Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Do Police Have a New Trick Up Their Sleeve to Catch Speeders?

Last month I took a long road trip from Toronto to Iowa to visit family.  I drove the Focus RS and was sure to bring my radar detector which is an Escort Passport 9500ix.  Along the way I got the normal chirps for X band warnings which are usually not important as well as some Ka & K band warnings that are usually the police.  My detector also has GPS to warn of common police hiding spots and speed/red light cameras.  So I feel I’m pretty well covered.  Many times during the trip I would get very aggressive warnings which were usually caused but those speed warning signs they put up next to construction zones.  You know the, “Your Speed is….” warnings.  Everything seemed to be working well.  I still keep an eye out but I’m certainly more relaxed when I’m using it.

However there were three times during the trip that the highway patrol was out in force.  Many patrol cars not even trying to hide pointing the radar guns right at the oncoming traffic but my detector didn’t even chirp.  What the hell?  Not even a sound.  If the officers were using laser my detector warns about that too (often too late) but it does warn me.  Are they using something new?

I went to the Escort website and looked at their top of the line model.  The Escort Max 360c is $599, connects to wi-fi connected ability as well as linking to your smartphone the thing seems really advanced.  But just like mine it covers X, K, Ka, & Laser bands, with no sign of a new band.  I’ve emailed Escort about this and have yet to hear back.

Here in Ontario radar detectors are illegal and believe me the police look for them.  If you are caught you are fined and the device is confiscated.  Because of this reason I only use mine in “dark mode” and at night.  But in light of my last trip I feel much less secure and wonder if it’s even worth the risk if its missing something.

I'll update when I know more.

Friday, August 17, 2018

I've Posted My 2014 Shelby GT500 FOR SALE

I’ve decided to finally put my triple black 2014 GT500 up for sale.  As I say in the ad it’s a very nice, very fast car that sits in my garage and does nothing.  So why do I have it?  I’ve posted it as $69,000 but that is negotiable.  I'm really just looking to get the loan paid off and out of my hair.


It’s stock expect for a few small cosmetic additions like headlight covers and fender scoops added by the previous owner.  It has the supercharged 5.8L rated at 662hp. There is really nothing wrong with it but the front spoiler is scratched up I assume from driveways, they were there when I got it.

I’ve really enjoyed the car.  It’s one of those vehicles that no matter how much you drive it you still get butterflies before starting it up.  Here in Canada we don’t get enough nice days to justify having a rear-wheel drive monster which is why my daily is the Focus RS.

If you're interest I'm in the Greater Toronto Area here in Ontario.  You can view the ad posting HERE

Monday, July 16, 2018

Car Mechanic Simulator 2018

As some of you may or may not know my day job is a game developer.  In my free time I also play around making gaming videos but so far it’s not really popular.  Recently I wanted to give YouTube streaming a try and also wanted to give the game Car Mechanic 2018 a try so I did. 

Is it fun to watch someone work on a virtual car??  Is it like watching someone do virtual taxes?  Well you be the judge.  haha

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Barrie Ford Really Disappointed Me

UPDATE:  This morning I received a message from Barrie Ford about my negative service review and it succeeded to make me more upset than I was.  It was from service guy Brian.  Brian was very upset not that I had a bad experience but that my review reflects badly on him.  Brian said, "I wasn't there when you picked up your car but I'm in charge of your service ticket so it reflects on me." 

The survey I received wasn't asking, "How did Brian do?" The survey asked, "How did Barrie Ford do?" If Brian is in charge of my service ticket then Barrie Ford must expect Brian to make it right either by calling the customer and apologizing &/or talking to the people that were there when I picked up my car and explaining they screwed up.  Brian should NOT be calling me up as if I did something wrong by giving a bad review.

I'm not asking for money back. I'm not asking for something free.  I'm just asking for Barrie Ford admit their fault and say they are sorry.  I'm not an elitist, I don't expect the dealer to kiss my butt when I come to visit because I have performance cars.  I just want them to care for the cars as much as I do.  I want to get my car back and have a feeling it was well looked after.  I did not feel this way when I picked up my car.  I felt like I was another person they needed to get out the door.

