Oil Catch Can Kit for 2016+ SkyActiv Turbo 2.5L

Skyactiv Turbo OCC Kit

When you think of a performance aftermarket component you typically think of a part that increases the vehicle’s power, but some performance parts don’t. Instead they have a more critical purpose, increasing the reliability of your performance engine and components.  The CorkSport Oil Catch Can Kit (OCC Kit) is just that type of component(s). 

CNC machined Mazda Oil Catch Can

Why is an Oil Catch Can Kit critical for your Mazda?  Despite the huge advancement Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology there are still some downfalls.  Compared to the more conventional port injection fuel systems, GDI is much more prone to engine oil fuel dilution.  This is primarily due GDI injecting directly into the cylinder; in low speed operation and cold starts the fuel simply does not have enough time to fully atomize into a gas before ignition.  This results in some excess fuel seeping past the piston rings into the oil along with any combustion chamber blow by the pistons.  This is fuel dilution. 

OCC catch all the nasty build up from entering your Mazda Skyactiv engine

Here you can see the results of a CorkSport OCC installed for ~3000 miles on a 2018 Mazda 6 2.5T.  This engine only has 500 miles and has an average commute of 15 miles & 20 minutes of mixed traffic and speeds. 

Mazda’s OE design attempts to resolve some of this with a valve cover breather that vents directly into the turbocharger compressor inlet and a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve in the engine block that vents to the intake manifold. 

How the Mazda OCC works

Mazda’s setup depends on the fuel and water vapor inside the crankcase being drawn into the intake manifold and intake system to then be re-ingested by the engine.  This has two major flaws:

  1. The direct crankcase ventilation via the PCV valve only works while cruising (no boost).  Combustion gas blow by will occur most often while in boost under high throttle application when the PCV valve is closed.
  2. This forces the engine to re-ingest dirty air that carries contaminants in the form of fuel and water vapor along with carbon debris.  These containments then build up on the inside of the intake manifold, cylinder head runners, and the intake valves slowly degrading performance over time. 
Carbon build up on a Mazda engine without the catch can

The CorkSport OCC Kit provides you with two major features:

  1. Both the valve cover vent and the PCV valve are drawn from the turbo inlet directly ahead of the turbocharger compressor. Thus both the valve cover and PCV valve have constant vacuum in all driving conditions, both cruising and high throttle application.
  2. The oil catch can itself acts as a “filter” for the vapor and debris that would normally be directly ingested by the engine. The drawn crankcase vapor and debris is separates and collects in the catch can for easy removal during normal oil changes. 

As you saw above, there is a significant amount of vapor and fine debris that is being filtered out of the crankcase air that would have normally been ingested.  As you continue down the path of modifying and demanding more form your Mazda, the need for a OCC System only becomes more and more critical. 

Bolt on Mazda Cx5, Cx9, and Mazda 6 turbo

SkyActiv-G 2.5T Intercooler & Piping Testing

The CorkSport Intercooler and Piping upgrade kits for the Mazda SkyActiv-G 2.5T are inching closer to release and it’s time to share more of the R&D that goes into making these kits perform the best. We went through extensive testing to determine which intercooler was the best fit and to validate that our changes were worthwhile. If you missed any of the previous blogs on these kits be sure to check them out: OEM IC & Piping Breakdown, CS Piping Upgrade Design, and CS Intercooler Design.

AEM CD-5 Digital Dash on Mazda 6

AEM CD-5 Digital Dash

Testing Preparation

To start, we got some new toys from AEM Electronics. The main brain of the entire testing operation for the intercooler is an AEM CD-5L digital dash with logging. This dash allows us to tap into the vehicle’s ECU to see the same information that the OEM sensors are reading. To go along with the CD-5L, we got new AEM sensors that can be positioned to get the data that we need to see how our intercoolers perform.

We used the CD-5 to datalog our dyno runs so we can see what the car is doing while simultaneously seeing power levels from the dyno. To get the data we need, we tapped into the OEM intercooler and 3 intercooler core designs that we created to get pressure and temperature data before and after the intercooler core. In case you were wondering, drilling into a brand new intercooler is stressful!

