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if hybrid wipers are your thing then you can buy them in Wilko, 4.50 each in most common sizes

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Remember to clean them occasionally with a glasses cleaner. ( one of those wet paper ones in a sachet) Takes all the road gunk off. Our garage in Germany used to slip a couple into my central console every time. They work... 

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44 minutes ago, Paul said:

0 if hybrid wipers are your thing then you can buy them in Wilko, 4.50 each in most common sizes 

I had a look on their website, thought they were not, but they have some frameless ones which appear to be hybrid, taking both the steel frame and an out plastic aerodynamic section

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17 minutes ago, Malanka said:

Remember to clean them occasionally with a glasses cleaner. ( one of those wet paper ones in a sachet) Takes all the road gunk off. Our garage in Germany used to slip a couple into my central console every time. They work... 

Good tip that

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First break down and a new car...

I had just come off the A11 and joined the A47 at the Thickthorn Interchange (a name that conjurers up such glamour but is just a big roundabout) when I felt what I can best describe as a little nudge and then moments later the car's dash and 'iDrive' came to life telling me there was issue with the charging system followed by the message 'stop immediately and seek service'.  To be honest since the car has issued rouge messages in the past I did wonder if this was real.  I pulled over at the first lay-by on the A47 and had a look under the bonnet, to find bit of rubber and metal braiding everywhere. Brilliant, belt had gone.

If the car was older it would be more simple, you could easily see and inspect the belts and often you would have a main serpentine belt that would power the AC Compressor, Power Steering and Water Pump and a separate one for the Alternator but on the this car and many one belt does it all, so despite the fact being a Diesel I did not need the Alternator as much I was not about to risk the next ten or so miles to Brundall. I called 'Auto Protect' who I had been given the free breakdown cover with when I bought the car.

Let's just say things did not go too well with the 'control centre' being able to locate me. I was by a road side SOS phone so used that number as a point of location, this failed. I offered to give them the precise details of the car through Lat and Long but that was too much. So with the chap on Google Maps Street View he was taking a virtual journey up the A47 and thought he had found the Lay-By I was at. It was then a case of them calling around local garages to see who could come out to me. 15 minutes later I had a call back to say a firm from Great Yarmouth could attend, luck would have it I asked if it was a low loader that could transport the car? No I was told, well I said this car cannot be towed it will ruin the transmission so I need to be lifted and transported.  Perhaps I should have said this at teh time of the first call, or perhaps they should have asked either way they had to find another firm.

Some time later such was found this time coming out of Norwich and a short time later he duly arrived. I had a one shot recovery to anywhere - so since it was Saturday and just after 5pm, I knew nowhere would be open to accept the car Brundall it was. Loading the car on the truck I needed to get the car out of park - something you can only do with the engine running (unless you go through the emergency procedure to take the car out of park by going into to the gear box. On most BMW's this seems to be by removal of the cup holders and getting to the transmission that way).  Anyway, so I start the engine, engage Neutral and take of the electric handbrake - at which point he says he cannot recover me because 'it's a runner' and if it is a runner, and can drive I should drive it. Anyway I explain yes the engine runs but no I cannot drive the car and this is accepted and the car is loaded, phew.

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So we arrive at the Yare Pub in Brundall, and choose this as a good location to unload as he has the best access.  Quite a scene to the locals of course but once it was done and the car was pushed back into a spot and the guy had driven off I pondered how I felt about leaving the car in the car park, especially as half of it was being used as a car park for the Station. I therefore thought I will take it slow and get the car round to the Marina - which I did. And there it has been since.

So now come Monday morning I have to get in touch with STR of Norwich and book it in, or do I? You see they serviced the car on Monday and part of their check list was to check the condition and tension of the belts, and then it fails on the Saturday. In order to get to see the belts you need to take off the air intake box, and the entire cooling fan assembly. Lot of work is that, did they do it I ponder? If they did or did not it of course is easy to say that things like this can go at any time so I may take it instead to M Kraft of Rackheath, another independent BMW garage. 

I did specify form STR original BMW brake pads but what I have appear to be Delphi pads. They perform well, but these are the same I could have got from Kwick-Fit and they dust like you would not believe. BMW pads are made by Pagid but really it comes down to asking for something and being supplied with something else, even if it is of equal quality if you want Coke and end up with Pepsi it makes a difference.

Anyway, the really annoyance is I am now going to have to arrange the car to be transported to wherever I choose at my expense - the recovery service recon this will be about £150.00 but depends on distance and over all time the recovery truck is 'on call out'. No doubt I will have some more updates as and when things get moving.

Another car?

Yes. So since I am about ready for my 'mid-life crisis' being 40 this year, I thought it was time to experience a sporty little number, feel the wind in my hair and maybe branch out in to hairdressing.  I had looked at a Mazda MX-5 but it was simply too small and was embarrassing seeing me getting out of the thing almos9cought on all fours.  So back to the drawing board and then I found some nice Mercedes SLK's. I thought to myself I better be sensible (cough) and not get carried away, so let's look at models that were as much as the MX-5. Well this meant I had to go right back to cars about 14 years old, but they also had some pretty high millage and pretty worn seats, steering wheel that looked like the leather colouring was wearing off, switch gear that did not look too happy and so on and so forth.

