Things you probably didn’t know about Subaru:

1. They are owned by “Fuji Heavy Industries” in Japan.
2. This company is a defense contractor and makes parts for aircraft (like the Boeing 777), also.
3. Toyota is a partial owner of Fuji Heavy Industries
4. There is a Subaru plane, that they once produced…ending production in 1986.
5. Fuji produced engines for Polaris until 1998…and, to this date, they still supply parts for their motors.
6. Today, Fuji also builds garbage trucks, robot sweepers, and wind turbines.
7. Until 2003, Fuji also built buses and railroad cars.

Yes, Subaru also makes robots!

One very lucky driver

This accident occurred north of Deer Lodge on I-90. The driver was appx 22 year old guy heading east to College. He had left central Washington early in the morning.

Suburban meets guard rail

He fell asleep at the wheel and drifted off the shoulder hitting the end of the section of guard rail.

The guard rail came through the right headlight, engine compartment, firewall, glove box, passenger seat, rear seat and exited out the driver’s side rear window.

Suburban meets guard rail - Photo 4

Suburban meets guard rail

That is 120 feet of guard rail that threaded through this suburban.

Suburban meets guard rail - Photo 4

Suburban meets guard rail

No passengers and the driver was not injured.

I am sharing this as a reminder to all about NOT driving when you shouldn’t be behind the wheel (drinking, texting, distracted or just plain tired).

How to detail your car 101 . . . Part 1.

Want to wash your car right? Get the right tools.

So step 1: Go shopping.

Most of these materials you might already have on hand or maybe not.

Just assuming you are starting from scratch, here’s a shopping list of what you will need to wash and detail your car properly.

Get the following items:

Car Washing Supplies

Here are some of the implements and chemicals we use here at Motorphilia

1. A high quality 50-ft hose that will not bind easily – about 25.00
2. A high quality spray nozzle – about 10 to 15 dollars – cheap one’s will just waste your water and will end up wasting money.
3. A large 2 gallon container of “Purple Power” degreaser. . . this will be your best friend in cleaning – about 15 to 18 dollars
4. A commercial grade spray bottles for the degreaser and a funnel – about 8 bucks.
5. a 5 or 10 gallon bucket (not pictured) — about 5 to 10 dollars
6. a soft bristled brush for washing your car – about 12 to 20 dollars
7. a large soft adsorbing towel – terry cloth is ok – about 5 to 7 dollars
8. a large microfiber polishing towel – about 10 dollars
9. a 12-pack of smaller microfiber towels – about 10 dollars
10. a good car washing mix – about 8 dollars
11. a wheel brush – about 5 dollars
12. 2 cans of aerosol tire-shine – brand doesn’t matter – cheap is fine – about 8 bucks
13. 1 polish applicator pad – for the tire shine – about 4 bucks
14. 1 bottle of Turtle “Dry and Wax” spray wax. – about 7 bucks
15. 2 bottles of aerosol glass gleaner – about 6 bucks
16. A shop vac or a wet/dry canister vacuum cleaner – about 80.00
17. Lexol leather conditioner – if you have leather – about 12.00
18. A can of matching touch-up paint – about $15.00
19. A tire pressure gauge – 3 bucks.

This all adds up to be about a $250.00 bill and that’s a bit more than one car wash . . . but this will save you tons of time and money over the course of the ownership of your car.

By having the right tools and the right chemicals on hand, you will find that detailing a car is very easy work.

Does spending all this money upfront make any sense?

In short, Yes.

If you clean your car on a weekly or semi-weekly basis, you’ll find that getting your car to the “like-new” appearance is about a 15 minute to a 30 minute commitment and you also have a chance to look over your car’s condition and make sure everything is ok.

Most shops will charge about 65.00 to 95.00 for the level of detail you are about to perform and the materials that you have on this list, should last you for several details . . . about 5 to 10 depending on the size of your car and how frugal you are with your chemicals.

