Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer…

The month of April has been packed full of excitement, but I’m glad it’s coming to an end.

We’ll start with earlier this month, having to fly to Ft Worth Texas to renew my  Heavy Equipment Certification. Corporate gave us the option to test out, but I waned to take the class they were offering because I felt confident that I would learn something new. I was not disappointed. I came away with some real good stuff. Which made the sacrifice of a weeks pay, along with the expense of a week of rental car, hotel and the flight back and forth. This was home for the week. Not horrible, but it was in need of some deep cleaning  & attention. 20150405_174920Unfortunately, it seems that every time I step foot in an airport, I get some kind of illness. This time around, I came back with the flu. So I was sick the entire following week. Which made playing catch up with my assignments from the week I was in Texas, extremely hard. I still, 2 weeks later, have a lingering cough.

But last Friday seemed like it was going to close the week on a high note & usher in the weekend full of fun & relaxation. Thursday morning I made my way out to the Idaho Falls area again where I had a couple assignments on that side of the state. I drove myself due to my driver was not available. This wasn’t a big deal. I kinda missed the TSX and was ready for a nice long stretch in her. She was parked in the garage all week while I was in Texas. But whats more, is Friday, I had to go to Salmon to see a deer hit. Readers of my blog know that the drive to Salmon is my favorite.

So Thursday night I stayed in a hotel in Idaho Falls & did some work, vs. driving the 4.5 hours home from Idaho Falls, Then getting up early to drive the 5.5 hours to Salmon.

Idaho Falls to Salmon is about 2.75 hours. So despite losing that drive time & all those miles, I was tired and doing it this way saved me about 7 hours and 15 minutes behind the wheel.

Friday I woke up to one of the most beautiful spring days so far. The route from Idaho Falls to Salmon is not the most scenic, but the weather more than made up for it. When I arrived in Salmon I saw a 2005 Lincoln Aviator. I’ve never seen one before & It’s mich like it’s big brother the Navigator. This one was in premium condition, much like my TSX, but no where near the mileage. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Aviator was a total loss.

The drive home was scenic, and with the windows down due to the crisp 65 degree weather, I felt more connected to the outside. It was the first time I can think of that I wished the TSX was a convertible. My car ate up the turns on it’s original shocks like they still had a mere 50k miles on them. It was looking like today was going to make up for the crappy previous week and start the weekend right. 20150417_122459There has been road construction on a stretch of hwy for quite some time now. The drive to Salmon is full of steep canyons and tall rock walls that occasionally release smaller rocks down it’s steep slopes and into the road. Sometimes on to the cars themselves. This one particular stretch is known for the worst of this offense & they have been trying to remedy it for what seems like quite some time. Because of this, the hwy is shut down for two, 2 hour periods. 10am-12pm & 1:30pm-3:30pm. I had just missed the second window by about 20 minutes.

No big deal, I wasn’t in a big hurry. I decided to check out some of the small stores in Clayton. If you recall, Clayton has a population of 7 & is a blink on the hwy. Unfortunately, all of the little stores were closed, seasonal (summer only) or only open weekends. Even the little Clayton museum was only open on the weekend. But there is this little side road that snakes back into the mountains, & I always wondered what was back there…DSC07982What I found was a beautiful little canyon going back about 2-3 miles at the most. The road split & went into private property to the left & extremely rough, non maintained road to the right. I decided to stop for a little while & enjoy the scenery. DSC07981DSC07984 DSC07987Since I had time to kill, this was as good as place as any for a nap…20150417_143929I took an old leather jacket out of the trunk and threw it down. I was going to watch clouds, but there was not a cloud in the sky. I took the time to appreciate the mountainsides & scenery as I relaxed the 2 hour window away.

Now, it may seem like I’m milking this a bit, & honestly, I am. How could someone not want to try to recapture small moments like these, and unbeknownst to me at the time, it might be some of my last moments with my TSX.

The next 2 hours or so behind the wheel were just as enjoyable as the first half of the trek home. I noticed there were a lot more deer than usual out by the roads.DSC07995 DSC07996Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer (Just jumped out in front of me)

Ray, A Drop of Golden Sun (In my eyes and I can’t see)

Me, A Name, I Call Myself (As I Strike a Rock in the Road & My Tire Blows Dragging me Into The Ditch Where Several Larger Rocks Await)

Far, A Long, Long Way to Run (Because Boise is Still an Hours Drive Away & I have No Cell Service)

Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread (Looking at the TSX afterwards thinking, I Don’t Know If I Can Mend This)

La, A Note to Follow So (The Blog may be Coming to an Untimely End)

Tea, A Drink With Jam & Bread (As I Wait for over a Half Hour for the First Car to Come by to Request Help)

& That Will Bring Us Back to Doe, Oh, Oh No…

Thanks to my Middle School chorus teacher, this is one of the first things that popped into my head as I sat in the passenger seat of a 2000 something Subaru belonging to the nice young lady that was willing to give me a ride back into town.

