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Travelling to France


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#1 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:38 PM

I'm quite looking forward to driving the sharan around France in a few weeks, or more precisely a few miles around the top bit. Partly because my kids haven't been to France before and I think they'll have a great time at eurodisney. But also because i love driving round the place. Much more relaxed than over here and the views are better.

However, does anyone else find themselves working on their car the few weeks before they leave to try and ensure against any FTP's?
2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#2 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:45 PM

Errr... yes.

 

Your car should be properly fettled before any continental roadtrip, that's just sensible.


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#3 OFFLINE   Jerzy Woking

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:47 PM

I'm usually working on my bike the day I GO abroad. And not the same bike either.Or same year

 

Fireblade - cracked fork leg spindle carrier (not rare, but hard to spot as it cracks out of sight)

Guzzi - starter motor failure (actually the actuator had a hard ball of grease in it)

Yamaha Vity - fuel pump stopped pumping.

 

And all when on the way to Czech Republic. Odd.


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#4 OFFLINE   simmo

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:49 PM

We take her company car but still can't help taking tools etc.



#5 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:51 PM

I suppose it's things like a small knocking from the suspension over speed bumps which I've ignored for a few weeks when using the car locally but now I'm taking it to France I think I need to get it sorted. The same thing is the tyres on the back are different makes and one is not extra load which it should be. They also lose pressure over a week or so. It's not bothered me before but now I'm wondering whether to get them changed.

I'm not really driving far but it feels like a big trip!
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2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#6 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:57 PM

stripped fred, on 20 Jun 2017 - 10:51 PM, said:stripped fred, on 20 Jun 2017 - 10:51 PM, said:

I suppose it's things like a small knocking from the suspension over speed bumps which I've ignored for a few weeks when using the car locally but now I'm taking it to France I think I need to get it sorted. The same thing is the tyres on the back are different makes and one is not extra load which it should be. They also lose pressure over a week or so. It's not bothered me before but now I'm wondering whether to get them changed.

I'm not really driving far but it feels like a big trip!

 

It can be a complex trip if you have an FTP and have to deal with someone that doesn't speak your language well.

 

Knocking from suspension? Either ARB drop link or lower wishbone ball joint, at a guess.

 

Mismatched tyres / losing pressure? Change them.

 

Not that difficult / pricey, and will potentially save you loads of hassle.


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#7 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:10 PM

Good advice there. I've already bought a pair of drop links just need to get under and have a look. Might go for the tyres too.
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2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#8 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:19 PM

I've just spent the week in Le Mans.

Gonna go again next year.

I fully recommend travelling around mainland Europe as often as possible.

(Obligatory petrol station shot)

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#9 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:32 PM

I've just spent the week in Le Mans.

Gonna go again next year.

I fully recommend travelling around mainland Europe as often as possible.

(Obligatory petrol station shot)


I drove down to le mans with a mate for our 40th birthday about 7 years ago now. We went in my mr2. Had a great time. I remember following a procession of cars through the town all revving our engines and everyone cheering. Felt like i was in a supercar. Also, when we first arrived at the campsite loads of people with water guns. Good childish fun.
2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#10 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:33 PM

Just bought a couple of these off tyreleader: Infinity Ecomax 215/55 R16 97W XL. They're on the front and seem pretty good.
2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#11 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:52 PM

I really do a lot of prep before I set off to that Continent.

 

I remove the petrol cap.

I fill the tank with petrol.

I replace the petrol cap.

 

Off I go.


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#12 OFFLINE   RobT

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:58 PM

Having just got back from a trip, it makes you realise how shit our roads are compared to much of mainland Europe. Coming home on the M20 felt like being on a farm track in comparison.

Are you going by ferry or the tunnel? Getting through the passport control bit for the tunnel was a bit chaotic today as only three lanes were open, dunno if it's always like that. Didn't bother me especially but others were getting irritated.
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#13 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:59 PM

Junkman we know you are a legend when it comes to continental jaunts, your latest was no exception, buying a rusty 50 year old Reggie from the German version of Lincolnshire proves you are utterly hatstand in a good way


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#14 OFFLINE   bramz7

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:13 PM

I've got a trip to France planned early next year, Calais to Rouen over a few days, then train to Paris (my other half hasn't been) and back again. Really looking forward to it. Sadly she has a bit of a ferry phobia so Le Shuttle it is....

 

I'll probably be going in some hopeless bit of French tat so if I do break down, I'm sure I'll be over run with little garages willing to take my tourist money.


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#15 OFFLINE   FPB7

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:22 PM

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You all worry too much.
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#16 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:24 PM

We're going by ferry from Calais. A stopover in Paris, onto eurodisney for 4 nights, a farm somewhere i can't remember and then Lille and home.
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2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#17 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:29 PM

French cars never break down.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#18 OFFLINE   panhard65

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:23 AM

Breakdown cover is a must as they will have an English speaking person who will organise everything if the worst happens. We had an alternator belt adjuster let go when we got to Le Mans a few years ago. They arranged a truck to collect the car and take it to a main dealer who fixed it the next day. Then they arranged a cab for us to pick the car up. The bill was very reasonable about the same as you would pay at an independent over here and really friendly staff even if they didn't speak a word of English. I never really bother checking the car too much before I go just the usual checks, they are a bit tougher on tyres so make sure they are over 2mm. Watch the speed limits as well, a lot of towns and villages have 30kph (18mph) limits now, I found a sat nav really usefull as it gave my speed in mph and the limit in mph  Finally remember you need to carry spare bulbs, warning triangle, flouescent vest thingy's etc and don't forget to get a crit' air sticker before going into Paris. https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/


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#19 OFFLINE   drum

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:41 AM

I'm heading to the south of France in early July and will be giving the car a good going over too. Coincidentally, I just ordered 4 petlas from tyre leader this morning, 50% off.
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#20 OFFLINE   FPB7

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:14 AM

Don't forget, to drive in Paris, Lyon or Grenoble you must be displaying a "Crit' Air'" sticker now. There's an official website in English and they only cost about a fiver but you can be fined on the spot for not displaying them.

