Mechanically, I have taken positively EXCEPTIONAL care of "Dela."  One day, I thought I should start mentioning (explicitly) the maintenance I was doing.  The Mileage link, I thought, was getting a little cluttered [with such]—so I started this one.  (Note: On 11/24/2019 Sunday, I moved the aforementioned "entries," to this page.  In the future, I also plan on moving some—from my "updates_John" link.  (. . .))


      (Note: On one 12/9/19 Monday, I was able to move the (two) bits, off of "updates John."  Somehow, I thought there'd be more.  (. . .))

      February 1st, 2015

      I was able to get a truly remarkable about of work done on "Dela" (my nickname for the Impreza).  :) I was able to. . . .

      7/1/16 Friday

      I got no brakes!

      You know, how, after you put on new brakes, you have to stop and start a couple of times, to allow them to "reset?"  Well, I forgot this—and nearly plowed into the landlord's garage.  As serious as this was, I couldn't help it: I laughed like a loon.

      :) :) ;) ;)

      While the first two parts of the 165,000 mile service (rotating the tires, and changing the air filter) went well, I had to do THIS (over a period in excess of 6 hours (!!)) to the oil filter, to get it off:

      A week and a half later, and my tendons are still sore.  –Gettin' old, old man. . . .

      Although I have no paperwork on this, at 165,800 miles (give or take), I started to notice a "weak return" on the clutch.  Actually, I had been noticing it for . . . some time—however, it had come to a point where I didn't think it prudent to ignore it anymore.  The last time I had a weak return on the clutch, I ended up having to pay $1,700 and being stranded in Upstate New York, for a week.  While forking out the $1,700 was unpleasant, the REAL punishment, was being stranded in Upstate New York for a week.  When I told the guy at the dealer that, he chuckled, and told me he knew what I meant.  The arrogance of Bostonians knows no bounds.

      At the dealer, they told me that the clutch was fine—but the return line was leaking, and might eventually form an "air bubble"—causing the clutch to not return, and then fry.  They wanted $360, to swap out the line.

      A buddy of mine, got me to a local mechanic.  Whilst a more stressful, and time-consuming, endeavor—he only charged me $45 to swap out the line.  He said that in 30 years of working on cars, he had never seen a line go bad.  It appears to have happened to me TWICE.  Go figure.

      At 170,364 miles, on 4/18/17 Thursday, driving north on Federal Route 3, just before exit 35—I heard this high-pitched squealing, followed by the sound of something flying out behind "Dela."  It looked like a plastic guard.  The only things I've found–so far–is a broken mud flap—but I think that was already busted. . . .

      I remembered that I needed to rotate the tires (I do this at every 5,000 miles–instead of the recommended 7,500 miles–because one, this is better for the car—and two, this is easier for me to remember.  :) ;) )—so, I did.  :) This was at 175,210 miles.  I had a date for this, as well; but, I got interrupted, making this page—and the universe just loves to swallow information. . . .

      On 10/9/17 Monday, at approximately 180,393 miles (I didn't get the exact mileage—until I'd gone down the road a bit.), I performed the first part of the 180,000 mile service: changing the oil, rotating the tires, and changing the air filter.

      Things could not have gone more smoothly.

       :) :)

      Whilst not really maintenance. . . .

      On 10/22/17 Sunday, I spent over 5 hours (!!) cleaning Dela's interior.  I went whole hog—I even took out the seats, to get a better shot at the carpets.  (I also had to take the vacuum cleaner apart, at one point—seems they take exception, to sucking up a doggie rawhide bone, followed by . . . various.  :p ;) )

      I am always amazed, by how dirty the car manages to get, before I get to cleaning her.  And Dela was one DIRTY GIRL.  (!!)

      While I did a thorough, meticulous job—I did slip up at one point: When putting in the driver's side seat back in, it was very cumbersome—and I managed to scratch the driver's side interior door panel:

      This really made me sad—as, to (heavily) paraphrase Mickey Goldmill (Rocky's trainer), "This hurt her poimenant—poimenant."  I don't know of any way to fix this; this will be there, for the life of the car. . . .

