went into the shop today to have the rain sensor looked at and repaired, the intermittent SRS warning light looked at and repaired, the NAV DVD removed from the trunk and new carpet installed (from a model without the DVD drive and its bracketry), and to have the headlights refinished (and made clear again).
- The rain sensor turned out to be a problem caused by some previous owner replacing the windshield ... They installed the windshield and sensor assembly without the gel that goes between them. The windshield shop wanted to sell my mechanic a WHOLE windshield assembly, properly put together with the gel, but he said, "no way!" ... and found a source and a method to reinstall the sensors and gel properly. $50 in parts and two-and-a-half hours labor was FAR less expensive than the cost of another windshield!!
- The SRS warning pushed a bunch of codes that indicate the seat lower cushion needs to be replaced—the sensor device is indicated to be bad. That's another $1000 part plus installation labor. I've started another thread on this ... several folks have responded and it seems a large percentage of these failures are actually the inner seat belt buckle assembly failing. I'll be pursuing this one further on Monday.
- The NAV DVD removal went without a hitch and the new carpet looks great. Since I completely overhauled the audio system and get maps and nav direct though my iPhone now, there was no need to have these bits cluttering up the trunk anymore. Having it out of there actually does open up a good bit more trunk space, surprisingly!
- The head lights are now completely refinished and crystal clear, like new! They look great! The job is done but for the final fine polishing, which they will do in a week or so after letting the new coatings fully cure. It was not an inexpensive job but looks far better than anything I've seen done with the over-the-counter kits.
It was kind of an expensive couple of things to get done, but with the exception of the SRS warning and fitting the Connects2 steering wheel control kit (on the way from the UK at present) for the audio system, every detail that needed attention (and a few upgrades/improvements) on this car have been taken care of. It is running brilliantly, easily averaging 26-28 mpg on the highway and 20-22 mpg around town, handles extremely well, etc etc.
Planning a couple of longish trips ... :-)