Finally the cold has gone. It was about time after nearly five months of winter and ugly cold. So I decided it was about time to get my Nissan Sunny out on the road. It had been sitting in a dry and warm storage since the midst of October, and I hadn't touched is since.
I bought this Sunny (N13) last year, this model was my first car and it's the reason I drive Nissans to this day. I still regret that I sold that car. So much even, that I needed to get a N13 Sunny again. Last year I found this car 25 km (15 mi) from my hometown, it had been for sale for three months. I bought it the minute I saw it. Ofcourse I went for a testdrive which was almost literally a trip down memory lane. The noises, the feel, the smell... It was like I had traveled back in time. The car looked and felt very solid, but there was no maintenance history. But it had 150.000 km's (93.000 mi) on the odometer and the engine was running like it was brand new. My old Sunny had done 300.000 km (jup, 186.000 mi) when I sold it, and the engine was still running like a dream, so I figured this Sunny was a safe buy.
When I bought it last year, I've only driven it for about a week and then put in the car storage. I wanted to work on the Sunny during the winter, but I couldn't because I had to work on a million other things. Anyway, yesterday I went to the storage / garage to pick up my car. The owner of the storage looks after the cars in there like they are his own, he has covers for every car and he charges the batteries every now and then to keep them in a good condition. He told me that the battery of the Sunny had died, so we had to jump start it. He had already placed a charged battery and jumper cables next to my car.
So, we hooked up the external battery and jumper cables and I turned the key... The fuel pump started pumping for a while, the clock on the dashboard started flashing and the warning lights were all lit. When the fuel pump stopped, I tried to start it and... it immediately started. Hm, didn't expect it to start that easily... But the joy was shortlived: I saw tiny drops of coolant running down the engine when I disconnected the jumper cables. One of the freeze plugs leaked a tiny bit, and ofcourse it was the freeze plug that is the hardest to replace: the one exactly behind the header. And the removal of a 23-year old header, with it's rusted bolts can be a real pain in the... So I drove the Sunny to the garage and asked for advice. With the right tools and knowledge it isn't that hard to remove the header and to replace the freeze plugs, but since it's (still) a small leak, the mechanic suggested to try a leak-stopping fluid. So that's what I did today.
Drained the cooling system, liquid rust coming out:
Flushed the system with the garden hose. The filled it with frsh coolant and added the Tunap leakage-stop agent:
After that, I went for a drive and to my surprise, the leaking stopped. I'm not entirely convinced that it will never leak again, but we'll wait and see... After that, I washed the car and started polishing and waxing. It was the first nice day of the year, and the Sunny hasn't had too much TLC in the last 2 or 3 years. This is the end result:
Cleaned the engine bay:
And yes, the car is as red as in the pictures. The red paint hasn't faded the least little bit. Still got a lot of work to do planned, starting with new tyres. These are the original tyres