August 2014
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Broadcast Engineering from a contracting stand point requires a lot of driving. I mean a lot of driving.  Since switching from full time Director of Engineering to a contracting field engineering position, I have already worn out two vehicles.  Having reliable transportation is a key component of this job. Of course, the other consideration is the price of gasoline which can range from expensive to horribly expensive depending on the warring or not warring that is currently taking place.

Thus, when it came time to replace my strange looking but roomy and reliable Scion xB, I did some research.  My complaint about the xB, other than the looks, was lack of ground clearance and lack of all wheel or four wheel drive.  After a bit of reading, it seemed the Subaru Crosstrek XV was a good choice.  Long story short, I got my car last week and got a pretty good deal, as the car dealer was looking to get rid of all their 2014 stock.

2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV

2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV

As I was leaving the dealership, the salesman had one final question.  The conversation went something like this:

Sales guy: “Mr. Thurst, can I ask what it was that sold you on this car?”

Myself: “Sure, it was the oil filter.”

SG: “What?”

Me: “The oil filter.”

SG: “No, I heard that, I just don’t understand.  It wasn’t the price or the fuel economy or the features?”

Me: “Nope.  To be honest, you did give me a good price, I like the all wheel drive, the ground clearance, the gas mileage and all that.  But when I popped the hood to look at the engine and saw the oil filter, I was sold.”

SG: “No one has ever said that before.  Welp, good luck and thanks for buying your car from us.” (now walking backwards into the dealership,  smile fixed on his face and nodding slowly)

Here is a picture of the Subaru FB20 boxer engine:

Oil filter location on a Subaru FB20 engine

Oil filter location on a Subaru FB20 engine

See the oil filter right next to the oil fill plug, up right and easy to get to.   Not only that, some design engineer put a catch basin around the filter mount, knowing that when the filter was unscrewed, all the oil would run out of it.  Without the catch basin, that oil would run down the engine block creating a mess that would get worse with each oil change.

Little things.  Little things mean a lot.

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6 comments to Transportation

  • Bob Doolittle

    Most cars are designed with hardly any input from the service side and this shows a change in things. One option that has never been offered is to build the car with stainless steel hardware. I can’t count the number of hours in my life spent with frozen shock mounts, brakes and other suspention parts.

  • Martin E.

    2014 Tacoma’s are the same way, I just purchased one and I do field work as well, and have to get places in inclement weather. I feel the same way about that feature, its great.

  • Different Chris Hall

    Now…if we could only get new cars like this with a diesel motor!

    I pretty much only drive Diesel Suburbans for my contract engineering. They quit making them in the 90s, but they are workhorses (350k miles on my current 1996), 4WD, comfortable, plenty of room, easy to work on, and decent fuel economy. I’ll easily do 80-100k miles a year…so I would never buy a new vehicle.

    That oil filter would have sold me also.

  • bill.frahm

    Plus you can’t break it off on that rock you just ran over.

  • chuck gennaro

    First time I changed oil on my son’s Saturn I felt the same way. Unscrew the cap, change the cartridge, screw the cap back on. Not a drop of oil anywhere. Someone was thinking.
    I wish they’d put that much thought into the ignition switch. Said Saturn is now crusher-bait, having been totaled in an accident, locked steering and no airbags. (no major injuries)

    The Subaru’s have been good purchases. They go anywhere pretty much forever. May yours do the same!

  • Elliot E

    When you take this baby on the taconic in the winter,you’ll feel safer than a Jeep.
    Wheels that slip/wheels that grip really works!
    ohh,the filter,sweet,how does the pan drain?

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