Jump to content

Datsuncog's Heaps: 20/07/21 - Torque to me...


Datsuncog
 Share

Recommended Posts

23 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

So yesterday I had a bit of a poke, in a fairly non-committal way, at the stuck driver's side electric window.

Yes, I have confirmed that it does not go down on command. The others are just dandy, but not the driver's one. I sort of tapped at it a bit in a hopeful way, in case it was just a little bit sticky from lack of use, but not a lot happened.

You know what that means, don't you? I'm going to have to call in the big guns, and get a screwdriver out.

I know. 

Obviously the driver's window gets about 400x the use of the others, so it's not really a surprise that it's the one playing up. I'm hoping, in my customary idiot-optimist manner, that it's something easy like a dirty contact - and easing the switch out for a bit of a scrub might fix it. If that doesn't work, I'll swap the driver's and passenger switches over and try to work out if it's the switch or the motor that's causing the bother.

This is a salutory reminder of why I prefer keep-fit windows; sure, they can have their moments but by and large I can trace and fix mechanical faults rather better than electronic witchery...

I also noticed, upon MrsDC's triumphant return from dropping off a work laptop on Friday, that the rear numberplate was looking a tad on the piss.

1063181870_IMG_20210314_1631102.thumb.jpg.bf65943339b17b82ea922e9343790c5c.jpg

Must be one of the sticky fixer pads giving way, thinks I.

Not a bother; I've a few spares in the shed so that's a quick win. After all, this week has proven me a MOTORING GOD, so nothing now is too technical for my prowess.

1209937143_IMG_20210314_1631302.thumb.jpg.d145880891036138ce4120dcce6c6d72.jpg

And then I twigged that this plate is affixed with screws, not stickies.

1596241790_IMG_20210314_1631222.thumb.jpg.43c2daa1e26b044876f2ea01db194dec.jpg

Oooh, lumme.

Yeah, that's not ideal. 

I should probably cut that out, grind it all back to bare metal, weld in a flitch plate fitted with a captive nut, then Vactan the lot front and back and repaint.

But, as I don't have a welder, or indeed a fucking clue about welding, I'll probably try and plug the hole with some mashed potato and an old sock, and then act surprised when it doesn't hold.

Fortunately, around this point MrsDC required my help to replant a hosta in the back garden; an apparently simple task which quickly turned into an epic struggle to remove a limestone boulder the same approximate size and weight of the Forester; so by the time that was dug out (5ft crowbar FTW), it had got dark and we were both half-killed and looking like the subjects of a particularly depressing Wilfred Owen poem.

Stay tuned for more fun, kids - I haven't even mentioned the Yaris yet...

Cut it out then araldite a plate on from behind. Job jobbed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/21/2021 at 10:52 AM, Datsuncog said:

 

I also noticed, upon MrsDC's triumphant return from dropping off a work laptop on Friday, that the rear numberplate was looking a tad on the piss.

1063181870_IMG_20210314_1631102.thumb.jpg.bf65943339b17b82ea922e9343790c5c.jpg

Must be one of the sticky fixer pads giving way, thinks I.

Not a bother; I've a few spares in the shed so that's a quick win. After all, this week has proven me a MOTORING GOD, so nothing now is too technical for my prowess.

1209937143_IMG_20210314_1631302.thumb.jpg.d145880891036138ce4120dcce6c6d72.jpg

And then I twigged that this plate is affixed with screws, not stickies.

1596241790_IMG_20210314_1631222.thumb.jpg.43c2daa1e26b044876f2ea01db194dec.jpg

Oooh, lumme.

Yeah, that's not ideal. 

I should probably cut that out, grind it all back to bare metal, weld in a flitch plate fitted with a captive nut, then Vactan the lot front and back and repaint.

But, as I don't have a welder, or indeed a fucking clue about welding, I'll probably try and plug the hole with some mashed potato and an old sock, and then act surprised when it doesn't hold.

