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About Mallory

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
  1. Dumpling is back from Eddy with a clean bill of health! Looks like all of the damage was only cosmetic. Eddy said he'll keep an eye out for a parted-out rim for me. Since the car was in the shop, I did a full B service as well because I needed it done eventually, so now Dumpling is riding on fresh filters and lots of new oil. Does anyone here rust-proof spray for the winter?
  2. My partner and Dumpling got run off the road earlier today. Someone just cut him off and forced him to either slam into the curb or smash into the dude that cut him off. He chased after them and tried to get them to pull over by honking and flashing his lights, but they just drove off. He got their license plate number but ICBC won't do shit because there's no evidence. The front wheel is all screwed up, the tire loses pressure rapidly and I don't even know if there's further structural damage. We managed to inflate the tire and hobble Dumpling home and have to consider what to do next, because my partner is going to be considered at fault even though it was some other moron's criminal negligence that caused this. First thing tomorrow we're buying a dash cam.
  3. My mother would've lost it at those locomotive models. She always wanted model trains but wasn't allowed them as a child and apparently secretly still wants to have a collection. I'm hoping one year I can assemble something for her for Christmas. I finally got around to cleaning Dumpling's interior. I lost the narrow attachment to my vacuum cleaner so I tried making one to get between the seats... well... the vacuum promptly tried eating my hand-made piece. Oops. I also found out that it was Meguiar's that made MB's original leather cleaner and conditioner so I bought a little bit to clean the steering wheel and gear shift. I think I ended up cleaning a plastic piece so now it's all oily. Again, oops.
  4. It was Dumpling's 2nd birthday today (2 years since in-service date) so I thought it would be cute to buy him some nice wax and give him a really good cleaning and polishing. (That's a container of wax as the "cake") I also cleaned and sealed the rubber seals. I kinda ran out of steam when it came to the interior so I still need to vacuum and clean the mats.
  5. So as a final update - the dealership ended up replacing both the brake switch and the control module. The car is much faster to pick up and shift gears now.
  6. So an update on this matter: Mercedes took my Dumpling in on Friday. They were courteous enough but it definitely sounded like they were planning on getting rid of me as soon as possible and were actually surprised that there was something wrong with my car. The mechanic called me and told me that they are replacing the break switch, and that the car apparently kept registering me as applying both break and throttle as the same time due to the faulty switch, hence the delay to drive. They told me initially that "oh some smart car transmissions are just slow" but that kind of made me raise an eyebrow because if it's only some that are slow, then shouldn't that mean that there's something wrong with the slow ones? I went and drove about 5-6 car2go's to test it out, and of the five only one had appropriately speedy response. They all also seemed to have different timings when it came to how quickly the car switched between R and D (which, of course, says nothing, based on how hard of a life those poor things lead). The dealership said they hope to get me my car before the weekend, and I'll post here what their service accomplished.
  7. We went and drove the car again today to try and replicate the situation with me behind the wheel this time. The best way I can describe it's performance is it feels like the car is winded. It will not take off from a full stop for a full second which is super weird when it comes to determining what's a big enough gap for you to pull through in traffic. Maybe we just have to get used to it because it felt fairly consistent but... weird. And the other car we're used to it an old Nissan Versa Note (so... not an acceleration beast). Like I said I'm willing to believe it's turbo lag because after that initial hesitation it moves along just fine. It's just strange because neither of us remember it being this slow off the line when we test drove it. In regards to issue 2., it's completely different than what I got from my partner's wide-eyed explanations. Basically the sequence of events goes like this: you pull up to a parking spot that happens to be on an incline; press your brake to stop, switch gears from R -> D or D -> R, whatever you need. When you take your foot off of the brake, for less than a second, the car is stationary - clearly with hill assist engaged. Then the hill assist disengages, but the car rolls in the direction of gravity for about a second and a half before finally engaging the proper gear and driving in the indicated direction through idle power. If at any point in time, you press the brake pedal, there's a reset on the "sequence" where the car will, once again, hang out for a split second on hill assist, roll in the direction of gravity, and then engage the transmission and move in the correct direction. The reason why aggressively mashing throttle seems to "reduce" this effect is because in doing so you move your foot faster between the pedals. Giving the engine power seems to snap it out of whatever sleepy state it's in when it's not immediately engaging the right gear when hill assist disengages. It's kind of problematic because the natural reaction to "what the hell, why is my car going there?!" is to step on the brake, which... will just make your situation worse. We have a time scheduled with an MB dealer already and I think we'll take Huronlad's advice and go drive another new DCT or two and see if either of them do the same thing.
  8. Thanks MikeT, you're always here for us! Yes it's still got more than two years of warranty left and previous owner only serviced it at a Merc dealership. Thanks, will definitely call them later today.
