Getting my Saturday in Focus

Today the weather in CA was pretty close to perfect so I finally took some time clean up the little Focus. I think I did an alright job of knocking the dirty off of the car. I even popped the hood and checked the spark plugs to make sure everything was in good order.

With the car clean, my son (home from completing his first year away at college) wanted to try Raising Cane’s, and he was not disappointed. The 2 locations that I’ve been to are always busy. Hmmm, maybe I should look into getting a franchise of my own.

After lunch we headed to the local Honda dealership because I wanted to check out the new Civic Type R. A friend of mine just picked up a red one that I’ll be checking out this week, but I wanted to see if I could check one out today. Do you know some dealers won’t let you test drive one unless you buy it first? We arrived at the dealership, but no luck. The salesman told me a guy came in yesterday and bought the last 2 they had on the showroom floor. Even at a $4k~$10k dealer markup, these things are flying out of dealerships. And buying 2 of them, well that’s just seems crazy. It reminds me of back in the day when you’d buy 2 of the same toy and play with one and leave the other in the package in the hopes that it would appreciate.

So with the dealer visit out of the way I decided to use this time to capture the beauty of the Focus’ Kona Blue color. I was able to capture a few good pics and even had my son take a video of me driving by so I could see and hear how the car looks and sounds to everyone else when I’m driving. Being the driver you never really get get to be an observer of your car in motion, so this is the next best thing.

The pictures came out pretty good and the car sounds great. Not bad for a little Focus, I think I’ll keep it for a while 🙂

Since we were having a father and son outing, I also took the opportunity to show him how to drive a manual. He did great, we only did laps in the parking lot but at least he now had the knowledge and experience…it’s all about creating memories.

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Happy Birthday to me

Back in November my wife posed the question to me,  “what do you want for your birthday?”  This was something that I had to think about because last year she bought me, well us, an inversion table that has brought much satisfaction on many occasion.  This year, what is my gift range?  Is this a trick question?  Do I simply ask for new undies or colorful and stylish socks to help with my sock game?  I wasn’t sure and had to put some thought into it.  

Being that I’m kinda into cars, can’t even type this without laughing 🤣😂!  Being that cars are my life, I thought maybe I’ll ask her for a 2018 Still Night Blue Pearl Acura TLX A-Spec.

To be fair this is really the car that she wants so I’ll let her treat herself when the time is right.  

Ok, so maybe I’ll shoot for a car part or two, that should hopefully be an easy ask.  I mean, I have been good for most of the year 😁.

Around Thanksgiving I told her that I have my Christmas and birthday list ready and she asked what was on it.  I rambled off the 3 items for my car and she replied with those magical 7 words that every husband/car enthusiast wants to hear…”maybe we should just buy our own gifts.”  Thats like your parents telling you we are having ice cream for dinner, or you can pick out your own clothes, or better yet, we are moving to Disneyland to live in the Magic Castle.  Whaaaaaaaaat?!?!?! Additional confirmation that she is the one!

Online Black Friday deals were in affect around this time so I was able to capitalize on some amazing deals from Mountune and CJ Pony Parts, which made me one happy camper.  With the packages arriving like a scene from the greatest movie ever…I have been very patient and have not opened one of them yet.  But today is my birthday and something’s getting unboxed.   

Here is my car for reference and the goodies are below, muhahahaha!

Can you guess what’s in the boxes?   Here’s a hint… it’s your typical Ford Focus ST/ Fiesta ST/ Focus RS tuning stater kit.  Well to be fair, it’s the starter kit for most modded cars, but the brands for the parts pictured here are fairly exclusive to Ford vehicles.

The reveal and installs to follow.  Now its time to git ta opening!!!

Yay! Happy dance time! 

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We dun gone ‘merican!

Howdy everyone!  I feel like it’s been a long time since my last blog post, but the reality is that a lot has changed and it is time for an update.  In my last full post I got the car blues, I talked quite a bit about my beloved Audi TT and the issues it had during the month of October.  Prior to the October issues I was having, the shifter cables snapped and I was able to do complete circles with the stick shift and not lock the transmission into any gear. 

After getting all of those issues resolved, I had a good week or two before the electrical gremlins started to surface throwing my car into limp-mode with the traction control light popping up and rendering my car even more unreliable.  So I decided to park the Audi and start driving the car that we had purchased for my son…a 2005 Mazda 3. 

I used the little Mazda to get me back and forth to where I needed to be, but the looming thought of more costly repairs for the Audi was causing me unnecessary stress. I checked the Audi and the traction control light had turned off after a day or so.  I was able to get my hands on a scanner tool, but when I scanned the cars ecu there was no error code present. Ugh, this is crazy!

So, after some thought and a very brief (which in hindsight should have been muuuuuuuch more detailed) conversation with my wife I put the Audi up for sale and began shopping based on my list of needs, wants and desires for a replacement vehicle.  Do I want new, CPO, upgrade in class, stick with euro or go back to a JDM platform.  I really liked the Audi S5 I test drove.