       :( :( :( :(

      On 12/5/18 Saturday–at around 185,800 miles–I was able to change the oil.  Not wanting to get (any (!)) oil on the floor of my landlords' garage, I changed it outside.  It was 9 or 10 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the wind was blowing so strongly, that it was drifting snow onto me, while I was on the ground.

I'm getting too old, for things like that.

      Since my landlady was away, I was then able to move "Dela" into the (semi-)heated garage—to rotate the tires.  I was to realize—this was the first time I was able to rotate the tires indoors, since I left Alaska. . . .

      Inspection Woes

      Somebody pointed out to me, on Sunday—that my inspection had run out, at the end of August.  It being a holiday weekend, the earliest I could get her to an inspection station, was 9/4/18 Tuesday.

      Now, "Dela" has always passed inspection.  However, she now has 197,000 (almost 198,000) miles on her, and. . . . Well, she failed.  Okay. What for? License plate tags, hid too much of the plate—and the trailer hitch, has to be out, when not towing.

You've got to be kidding me.

      The guy behind the counter, told me that the reinspection was free—so long as it be performed within 60 days.  I told him, I'd be back, inside of 45 minutes.  He told me that these were safety issues—and I shouldn't really–technically–drive the car.  I told him, I needed my tools; one miracle at a time.  He told me, that the guy told him, that that trailer hitch, was probably going to fight, coming out.  I told him, it fought no small amount, going in.

      Ladies and gentlemen, even with a sledge hammer, it came out (at first) a quarter inch a minute. . . .  (The tags were . . . trivial.)  After that, she passed with flying colors.

       :) :)

      On 9/30/18 Sunday, I attempted some repairs (Some successful; some not.), and did an almost surreal amount of cleaning.  ("Dela" was a Dirty GIRL.  (!!))

       :) ;)

      The first thing I tried to repair, was a stud, that NTB broke.  It did NOT go well.  (. . .) While three of the remaining lugs came off, the fourth had been "cross threaded," and another stud broke.  (My . . . disposition, toward NTB . . . was not improving. . . .)

      I also was unable, to get the rotor off.  (Tomorrow, I plan on getting 2 M8 - 1.25 by 20 mm bolts, to facilitate this.)  In the interim, I am down to 3 lugs, on a 5 bolt wheel.  This is becoming a safety issue. . . .

      I then performed an almost surreal amount of cleaning, of "Dela"'s interior.  'T'was almost like an archeological dig—I found a piece of beef, wrapped in paper, that I had intended on giving to Mr. Bubbles.  Mr. Bubbles, um . . . "passed" just over six months ago. . . .   ( :( :( :( :( )

      My landlady, had given me a "car vacuum."  I was concerned, that running it continuously off of the cigarette lighter, might blow a fuse.  There was only one way, to find out.  Then, I seemed to be pretty much picking things up by hand, just so I could drop them, into the intake [of the vacuum]—just to get it to work.  But then I started to experiment, with the various attachments.  Soon things were working well—I was even, picking up dog hair.  (!!) I then realized—that this thing, was about the coolest thing ever (and I had to work, at not getting "obsessive" with it). . . .

      I then tried to fix the "fast" left turn signal.  I checked the bulbs—and the four ways.  I then checked all the grounds [for the circuit].  In doing so, I had to "rotate" the front bulb.  On an Impreza, this is almost surrealistically difficult.  To get a clearer grip, I ended up, taking the lid off of something.  It turned out, to be a box of relays.  Just for giggles and grins, I checked them.  Three were loose.  At this point, I had already given up, on being able to fix the turn signal.  However, something inside of me, urged me to try it, just one more time. . . .  Ladies and gentlemen . . . fiddling with the relays, fixed the problem.

      I expect tomorrow, to be a better day. . . .

      10/2/18 Tuesday

      The bolts I mentioned above, enabled me to get the rotor off.  I had a little trouble getting it entirely off—until I realized: I still had the emergency brake on.  (The emergency brake, on "Dela," is a set of disk brakes, inside the disk brake rotors, on the rear wheels.)  DUH.