All of it is pretty accurate, except for the sun in my eyes part. I just needed something to fit. But the rest pretty much sums it up. About 10 miles or so North of Idaho City, coming around a bend, a deer jumped out in front of me on the left side of the road. Which normally wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s actually happened before & I was able to stop or swerve at least. But this time, the deer came out right where there were some rocks in the road in my lane. I had nowhere to go. 20150417_173033I had gone back to clear the rocks while I was waiting, this pic is after I had moved about 80% of them. I also found the rock I made the initial impact with.20150417_173042It’s a little hard to see in this pic, but on the bottom left is where the impact to the wheel was made. The rock is about 5 inches thick sitting on it’s side. My theory is that once I hit this rock, the tire blew, which pulled me into the ditch where it’s much bigger brothers lay in wait for the ambush. The front end bounced up & down pretty severely as I ran over these larger rocks. It also broke the wheel apart. I saw the wheel come off going out & up to my right. (This all happened right next to a 20-30 ft rock wall. When I went back to clear debris, I couldn’t find the wheel or tire. It was gone. I think it may be sitting on the rock wall shelf 20-30ft up.) DSC07998When the wheel came apart & off, it struck the cowl of the car hard enough to separate the apron from the cowl. You can see here the separation of the welds.DSC07999The impact was also hard to enough to cause inertia damage to the roof, buckling it all around the sunroof area.DSC08002 DSC08003 DSC08004I was too shook up to think to get a lot of pics from the scene. All I took were the pics of the stupid rocks. It didn’t even occur to me to take any others. All I could think at the time was that I’ve come so close. All those years, all those miles, to get here? Sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere all alone. It’s a good thing the deer left right away, as I’m afraid I may have strangled it.

So here it sits at a local body shop waiting it’s fate.DSC07997True, it doesn’t look so bad in this picture. But the cowl and the roof are what worry me. It’s not that it can’t be repaired, anything can be. But will I be able to afford to fix her again? With an additional 40k miles on her from last time coupled with a salvage title, the insurance company was quick to wash it’s hands of it & total it again. And I don’t blame them at all. In fact, Sean at Allstate was great and sympathetic about it. Turns out he was an Acura guy of sorts as well owning a Vigor back in the day.

Here’s where I’m at & my options at this point…

I need a reliable car for work due to the places I go & the miles I drive. But I need to pay of the Princesses RDX before I can afford to get what I want. Which is about 2 years from now.

1) If I can afford to, do I rebuild her again? She starts right up & idles smooth as ever. I don’t think there’s even a broken motor mount. There’s no leaking fluids anywhere. It comes down to if there is any hidden damage I can’t see yet & how much it will cost to repair it all.

2) Buy another car in the $8-$10 thousand range that hopefully is reliable and that I don’t hate getting into every morning.

3) Buy a old 80’s-90’s Honda Civic/CRX for next to nothing & rebuild the drivetrain. I’d be able to do it for less than the $8-$10 grand. I only need it for a couple years until the RDX is paid off.

4) Really isn’t an option for me, & that’s to just suck it up and get a new ILX or TLX preferably. I might be able to swing the payment, but it would be awfully tight financially. I’m not one to put myself in that situation. The one thing I’ve learned looking at wrecked cars for a living & now wrecking mine for the second time, is to expect the unexpected. So no new car for now.

I’ll know for sure in the following week or so what will be the fate of my TSX & my quest for 500,000 miles. There are several reasons why achieving 500,000 miles or more on a car is such a rare & wonderful thing. I think of Irv Gordan & his old Volvo Coupe that he’s put about 3.5 million miles on since he bought it new. How great would it have been to be the Irv Gordan for Acura? Sadly, at this point, I’m just not seeing it.

Our cars & trucks are a big part of our every day lives. Taking us to work to make a living. Taking our kids to see their first movie on the big screen, or the ocean for the first time. Our vehicles help us to create our fondest memories. They open up the world to us by allowing us to cover great distances in comfort to see other parts of the country that would have been closed off to us with out them. Thanks to the engineers that design them, they keep us safe & protect us if the unexpected does happen.

