i picked up a three-volume mazda 626 shop service manual last week from the post office. it took like a month and a half to get here from the US via surface mail. i had all but written the darn thing off. but couldn't complain, i paid $0.99 for the books on e-bay. and of course a sizable $15 or so on shipping. but it turns out the shipping cost about $28, so "genuinetoyota" actually lost money on that transaction..
i also have another card from the post office. apparently my other ebay purchase (a $9-ish mazda 626 1993-1998 haynes manual) is sitting there. also surface mail. i actually had that haynes manual already, but i think it got thrown out along with a huge pile of old newspapers when the apartment was cleaned.
there are quite a few things i have to fix on the car. now that lalai and i will be using the darn thing for around 25km of driving every day, we're going to be really dependent on it.
- the air conditioner is on the fritz. i suspect the compressor clutch is marginal (sometimes it engages, sometimes it doesn't, so sometimes the A/C is cold, sometimes it's not). i'm hoping it's just the wiring harness going to the compressor clutch, but the clutch might be on the way out because power-steering fluid keeps dripping on the compressor. thankfully Mang Mario behind SM North in Quezon City does a good job cheap. i already had him fix the compressor clutch once, only cost 1200 pesos inclusive of R-134A coolant
- the suspension has gotten quite noisy! i should take it back for a look-see by Toti Cruz and his boys at Zee Autoplus along Aurora Blvd. in San Juan, after all the suspension is still under warranty
- the idle gets low and the engine vibration is unpleasant; i think the Idle Air Control valve is dirty but i don't have a #25 tamper-proof bit to remove the valve for cleaning
- the front speakers don't work too well, i will have to re-solder them like i did the rear speakers
- those idiot lights in the dashboard that are busted annoy the heck out of me
- the gimmick key light on the door (so you can see the key hole when it's dark), and the key light on the steering column (ditto), are both busted, need to replace those bulbs..
- i need to remove the mudguard and fix the window washer; the tank leaks so the washer doesn't work
- the hand brake lever on the right-rear brake caliper is broken, so the handbrake sticks. known problem in 1993-95 626's, subject to recall in the US. too bad there's no such thing in the Philippines, and a new brake caliper is 8000 pesos!
but then again it's a 12-year old car. i should feel fortunate that everything works except the hand brake and the window washer. the power mirrors still amuse me.. that's the penalty of buying a pre-owned "executive" car. but then back in college the 626 was the stuff of my dreams and was so unreachable back then. i couldn't help but buy it.
some bad news i read today is, the newly-introduced Hyundai Tucson 2.0L CVVT, which is the cheapest new soft-roader SUV available in the Philippines, at 888000 pesos, has the absolute worst reliability record in its class. not that i could afford it even if i wanted to..