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About trinacriabob

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    the "Left" Coast
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    cars, commercial aircraft, ocean liners, travel

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  1. New GM key fob needed

    Thank you for that attachment. I plan to order it from one of the major chain auto parts stores. The other one actually had a piece chip off and then slowly fell apart. This solitary one has been sustaining me for 2 to 3 years. It needs its identical twin back. Let's see how well this goes. Thanks.
  2. New GM key fob needed

    Thanks, Drew, I saw that and will have to reconfigure them somehow. Thanks, balthazar. I'm thinking this meant that you let someone do it or at least inquired about the price. I sure wouldn't want to buy these at a better price (I'd save $60 compared to what the dealer wants for the 5 button fob) and then mess it up and render the thing useless. The other one I had got banged up in briefcases, backpacks, and pockets and even soldering it together didn't make sense.
  3. New GM key fob needed

    So, after a few years of postponing it, I'm going to buy a second key fob. The other one got damaged and slowly started giving up the ghost. This is for a 2008 LaCrosse with the base 3800 V6. My current one identifies itself with "Welcome Driver 2" upon inserting the key. The dealerships want anywhere from $40 to $62 to do this task. I will be buying the key fob aftermarket from one of the major auto part stores. Questions: Can I do this myself? How will the key fob "know" to attach itself to my vehicle once I take out of the shipping container and begin programming it? Will it "know" that driver 2 is already programmed and then default to being the key fob for driver 1? Any recommendations on how to do this right, unless you recommend having someone do it if not the most tech savvy? Thanks! Let me know if you've had to buy a replacement or second key fob ... it would be interesting to know how well people have done with these.
  4. The more I analyze this, the more I'd go with a $29K (before deals and discounts) Dodge Charger SE in white with a black cloth interior (the only color choice for cloth) and drive it into the ground. And here I thought I would be bowled over by the Chrysler 300. Nothing beats renting a car prior to making an ownership decision. That sure helped me sort that out regarding my current car.
  5. Thank you. I've gotten so used to these cars and like them that I'm almost afraid to look at what their next rendition might be like.
  6. Yes, with respect to the Charger. At first, I thought the revised grille put it in the same league as their more intermediate car, whatever it's now called, and sort of sold out on the trademark Dodge front end that wasn't as cavernous as the one on the trucks. However, I've gotten to like the new grille. For one thing, the front bumper area looks like it is a better design to absorb smaller impacts. 2015 Dodge Charger - front But when they bowed the rear light bar and put the Dodge inscription on it, that made it stand out for the better. And it's also really nice to view from the side because of the curvature. 2015 Dodge Charger - rear Also, I prefer white for this car as well. And, while I definitely like some of the geometries in the 300's dash, this isn't a bad place to live for a long interstate haul ... 2015 Dodge Charger - interior ... and certainly not if you're pulling in 30 mpg!
  7. Interesting (and good) that a base 300 could come with a cloth interior, if I interpreted your post correctly. As for the bold type, I'm mixed. I'll go with yay for the 300 and nay for the Charger. Before 2015, it would have meant a front grille that looked like this and this is exactly the one I like. 2014 Chrysler 300 And, in white, it looks great, is more visible, is better for both a super hot climate and even matches the snow! I think the current grille for the 300 is a slight step backwards.
  8. So I got my Chevy Cruze (which I reviewed) for under $20 a day from Friday through Monday over a holiday weekend because I booked the rental, and the category of car, months in advance. The rate within a week or two of the rental was around twice as much. However, I didn't plan for how I would get around on Tuesday. It's seldom that I don't plan. I was looking at the rental agency sites as that Tuesday approached and was even slightly nervous. I saw some crazy one day rates for that Tuesday, including at neighborhood locations where they don't load you up with airport fees and taxes. Then, about 2 days prior to that, one of the majors was running a prepaid price of about $50, out the door, for a luxury car, which was about the same as they were charging for a Nissan Versa. I called them up and asked what this type of car might me and was told "most likely a Chrysler 300" ... or 'even a Cadillac.' Sold. I prepaid the day in a rental car, a first for me, to lock in that low rate occurring during the week and for that type of car. Wow. Everything went smoothly, quickly, and I even indicated I had seen a dark silver Chrysler 300 in a particular stall that I thought would be nice to have. It was assigned to me. At an airport location, they even pulled it around and put it under the canopy. I hadn't been in a Chrysler product for a long time, so I pulled it back into a stall, adjusted everything, and familiarized myself with the controls. As for this process, it was harder than it is in a GM car yet a little easier than it might be in a Ford, such as the Fusion. Everything about this ride was sort of surreal and a modernized time warp ... especially the whole Gotham City feeling of the car. The dashboard is nicely clustered in the IP zone, with its own lid, as Cadillac is doing, and even nicer in the center stack. The bezels for the speedometer and tachometer are sort of strange, with their different depths and they are blue in color. The center stack, however, is really nice because it's crowned by an old school "chronometer," as Chrysler has historically called it. The silver accents on many of the bezels are a nice touch. Also, hooray for a logically placed trunk release while the release for the fuel door isn't as obvious, which could be a good thing. The car had a push button ignition, which was to be expected. It also had a dial as the gear selector for its 8 speed step gear automatic transmission. While I really like