[200q20v] Re: Road Trip From Hell (long)

Paul R. Luevano paul at clarity.net
Tue Dec 11 12:35:43 EST 2001

Sorry to hear about you problems on your trip. I'm happy to report, mine went a
little bit better.

Left Boston on 11/20/2001 and drove to Orlando.  About 1300 miles or so.

Soon after leaving, about 100 miles into the trip or so, my coolant temp warning
indicator started going off.  I checked the coolant temp, fine.  Oil temp,
fine.  I pulled over and checked the coolant level.  A little low, but not at
the low mark.  I topped it off with some water I was carrying and continued on
my way.  About 3 minutes later, the warning light went off again.  Sheesh.  I
write it off as a bad coolant level sensor and do my best Homer impression, and
cover up the warning light with a bit of paper, since the car was running nice
and cool so there was no obvious immediate danger.

The warning light continued for the entire trip down, but the cars coolant/oil
temps never got above normal.

As I arrived in the Orlando area, the outside temperatures started to rise as
the morning progressed.  It was then that I noticed that the blower motor was
once again beginning to flake out.  <Sigh>  So for the last 15 miles or so, I
had no AC.  No biggie.

On the trip down I averaged between 22.12mpg and 23.57mpg.  This included lots
of stop and go traffic in the NE, and some long runs at 90mph+ as I got further
south. Not bad, but not great.

Once at my destination, after taking a nap, I checked on the blower motor, using
some contact cleaner to clean out the brushes and bring it back to life, if only
for a while.  I decided it would be much better to swap out the motor while in
Florida, then to wait until I got back to Boston, so I went ahead and ordered a
new one from Blau.

On the 22nd, I made my way north to Savannah.  As I was leaving, with ambient
temps in the mid to upper 70's, I turned on the AC.  The blower motor was
working just fine, but no cold air.  Hurumph.  I pushed on.  Once on the
highway, still no cold air, so I was forced to use natural air conditioning.
After about 3 hours, I noticed that the wind was beginning to peal the headliner
away from the sunroof door.  Grrrr.  I tried to tuck it away as best I could to
prevent it from coming off any more.

Suddenly a light went off in my head.  Coolant warning indicator for no apparent
reason.  No AC. I wonder.  I did a full boost run.  Only 1.3Bar. <smack> Bad
multifunction temp switch.  I pulled over and unplugged it.  AC!  Full Boost!
No coolant warning light!  But no engine temperature.  I figured I would be safe
temporarily.  An email to my roommate with directions to where a new
multifunction temp switch is located on my work bench, and it is in the mail!

Back in Orlando a week later, the new blower motor and temp switch are waiting
for me.  The temp switch is a breeze, the blower motor is another matter.  I did
a R/R in my old 5K a few years ago, but do not recall it being as big a pain in
the ass as it turned out to be.  After much grunting, swearing, and sweat, the
new blower is installed and working just fine.

Now the final problem.  I had my sunroof in the tilt position.  When I went to
put it back down, something jammed.  Grrr.  It stops 1/2 way.  I can fully
extend it, but it will only come down 1/2 way.  I investigate.  I find a small
plastic part that has broken off.  I remove it.  Now the sunroof will close, but
the headliner insert, the part of the headliner that pops up when you put the
sunroof in the tilt position, will not seat on the passenger side. Even though
the sunroof is closed, it is still tilted up.  I figure it has something to do
with the little broken part.  After some more investigation, I see that as the
roof closes, a little cam is supposed to grab the insert, and pull it down.
Well, instead of riding on top of the insert, it is going under it, pushing it
up if anything.  After some careful manipulation, I am able to get the roof to
close and the insert to seat.  I just have to remember not to put the sunroof in
the tilt position until I have a chance to investigate further, probably in the
summer. If anyone has any suggestions as to what might be up, all input

The trip back to Boston was uneventful.  Left Sunday, 12/02 at 12:09pm.  Made it
to Boston in 17h 49m, door to door.  :)  Did it in 3 gas stops, could have done
it in 2 if I had stretched the first two stops a bit further, as the 3rd stop
was only 50 miles from home.  Stops went like this:

12:09p	- Leave Altamonte Springs, FL
5:46p	- Turbeville, SC	412.4 miles	17.917 gal	23.01mpg
11:07p	- Alexandria, VA	401.7 miles	18.077 gal	22.22mpg
5:21a	- Sturbridge, MA	425.1 miles	18.726 gal	22.70mpg
6:08a	- Waltham, MA		 53.0 miles

Totals:	17h 59m			 1292 miles	72mph ave	22.6 mpg ave

Only "problem" on the way back was that one of the selector buttons for the trip
computer got stuck "in", leaving the trip computer stuck on ave. mph.  During
the stop in Alexandria, I popped off the cover and tried to "unstick" it.  I
only succeeded in popping the little plastic pusher and spring out and loosing
them somewhere in the car.  So I was stuck with ave. mph on the trip computer
for the rest of the trip.  I later found the missing pieces once I was home, and
was able to "unstick" the stuck button.

Observations.  The car loves cruising at 90+mph.  Just hums.  The new
Bridgestone RE 950s were great.  The trip computer reads a bit high in the fuel
used category.  It was high by about a gallon.  Which is fine, much better than
the other way around.

I was hoping to get a bit better mileage, but I guess when you are cruising at
90mph, getting 22mpg is pretty good.

Overall, a great trip.  3700 miles total.  Time to change the oil again.

Paul Luevano            |   AMA * MSF   |'99 CBR 600F4  (Racebike)
http://teamdaemon.com   | USM * CCS #898|'97 CBR 1100XX (Streetbike)
Waltham, MA USA         |  NMA #116657  |'91 200TQ20V   (Winter)
________"Man's purpose is to live, not to exist."-Jack London_______

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