Test Drive

Took the car out for a drive tonight at around midnight (learning manual, so I don’t want to get in the way or break things).

My observations:

  • The gasoline smell is strong in the driver’s cabin, even when the windows are up and the sunroof is closed.
  • The suspension is almost completely gone.
  • The cooling fan light stayed on the entire time from start-up.
  • The battery indicator gauge needle on the dash bounced up and down in time with my turn signal blinking at a stop light.
  • The coolant reservoir is cracking and needs to be replaced.
  • The coolant in the car is a murky brownish mud color and needs to be flushed.
  • The oil level was about 3/7th full, and seemed to be in need of replacement (dark auburn color).
  • The amp and stereo are absolutely annoying and must get removed (volume automatically starts at level 10, and plays some crap music).
  • The shifter boot is the weakest piece of fabric I’ve ever seen.

Here are some images to show you what I mean:

Searching around on forums for the Mk. I MR2, I discovered that the owner’s manual states you should not drive the vehicle above 37mph if your cooling fan light is on.

The previous owner (PO) drove this car around at highway speeds for likely the last few months at ten miles a day…

At this point I have scheduled an appointment with my mechanic to review everything on Friday, and will likely have the car towed over to them to avoid messing anything up.

I’m glad that I counted on a budget of $4k for a car. The $2.2k I paid leaves $1.8k for repairs and/or parts.

My plan of action after getting the car back (budget permitting):

  • Disconnect the shitty stereo, and put the decent amp into my wife’s Sentra.
  • Degrease and detail the engine bay.
  • Rip out and redo the carpets in the driver’s cabin (putting down sound insulator to dampen noise).
  • Replace the ratty looking dash cover and torn up shifter boot.
  • Throw on a steering wheel cover.
  • Find a spot to put my phone in the car for GPS navigation (I’ve got a Sony Xperia Z Ultra that’s 6.4″ of screen).
  • Possibly replace the stock air intake and air filter with a shorter cone-based air filter (there are several intake mod writeups online).


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