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Sunday, December 13, 2015

2008 Hyundai Sonata

Difference in paint is almost undetectable

Difference in paint is obvious. Yes, it's the same car.

I didn't notice the difference in the paint until I started comparing this picture with the other two.
Bought this car so my daughter would have a way to get back and forth to work. She started making payments, but then she ran off to Argentina. That meant I had two too many cars. If you are driving old cars, a spare is a good thing to have, but one spare is fine, I don't need two. So I unloaded Chrysler Sebring, the infamous. It had developed several minor but annoying problems, plus I could sit up straight in the Hyundai.
    The Hyundai was rebuilt from a wreck. I bought it from my mechanic. He tells me it was rebuilt from a parking lot crunch. Hard to believe that a parking lot crunch would result in a car being declared a total loss by the insurance company, but then insurance companies have their own skewed way of looking at the world.
    The car looks fine except if you look at it at the right angle, you can see that the paint on the front of the car is slightly different than the paint on the rear. It's really kind of weird, but it only shows up at the right angle, and even then the difference is slight. But it makes me wonder. If this was just a parking lot crunch, how come they had to paint the whole front half of the car?
    The dashboard makes little creaking noises every now and again which makes me wonder if something got screwed up in the wreck and now the bits don't fit together quite right or something. But it might just be the nature of plastic dashboards in Hyundais. Hasn't gotten any worse and it still rides very smoothly, so I'm not worried about it.
    The car has been pretty reliable, except for that episode with alternator. When I picked the car up from the repair shop in Seattle they mentioned that one of the valve covers had a slight leak, oil from this leak was dripping on the alternator and this might have contributed to the alternator failing. I wondered why they hadn't fixed the leak since they were working on the car anyway, but they don't seem too concerned about it and I had a long drive ahead of me, so I took off.
    When I got home I took it to my mechanic. His verdict was that the leak was too small to worry about right now, but when the car gets to 100,000 miles, it is going to be time to replace the spark plugs, and since you have to pull the intake manifold (!?!?) to do that, then would be a good time to fix the leaking valve cover. So replacing the plugs, which I used to be able to do myself for $10 in parts and an hour of my time, is probably going to run $500.  Fortunately, it only needs to be done once every ten years or so.
    It has a Kenwood stereo with a removable faceplate. The audio is okay, I guess, but the controls suck big time. The power button is just underneath the faceplate-release-button. You have to be careful turning it off or on or you are liable to have the faceplate in your hand. The other controls on the faceplate are useless for me. There is one big knob that also works like a joystick and half a dozen buttons. I tried to figure them out once or twice, but then I found that there are controls for the radio on the steering wheel. The controls on the steering wheel allow you to control the volume and the tuning. That's all I really need. They are very simple to use. There are six buttons and they each have their own function. They are easy to tell apart because they all have little features that allow you to identify them by touch. There is no night light on the radio, or it's not hooked up, so at night you can't see where the power button is, which can be problematic, as mentioned.
    I don't know what is with the front door, but it seems to be the wrong size or the wrong shape or something. You want to swing the door out of the way when you are getting out, but if you push it open as far as you can easily reach, it isn't open enough, and if you give it a push so it opens all the way, it's too far. Maybe the doom-a-flatcher that regulates the door is too long, or the detents are in the wrong place or something. Or maybe I'm just old and fat.
    The car has a sunroof. I doubt I will ever use it. After my experience with the Endeavor I am seriously considering disabling it. Actually, the car manufacturers should put in a switch that automatically closes the sunroof if you close the sunshade. What happens is that you're driving along on a nice sunny day and you want to enjoy the sunshine, so you open the sunroof. After a while you start to get hot, so you close the sunshade, but you forget about the sunroof. Then you decide to go to the carwash and when water starts pouring into the passenger compartment you try and close the sunroof. Due to Murphy's law, this usually happens just when the big overhead rotary brush is scrubbing the roof. The little wheels and levers that allow the sunroof to slide back and forth are relatively delicate and not up to repelling the big, strong brush, so they break and now the sunroof won't properly close. The problem is worse with the Endeavor because it is tall enough that you can't see the sunroof when you are standing next to the car.
    The neatest thing about the Hyundai is that the speedometer goes to 160 MPH. I doubt whether I will ever see the North side of 100, but it's kind of neat that Hyundai would put a speedometer with numbers that big in this car.
    I picked up daring daughter, O-man and their six suitcases (2 small, 4 big fat ones) from the airport Tuesday, and we all fit in the car, though one of suitcases had to sit in the back seat. Now that diligent daughter is home from her sojourn in Argentina, it looks like I will be back to driving my gas guzzling truck again.

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