      It was a little tricky, getting the rotor on, with the two loose studs, but I persisted, and then tightened them down.  I used a straight slot screw driver, to keep the one from slipping back in, until I got the lug threaded.  I am almost sillily (real word? :) ;) ) proud of myself, for being able to complete this work.

       :) :) :) :)

      10/4/18 Thursday

      I don't know if this is getting wonderful—or getting ridiculous.  I did more cleaning of "Dela" today.  I found a movie ticket—for "Cowboys and Aliens."  (!!!!) (I'm not sure, but I think I may've watched that—before I even left Alaska.  (!! (!!)) I also found my cigar snipper—which I have been searching for, for . . . ages.  I have also taken to cleaning, under the hood—both with the vacuum, and general purpose cedarwood and sage cleaner.  –Like I said, I don't know if this is getting wonderful, or ridiculous.  (. . .)

      10/28/18 Sunday

      I had to get new (front) rotors on "Dela"—the old ones were disintegrating.  The trouble was–the driver's side front caliper, had been on there since the factory–just over 200,000 miles ago.  They wouldn't budge.

      I strained and strained—I wasn't strong enough.  I tried standing on the rachet—I wasn't heavy enough.  So, I started looking for other means. . . .

      I found that a (titanium) extender, for a pair of secateurs (This is what I call them.  If you don't, I suppose, that would make them non-secateurs.  ( :) ;) ) Okay, for you Yanks–at least those in New England–I believe they are called "loppers. . . ."), would fit over the end [of the rachet].  This worked (very surprisingly) wonderfully.  :) :) However . . . it still wasn't enough. . . .

      Then, I discovered that I could place the extender under the jack—and then lower it.  This way, I could place ~1/4 of the weight of the car, on the extender.  Perhaps astonishingly, this did NOT break the rachet.  (I would've been very sad, had it done so—as my Dad gave me that rachet, when I was in the tenth grade.  More years ago, than I care to admit.)  I let it sit like so, for fourteen minutes. . . .

      Finally, after MORE straining, "Pop!"  I was almost insanely pleased with myself.  I–honestly–did not know, if I was going to be able, to complete these repairs, this time.

      A little "wrinkle," worth knowing: Your biggest ally, in getting off Subby rims, are. . . .

2 M8 1.25 ☓ 40mm bolts.

      One just tightens them, into the two small holes–being careful to keep things even–and voilà—it pops right off.

      The whole menagerie can been seen here:

      Like I said—I was almost insanely pleased with myself, at this point.  However, I had to get somewhere, and only had time, to put things back together. . . .

      10/30/18 Tuesday

      Today, we set out, to replace the front passenger's side rotor—"Once more into the breach. . . ."  This time, however, things were no problem.  Did I get stronger?  Was it that my skills, or techniques, had increased?  No . . . the dealer had already had that caliper off (To fix a stud, they had broken.)—and had left the threads coated, with some type of grease. . . .

      I was grateful.  However, daylight ran out on me, and I had to stop here—and just put everything back together (after putting on the new rotor, of course).

      10/31/18 Wed-nes-day ( :) :) )

      On this day, I had some more time—and set out, to change all the pads.  The front pads didn't need changing.  (!!) (I'm getting really sick, of NTB: Doing work I had not authorised, breaking things, and bald-faced lying to me—about what work needs to be done.)  Everything–much to my surprise–went really well.  :) :)

      Now, this is actually very important: When one puts on new pads, one–by necessity–has to collapse the calipers.  This means, that until one pumps the brakes up a bit (resetting the calipers)—one doesn't have brakes.  (!!) (I have an amusing anecdote about this—that I plan on moving onto this link in the future. . . .)  Well, I already knew this—but just wanted to experience the feel of the brake pedal, going all the way to the floor (just like a nightmare).  So, I looked both ways, to make sure no one was coming—and then set out, down my landlord's (very) steep driveway. . . .  Potentially "expensive" entertainment, I know—but what's being alive for??

      ( :) ;) )

      Thus ended the first round of "significant repairs"—next up, we have. . . .