Last Wednesday I took my Focus RS into the Barrie Ford dealership because of the head gasket recall.  Barrie isn't close to where I live, it's about an hour from my home and several hours from my work. They had to do a pressure test and kept it overnight.  In the morning informed me that it failed the test and needed the head gasket replaced.  They offered a rental car but I said I’d just drive my Shelby.  Monday afternoon I received a call that it was ready for pickup  So they had the car 6 days.

I arrived Tuesday afternoon and when they brought the car around it was a mess, covered in dirt, water spots, and bird poop.  It also didn’t have a full tank of gas.  What they hell?  Where is the customer service?  I take my car in for a recall so something Ford screwed up.  I don’t use the rental service so saving them money and they don’t even wash off the bird poop??

Mechanically it seems sort of okay.  However since I got it back it seems to sputter a lot when you first start it until the revs drop.  We'll see if that develops into something bad.  Also I asked, "The head gasket change required they change the oil didn't it?" The guy said, "I dunno." "Well is there anything I need to watch out for or should a take it easy for a few miles?" He said, "I don't know. I didn't work on it."  WTF???

Barrie Ford is the only SVT dealership in my area so I suppose they suck up more to the higher paying customers but I bought the high priced Focus RS from them and I have a Shelby GT500 that I might want to trade for another someday.  But after this experience I REALLY don’t know if I will be returning to buy from them.

The GT500 has an airbag recall to fulfill and I haven’t decided if I’m going to take it there or not.  On the one hand it costs them money for free fixes so that’s nice but do I want them touching my Shelby??

My girlfriend has a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander and her dealership in Newmarket is really awful.  They talk down to her, talk her into doing unnecessary repairs, tell her they fixed something when they didn't, etc but even they always wash her car when they give it back.  lol

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Newmarket Ontario Car Show June 10th

Think I'm going to pay this car show a visit and grab some nice car photos for Instagram.  Anyone else going?

Driving This Summer

Now that my daily is a Focus RS and my “weekend” car is the Shelby GT500 the differences are HUGE!  This might seem obvious but it is clear that some cars are fun and others are serious.  The RS is quick, you can toss it around, floor it and listen to the pops.  It has a lot of helpers to keep you safe, it’s a fun car.  The Shelby on the other hand is serious.  If you plan on being frisky with it you can very quickly go from wheeeeeee to dead.

The best analogy I can think of is playing with a paintball gun and a real gun.  One you can run around laughing and popping it off while the other when you pull the trigger you better know what you’re doing or someone dies.

This is why I'm often considering selling the Shelby.  It's a car that you need to really get to know if you want to enjoy it but I just don't have the time and don't know the places to do it.  Little sad.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Finally Awoke the Shelby

This Sunday was finally a nice enough day to start getting ready for the summer car season.  So I took the opportunity to get the Shelby off the jacks stands and see where we're at.

The first thing was the battery was totally dead which sucked.  During the winter I noticed my trickle charger had dies and allowed the battery to croak.  But I went and bought a new one as well as let the car run for a solid hour but apparently that wasn't enough.  The new charger was working but the battery was still dead.  So I grabbed my portable jumper and got it running.That thing is the best purchase.  Saved me so many times.

Immediately the computer started telling me that the tire pressures were back.  Again the portable jumper to the rescue.  It has a compressor as well and I got the pressures up high enough to get it to the station.

After fiddling around with the jack I finally got it down on the ground and backed it out.  Everything seemed good but I needed to drive it to be sure.  So I took it to the station and filled up with air and fresh fuel.  Drove around for about an hour.  It was about 45 F so way too cold for those tires forcing me to be reserved and driving like an old man.

My old '07 Mustang GT would require that you set the idle if the battery went completely dead but this doesn't seem to be the case with the Shelby.  It all seemed just fine.  After I got back I let it sit a couple hours and then attempted to start it again and it popped to life right away.  So I might get away without buying a new battery.  I'm going to take the portable jumper with me for awhile just to be safe but it all seems fine so far.