Mazda 6 on Dyno
SkyActiv-G 2.5T Intercooler Testing

Once we got everything wired up and the AEM properly set up, we were ready for testing to begin. There were multiple rounds of testing, each consisting of a string of dyno pulls back-to-back to test heat soak. We also performed standalone power runs with the intercooler setups. During testing, we used the full OEM intercooler and piping kit, and each of the CorkSport Intercoolers with the CorkSport piping. Of the three CorkSport intercoolers, we took the best setup and tested it with and without our piping kit.

Conditions were near identical for all tests, with the CS intercooler tests being ~10°F. warmer than the OEM tests (65° vs 55°).

Testing Intercooler Pressure Drop

OEM Intercooler pressure testing graph
Pressure testing the OEM intercooler.

Starting with pressure drop, the OEM intercooler performed better than we initially expected. The graph above shows the pressure drop across the core through a dyno run. In this case, the smaller the number the better. Starting at around 0.5psi at low RPM and peaking at around 2.4psi at higher RPM is pretty good for a core with fins that are fairly dense.

CorkSport Intercoolers pressure testing graph

Pressure testing the CorkSport intercooler cores.

Shown in the graph above are the CorkSport intercooler pressure drop results. Core A has the densest fins, while Core C has the least dense fins. Looking at the graph above, you can see that Core A and B had a larger drop in pressure than OEM. Meanwhile, Core C had a smaller pressure drop than the OEM core. Having a smaller pressure drop than OEM means that your turbocharger can make less boost at the turbo yet still hit the boost target in the intake manifold. In other words, your turbo is working less to make the same power levels! Based on our results, option C appears to be the best option due to the low drop in pressure, but first, we will test temperature drop to be certain.

Testing Intercooler Temperature Drop

OEM Intercooler Change in Temperature Graph
OEM Intercooler Change in Temperature from Inlet to Outlet.

The graph above shows the change in temperature from the inlet to the outlet of the OEM intercooler during a dyno run. As you can see, there is a temperature delta (the amount of heat being removed from the boost air) of approximately 100-110°F through the majority of the dyno run. Not bad for the OEM intercooler as larger the better here, but we can do better.

CorkSport Intercoolers Change in Temperature Graph

CorkSport Intercoolers Change in Temperature from Inlet to Outlet.

The graph above shows the same temperature drop data for each of the three prototype cores. Please note, the difference at the beginning of the runs is a result of using the run with the best temperature change for each core. With this comparison, larger numbers mean that the intercooler is cooling the boosted air efficiently. As you can see, the very dense cores (A and B) with a high-pressure drop, cool better. However, there are diminishing returns that come when you make a core denser. Through the meat of the dyno run, Core C has approximately 140-150°F of temperature drop, Core A has 150-180°F of temperature drop, and Core B has 140-170°F of temperature drop. This data shows that Core C cools almost as well as A and B despite having a drastically lower pressure drop. Core C is definitely our winner, but we have one last thing to test: heat soak.

Testing Intercooler Heat Soak

OEM Intercooler Heat Soak Graph
OEM Intercooler Heat Soak

The graph above shows the OEM intercooler tested for heat soak by being run on a dyno in back to back runs. The graph is showing the intercooler inlet and outlet temperatures, so the boost temperature before the intercooler and the boost temperature after the intercooler that your engine sees. Over the runs, the inlet temp increases as the engine and turbo get hot. The OEM core does a pretty good job at preventing the outlet from increasing over the pulls (heat soak), but the CorkSport core can do better.

CorkSport Intercooler Heat Soak Graph
CorkSport Intercooler Core C Heat Soak

The graph above shows the results of the same test that was performed with the CorkSport prototype Core C. The inlet temp follows a similar path of heating up drastically as the run’s progress, but the improved cooling efficiency is highlighted when you look at the outlet temps. The CorkSport intercooler core cools better and also shows less heat soak, leaving you with 20+ degree cooler temps after the same tests. During testing of the CorkSport core, ambient temps were slightly higher than the OEM test, having been done on a relatively cool day in the mid to upper 50s. If the tests had been performed at 100% identical ambient temps or overall higher ambient temps, the results would be further skewed in the CorkSport kit’s favor!

