Saturday, 14 November 2015

Toyota Day

Although the Corolla had recently been to the mechanic changing the shocks, I took it to the Toyota Day for a Check-Up.
With 190428km on the clock these were the remarks made: 
- parking brake lever in need of adjustment;
- minor engine oil leak;
- floor mats in bad shape;
- battery in end of life;

The brake lever is fine the way it is for me. 
The oil leak is due to the oil washer from last oil service, it had to be replaced since the ones they use are plastic instead of cooper, and it got "twisted" allowing some oil leak.
The floor mat on the drivers side is in a rather advanced state of degradation... something to think of in the future, since it does interfere with the driving.
About the battery... its been there for almost five years (since I bought the car) and have no idea of how long its been there before, that will probably be my next step, before it leaves me stranded.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

New shocks

After been driven by over 190 thousand kilometres, the right from shock was knocking when turning left and when driving on badly paved roads. It could only be the shocks the origin of the noises since there seemed to be no apparent wear in any other suspension/steering components, so, new shocks were bought (Kayaba Excel-G) to retire the OEM ones.
Although the rear shocks were still capable of keeping up to the job for some more time, the ones in the front end were in pretty bad shape, the right front one had some very noticeable wear in the piston (hence the noise), opted for replacing all four shocks at this time, with the respective bushings.
The four shocks and bushings costed me 245.51€... and driving silence settled in again.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The spare key adventure.

Had to use the spare ignition key since the usual one was some 30km away from my location. The engine did crank but it just wouldn't start, it seemed that the car immobilizer didn't recognized the spare key. I had a car, I had a key for that car, but what I really had, at that moment, was a very big paperweight.
Had someone pick me up to get my usual key and the engine started just fine, paid a visit to the dealer the next day to get the spare one recoded, 32.35€ and a hour later, the key was back in order and with also a new battery fitted.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Valve clearance check: take III

Having reached the break even point, and since in the last service there was no time to measure de valve clearances, today I drove the Corolla to the workshop, let it cool down for three hours and got to work.
The 3ZZ engine ran over 55400km on LPG and 44320km after the last measurement, the present valve clearances are as follows:

- intake valves: from 0.15 to 0.25mm, measured value 0.25mm
- exhaust valves: from 0.25 to 0.35, measured value 0.30mm

The 0.25mm feeler gauge in the intake valves was quite hard to fit between the tappet and the cam lobe, the 0.35mm didn't fit in the tappet clearance in the exhaust valves, and the 0.30mm had some noticeable clearance left (compared to the 0.25 in the intake valves).
All clearances in the intake were similar, as were the clearances in the exhaust ones, there are no wild values in valves with the same function.
Next measurement in 50 thousand kilometres... with the replacement of the rocker cover gasket, it leaks a very small amount of oil near the second cylinder spark plug.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Break even point

After running for 55358km over two years, seven months and seventeen days after the installation of the Vialle LPi LPG liquid injection system, the Corolla got to the point where the cumulative value of the fuel savings surpassed the value paid for the installation (2337€).

It took longer than expected to reach the break even point, this was due to the increase in LPG taxes and last years petrol price drop. 

Even with a average LPG consumption of 7.77 litres for 100km, which represents an increase of 24.1% in fuel consumption over the values registered in the Board Computer, the fuel expenses dropped 43.8%.

Next landmark... when it reaches twice the installation value.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

183k service

The running distance keeps adding up and another service was due one year after the last one
This time, besides the oil (5W30 as recommended by Toyota), oil filter, air filter and cabin filter, the Corolla had the auxiliary belt and the front brake pads replaced, none of which had been replaced since I own the car. The replaced brake pads lasted for 93 thousand kilometres, more than half of the Corolla's total driven distance, 183369km.
Also the clutch actuator was lubricated because, when lifting the foot front the clutch pedal, it made a squeaking noise... again.
Total expense was 71.04€ and it is ready for 15k more, soon valve clearance will be measured.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 year analysis

With a total driven distance of almost 16000km, the Corolla is getting very close to the break even distance (2064km to go), which should be reached in late February.

This year's costs.
Periodic compulsory inspection: 30,54€
Road Tax: 55,31€
Insurance: 147,84€
Fuel: 950,98€ (which 106,45€ in petrol)
Total: 1432,10€ (0,09€/km)

The total savings on fuel costs for this year were a little over 500€, even with a new tax applied to LPG and the last trimester petrol price fall.
Soon, probably late next month, the Corolla will be serviced again, and the valve clearances will be measured once again to verify the Vialle´s LPi efficiency on the valve and valve seat recession issue.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Winter is coming

After running the (now) old Yokohama's 2 for over 61k kilometres (the last 40k were at the front axle), I decided to try something else, one of those fuel efficient type of tire that promise to save you what can be a considerable amount of money.
I had driven Dunlop's before (nice soft and unlucky tire... blew two of them little over 20k) but never tried fuel savers. Crunching some numbers, thanks to the Energy Efficiency page of the European Commission, and they say that I can save up to 195€ on fuel by fitting B labelled tires instead of F labelled. Well, since I paid 199.25€ for a pair of Dunlop Sport Bluresponse (195/60R15), they seem to pretty much pay for themselves if, I drive them up to 60 thousand kilometres... not a problem!
The new tires were fitted at the rear axle, the older ones were balanced and the steering was aligned, this is also included in the paid value.

The glitch is no more!

And the LPG fuel level indicator goes "bip bip bip" as the system switches to petrol as the LPG runs (near) empty.
This was achieved with a new software update made to the system control unit that finally solved the problem. One thing is left to check later, the fuel reserve, to little and the system will not switch to petrol when out of gas, to much and the Corolla will be running to the LPG station far to many times.
Driving home that day, the engine seemed more "smooth" than the usual for the past few months, as I was told by the man that made the update, that was natural since the new software not only had the correction for the fuel level problem, but also had some other minor corrections made.

Thursday, 6 November 2014


At fifty thousand kilometres running on LPG the odometer red 178947km, still some 4k short to the break-even point.
Sometime soon the Corolla will have to pay a visit to the shop to try and sort out"the glitch" and check if everything else in the LPG system is in perfect working order.
Valve clearance will be checked next oil service at 182k.