The next nice weekend I'm going to swap the Focus RS winter tires to summer ones.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Dream: 1968 Lamborghini Miura S

I'm not complaining, I have a couple nice cars.  Certainly nice enough to be happy.  But it doesn't stop you from dreaming of something more.  So what are my dream cars?  The Lamborghini Miura is almost the ultimate for me, and watching an episode of Harry's Garage inspired my to write this.

I love speed but I find when I think what would be the ultimate I tend to dream of beautiful cars rather than fastest.  For me one of the most beautiful is the 1968 Lamborghini Miura S and the Harry's Garage video highlighted one of the best examples. The blue interior is a little weird but still.  Those body lines, the headlights, the clam shell hood and boot.  Just amazing.  I'll link the video below.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Still Hasn't Sprung in Canada

I seriously had hoped to take the Shelby out of storage and switch the RS to summer tires this weekend.  Then southern Ontario is hit with a freezing rain ice storm that  so far has lasted two days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Focus RS Recall Letter

So Ford has finally admitted they screwed up some of the head gaskets on the Focus RS cars.  As I understand it the story goes that the 2.3 L is the same engine  that Ford uses in the Mustang EcoBoost car.  But unlike the Mustang the RS produces much more power and has a slightly different head.  But someone on the Ford assembly line didn’t get the memo so they were using the Mustang head gasket on the RS engines.  This causes under high pressure this causes the head gasket to allow coolant to get into the cylinder causing coolant loss, misfires, white smoke, and in extreme cases hydro lock.

At first it seemed Ford was trying to ignore the issue often blaming the problems on aftermarket performance parts or heavy driving.  However with multiple owners destroying engines as well as individual shops doing their own investigations it became clear the problem was on in Ford’s lap.  This issue was made even more clear when you looked at the part numbers for head gasket replacement.  The Mustang 2.3 head gasket and the RS head gasket replacement were totally different part numbers.  So finally the recall letters happened.

Ford said it really only affected around 45 vehicles so I had my fingers crossed that mine was not one of them.  However a few weeks ago I received my letter.  Now this doesn’t necessarily mean my car has the issue.  It is to be pressure tested to see if they can detect the problem.  This worries me a bit because what if they pressure test it and stress the engine but don’t see a problem, then the test creates issues that appear later. 

Either way it's going to have to wait until the Shelby is out of it's winter storage.  They say in the letter the process could take up to two days.  So if the worst happens I'll need to have something else to drive.  So I'll keep everyone up to date when the time to do it draws near.

Wish me luck.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

The 2019 Shelby GT500 is Coming They Say

So there’s going to be a new Shelby GT500 in 2019.  Ford is saying 700+ horsepower and some speculate it will be more like 750 hp.  Rumours have the engine as being a supercharged version of the 5.2L voodoo flat plane crank V8 but nothing has been confirmed.  Ford just promises it will be street legal.  Well I certainly hope so.  Hard to say who they are aiming for, the Dodge Hellcat or the Dodge Demon but looking at the horsepower numbers I would guess Hellcat.  Ford usually has a Cobra Jet version for drag racing.

As an owner of a 2014 GT500 I’m not thrilled about the news.  I was kind of hoping my model year would be the last since it would certainly help keep the 2014 value higher.  Mine is at least the last Shelby Carroll Shelby had input in which they can never take away.  My Shelby has 662 hp and it would take little more than a cold-air intake and tune to match numbers with the 2019 model.  Also my 5.8L while not a flat plane crank could certainly compete with the 5.2L without much trouble.  However my car has a solid rear axle with is not ideal compared to the 2019 independent rear suspension. 

I don’t really have any plans to purchase one.  That of course may change once the details and reviews start coming out but for right now I don’t see the point.  My ’14 Shelby is still quite a handful to master and I’m finding a car that spends 6 months out of the year sleeping in the garage is rather frustrating