Testing Intercooler Power

Last, but certainly not least, is power. We tested back to back with the OEM setup, CS FMIC only, and then the CS FMIC with the full piping kit. With the CorkSport FMIC alone, we picked up 3WHP at peak but more importantly, 3-9WHP and 3-12WTQ from 2250-4250RPM. Seen in the graph below.

Dyograph comparison between CorkSport and Mazda Intercooler Cores
Dyno Testing OEM Intercooler and CorkSport Intercooler

With the CS intercooler and piping Kit, we picked up around 6WHP at peak compared to full OEM but even more WHP and WTQ through the midrange. For clarity, the graph below is the full CS setup vs. full OEM setup; without tuning!

Dyograph comparison between CorkSport and Mazda Intercooler setups

Dyno Testing OEM Intercooler and CorkSport Intercooler with Upgraded Piping

While these gains are decent, the intercooler and piping kit will truly shine once we are able to tune the car for different boost and load targets. In addition, we checked for changes to spool time and throttle response with the piping kit but only noticed marginal gains as we are limited by the current tune on the car. Based on our testing though, it is clear that we are increasing the efficiency of the turbocharging and the intercooling system, which future proofs your ride for further mods and tuning down the road.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding our testing, we can’t wait for you all to get these parts. Look for the CorkSport Intercooler Upgrade and CS Piping Kit coming soon, along with more fun parts for the 2.5T!

-Daniel

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Pssst. You can’t buy it yet…. Soon.

Why Lowering Springs?

Whether you want the better handling that comes with the lowered center of gravity, or you want to rid yourself of the wheel gap eyesore.  Lowering springs will give you want you’re looking for.

For running the track, or a spirited drive through the countryside, CorkSport lowering springs are the upgrade you’ve been looking for. By adding lowering springs and lowering the center of gravity of your Mazda allows the car to stay more planted to the road.

One of the biggest things to note on stock suspension is how far upward the suspension travels when hitting a bump. It can make the car feel like it wants to lift off of the road; depending on how fast you’re taking corners. Lowering springs help to correct the car’s suspension travel when you hit a bump in a turn.

Corksport Mazda 3 racer

Lowering springs also have about 25% increased stiffness. For the Mazdaspeed platform, increased stiffness in the rear is a must. Mazdaspeeds like to squat pretty hard when hitting full boost, so any way you can manage to stiffen up the rear is a great modification for your car.

Adding lowering springs also gives your baby amazing eye appeal and a much more aggressive look. Whether you drive a Mazdaspeed3Mazdaspeed6Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX-5, CX-3 or MX-5, lowering springs will get rid of that ugly wheel well gap. The result is a Mazda that carries a much cleaner and more aggressive look and gives you the ability to take it to the track if you want to.

Drop your Mazda for an aggressive look and better handling with the CorkSport lowering springs.

Some people want to drop their Mazda as much as possible, and some don’t. CorkSport lowering springs don’t deliver a super aggressive drop. If you’re not interested in scraping your front bumper on every road bump, the CorkSport lowering springs have the right drop for you, and provide the increased handling capabilities you’re looking for.

If you’re curious about other suspension pieces for your Mazdaspeed, check out our Struts and Shocks combo kits, that give you just what you need for suspension.

Transmission Motor Mount for Mazda 3, 6, & CX-5

TMM for Gen3 Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-5

CorkSport is proud to introduce the first and only performance transmission motor mount for GEN3 Mazdas. It’s a simple upgrade that can really change how shifting feels in your 2014-2018 Mazda 3, 2014-2017 Mazda 6, or 2013-2018 Mazda CX-5. We saw how an upgraded mount can drastically affect the characteristics of your car with our Mazda 3/6/CX-5 RMM and wanted to take the next step in getting the best driver feel you can out of your car.

We followed a design similar to the OE mount to ensure proper fitment and function for all engine and transmission options. Whether you have a 2.0L Mazda 3 Auto, a 2.5L Mazda 6 Manual, or anything in between, the CorkSport TMM will bolt right in with no issues. We even retained the OE battery tray mounting location to ensure the battery stays stationary. Don’t be mistaken though, the CorkSport Mazda Transmission Motor Mount is a completely different mount than OE.