Chemicals will last for about 6 to 10 details and these are the only things that you will need to replace over time . . . if you are detailing your car every other week, you can safely expect to spend about 80.00 to 100.00 in replacement chemicals . . . the implements such as your towels, hose, sprayer, and vacuum should last for many years.

The bottom line, by having these materials and learning how to use them right and assuming you detail you car on a bi-weekly basis (which in this article, you will find is quick and simple). You will save over $1500.00 a year in keep your car in beautiful shape.

Hey, little things add up, don’t they?

Also, be keeping your car clean, you can improve your fuel economy by 7% . . . no joke . . . a smoother car surface makes less drag than a rough one and it’s easier for your car to glide through the air.

What does this mean to you?

Well, the average SUV driver gets 18 mpg over the course of a year and the average SUV owner drives 15000 miles a year and the average cost for gas this year is $2.72.

The average cost per year to drive a SUV in gas alone then is $2,666.67 . . . if this person could increase their fuel economy by just 7%, they save almost $150.00 per year.

When you are washing you car, this is also a great time to check your tire pressure . . . and just by making sure your tires are properly inflated, you can increase fuel economy by another 3% – upping those savings in gas alone to almost $200.00 a year.

So now let’s detail that car:

First: NEVER WASH A CAR WITH THE SUN DIRECTLY OVERHEAD . . . unless you love water spots.

Second: ALWAYS check your brushes and towels for any objects that might scratch your car’s paint.

Third: Use CLEAN TOWLES. . . it’s called cleaning a car, not spreading crap all over your car with water and soap.
Ok . . .

Step 1:

DEGREASER and Spray Bottle – spray it over the bugs and all over your car’s wheels . . . DO NOT BREATH THE FUMES . . . they are BAD FOR YOU!!!

Step 2:

SOFT BRUSH and BUCKET (w/ Car Wash)

Fill up your bucket with water, then mix in soap . . . the other way around is just going to make foam . . . mix it in with your brush and proceed to scrub all over.

Be sure to get those bugs and the wheels that you just sprayed with the DEGREASER (leaving it on can eat your paint and corrode your wheels).

Step 3:

HOSE of your car with the SPRAY NOZZLE.

Get all of the soap off . . .

Step 4:

Drying – PART 1

SPRAY the Turtle “Dry and Wax” all over your car while it’s still wet.

DRY your car quickly with a LARGE ABSORBING TOWEL or SHAMMY.

Get most of the water this way . . . it’s OK TO LEAVE STREAKS.

UNTIL – Drying part 2

Use your LARGE MICROFIBER POLISHING TOWEL to go over your car’s finish . . . now it’s time to get rid of the streaks.

Step 5:

Wheels . . . take a small microfiber cloth and finish wiping them off.

Tires . . . Spray the TIRE SHIE on to your APPLICATOR PAD (saturate it) . . . and wipe down your tires and any other exposed and unfinished rubber surfaces on your car.

Step 6:

Open your trunk, hood, and all doors . . . and wipe out any water you might see.


NOW ON TO THE INTERIOR . . . we’ll cover this in my next article.

Happy cleaning!!!

What does it cost to replace a Prius Battery and how long do they last?

Common client question: My only concern with the Prius is longevity. Do they hold up once they get over 100K, or are the batteries going to die before then. I don’t know what it costs to replace that type of battery. Do you? What kind of price range would I be looking at?

Answer:  I have bad news, all cars eventually fail.  If you are concerned about not having anything breaking on a car, you might be better of with a bicycle or a pogo stick . . . then you won’t have to replace any costly parts that might eventually break.

No wait, they will break also. . . . well, there is always walking . . . no . . . wait, you are eventually going to die . . .

I have a philosophy that we do not make good decisions out of fear and fear is best fought by education and accurate information, so that being so . . .

Yes, there is no safety, there is no sure bet, there is only making the best educated decisions with cars and let’s go from there.

I have a philosophy that we do not make good decisions out of fear and fear is best fought by education and accurate information, so that being so . . .let’s move on.