Exact same issue on that K11 Micra I had. Solution: remove plate, couple lengths of double sided sticky foam to reposition it a tad, pair of self tappers drilled through tailgate over the remaining areas of good metal, sell car and leave it to the next owner to replace the whole flipping tailgate three months later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, our survey says...

857238433_IMG_20210324_1049102.thumb.jpg.99330d6796dd3c3726a60e2611089f92.jpg

Fair enough so - my grandfather was a great believer in Araldite as a permanent repair for erstwhile metalwork and, as a mechanical engineer, I guess he probably knew how many beans make five.

The plan is to attack the tailgate with a wire brush/wheel back to sound metal, then slap on the rust converter, then Araldite on a drilled perspex cover plate from behind (should be accessible once I pop the interior panel off), before filling and painting the area behind the plate with a stray can of Renault Iceberg Silver, which is close enough as a match.

I'm thinking of using a square of 4mm perspex sheet since I've just reglazed a greenhouse, and have loads of offcuts lying around. I also have a set of acrylic drill bits, so a hole drilled and then threaded with a tap to accept the number plate bolt should work ok. Should.

I'll also have to procure some Araldite, as my last tubes went funny and split a while ago and, even by my standards, I don't reckon Pritt-Stik's up to the task...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/19/2021 at 5:15 PM, Datsuncog said:

Well well well... nearly two years without any updates to this thread, hey?

Mmm, you don't get away that easily.

So, what gives in these strange times, daddy-o?

Well, not much in the way of motoring, to be fair. 

Both the wub-wub-wub Forester Turbo and the increasingly scratty yet unkillable Mk1 Yaris have largely continued to just be an cars, in their usual disgustingly dependable early-2000s Japanese tradition.

Mostly.

Which means that, unlike my agonisingly-documented years of Rennering, nothing's really fallen off, blown up, or urgently needed to be bodged with White-Tac ten minutes before an MOT. Therefore, as predicted by the Autoshite sages upthread, I've merely missed out on a world of automotive pain - but you cats have missed out on further side-splitting* antics from the hapless DC and his ever-shifting roster of totally fucking fucked m8 sub-£300 Mk1 Lagunas.

But then, since both the Subaru and the Toyota have hardly been driven since midway through last March - to the extent that my insurer generously refunded me a whopping £10.08, since my average weekly mileage has dropped from 300 to less than 50 - and, with both of them running on Boris MOTs, I suppose they haven't had all that much opportunity to go wrong in a highly conspicuous and/or gratuitously expensive manner.

Until now, of course.

But with recent tales of @Tim_E's tribulations over his Passat, and @Dan_ZTT's relatable Vel Satis electronic funsies, I was moved to bang out a long-overdue update.

2051000112_IMG_20210313_1823342.thumb.jpg.e7472ef79e18cfb508bc612d360c5384.jpg

The Forester has proved itself a  thoroughly decent motor, and it came as a mild shock to realise I've been driving it for verging on three years now, making it my second-longest lived daily after KAZ.

I mean, it's had a bit of work here and there - I replaced the droopy rear springs with heavyweight Sachs jobs not long after acquiring it, and then rebuilt the brakes with new discs 'n' pads all round over the summer, as they were never quite right and had become really gritty through lack of use. I didn't do this work myself, of course; I've no doubt I would have managed to take my head off my shoulders using a spring clamp, and my rip-roaring success* with brakes can also be found documented a few pages back. But other than a healthy appetite for headlight bulbs, Subaru ownership has been largely uneventful. A dashboard bulb here and a sticky boot release there; nothing much to write about, really.

So I didn't. Obviously.

Well, cold weather ain't great for shite motors, that much we know.

1921672775_IMG_20210124_1400372.thumb.jpg.25040cda3492addc2bbf6e7084094200.jpg

But, having started, run and stopped pretty much on the button since I acquired it, I suppose I'd become somewhat complacent.