  9. So we ended up biting the loan bullet and picking up a cute white on white with orange interior passion. Looks cute, drives cute, we drove around it for days and the fuel indicator barely slipped below where it was when we got it. However it's got a few alarming rude habits and I'm wondering if I should be taking it in for a warranty claim. 1. It takes a full "one-mississipi" before the fat little car takes off from a full stop (such as a stoplight). The dealer who sold it to us (not MB, it was a trade-in) said that it was because "the car shifts to neutral every time it's stopped and only shifts to 1st when you throttle". I dunno if that's true or not, I thought this car was supposed to have a normal but scaled-down automatic transmission. That being said, between the size of the car, the size of the engine, and the turbo I'm willing to believe that being this lackadaisical off the line is normal, and it's consistent enough that if you set yourself to never be in a hurry it's fine. Just figured I'd ask in case there's a way to make it be a little bit more responsive (and also not roll backwards on hills. I thought we were supposed to be over this). 2. This is the more alarming one. This car will just sometimes randomly decide that it will continue driving in the opposite direction from where you indicated you want it to go - i.e. it will roll forward a few extra seconds/inches before finally switching to reverse, and do the opposite when switching from R to D. It's less predictable and seems to be less severe if you mash the throttle like a race driver, but when navigating a tight parking spot that's a bit of a hair-raising proposition. So far it seems to happen more often if you use the throttle gently, and less if you are more aggressive. I've never seen anyone point out this car as a self-minded vehicle when it comes to parking, so I figured I'd ask. It certainly sucks if this is normal and I might have to start carrying a towel in the back to put between the cars if someone doesn't leave me any room to pull out from where I'm parked.
  10. Wow thanks for all the replies guys! Electric is actually the ultimate dream, but unfortunately I do not live in a place I can charge it, and I think there might be a few stations near enough to my workplace to work but I don't want to have to rely on them. I do hope to transition to electric eventually but that's just not in the books for the next 5 years or so. Funny enough I did look at some Toyotas as well (and some other little cars) but I figure I don't really want to have a car just for the sake of transportation because it's a boatload of money and I don't strictly need a car. If I get a car I want to get one that I can enjoy looking at, owning and working on. I do know that it's an older car and a picky one, but I guess my main concern was whether there are specific weaknesses in its build that are bound to give out prematurely and require expensive parts and experienced mechanic hours to fix (i.e. Fiat 500's clutch wear issues, etc), and if there if there are any surefire ways of figuring them out while doing a car inspection (of course I hope to take it to a mechanic before buying to look at as well, but I'd rather not waste the time if it's something I can diagnose myself). Anyways, again I really appreciate all of you replying, it's given me a lot to think about and consider.
  11. Just under 20 years ago I was a kid in Europe where I saw the smart cars for the first time. Being the miniature-obsessed child, I asked my mother if that was a real car, and when she told me it was, I said I was going to buy it when I grow up. Well, I guess I'm at this point in my life now where buying a car is on the financial horizon, so I'm starting to look around. The problem is... I really like the original 450 build, and I'm a fan of the newest redesign (453), but the more I look at all of the 451s, the more lukewarm I feel about them. I've looked at some new ones, and with my partner in school again I can't really swing a new car plus the highway robbery of ICBC insurance per month on my single salary (never gotten into an accident, but I've never insured a vehicle before and I'm getting quoted some really charming numbers because of it). I mean I probably could if I got a long-term loan but I am really not interested in getting into more debt after finally paying off my student ones. So I guess that leaves me with the little 2005-2006 era smarts, and I'm wondering whether it's something I would regret in the long run. I've done my own maintenance on a scooter, but aside from that I don't have a ton of mechanical experience. I don't mind learning. How realistic would it be for me to learn to do most of my own maintenance on the old CDI's? Because I'm not going to lie, part of it the reason why I'm considering the old ones is because they are so cheap - I can pay them off in full in a couple months and start putting money away to savings instead. But if the car is gonna be eating a hole in my wallet due to it's age and frequent trips to a mechanic for things I can't handle... Then I might as well just forgo having the car for now and wait a few years until the new models age out to something I can afford without feeling stupid about it. I would be driving it to work, errands and volunteering (which I've had to stop because getting there by public transit was a nightmare and taking a carshare was quite costly), which is about 10 km each way, mostly main streets, a bit of highway and then the madhouse that is downtown traffic specifically for work. All-in-all, the estimate of the distance I'd be putting on them per year would be in the 5-10k km range. We'd still have our carshare membership for long-distance driving. Would the 450's be happy with this kind of driving? I'm looking now and most of them have a pretty decent chunk of mileage on them - there's a few with under 150k but that usually doubles their price and I'm not entirely certain whether low mileage on an old car is actually worth the extra price. I know they're pretty, uh, quirky in terms of driving and I am reserving judgement on that until I can sit behind the wheel, but I'm not a fussy driver and I can probably live with it. So... yeah, I guess, my question is, can I frame this crazy childhood desire as a rational decision of buying a mode of financially-prudent personal transportation?