Even after a few years here I marvel at the significant variance in temperature and general conditions from day to night and from one location to another less than ten miles apart. Yesterday I left my house where it was 90 deg. F. and went to work in Rancho Santa Fe where it was 75. Today it was up to about 95, and now it is hovering between 68 and 70. It will cool down more as the night progresses.
When I left work last evening, it had already dropped to 66 in a matter of a couple of hours. The cool nights save me because it tends to warm up in the Ballistic cabin after awhile. Insulation can save you for only so long when the sun is beating down unimpeded by cloud or tree.
That brings me to the most poorly designed aspect of the Subaru Forester. Underneath the engine is a rubbery plastic splash guard. You can't really call it a skid plate. It has a panel held with very unreliable plastic fasteners which, when unfastened, allow one to rotate it out of the way to provide access to the oil filter and oil plug.
I've battled to keep it fastened for a long time now. The fasteners tend to fall out when you aren't looking. One time a rabbit bumped it's head or hind end on it as I was driving a night. I noticed a scraping sound when I was on the interstate so I stopped to see what was what.
The panel was hanging down scraping the road. I had a coat hanger and my trusty Leatherman tool so I made clips and put it back. They held better than the plastic things. I was going to some event which required me to be somewhat dressed up. The whole operation was tricky.
Anyway, when I had some things done at the dealer they installed new plastic clips. Some shook loose. This time I did not hear the scraping. But I did notice something was awry.
The thing rubbed half itself into oblivion. I fastened what was left of it but don't like the big gap exposing the pan. I'm considering getting an aftermarket skid plate made of aluminum. Or whatever. One outfit makes these and it is talked up on forums of Subaru owners.
One place sells the panel I need but won't ship to a PO Box. When an item is not that large I think refusing PO shipment is stupid. I'll just go to the dealer and see what's what if I don't hear back from the skid plate people soon.
None of this would be under discussion if A) Subaru used decent fasteners for this item, or B) they put a decent skid plate on the cars from the start. The problem with this item and with their clips is almost universal among Subaru owners, at least through 2008, yet they did not change it by the time my car was made. If they aren't careful I'll buy a Kia or a Hundai next time. Maybe even a Toyota, although now matter how much I like them, they never feel quite right on me. But you give me an FJ and I'll adapt.
I'm optimistically assuming I'll have the money to do such a thing. Unfounded optimism is one thing I do like about myself. I may dislike plenty but it makes life easier believing all will be OK, and I will be able to make marketplace statements by tailoring my purchases to reward or punish in some small way.
But, to be honest, if I had lots of money, I'd probably just buy another Subaru, and if it had a flimsy underneath splash guard, I'd get the best skid plate available to fix that flaw. Their cars just feel right and I like them.
Norton sandpaper is still the best. A 3M company, but not made in Minnesota. Made in Canada by mounties and hockey pros.
The Ridgid 1/4 sheet sanders have done well under hours of rough continuous use.
Also the pressure washer made by Green Works, sold at Lowes, is a very good item for medium duty stuff, and for cases in which finesse is required to avoid over doing it so the object under the wash won't be damaged. That is the name of the game in the teak cleaning business.
There are several things I like about that item for the jobs on which I employ it.
A little tip--do not attempt to rinse off your rubber gloves, even under the 45 deg nozzle while wearing them. It will slice them quickly. Most of you wouldn't have to be told, but I had to try it, thinking I could be quick and cheat destruction.