So if anyone at Acura is reading, Thank you for my TSX. It’s been a pleasure to drive. It’s been reliable since day one. It breaks my heart thinking that my time with it is possibly over.

Carlos, it may be up to you now to carry the torch to 500k in your TSX. But you’ll have to plan a lot more road trips!

I will be posting at least one more time to let every body know what the outcome will be. I’ll leave you with a pic of the odometer I took earlier in the day on that fateful Friday. It’s not the final mile count, but it’s within a couple hundred miles.

It’s with a heavy heart & a pit in my stomach that I say goodbye for now. 20150416_162906

About clymerdude

A Property Damage Appraiser in the State of Idaho.
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28 Responses to Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer…

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Awaiting further news and hoping for the best. It was such an odd day. I remember being so excited for you because I know how much you love the Salmon area. In fact, you sent me that same picture of the lake. I can’t wait to see it in June. But later that same day, I got the picture of the rock and I knew there had to be a story behind it. And thus the TSX is faced with yet another setback on its very long journey to 500,000 miles. The Legend and I are both rooting for you.

    • clymerdude says:

      Thanks Tyson. The one comfort I have is knowing that, even if only temporary, I surpassed the miles you put on the Legend. It may not stand for long. But I’ll always have that at least… positive thoughts brother…

  2. Farid says:

    Words can’t even explain how terrible I felt after reading this. Sorry this happened to you, but at least you weren’t seriously injured. As for the TSX, I personally have some hope for it, as I would love to see it hit 500,000 miles, and I’m sure you would, too! If you must replace it, would you consider a second gen TSX? I’m sure you’d be able to find one for 11-12 thousand… If not, maybe another first gen TSX?

    • clymerdude says:

      Thanks Farid. This post took me over 4 hours to write. I kept having to walk away to take a break from it. It was like reliving it with every word. I think I may have an ulcer now. It’s funny you mention 2nd gen TSX’s. This last week I’ve been looking at all sorts of cars on the market, & not even the lexus’s and other high end cars look appealing to me. I keep going back to the TSX’s. Both 1st & 2nd gen. If I do have to get another car, I have a strong feeling it will be another TSX. After driving it as long and for as many miles, it’s almost like an extension of my own body. I just can’t picture myself in a different car.

  3. pawela says:

    I’m really sadden to hear of your day. Good thing you or no one else was injured. This post nearly brought a tear to my eye. I’m really hopeful you are able to easily resurrect the TSX and this blog can keep going. I’m rooting for you too! Please keep us informed.

  4. Will says:

    I really enjoy following your blog and was deeply saddened to hear about your TSX. Your experience with your TSX inspires me to keep driving mine and be hopeful that mine will be as problem free.

    As others have said, I think another TSX would be the right fit for you. And with another TSX, you can keep this blog up and running!

    • clymerdude says:

      Thanks Will. I haven’t given up on her quite yet, but I admit it doesn’t look good. & I think you’re right, another tsx will be the way to go. I’d really like to see if i can get into a 2nd Gen, but we’ll see what’s out there. Thanks for following.

  5. Carlos says:

    Oh my God! So sorry to hear about this Josh. I am glad you are not injured. Man, this is terrible. Not only is Tyson rooting for you but I am also rooting for you. I do hope you fix this car and keep this blog going.

    Can the car be driven with a new wheel and tire? Rather than fixing everything, I would just get a rim and tire and see if it drives. If it does, you can fix it little by little over time if you can’t fix at this time.

    I do hope you fix your car. One of my plans was to drive up there for your 500,000 mile celebration. My car is identical to yours. 2005 Premium White Pearl Acura TSX automatic with navigation and tan interior.

    I remember something similar happening to me when I had an Acura Integra. Instead of a rock, it was huge pothole. Although the wheels did not separate, It damaged the two tires on the right side. I had to replace both tires and I had to get a torsion bar. But I was able to drive it for numerous more years after.

    I consider the 2005 Acura the best of all the TSX models. (Disclosure: I own a 2005 so I am a little biased ;_ ) The 2004 models had mechanical issues such as excessive oil burning, AC Compressor seizures, and faulty center instrument panels. Most if not all of these issues where corrected for 2005. The 2006-2008 TSX models had different wheels which I do not like.
    Also, the 2006 to 2008 models made changes to the instrument panel which I do not like. One of the things I enjoy most about my car is the instrument panel at night. With the navigation screen turned on at night, it looks like a fighter pilot cockpit. It looks beautiful.

