Showing posts sorted by relevance for query g8. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query g8. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meeting of G8 and GTO owners last weekend

Yesterday's meet and tour was a lot of fun, and a great experience. We had 4 G8's and 4 GTO's show up in the morning at Downtown Campbell. Our cars did get noticed (thus having the desired affect). The group was very friendly, with the topic of Pontiacs dominating the conversation.

GTO's in Downtown Campbell, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

We took off just before 11am to head up to Alice's Restaurant up in Woodside (not an actual city on the map, it is usually addressed as "Redwood City"). The goal was to take the scenic route through the hills on Highways 9 and 35. I lead the caravan of G8's and GTO's. Unfortunately, right away (before even getting out of Downtown Campbell) we lost a couple cars in our caravan. We stopped for quite awhile to try to find them, but could not. After guessing they would find their own way, we started up again.

Then, my great leadership lead us astray. Unfortunately, I missed a turn in Los Altos area and we ended up heading back to Campbell. After letting everyone know my bonehead move, we took the alternative route along 280, which is still very scenic. Even on this route, we got some fun hilly roads later on highway 84.

When we got to the rest'rant, we found that the others did indeed find their way. We also meet up with a couple other G8 owners. In all, our group was over 15 people, with 7 G8's and 3 GTO's (one GTO met us in Campbell, but did not come on our drive).

Fortunately, I called Alice's the day before to reserve space for our crew. We got a private room in the back, and had a great time. We had a great diversity of people, including (but not limited to) a couple of engineers, a manager of a valet company, and one person who is from Japan. There were individuals from the immediate area, and others who came from as far away as Napa. Everyone got along great...and the food was pretty good too!

Afterward, we lined up our cars and took pictures. Again, our cars were getting noticed by others.

Almost everyone in Woodside, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

It seemed like everyone had something unique to show off, or was interested in seeing what someone else had done so far. One car had cool looking black rims. Another had the clear protective bra. I had the truck liner and splash guards. Some had the 2008 with the "Atari Gages" and others has the 2009 without. One had dimmed the brightness of those gages with an overlay. One thing that struck me (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that it seemed like none of the G8 owners have tuned our cars (yet).

Checking the cars out, from G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th

When it was time for me to take off, I drove back home via the scenic route that I missed on the drive up. The G8 is so much fun on the windy roads, as it is on the freeway too!

Lessons learned for next time:
  1. Bring walky-talkies
  2. check out the route prior to the tour
  3. pick a spot closer to freeway to meet before a tour
Things that did go right:
  1. Fun drive√
  2. Cool people√
  3. great final destination√
  4. calling a day ahead for a reservation at the rest'rant√
  5. set up the date far enough ahead to get a good showing√
  6. and finally, have great weather!√

Here's the link to the online photo albums available so far:
  1. Matt's photos
  2. Don's photos
  3. Junya's photos of Matt's car and others
Here's a quick video of almost everyone that came:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leveraging their online community (Pontiac?)

My wife and I were recently profiled in G8 version of Pontiac Performance. This is a magazine that is sent out to owners of Pontiac vehicles. I’m not sure why I, as an owner of an awesome new 2009 G8 GT, would need a magazine full of articles pointing out the greatness of Pontiac cars. I already get-it. That’s why I bought the car! (Maybe they are hoping I will buy another model right away?) Anyway, the magazine does have its use, and I’m getting to the point soon. First, if you want to see my profile article, I believe the magazine is carried by Pontiac dealerships. If one feels so inclined, go in to a dealership and ask to see if they have copies of the G8 version of Pontiac Performance Spring 2009 edition. (It will have to be the G8 version since they actually put out slightly different versions of the magazine depending on which car it is for. ) Depending on the version, the article will be somewhere between pages 9 and 14. Then, maybe check out the G8. I’m actually not being sarcastic when I suggest this.

