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Old 04-11-2017, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 1,747

Firefly EV - '98 Pontiac Firefly EV
90 day: 107.65 mpg (US)

Little Boy Blue - '05 Toyota Echo
90 day: 33.35 mpg (US)

BlueZ - '19 Nissan 370Z Sport
90 day: 17.19 mpg (US)
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My Miata - fix up & hopefully better mileage!

Say hello to my little friend!

Hopefully she's not shy, or I'll never hear the end of it...temperamental? Perhaps! Wants attention? I've never met one that doesn't!

No, I didn't just buy her. I've had her probably 5 years or more. 2 years ago, she was running a bit rough, noticeably at night...I assumed she didn't like the cold and was showing her age. She's got a bit over 300k kms on her. Thought it pretty safe to assume the original engine in her was getting tired. Right? Made sense to me at the time. So when I bought my Firefly, I parked her when the insurance ran out. Put some fuel stabilizer in her, and that was that.

The real nail(s) in the coffin came when the battery croaked and the master cylinder leaked out, leaving her with no brakes. Despite interest a year or so back in having her going again, I wasn't interested in working on something that would only run like a turd, even after the $$ and hours thrown at it. No thanks. She was worth too much on paper to just throw away, though. I kept meaning to get her ready to sell and let someone else deal with. Never got there, though.

I wanted to tinker on a car this past weekend, so I grabbed my spare battery for my Firefly, stuffed it in the Miata, and for a lark, went to see if she would start. She fired right up!!

Well, $#!^. If she's going to play that nice, I guess I should give her some attention.

She still idled rough, just as I remembered. My head had 2 years to forget most of my theories as to why, so I was able to on her with "fresh" eyes. I started with the basics. I pulled the spark plugs to tell me a tale of how she is running internally. Plenty of carbon, so she has been running rich and/or not getting decent combustion. Might as well check that plug gap while I'm there. Oh. Dang. It's waaaay out. Closer look shows the electrode is decently worn. Easy to notice with the V-groove. It was more of a v-groove. No wonder it isn't running well.

All 4 spark plugs were the same. All 4 got adjusted. Stuffed them back in and...she practically purred compared to before. D'oh! My bad. I put so few miles on my cars and always put fresh plugs and such in them when I buy them...I've never worn spark plugs appreciably in any other vehicle in the past 15+ years. It never really occurred to me that this car would wear them down in 15k. Apparently it will, though!

Going over the brakes shows she eats through those in a hurry too. Hungry beast! Explains why I was always scrubbing brake dust off the front wheels.

Anyway, I put insurance on her that morning and have been driving her all of two days. She's loud and unruly, but I am thoroughly enjoying it after all these years of driving a lethargic Firefly and more recently a heavy Jetta TDI. I've gone from frowning every time I look at her to smiling again. Fun little cars. You should get one!

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