this feature, and the Ford Fusion now has this as well, I found that if I was maneuvering quickly, such as from reverse and back into drive if making a three point turn, I sometimes found myself in neutral. Haste makes waste as they say. The seats are broad, comfortable, and in perforated leather and, for this price point, they are nicely finished. It also had the sliding moonroof with the doubled up effect, meaning it even covered a good part of the rear seating area. It took a while to figure out how to operate the shade, the tilt feature, and the panels, so I just chalked it up to "o.k., cool," kept it closed, turned on the air conditioning, and didn't fuss with it. The sound system was fine but then I don't have a trained ear when it comes to what constitutes a good sound system in a car. I'll listen to anything without static. With approximately 100 miles spent behind the wheel of the Chrysler 300, I got into it only a time or two while getting onto interstate ramps to see what it could do. It packed a lot of punch and didn't need much pedal pushing to work its magic. I didn't have to open the hood to see that this base model featured the 3.5 Pentastar V6 that it also the base engine in the Dodge Charger. This means that 292 horses were at one's disposition. That's about 50% more horsepower than my current vehicle, and I am satisfied with how my own car handles and accelerates. The 8 speed automatic transmission shifts quietly and confidently, though the first, second, and possibly third shift points could be felt, even in ordinary driving. I will say that, on the interstate at about 65 mph, that 8th gear practically makes the engine dormant. I believe it was only turning about 1,400 or 1,500 rpm. This car had less than 10,000 miles on the clock. I can say that the Chrysler 300 feels more steady than it does smooth. It's definitely smooth, but what you feel, first and foremost, is that you're at the helm of a land yacht. I put the power seat adjuster as high as it could go and it still felt weird sensing where the outer edges of the fenders were, even though there are old school fender creases at the tops of them. The C pillar is sort of thick but, because the backlite is more upright than in so many cars, visibility was not a problem. The rear camera in the center stack came in useful when parking and backing up. However, I believe that lane departure warnings were silenced because they would illuminate yet not make any sounds. I didn't bother to pull out the manual because I'd be in it for less than 24 hours. I'm not so sure I liked the steering wheel. It was leather wrapped, with an exposed hard surface at its top edge that would have been the surface material for the entire steering wheel on a Cadillac from the 80s. The few times my hands transitioned from the leather to this surface felt weird and I would have preferred a leather steering wheel all the way around. For its size, it is agile enough but not really nimble. Still, its handling is way better than that of 4,000 pound cars from some 25 years ago. I returned the car, filling it up prior to doing so. The driving was mostly in the city along with some in-city freeway driving. I didn't calculate the fuel economy, but those 100 miles took about $8 of regular fuel. That wasn't bad and I attribute that to some of the interstate segments. In conclusion, I'm glad I got to drive this car. For those who want a retro boulevardier with a commanding presence, an unmistakable sense of holding the road, many bells and whistles, and a rich legacy, I think they'd enjoy owning a 300. I tend to like entry level models and, in that guise, it comes in at a MSRP of $31,000 or $32,000 before discounts. However, even if I was in the market and I had the funds, I would not opt for this car and I sort of can't put my finger on what it is ... and sort of can. I have had a couple of Dodge Charger rentals and prefer those, coming in at an MSRP that is about $3,000 less. Noise suppression and general tightness between the 300 and the Charger, in base form, is hardly noticeable and, over some bumps and pavement gaps, I heard a few minor arthritic creaks from the 300 whereas that Chevy Traverse I reviewed, for example, was tomb quiet under the same conditions. However, back to the 300 and its sibling the Charger, I found that the Charger has a more user friendly dash, even though the shapes on the 300's are more inspiring and the Charger's orange illumination is not to my liking. Not only that, the Charger can be had with cloth seating, has a more rakish roofline, a front grille that I've grown to like, and is easier on the eyes from every vantage point, especially with the more recent thinning and curvature of the horizontal rear light light bar. Make no mistake about it that the Chrysler 300 is a handsome and stately car. It's just that, if I was buying a traditional full size RWD car, I'd buy the Charger and keep that $3,000 difference in my wallet. Also, from having clocked the mileage on a Dodge Charger with the same Pentastar V6, and babying it, I was able to get 31 mpg on the best tank. One had to be overly diligent to do that. I'm thinking that typical highway mileage might be more like 28 or 29 mpg. Front three quarter view - I prefer the front grille from about 3 years ago with the really thin horizontal slats more so than this one with the hexagonal / egg crate pattern I tend not to like high belt lines but, on this car, it is fitting and looks great The rear tail lamps keep getting nicer with their subtle creases and the backlite helps visibility at a time when every large car seems to be going fastback ... also, can you sort of feel the humidity? Really nice clustering and sculpting on the dashboard and a rotating dial for the automatic transmission; the finishes and many features are high grade and make for a nice space to occupy There are the unusual bezels in the dashboard and the blue illumination ... and there is the steering wheel with the transition in its coverings. I love that analog clock at the top of the center stack. This car successfully blends retro and modern. There are the bucket seats with perforated leather, sporty enough patterning, and offering plenty of support ... if only they were in cloth, but you'd never see than in Chrysler's flagship passenger car. As far as color choices go, I think that the basic white with the very pale beige leather seats is the best color combination for this car. End of review
  9. Oldsmobile Intrigue commercial