The OE mount uses relatively soft rubber to ensure the least amount of noise and vibration makes its way into the cabin. It also allows the engine and transaxle to move around a surprising amount while accelerating, decelerating, or changing gears. By using 70A durometer polyurethane, the CorkSport TMM helps to lock down the engine and transaxle for better throttle response, less wheel hop, and much-improved gear changes. When we first installed a prototype TMM in the CorkSport Mazda 3 racecar, we immediately noticed the lack of delay and slop coming from the transmission when setting off from a stop and changing gears.

Don’t think we forgot about vibration and noise though. The size and stiffness of the polyurethane pucks were chosen to help minimize the adverse effects of stiffer mounts. That being said, there is still some added vibration and noise, most noticeable in automatic cars, when lugging the engine, and/or when using the A/C system. Once you are up and cruising on the highway, however, the added NVH is virtually eliminated solely by road noise.

Much like the CorkSport RMM, the TMM uses billet aluminum for the main body of the mount. After machining, it is anodized black for durability and finished off with a laser etched CS logo. A zinc-coated steel sleeve is used through the center of the bushings so you can be sure that your mount is tightened to spec. Finally, stainless steel is used for the hardware, angled mounting plate, and side washers. All of these materials were selected for their strength and corrosion resistance so that your CorkSport Mazda TMM will stand the test of time.

The CorkSport Mazda 3, Mazda6, and CX-5 Transmission Motor Mount will liven up you GEN3 whether you use it as a daily driver or racecar. The TMM is even better when combined with our RMM however, it works standalone perfectly fine. While not for everyone, those who are willing the sacrifice a little comfort for a boost in driver feel will love this mount.

 

2018 CorkSport Garage Update

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.

CorkSport Garage

How about something a little different from the usual CS blog? I thought I would give you all a little insight into all the different Mazdas that are owned by employees. Some are daily drivers, some are full racecars, and some are…different (more on that later). So grab a cold refreshment, we’ve got quite a few cars to go through.

The Mazdaspeeds

Owner: Corey
Year/Model: 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata
Mileage: 28,800

Modifications: Full Flyin’ Miata CAI, polished stainless piping, Turbosmart recirculating bypass valve, manual boost controller, O2 signal modifier, boost gauge. Recent Mustang Dyno showed a consistent 189.9WHP.

Corey’s Comments: Purchased new to me at 17,000 miles in 2012 for my 40th birthday. The MSP Miata had been stored for 4 years-everything was original, even the tires. This Miata came from California and had never seen rain. I keep it in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I enjoy taking a ride in the MSM with each of my kids, but love honking the horn at people and making my son wave back…like he knows them.

Owner: Luke
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 GT
Mileage: 124,000

Modifications: Full bolted, built engine, CS prototype turbo, methanol injection. Too many CorkSport Par

Luke’s Comments: Car has been through stock turbo/stock block, CS turbo/stock block, CS turbo/built block, 35r/built block, and now CS prototype turbo/built block.  Fun fact: my girlfriend went faster in my car than I did when I first bought it.  Stock turbo went 12.8 @ 110mph in the  1320.

Owner: Daniel
Year/Model: 2007 Mazdaspeed 6
Mileage: 68,000

Modifications: Custom front license plate delete, CS Interior LED Kit, daily driver dirt.

Daniel’s Comments: Just bought the MS6 a few weeks ago, doing a ton of maintenance before mods. This Mazdaspeed6 started out as a dealer fleet vehicle (whatever that means). Bought it from a guy who owned it the past ~9 years. Hoping to sneak some new Mazdaspeed 6 parts into the CS catalog and feed the zoom-zoom obsession!

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: 14,000

Modifications: Virtually everything in the CS catalog for MS3. Plus a few prototype parts that never made their way to the market.

Comments:  Affectionately called “Whitey”. On its 2nd built engine (we use and abuse this thing). This was one of Vincent’s first projects when he arrived at CS: rebuild Whitey’s engine. He just got done rebuilding it for the second time and is now breaking it in.