I’m a huge fan of the new Infiniti Q60S.

Unfortunately they are more than what my budget would allow this go round. 😔

Should I give Acura another go and get into the TLX V6?  I really loved my 2005 TL.  I miss that car.

How about the new Accord Coupe Touring Edition?  Only thing is I’m not really a fan of the automatic CVT’s in Honda’s, but they do come with a 6-speed manual.  I really want a car that looks good enough in factory trim that doesn’t beckon me to alter the appearance in any way (lower, body kit or change wheels).  I do like the Scion-buru FRS/BRZ, but too small and it begs for a better looking set of wheels.  I do want a sunroof and HID’s.  Oh, how about a RWD V8 like the E46 or E90 BMW M3.  An M3 is one of my dream cars, although I’d take a 335i with no complaints.  Maybe AWD and turbo/supercharged with over 300 hp.  The replacement car should wear a STi or Audi S/RS or VW R or Focus RS badge.  So many choices!   Basically I want a car that is hella fun to drive and can bend corners and handle a track and canyon roads 😎.  

But what do I need?  Hmmm.  Room for 3 or more passengers, 4-doors, better on gas than the 18mpg the Audi is getting.  A steering wheel, windows, a gas and brake pedal.  It needs to be reliable, have a very low monthly payment and cost of ownership.  In other words…practical.

Hoping to sell the Audi private party I posted it for sale.  Forums, Cars.com, craigslist, wherever I thought someone would look for a modded TT.

I did receive a few inquiries but decided I should prep the car for a possible dealer trade so I removed the wheels and raised up the car by adjusting the coilover suspension.  While showing the car to a potential buyer one day, the rear window motor took a crap on me as I was holding the button to lower the window back down.  Now this stupid wind buffer window thingy (that I never really used) was now jammed halfway up/down…but at an angle!  “Uh, I’ll get back to you.” No deal and now I have more repairs mounting!  Ugh!

To turn the corner on this whoa is me story, I finally decided on a vehicle.  Now I just needed to choose a color and find a dealer willing to do good on my trade-in value.  It was coming up on the end of the year and as usual dealers are offering potential buyers the moon and the stars.  “Just come on down.  Can you make it in today? What time can you be here?”  They all ask.  I emailed all around and a dealer provided me a quote with the perfect price, but it was a typo.  I held onto that quote and used that as my bargaining tool against other dealers. 

Now this car that I had decided on was a car that I had not yet driven, nor had I seen the colors that I was considering in person.  Did I want a white, gray, blue, or a black car?  Out of those four colors, blue was the only color I had never owned.  Always wanted, but never owned.  So that made it tough as the car looks good in all those colors. 

One of the local dealership had a red one available and made me a great offer on my trade.  I drove the car and really enjoyed the driving dynamics and being a hatchback I was pleased with the extra space.  Functional, fun to drive and decent on gas are all winners in my book and that solidified I was making the right vehicle choice. Although this dealer was offering the right price for my Audi, they could not produce the car in the trim level or price that I wanted, so I kept looking. 

After test driving a few more in the trim level I wanted, I showed the car to my son in the different colors and he said he liked the blue the best since I had already owned cars in the other colors.  There was one dealer with the a blue one in stock and they were very persistent in contacting me and trying to get me to come down.  So after blowing them off a few times, I took my son’s advice on the color.  I drove out to the dealer and after some dealership sales negotiations, I took delivery of this…

 A 2016 Kona Blue Ford Focus ST in the ST3 trim.The ST3 trim provides full leather wrapped Recaro seats, heated with 8-way power adjustability for the driver.  

Hid projector headlights with cornering.  A sunroof.  A perforated leather wrapped HEATED steering wheel!  Ford’s Sync 3 system operated through a giant touchscreen with navigation and a nice Sony sound system that includes a subwoofer.  

New for the 2016 model year, the ST3 trim level gets a carbon fiber interior trim package.  The carbon fiber accents are on the door handles, boost gauge cluster, e-brake lever and a nicely done shift knob with ST branded on there.  

The car also has a black headliner.  Very important for anyone who loves a dark interior.  Very nicely packaged and sorted vehicle for being a $30k car.  Even better when you get the end of the year deal that comes with a hefty discount that undercuts lesser equipped competitors vehicles.

Based on all of this, I am very satisfied with my decision.  So far nothing but smiles from every mile I’ve put on it.  A more thorough review of this and the content editors Focus RS.

Check out this video I edited using my GoPro app.

Farewell Silver Surfer you will be missed!

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The Darkside of the Force has awakened…

focus-st-front

A new Jedi has emerged from the Darkness!

“The dark side of the Force, called Bogan or Boga by ancient Force-sensitives on Tython, was an aspect of the Force. Those who used the dark side were known as either DarksidersDark Side Adepts, or Dark Jedi when unaffiliated with a dark side organization such as the Sith. Unlike the Jedi, who were famous for using the light side of the Force, darksiders drew power from raw emotions and feelings such as anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, fear, aggression, megalomania, and unrestrained passion.” 

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Content credits http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki