On April 21st, 2014 at approximately 4:30pm while driving West on Idaho Interstate I84 just past exit 147 (The Malad Gorge State Park exit) the above video was taken. After what seemed like a year, I finally rolled 400,000 miles on my 2005 Acura TSX. I waited a few days before updating everyone because I wanted to include the findings of the 400k check up at Lyle Pearson Acura’s service department.
But first I need to introduce the new service team at Lyle Pearson Acura. It’s the Dynamic Duo 2.0. The guy on the left, making it happen on his cell, is the new service manager Travis Thornton. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “That dude has a lot less hair than the other Travis.”, but I think he does it to reduce his coefficiency drag. Thus making him sleeker & faster. He’s got crap to do, & can’t be slowed down by anything! The young buck on the right is the new service writer Sawyer Eckhardt who’s been working with me the last few months. He knows his stuff and is good at it. I can see him running the show in the Acura service department down the road. Or if Travis 2.0 gets called in to be Jason Statham’s stunt double.So once I hit the 400k mark I dropped off the next day to have the AC system replaced. I also requested a 30k service & flush out the brake & transmission fluids and give it a thorough once over to identify anything that may potentially keep me from my goal of 500k. They put me in a 2014 TL loaner while they had my car.
I LOVE this car! I also love my TSX, but this car makes me appreciate the difference between the TSX & TL, 10 years and 400,000 miles. The 2014 TL is comfortable, fast and handles like it’s on rails. Oh, & I want one! But before Master Salesman Mike Hazel starts calling wanting to make a deal, I still have 100,000 to go (at the very least) on the ‘Ol TSX. Representing!
So I took advantage of having this car for a couple days. I had an inspection in Twin Falls during this time & took the TL out to stretch it’s new legs. It only had about 3,000 miles on it so it was due for a good run. I used the cruise control as this car is the kind that can get you in trouble in the speed department if you’re not paying attention. I also enjoyed the comedy channel on the XM satellite radio. I have XM in the TSX, But I’m too cheap to pay for it. Especially since my local library has books on CD, which has kept me sane for the last 8+ years of driving for work. I’m currently listening to book 4 of The Game of Thrones. Excellent series! But what I like most is talking with people who are watching the series on TV and listening to them all wonder who really killed King Joffrey. & it’s within my power to spoil it for them. I haven’t yet, but it’s the knowing that I could that delights me. & I don’t know why.
How he got in there in the first place may be a mystery to stand the test of time. I’ve looked at thousands of cars over the years, & have never seen a bug inside a sealed lamp. But there he is, preserved for science to study.
Finished with the Camry, I decided it was time to track down the Shoshone Falls. I have been coming out to Twin for almost 9 years to inspect vehicles & property & have heard of the falls, but had no idea where they were or how big they were. So with the aid of my new Samsung Note 3 & the TL’s Nav, I tracked down the Shoshone Falls to see what the fuss was all about.
Located just 5 miles or so from the Perrine Bridge I talked about in an earlier post, is where these falls are located. Come to find out, I’ve been within a half mile of the Shoshone Falls several times in the past years and never new it. On the way to the falls there is a little turn out that gives you a small preview. You can just make out the top of the falls from here. But you can’t really see much, so I continued on. Further down is another small parking lot that gives you a little better vantage of the falls. There is a little toll booth that you can pay $3 per car to go down to the actual falls. After passing the pay gate, there were several rock walls that were just littered with cracks and crevices that were teeming with wildlife.
Then you get down to the main parking lot by the falls. I had it all to myself for the moment.
Before I stepped one foot down towards the actual falls, all I could think was…. HOW HAVE I NOT EVER BEEN HERE & SEEN THIS BEFORE OVER THE LAST 9 YEARS!!!
It was absolutely beautiful! Apparently, Shoshone Falls is know as the “Niagara of the West”. The falls tumble 212 ft to the canyon floor (50′ higher than Niagara Falls) & 900 ft wide. The best times to see it is late Spring & early Summer. I struck up a conversation with an “Old Timer” that showed up after me & found out that the falls were currently only at about 20% right now. A lot of the water is being diverted off to farms for irrigation. There are also reservoirs nearby that are also currently being filled & when these are filled, the main force of the river flows over the falls once again.
As much I am looking forward to seeing the falls in all it’s glory, I am glad that I saw it like this as well. The small pools and caves in the background are not easily visible when the falls are raging.
Oh yes, I will be back to see the falls at full flow. A season pass is $25 & I’ll be purchasing one the next time I’m out in Twin. In the same park there is also located Dierkes Lake. The pamphlet says there is a 1.7 mile trail that loops around the entire lake. The next time I get a chance to see it, I will definitely share some photos. Something else I noticed were all the holes in the rock face.All kinds of birds live in these mini caves and were flying all over the place. Back up the steps & walking along the edge there are other things to see. Such as this small natural stone bridge.
Continuing on down the trail, you can see down the other end of the canyon.There were all kinds of caves and birds all over the place. Some breathtaking canyon walls to be seen. I still can’t believe I’ve never seen this before!