    The second generation TSX starting in 2009 had a totally different feel from what I have read. The power steering became electric and did not use the power steering fluid. This reduced the road feel. Other suspension changes contributed to a reduction of driving pleasure.

    You wrote the following in a response to Farid:
    “If I do have to get another car, I have a strong feeling it will be another TSX. After driving it as long and for as many miles, it’s almost like an extension of my own body. I just can’t picture myself in a different car.” I feel this same way. I cannot picture myself in a different car.

    Take care Josh and put the TSX back in the road where she belongs. 🙂

    Carlos

    • clymerdude says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Thanks for the comments. I would piece her back together a little at a time if I could, starting with the wheel and suspension. But there are 2 main problems with that. The first being the cowl/apron separation. This is structural and needs to be handled immediately. The other part is the roof. The buckles are all around the sunroof. Which means at the least I will have all kinds of wind noise that will drive me crazy, but it will also leak. So I wouldn’t be able to drive in the rain or wash the car. Could you imagine driving your TSX with a leaky roof during rainy season in FL!? Haha The rest of it is relatively minor. So it makes more sense to do it all at once. $6,000 is the magic number. If I can get her all better for that, then it’s on. But I need it torn down to make sure there are no surprises first. I’ll know sometime this coming week & will let everybody know the outcome. If it makes sense to fix her, I will. You can count on that!

  6. Charlie says:

    I am a lifetime fan of Honda vehicles. I’ve owned a 96 Predule, 94 Civic EX, 98 Civic LX, and currently a 07 Accord V6 EXL. While I haven’t put as many miles on these vehicles as you or Tyson, I have loved every mile behind the wheel of my vehicles. I didn’t want to see your TSX adventure end, and especially not because of a rock in the road. But you have a beautiful family and thank God you or no one else was injured. If this truly is the end of this TSX, I think you should find another TSX and keep the blog going.

  7. Carlos says:

    I like the part of your blog entry below. It is well written.

    “Our cars & trucks are a big part of our every day lives. Taking us to work to make a living. Taking our kids to see their first movie on the big screen, or the ocean for the first time. Our vehicles help us to create our fondest memories. They open up the world to us by allowing us to cover great distances in comfort to see other parts of the country that would have been closed off to us with out them. Thanks to the engineers that design them, they keep us safe & protect us if the unexpected does happen.”

    I think you should keep the car. Get a wheel and tire and see how it drives. If it drives well, then just fix it little by little. Putting white duct tape will keep out the rain and wind. (I know it is not best solution but if you take photographs from a distance, your blog readers would never be able to tell 😉

    Finding an identical well kept 2005 Acura TSX will be hard. One of the things I like about our cars is that they are “relatively” rare compared to the American Honda Accords. I believe the total production of TSX vehicles in 2005 was between 35000 to 38000 cars. During that same year, the Honda Accord production was over 300,000.

    Going to a 2nd generation TSX would not be the same. Have read many complaints that it handles like old Buick when compared to the 1st Generation TSX. Again, the second generation TSX has electric steering not needing power steering fluid. And I believe it is heavier and the suspension components are different. Sure, you can get more power with the V6 engine option but it would not handle as well. I put a higher premium on handling and steering feel than power.

  8. Carlos says:

    Josh:

    I looked closely at the damage on the roof. I don’t think your car will leak if you put a sealant around the sunroof. You don’t need duct tape like I had suggested earlier. I had thought that the car had holes or deep cracks away from the sunroof. It does not look that way.

    If you put sealant around the sunroof, you just can’t open the sunroof. But to me, the sunroof is one of the things that I use the least in my car. When I look forward to driving my car, having the ability to open the sunroof is Not one of the things I think about and look forward to. I very rarely open it. It mostly happened when I got the car 10 years ago but the novelty wore off quickly.

  9. Conor says:

    Josh,

    A long time reader, first time commentator; I’m a close friend of Tyson’s and I too drive an ’04 TSX.

    I understand when you say the mere thought of you no longer having the TSX breaks your heart. I put my ’04 into a guardrail some years back, incurring $14k in cosmetic damage. And she came back as good as new. Now, with 135k miles on the clock, I have not one single issue. If they could repair mine, they can surely repair yours. Don’t give up on her!