    Nice! I think I see a sunroof. And you still have it? About half the Aleros I see are in fact coupes and GM/Olds did a much better job with the coupe than the Grand Am did. In fact, the Alero is nicer outside, inside, and in driving manners (smoother, quieter) than is the Grand Am that coexisted at the same time. The coupes catch my eye when I spot one.
  10. 2017 GMC Acadia SLT AWD

    I had to take a look. Yes, I've seen it on the showroom floors. However, because it was so new then, I was more taken by the first-gen Acadia. Looking at it, I think the new version is a little too sculpted. I liked the cleaner look of the last one, especially the light assemblies and grille up front. I remember that the first-gen was nice to sit in and nicely finished. Back then, it came in at around the low $30s. I recall that it featured a 3.6 VVT V6 and a 6 speed. Is that what the current ones run with? Cool name in Acadia. What a stunning place. Seems like GMC has a thing with national parks and territories of the north ... Denali, Yukon, Acadia.
  11. Oldsmobile Intrigue commercial

    Absolutely, and in all of the model years, beginning from 1998. In that year, the Oldsmobile badge was altogether omitted from the rear fascia, except that it could be seen in the headlamps ... if you looked hard enough. In 1999, it returned, but it was very small. From 2000 on, it became normal sized. The same is true of Aleros. I have been seeing a lot of them lately and they are holding up very well. This means that the newest one seen on the road is no less than 13 years old, but probably a little more than that. I had one as a rental in 2003. It was great and, up in Alberta, a huge moose decided to randomly cross a major highway about 1/4 of a mile in front of me! Everyone was startled and slowed way down. Otherwise, thumbs up to that Alero rental. When the moose crossed the highway, it went down the embankment to munch on the grass in a meadow. The moose looked up the embankment at the people who had pulled over to look at it and photograph it ... completely unfazed. Adding: there is one Intrigue commercial photographed on the California coast that involves a train that is running parallel to it that is very slick.
  12. Oldsmobile Intrigue commercial