So, Christmas Eve 2020. I'd headed out early to pick up a few last-minute bits and bobs, for a greatly-reduced and socially distanced pandemic festive season. So far, so good. Christmas Day, we went nowhere - video calls to friends and family, and a dinner that mainly involved a gigantic bowl of prawn cocktail each.  Hey, we're all just trying to do it to get through it, and if 'it' happens to be a kilo of prawns, then I'll be doing my bit, for sure.

IMG_20201225_183458.thumb.jpg.2b9df143a41bedcecfa365b2dc1a6334.jpg

Then, on Boxing Day afternoon, I went out to retrieve some stuff from the boot and the central locking wouldn't unlock when I jabbed the keyfob. Nothing. Nada.

Now, I knew the fob was already a bit dicky, often requiring four or five increasingly irate pushes before it'd operate. I'd replaced the battery about a year before and given the contacts a good scrub with electrical cleaner, to no avail. 

Typically, the car only came with one key, and after the purchase I'd tried and failed to find anyone who could cut me a like-for-like spare. The weird one-button design of this particular fob doesn't match the one shown in the owner's manual, and seems nigh-on impossible to find; replacement two-button Subaru keys are widely available, but apparently not the one-button type.

Naturally, Subaru had decided to fit these fobs with a weird narrow-but-thick CR1632 button cell battery, which had given me all sorts of gyp while trying to track one down before; apparently, these aren't ones you can simply pick up from the battery section in Home Bargains or Tesco. Why I hadn't bought two of them last year is anyone's guess, but I ended up ordering one on Boxing Day Night from Amazon (yes, just the one - because, as you'll deduce after three consecutive Mk1 Lagunas, I never learn).

 

What with seasonal festivities, and New Year, and the country falling into a terrifying vortex of death and despair as COVID-19 fatalities went through the fucking roof again, it took a little while for the fob battery to turn up on the doorstep (and I genuinely am grateful for the postal delivery workers who have gone way above and beyond to keep things even slightly functioning in this past year; even though Jeff Bezos seems to have trouble finding his wallet when it comes to paying them a fair wage).

During this time, it had occurred to me that I might use the dead key to manually open the car through the driver's side lock and retrieve my festive delights from the boot, but I was dissuaded from this by fears that I would trigger the alarm via the interior sensors, and then be totally unable to switch the damn thing off, and end up having to rip out all the wires and cables with my bare hands just to stop the bastard sounding over and over and over and over, my ham-fistedness then causing something fatal to the needlessly complex Sigma alarm/immobiliser system.

And we certainly wouldn't want any of that happening. Can you even imagine how much of a total fucking ball-ache that would be, boys and girls?

[Pause for dramatic eyebrow raising and heavy foreshadowing, in best storyteller tradition.]

Of course, the new fob battery made not a shred of difference. Still nothing doing, no matter how much I pushed, begged and pleaded.

532154572_IMG_20210104_1224293.thumb.jpg.812a7159059ca61aaa9e001033ebf3e4.jpg

So, reasoning that the microswitch had finally given up completely (after giving me scarcely a year's warning that it was failing - tut tut) and lacking any of the tools, parts or technical wherewithal to solder on a new one, for once I did the smart thing and went looking for a professional who could repair it properly.

Of course, no local locksmiths reckoned they could do the work, and what with a nationwide stay-at-home order in force, travelling further afield in the off-chance wasn't a realistic possibility. Luckily, eBay rode to the rescue with a postal key repair service; the specific mono-buttoned Forester fob was listed, with a same-day turnaround…

1511496165_Screenshot_20210313-2249162.thumb.png.f9d4213b9fa2bba0e97618d7ca1a9ae8.png

So although I had my misgivings about entrusting the only key to the car to the tender mercies of Royal Mail, I told myself I was merely being paranoid. But of course I selected a tracked and signed next day service, for total peace of mind.

I'll draw a veil over the ensuing postal shitshow, but suffice to say the grim details can be found on the Grumpy Thread.

