Your roads are fucking amazing. I felt like I was driving on velvet. No potholes. I’m amazed. I honestly didn’t know roads could be that nice.
At any rate, I made it here, but it wasn’t easy. At exactly the four hour mark of an eight hour trip the check engine lights came on. I blurted out “you gotta be fucking kidding me” because I had just gone through this last week with the damned spark plugs and I was in the middle of fucking nowhere (although everyone’s nowhere is someone else’s somewhere and it’s hard to call places the middle of nowhere when you are from West fucking Vigrinia) and dutifully found an advanced auto parts to go get this diagnosed.
Apparently it has something to do with the cam being out of whack or timing or something but it is caused by a plugged oil something or other so I had the engine flushed and the oil changed, The engine light was still on, but I talked to the Subaru people and just said YOLO and will have the mechanic look at it while I am here.
At any rate, I am safe. I will note that ABC made me remove the overalls when I arrived (I’m surprised I was allowed to cross the threshold, tbh) and hid them so I had to unload the car in boxer shorts.
The residents of Connecticut will probably seal the borders when I live.
If you had gotten an electric car, none of this shit would be happening.
So far with this car, not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Subaru.
Be careful up there around all those Yankees.
Glad you are there safely. I had a check engine light come on Thanksgiving night outside Bryce Canyon National Park (i.e. in the middle of nowhere on a holiday). Eventually made it back, but not the most fun experience.
Dude. I was accompanying my mom on her bucket list trip, offline, for 15 days so I’m behind 5 episodes: WTH you doing driving to CT?
Yeah Cole. Glad you made it safely.???
@Cain: Right. No way would he have electrocuted himself.
Or a horse and buggy, like the Amish.
Last year I was visiting my brother and his family in CT and I stopped short, and managed to cut off another driver. He stopped, got out of his car and walked towards me. Damn, I thought, I’m finally going have that road rage incident I been expecting. Nope. He was worried I was lost (ny plates) and thought he could help. Connecticut, a magical place, filled with polite people.
That should be the title of a Neil Young album.
There are so many fine snarky things to say about this adventure, but I can’t compete with the experts here, so shall merely say that I’m glad you’re safe, happy the car repairs didn’t bankrupt you, and hope you have an exciting and memorable visit with ABC.
On some cars the “Check Engine Light” comes on at a specific mileage interval. On my recently departed Jetta, there was an OXS light that would come on every 15K. They hid the switch so drivers wouldn’t turn it off themselves, but teh Google is helpful.
that will teach you to leave the poor critters behind.
Hey, this is the Notorious John Cole we’re talking about. The fact that he hasn’t yet seriously injured himself, and that the car is not abandoned in a field somewhere, is a pretty good endorsement!
Or a Zen koan.
Keep going. You’re almost in Rhode Island. Cross the state line and you’ll feel right at home, except for the accents.
@Anne Laurie: Yes Anne, but has the mustard been accounted for?
@Anne Laurie: his fucking obsession with everything subaru.
One word: Honda. Dang car keeps going and the dealers are great, though not exactly cheap. I’ve never had a bad experience at a Honda dealer and I’ve dealt with them the length of the country. Somehow Honda has cracked the problem of ensuring their dealers work fairly with customers.
I don’t particularly like the cars Honda makes at the moment, but every time I get a little bit serious about buying something else, the thought of having to deal with non-Honda dealers makes me hold off.
@Anne Laurie: AL with the takedown.
It’s true that his next post is likely to come from:
1. A median.
2. A used car lot.
@SiubhanDuinne: The Tao of Cole.
ABC is a fashion goddess.
Do you live in Pittsburgh?
@BGinCHI: Yankees may be somewhat dour, we don’t go y’all and bless you heart but we is basically nice.
We drove my 2001 Frontier for the better part of three years with the light on. The diagnostics said the problem would cost more to fix than the truck was worth. The only effect was a little dip in the fuel economy, and our mechanic had to run it for a couple of hours in order for it to pass emissions inspection.
When in Connecticut, two words: Steamed Cheeseburgers
@Jane2: She sent a pantsless Cole outside.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: That’s part III of the trilogy. The Return of the Mustard.
