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Choose and Choose Again!

Seeking clarity inside out often results in my cleaning out corners, boxes, and habits. Placing a stick of cinnamon in the car adds a flavor and scent that brings a happy smile to my face. To me the cinnamon aroma is pleasing in the confined space of the car, specifically my 1987 Toyota Cressida. It has been garaged for most of its working life. It has been used somewhat for the last three years though not as much as I had intended. The two car garage is too tight to allow the drivers doors to open while both cars are inside. It was delightful to drive the Toyota about the neighborhood. Tomorrow will have me driving it further while running errands. While the chassis has over 315,000 miles on it and looks very nice inside and out, the current engine has about 90,000 miles. It is still within California spec, runs very quietly, and it was getting 28 miles to the gallon on the interstate most of the time.

It has some considerations like no heat/defrost because the heater core needs replaced. Air conditioning never quite worked right, so I took the belt off 250,000 miles ago. The gas mileage jumped up 3 miles to the gallon just taking off the drag from the air conditioner. The left turn signal needs to be held just short of full on to keep pulsing.

It has only 3,000 miles on Michelin tires, timing belt changed just before the new tires were put on, and synthetic oil changed in February for smog testing. A spare complete air intake system came when I could not buy aftermarket parts. I pulled a complete intake off a Cressida with only 45,000 miles; one bit was cracked in the identical place mine was cracked right by the fuel intake. So I used the complete duplicate to my own car’s intake to test out my parts to find all worked perfectly. Just the one bit was cracked, likely damaged by the same fuel changes that made mine brittle. A third car supplied the final replacement part so my car runs perfectly!

Yes, there are a lot of habits there–tinkering, fixing, driving this Toyota simply brings me such pleasure on the open road. Unfortunately, it was not designed for bumper to bumper traffic or slow and go as Highway 12 so often is. It is a one owner car–my first new car bought with money earned from my CPA public accounting job immediately after moving to California. This car and I have covered a lot of territory together! Ahhhh, habits. I choose to enjoy it, again and again.

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