      (Not quite the (planned) "next up,") on 12/5/18 Wed-nes-day ( :) ), I performed the 201,000 oil change (at 201,376 miles).  This was–for me, anyways–a significant event.  At the first oil change, after 100,000 miles, I balanced a nickel, on the intake manifold, whilst the engine was runnin'.  Sadly, I didn't make a video, to "commemorate" the event.  So, I have been planning (for almost 100,000 miles) on doing this again, at 200,000 miles.

      Well, this was the day.  (!) However, unfortunately, I parked the car, at a slight incline, side-to-side—and the nickel I had been practicing with—fell into never-never land!!  I couldn't find it—and didn't have another nickel.  (!!) So, I'll try again (Lord Willing. (!!)), at the 204,000 oil change.

      I don't think my life, is like other peoples'. . . .

      12/7/18 Friday

      I had the dealer replace the "carriage bearing."  Unfortunately, for my pocketbook, on my model, this also entailed, the replacement of the driveshaft.  :P

      The change was . . . extraordinary.  She sounds like a different car, and even my mileage increased—to the tune of 5 to 7 miles per gallon.  (!!)

      That must've been one bad bearing.  I can't understand—how I wasn't more "in tune," with her, to realize all this. . . .

      12/26/18 Wednesday

      Now this is a collector's item.

      While I was checking the oil at a (new) truckstop (Every time I stop on "The Island," in Pennsylvania, it seems like someone, has built a new truckstop. . . .), the end of the dipstick BROKE OFF (!!)—and dropped into the pan.  (!!)

      I pushed her, from pump number 6, and into a parking space.  (I'm getting too old for such things.  :p ) I then had her towed to the dealer (in Harrisburg).  They had to pull the pan, to get it out.  (Note: I saved the part.  :) )

I had never even heard of such a thing. . . .  (!!)

      12/28/18 Friday

      Okay—while this isn't a "Maintenance Note," it is interesting. . . .

      While getting out of "Dela," I noticed–for the first time–some black "padding" on the inside of the front body panel.  I had just gotten new glasses, that day—and can only attribute this, to my eyes being too bad, to notice this before.  (!!) And yet, in all that time, I have maintained a perfect driving record. . . .

      12/29/18 Saturday, 204,000 mile oil change.

      I was able to perform the 204,000 mile oil change—at 203,989 miles.  What made this interesting, was that I was also able to adjust, the passenger side low beam headlight—making a DISTINCT improvement.  (And on the last "big trip," I searched around for an auto parts store, to replace the driver's side lamp.  I had been complaining, for some time, about "bumper burners. . . .")  So now I have [low beam] lights.

       :) :)

      Another things that happened, was that I dropped one of the oil containers, entering an auto parts store, in Lowell.  It was like a nightmare—I watched it splash onto the wall; I even tasted some, on my lips; I watched it flow, out of the bottle, onto the floor—like in slow motion. . . .

      I dumped my oil (NOT a metaphor)—and then went back out to the Impreza.  I thought, "I'm OUT of the store—'free and clear.'  I can just LEAVE. . . ."

      But–you know me–I went back, and cleaned things up, as best I could. . . .

      On the way back, "Dela" flipped over 204,000 miles. . . .

      1/10/19 Thursday

      Finally, it was time for, the "next up, significant repairs"—the changing of the timing belt.

      During part of these repairs, one uses the starter motor, to turn the engine (obviously)—whilst bracing a breaker bar against the frame.  This loosens the crankshaft bolt (130 ft.-lbs. (!)) . . . quite nicely.  :) :)

      However, one really doesn't want the engine to start, while doing this.  So, I wanted to disconnect the plug wires, at the coil.

      MANY years, ago, in Troy (, NY)‐I learned (the hard way) of the importance, of getting the plug wires, back on the right plugs.  One could just keep careful track, or, life hacks. . . .

      The inside ones, go to the top ones.

      Then, after a morning's worth of work . . . I could SEE the timing assembly:


      Sadly, this did not end well. . . .  Someone (It perhaps could even have been me. . . .), stripped the threads (in the block (!! (!!))) of the tensioner, and I had to have her towed. . . .