If you are looking for an economical car, that can seat five, get’s great fuel economy, is incredibly reliable, has a nice ride, is roomy, has good storage room, safe, and has a low cost of operation and you are not considering a Prius because your concern is with the battery life and the hybrid system’s reliability, let me share some information with you.

Fact is a gasoline engine’s life is between 180,000 and 220,000 miles . . . and there is not enough evidence to support that the hybrid batteries in the second and third generation Prius do not last at least this long, if not longer.

The Prius has been phenomenally reliable and the chances of your battery going bad are the same, if not less, than the chances of a Camry’s engine going bad on it’s own . . . since the 2005 (Gen 2) model and up, the Prius is one of Toyota’s top cars for reliability — see the Consumer Report’s attachment.

Prius vs Camry in Reliablity

Toyota Prius (Generation 2 and up) vs the Toyota Camry (4-cyl) in reliability

I’m speaking from experience for the most part on this matter and from keeping up with my clients . . . In the past 10 years, I have seen several traditional Toyota motors go bad . . . but not one of their hybrids or their hybrid batteries.

Along with this, in a 2008 press release, Toyota stated the following:

“The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level – never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won’t be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.”

(I’d cite the link, but it seems it’s broken . . . BUT if you do some more research, you’ll find this is consistant with what actual owners are reporting.)

Yes, The batteries are not cheap, but the odds you you actually finding out what they cost from you having to actually buy one is just as likely as if you had to replace replacement cost of a traditional motor on a Camry.

Also, in line with motors, there is an engineering advantage to the hybrid design because the gas motor is actually supposed to last longer because it is under far less of an actual work load and parts like the air conditioner system do not run off of traditional pulleys and they also tend last longer . . . ACTUALLY there is more evidence to support that hybrids last longer and are cheaper to run over all.

So after knowing this information, do you feel the Prius is a fit for you? :)

If so, I can pick you up a 2008 to 2009 Prius for 14500 to 16000 right now.

Feel free to contact me at if you would like to know more about these cars or anything else that is automotive related.

(And to answer what it cost for a replacement Prius battery . . . check out eBay . . . they’re under 500 bucks all day long.)

Buying on a budget . . . Think Yaris :)

In my quest to buy and drive almost every car ever made, I recently picked up a 2008 Toyota Yaris (4-do0r).

I don’t have time to into an in depth review of this car, but, in short: I am impressed.

In fact, I have an easy time saying that the Yaris is on my “favorites list” for small cars.

If you are on a budget,  you can pick up a nice pre-owned model these days for under $10,000.

They have great passenger room, good storage space, well built, quiet, get over 40 mpg, are cheap to maintain, good looks, and have good features for the dollar. If you are car shopping with a budget, put this on the top of your list. You won’t regret it!

Buying tips:

1. Look at the body panels to see if they have the factory VIN stickers . . . if not, this is a good sign of a Toyota being in an accident and you should have a professional inspection done to further investigate the integrity of the car.

2. Check the engine oil . . . if it is dark and sludgy, this is a sign of an abused Yaris.

3. Tires. . . always check the tires. They are about $500.00 for a set on this car.

If you have questions about any car, feel free to ask me . . . I’ve owned and driven thousands of cars in my life and I am happy to help you find something you will love.

Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever give up!

(art by Aaron Manley Smith)
“Love doesn’t work out too well when we are armor plated.”
So that being said . . . .

A year or so, I wrote a brief snippet about C.S. Lewis’s sentiments on truly loving others in his book “The Four Loves

Every once in a while I get comments on this article and I saw one that really bothered me  . . .  it was sort of a call for help and I felt very sad for this person.

Here’s what they had to say:

“As someone who has had their heart broken 8 times trying to find love, the most recent just today, I have to say that C.S. Lewis was wrong.

He seems to forget that losing love, that pain… IS HELL!! So, basically I am damned either way. At least I won’t have to go through the rejection any more.

Let my heart shrivel and die, let me not feel a thing. I would rather be numb than in pain, better callous than cursed.”