I should clarify that my gnashing of teeth wasn't directed at those Royal Mail employees out doing the deliveries, again in very challenging and dangerous conditions, but the fact that their online retail arm was continuing to sell premium next-day services with no ability to actually provide the service paid for. If the website had simply said, 'look, we're flat-out here, we'll do our best but no promises, right now it's second -class mail only, tracked if you need it' then I would have been cool with that. 

So it was nearly a month before I saw my key again; all of it down to Royal Mail slinging my parcel into a corner of a warehouse and then ignoring it, and none of it down to the repair dude in Peterborough, who did indeed turn the repair round the same day it arrived, and had it back with me the next.

Problem solved, hey?

Sagging with relief, I pointed the key at the Forester and… nothing. Again.

Now, I could feel the new switch clicking ok, so clearly the work had been done. But the car remained stubbornly locked.

A quick peek inside revealed the clock was now blank… and after manually unlocking the door (with some trepidation) and popping the bonnet, a quick tickle with a battery tester tool confirmed that the battery was now totally flat.

Muttering assorted curses, I dragged the battery out (not as easy as it might have been, due to the crowded engine bay) and slung it on the charge overnight, first topping up the electrolyte which was looking unhelpfully low.

905710035_IMG_20210201_0943483.thumb.jpg.65f577dea37a09051d19cb35f2395bf7.jpg

It seemed to take a charge ok, so I threw it back into the engine bay the following morning and connected it all up. Hopes were high, but still nada. The central locking did now operate from the keyfob and the clock came back on, but efforts to turn the engine over merely resulted in assorted relay clickings and dimming dashlights. No cranking.

Well, bollocks. A goosed battery.

A feeling of dim irritation scratched at my fingertips, as I twigged that this could have accounted for the sudden non-opening on Boxing Day, and perhaps I'd been a little too quick to ascribe it to the dodgy-looking keyfob. I've only once before had a battery totally fail on me without warning - and that time it left me stranded mid-way round the Great Ocean Road outside Melbourne, in a deserted national park with no mobile phone signal. So y'know, small mercies and all that.

I slammed the bonnet and invented a few new curse-words. It was early February, it was freezing, I had nowhere to go anyway so what was the point in prioritising expenditure on this bag o'misery right now? It had sat now for about five weeks, a few longer wouldn't kill it.

In best Cosmic Joker tradition, the point made itself clear at around half past three the following morning.

Yes, a.m.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

Fuck. Is that...?

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

Ah, shit!!

I hammered down the stairs, clad in my cosy jim-jams, and began rummaging frantically in the key box while MrsDC smacked on the hall lights, temporarily blinding me - which obviously helped* lots.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

The Forester's alarm has done this before. It's a pain in the hoop, and Subaru forums the world over have any number of threads about problematic alarms. It seems that Subaru, keen to ensure that ne'er-do-wells don't get an easy time in pinching their esteemed products, have such ludicrously sensitive alarms and locks that damn near anything sets them off.

So I'm no stranger to this 3.30am alarm call (and neither are the other 400 households within earshot), usually triggered by a cat jumping on the roof, the dashcam sucker coming off the windscreen, a particularly lardy leaf brushing the doorhandle, or a blackbird looking at it funny.

But usually I just need to give the keyfob a squeeze and it shuts off. Most of the time I don't even need to open the front door; I can just press the button in the hall and silence blessed silence returns, allowing me to slink back upstairs again and pretend it was nothing to do with me.

But not this time.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

I jabbed away at the newly-repaired keyfob like a maniac, but to no avail.

Wrenching the front door open, I stood outside under the winter night's frosty void, pointing the key in fury at the flashing, squealing Forester, like a deranged Harry Potter in slippers.

Alarmus fucking negato. 

1531558685_ForesterFun.thumb.jpg.4f659adad0abf09f6cc3d18a796e4263.jpg

(Not actual game footage)

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

I knew that the alarm was meant to only sound for thirty seconds before automatically turning off, but this was a long thirty seconds. A very, very long thirty seconds.

Lights were starting to come on in some of the bedroom windows opposite. FFS.