      1/14/19 Monday

      I'm not sure all of this qualifies as "maintenance," however. . . .

      As mentioned above, the threads in the block (that hold the tensioner [of the timing belt]) got stripped.  So, I had her towed to the dealer.  I had planned ahead, on someone giving me a ride to said dealer; however, they gave me a call–at 4:51 AM–saying that their alarm didn't go off, and they couldn't make it, without being late for work.  So, "the longest journey, begins with a single step. . . ."

      For years, now, I have said, that, if I had to, I could walk to the dealer.  Well—it looks like it was time, to put that to the test.  So, except for a break, in wal-fart, to pee—I WALKED (brisk walked) . . . for over 3 & 1/4 hours.

      When I–finally–got there, I presented, what turned out, to be a bad idea. . . .

      I thought: The outer threads are stripped, but there is plenty of thread further in—surely enough to hold 29 ft.-lbs.  Since we have two bolts, why not add ~1/2 inch of unthreaded bolt, to the other—making a "mutant bolt."

      As it turns out, this was a BAD idea.  Instead, they drilled the hole out, and installed a heliocoil—making a permanent fix.


She now runs like a new car.

       :) :) :) :)

      1/15/19 Tuesday

      Perhaps the most frustrating day of car repair . . . EVER.

      On the surface, things didn't seem too bad—the dealer told me, that the air intake filter, was very dirty.  So, I thought I'd get a 4,000 mile jump, on some of the 210,000 mile service—changing the PCV valve, the air cleaner element, and the cabin filter—I mean, how bad can that be?

Not sure I should've asked that. . . .

      Changing the PCV valve, proved almost . . . IMPOSSIBLE.  At first, the hose wouldn't come OFF.  Then, it wouldn't go ON.  (!!) Finally, I pulled the PCV valve back OUT (I had to buy a 19 mm deep well [socket], just for this [job], by the way.)—and forced the hose back on, with a pair of pliers.  (!!)

      Then, I used the hose, as a sort of "rachet," to get the PCV threaded.  I'm not done, though—it's only finger tight.  I think, tomorrow, I can get a 19 mm wrench, "thread" it along the hose, and. . . .

      (Methinks, I might be spending in tools—what I'm (ostensibly) saving in labor. . . .)

      Also well-nigh surrealistically frustrating, I was also able to change the cabin filter.  Do you think it needed it?


      1/16/18 Wed-nes-day :) :)

      As I mentioned above, I wasn't done yet—I needed to (somehow (!)) tighten down the PCV valve.  (And I REALLY didn't want to have to pull that hose, to do it.)

      So, I went to the auto parts store, and got a 19 mm wrench—the kind that is straight, bends for a bit, and then levels off again.  (I don't know what they're called.)  And then just snaked it down, over the hose.  There was just enough room, to work the wrench back and forth "one tooth"—and the "well," was just shallow enough, for the wrench to tighten down the valve, before losing "grip."

      Perhaps this is why I work so hard at this—for after completing these repairs, I felt an . . . almost incredible sense of accomplishment.  And I was so glad—that there was/is still room for cleverness, in the world of automotive repair.  I mean, when one is under the hood these days, one is . . . pretty much totally, at the mercy of the engineers that designed the thing(s).  (And my Dad (also an engineer—but a good one :) ;) ) says, that hell for engineers—is being forced to work on their own work, for all eternity.  :) ;) ) In such a world, I am glad there is still "room," for genuine creativity.

      ( :) ;) )

      2/10/19 Sunday

      "Dela" was due for her 207,000 mile oil change—so, I like, performed it, 'n stuff.  ( :) :) ) I prayed beforehand.

      Things could not have gone more smoothly.

       :) :) :) :)

      Note: I decided not, to rotate the tires at this point—as one (or more, I suppose) of the rear tires, are real thumpers (I need to have all 4 rims straightend.).  And I just decided not to deal with that right now, particularly as I didn't have to.