    Fingers and toes crossed that you’ll be back behind the wheel of that beauty soon so our TSX’s can meet someday. Keep us posted and best of luck!

    • clymerdude says:

      Glad to have you on board Conor. Feel free to comment any time. Thanks for your thoughts and confidence. They will always be appreciated. I’ll be posting again soon with the outcome.

  10. Chris says:

    My friend Tyson sent me to your blog. That’s a great looking TSX, and amazing but not surprising that you’re approaching the 500K mark with it! I am the owner of a 2008 TSX that has only 87K, but was sadly totaled in a much more serious accident a few weeks back. I loved that car, I know it would have gone so much further, and I was planning to keep it quite a few more years. I can’t get mine back, but will possibly be replacing it another Acura, which I haven’t found yet. I think you should be able to get yours fixed and back on the road where it belongs. Good luck!

    • clymerdude says:

      Thanks Chris. I’ll be updating soon as to what’s happening with her. Thanks for the encouragement & sorry to hear about your TSX. 87k is just breaking it in. My condolences.

  11. Mike says:

    Hi josh,

    I’ve read your blogs for quite some time now, and I am also a first time commentator. I am friends with Tyson. From the moment I saw the title of your last post I said to myself I surely hope this isn’t what I think it is. And sure enough as I got further into reading your story it was bad news that was heart breaking! I own a 2009 Acura TSX in vortex blue pearl. I really love this car and I wanted to encourage you that I hope you get that TSX repaired. But then again I don’t exactly know how much the repairs would cost and what your willing to spend. From reading your post it sounds like mechanically the car is in fantastic shape. Either way I wish you good luck on your decision. Either that get a newer TSX! I’m also glad that you weren’t injured that’s the most important thing. I’ll be waiting for an update on what your decision!

    • clymerdude says:

      Hi Mike. Thanks for taking the time to comment & your encouragement. I sure do appreciate it. Love that Vortex Blue Pearl! I’m hoping to put up another post by this weekend to let everybody know whats going on. Be good to that ’09!

  12. Sunny says:

    Hi Josh!
    I have been following your blog for a couple of months now thanks to Tyson’s blog and now I’m a first time commentator. I sadly don’t own a TSX, or an Acura (yet), but your blog and Tyson’s blog prove how through time, care and maintenance, a car can go through the paces and back while being reliable and fun to drive. You both have made me desperately want an Acura, and even though it won’t happen now, I know it will happen soon. The fact that you are the original owner of a car with over 446,000 miles is so amazing! It seems like the TSX likes it too! I eagerly await your decision about the TSX and hope that she lives for another day/mile!

    • clymerdude says:

      Hi Sunny & thanks for taking the time to comment. You’re welcome to come by & throw in your 2 cents anytime. What Acura are you wanting to get? Would love to hear about it when you do get the car you want. Oh, & the TSX is getting repaired. I’ve pulled the trigger and have already ordered some parts. She’ll see 500k miles yet!

  13. Eric E says:

    oh crap – so sorry bud. I hope all the required fixes are magically easy and inexpensive. The picture of that wheel and the roof are hard to look at for me – has to be painful for you!

  14. Hey Josh!

    To be quiet honest, I ran across your website will looking for an illuminated Acura door sill for my 2004 Acura TSX, grey exterior w/ black interior. When I first saw this, I thought to myself, “No way this can’t be real. 40,000 miles?!” To see something like this on a car that I drive myself is absolutely amazing. I currently have 184,000 (give or take) on mine, however I’m not the first owner. I’ve had her since March 17th, 2014 and put 20,000 miles on her in 11 months. I know that this is nothing compares to what you have done, but it’s lovely to see how far you have gotten! The only issue I have had with my own TSX is the VTech switch. Other than that, she drives with absolutely no issues. I’m sorry about what happened to you in April, but I am glad you are alright and have decided to fix her up! I wish you luck on your journey to 500k.. I’ll be cheering you on !

    • clymerdude says:

      Hey Couren!
      Thanks for taking the time to say hi & the encouragement. Glad to hear you own one of the best cars on the road! You be good to her & she’ll be good to you. Mine should be back on the road in a week or two. I like driving the wifes RDX but miss the TSX. It’s a totally different animal. I always enjoy learning how people stumble across my blog. I’m hoping to hit my goal sometime next summer & would be happy to have you along for the ride! Hope to hear from you again in future posts!

  15. Pingback: Maintenance & OEM vs Aftermarket | TSX Travels "Have TSX-Will Travel"

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