So, updates on this fine piece of machinery since I first got it:
(I'm not deliberately dripfeeding this stuff, I just had to grab 5 mins here and there as they become available)
Description of car was "tatty but drives". This has since been upgraded to "tatty but drives and also stops" - new pads and discs on the front, new drums on the back.
Also had water pump replaced, as well as one of the little guide wheel fellers, plus an oil change which necessitated drilling out the sump plug. Plus off side CV boot changed.
It was sometimes idling high (2000 or so RPM as if the throttle were depressed), Renner forum suggested this may be due to perished seals around the air inlet manifold or some such, had those replaced and problem was resolved, which was pleasing.
All the above work was carried out by Tame Mechanic, at great expense, so I'm now over Ã‚Â£1000 into this car or so and it's only worth about 600 if it were working, which it mostly isn't.
After a full tank of Hayling Island's finest petroleum from the station I don't normally use, I drive to work and the engine refuses to start again. It'll fire, but cut out immediately. Green Flag man comes and is puzzled, suggests possible contaminants in the fuel and tightens the throttle cable so that the throttle is always slightly on. Advises me to take it straight to a garage. I have not the funds for this and I have tickets to The War of the Worlds for me and Eldest in Bournemouth (or was it Brighton? I forget) so I drive it all the way there and back in this state with no apparent ill effect. After all that fuel is used and it's refilled from the other petrol station, the problem goes away. Many mutterings on the Hayling facebook group in the past about the quality of the fuel from the other place, which I'd always shrugged off as nonsense. Since this incident I don't fill up there any more.
So, the current state of the car: MOT has run out. I haven't put it in for a new one since I know it'll fail on at least the following:
perished wipers (replaced now, feeble man that I am I can handle that job at least)
off side headlight is off doing its own thing not pointing sensibly at the road like it's supposed to
air bag light on. Have got under the seats, disconnected and sprayed WD40 on the seat belt pretensioner connectors and reattached them, but the problem persists.
the rear back window doesn't go down.
The battery is dead and needs replacing
and most seriously, there is a grinding vibrating noise coming up through the centre of the car, can feel it in the steering wheel too, that occurs only when turning left with the engine under power. Likely candidates could be CV joint (although tame mechanic ruled this out, having put it on stands, and run it up while turning the wheel full lock in both directions and the noise was not present. Not entirely sure why he didn't take it for a test drive round our very quiet neck of the woods, but whatever, probably good reason for it).
But wait ... there's more ...