten. When I moved the car around to hook it up to the truck, I was amazed at how quiet the car was again. Anyway, there are pictures of the truck/car tow setup located here starting with file 100_0741.jpg (8th picture). The car tows great, especially with the front end being freshly aligned and the two new tires. jim
  7. completely forgot to mention what the problem was. The donut gasket was leaking, and the egr tube had burned out. jim
  8. Like so many others with a 98 corolla, I too had an exhaust leak noise under the hood. It started to develop the first month I had the car, and got progressively worse over time. I figured it was the donut gasket or the flex pipe, and just had in the back of my mind that I really needed to get it fixed sometime. Within the last 2 or 3 weeks, the leak got really bad, and I started smelling exhaust fumes inside the car. I moved the carbon monoxide detector from the motorhome to the corolla and it went off a few times, so the urgency was definitely increased. Well, not wanting to do the labor involved, I decided to pay someone else to sweat for hours under the hood. This week I took it to the mechanic, and they got a late start on it yesterday. The finished up this morning. Labor: $112.50 Parts: $31.36 Shop Expense: $3.60 Tax: $1.57 Total: $149.03 Not sounding like a ricer: priceless. And now I just have the chore of towing the car home after work. towing a car in rush hour traffic... yipee! jim
  9. I've learned that Sears (yes, Sears) has the tire I want, and will install a metal valve stem if you ask them to. They use chrome plated, but I don't care about that. The tire pressure sensors weigh 2/3rds of an ounce, and they say that you don't need to rebalance for that tiny weight. Looking at how the hub cap keeps the valve stem from moving much anyway, I doubt there'll be much trouble at all. The system I'm looking at is the Pressure Pro tire pressure monitoring system. So, looks like I'm all set. Thanks for all the responses! jim
  10. So I need to replace a couple of tires now, and since I tow my corolla with my motorhome, I know I'll need to put a tire pressure monitoring system on in the near future. The one I'm looking at (pressure pro) simply replaces the valve cap. However, due to shoddy rubber valve stems, most RVers now recommend metal valve stems all around, as they don't wear out as quickly. I'm wondering 1) has anyone installed metal valve stems on a corolla (8th gen specifically) and 2) if so, did it cause any problems or reduce any problems? Thanks, jim
  11. Yesterday evening I finished the toad wiring connector installation. Just had time to test it before it was too dark to see to work. Took some pictures today. Low res pics are here. Hi res pictures are here. I'm not all that happy with the install. Finding a good place to put the connector on the front of an aerodynamic car isn't the most fun in the world. Also wanted the toad end to be near one of the A arms, so the options were limited. Anyway, it is done, and more or less permanent. The cosmetics aren't so great. And yes, I know I need to wash my car. jim
  12. Just did mine last week. Easiest way is to remove the headlamp assembly. There are 2 bolts that hold it in, and a couple of slide-in clips. The bolt towards the fender is about 1-2 inches in from the phillips head screw that holds the marker lamp. The other one goes in from the front of the radiator support bracket. You'll see the headlight adjustment screw, the bolt holding the back part of that is the right one. They're both 10mm. Once they're removed, the side closest to the fender has to be lifted (I use a large flat tip screwdriver) to get the two plastic pieces to separate. They are a slide connector. Once that is loose, the other side, below the adjustment screw, is a platic clip hooked over something, and you have to lift it as well. I found it helpful to remove the 10mm bolt holding the top edge of the bumper so I can wiggle things around to get it loose. Once the headlamp is hanging out, you can easily disconnect the socket from the bulb. Then remove the rubber seal, and the bulb replacement will be obvious from that point. Assembly is the reverse of disassembly, only with more cussing. It took me about 15 to 20 minutes to do both sides. Oh, and do NOT touch the glass on the bulb itself. You probably don't need that warning, but still... Have fun and good luck! jim
  13. My old tow dolly which I sold a couple of years ago didn't have any auxilliary brakes either, and I even towed a 5000 pound truck on it once. Of course, when I had it I never really gave it much thought... if a vehicle fit on there, I figured it was ok. I don't think California is one of the places being agressive about those laws. There might even be exceptions for tow dollies. I know a lot of the uhaul ones don't have braking. Those that are enforcing generally don't pull you over for that... it tends to be enforced as part of some other action. It took me a while to pin down all the technical terms. There are a few others as well. For example, on the tow bar, there is the coupler (attaches to a ball) or the receiver bar. Then there are the A arms, and then the safety bar (runs parallel to the bumper between the two tow brackets provided by the base plate kit). The base plate kit can have a number of parts depending on the vehicle. Towing 4 down is rather neat. You just drive up, hitch, connect safety cables, connect the wiring, release e-brake, put tranny in neutral, turn key to acc and back to lock leaving the key in (unlocks the steering), and go. Once I get my aux. braking, I'll also have an air line to hook up and break-away connector to attach. With the tow dolly, you still have to hitch, connect safety cables/chains, connect the wiring, and release the e-brake. Before that, you have to put the thing on the dolly. It sounds to me like you have a good solution for your needs. However, if you ever want to change, you now have more information on what is involved. jim
  14. Ok, I understand the confusion. A tow vehicle is a vehicle used to tow a load which might be another vehicle, or a trailer, or a tow dolly, or a boat, or whatever. A towed vehicle is a vehicle being towed by another vehicle. A receiver hitch is what you install on the back of a vehicle if you wish to tow something. It accepts a ball mount that is interchangeable. A base plate kit is installed at the front of a vehicle so you can tow it with another vehicle. A tow bar is used to connect a tow vehicle to a towed vehicle. One end either directly attaches to the receiver hitch or has a coupler to connect via a ball mount to the receiver hitch. The other end connects to the base plate kit. If you already have a receiver hitch on the back of your RV (which would be your tow vehicle), and you already have a tow dolly that you can put your towed vehicle on, and you are happy with that setup, then by all means, keep it the way it is. There are many advantages to using the tow dolly approach. Not the least of which is that you don't have to modify any vehicle you tow with it. Now, if your towed vehicle (in your case, tow dolly + car) weighs more than 1500 pounds, many municipalities will require you to have some sort of auxiliary braking. If your dolly has electric or surge or hydraulic brakes, you're all set. If not, well, it gets complicated. You should check your state laws and the laws of any state you intend to travel through to make sure you're in compliance. Some places are now aggressively enforcing these laws. There are also all sorts of liability issues when you operate your vehicle illegally. While I personally have chosen the 4 wheel down tow option, I recognize it is not the only option, nor is it the option that meets everyone's needs. I really do like that it is very quick and easy to hook up and unhook though. It meets my needs. Safe travels, jim
  15. That is because the car wasn't designed with towing in mind. IIRC I've never seen a Mazda car with a trailer hitch. I know Mazda doesn't offer one as a accessory. Well, I can always put it up on my tow dolly and bring it along when we go camping with the RV. Wait... you asked how you add a hitch (so it can tow something else), then suggest an alernative method to tow it. Those are opposite questions. Assuming you'd like to flat tow a vehicle behind another vehicle, you can always check for a baseplate kit here. Roadmaster also has links to pdfs of how to install the brackets. Also, remco towing has all sorts of information about towability of vehicles. If you can't find what you need there, they are quite responsive to emails and phone calls and are quite helpful. As for installing a hitch so you can tow something else, I believe u-haul will tell you if you can do that. hope this helps, jim