Owner: Barett
Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3
Mileage: ~135,000

Modifications: Manley internals, L19 head studs, CS cams, bowl work & porting, all the bolt-ons, 28gph methanol injection, prototype CS turbo, 330mm BBK, other suspension bits.

Barett’s Comments: More info on the engine build here. Made ~465whp at the 2017 CS dyno day. My car hates me and is a constant work in progress.

Owner: Brett
Year/Model: 2013 Mazdaspeed
Mileage: 37,000

Modifications: Full CS bolt-ons, big turbo, meth injection, making 430whp 385ft-lbs. BC coilovers w/ custom rated Swift springs, BMSPEC front splitter, Varis rear diffuser, custom side skirt extensions, Volk TE37SL: front 18×11 rear 18×10, paint matched 240Z flares, 330mm BBK.

Brett’s Comments:  I’ve had the Mazdaspeed3 for about 4 years now. It has every CS bolt on in the catalog. Helps that I work here now. This MS3 makes ~430 WHP, and is a stock block for now; built block soon to come. I take more pictures of this car than I do anything else. 

The GEN 3’s

CorkSport's Mazda 3 guide.
Ready to mod your Mazda 3? You will be after you read this!

Owner: Jennifer
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 100,000

Modifications: Most of the CS catalog for GEN3: Intake, exhaust, lowering springs, adjustable struts, rear sway bar, aluminum skid tray, etc., GEN2 MS3 wheels, big CS livery.

Jennifer’s Comments: The car has been used for the majority of the Mazda3 research and design at CS. This Mazda 3 is daily driven ~80miles each day to torture test CorkSport parts, it helps that the commute to my house is that far round trip. Basically, my daily drive is a perfect example of “running up a hill both ways” for this Mazda 3.  

(Left)

Owner: Collin
Year/Model: 2016 Mazda 6
Mileage: 40,000

Modifications: CS RSB, prototype CS FSB, CS RMM, prototype CS performance header, CS license plate kit.

Collin’s Comments: Aside from the performance parts available at CS, I chose this car due to the extra ~30HP compared to most commuter cars. I still get 42MPG on my freeway commute. This is my first New Car I bought myself and I have loved learning how to modify on it. 

(Right)

Owner: Rich
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 6 GT

Modifications: CS lowering springs/struts, CS front camber plates, CS rear camber arms, CS SRI, CS catback, CS radio control knob, CS license plate kit, 25mm wheel spacers

Rich’s Comments: I drove around the same B2300 for many years while we built CorkSport from the ground up. I finally decided to treat myself and picked this Mazda6 up in 2014. Big shift, and I’ve loved having the luxuries of this Mazda 6. 

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Sedan

Modifications: Caged, stripped, CS SRI, straight pipe to CS axleback, bunch of custom adjustable suspension, BBK (sometimes), custom racetrack-modified bodywork.

Derrick’s Comments: This Mazda3 could not be sold as a road legal car, so I don’t drive it on the road. There are a TON of track hours on this Mazda 3 and all of it’s modifications. We basically TRY to break our test parts before we let them hit the market, which is good for me because I love to go fast.

Owner: CorkSport (shop car)
Year/Model: 2018 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch
Mileage: 2900

Modifications: CS struts, CS lowering springs, CS camber plates, CS RMM.

Comments: Mainly stock so far, big things to come to the “CBR” (CorkSport Branded Ride). Brett, who has been dailying the CBR, somehow only is getting 23mpg. Expect more parts for facelifted GEN3’s with the CBR’s arrival.

The Others

Just because you may not have seen much about them and they don’t get their own category does not mean they’re not special. For me, some of the most interesting cars are down below.

Owner: CorkSport (shop truck)
Year/Model: 1995 Mazda B2300
Mileage: 160,000

Modifications: Sweet stickers for extra HP, tire shop wheels, custom faded paint

Comments: Vincent used to own this truck before selling it to be the “new” CS shop truck. He notes that it was involved in 3 accidents, each time the insurance company did not total the truck, leaving Vincent with more money than he spent to buy the truck. No power steering provides an arm workout for those lucky enough to drive this beast.