Anyway, back to the point. In the magazine is another article called Car Camaraderie about how online forums are bringing Pontiac drivers together. They did a whole article about online resources being utilized by Pontiac owners. As far as I know, none of these resources are directly related to GM. The writer of the Pontiac article understands the Pontiac’s online community well enough to mention the most popular sites for each of their models. This is just one article in one magazine that doesn’t have public distribution. It’s a start for them, though. Sure, OnStar has been online based for awhile now, but that is a paid service. The act of actually profiling users on several of the forums (even mentioning their user names) is something that is not that common yet. Like many other old-school companies, they are starting to understand the
Information Age, finally.

The Pontiac G8 community site that was mentioned was, of which I am a fairly active user.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What car did I end up getting?

I was at a Buick dealership on fine, early summer day checking out what Buick had to offer. My opinion is that this is a brand whose audience is quickly disappearing. I tried both major 2008/2009 offerings. I cannot image anyone under the age of 70 (currently) buying one of these cars. There is no attempt to even pretend to be modern. I cannot imagine myself being interested in these cars even when I reach 70. I imagine this brand will either need to be reinvented or will go the way of Plymouth.

Anyway, while I was at that dealership, I noticed this new car in the show room. I didn't even know what it was or what brand. It turned out to be the Pontiac G8 GT. I liked the car a lot. It had a lot of amenities while sporting one of the biggest engines on the road. Quick, tons of power, and very maneuverable. All that for a price tag in the high 20's to low 30's. By far, this car is the most bang for your buck! It is both fun and practical at the same time.

My wife and I didn't buy it that day, but it was definitely added to our list of options. We continued looking around for cars, as we've been doing for about 18 months so far. Near the end of summer, we were literally within a day or two from by the Chevy Malibu LTZ. This is another great car that is tremendous value for your money. It is more equipped than many luxury cars that cost 2 times as much, even sporting a reasonably powerful V6. But then I found out that the 2009 Pontiac G8 had been added to the GM Employee Pricing program, and the deal was sealed. We got a brand new 2009 Pontiac G8 GT that week.

It is a decision where we did not have to take as a comprise. This is something we really wanted, and for a great price. We tried several brands of the Japanese and American varieties. (Neither of us will touch European or Korean, though we prolly wouldn't mind getting a new BMW for free.) The only two makes that seem to make cars that interest us for the right prices are Infiniti and Chevrolet/Pontiac.

As part of my purchase, I traded in my old Acura TL-S. I liked that car, but I love my new Pontiac G8 GT. Given the huge problems I had with my not so old Acura car, I'm not too worried about the American vs. Japanese quality argument. Especially since the G8 is made in Australia anyway.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pontiac G8 Wiper Blades, super low-key custom equipment

The Pontiac G8 is a fun and enjoyable car, though a little rough around the edges for some details.  The G8 model never had time to be polished because it and the whole Pontiac brand where cancelled as a result of the GM bankruptcy from the Financial crisis of 2007–2008. So, there are just somethings where the owner needs to consider their options when replacing worn-out parts.  One consideration: the two windshield wiper blades.

The original sizes for the wiper blades didn't do a good job of clearing the window in front of the driver.  The stock wiper blades don't swipe enough of the upper middle area of the windshield to help the driver clearly see through portions of the window.  Another problem with the original blades is/was that some owners (including myself) reported chatter or incomplete clearing of the window during each swipe.  

Funny enough, it's not easy to find the sizes of the original wiper blades.  You can still buy them, supposedly, but the sizes aren't published in their descriptions. I think they were something like 24" length for the driver's side and 14" for the passenger side.  Whatever the sizes, the original blades left rather large of areas of the window unswiped during rain, not just at the top, but also the bottom of the window between swiped areas.

I didn't wait long to replace the original blades. Either late 2009 or 2010, I found some good quality replacement blades of the sizes 26" and 15".  (At the time, it wasn't easy to figure out replacements of alternate sizes.)  Believe it or not, my replacement blades performed well for 10 years.  Sometimes you get lucky.  Unfortunately, when it came time to replace them this year, I lost track of what I purchased before.

