Just learned that Ken Block of Gymkhana fame passed away due to a snow mobile accident last January 2. I first encountered him when I watched Gymkhana 3 at a DC Shoes in Eastwood a long time ago. I stopped watching after Gymkhana 4 but he and his driving panache definitely left a lasting impression.
One of the problems in this time of lockdowns and quarantines is that you don’t get to drive much and if you haven’t taken a drive for two weeks or so then you’ll probably find that your battery is dead. One thing that you can do is to jump start your car which should be fine especially in an emergency.
But the best thing to do is actually to charge your battery and this is where a car battery charger comes in. It plugs into your main outlet and then you have clamps that connect to the battery.
If your battery is badly deteriorated, you will need to repair. The deterioration is caused by the buildup of lead sulfate crystals in the battery cells and this is what prevents the battery from holding a charge. The lead sulfate crystals can be removed by charging with low voltage pulses. Once the crystals are removed the battery should be able to hold the charge again.
You just have to wait until the battery becomes full. This will take quite a while especially for repair.
A car battery charger this is definitely a good addition to your car toolkit. So aside from jump starting you now have the option of charging or repairing your battery as well.
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.
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.
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.
- NLEx, SCTEx, TPLEx – Ripping through the smooth tarmac along the expressways. They sure shaved a lot of travel time and are fun by themselves.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- Kennon Road – A leisurely and picturesque route down from Baguio. Good thing the weather was good.
- 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.