@schrodingers_cat: Let me re-phrase: Yankees, be careful of Cole.
@SpotWeld: White Castle.
@Omnes Omnibus: It was chilly and raining. I was supposed to go for a walk, I bailed.
Definitely, not the weather to go without pants or a jacket for that matter.
Is there any other kind?
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Apparently the options are pantsless or overall wearing.
@Omnes Omnibus: Guess that’s why he didn’t bring any pants when he went to the DNC with ABL.
What’s with the overalls, is JGC auditioning for some reality show we don’t know about. Could be the launch of a career in politics for all we know.
@SpotWeld: New Haven pizza, yum!
Since you’ve been away for a while, you may need to sit down before hearing this news:
Cole found a woman. Like, a girlfriend woman. And she seems very nice, for Balloon-Juice values of “nice.”
@Omnes Omnibus: Seriously?
Going 80 MPH in a Subaru is tempting the Granola Gods. You’re lucky you didn’t enter another dimension!!
She chose wisely when she banned the overalls from her house. And Cole needed a woman willing to shake him out of his rut.
ETA for clarity about the wise choice.
From the OP.
He was wearing boxers.
It’s good for him. This is Cole we’re talking about.
@Mnemosyne: I wasn’t judging her.
@schrodingers_cat: It’s called “The Bloggers of West(by God) Virginia”.
@Another Scott: speeding and selfie. tsk, tsk. CT police must be nice peeps.
I was, and I find her judgment to be sound. I’m on ABC’s side here.
@Another Scott: I had an ancient Subaru wagon when I was a student, it would sound like a small airplane on the interstate at 65 mph. It would have fallen apart at anything over 70.
Connecticut has relatively high gas taxes: $0.25/gallon as an excise tax, plus 8.1% on “gross receipts” (I am not entirely sure what that means). That probably adds up to more than California’s $0.395/gallon, and CT does not have a Prop 13 messing up their general funds either, so they have money for roads.
What happened to that punitive 7-year-old child-ish “every new rule you make means I get to break two rules.” Isn’t this two rules to take away one rule:
One word: yyyeeewww
@Aleta: Government of the smug and stupid by the smug and stupid.
@Another Scott: 80 and turning under 3k in a Subie? I am impressed. He must have the 3.6.
Was driving around Colorado mountains in tiny rental Yaris. Heading back to Pueblo, passed sign that said no gas for 58 miles, then saw “1/8 tank left” on dashboard. A lot of coasting when I could, past houses with only solar + wind turbine. Sweated all the way to a gas station in Canon City! Must credit tiny car,
gbbalto + some
@efgoldman: I junked a Jetta with >250,000 miles because of the Check Engine Light. It burned out because it had been on so long and the car wouldn’t pass inspection unless the light worked. It was over $100 to pull the dash and replace the light. That, plus the rust at the gas filler pipe (it was about to start hanging in the air) sent it off to the crusher.
@amk: Hey, the Spousal Unit just made trips from here north of Boston to Chicopee, Hartford, and eventually Cleveland to find just the right used VW Jetta station wagon at his price point. And he was willing to drive out to Buffalo, and later to make a trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa & back, but the dealers sold those cars before he could get there.
The end result is a very nice little 2014 model, but I don’t feel like I’m in a position to make fun of anyone else’s automotive obsessions.
@Aleta: I think this is one of their CRA actions, where they overturn recent executive orders. The key is can’t enact except through Congress afterwards
@Anne Laurie: men are motornutheads, AL, present company excepted.
@Mnemosyne: Has the eagle landed?
Picturing Cole in the cold CT air in boxers is cute. Seems like he has met his match in a good way.
Comes a point in the life of a sedentary white male where they have to either lose weight, start wearing suspenders, or accept that their belt will ride up high under their pecs or down low over their pubis.
Never met Cole, so we can’t know if this is his issue, but overalls solve the issue the same way suspenders do… just with rather less elan.
She did ask for an explanation for all the naked mopping references that first night, so perhaps she’s breaking him in gently.