      3/15/19 Friday

      The past two weeks, have been big maintenance weeks, for "Dela."  Two Tuesdays ago, we had a rim straightened, and new TPMS sensors intalled.  Two Thursdays ago, we had a new (front) catalytic converter installed.  And this past Monday, we had the TPMS sensors "programmed."  I was expecting a bill of $32 for this—instead, I got one . . . for $639.62.  Apparently, the right front rotor, was no longer "releasing"—and had burned up one of the pads.  I asked the guy, if I had "greased" the "slides" (which I had intended to do)—would it have made any difference?  He said no—208,000 miles, is what did it.  Sighhhh. . . .

      So, no more "moon buggy ride," no more "asthmatic" highway speeds—and no more engine lights on, after long hauls.  Oh. And "the butt cheek light" (as it is affectionately called) is no longer on, on the dash.  In fact, she runs like a new car. . . .

       :) :) :) :)

      And here are some pictures of the meowalytic converter.

      Intake. . . .

      That's NOT a shadow—it is where, the cat, has been eroded/dissolved away. . . .

      Exhaust side. . . .

      Once can see, where some "cells" have become plugged—and where some sections, have just been either dissolved, or eroded, away. . . .

      She surprised me, though—I could still see the sun, through most of the remaining cat.

      3/16/19 Saturday

      While not really a "Maintenance Note. . . ."

      While waiting for a quote on the catalytic converter (quite the system), I decided to check out some of the Subbys, there—as I may need some "interior parts," in the (Lord Willing) near future.  The only trouble was . . . I couldn't seem to find any Subbys.  (!) I mean, there were rows and rows of Volkswagen's, scores of Mitsubishi's—and even a Jaguar, tucked away.  (It made me think, thoughts I should NOT be thinking, i.e. "What's all wrong with it—can I get this runnin'?!)  (No, John—NOOO. . . .)

      Then I realized—this is a junkyard; of course there aren't going to be any Subarus around—they're all still on the road!!

:) :) :) :)

      ~May 2019

      Who says, you can't teach an old dog, new tricks?

      Although I have learned some things with "Dela" "late" (I didn't know there was a light in the rear cargo area—until there was over 200,000 miles, on the odometer.  It's presently burnt out—or has a fuse blown, but it's there.  :) ), I think these two "takes the cake."

      The first one is, I have noticed, for some time, now—that the oil would get "fuzzy," the more mileage I put on it.  I also read, in the manual, that one was supposed to check it, with a clean RAG—not, the napkins I had been ~filching from Subway.  ( :) ;) )

      So, I went and bought myself, a "lint free" rag.  And guess what?  The oil don't get "fuzzy" no more.


      Sometimes, Dela's valves will "clatter."  I have noticed that this is more likely, when the fuel is low, when the day is hot, and when the plugs, are getting near having 60,000 miles on 'em.  Now, I always let Dela warm up, until the "blue light" goes off.  (I believe it to be easier on her head gaskets.)  Well, NOBODY does that—so modern cars aren't designed for that.  Okay—so I started just "babying" her, but still moving, until the blue light, goes off.  (I think this is coolant, at 185 degrees Fahrenheit—but don't quote me on that.)

      And guess what?  The valves are less likely to clatter now.

      All of this (both items), was learned after Dela, had over 210,000 miles on 'er.

      Like I said—I guess it's never to late, to teach this old dog, new tricks.

:) :) :) :)

      Why is it—I get all the weird ones?

      On 10/11/2019 Friday, I look under the hood, and. . . .

       . . . The cap for the clutch booster was . . . missing??!!  Whilst not immediately critical, 't'would be better, if it 't'were there. . . .

      The guys at the Subby dealer, got me one in, the very next day.

       :) :) ;) ;)

      11/6/19 Wednesday

      Dela blew blue smoke.  (!!)

      I went to start "Dela," and she went whir-whir-whir-whir-whir-wup-wup-vroom!!  I then, for the very first time, I noticed blue smoke coming out the tailpipe.  I thought, "Here we go!!"—but, I think it was just a "burp," from the PCV valve.  (I had quite recently started her up, just to move her a few parking spaces.)

