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Peter C

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Everything posted by Peter C

  1. When you love your Perodua Nippa too much, even though it's registered as a Kelisa with the DVLA.
  2. A common old Merc problem area. I’ve looked under the back shelf and all along the nearside inner wing and everything looks dusty and dry. The only damp area is off centre to the left of the spare wheel well, where the boot floor is lined with fabric. The 200E is garaged and rarely gets dirty enough to warrant a wash. At the moment my money is on sweating caused under the rubber boot liner.
  3. Whilst my Kia Exceed was back in the garage having the front suspension fixed, which developed a bad knock following the incident with the skip lorry, I've been using my Mini Cooper for daily duties and on a few occasions I took the 230E out for a drive around the block. I haven't driven the 200E much since I got it back from my mechanic (to have the clutch hydraulics fixed) but I did manage to take it out for a brief drive earlier this week. I noticed that the B-post plastic trim, specifically the seatbelt height adjustment part, was making an annoying creaking sound approx six inches from my right ear and that the unrestrained subwoofer is moving around too much in the boot. I removed the B-post trim and applied gaffer tape to where the seatbelt adjustment part abuts the trim. I haven't been on a test drive yet (it's pouring with rain) but the trim feels more robust and a lot less creaky. Hopefully it will stay quiet. I intended to do something about the subwoofer but as soon as I opened the boot I noticed a musty smell and an unpleasant green growth on my black leather gloves. I removed the (aftermarket) rubber load liner, boot carpet and the nearside wing trim, which revealed that the fabric fixed to the boot floor was damp but everything else was dry. It's too cold in the garage for the fabric to dry out by itself so I helped it out by setting up a heat gun in the boot for 20 minutes. To get some air to the fabric, I wanted to leave the boot open for a few days but I didn't want to disconnect the battery and I couldn't figure out how to remove the boot light - I was planning on taking the bulb out so that it wouldn't drain the battery. I then discovered that the boot light can be disabled by pulling on the switch pin, which is located to the underside of the boot lid. Mercedes thought of everything. And finally, I've suspended the boot carpet from the garage ceiling to help it dry out. I've looked everywhere and can't find any evidence of water ingress. The damp has only occurred beneath the rubber boot liner where it sits above the fabric. I wonder whether the damp was caused by condensation or perhaps my mechanic had allowed water to enter the boot whilst he had the 200E in his yard for a couple of weeks. Time will tell. As I'm not using the 200E as much as I did before I got my Mini Cooper and I've reached that point where I can't make any more improvements to it without spending thousands, on a full respray, for example, which isn't necessary, I briefly toyed with the idea of selling it. It's not a good idea as I would never see a return on my investment and after all the years I've had it, its become part of the family. Also, I'm not sure anyone would want to buy it anyway.
  4. First time this week the weather was warm enough to allow tinkering with cars. I removed the nearside door trim (very easy) to see what could be causing a rattle that’s been annoying me all week. All I found was a couple of loose clips and to my surprise, standard speakers. The ICE sounded great before I fitted my amp and sub and I was convinced that the speakers must have been upgraded by a previous owner. I’ve clocked up about 500 miles since the last time I washed the Cooper, most of them in bad weather. I gave it a deep clean and put it back in the garage as I won’t be using it again before next weekend. I can’t get over how pretty an R53 is. For a car that is approaching its 20th birthday (R50s are already two decades old) it still looks fresh. Rover/BMW got the design so right.
  5. At some point in the past, a previous owner had painted the dashboard panels black. The finish is ok but the effect makes the interior look very austere. Mark @gm recently removed chrome* (plastic) rings from the dials and centre vents that were fitted to a Mini that he recently acquired and offered them for the cost of p&p. Thank you Mark! I thought that fitting these rings might be a quick and cheap way of blinging up my dashboard. Fitting took about 30 seconds, the rings just push on. Usually, when it comes to modifying cars, I believe that less is more but I like the contrast that the rings have added. Win or no win?
  6. I've been using the Cooper every day since my Kia Exceed was taken away for repairs last week. I've been loving every minute of it and nothing has gone wrong. Yesterday, to my surprise, my Kia was delivered, all fixed. It's looking fresh and clean and the repairs have been completed to a good standard. So, this morning, I jumped straight in the Cooper and went off to work. I bloody love it!
  7. Let's just say that I've parked the Aygo on my side drive, behind gates, where it cannot be seen and where it doesn't restrict access to the garage where my Cooper sleeps. I do not propose to drive the hateful piece of shit again. If it wasn't for the awful transmission and noisy trim, it would be ok, I guess, if one has hit rock bottom.
  8. No need to wait until the winter. After today's 100 mile run up and down the M40 and M25, the back window was filthy. Admittedly, as the rear wiper was fucked anyway, the situation is no worse than it would have been if I had not removed the wiper.