    Out this way, people probably don't even know what they are, or were. When I told this friend from The Bronx who has been living out West for a long time I was interested in the Intrigue, this individual thought it was a Dodge (as in Intrepid). We're talking 180 degrees here. I didn't like those. I love the understated look as well and I think the simple front end that has that unique angled wraparound look made a bold statement. I also liked the belt line and greenhouse. Heck, I like it more than my LaCrosse in many ways. My last car didn't even have 100,000 miles when the Intrigue was released and I was in no position to buy one, or I would have.
  13. Rental Review: VW Passat Tsi

    This is definitely funny. I got one of these about a year or two ago. It was for a day. It was at a Budget in the suburbs. I actually had a compact reserved and I was given the keys to a Passat. I've never liked Volkswagen. This car changed my mind. Sort of. First, I could not believe how long it was, or appeared to be. Jettas and Passats have been much shorter in the past. This new Passat was bland, but in a good way. Everything was so logical (German car) in how it is placed and the simple round clock at the top of the center stack was a refreshing thing to see (I was thinking Chrysler 300). About its deportment, what I remember is how flatly and surefootedly it handled. In short, I liked it much more than I disliked it. It was dark metallic blue Passat with a black cloth interior. The gas mileage was good but not great. I also can't believe how reasonably priced they are. I priced out a base model on the VW site in the metallic light tan color with a beige cloth interior (alloy wheels were included) and it came up to about $23 K MSRP. If these are indeed reliable, that's a good value.
  14. And, so is the gas mileage. I looked at a spreadsheet I keep that tabulates how much I spend on a particular trip. And, next to fuel purchases, I record the fuel mileage, since it's so easy to do. On 4 fill ups, the Cruze got: (1) 35.21 mpg, (2) 38.56 mpg, (3) 33.19 mpg, and (4) 45.02 mpg (exclusively highway, cruise on, a/c off). It sips fuel. Also, on that last tank, I passed right by the very plant where the Cruze is assembled in Lordstown along I-80 where it's a turnpike. Going west, the plant was on the same side of the highway. I debated whether to pull over and take a photo of it, but that damn road is filled with highway trooper types. Had I done that, I would have posted it!
  15. Bagged another one without much of a fuss. One got to select from the line. There was a silver one there. It was a Premier, so it had the nice steering wheel, stitching, and finishes. It also had a leather interior. I didn't like that. However, overall, I loved this car. Side view 1 Side view 2 The rear lamps and rear styling in general trumps that of the previous first iteration of the Cruze. These look svelte. Ford has a commendable dash in its Focus and Fiesta, but I like this a little more. Its really simple and, if you need more info, you can "drill down" to get it. I also like how easy the speedometer is to read. I also set the speed alert so I wouldn't ever exceed 70 mph. Grommets at left side of steering wheel for cruise control ... easy to use. This makes for only one stalk and its only function is to work the lights and signals ... the steering wheel feels great and this stitched one should be standard on the LT, but it isn't. Grommets at right side of steering wheel for displaying the info on the dash ... easy to get used to for "drilling down" through the information you want (battery, tire pressure, etc.) Wow ... what's wrong with this picture? Everything makes too much sense. I like how everything is close together, but also separate. And I also like where they placed the button to open the trunk. On my M.Y. LaCrosse, it's the exact same switch as the door locks ... you just keep pushing it longer ... I don't like that design. I love this center stack. It's easy on the eyes. Not as nice as that in a Buick Verano, but close. You can see to the left that the Premier had the push button ignition switch. Also, look at the stitching on the passenger seat. Nicely finished front part of the cabin perfectly suited for longer jaunts. The same is true of the rear part of the car. I'm guessing it would be better to be less than 6'-0" tall, though. Chevrolet has a winner in this new Cruze. It's impressive all the way around. I'm hoping it will grab some buyers who might be looking at the foreign equivalents. This car kicks ass on any Corolla or Sentra if my memory serves me correctly.