It Could Have Been Better

I’ve always said that every car looks better in maroon. This Kia Forte is definitely included in the list. Recently had this as a rental, and as cheap 4 door car, it wasn’t horrible. The interior had a good layout that wasn’t too cheap. The tech was better than you would expect from a sub-$18,000 car. It had backup camera and bluetooth. The stereo wasn’t great, but you wouldn’t expect it to be. Also, for an inexpensive car, it was not horrible looking. And it was comfortable.

And, it wasn’t completely horrible to drive.

No, that’s not quite true.

Sure, it drove ok. For an automatic transmission on a baby 4 banger, it went pretty decent. I would say the handling also wasn’t too bad. But, and this is a huge but…

waiting for the giggle to stop…

The sound this thing made. Dear god, it was awful. At least it was when you gave the car too much right foot. I can’t even describe to you the sound this car made when getting over 3K RPM, but trust me when I say it was really bad. Really.

To be fair, my MINI is a cheap car. Come on, it’s an R56. Premium skipped this version, but that’s for another post. But, when I drop into third and get on it (even before I upgraded to a K&N air filter), the sound is actually pretty amazing. With the K&N, it’s even more amazing.

If the cheap car makers were to take a minute or 3 to add some decent sound to their engines, the experience would be so much better. And this car could have been better.

The Next Mod

This is a repost from earlier this week. The post has also been updated.

After spending a bit more than 30K miles in Bruce since I bought him about 2 years ago, it was time to do the next modification. It’s the same mod that I did to Roxy at about 27K miles and that was a full brake job, adding EBC Green Stuff brakes and replacement rotors.

Also, for something different, I went ahead and had the brakes installed. All 4 wheels were needed and I really hate doing the rears. Besides that, he was also due for an oil change and alignment as well as trip on the lift just to take a peek and make sure everything was ok.

The old brakes were OEM and I might have waited about 10K miles too long to get them done. The fronts were almost metal to metal and one of the rotors, from what I could tell, was slightly warped. In case you are wondering, but I don’t recommend this, OEM brakes are good for about 60K miles if you really need to push it.

The alignment was also something I was way overdue in getting taking care of. Since I have no idea about the history of this MINI, it’s nice to get this work done. It’s almost like a bit of a factory reset. The only thing left is the check engine light fix and to replace the front chin spoiler, both of which will be happening, hopefully, by the end of February or early March.

With AMVIV coming up, there are still 2 more things I need to do. Replace the chin spoiler (parts are waiting for me to order at OutMotoring and get the CEL fixed. Jerry knows the fix, just a matter of getting it done.

Finally, a full detail to way overdue. Now that the weather in Arizona is finally nicer than yours, time for that will be soon. Full claybar, polish and wax, plus complete wheel cleaning that will include removing them. #becausewhitewheels

Hacked, but Fixed

Short Version

There was an issue with dbmini.us that was causing pop-up ads and redirects. I have corrected this. Apologies for the trouble!

Nerd Version

From what I can tell, this was done via FTP. Just in case, I went ahead and did the following:

  • Updated the main FTP password for the site. There is only 1 FTP user, so no other user accounts were comprimised
  • Updated the WordPress password.
  • Changed themes. Now the same as DonBurnside.com.
  • Reinstalled WordPress.
  • Did a double, triple check of all files to make sure the offending code was removed and all files that were left by the attack also removed.

Again, I apologize for any issues that might have caused and hope this will not be a problem in the future here or at any of my other sites (which have also been checked).

Regular service shall resume shortly.

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour premiered last week on Amazon Prime. Of course I watched it. And yes, overall I thought it was very good.

Poo Came Out

If you have ever seen an episode of Top Gear, most of what this show is about if very similar to what we saw during the final 2 series with Jeremy, Richard and James. The cinematography is brilliant, the overall production values are brilliant and it's scripted just enough to be entertaining and funny.

I wouldn't say it was perfect. While the filmed pieces were on point, the new studio/tent parts felt very awkward. Almost like they were trying too hard. I'm chalking that up to first episode jitters while they try to discover what this new show really is while staying on their tiptoes to avoid getting sued by the beeb. That said, the intro was amazing! Rumor is that it cost $3 million to record that bit, and you can tell. It was exactly what you would hope to see with the boys coming back to television.

It would seem that you quite enjoyed it as well. According to Amazon, it is the most popular show they have ever released. It has also resulted in the highest number of prime sign-ups, second only to Prime Day.

I would highly recommend checking it out.


It's time that Bruce got a little bit of love. I'll be doing 4 wheel brake job later this month or early next. As per my usual, I'm upgrading pads at the same time to, also per my usual, EBC Green Stuff pads. Going with a more basic rotor this time by Bosch and I'll be sure to report back.

This will also be my first brake job on an R56. I'll be doing the fronts more that likely myself, but leaving the rears (and a full system flush) to the professionals.