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Entries in Ownership Experience (3)


Update June 2015

After having gone through a winter with cold, snow, more cold. Then spending time parked here and there as we do vehicle reviews. Walter was due for a spring maintenance.

The car performed well all winter long, starting during the coldest days, getting stuck in snow once when the traction control tells the rear wheels to stop turning, and not many road trips this year. Basically a quiet winter.

What developed this winter.

  • A slight exhaust leak on the left side, a clamp unfastened and developed a minor exhaust leak and rattle.
  • The rear suspension started leaking air, with the rear of the car occasionally lowering itself.
  • The front suspension developed more noises that either a suspension arm or ball joint is worn out.
  • The SBC issue we covered in our last update (scroll down).
  • The brakes have a slight pulsation which is tolerable.
  • We endured the winter tires till last week, the car was parked all over the GTA for extended periods.
  • The rust blob on the right quarter has increased in size.

Not so bad for an almost 13 year old car experiencing a another winter.

What service/maintenance was done by our friendly mechanic?

  • Oil and filter change.
  • Exhaust leak repaired.
  • One ball joint in front suspension replaced.
  • Rear suspension not touched its relatively expensive the install new redesigned shocks.
  • Summer tires and wheels finally installed by the Strada pit crew as usual.
  • The car has 165,000 kms still a way to go to reach 200K

Not bad so far this year, compared to last year when Walter was very needy with all sorts of items, getting stuck and flat bedded at the most inopportune times.

Agreed...Walter needs to spend a few hours at the Strada Spa for its annual treatment.



The Wheel Alignment

We have replaced most of the front suspension components on Walter, be it suspension arms, ball joints, and more suspension arms.

When so many components are replaced, the thought turns towards perhaps the car needs a wheel alignment. It was all good for most of the compnents until the last suspension arms were replaced. At that point the steering was slightly off center.

One gets busy, the crank sensor decides to stall the car, the windshield crack decides to start travelling up the  windshield.

The summer tires are soft, and stricky, and especially the front have a tendency to wear on the outside edges (we know why up to a point).

A few weeks ago we notice that the left front tire has more pronounced wear on the outside edge than the right front. It creates a "oops moment", and who has time to go chasing after a wheel alignment.

The other thought is "This is never ending, every month something crops up". Then our innate sense that the car must be right takes over, and obvious we proceed to get a wheel alignment. 

As expected the toe in of the left front was off, and creating the more pronounced wear. 

What a surprise nothing is loose in the front suspension. No kidding...there is nothing left to be loose, its all been replaced.



Update May 2013

Although its Poject 200K we are wondering when we will reach 200K with this car, in December 2012 the car had 128,000 kms and after two road trips it now has 134,000 kms. it has a way to go before reaching 200K.

What has been going on for the past few months?


  • After the "Ouch" was resolved in January, and we did an oil change too, we have used the car sparingly, and its been parked a few times while we were driving other cars. 
  • Agreed that 5,000 kms in 6 months is not much usage.
  • We did not spend any money maintaining the cars during this time, obvious we invested enough last year.
  • This past winter the sticky lifter did not act up, was it fresh oil prior to winter?
  • The A/C is blowing cold...yes we were surprised...almost expected the A/C to act up, but not yet.
  • We have some stuff going on and the folding back seat is very useful...we even put a lawn mower in its box in the trunk/ rear seat. Agreed we are huge fans of folding rear seats in  sedan, especially when they fold flat, with the seat cushion folding out of the way, and also being completely removeable.
  • Surprising how much stuff and how big you can fit in the trunk, rear seat combination.
  • At the time the folding rear seat option was a ridiculous price of over $1,000...which seemed crazy until you put it to good use.
  • Fuel economy on the highway cruising at about 2,300/2,400 RPM is constantly in the 9.6 to 9.8 liters per 100 kms.

Obvious that we need to have some challenges with an older car, if you remember we had a rumbling sound coming from the front, which seeamed like wheel bearings or tires...we eliminated the wheel bearing variable in the fall.

Our conclusions with this car...


  • High performance summer tires, the first half of the tire from new to 50% wear, is dramatically better than the second half from 50% wear to lower (25%)....especially when tires are also a few years old (swapping summers/winters).
  • The same applies to winter tires, the second half is not interesting, the winter tires were increasingly rumbling this year.


This year the car required new summer tires, we installed a set of Falken Azenis FK483 strange name, awesome tires.

Yes Falken is involved in racing.

The rumbling sound is gone, we have through the years found that Michelin tires are rounder and smoother that most other tires, these tires are just as good.

By now you probably know that we enjoy our "moments" on our favorite on/off ramps. The reason we like V8's, big brakes, high performance summer tires. 

The tires have a superior performance envelope, which is truly exhilerating. Performing at several increments higher than our previous summer tires. 

To be blunt a 5 point harness would be useful to truly work the tires.

The car has a name "WALTER"