First, Happy New Year everyone. Secondly and i hope good news I survived if you don’t know from what please refer to my first article (Link at the bottom), but if you are too lazy to read something, I poured my heart and soul into ill provide you with a little recap. So here we go, basically decided because I'm not too fond of the dreaded minivan, and wanted to have the performance on those lovely mountain roads they deserve. I would take my Maserati on my annual new years' road trip with friends. This road trip was from my home town In Miami, FL, through 4 states, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. This sounded like a great idea at first. Still, the fears started to creep into my head regarding cargo room, comfort, fuel economy, and reliability all things the Maserati brand doesn’t score high on usually. So as previously stated, I did survive, but each one of the fears mentioned above was addressed during this trip. I'll break this up by days and issues. This will explain how my Maserati was the star and villain of the journey.
I got how many miles on one tank?
We departed at 11 am, we were supposed to leave much before that, but that wasn’t a car issue that was a Carlos issue. I have a problem with picking friends who apparently don’t own a watch. But I digress, we departed at 11 am and filed up at a nearby fuel station. After filling up and arguing about specific no eating rules in my car, we were off. Once on the expressway, I put the car in I.C.E mode, and cruise control. For those who are unaware, I.C.E. mode is Increased Control and Efficiency mode that is equipped on most vehicles in the Maserati line. What does it do? I don’t know, but the word efficacy is on there, so I’m on board. With Ice and cruise control at speed slightly higher than the speed limit (disclaimer: I do not condone speeding, I do it, but I’m a terrible example, also stay in school kids!). So again, with those to car aids, which usually help efficacy on a motorway, the car made it from Miami, FL to the outskirts Valdosta, GA. How I honestly can’t tell you, it was unexpected but welcomed the result. So straight away, the car clearing Florida in a tank of gas put my fear of fuel economy to rest.
Huston we have a tire problem !
So after a win on day one, we take a huge L on day two. While on the road to pick up a friend in Duluth, GA. A sudden and annoying hissing sound is heard from the back rear of the car. Instantly, I think, “already, we broke the car.” Luckily as I slow down, I realize its just the tire. Typically, this wouldn’t be an issue, but let me paint a picture of the situation. Its 40 degrees and raining, well not raining. It was misting; you know that never-ending mist that is unrelenting and instantly becomes the most annoying possible weather to deal with. So I exit the vehicle in this weather, open my trunk and access the spare tire. I notice the tire looks unique, but can't put my finger on why, while taking out the tire, I see a Maserati branded small compressor and instantly realized my situation. The spare tire in a Maserati comes deflated. So I hook up this compressor for minutes and nothing, that compressor latterly did nothing, I would have done a better job with a manual hand pump. So luckily, my friend gets the spare and takes it to a nearby gas station to pump air in my spare. Upon return we begin the change of the tire, the weather at this point has beaten me into submission, I’m a broken man changing the tire about to drown on a never-ending mist storm. Finally, the deed is done, the tire is changed, and we make it to our overnight stop.
The Spare provided
Impossible Tire Solution
Apparently, life stops on a Sunday in rural Georgia. I woke up at 8 am to be prepared for the opening of tire shops to get everything done first thing. But, quickly, I learned getting anything done would be a mission. My first stop was a tire kingdom that usually covers a wide range of tires and sizes. I was the first customer on this misty Sunday morning. I walk through the door, and instantly before I can even get a good morning out of my mouth, the associate says, “ I'm sorry, sir, but I can tell you now we don’t have that size tire.” After speaking to him, he first told me minimal shops would be open on a Sunday, and out of those shops, he thought only pep boys that sell aftermarket wheels might have that size tire. Still optimistic, I go to the recommended shop, and the look on the manager's face told me I was not going to be in good shape. After nearly one hour of calls to nearby shops and nothing, no tire shops they new had my tire. Now after the realization that no one seemed to have my tire size in a 50-mile radius and facing the fact that the nearest dealer is 137 miles away, I really did think the trip would continue on a spare tire. While on the way back to pick up my group, I happened upon a small hole in the wall shop that said “tires” on the garage. I go in, and there is a lone worker who I need to explain the problem too, he explains they are a mostly a used tire shop, and he didn’t they had that tire size as I the feeling of defeat comes over me again. He pops his head out of the wall of tires and asks, “You going to pay cash,” and I replied, “ I can yes.” No more than 3 seconds after my reply, he was on his phone, calling like a man on a mission. 30 min later, he comes and says we have a size slightly wider that should fit, but I would need to buy two. With no other options available, I call my Maserati tech once he assures me the fit would be fine, I agree. Now its nearly 1 pm two pick-up trucks arrive with four tires, only of which one tire worked after being checked for faults. After that looking puzzled, the ultimate tire finder picks up his phone another time; after hanging up, he says, “I figured it out.” Nearly an hour after that, now with over ten workers in the shop, this circus becomes even more interesting as a massive truck with a trailer attached to it has two wrecked cars, one Maserati and one Aston martin. They begin to take off the wheels, and I begin to wonder how much this is all going to cost as I look at the effort and manpower being put into the solution. Now its 3 pm, I have grown a beard in the time elapsed. But finally, after five tire shops, ten plus workers, hours and hours, and two wrecked vehicles, the puzzle was solved.
the tire shop
Is that the wind?
I will keep this short because Day 3 was a bit long. It was an extremely windy day in the Smoky mountains. Other than that, it was a fantastic day. But that wind brought a whole lot of worrying sounds. I don’t know if it was the body panels gaps, window fittings, or just a cruel joke by the almighty. Every gust brought a small odd noise. Always different and always worried me that something broke. The car ran amazing nothing was wrong with the feel, but the noises were worrisome. Good news, the noises didn’t return after the wind went away.
Tunnel while driving
The Maserati was a celebrity everywhere we went, in south Florida, I guess we have been spoiled but in the areas we went didn’t have cars like mine driving around, and it showed. Anytime we parked anywhere, and we came put to people looking at the car, asking about it, and even pictures. It was something unexpected. But it was nice to see the interest and excitement the car brought to a variety of people. Honestly, it made me reflect and fall even more in love with my vehicle.
Seriously I had so many fears and doubts. But this couldn’t have been a better trip, and I thank the car for that. The driving experiences were terrific, but just the experience of the road trip was the driving didn’t feel like a chore, it felt like the destination. Listen to my Maserati is not perfect, and I can admit this, but I recommend everyone get out on the road with a car you love. I can't begin to tell you the joy you will have and how your vehicle becomes part of the traveling group, not just a car. GET OUT ON THE ROAD not in a Mini Van (unless you love minivans). Trust me, and you won't regret it. Thank you all for reading, and I can tell you this will not be my last road trip, and ill definitely keep you posted.