The other issue was most of the cars in my budget were the low powered 18L engines, some were 2.5L though but imagine my surprise when one popped up in South Norwood, 79,330 miles and in a pretty right soft blue with upgraded wheels and the rarer 3.5L V6 engine. I headed out to have a look and duly did the usual Robin thing - trusted everything I was told. The guy was very warm and friendly and it was waiting outside, top down and ready to go. We got in and he drove it, sounded great, lovely power delivery and it really did feel like a taught and well kept car. Perfect paintwork, great interior, slick gear change - yeah I thought I could see myself in this for the summer.

So back to the dealer's and I see the car has had full Merc main dealer service all its life, and had a new catalyst, new front shocks and some other things done as early as January this year. It failed the MOT only because of bad tyres, these are all new too. Hmm well, I thought to myself why not eh? So I say 'll take it - no messing about. His eyes light up and I go in for a little haggle and get £150.00 off the asking price. Transfer the funds, insure the car and walk out feeling happy.

Get in, urm only no I can't seem to get the drivers door open. I can get the passenger side open, but even then I have to manually pull up on the lock to get the drives side door open. I also find the drivers door mirror is not able to adjust. Hmm back I go into the dealer. They say they have to look into it, can I come back tomorrow..Sure I say.

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So the following day I go back and once again it is outside. I get in, wow the door lock works, I check the mirror and it works too. Today I had Shiela with me - she is not a lady to be impressed with anything and is more annoyed at what the hell am I doing now with 3 boats and 2 cars. Don't worry I say, it's a man thing and hard to explain. I start the car - it runs serious rough and stalls. I start it up again and then the check engine light comes on. It is almost out of fuel, there is a Shell literally up the road so we nurse the car to the garage and I put 20 litres in and see if it was just low fuel causing the issues, urm no of course not Robin.

Back to the dealers walk in - you should have seen their faces. So the chap comes out and he revs it and revs it and turns the engine off and on and on and off, then says he will 'give it a blast around the block' well he does, and it comes back and it is still running awfully. I am now really fed up. So they say they will sort it, and I say I am sure you will and go off home. I then email them to be firm but fair and keep everything on record.

I expect them to resolve the issues, but once they are said to be resolved I will have the car independently inspected, if there are no issues I will collect the car and that will be the end of things. If there are issues I will return the spare key, documentation and expect a full refund within1 4 days under my rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This has been agreed to. It seems the coil pack has failed along with the mass air flow sensor, but you see, it is just my luck, of course.

So now I think we are up to date with the latest car talk from me, as ever it is never dull.

 

 

 

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Hi Robin,

The Joys of motoring. I am afraid you will encounter more of this in the future.

My rear box fell off the car after blowing on the 2nd March, we went up Station Road to the garage there and they ordered 3/4 of the system at 10.30 am and I collected it completed by 1.00 pm. Great service on a Saturday morning.

Regards

Alan

 

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Ahhhhh, open top sports cars.... there's nothing like the feel of the wind in your wallet :default_biggrin:

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there are always bound to be issues when buying a used car (after all someone sold it to get a new one- there must have been a reason) mind you the other option- buying new, that comes with the risk that there is a problem with the build that hasnt been spotted yet.

Once you accept that with any car will come a host of problems, and are prepared to work through them and fix them, you are halfway there, for me as long as the price is right, and there are no glaring problems, I go ahead, my current car being a good example.

at under £1000 for a 16 year old volvo with 160,000 miles on it, I wasnt expecting everything perfect, ok the seat covers had seen better days, my heated seat didnt work (I have a whole set of leather seats in my old car that are the same basic seat) there was a slight leak in the steering pump, when it got worse I swapped out the old one from my old car, that fixed that,  after that the fault on the alternator pulley showed up (the pulley near came off the alternator), easy swap good alternator from the old car. so far it hasnt cost me anything but time, as problems appear, they will get fixed, after a while I will know what has been done, and be able to schedule regular replacement / maintenance.

I'd rather do the work and keep an old car going - to a point, if it needs more spent on it than the value of a new car, I will sometimes just get the newer car, especially if like my old car it has topped 250,000 miles

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Just off the phone with STR in Norwich, really helpful and are themselves coming in their own truck to come and collect the BMW tomorrow and will get on with the belt replacement - but I have been warned it may have been caused by something else, or even if not may also have done some damage as it flung itself off - I will see what the estimate is and may use this opportunity to make a claim under my policy with Auto Protect.

Meantime, London called and they have got parts on order for the Mercedes - of course all this is at their expense which is nice to know.

I think what I have found out truly since getting into cars is actually, it is the few who really care for their cars. While it is true perhaps that the first person who spent big on the initial purchase may, owner 2 will begin to think less so and by owner 3 and 4 service intervals are getting pushed longer and longer and that funny sound under the bonnet, well she starts up first time still and drives okay so it can wait. Myself though, I want it to not only last but also be well looked after be that mechanically or aesthetically.

