On backups and the importance of testing them

I’d really like the last 18 hours of my life back.

Lesson 1) backups are only as good as your backup strategy.

Lesson 2) your backup strategy is useless if its never been tested to recover from bare metal.

Lesson 3) your ill conceived, unproven backup strategy will bite you. And it will not be for a reason that [...]

RTFM on the new car

Most car owner’s manuals are a drivel of common sense stuff and lawyer induced warnings. There were actually a few interesting tidbits that I learned.

This was from a 2005 Jetta, but probably applies to most A4′s.

The power windows can all be opened/closed simultaneously using the key externally. With the key in the door, turn and hold [...]

Water Pump Replacement in a Chrysler 2.7L Engine

I recently helped my sister-in-law by replacing the leaking water pump in her 1998 Dodge Intrepid with the 2.7L engine. It’s a terribly designed engine in that when the water pump shaft seal goes (as they are prone to do), the leak dumps coolant into the crankcase and fouls the oil. Chrysler seams to think that a simple weep hole is sufficient to catch any leakage and dump it outside, but, I’ve read too many stories about that being inadequate. BTW — the weep hole location is on the left side of the engine block, near the front, about half way up the block. It’s easiest to locate when looking from underneath the car.

The following is not meant to be a complete step-by-step on how to do the job. I intend it to be informational with things that I learned along the way that might help others. I would not attempt this without some kind of service manual(s). I have omitted many important details that are covered in a service manual (like torque procedures). If nothing else, after reading this you should get a good sense for the amount of work involved and why a mechanic is going to charge you north of $500 in labor to do the job.
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