@Omnes Omnibus: For the record, I did not send a pantless anyone anywhere. I requested John remove the overalls, and instead of going to the car and getting his (enormous) suitcase first, he proceeded to disrobe in my kitchen and march out of the house in his underwear.
John also neglected to mention that despite a sincere promise that he would remove the overalls and hand them over for disposal immediately upon arrival, I had to use both hands to wrench them from his fists while he whined “I forgot! I wore my good overalls! Don’t take them!”
@Anne Laurie: Did you see President O looking sharp in a leather jacket? Michelle’s outfit was a bit boring in comparison.
When we bought our second Subaru Outback in 2012 we got the speech about the complex system of oil channels in the engine block, and that being stupid about oil changes will bite you, plus to not vary from the oil weight recs. Our first Subaru ran for almost 200k, and this one will do better I think;we’ve never been off by more than 500 miles on oil changes. With a set of snow tires it is the perfect winter/ski car.
As as younger woman I really got into car maintenance and mechanics and was proud of what I could figure out and do. Now cars are so complex that I have no desire. We inherited a Prius recently and there is no way I’m getting involved in whatever the hell is going on under that hood; the strange noises it makes when you turn it off makes me suspicious that it has Icelandic elves in there.
@efgoldman: Shush. New England’s trying to make a good impression. Let’s not subject him to Rhode Island drivers just yet.
Gotta be mindful of the oil situation with Subaru apparently they really really like it. It’s not a Honda!
@ABCConcepts: Please burn the overalls. Tunch would approve.
@ABCConcepts: Noted. I amend my comment to say launched rather than sent. Cool?
Who and what the hell are you guys talking about? Connecticut people are cold (emotionally), entitled and cranky. We also have shitty roads. Stop saying all these nice things about us who know better. ?
@ZeeLizzee: I lived there in middle school. Don’t worry, I won’t move back.
Lyrebird (on new device)
@ABCConcepts: Y’all have a good visit in spite of the peanut gallery, y’hear?
@schrodingers_cat: Michelle was there?
(joke; but I must say I dig him completely in those shades)
(and usually she’s the one who mesmerizes me)
You mean this picture? He is looking good, whatever happened to the mom jeans?
Lyrebird (on new device)
@ZeeLizzee: You have beautiful roads (not incl 95), many of which (eg 84) have been continuously under repair for my entire living memory (40some years), and all of which have way too many cars on them!
CT is an awesome state with wonderful people but most everyone in the East Coast branch of my family knows the Taconic State Pkwy by heart specifically to avoid CT driving…
The Merritt is ever so beautiful, like at 5am or so.
@Omnes Omnibus: This will not end well.
@Patricia Kayden: Let’s stop beating about the bush. He is whipped. And needed to be too.
@ABCConcepts: I just thought you two were feeling *frisky* – new love and all that good stuff….
@ABCConcepts: Okay, that got a belly laugh. I needed that after today. Thanks!
Five days to go. In fact, since I’m taking a red eye, I will continue to be insufferable until Sunday night.
Did I mention that we are going to be having ice cream with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen? I’m pretty sure I have reached Peak Princess in my character meal bookings.
@Corner Stone: Dude, it begins poorly. Cole in boxers outside. She didn’t send him (I believe her), yet he went. Yet he went.
@StringOnAStick: I have an ’03 Legacy wagon with the 2.5 four and a ’16 Outback also with the 2.5 four. Regular 3k mile oil changes meant that when the head was pulled because of a stupid head gasket problem at 85k my guy said the internals were clean as a whistle and at original manufacturing tolerances – he didn’t have to do anything to the piston heads. Of course, by thirteen and a half, I’ve done four sets of tires, front and rear suspension twice, brakes three times, timing belt water pump, exhaust twice, and front bearings. and there was an unfortunate encounter with a Hyundai Excel on Queens Boulevard. Which opened up the Excel like a tin-can. But as a city car, it’s been purring without a problem since the last set of big fixes in ’14.
We waited past the problematic ’12-’14 sludging Subes. I love the ’16. There is so. much. power. in that four. and the mileage is fantastic. Sheet metal is a bit lighter though. And yes, do the regular maintenances.
