Category Archives: Review

Costco and Honda aggravating snafu

I recently had a TPMS sensor warning come on in my Honda Insight. I dutifully took it to the Honda dealership  to have a look over. They said it could be a malfunction with the entire TPMS system and they needed to diagnose, the diagnosis cost was $99.- and that doesn’t include “repairing” anything found at fault.

I had had enough of nonsensical incompetent Honda technicians and sales at my Honda dealership (please avoid Bellevue Honda if you are in the Bellevue, WA neighborhood). They had previously charged about $160.- to replace engine and cabin filters ($99.- for labor, the rest for parts). The next time they tried to pull the wool on me, I found a Youtube video describing how to do it myself. It was a 15 minute job with $20 for the engine and $20 for the cabin filters, total of $40.- with free labor. Now Honda wanted to rip me off performing a simple 5 minute TPMS diagnosis. There, I vented.

Back to the TPMS sensor, I took the car to Discount tire, which promptly diagnosed the problem as a faulty TPMS sensor in one of the tires. So I got that replaced. I also asked them to build a full size spare tire, complete with a TPMS sensor. The purpose is so next time I have a problem with a tire, I can just replace it with a good full size tire, get the TMPS sensor programmed and keep on going.

As it was there was one tire that had the white cord showing, thus had to be replaced. I had purchased Costco’s road hazard warranty with the tire, so I went to Costco. Costco balked at working on the tire, saying the rim was too bent. I had to go to Discount Tire to buy a new rim and a TPMS sensor to go with it.

All set right? Went back to Costco, checked in at 12pm, was called at 2pm that they started working on it, was called at 4pm that they finished it. I came by to pick my car up at 5.

5 minutes away from Costco, I noticed, how come I only have 4 tires? I came in with 4 rolling tires, a new steel wheel, and purchased a new tire from Costco. I should have 5 rolling tires. On top of that the TPMS sensor still showed a system malfunction (not a tire underpressure warning, but a system malfunction warning).

I went back and “Oh there was a misunderstanding, we’ll fix it for you free of charge”. I was internally livid but held my tongue in check, my misdemeanor was all over the place. My thought was it was your f**king misunderstanding and incompetence to begin with.

It turned out that incompetent Costco technicians:

  1. Completely missed their own requirement to have a new rim (this idiot should never again be on Costco premises)
  2. Tore apart my brand new $200.- full sized spare tire when the brand new rim was provided in a nice white box
  3. Reused the old rim (instead of the brand new rim) and mounted the new tire on it
  4. Failed to program the TPMS sensors. I had to point out to them the rim they reused was never programmed, it has to be programmed in.

Costco programmed all 4 TPMS sensors and the TMPS warning light went away. I now have my 5th rolling tire.

Costco recommends to come back in a week to check the torque, and back in 40K miles for a tire rotation. No thank you, I have my own torque wrench (on my Honda it is spec’ed for 100 foot-lbs of torque), I’ll check it myself. Tire rotations are done at every service, I don’t need stupid Costco technicians messing around with it.

They’re probably good with replacing old tires with new and balancing and that’s about it. Don’t even think or try to have them do something with even the slightest variance. You’ll regret it.

Mailbird email client, comparable to Outlook or Mac Mail? Not!

I recently had a need to find an alternative email client on Windows 10. The Mailbird web site is all jazzy and lists many features. Other blog posters also reviewed Mailbird. Short is they claim Mailbird compares favorably with mainline Mail and Calendar.

They missed one huge thing. Nowhere in Mailbird is there a little thing called a CALENDAR. They promised it’s in development. What they have is a connected calendar which only works if you connect Mailbird to Google’s Calendar, or another calendar service, but not on its own.

It would be great if it came with a working calendar and a syncing service.

Hah, I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I see a CALENDAR.

There! I wanted to be sure the Internet has someone with integrity to point that out.

Google’s new “Hold Command + Q to quit” Chrome feature on Mac (turn it off!)

It boggles my mind why Google has added a new but unwanted feature that is a default behavior on Chrome browsers. It disrupts the flow of quitting an app that is standard across all Mac applications.

There’s just no benefit to this approach. Even Google has not come up with a reason for this feature. No explanation, scenario, or information of this significant change whatsoever.

Is it an attempt to stiff Apple’s upper lip? If so that’s a really stupid move because the real victims are all Mac Chrome users that are impacted by this new procedure, not Apple. It really feels like an unseasoned developer added this hodgepodge feature, most likely an inexperienced intern.

Mac users are used to simply do Command + Q keypress to quit an app. The point of any GUI is to have a uniform behavior for its apps and OS (which includes window behavior that is now impacted by Google).

If apps start say requiring Command + A through Z to quit, the Mac app ecosystem will be sorely irate.

Thankfully you can go to the Chrome menu and uncheck “Warn Before Quitting” to remove this stupid feature.

If such a stupid feature passes muster by Google’s Product Management team, that really speaks of a low calibre team (please read “low” as stupid).