I tried the Subaru's doors to find they were still locked despite all the fob-battering, and with the alarm still showing no sign of getting bored with its earsplitting nocturnal warblings, I scuttled round to the driver's door and manually unlocked it, before trying the button again from the inside - for reasons that are still unclear.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

Naturally, no improvement was forthcoming.

I tried the key in the ignition, in case this would magically silence it. Nope.

I flailed around, jabbing on all the overhead lights as if that might help the situation; I even pulled everything out of the glove box in case there was a miracle device in there that would end this sonic torment for me and about two-thirds of the population of south-east Antrim, but in doing so simply managed to scatter a Belfast A-Z, the locking wheel nut socket and, oddly, a large block of marzipan onto the floor, but noooooo... the alarm decided to just keep on keepin' on.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww

Eventually, the voice of reason made itself known through the electronic tumult, in the form of a somewhat fed-up MrsDC.

"Can you not just disconnect the battery?"

Yes. Yes, I probably could. Or I could wait until a mob formed and tried to do something clever to my neck using a length of knotted towrope and next door's cordyline tree, but on speedy reflection I felt this was a reasonable course of action to explore further without the encumbrance of a business case.

I popped the bonnet lever, and scurried round to the front of the car. The Subaru's release catch is never quite where I expect it to be, so a further ten seconds of fumbling ensued while I swore and barked my knuckles on the freezing metal. Eventually, I got the bonnet up.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww

Oh brilliant, now people across the Irish Sea in Dumfries could enjoy Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd's contribution to the dawn chorus. How astute of Subaru's design team to realise that when a car's being tea-leafed in Belfast, it's important that people in Carlisle know about it.

It felt like I was being strobed with one of those sound cannons used to break up riots; the fluctuating pressure on my eardrums was unbelievable, as I grabbed and pawed at anything resembling a cable in my stunned stupor.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww

Suddenly, it all stopped. Everything.

Was I dead? Had someone taken pity on my cack-handed endeavours and just knocked me out with a single .30 rifle round, fired from their bedroom window?

Hopefully. It certainly seemed a preferable outcome to having to deal with this fuckabout any longer.

But no; I'd managed to wrench off the clamp from the battery's negative terminal. A blessed peace descended once more upon the land.

I closed the bonnet and limped inside, my ears ringing and my knuckles grazed, and my bollocks frozen.

Fuck me ragged.  Cars, eh?

 

The next morning, looking suitably chastised, I dutifully toddled over in the Yaris to the Local Motor Factor a few streets over and, via a mixture of improvised mime and Makaton through masks from a distance of 2 metres across the Perspex till barrier, I managed to communicate that I needed a new car battery. The old one was tested and pronounced useless (dead cell); and I was relieved of seventy quid for an unfamiliarly named 'Napa' replacement with a 5yr warranty.

I sloped on home, and slotted the new one into the Forester's irritatingly small and inaccessible battery tray, which required the bending of various air con gubbins in a way that appears somewhat unwise in order to get it in.

I also noted that this power cube boasted a rather beefier CCA rating of 510, rather than the 380amps of the problematic Exide that had lived in there previously. Hmm.

Nipping everything up, it was time for the moment of truth... 

Oh yes!

It started! The old Subaru flat-4 caught and went whurble-whurble-whurble for the first time in about six weeks.

I left it to run, to get it up to temperature before doing anything more ambitious. A quick scoot-over with the battery tested indicated no alternator issues, which had also concerned me, and I was greatly reassured that the transponder in the keyfob hadn't managed to lose all its data or something during the repair process. It lived!

I R MECKANICKING JEANIUS.

Feeling well chuffed, while trying to forget that there was plainly never anything wrong with the keyfob so I could have saved myself all that expense and hassle in the first instance, I decided to take the car up to the filling station and reinflate the tyres, which had gone a bit saggy-looking in the intervening time.