  9. This afternoon I had an opportunity to drive the Aygo 8 miles to Amersham and back via the A413. Here's what I think. I'm 6ft2 and fitted behind the wheel with room to spare. Note automatic transmission and paddle shifts - more about them later. However, only amputees would fit in the seat behind me. And there isn't much more space in the boot either. It has an engine, somewhere. I don't like the interior architecture and some of the plastics are rough. There is a fucking annoying rattle coming from the bottom of the front passenger door. The radio sounds shit, probably because the bass has been set to -1 because the speakers are knackered. The steering wheel is a good size and looks pretty enough. The seats have zero support. Overall, the interior is piss poor. The engine is willing enough, I don't know what capacity it is but it pulls ok once wound up, however at sub 3k rpms it suffers from a very annoying hesitation. The biggest problem is the transmission, which jerks and feels like the clutch and brake pedal are being pressed concurrently whenever it changes gears up or down. It's horrible. There is no point in using the paddles because it won't let you go up and down through the gears when you want to. If you try to change gear when it won't let you, the dashboard will warn you with an annoying beeping sound. Oh, and the transmission won't let the engine rev past 6k. I've tried. It got me to my destination and back and probably didn't use much fuel. I shall therefore give it 3/10. My Kia Exceed, which is bigger but probably not much more expensive is ten times the car. I want it back!
  10. Since the Aygo arrived at Peter C Towers it hasn’t been driven anywhere but that will change tomorrow morning as I have a short local journey to make and I will not have time to get the Cooper out of the garage. Road test report to follow.
  11. The courtesy car provided by the garage that is repairing my Kia has arrived and it's not good news. On Monday morning, I took my 200E to Pangbourne and back for a work appointment, no problems to report. On Monday afternoon and again this morning I've been out in the Cooper and I'm loving every minute of it. It's sooo much fun, even when stuck in M25 traffic and so pretty, even when parked in some dodgy places.
  12. My first car, me on the left.
  13. Are you sure that it’s ok to pull the white bit out? No need to twist it or anything? You might be right as mine is more retracted than the one in the photo.
  14. The brake light switch comes out by turning it by 90 degrees and pulling it out. Reinstatement is the same. There’s no adjustment on the switch and the metal plate that it slots into is fixed. Photo taken from the internet.
  15. The 200E’s clutch hydraulics are now all ok. I was pretty sure that the master cylinder had enough and not wishing to get involved with disassembly of the pedal box, I handed the job over to my friendly mechanic. The new cylinder cost £50 and he charged me £80 for labour. All good but there is a but… When I collected the 200E on Thursday evening, I noticed that the brake lights were constantly on. I managed to drive it home without Old Bill stopping me and, perhaps more importantly, without anyone driving into the back of me. I investigated the problem this morning. I removed and checked the brake light switch and it was working ok. The problem was that the switch was not connecting with the brake pedal. Neither the pedal box nor the switch feature any means of adjustment. I can only assume that when the mechanic reinstated the pedal box, something didn’t go back in the right place. Perhaps some washers? I ended up fixing a cable tie to the back of the brake pedal to reduce the gap between the switch and the pad that activates it. It’s not the best solution but it works. I recently spent £42 having the rusty front offside wheel cleaned up and the tyre re-sealed. Last week I noticed that the front nearside tyre has started dropping about 20PSI a week. The spare wheel from hell made a welcome return and I’ve spent another £42 having the wheel and tyre sorted. Ideally I should have all four wheels properly refurbished. Perhaps one day. The 230E and my Cooper are now tucked up in the garage and whilst I await a loan car to replace my daily Kia Exceed, which is hopefully going to be fixed soon, I’m going to use the 200E for daily duties. It’s a lot more civilised than the Cooper!
  16. It’s a MINI. It’s had 10 previous owners. It’s clocked up 121k miles. It’s a MINI. There’s plenty that could go wrong!
  17. My daily Kia has been taken away for repairs, see here: I picked up my W124 from my mechanic yesterday after it had a new clutch master cylinder fitted. Unfortunately, the brake light switch has been put back incorrectly and the brake lights are constantly on. No good. My W123 doesn’t go out in the rain. As of yesterday, until my loan car arrives (hopefully by Monday), I’ve been using my Cooper daily for work duties. My surveying kit would fit better if the sub-woofer wasn't there. I've been to a few sites in Reading and around Buckinghamshire and so far so good. The starting problem seems to have fixed itself and the little Cooper still manages to put a smile on my face. Let's see how it gets on next week.
  18. I thoroughly enjoyed my brief stint with a W210 E240 earlier this year but found it too comfortable and efficient to be exciting and a vehicle that I could covet. Admittedly, the E240 was an automatic mated to a V6 petrol motor and all my other toys are stick shifts with four pot engines and it’s certainly odd to dislike a car because it’s too good at something that it was designed for.
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