It was raining off and on also too.
Don’t worry. We’ve (virtually) known Cole for years. We’re on your side.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think the proverbial broken glass Cole always talked about crawling over to vote for Manchin is about to become for reals.
@Patricia Kayden: @efgoldman: You people are evil.
@Corner Stone: Golly.
@StringOnAStick: You should hear the creepy noises a Spark EV makes. The manual even says such things are normal, so as not to freak you out.
I look forward to having my insignificant other make me disrobe when next I see him, but I rather hope it’s after I unload the car. And isn’t “good overalls” an oxymoron?
I so hope you two have fun.
Close, they’re Japanese elves.
if you live. i’ve seen what happens when you mop, or try to walk on a deck.
Well, Connecticut better have great roads considering how often they’re under construction 8 months out of the year.
By driving a Subaru you’ll fit into the rest of New England.
i assume there was banjo music playing in the background.
@hovercraft: There’s another picture featuring his handsome shoes. They’re already on track to be the best former president and former FL in the solar system.
What? I just reported a factual occurrence.
@ABCConcepts: Are you gonna take Cole clothes shopping, or is that a thing the two of you have agreed not to do.
@enplaned: Oh yeah, baby! I have a ’95 (!) Accord wagon that I’m very deeply fond of. Bought her used 8 years ago, and hope to drive her forever.
@ZeeLizzee: Masshole here. Trust me, for New England you’re downright friendly.
Cole, whatever you do, don’t drive any further north. The roads deteriorate rapidly, and, well, Masshole drivers. And the potholes here in Watertown will eat your Subaru.
Just got the minivan back from its 2nd CEL in three months. 2nd dead ignition coil. Only 4 more to go…
“Good overalls” Ha! I needed that laugh.
@StringOnAStick: Before I bought my 2004 VW Pumpe Düse TDI wagon, I did all kinds of reading about the special engine it had and the special oil it took. (Each cylinder has its own extremely high pressure direct-injection fuel pump.) I had several run-ins with the dealer the first year or two when I had to argue with them about using the correct oil because the people behind the desk thought that their “full synthetic” was as good or better than the VW spec 505.01 oil (that cost twice as much as their synthetic) that the manual screamed in Big Angry Type was REQUIRED and the warranty would be VOIDED if any other oil was used… The dealer eventually got their act together about it. :-/
I didn’t know much of anything about Subarus until this thread, but I’m not surprised that it may have rather severe oil change requirements based on my own experience with the VW.
Good luck, JC.
@efgoldman: You know what you did.
I agreed long ago never to force G to go clothes shopping, which is one of the reasons we’re still together after almost 17 years.
But I did have to laugh when he told me he wore one of his favorite shirts to work at the library and a homeless guy said, “Hey, I have the same shirt!”
Absolutely not. Ted’s Steamed Cheeseburgers.
These ain’t no White Castles, baby!
Kia? Our then-new 2004 Sedona wouldn’t run in the rain. We eventually had to have all six ignition coils replaced.
Incitatus for Senate
About the Subaru, did you recently add oil? On many of their engines the electrical connector for the Cam position sensor is directly below the oil filler opening. Spill just a little bit of oil, the connector shorts out and the Check Engine light comes on. Clean with spray electronics cleaner.
But she persisted…
mm, steamed hams.
Look as disgusting as they sound.
@Anne Laurie: Your point?
There’s reg’lar overalls and fancy eatin’ overalls. He might could’a been wearin’ them.
What are y’all picturing?
1) Batman boxers
2) Spongebob boxers
3) Hello Kitty boxers
4) Something even worse
Oh, and tucking the napkin into your shirt collar is frowned upon in New England, also too.
Well, you can go down the road a little ways to Louie’s Lunch.
Find myself driving a car without so much as a dipstick. It emails me when it’s time for an earl change.
I bought the extended service plan.
Lyrebird (on new device)
Well heck in the good lobster places they just give you a bib, so there’s no need.
