Unexpected Minor Maintenance

Disclaimer: This will be a very brief update as there just isn’t that much to tell.

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Shortly after I returned from my last trip to Memphis, I had a passenger side headlight go out on the TL. Of course needing a remedy to this problem as soon as possible I decided to hit up the local AutoZone for the replacement bulb. While I was aware that HID bulbs are considerably more costly than typical halogens I had a bit of sticker shock at the $100 bulb. Unfortunately right after I purchased this bulb and requested the install, the AutoZone Associate then decided to inform me he could no longer install the bulb that he had previously assured me he could.

I returned the bulb and proceeded to find somewhere that I could purchase the bulb and have them install it as I’m not the most mechanically inclined. Knowing this, I called the O’Reillys just down the street from the AutoZone and asked them if they could replace the bulb. After assuring me that they could I arrived and opened the hood so the associate could pull out the old bulb to be sure I was purchasing the correct replacement part only to have him also inform me he could also no perform the desired service.

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At this point I was beyond Frustrated having two stores that had promised they could perform something only to not be able to deliver. After some research I discovered the only way to access the main headlight bulb assembly was removing the front bumper so I did the only thing logical and called the local Acura dealership to see if they could work me in.

Thankfully my timing could not have been better and they were able to get me in and out within an hour with my new bulb.

While waiting I did manage to walk around the lot and find this gem in for service…

The stack of service record continues!

Where I’ve been… Recent Travels… Update 12-30-18

Beach Trip-10/08-10/13

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, but I promise I’ve been driving the TL as much as possible and traveling quite a lot.

Let’s start with early October, while our school was on a two week break, a group of friends and I decided to take a week long trip to my aunt’s beach house.

St. Simons Island has been one of my favorite places to go since I was a little kid. Its nice and secluded and was the perfect place for me and my friends to go relax.

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The trip down there went relatively smoothly, me and my friend Makenna left from Mount Juliet about 6:00 AM on Monday (October 8th), and met up with the other two of group who live in Knoxville. Leaving Mount Juliet the TL rolled 136,000 miles. IMG_3497

We chose to meet in Chattanooga, about two hours from Nashville and two hours from Knoxville in order to take one car instead of two and it was on the way to the Beach House.

Once dropping of Hayden’s car in Chattanooga at a relatives, we set off on our journey into South Georgia.IMG_3498

About 3 hours south of Atlanta, we decided to stop off for lunch and to also see my Grandmother, who was very excited for our spur-of-the-moment visit. In the back you can see her 2014 Toyota Highlander. Although it gets quite dirty from the clay road she lives on, it has always been reliable and should continue to be for many years.

As we got closer to the beach house it started to rain, between the weather and the almost 9 hours of driving, we were exhausted and thought it be best to stay at the house that evening, not that we were complaining.

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As you may recall, I visited this same aunt and uncle at their home in the mountains. They have recently sold that home as of late July and have since moved down to this house which have they have owned for a couple years.

Throughout the week we were able to take advantage of the beautiful weather, despite the fact that a lot of our friends, who had gone to Florida and Alabama, had gotten hit by the hurricane or had to evacuate.

Overall this trip was great and much needed! We will definitely be returning to St. Simons Island.

 

South Carolina-SASC 2018:

I concluded my fall break by attending a Student Council conference. The 84th annual Student Association of Student Councils was certainly an exciting event. In fact the same two friends from Knoxville that went on the beach trip were actually at this conference as well!

Dog Incident- November

Unfortunately the TL had its first incident around the middle of November, I was coming home from school on a very curvy backroad and as I crested a hill a pitbull jumped in front of my car.

The front bumper was cracked and some clips on the driver side came out of place but luckily I went out of town for Thanksgiving and the body shop was able to get a new bumper, and paint it within a week.

 

This past week!

This week was rather eventful, while it wasn’t particularly filled with automotive news and updates, It was filled with a lot of memories.

My dear friend Megna(not Megan haha), who I met earlier through Student Council invited me and another friend from Nashville down to Memphis which is about a 3 hour drive on I-40 West.

We left Wednesday afternoon and returned home on Saturday so not a bad little trip. Overall it was a very successful trip; we visited downtown and other than the confusing layout of Memphis and its’ surrounding suburbs it was a really fun trip! Thankfully I did not have to drive after we arrived at our hotel because I would have been utterly confused with the layout of the suburbs of Memphis. One minute we would be in Bartlett, the next Germantown, and if we were lucky eventually make it into Memphis and this was all in a matter of two stop lights.

 

As of right now the TL is currently sitting at 141,565

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Saturday “Cars and Coffee” and Milestone.

It’s been a while since I last posted, and to be honest I haven’t been that busy rather I just haven’t had anything to update on.

This weekend started off great, every weekend our Nashville “Cars and Coffee” meets at the Carmike Theatre in Brentwood, a 30-45 minute drive from where I reside in Mount Juliet via I-40, 440 West, then I-65.

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I brought a friend along with me this time around. Chris who not only works with me but also took “driver’s ed” with me back in October 2016 shares a love of cars and also has a pretty cool ride himself: a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 with the “blacktop” package pictured below.