That didn't end up mattering, though.  In 2020, the secret has long since been out.  It's actually more common to find 26"/15" sizes than what might've been stock sizes.  On multiple sites, I found that the main size recommendations are 26"/15".  So, it is really down to quality (since price stopped being a factor since I'm no longer looking at stock blades).

After seeing recommendations on multiple websites (including forums) and reading many reviews, I settled on Trico brand blades:  Trico 25-260 Force Beam Wiper Blade 26" and Trico 25-150 Force Beam Wiper Blade 15".

Many modern blades try to support as many car models as possible, so they come with adapters.  I remember my first replacement blades being very simple to install.  This doesn't seem to be the case anymore.  The Trico's aren't hard to install, but it is a ~10 step process which includes removing their default adapter, adding the included secondary adapter, then removing a piece of that adapter to specifically fit the G8.  Again, not hard, but not intuitive either.  

I like the Tricos because they cover even more area of my windshield than my first replacements.  It amazes me just how much of the window they clear with each swipe. So far, the Tricos work well.  We'll see how they perform as the season changes.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Road Trip, Santa Barbara

My wife and I took a relaxing road trip to Santa Barbara recently to beat the heat wave in Silicon Valley. The weather in Santa Barbara was cool in the 70's, and the sun came out in the mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, back at home, some areas hit 100's. Oh darn!

los padres national forest,San Luis Obispo,Central California,CA,G8

I guess we'd just suffer with this horrible weather in the Los Padres National Forest.

Downtown,San Luis Obispo,SLO,San Luis Obispo Downtown,G8

Or this unbearable sunshine in the San Luis Obispo Downtown.

Pismo Beach,G8

Don't get me started about lovely Pismo Beach!

Stern's Warf,Stern's Warf,Santa Barbara,G8

Actually, Santa Barbara itself had a little off-cast in the mornings. Oh, the horror of it all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

G8 checked off another goal

My G8 just checked off another goal today.  Her goals are to visit the general extremities of America.  She's been to waters of the West Coast, East Coast, and the North Coast (Great Lakes).  Today, she made it to the Top of America near the peak of the Mount Evans Summit. The road that goes to the summit is the highest paved road in North America.  Not only that, the parking lot at the end of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is subsequently the highest paved parking in North America at 14,132' above sea level.  

Santa Barbara, CA (2009)

Erie, PA (2011)

Rockport, MA (2011)

Mount Evans, CO (2021)

West Coast   •   ☑ Eastern Seaboard   •   ☑ Great Lakes   •   ☐ Gulf Coast   •   ☑ Mount Evans   •   ☐ Badwater Basin

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cross-country trip photo (Flickr)

Rest stop in UtahMe in front of Utah desertUtah desertMy G8 in front of LDS conference building Capitol of UtahChurch of Later Day SaintsOne of many construction zonesRoadside landform Wind power in WYIMG_0859My G8 at a rest stop in WYDriving in WYThe hills have full moonsKansas from the road IIA small old town gardenApproaching the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

Cross-country trip, a set on Flickr.

I've uploaded all of the photos (many shown here) from my recent cross-country trip to a Flickr set. There's a few of my car, and many others taken from my car. I didn't get a chance to stop at many interesting places (for various reasons discussed in earlier articles), but there are still some interesting shots. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some tranny trouble with my G8 GT

Under warranty, I've now had one major issue and one minor issue handled. The minor issue was a scratch on the underside of the front bump cover that was likely put there during one of its test that doesn't really count.

The major issue is with the transmission. Over time, my G8 GT developed a clunking when I would shift from reverse directly into drive. It was inconsistent. It was more pronounced when the car was cold started. Every once in awhile, the car would actually jerk forward so much that I had to get into the habit of pressing very tightly onto my brakes before moving into drive.

