Police Complaints & Poor Sales of Specialty Plates From

The state’s sole vendor of overpriced specialty plates is making news again with some of its most unpopular designs. Several specialty license plates are on the chopping block due to poor sales performance (in addition to causing confusion for police officers across the state of Texas). This is according to the Dallas Morning News.

“The DMV now requires that plates have at least 200 active users, a decision driven by police complaints about a glut of confusing tags since the state’s exclusive vendor began customized sales five years ago.”

In a response, My Plates has decided to rebate the poor-selling plates in an effort to drive sales. What a novel ideal, offer a product at a lower price to increase sales. It’s a shame that can’t apply this principle to their entire product line. I’m not too excited about this discount program. In the past, MyPlates coupons only apply for the first year, then revert to the regular, overpriced amount when renewal is due. And in my experience, some times they just want to increase the price even higher.

The article also reports that the DMV is investigating if restrictions are needed to reduce the number of graphic-cluttered plates that My Plates offers.

All this talk about personalized licence plates and law enforcement reminds me of the line from the 1996 classic, Fargo. “Say Lou, did you hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalized plates so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?”

Source: Dallas Morning News


The Llano Archive

4-Year Llano Hiatus


My Angry Birds Bean Bag Chair

After several intense minutes of searching online for an Angry Birds bean bag chair, I realized that this product does not exist. If I want to get my hands on such a bean bag, I am going to have to get creative. As we all know, creates custom bean bag chairs with fabric provided by customers, thanks to the genius mind of its brilliant proprietor (full disclosure for all you newbs out there, that handsome devil is me). So now all I have to do is find some Angry Birds fabric to create my one-of-a-kind bean bag. Well, after another session of extensive research, turns out Angry Bird fabric is non-existent as well. Strike two! But wait, what did I happen to stumble across on this seemingly unfruitful search for fabric??? a shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond, printed end-to-end with those loveable Angry Birds! Turns out the 72″ x 72″ fabric will work perfectly for the custom fabric bean bag chair. Things are finally coming together. So a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond later and the curtain/fabric is on its way to the bean bag factory!

Here is the product from Bed Bath & Beyond:
Angry Birds Shower Curtain Packaging

This is a full size view of the fabric. The fabric was a bit thinner than I expected, but I think it will still make a good bean bag chair.
Angry Birds Shower Curtain

I will update this post with pictures as soon as the chair arrives.

(one week later)
[insert magical harp music]

And now, without further ado, I give you… the Angry Birds bean bag chair:
Angry Birds Bean Bag Chair

The chair turned out AWESOME! My only minor complaint is that it appears to be slightly smaller than the typical 30″ diameter bean bags, but I sort of expected that. They had to make the bean bag slightly smaller because the shape of the curtain and orientation of the graphics reduce the usable fabric area. The curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond was about $25 and the fee from HotBeanBags to make the custom bean bag was $95 (including shipping). Bottomline: My custom fabric bean bag looks awesome and I will probably do this again if I find another cool fabric shower curtain!



Toyota 4Runner Horn Upgrade

I’m not sure why any modern vehicle has a horn that sounds like the 4Runner horn. It’s wimpy and pathetic. It sounds like it’s the same horn from a 1980’s Honda Civic. Needless to say, my 4Runner needed an upgrade. In this video, I demonstrate how I installed a horn from a 1994 Ford F150 into my 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5. I got the Ford horn from an eBay seller for $10 (plus $7 for shipping). One thing American vehicles have never had a problem with, the horn. I’ve seen other write-ups about how to do this and they made the task seem daunting, but I found this to be an extremely simple project. It’s one wire.


Acura TL Blower Stopped Working: Fix

How to Repair Blower Motor Issue

Time Required: 20 minutes
Tools Required: Phillips screwdriver
Cost to Repair: $45.00

Description of Problem
Last week the blower for the A/C and heater stopped working on my 2003 Acura TL Type-S. The climate control unit will turn on, but you cannot feel the air because the blower will not blow. I tried turning it on Full Auto in both the hot and cold settings, nothing. I turned the fan knob to max and still nothing. When you turn the climate control unit on, you can hear the compressor under the hood turn on. The problem is clearly the blower not turning on.

The Repair
After some online research, I learned that much like the seat heater problem, this too is a common issue for the Acura TL (as well as other Honda and Acura models). A friend had this same issue with his Acura TSX. The solution: Replace the blower resistor.

Disclaimer / Precautions
I am not a mechanic. Follow my advice at your own risk. This repair is easy and cheap- so don’t be scared. Be sure to disconnect the battery, wear safety glasses, put on gloves, tie your shoes, chew with your mouth closed, and any other safety stuff that makes you not sue me.

Let’s begin!

Most of the time, the problem is that the blower resistor needs to be replaced. But first check to make sure the issue is not something else like a blown fuse or corroded connector. The blower fuse is located under the hood (it is close to the firewall on the passenger side for my model). The fuse is labeled “Heater Motor” on the fuse cover.
Acura TL Owner's Manual

If the fuse looks good, move on to the blower inside the car. The blower motor is located below the glove box. Notice the giant yellow arrow pointing to the location.
Acura TL Dashboard

Here you can see the blower motor and the blower motor resistor.
Acura TL AC/Heater Blower

Disconnect the wiring connector from the blower motor to make sure there isn’t any corrosion or connection issues. Sometimes corroded connectors [photo] will cause the failure. These are clean, this is not the problem… On to the blower resistor.
Blower Connector

Follow the wiring harness from the blower motor to the blower motor resistor. It is a white plastic trapezoidal-ish piece that is fastened by two Phillips head screws. Remove the two screws that fasten the blower resistor in place. This will allow you to pull the blower resistor down and disconnect the wires.
Remove Blower Resistor

Gently pull the blower resistor down and disconnect the wiring connector. Here is a close up of the resistor after it has been removed. These connectors look clean too.
AC Heater Blower Resistor Connector

The metal side of the blower resistor had some crud on it. I don’t know if this was any indication of it being broken or not.
Blower Resistor rear view

Replace the blower resistor with a new one. This part can be purchased at most auto parts stores. I paid $41.99 plus tax at AutoZone. To reinstall the part, simply screw the resistor back into place with the two screws. Reconnect all the wiring and test by turning on the climate control fan.
Remove Blower Resistor

It should work perfectly now. If you continue to have issues, you might need to visit your mechanic.

Did this repair worked for you? Please leave a comment below and include the year, make and model of your car OR share this fix with other Acura/Honda Owners:

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