The battery was dead and I just assumed (HA!) that it was drained from being unused for months. Nope! The electric fan behind the radiator was not turning off. I charged the battery, went for a ride and when I left the car parked the battery was drained again.
You can read more about it here. I tried the “tap the black box” solution and it didn’t work for me. For now I have disconnected the fan and will have to take the car to the dealer.
Back in September I had the MINI Cooper S serviced by the dealer. There were two problems with it:
The window wipers would seize up in the middle of the screen and stop working.
There was a sympathetic rattle in the dash board.
The rattle drove me insane and driving the red go-kart with that rattle just plain sucked. The wipers? That was serious business and they had stopped working in the middle of a rain storm. So I left the car with the dealer and three days later they eliminated the rattle. The wiper problem? No fault found.
Since September I have not driven the MINI S much. When it’s cold and there is ice on the road, the red go-kart becomes a red hockey puck.
Today it’s cold but really sunny, so I backed up the MINI S and charged the battery. The windows were dirty so I turned on the wiper washers. The right nozzle did not pass any cleaning fluid.
The wipers seized up in the middle of the screen again. I told Lily I was going to the dealer and went right there.
The service garage is closed on Sunday. The sales people were very nice and professional but they’re not mechanics. I need to bring it back tomorrow morning at 7 AM and talk to the service manager.
Sigh. This does not happen really with my Mercedes ML-320.
Yesterday Lily stayed at home and got the contractors started on our bathroom. They have done work for us before and don’t need us but we wanted to start off right.
Today it was my turn so I took a day off and ran errands. Me and the owner of the contracting company went to Home Depot looking for tiles. The ride there was fun. I was the passenger explaining how to get to Home Depot and the driver spoke English very poorly.
The Home Depots around here don’t really have much selection of tile so I ended up buying the tiles from a local seller. The store did not have it in stock, so I took a 15 mile ride by myself to their warehouse. I had to get 7 boxes of tiles.
The ride was in my MINI Cooper and my only GPS was my iPhone. It was in Old Westbury and when I got to a light I pulled out my iPhone and checked my position in the GPS.
Drive, stop, check GPS. I must have been the poster boy for why you can’t use cell phones while driving.
Once I got there I filled up the back of the MINI and came home.
Getting a new car is always very cool. The family and I picked up the MINI Cooper S at the dealer Friday after 4 PM. It’s a fun car and over the weekend we put about 150 miles on it.
After driving an SUV for 6 years this will take a lot of getting used to.
Automatic headlights (day running lights)
Bluetooth phone integration (being able to press a button and say aloud “dial 12125551212” and having it actually confirm and dial that number is just too cool)
We took it over to a friend house and I let him drive me around his neighborhood.
Apparently I am a conservative driver. He was zipping around like you’d expect someone running around in a red MINI Cooper. Took this one corner with the tires screeching and got a “Please don’t do that again” from me.
The car is a lot of fun and I think I’ll actually enjoy driving to New Jersey in it.
I mentioned to my Dad that the MINI is on the ocean. It was originally supposed to arrive sometime in October and I had just mentioned it as part of a status update. I had no idea how long it takes to ship a car.
Without saying anything about it Dad cleaned up the entire garage to make sure I have enough room to park three cars. That was a really nice surprise and his timing was perfect.
I got a call from the dealer. The MINI Cooper S has arrived at the dealer and we can pick it up Friday afternoon.
I keep referring to the mini as a go-cart. After driving the SUV for 6 years it will be fun to be closer to the road. Lily has already begun driving the SUV whenever she is in the car. Looks like the SUV will be her car and I get to drive the new car.
Yesterday after work Lily and I took the kids to see a MINI and BMW dealer. The idea is that we get one car for daily driving and an SUV for family trips, grocery shopping etc.
Right now I drive a 2000 ML-320. It’s a nice SUV but after 6 years I’d like to get something new. SUV’s are cool but gas is getting expensive. I am betting that before or on Labor Day this year gas will go over $4/gallon.
We went to the MINI dealer and looked at the floor models. The kids loved the car dealerships and they let me bring in both kids car seats and install them into a 2006 floor model. Me, Lily, both kids were a little cozy but it did fit.
I wonder how often a MINI dealer gets that request? “Excuse me, I want to check out how this zippy 4 seater does with the whole family. And do you know how many clowns we can fit in there?”
The kids car seats are pretty big and they have been using them for a long time. If we do get a MINI I’ll probably replace the kids car seats with (legal, safe, approved for their ages) smaller booster seats.
My current ML-320 SUV gets two complaints. First the cup holders are silly. They can only reasonably hold a small cup of coffee. Anything bigger and you need to get ready to catch the cup when it tilts out. Sodas from a fast food chain are just not worth the trouble.
The second complaint is the noise. Outside noise gets in very clearly. So when we checked out the X3 in the BMW dealer I was really pleased that when you closed the door, it kept out the muzak and conversation from the outside. This with other windows open (not the one in the door I was seated at). It maybe that the X3 is not the quiet and that my car is just loud. But the X3 seems like a well engineered vehicle.
We may keep the existing SUV and get the MINI. No rush so I think we’ll wait at least 2 months before making a decision.