But, as luck would have it, something elsewhere needed attending to, and then summat else, and suddenly the car had been idling for half an hour and I had other tasks incomplete so... still pleased, I shut the engine off and locked up, intending to do the tyres and take it for a drive tomorrow.

But, as Ronan Keating posited so touchingly/mawkishly (delete as appropriate) - what if tomorrow never comes?

ronan.thumb.jpg.aef1e0b8ca344dee19152505cd382e22.jpg

It was still dark when I was suddenly awoken from my slumbers.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww

GAAAAAAH!!

I flollopped down the stairs like a drunken sack of spuds, and was so insensible to all but the hideous electronic keening that I was out the door with the car keys before I realised that I wasn't wearing my slippers, or indeed any other form of footwear.

We have a gravel driveway. Actually, that's not quite true. We have a grit driveway. Because I am a cheap-ass mofo (who knew?),  I twigged that it was much, much cheaper to buy ton bags of horticultural grit than it was to buy yer actual driveway gravel. Because you really don't notice the difference - except if you happen to walk on it in bare feet because, here's the thing; gravel is biggish and rounded, and grit is small and sharp. Damned sharp.

Suddenly, I became very much apprised of the opposing spatial properties of grit vs. gravel, but hadn't really the time to go into the subtleties of the argument since, like tending a squalling infant, my overriding instinct at that moment was directed solely at the Subaru's squealing and my heartfelt desire to MAKE IT STOP.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

Yeah, that.

As before, pressing the keyfob did nothing at all, so I scuttled round to the driver's side, manually unlocked the door, reached in and hauled at the bonnet release cable.

Some more messing with the catch earned me another faceful of decibels ( WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww etc etc), and then I twisted and joggled at the negative battery clamp (which, it turned out, I'd done an absolutely first-rate job of nipping up really tightly) until, eventually, a shocked peace reverberated through the pre-dawn streets once more.

I'll admit it, I was close to tears this time. I'd bought it a new battery, I'd bought it a new microswitch, and in return I'd managed to piss off every man, woman and child in a mile radius on two consecutive nights - plus my bare feet were full of sharp grit.

I limped back inside, and spent the lonely hours before sun-up in the bathroom, removing said pieces of grit from my feet using tweezers and a bowl of TCP, all the while doing some hardcore rumination on my life choices to date, and would a Hyundai i20 on finance really be such a bad thing after all?

It's contemplative moments like these on ghost-grey February mornings that I believe can break a shiter. I'm sure as and when Martin Scorsese gets around to putting together a biopic of my assorted motoring non-adventures (hey, he's a busy guy, don't @ him) he'll probably add in some sort of flashback montage around this scene, involving such highlights as me tooling round in a Datsun Sunny with plastic sheeting instead of windows, having to ask MrsDC to hang off the end of a 5ft breaker bar to support the engine in a Polo while I removed one of the mounts, and setting my trousers on fire while trying to take the exhaust off a Viva HC with an angle grinder. Probably with an appropriately melancholic soundtrack (emphatically not Ronan Keating, though). Hey, he can fill in the details; I'm not gonna tell him how to do his job.

So, self-pity aside (and hey, I don't like to brag but I know how to throw one hell of a pity party), the following morning the Forester was still inert, and every time I took a step my feet felt like I'd stuffed my socks with steel swarf.

I was also delighted* to realise that I'd apparently broken the bonnet release in my haste to shut the thing up, as the damn bonnet now wouldn't close at all.

885308128_IMG_20210213_1423353.thumb.jpg.886b0bd113ad3a0cb553e9304df64d57.jpg

So I did what I always do in these situations; I ignored it. I ignored the shit out of it. For about a month and a half. Which was something of a challenge, since it's right outside the front door, but I have form in this kind of endurance test, so I was pretty confident I'd win. Just ask any of the Renners. Two years? Easy.

Every weekend, MrsDC and I would stage a jolly pantomime over breakfast, where she'd casually ask if I was planning on doing anything with the car, and I'd tell her I was going to fix it. Then we'd both have a good laugh, and I wouldn't.

