January 23, 2014
Let's call it a knob cap.
Whatever it is, I fixed it. Before we sold it to Carmax. And yeah, some, if not all, of the tools pictured above were used in its repair. I'll let you ponder which of them I actually made use of, but suffice it to say they worked like a charm.
September 12, 2013
The old Yokohamas on our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S were heat-cycled to oblivion. They're being replaced by BFGoodrich g-Force Rivals, a relative newcomer in the category of high-performance summer tires. I've had previous experience with Rivals on another car and reckon they're a good fit for our Project FR-S, which is focused on being an effective dual-purpose street/track car.
July 25, 2013
After I returned home from my weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S, I swapped its tracky brake pads back for the stock ones. If you use track pads on the street, they'll eat your rotors alive. This is because aggressive pads never warm up to operating temperature on the street, and when cold they are very abrasive.
In the process of swapping in the stock pads, I noticed signs of what I experienced while on track, that the brakes got rather hot. Above is the melted driver side front caliper dust boot. See others below. Keep in mind that this happened with stock power and street tires, though it is true that Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a track that's hard on brakes. More power and/or stickier tires like R-compounds (never mind dedicated track tires) would exacerbate the brake heat situation considerably.
There's not a lick of air that makes it way to the FR-S's brakes. There are no vents in the wheelwell liner, and the little spat that deflects air away from the front tires also deflect air from the brakes.
It's also got pillar-vane style rotors which have generally poor airflow pumping characteristics (manufacturers use them because they are not directional so the same part can be used on both sides, and they have good NVH characteristics).
May 20, 2013
Our 2013 Scion FR-S was due for its 15,000-mile service, so we stopped off at the dealer for maintenance. The oil and filter change was a quick job. Toyota of Santa Monica took care of it while we waited. According to the invoice, it should have cost us $130. But since the FR-S still falls under the free maintenance program offered on new Toyotas, this didn't cost us a dime.
April 19, 2013
This morning after the 2013 Scion FR-S and I emerged from the car wash, I realized there's another benefit to these aftermarket Volk Racing wheels besides improved performance and styling.
March 6, 2013
This is not entirely unexpected. The brake pads in our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S are done. There's still meat left on them, but like any meat that's been overcooked, they feel like plywood now.
March 1, 2013
The shift knob for the six-speed manual transmission in our long-term 2013 Scion FR-S is one of my least favorite parts of the interior. I just don't like the feel of leather and plastic while shifting.
Luckily, the cap broke off in my hand today. It was easy to pop back in to place, but it still feels loose and flimsy. Maybe it'll be a good excuse to start shopping for weighted, metal replacements. What would you replace it with?
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 14,010 miles
January 11, 2013
We received a mailer from Scion citing a service campaign open for some 2013 Scion FR-S vehicles. The quick summary is that, "On certain early 2013 Scion FR-S vehicles, the OBD II System may need to be updated..." The ECM update prevents a check engine light that may otherwise illuminate under certain abnormal conditions.
Owners are instructed to visit their dealer for the ECM recalibration. Since the urgency is low, we'll likely wait until our next routine maintenance to have the issue addressed.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 12,500 miles
July 30, 2012
(Photo by Mike Monticello)
We drove our 2013 Scion FR-S in for its first service following the factory break-in period, a day of routine flogging at the test track and a comparison test against the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. It's been busy for the FR-S so far. Since we've adopted a routine of halving the service interval for our first oil change and tire rotation, the Scion was due at 3,750 miles.
Toyota of Santa Monica charged $110.44 to complete the oil change alone. We planned to pay cash for this visit. To our surprise, the advisor applied Toyota's complimentary maintenance program, citing it as the 7,500-mile service. We let it slide, though we expect to pay out of pocket for the true 7,500-mile interval.
The service itself was relatively quick. We dropped it off without an appointment and the car was ready for pick up about two hours later. No awards will be issued for this turn-around time, but it was not unreasonably long either.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,578 miles
June 15, 2012
We know you have eagerly awaited the introduction of our 2013 Scion FR-S to the long-term fleet. And we know you've also quietly anticipated this exact moment, when the Scion-recommended engine break-in procedure is staring you in the face.
Yes, there are three zeros behind that one. A 1,000-mile break-in. It is excrutiating, but within reach.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 900 miles