      11/14/2019 Thursday

      Whilst not really a maintenance note—on this date, I first noticed rust, on "Dela" (reminding me, that nothing, lasts forever. . . .):

      (I also seem to have captured a nice picture, of what I believe is my left pinky.)

       :P ;)

      11/23/2019 Saturday

      Performed the 219,000 mile oil change (at 219,135 miles).  For something completely different ( :) ), Mark paid for the oil, filter, and gasket (He like, owed me a favor, 'n stuff.   :) ).  I slipped with the oil filter thingie—and Exxon Valdez'ed, all over his driveway.  Awwh geez, Mark, I'm sorry.  (!)

      I then came to realize two things: One, this was the 73rd oil change—and two, this is the last oil change, before "Dela" (Lord Willing (!!)) reaches . . . the *MOON*—221,500 miles, at perihelion (i.e. closest approach).


      11/29/2019 Friday

      I performed some of the most significant work on "Dela" . . . ever.  I replaced the following parts:

      This–and this alone–cured ALL of her extant symptoms: The "off" (~mushy) sound, of the engine, at mid range RPM's; the (periodically) rough idle; and that accursed "Ting-ting-ting-ting" of the valves.  Apparently, the mixture was off—and had been for some time.  And the cooling system wasn't working properly—the cap wasn't releasing.  

      (. . .)

      12/3/2019 Tuesday

      While not really a maintenance note. . . .

      For the first time EVER, I was unable to get "Dela" unstuck.  I was unable to get her out of the parking space, I sort of "climbed into," the previous evening.  (We had had, something like 18 to 24 inches of snow. . . .)  This may well have been my fault—I forgot to disable the positrack, or whatever, and I managed to let the tires get, um, "warm. . . ."

      So, I walked to the bank, this day.  Man, but did that make me tired. . . .

      12/7/2019 Saturday

      The level of fluid in the transfer case, is VERY difficult, to take properly.  Sometimes it will read right at "add"—only to read a bit over full, fifty, or so, miles later.  Well, on this morning, it read low, two times in a row.  The auto parts store in Newport was closed, so we stopped at the tractor equipment store on the hill (on [PA] 34).  Being a TRACTOR equipment store, it didn't have synthetic gear oil.  So, I got the Lucasoil additive, instead.

It stopped all "transmission chatter"—and immediately.

      Later that same day, my Dad told me that "Dela," was the smoothest, quietest engine, he had ever heard.  And all this, after she had (quite recently) rolled over 220,000 miles. . . .

      2/8/2020 Saturday

      It was time to change the oil, and rotate the tires again (performed at 225,063 miles, specifically)—so I did.  I found myself working again, in the Church parking lot.  (I'm not allowed to do maintenance, where I like, live, 'n stuff.)  It took a LOT longer than usual, to do the work.  I had real trouble "getting motivated"— and I kept resting in the warm car, between different "phases," of the operation(s).  (I was told, later—that it was the coldest day of the winter, thus far.  I can neither confirm nor deny that statement.)

      Towards the end, I got sort of a good "rhythm" going, and it was time, to pour the spent oil, into the bottle.  Ladies and germs–various trans-gendered beings–I sometimes wonder, when I even bother to try, to get the oil to pour properly.  The bottle–and funnel–promptly, fell over—and then the pan itself (by a mechanism I still can't fathom), started pouring on the ground.  This was–again–the CHURCH parking lot.  I used bad words.

      Right after this, I was able to take the spent oil, to the auto (f)arts store.  There was a police officer there; I have no idea why.  (. . .)

      Man, but does "Dela" like that new oil. . . .

       :) :) :) :)

      2/23/2020 Sunday

      Whilst not exactly a maintenance note. . . .

      While sitting in the driveway with my Dad in Pennsylvania, I started cleaning the steering wheel, with a detailing wipe.  I had no idea—there was still paint, in the lettering, on the cruise control buttons. . . .

      ( :) ;) )

      Also, a big piece of clear plastic tape, came off of the steering column—which I believe had been on there since the factory.  (At this point, she had 226,000 miles.)

      (. . .)

      On 3/9/20 Monday, I look under the hood, and. . . .