 

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photo taken at Fate Sanders Marina, TN

We opted to take my car because last month Chris had an unfortunate encounter with a 2 foot pole at our local fair and has yet to get the passenger side fixed from the minor incident.

Normally the show takes place from 8-10 with very minimal cars/people in attendance. But the first weekend of the month is always an exception to that rule. Upon arrival at approximately 7:45 the parking lot was already almost at capacity!

There was every kind of car you could imagine from Landcruisers to Miatas, from high end exotics to modified Volkswagen Jettas and Subarus.

It was a great experience and I was very pleased to see a good amount of Porsches there, including the 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Carrera 4S pictured above.

Love the color combination on this drop-top 997, and it is equipped with the lovely manual transmission as all Porsches should!

Fun Fact, there were actually quite a few enthusiasts there that were younger with quite nice cars.

Take the Audi R8 for example, this kid is just a year older than Chris and I and showed up in this!

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(The M2 Competition featured above is also driven by a high school kid my age)

Overall it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend if you’re in the Nashville Area.

 

On a side note I also hit 134,000 Miles this morning!

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Dashboard Cover Arrival, Wash, Trunk Organization, and Minor Maintenance and Milestone

After waiting what seemed like a month, my highly anticipated dashboard cover finally arrived last Tuesday. Unfortunately, I was unable to install the package until the following morning due to a very busy afternoon before. I apologize for the lack of updates before now; this past week has been super busy with our student council trying to prepare for the upcoming school year that actually starts August 1st, two days after this is published. The Majority of my time this past week has been dedicated to Student Council including my weekend.

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A welcome improvement from the horrible cracking of the original dashboard.

Wednesday and Thursday we had workdays to assist teachers from 9-2 and that just takes all the energy out of me and makes me want to be lazy the rest of the day. Friday was a much longer workday 10 AM to about 10PM due to a dance put together for incoming freshman and then my weekend was eaten up by the state executive board meeting in Murfreesboro from Midday Saturday to Noon on Sunday.

Fortunately I did have the day off work today, so I figured it would be a perfectly good time to get the TL ready to head back to school on Wednesday.

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I also decided since I was at the school the majority of the week last week that I would go ahead and purchase my parking pass for this upcoming school year and ensure that I got the highly coveted parking pass #1. While our high school doesn’t have assigned parking spots. We do have the option to purchase one of the limited “painted parking spots” that are for sale on one side of our building. These parking spots not only allow the lucky buyers to be able to avoid traffic, but they also provide the chance to avoid fighting for an unassigned parking spot every morning which can get kind of tedious.

Being on Student Council has its perks, one being able to buy the first parking passes before the rest of the student body, and the other being able to purchased a painted parking spot before everyone else as well.

Last year I was able to purchase a parking spot that had been painted by an outgoing senior with the “Tennessee Flag” painted on it. While the spot did need some touching up I added my own touch to it by putting my initials on the spot as well. This spot is kind of a commodity at our school because not only is it one of the coolest designs; but it’s also right in view of a camera (student drivers), and this spot was one of the original painted parking spots when the project was instated 3 years ago.

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While the stars are disproportionate to the rest of the spot and I did have to touch up the spot last year with a new coat of paint, I was however able to get the spot numbered as spot 19 which coincides with my graduation year. Overall I’m still happy with this spot and honestly don’t want to go through the trouble of repainting this year as it was a hassle last year and my car stays on top of it the remainder of the time anyway.

On a completely unrelated note, my trunk has been a mess lately, I decided that while I was washing my car today I might as well just clean out the trunk while I’m at it. I went to work removing unnecessary items, and organizing things that do need to remain in there with the nifty cargo net.

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I also realized that I just passed the date of a needed oil change, last one done at 126,895 and since I hit 132,000 miles today I made time to schedule an appointment.

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While I should be going to the Acura dealership as I normally would, I didn’t have the time today to drive the 45 minutes to my nearest dealer (Gary Force Acura of Coolsprings) so I settled for servicing at Firestone of Mount Juliet. I’ve learned that for minor maintenance such as oil changes and simple tire rotation and balancing it’s not a bad alternative when I don’t necessarily want to drive out to Coolsprings.

Overall I would say the visit went relatively well, other than the fact that my battery may need to be replaced soon, I’m pleased to report that no issues turned up during the service. DSC_0005

Hope everyone is having a fantastic end to a great summer!

 

Import Alliance 2018 Summer Meet- Talladega SuperSpeedway

 

fullsizeoutput_11d1As promised I did attend the first day of the Import Alliance summer meet today. Last year I lucked out because the show was held at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, which is about 20 minutes down the road from where I live in Mount Juliet. This year I didn’t end up being as fortunate as far as travel time to the show but the drive out there went flawlessly other than a light drizzle for about 30 minutes at the end.

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The TL upon the Alabama side of the AL-GA state line.

Shortly after taking this picture I continued on through Alabama on Interstate 59 and stopped at a Chick Fil A for breakfast before getting back on the road.

