Alternator Replacement

The alternator on the Sentra hasn’t been functioning very well. When you start the car, the dashboard battery light stays on. This means the battery is not being charged. It only goes off when you rev the engine. Also, the headlights would go brighter when you rev the engine. This means the voltage is low and only goes up when revved. I’ve had it repaired several years ago but I guess it’s finally reaching the end of its life.

Last night, Michelle forgot to rev the engine as she drove off. The battery drained and the engine died. Good thing it happened at the parking building already. With the aid of two security guards, we pushed the car to the side. Then I brought down the other car and jump started the Sentra so that I can at least park it properly.

Yesterday, I dropped by the nearest decent car shop I could find and have it checked. I ended up at Rapide. As suspected, the alternator needs to be replaced and it cost a whooping P14,500!!! But with few options (battery was about to go flat again), I gave them the go ahead and after an overnight stay at the shop, I finally got the car back.

So far, everything seems to be working fine. The dashboard battery light turns off as soon as the car is started. The headlights also stay steady when you rev the engine. Here’s hoping for another several years of operation.

Oil Sending Unit Replacement

The Sentra had been leaking engine oil for the past few months. Not too much to be an environmental disaster (I hope not) but enough to leave unsightly black oil spots on the ground. Whenever I visit a car shop, I ask mechanics to look for the source but to no avail. Some recommended that I get an engine wash to make finding the leak easier.

Last week, I had a complete wash: body wash, under wash, and engine wash. I then gave it a week for the oil to leak out then I had it checked at a car shop. They found that the leak was at the oil sending unit (it’s actually sends oil pressure readings). I’ve had it replaced before but that was before the engine swap so it seems I need to change it for the new engine. I had it replaced (for P1,830).

I hope that was the only problem. But so far, the car doesn’t seem to be leaking oil anymore.

Road Trip

Went with the family on a year-ender road trip. James and I drove our cars in probably some of the best places to drive in Luzon.

  1. NLEx, SCTEx, TPLEx – Ripping through the smooth tarmac along the expressways. They sure shaved a lot of travel time and are fun by themselves.
  2. MacArthur, Manila North Road – Relaxed cruising along the roads to Vigan, Laoag, and Pagudpud. There are just the annoying slow trucks and buses that were a chore to pass.
  3. Naguilian Road – We reached Naguilian Road to Baguio at dusk. By the time we were at its twists, turns and uphill grades, it was dark already. Crazy. And fun!
  4. Santo Tomas Road – We missed a turn heading down from Baguio and went into a drive up the clouds. Twists, turns, and uphill grades in the fog. More fun!
  5. Kennon Road – A leisurely and picturesque route down from Baguio. Good thing the weather was good.
  6. Guimba-Victoria Road – Rally Stage! Tried to enter TPLEx at Rosales but it turned out to be still under construction. Instead of going back, we proceeded to Umingan-Rosales Road and then Nueva Ecija-Pangasinan Road all the way to Guimba. The two roads were pretty good. At Guimba, we then took the Guimba-Victoria Road. It felt like a road everyone forgot. There were asphalt, concrete, and dirt sections in various states of disrepair. Wished I had an STI or an Evo.

A good close the year in terms of driving.


Ford Everest Concept

When the last Ford Ranger came out, I was expecting the new Ford Everest to come out soon after. Unfortunately, months went by and there was nothing except some Ranger-based renders and some spy shots of possible prototypes. Until now: Ford has just unveiled the new Ford Everest Concept down under. It will ostensibly be the basis of the 2014 or 2015 Ford Everest. And it’s better than I ever imagined. While some SUVs, especially crossovers, have gone unisex, even feminine, the Ford Everest Concept is very much rugged, brawny, manly. It practically oozes testosterone. I like, baby #2 or not!

WTF: MMDA proposing to ban cars two days in a week

The geniuses over at MMDA are proposing to ban cars two days in a week.Why oh why are there people in the government thinking this way? With this kind of thinking then why not three days in a week? How about four? How about ban cars altogether? That ought to solve the traffic problem. Sheesh! Talk about killing the patient to free up hospital beds.

It’s elementary but maybe it’s worth stating for the sake of the people at MMDA: Transportation of people and goods is the objective. Traffic congestion is the problem. How about solving the problem while preserving the objective? Finding solutions may not be easy but that’s what you’re there for. That’s what you’re being paid for!

How about some ideas as well? Improve the existing mass transit system capacity (MRT, LRT), expand mass transit system (say PPP), unify intra-city bus system, get rid of provincial-route buses within the city, get rid of colorum buses, get rid of jeepneys and tricycles on the major thoroughfares… Beyond Metro Manila: develop other cities, improve intercity transportation. Oh right, you’ve thought about them. You just don’t find them easy. But nobody said it was easy. Again, that’s what you’re being paid for!