2009 Chicago Auto Show

Last weekend I headed out to the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. I had gone a few years ago also so it was interesting to compare the two. This year was certainly less over the top than previous shows. Gone was the huge monster trucks and gas guzzlers, replaced with more efficient hybrid concepts and production vehicles. I was sure to check out the new Prius, Insight and Volt. Those three certainly had the most traffic. I think the Volt is going to be a great seller once it gets in the hands of the public.

As for the MINI, they too seemed to cut back. Last time I was there, they had a second floor section for MINI owners with free food and beverages, very nice. This time, it was simple. The new convertible was there but it was nothing new in my view. I still like the Clubman and still scratching my head over the ill designed center stack.

This year I didn't quite make it for the CMMC drive since it was also Valentine's Day, but we did get our hands on some free tickets. We headed down there a bit after the CMMC crowd. Check out my picts below of what I found interesting at the show.


First Oil Change

Well, not exactly. The MINI has gone through three oil changes from the dealer under the service warranty. But those times have come and gone so it was time to get it done on my own. So Last weekend I got my hands on some ramps, oil, a filter from the dealer, a "how to" and some free time. I had just about all the bases covered except some decent tools. I attempted to loosen the oil plug but that thing was on there tight! I busted my socket just trying to get that thing to budge. (mental note: get better tools)

So I chickened out and took it to a local mechanic by my office. Nice guy, knowledgeable and competent in BMWs and now MINIs. I slipped him a twenty and he took care of the rest. Well worth it if you ask me for some peace of mind and no oil under my finger nails. ;-) I'm almost at 30k miles and the MINI is feeling great. I have been driving it all week since we have been unseasonable warm.


The Lowest Range

Oh man! That was close. Yesterday morning I noticed that I was a bit low on gas. No problem, I thought, I'll just stop at the gas station on the way home. Well, something came up and before I knew it, I was on the highway with about 3 miles left on the OBD and about 5 miles left to the nearest station. Yikes! So I kept an eye on this for the rest of the ride. As soon as I hopped off the highway, the number jumped to 4 and by the time I rolled in the gas station it read 5 miles. I guess with the reduced speed, I actually made some gas appear from nowhere. Whew, I sweated there a little. Now, the MINI has a nice full tank and all is well.