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Upon arrival at the entrance to the Talladega SuperSpeedway, I was not surprised by the ENORMOUS line to enter the infield of the track where the meet was actually held. I arrived shortly before 9 AM and didn’t actually park my car until about 11 AM, so I guess you could say I was a little antsy to say the least. I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of the tunnel you pull through to get into the middle of the track because that’s where the fun really began! As soon as a car pulled through the tunnel, that driver certainly didn’t hesitate to rev their engine as loud as they possibly could, an IA tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0076.JPGOnce inside the middle of track, I collected my wrist band and proceeded to follow the Honda Civic Si, (also from TN) to the available parking spaces.

 

 

 

There were so many modified cars there that it was hard to capture them all in photos; especially since people would obliviously walk right in front of my shot! But at the end of the day I can not really help that :/.

The majority of the pictures I will be posting will be JDM/Honda and Acura since I found myself gravitating towards those builds today rather than the the other vehicles that populated the raceway.

 

Below are my favorites of the show today, enjoy!

 

 

 

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Probably the single cleanest Del Sol in Alabama; not to mention that Fiery Orange paint job!

 

 

 

 

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Dope looking 1st gen RDX, you could actually here the turbo noises as it drove around the parking lot, I suspect it had either a boost gauge or way more than the stock 240 HP, maybe both haha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While these cars were fascinating, showcase wasn’t the only event taking place within the Import Alliance meet.

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Along with drifting, there were also drag races that happened, there was a Hellcat and Camaro ZL1 LE that went at it shocked the crowd.

Here’s a fun fact, the Hellcat not only was from Tennessee, but in fact attends Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin which is 30 minutes from Mount Juliet. A lot of student in Tennessee who want to take advantage of the Free 2 Year/Associates Degree program attend this college and a couple others across the state. Evidently one student was able to save enough money from tuition to buy this cool ride!

 

There was also a Pontiac Firebird that looked like was a little intimidated by all of the imported cars.

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Overall the day was really fun to say the least, but looking at all these heavily modified cars just made me want to keep my car as close to stock as possible. Maybe one day I’ll own a modified Honda or something similar, but that day is not today.

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Spontaneous Friday Drive with an unexpecting milestone.

Yesterday was kind of a lazy day, with all the work I’ve been putting in for student council the past few days I haven’t really had a day that I can just do absolutely nothing in quite a while.

A friend and I decided to go see some of our friends in a production of West Side Story at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon.

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The theatre originally opened in 1941 and then closed in 1980 and back then had 1000 seats. In 2009 the old theatre was purchased and renovated and reopened in 2013 with a decreased seating capacity of 400. While I wasn’t able to take pictures inside the theatre; I must say the performance was phenomenal and I will definitely be returning for future productions since there’s a new play put on every season.

Today however, is the highlight of this post; while I’m planning on going to Import Alliance tomorrow I refused to sit in the house today and decided to go for a drive. I knew that I was getting close to 131,000 miles and decided that today was going to be the day that I passed that miniature milestone.

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The drive to Natchez Trace Parkway is about 2 hours from where I reside in Mount Juliet,  but the scenery once you get there is totally worth it.

Now while there are much larger milestones to celebrate, I figured it was good weather and a day off work so why not travel a little bit and get some good photos as well.

Expect another post soon as Import Alliance is the day after this post should go live.

Headlight Restoration, New floor mats, and Dash Cover….

As many people know, the 3rd Generation TL’s have a common issue with cracking dashboards; unfortunately, mine is one of the affected that is plagued with this issue. Since November when I purchased the car, it has been a major eyesore and has really detracted from the interior of my car.

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So I’ve finally decided to take some action and order a dash cover to temporarily solve the problem until I can locate replacement dashboard and have it installed.

I decided to go with a company recommended to me by a friend and fellow 3GTL owner Kylen. While his car is quite a bit more modified than mine his has the same issue. Dash Designs makes a quality product from what Kylen has shown me and for the price I couldn’t really pass on the deal, so I went and ordered one online and it should be here in 10 days or so.

Image-1 I decided to order a black one instead of the charcoal that would match my leather because my dashboard was originally black and I think too much gray would definitely be overkill.

The dashboard isn’t the only improvement that came to the TL today…. this one came in the form of headlight restoration. Unfortunately the toothpaste method and those headlight restoration kits from Autozone don’t last very long at all when it comes to keeping headlights clear.

My Acura’s headlights were perfectly clear a few months ago and have be slowly getting worse and worse every week.

Fortunately, I am subscribed to ChrisFix on Youtube and found his video on how to restore plastic headlight lenses permanently.

Here is the end result:

Not bad for a few hours worth of work!

On a completely unrelated note, my dad does have a friend who used to have a 3G TL and had a set of OEM All Weather Floor mats, due to circumstances unknown to me he no longer has that vehicle and knew that I had one as my dad had driven my car a couple of times when they met up. These mats where in perfect condition and while they weren’t gray mats to match my carpeted ones, they do match the black dash board and upper doorsills.

With a little cleaning up, they will be spotless and good as new!