Friday, June 28, 2024

Funny Thing Happened on the way to the ROVAL!

NTD=New Tire Day!

So, there I was, being all proactive and putting on the good wheels and tires three days before going to Track Night in America. Everything was good, I washed the wheels, mounted them on the car, and torqued them down, and filled the tires with the right pressure. However, during this process I found a bare spot on one tire, and not wanting to be crashing because my tire blew out on track, I arranged for some new tires to be installed. Hey, as long as I can get them installed before the event, no problem!

Old tire, ouch!

Two days later, I hope in the car to go to my super-special-new-tire-installation-appointment, and BOOM. I've got an ABS light on, Stability Management (traction control) light on, and then then just to rub it in, the Check Engine Light came on, and then the extra cool Porsche Red Exclamation light came on! Dang! I pulled over, switched off the car, turned it back on, and still had the same codes. Double Dang it! 

I will race you in a car, I will race you in a truck!
I will race you in a kart, I wish you good luck!

Drove to the shop because the car felt OK, made an odd noise I couldn't put my finger on, but I know that once in a while you get luck and it's just a sensor that is bad, and not an actual problem with the car. What an uncomfortable feeling. Like most people, I can easily catastrophize when bad things happen, so I'm picturing worst case scenario, like expensive problems! 

How'd it go? SPOILER ALERT! FUN!!

Anyway, just to prove what a super genius I am at mechanical things, the answer was no REAL error codes! Once we adjusted "something" the car was fine! What was the problem? Well, it seems that "someone" on my pit crew had put a rear wheel on the front, and a front wheel on the rear. Now, for a lot of cars this is no problem because they're all the same size. However, for some cars, PROBLEM! My problem was that "someone" put a 265 wide 18-inch wheel on the front, and a smaller 235 wide 18-inch wheel on the back. And THAT, your honor, is why the ABS system, traction control, and even the engine were unhappy campers according to the error codes on the dashboard! 

Having too much fun. Lots of cars. 

For the record, I'll own up to this one, and I told the folks in the shop to go ahead and laugh. I went into the service bay to see what they were laughing at and let them know who was responsible. I told them that I hoped they had cameras in their garage so that they could play it back at their leisure and laugh at the dumb customer. 

Along with the usual suspects of Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Miatas, BMWs, and Subarus, there was this MG!

Also worth mentioning while I'm feeling dumb, one of my fellow Automotive Tech students works there, and I was just so happy to provide more entertainment for all the people working in the shop. You're welcome!

And what looked to be a former NASCAR racer. 

Oh, and then the next day I had a blast on new tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on the hottest day of the year, and here's the video! ROVAL LAP!

Let's see, in three sessions, I managed to get more familiar with this track, get used to my new tires, and drink a lot of water to keep cool. The car's temperature gauge went higher than I've ever seen, since it usually doesn't go over 175 or so. A warning came on the dash saying the engine was too hot, but it cooled off in between driving runs. 

Novice group gets ready to roll! Maybe you can spot the truck in the middle line!

Tire pressures kept going up also, with the air temp at about 98, although in the third session we got some clouds, and even a few drops of rain, but not enough to affect performance on track. Good to know when you're over 100mph on the oval part! First session my best was a 1:53, second session 1:47, and final session I got a bit lower in the 1:46 range. Plenty of higher horsepower cars passed me, and I passed some cars too. I'd be willing to bet everyone had fun!

I think this is the Advanced Group lined up to start their last session. 

It's a big track and a big facility!

Somehow there was a cone on track in the middle of turn 2 during a session, and I missed it every lap but one! It shouldn't have been there, but I smacked it a bit off of the racing line! At least I could push this loose trim piece back into place before heading home. 

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