To live with a vehicle that is yours, you have a special feeling about that vehicle. You make it comfortable for you. You give it names.
The V&R Machine came home safe and sound from its time at the dealership regarding a series of fixes centering on the wire harness connecting the exhaust oxygen sensor.
Let me explain: A wire was exposed suspected by a critter chewing through the insulation. This was discovered after the CX-5 threw a code which turned on the check engine light pointing to the catalytic converter and the exhaust oxygen sensor. After checking the initial code, the dealership replaced the catalytic converter and exhaust oxygen sensor under warranty.
However, the code did not go away. After consulting with the dealership, an insurance claim was filed, because the repair on the wire and the harness was covered under warranty issue. The extent of the repair was to replace the entire wiring harness.
Long story short: This was a bloody hassle. It took too long to get the V&R Machine back from the dealership. We have concerns whether this repair would cause further issues and warning lights down the line.
We went a step further. George went on to apply more protection to the wiring and the undercarriage of the CX-5. That included applying an anti-rodent tape to deter any critter from chewing on the exposed wiring.
Was this lesson learned? I certainly hope so. However, you cannot ignore the wildlife that lives in our neighborhoods – meaning mice, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, snakes, etc. All you can do is to keep your properly unattractive to them – that includes making sure your garage is clean.
By the way, if you want to hear the entire story, listen or watch our latest podcast (skip to 5:27 for the entire slowdown from George on the V&R Machine):
Having the loaner since Labor Day Weekend, both George and I wound up comparing the 2023 S Premium. With our 2021 Touring. It is not exactly an “apples-for-apples” comparison, because of a few details here and there.
For example, the Premium wears larger wheels than the Touring – 19 inches vs. 17 inches. George found that the ride on the newer loaner was harsher by a bit, due to those larger wheels. I also noticed a few details to be different, such as the door trim.
In a previous review of the CX-5, 2022 marked a mid-cycle refresh of this model with new head and taillamp units using more LED elements, a new grille texture, different wheel sets, and a different instrument cluster with center dial being fully digital.
At the same time, Mazda jumped ahead and introduced a 2024 model year CX-5. The biggest change is the elimination of the base model, raising the entry price to $29,300. Not to mention, every new CX-5 comes with all-wheel drive as standard equipment.
All of these point to one thing: We chose well.
Which brings me to a thought about automotive ownership. To live with a vehicle that is yours, you have a special feeling about that vehicle. You make it comfortable for you. You give it names. You take it on adventures. You treat it well by giving it baths, maintaining it yourself, and fueling up with better gasoline. It is your car.
Being away from the V&R Machine, it all began to sink in. The loaner was fine, but I got bored with it. It was another CX-5, albeit two model years newer. Yet, it was not the V&R Machine.
Granted, it is George’s vehicle, since he bought it for V&R. We share that the vehicle, so, in essence, it is ours. Yet, it belongs to us…all in a possessive language that points to that bond between humans and their machines.
Meanwhile, I had this in my care for two brief stints after its return from the dealership. The longer stint was a mix of my doctor's appointments, airport shuttling for George, and some work for V&R and other entities. Nothing really to write home about.
The V&R Machine will now get an oil change and some other service. The winter tires have been put on, despite some very nice weather we experienced in the Twin Cities. We cannot wait to put the Michelin X-Ices to the test when winter finally arrives here.
All Photos by Randy Stern and George Torline