@Felonius Monk: As an exclamation, “Well – steam my cheeseburger!” ranks right up there with Flo’s “Kiss mah grits!”
The fancy eatin’ are the ones with the food stains awreddy on ’em.
Much more promising.
@trollhattan: The Saab is gone?
@trollhattan: It’s pretty amazing how sophisticated engines are these days.
But $20,000 for an oil change on a Veyron is a bit much…
There may well be bad places that serve lobster but I don’t believe there are any bad lobster places. At least in New England.
Well, there’s Red Lobster
@trollhattan: With JC, it must have been the fancy version, dontcha think?
Yes there is at least one. A place in Peabody, MA that served an old, tough, horrible tasting lobster — very unpleasant.
Damn. And i thought it was bad that you needed a special wrench from Ford to change the plugs on my ’81 Crown Vic with the police package. because otherwise you had to take out… I don’t remember, I think it was the alternator.
@Felonius Monk: I remember (15+?) years ago going with J to Rockport (I think it was) and we “had to” stop at some little trailer-like place to get lobster rolls. These tiny little sandwiches were something like $18 a piece… :-/
Long story short, spouse’s car croaked (timing belt, interference engine) and white she was driving mine it threw a CEL. I went to all the indys to sort it out and all backed away like vampires at sunrise. “We don’t work on those anymore.”
CEL was trivial and the car was in good shape but I decided with no local shop backup I needed to end my Saab string on my terms, not some random mishap in Nevada. Considering I began with a 99EMS it leaves a big hole in my motorhead soul.
@Mnemosyne: I am laughing so hard right now.
For whatever stupid reason, back in the 80s Red Lobster decided to open the largest eatery in the chain here on Maui, with seating for over 800.
Place hung on for maybe a year before they folded up their tent and departed the island.
@trollhattan: Sorry. I get it. I will run mine as long as I can.
Our boy’s trying to make a good impression so I’m positive he went top-drawer on the overall selection.
Poor guy hasn’t been able to bring himself to wear it ever since.
ETA: My husband, not the homeless guy.
Villago Delenda Est
@LAO: Grew up there. Yes, helpful people.
@Omnes Omnibus: Thanks. I guess that was an update. When I first looked at the post on the front page it wasn’t there and I didn’t read it carefully when I clicked through. That’ll teach me!
Parts are more or less available but diagnostic equipment and specialty tools are the pitfall of the DIY folks.
My coda is the 16YO Saab was in vastly better shape than the spousal Audi, which was 8 years newer. Its interior kind of disintegrated.
You actually got out your phone to take a picture while behind the wheel doing 80 on the highway?
Bonehead move, that.
Ben Davis SuspenderCam–hands-free.
John, it’s just the car’s computer seeing the intake cam shafts a little out of whack. The engine light may self-extinguish, or it may need to be cleared with a code scanner. Or you can disconnect the battery and step on the brake for 10 seconds if you don’t mind reprogramming your radio presets. The car will crank for a few seconds before the engine catches either way, don’t worry. The oil flush will have helped, but may need to be done again at some point. I have 2 outbacks with that engine, and seldom does anything really go wrong with them. My coworker has a legacy with the 3.0, and his car missed some oil changes when it was young, and will occasionally throw a code like the one you’ve gotten.
West of the Rockies (been a while)
Yet he went… Cole was warned. Still he persisted.
Crap, I see Ann beat me to it. Department of Redundancy Department.
@ABCConcepts: You mean the black ones with the painted-on bow tie?
@Bill: I have the 3.0 R VDC, 2006.
@SpotWeld: Two more words: No Thanks.
@hovercraft: Coolest president ever! JFK was a whitebread piker in comparison.
@trollhattan: Then there’s the Sunday go to meeting overalls, but since Cole’s one o’ them aTHEEists, he don’t need them.
Uh, I think you were just lucky.
Come to my neck of the woods and you’ll see Confederate flags and “Hillary for Prison” stickers. When you see a Confederate flag on a car with CT plates, you know it’s just plain old racism.
Seal the borders when you “live” ??? That seems a bit harsh.
@LAO: Southern Canada, almost, eh?