#21 OFFLINE   Nyphur

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:37 AM

I drove down to le mans with a mate for our 40th birthday about 7 years ago now. We went in my mr2. Had a great time. I remember following a procession of cars through the town all revving our engines and everyone cheering. Felt like i was in a supercar. Also, when we first arrived at the campsite loads of people with water guns. Good childish fun.

 

Unlikely admittedly, but was it a dark blue Mk1 MR2 with an aftermarket cold air feed (my hazy memory cant establish whether it was a legit feed, or a bit of old extractor ducting), through Arnage on the Friday?

If so I remember oggling it as I sat and drank copius quantities of kronenbourg


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#22 OFFLINE   garbaldy

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:23 AM

Breakdown cover is a must as they will have an English speaking person who will organise everything if the worst happens.


/\ This is the best advice, unless you want to sleep in the car and spend close on two grand and half a dozen battery's to get home, oh and credit cards are excellent for emergency's too.
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#23 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:55 AM

and don't forget to get a crit' air sticker before going into Paris. https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/

 

 

Your vehicle does not meet the selected criteria for the award of an Air Quality Certificate.

 

This I get for all my cars.

So I guess that overhyped shithole has to make do without me for the time being.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#24 OFFLINE   stephen01

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:05 AM

I really do a lot of prep before I set off to that Continent.

 

I remove the petrol cap.

I fill the tank with petrol.

I replace the petrol cap.

 

Off I go.

 

Shamefully admit to doing the same thing a few times,

 

Don't forget, to drive in Paris, Lyon or Grenoble you must be displaying a "Crit' Air'" sticker now. There's an official website in English and they only cost about a fiver but you can be fined on the spot for not displaying them.

 

How long has this been in? I was in paris at the start of April. Probably not going back to Paris for a while now mind.

 

Have a good time in Disney, Kids and big kids love it! we went in April, with a stop in Paris the day before and apart from being a little* expensive it was great, your kids will love it!



#25 OFFLINE   phil_lihp

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:08 AM

Excellent thread, as my Hiace will have its maiden voyage to France in September.  It'll have just been through its MOT at that point which is handy but it'll get the usual basic checks and a few tools on board and I do have a list of things to sort before I go - I really need to get the spare wheel carrier fixed too, I don't fancy being stuck without a spare.

 

I'll probably leave it parked outside Paris and get the train in, I can't see an 18 year old diesel van passing the crit' air requirements anyway.  

 

I've been advised by various people that the ferry is preferable to the tunnel (I've not done the tunnel before) as the cost is similar and it's a much nicer 'event' to start the holiday off.



#26 OFFLINE   stephen01

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:20 AM

I've been advised by various people that the ferry is preferable to the tunnel (I've not done the tunnel before) as the cost is similar and it's a much nicer 'event' to start the holiday off.

 

Having done both the tunnel, for me, is by far the fastest, easiest, option, more expensive than the ferry but you pull in from the motorway and pull back out onto a motorway. it takes approx. 30 mins and generally is run very well indeed, apart from when we had a 7 hour delay last year, that was not fun. especially with a fully laden trailer on the back and thousands of cars around. thankfully we found a space to dump the car. much better than the welsh coach load of people who had tickets for the welsh match in paris, they missed the match which was a kick in the balls.



#27 OFFLINE   NorfolkNWeigh

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:34 AM

Luckily I can and do evaluate a cars suitability for Continental jaunts by the person selling it.
Last year bought Audi 100 Avant on Friday ready for 8am Shuttle on Monday.
Year before bought a C Class off a Polish lad from the Blue at 7 pm the night before sending daughters to France in it.
2014 bought Rover 600 of AngryDicky a week before kids went to France.

Apart from fluid checks no preparation was undertaken, no problems during trips, which is just as well as you can't get breakdown cover for over 20 year old cars.

Get ready for me buying some horrendous old rammel in August the subsequent breakdown meaning I have to leave it at the side of an Autoroute , walk to a farm and buy an R6 or Ami for 100francs to get home.
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#28 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:14 AM

Unlikely admittedly, but was it a dark blue Mk1 MR2 with an aftermarket cold air feed (my hazy memory cant establish whether it was a legit feed, or a bit of old extractor ducting), through Arnage on the Friday?
If so I remember oggling it as I sat and drank copius quantities of kronenbourg


It is a dark blue mk1 but it's standard apart from suspension and exhaust. No cold air feed.
2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#29 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:20 AM

We did think about the chunnel but the kids haven't been in a ferry before so went with that option.

I've got the emissions certificate on the way and breakdown cover in hand.

Ragarding driving in those cities with the new emissions regulations, it's going to get tighter each year until only low emission/electric cars are allowed. Will this force people into newer cars? I'm sure it will have some effect. Is this the end for old shite cars?
2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#30 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:53 AM

We did think about the chunnel but the kids haven't been in a ferry before so went with that option.

I've got the emissions certificate on the way and breakdown cover in hand.

Ragarding driving in those cities with the new emissions regulations, it's going to get tighter each year until only low emission/electric cars are allowed. Will this force people into newer cars? I'm sure it will have some effect. Is this the end for old shite cars?

Remember the ferry when i was a kid. The DFDS Winston Churchill in the late 80s, Caravan getting stuck on the up ramp with the Sierra, chucking up all night as it was rough as. The good old days.


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