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 2016 Miata Launch Edition.
Mileage: 24,000

Modifications: Full CorkSport ND Miata catalog – CS cold air intake, CS catback exhaust, CS front and rear swaybars, CS lowering springs, CS adjustable front end links, VersaTune CS parts tune, CS short shifter – Sparco Drift wheels, Bridgestone Blizzak run flats

Derrick’s Comments: The ND is an interesting car for me as being a lifelong Mazda enthusiast I had never owned a Miata before.  When the ND was announced I had already converted the Mazda 2 into a B-Spec car so I stopped street driving it and went back to my Rx7 turbo as my daily driver so I had gotten used to driving a car with “issues” again.  When I got into the ND for the first time and drove it home it was very surreal expecting some weird sound or smelling hydrocarbons (the Rx7 is old and catless) and the car handled incredible right out of the box.  Of course that lasted all of 3 months until we have Kenton Koch behind the wheel helping us out with the suspension development.  It is one of those cars that I warn people, if you drive it you will want to buy one.

Owner: Vincent
Year/Model: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3
Mileage: 60,000 (original engine, no issues)

Modifications: Turbo XS exhaust, K&N high flow filter, custom VersaTune tune, DBA club spec rotors, Hawk Street/Race pads, Goodridge stainless steel lines.

Vincent’s Comments: I had been wanting a 2nd gen RX-8 since high school. This thing revs out to 9400RPM and is super fun to drive. Just recently sold (hi Aaron) but too good to not include in this blog.

Owner: Derrick
Year/Model: 1993 Spec Miata
Mileage: “Lots and lots” (this car has run 25hours of Thunderhill a few times on top of all its other racing)

Modifications: Spec Miata Bilstein shock package, Eibach swaybars, illegal plunge cut cylinder head (lookup spec Miata plunge gate 2014), GLoc brakes, 949 6ul Spec Miata wheels, AIM dash & datalog system, ESR drive side drop floor, Really big radiator.

Derrick’s Comments: I took the advice of all the spec miata people and bought a built car so I didn’t have to spend 6 months building one myself.  The local car was raced for a long time in the northwest and was a front running car before it was parked for a few years.  I picked it up for ~6k with some extra spares and was immediately able to get on the track and go racing after the installation of the drop floor and new seatbelts.  The big question I have people ask me is why did you get a SM?  The real answer is the level of drivers in the class.  At any sanctioned race event weekend there are always SM and someone to race against and I have personally known several drivers go into SM a novice and come out the other side in pro racing.  To win at SM you have to have your shit together.  To be the best you need to compete against and beat the best so here I am.

Owner: Barett
Model: Mazda B2600i
Mileage: ?

Modifications: Solid axle swap with Toyota running gear, 4.88:1 axle gears, rear locker, 3 feet of articulation, 8000lb winch, high bolstered seats, 35×14.5R15 Super Swamper Bogger Tires, “lots of f*ckery fabrication.”

Barett’s Comments: This was my first real vehicle, and it taught me lots about owning a vehicle, modifying a vehicle and I have more memories with this beast than I can come up with right now. I beat the SH*T out of this truck and it’s always put away wet.

 Owner: Rich
Model: 1988 Mazda Rx- CONVERTIBLE

Modifications: Turbo engine swap, Apexi Power FC, CS Border Style body kit, CS front mount intercooler, CS turbo back exhaust, many other mods.

Rich’s Comments: The Rx-7 is kept in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I take it out for special occasions or to just show off every once in a while. It’s a nostalgia piece for me. 

Not Pictured:

  • 2016 Mazda 3 Sedan. Derrick’s 2nd racecar. Caged, stripped, 2.0L AT converted to 2.5L MT.
  • Mazda RX-7 FC. Owned by Derrick.
  • NA Mazda Miata. Parts car for Derrick’s Spec Miata
  • Mazda 5. Derrick’s wife’s car.
  • Mazda CX7. Kelly’s daily driver.

For those keeping score, that’s 22 Mazdas in the CorkSport garage. The cars have come and gone over the years but one thing will always stay true: our cars will be fun to drive because they are Mazdas. Here’s to more Mazdas finding their way into the CS (and your) garage.

Oh and if you have any questions on the above cars, please let us know down below, we’ll be sure to pass on your question to the car’s owner.

-Daniel