What I have been surprised most as is for all these years I have not had a car, get one since November and have to suffer a few days without and it is like the end of the world - actually having to get the bus and train again lol.

 

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True, in my case the shed belt was caused by the alternator pulley clutch seizing, the symptoms were masked by the hydraulic leak from the steering which allowed the belt to slip, so when that was fixed, the seized pulley, which was now rotating on the alternator shaft, slowly worked it's way off the shaft, once it got so far the pulley was out of alignment and jumped off the next pulley in line shedding the belt.
I was lucky, the tension released the belt slacked around the main drive pulley (that also hosts the timing belt)and this pulley just rotated inside the loose belt until I could stop, if it hadn't and had got tangled and broken the timing belt, that would have killed the engine.

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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1 hour ago, LondonRascal said:

and by owner 3 and 4 service intervals are getting pushed longer and longer

What's a "service" ?

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14 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

Yes. So since I am about ready for my 'mid-life crisis' being 40 this year, I thought it was time to experience a sporty little number, feel the wind in my hair and maybe branch out in to hairdressing.  I had looked at a Mazda MX-5 but it was simply too small and was embarrassing seeing me getting out of the thing almos9cought on all fours.  

The MX5 has a great chassis and handles surprisingly well for something that's seen as a hairdresser's car. I did have a look at one last year, it must be an age thing..

They're very popular with enthusiasts, all of whom must be a lot shorter than me as I don't fit in them properly unless I sort of 'squat' in the seat as if I'm sleeping in an old hire boat with short beds.

Any once you're in the seat, your forehead is level with the top of the windscreen frame (and above the roll hoop) and you're again squatting to see the road rather than the sun visors. And that's on the MK3 which is considered to be the biggest of the lot.

A Lotus Elise fits just fine, bizzarely, although they're a pig to get in and out of with the roof on and the build quality makes French and German cars look good.

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Tan & I had a sit in a MX5 a few years ago and found them very small with the driver & passenger rubbing shoulders, the height issue was another of the things we noticed .

Regards

Alan

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1 hour ago, MauriceMynah said:

What's a "service" ?

It's what you get when you order at the bar

 

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24 minutes ago, ranworthbreeze said:

Tan & I had a sit in a MX5 a few years ago and found them very small with the driver & passenger rubbing shoulders, the height issue was another of the things we noticed .

Yeah I did have a short test drive and in the position where I could see out of the screen, my knees were touching the door and transmission tunnel and my elbows were touching the door and the salesman.

I wanted to like it, but I'd have needed a Hiab fitting to get me out of the seat after a long journey. 

Shame really, but just too small.

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I also had a test drive in a MX5 RF. Lovely car but I could not get out of it. I shall wait and see what the damage is on a VW T-Roc convertible but I think that it will be more money than I wish to spend.

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We have an old boy (73 ) live across from us who sadly lost his lovely wife last year just bought a fabulous looking mx5 - flat cap and new leather gloves and good luck too him I say :default_biggrin:

finny

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Just be mindful too Robin, if you keep the car, of Mercedes garage bills or rather the potential for bankruptcy!! Some old dear (young I should say) I know was quoted just over £500 to replace a coil spring on the front, reduced to just under £100 by the garage round the corner!! Enough to make your eyes water.....!!!

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17 minutes ago, marshman said:

Just be mindful too Robin, if you keep the car, of Mercedes garage bills or rather the potential for bankruptcy!! Some old dear (young I should say) I know was quoted just over £500 to replace a coil spring on the front, reduced to just under £100 by the garage round the corner!! Enough to make your eyes water.....!!!

Always worth remembering that what was an expensive vehicle when new, will be an expensive vehicle to repair as it gets older, regardless of the purchase price now.

As for me, I’m on my third Skoda, - a great car with VW build quality at a more reasonable price with all the modern features one would expect on a modern car.  And not only does it have a heated rear window, but a heated windscreen too, so one can keep warm hands whichever way you push it!!!!!!!!  (Just thought I’d throw that in before some other comedian mentioned it).

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4 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

What's a "service" ?

Personal service?, .......................................OK, i`m off.

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My mid life crisis car was a Mazda RX8. Totally impractical and I loved it. Mid life crisis over I traded it in for a Toyota Rav which is still going strong at way over 100,000 miles. It is so practical for lugging boat stuff up and down to Norfolk, transporting the hounds and yesterday getting a new washing machine in the back. My runabout is an Aygo. Perfect town car and cheap to run. 

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The RX8 is an awesome car! But yes off the scale in terms of impracticality.

 

I can't think of another car (other than its sisters) that basically wasn't suitable for short journeys unless you warmed the engine up fully and then allowed it to cool down properly.

 

Should never really have made it to production, but they're epic when they're running right.

 

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

 

 

 

 

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I was once loaned a Mazda RX8 after an apprentice damaged the drivers door on my Xedos 8 after reversing off of the rolling road, whilst my car went through their body shop. Another main dealer that do not always get it right.

Regards

Alan

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