At the end of the path there was an oddly placed chain link fence.
A peak over the short stone wall revealed an abandoned stair case with other platforms that may have gone all the way to the canyon floor?Don’t worry Mom, I did NOT go down there! (That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.) On the way back to the main lot I noticed a couple of other things I missed before. Like the natives…And some of the trees. Check out this tree. The stripes is what struck me at first, Then it was the wrinkled bark in some places. Bizarre. So it was time to load back up in my sweet loaner and head back to town to see what my service guys found. Sawyer had already called me several times to keep me in the loop & things were adding up fast. I decided to split things up a bit. Seeings how I lack the capacity to crap money. Or gold. Or anything else of value for that matter. So I approved some things and put off others for next time. But before we say fare well to the falls, I want to leave you with this…
Any one who has the opportunity to stop in Twin Falls & see this owes it to themselves to do so. These falls may not be as grand as Niagara, but they are a definite close second. I would know, as I worked onsite at Niagara falls for about a month. I was part of the remodel work done to the Observation Tower on the American side back in 2001. The company I was with did the “Environmental Containment” of the tower to keep all the sand blasting debris and construction mess out of the river. I was foreman of this job. If you’re trying to picture how you go about doing something like this, try to picture it this way… shrink wrapping a gift basket. Only the gift basket is 282 ft tall, is located next to Niagara Falls, Surrounded by metal scaffolding that was constantly soaking wet from the mist coming off of the Falls, with constant wind gusts of up to 70 mph and the shrink wrap plastic comes in rolls of over 1,600 sq ft & weighing over 100 lbs per roll. Oh, & when the roll is opened up & the wind catches it, it’s like a 1600sf sail. If you’re harness isn’t clipped in and you’re holding on to the edge of that plastic when a gust hits, you can tell your friends what it was like to be Superman. That is, if you survive the fall. I can’t remember a time when I was so miserable, but felt so alive! But that was another life & another story.
So once back at Acura, we reviewed the Laundry list that Master Tech Chris Downs put together. The list of things I approved this time around was as follows:
Replacement of the AC components: Condenser, Compressor, Coil, Clutch & Recharge.
30k Service Including Flushing the Brake & Transmission fluids.
Replacement of the water Pump.
This was HANDS DOWN, the most money I’ve put into this car to date. Most of it was the AC system. But I’m a delicate flower, & can’t live without it in the summer. So cough it up I did. The Invoice can be seen by clicking here…
Now, before I show you pictures of the AC Condenser, I want to remind, & assure you that the system was still holding pressure & blowing ice cold the day before it went to pasture, & the only reason the system failed was because the compressor finally gave out. It was NOT due to leaking freon. That being said, here we go… The oil from the Compressor. Yup, it’s supposed to be clear…The Condenser, looks pretty bad right?
Again, the system was still blowing cold and was holding pressure. How? I have no freaking idea. The condenser even left debris behind it on the radiator… quite the collection of bugs and left over fin bits from the condenser. Chris blew off the radiator for me & cleaned it up. Thanks for that!
So how about the items still left to address? Let’s see:
Rear brake pads are down to 3mm.
The valves should be adjusted.
And the crank case seal needs replacement. This was actually pointed out to me back around 200k – 250k. But at the time wasn’t that bad & we put it on the back shelf. But now it has come home to roost! Ugly? You betcha! But with a new seal & 10 minutes with a pressure washer, she’ll be good as new!
The total estimated cost for all of these items? About $4,100. Click here for the breakdown…
** A special shout out to Chris & Sawyer. I left one of my spare cameras with them to document what they found and the repair process while I was out playing in their new TL**
You may now be asking yourself, Why in the world would someone put over $4,000 in a car that books for $7,500? 2005 TSX Book ACV
Well, I’ll tell you…
First & foremost, I love my car. It has been a pleasure to own, drive & has always been 100% reliable. Then there’s the numbers. Yes, an insurance company would total my car if this was $4,000 in collision damage. But it’s not. And $4,000 is a lot cheaper than $35,000 for a new one. You don’t bulldoze a house because the roof leaks and needs to be replaced. You suck it up and fix it. It’s not about the mileage either. Most people replace their cars when it gets to 100k – 150k. I would have to replace my car every 2 -3 years for this to happen. As I have come come to trust and love Acura’s, I’d likely be buying new Acura’s. At $30k – $35k each, well, for 400k miles worth, that 3 cars, or about $97,500. And as we’ve already determined, I can’t make gold…. & lets not forget, I’m on a mission! Not only do I want to see my odometer roll over to 500,000. But I also want to see just how long a well maintained Honda drivetrain can go with NO rebuilds to the engine or transmission! So place your bets.
Will I want to give in to the temptation to buy a new Acura? You bet! Especially reading up on the new TLX coming out! I can’t wait, & also dread when Lyle Pearson adds this new Acura to the loaner fleet. I will have to be steadfast. The mind is strong, but the body is weak.