       . . . The cap for the master cylinder was . . . missing??!!

      I'm startin' to get a little bit annoyed, here—this is the second time, that I brought "Dela" in for service, and the second time, a cap (??) went AWOL. . . .

      3/20/20 Friday

      A bit of a surreal experience, here. . . .

      The previous evening, I was pulling out of *** *****—and I heard a strange sound.  Roughly two blocks later, my TPS sensor came on—and I pulled into a "Haffner's" (It kicks!) station.  The Dude behind the glass, seemed absolutely *TERRIFIED* of me—guess he thought I was there, to rob the place, 'n stuff.  Once I told him I was only there, to change the tire, we both got more happy.   :) ;)

      Ladies and gentlemen–various transgendered beings–I changed that tire, in a time, that would've pleased an Indy 500 pit crew member.  –Well, no, not really—but the speed, and efficiency, of the tire change, was truly remarkable.  This may've had something to do—with this being downtown Lowell, at night. . . .

      Now, I'm not allowed, to do any sort of automobile maintenance, where I like, live, 'n stuff.  (I know—right??) So, I had the . . . pretty much surreal, experience—of working on the tire, in my living room. . . .  I found out, that the problem was caused—by a little piece of plastic, with nothing better else to do:

      The patch was actually somewhat involved.  The "wound" (for lack of a better thing to call it) was not deep enough, for me to insert the plug.  So, I tried to seal her, with just rubber cement.  This–not unsurprisingly–did not work; so, I had to use the (Huh-Huh. Huh. Huh.) "reaming tool"—to tear the threads underneath.  This, held air.  (!) :) :)

      As I have previously mentioned, I am not allowed, to do automobile maintenance, of any kind, where I like, live, 'n stuff.  So—I tried to do this, in the bank parking lot.  I soon realized . . . (pumping up the tire, with a hand pump) was going to take . . . some time. . . .  Now, general life advice: when doing things that are quasi-legal, it is important, to do them quickly.  Once I realized, that this was not possible, I headed down to Chelmsford (pronounced, by the locals, as "Chems-fud."   :) ;) )—where I have the express permission, of Pastor Steve, to like, work on cars in the Chuch parking lot.  (Yeah—the world we live in, eh?)

      There–patiently, steadily—I was able to get everything in order.  I drove on back roads—as far north as 113; then, I risked highway speeds (Federal Route 3).  She seems fully good, now.

       :) :) :) :)

      3/29/20 Sunday

      For reasons I do not fully understand, this video, has proven . . . suprisingly popular:

An . . . "Alternative" Way of Breaking the Bead 3-29-2020

      4/23/20 Thursday

      "Dela" was due for an oil change.  As I'm not allowed, to do ANY maintenance, where I reside—I found myself–again–in the Church parking lot.  Slow 'n steady—things could not have gone more smoothly.  :) ;)

      Oh. And once I got my own oil pan back (held illegally—after an apartment fire, for over two MONTHS), I . . . didn't . . . spill . . . a . . . drop.

       :) :) ;) ;)

      And I guess the auto farts (sic) store, is an "essential service"—as it was open, even during the coronavirus panic-demic.  Thus, I was even able to get rid of the waste oil, and without hitch.

      All in all, a perfect run.  And man, does Dela, like that new oil. . . .

       :) :) :) :)

      5/24/2020 Sunday

      Given the success of the last video, I made another:

An . . . "Alternative" Way of Passing New Hampshire Inspection 5-15-2020

      In the time it took me to enter the link, here—she got a positive review.


      7/23/2020 Thursday

      The tires needed rotating—so, I rotated them.

       :) :)

      I also, recently, replaced a bulb.  These two items, were the first maintenance I had performed, since moving to New York.  What would normally be routine (fixing cars, chasing (with my camera) a comet)–during this Covid-19 nonsense–were actually quite engaging. . . .

      8/3/020 Monday

      "Dela" needed an oil change—so, I changed her oil.

       :) :)

      She was due, at 231,000 miles; I changed her at 230,911.  I came to realize—this was her 77th oil change. . . .