Well . . . Crap.  That sucks.

So here are my thoughts . . . you are not alone.

Never give up! Ever!

This is a sad and selfish hole we all fall into . . . and getting out of it is the trick.

The hardest thing to do is love like you have never been hurt before.

Especially after getting your heart ripped out and stomped on and having every piece of trust you have shredded like wood chips and burned up in to nothing.

Ya, this is a good place to give up and die . . . it’s really crappy and if it hasn’t already to you, don’t worry . . . IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ALL OF US!

If you keep finding that you get hurt over and over again, stop searching and take time to heal.

If you keep swinging from one person to the next you aren’t looking for love, but more of a fix to feel something.

You’re not “cursed” but if this pattern repeats itself, you should look into yourself and see how you might be affecting the outcome.

I know of a great girl who is a good example of self-sabotaging her relationships because she’s always in fear of the person she is in love with leaving her. She doesn’t see this, but her fear has pushed away some great guys . . . has she found somebody yet?  No.

Does she see where she makes her mistakes? No.

She finds every fault outside of herself to blame, but her.

I know from past experiences, that I am not much better at this and I’ve committed to learn my way out of this.

What I have learned over the years, is the only thing that you can change is yourself and the way that you handle situations.

Faith is important . . . learning to have it again is tough, but it’s necessary.

It takes a lot of faith to love someone . . . more than you think you could ever have. By loving someone deeply through all that comes, we learn how to love others better and how to become better people.

Yes, and having faith means being scared and letting go.

What I have learned so far is “Hang in there.”

It’s more than a cliche or some thoughtless advice that a person tosses your way instead of listening . . . it’s actually a way of life.

I’ve also learned that self pity will take me no where.

My best advice to everyone is: If you love anything or anyone, don’t ever ever ever ever ever give up. . . all things that are of great value don’t come easy and they are hard to find.

This is what makes them special.

I’ve felt the feelings this person is expressing and it’s hard to believe now, but I’ve found that they are a myth . . . a hoax . . . and not real.

They come from you asking, “what does this person give to me?”, but not from “what can I do to help this person?”

The only thing we can do, is choose to love better . . . if you need help, I’ve found that Corinthians 13 does a good job of giving the template of true love.

The great truth we all should learn is this: Loneliness is the illusion we are tricked into feeling when we stop thinking of others and only of ourselves . . . it’s a disease and we can fight it the moment we chose to put others before us.

If you don’t believe me . . . try it . . . don’t talk about it . . . help others and find connection and never ever give up.

You’ll find that if you keep working on “you” instead of hunting down new people, you’re going to find someone wonderful who love’s “you” just as much as you do.

Last thought . . . how can you love others as you love yourself if you don’t even love yourself yet?

Do something right now to better your life . . . start with something small. Wash the dishes, clean your house, go to the gym.  . . . now find something you can look forward to at the end of the day that isn’t another person.  . . make a list of what you are grateful for . . . love who you are and never forget it!

Get it? :)

Hell Has Frozen Over . . . Korean Cars Are on Top?

What are your thoughts about driving a luxury 375hp V8 Hyundai?
Normally, in the past,  I would laugh at the though of a upscale Korean car that would take on BMW . . . but now laughing at this thought has been made very difficult by my jaw being dropped wide open.
Get ready . . . you may not believe this. . .

In Consumer Reports latest review of “Upscale Sedans”, the Hyundai Genesis topped its list, beating out competitors like the Acura, Lexus, Audi, and even BMW. It’s unbelievable enough that Hyundai makes a car that can cost $40,000. It’s even more astonishing that it’s actually good. I don’t want to believe it, but the brand best associated with Rodney King and pizza delivery’s finest professionals seems to have cracked it and made something worth considering. Question still remains, would you drive a Hyundai?

As for me, I’m feeling the pull of the dark-side — and it speaks Korean.

So . . . who’s raffing now?

I’m not.

So what are your thoughts on Hyundai’s these days?

Should we finally take them seriously?