When I first reported the issue to my dealership at 6000 miles, the service dept said that there was no bulletin on the issue even though I did get the service manager to reproduce the issue. I didn't make a stink at that time, though I prolly should've. The problem got worse from there. It got so bad, I couldn't let anyone else drive it.

So, at about 8000 miles I had enough. I took it in. The dealership was claiming that they could not reproduce the problem to the degree I stated. In addition, they claimed that a bulletin from GM (just issued a month before) said that clunking transmission was "normal operation". To me, this was not just operation, but safety (since the behavior of the car was actually dangerous). I insisted that the issue be addressed. I had to include the involvement of the general GM customer service department. After I insisted they keep the car and keep trying, the dealership was finally were able to reproduce the issue and finally realized that something needed to be done.

A lot of time was supposedly wasted because the GM technical service didn't have the staff assigned to handle any issues in the NorCal region (something to do with the restructuring that was going on at the time). Finally, an engineer was assigned to the case and determined the issue was mechanical. The dealership followed Detroit's instructions, replacing a bunch of parts deep inside the tranny.

All said, the dealership had my car for two weeks. The issue was much less obvious afterward. There is still some tendency for the tranny to engage a bit aggressively when going from reverse to drive, but at this point, that seems to fit the "normal operation" mentioned in the GM bulletin. At least I don't have to be concerned with it jerking forward.

Now that the car is over its 10K mark, everything seems to have broken in.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Cross-country trip - day 4

My drive out of Kansas City was uneventful, with a brief lament about the fact that I didn't get to spend more quality time there. On the way to St. Louis, I stopped off at this one Mayberry type town (which shall remain nameless here). There were several official brown highway signs pointing out the existence of this quaint town. Even that modest highway advertising was a bit overstated. The photo to the right shows the full extent of the "historic old town". To me, it seemed like a glorified yard sale, with its four or five antique shops. The windmill was interesting.

Crossing the middle of America went well. I was able to hit St. Louis about mid-day to see the Gateway Arch. It's big and very stainless (as in stainless steel). If you don't intend on staying at the monument for longer than 30 minutes, parking is fairly easy to find (in the 30-minute park zones). However, spending more time there will likely cost a few bucks on garage parking.

There was no time to go on a tour inside the monument, but there was enough time to have lunch at Pappy's Smokehouse (of Man V Food fame). The food was great and the service was quick, polite and friendly. When I got back on my way, I crossed over the mighty Mississippi without giving it much more than a passing glance. The only reason for such disregard was that I forget to look at it as I drove over the bridge.

View Larger Map

The drive into Indiana consisted of an abrupt speed change down to 65MPH. As far as I could tell, there was no reason for this. Even worse, within Indianapolis, the speed limit was 55MPH on the freeways. These freeways are very wide and very modern. In my opinion, one would be safer driving at 85MPH on the Indianapolis freeways than they would be driving 75 on a rural freeway in Wyoming. The 55MPH speed limit just doesn't seem logical. It almost seems like people from Indiana let their grandma's pick the speed limit.

Oh, did I mention I drove through Illinois (and avoided Chicago)? Yeah, I did that too. I was on a mission to break my old, personal record for the most miles on one tank of gas. In my old 2003 Acura TL-S, I was once able to go 360 miles without refueling. With my 2009 Pontiac G8 GT (with its 6.0L 8 cylinder engine), I easily passed 400 miles, with about 24MPG. (I love the engine technology that shuts down 4 of the cylinders when they aren't needed). City driving is much worse, with about 15MPG. So, I either get really good mileage (for a V8) or really bad mileage, depending on the type of driving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Girl, the new Ride

From Junya's Photos of Matt's car

Here's me enjoying my girl on 280 this last January. Some of us G8 and GTO owners got together for a ride from Downtown Campbell to Alice's Restaurant up in the mountains. It's been a long time since I've had a V8, and this is the most powerful car I've every had. She's a lot of fun. It's just too bad I don't have more excuses to driver her.