Life's a riot over at Casa Datsuncog.

But once again, I managed to draw on my deep reserves of personal character, and so a heroic battle was waged over the course of a few weeks between my total apathetic laziness and my utter, shameless parsimony, which was incandescent that I'd stumped up three months' worth of road tax in 2021 (value: nearly £100) for a car that had not turned a wheel on the Queen's highway in all that time.

Thus, Parsimony demanded that Apathy ought to just crack on and SORN the fucker if it was going nowhere, and cut our damn losses while we worked out what to do with the ungrateful remains. Apathy protested that it was really all Motivation's fault for doing nothing beyond warily pushing at the bonnet every few days just to confirm it still wouldn't latch, while Motivation then shouted that Parsimony was really to blame for not calling out a mobile autospark back in January to confirm what the actual fucking problem was, rather than piss about playing fucking parts darts for weeks at a stretch.

You really don't want to live in my head, I tell you. You really don't.

So on Sunday past, I cracked. I did. It was a surprise to me just as much as you, let me say.

The first thing was the bonnet latch. Now, I have no special knowledge of bonnet latches, to be fair, but the principle of the thing is fairly simple - basically a bike brake, but attached to a spring to release a rotating chock and allow the bonnet to move up thanks to another spring. There had to be a limit to the complexity of this one, even by my rock-bottom skills.

Luckily*, the grille pretty much fell off in my hand, so I could quickly see what was going on behind. (Note to self: order more cable ties ASAP)

1963839052_IMG_20210313_1712542.thumb.jpg.b6cb98e0a4d38b924467a5893f44b1f4.jpg

Prodding at the mechanism with a screwdriver did nothing much, so the next challenge was - remove the latch without killing myself. I was fairly sure the rather terrifyingly powerful spring was retained inside, and wouldn't ping out and embed itself in my throat as soon as I began to slacken the bolts, but still...

1371684352_IMG_20210313_1720022.thumb.jpg.c3766a1bf56f03f3946af1ed93643202.jpg

Mmmm, that's looking pretty horrible.

Off with the braided cable, and I skipped back into the comparative warmth of the house to give the whole shebang a nice bath in some household petrol and a brisk scrub with a toothbrush [insert joke about 'reminder to rinse the missus' toothbrush before returning it to the bathroom', arf arf]

Yeah, that looks a brave bit better.

2068831149_IMG_20210313_1808012.thumb.jpg.74384be808bc132fea1819bb533ce56b.jpg

Thoughts of a quick win have been far from my mind of late, but I was genuinely amazed to find that when reattached, the bonnet now closed and opened correctly. So it was just choked solid with old grease and glar.

Giddy with excitement at Phase 1, I turned to the battery. Gingerly, I reconnected the negative lead...

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww

Ah, bollocks.

MrsDC did all sorts of ingenious things with the key from the driver's seat while I whipped the terminal on and off. Some folks on the Subaru forums recommend the use of 'valet mode' to deal with a misbehaving alarm, involving pressing buttons a certain number of times with doors and ignitions in specific positions to deactivate the alarm.

However, my own Forester manual says nothing at all about this mode (maybe because valet parking ain't really a thing here in Blighty?) and my efforts to follow their step-by-step instructions ran into bother.  The advice given was to open the car as normal, get in while leaving the door open, then press and hold the 'unlock' button for two seconds to activate valet mode, which would cause the immobiliser light on the dash to double-flash to show it  was activated . Sadly, as mentioned, this particular fob doesn't possess a dedicated 'unlock' button - only the one dual function lock/unlock button - so all that happened was that the car tried to lock itself again as soon as the button was pressed.

And all the while going WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww WEEEEEEEowwwww. Plenty of that.

With patience running thin, I tried to work out what the problem might be. Were the keyfob and immobiliser system no longer on speaking terms, since the microswitch was replaced? No, because it had run when the new battery was fitted.

Were the immobiliser and alarm banjaxed due to being left with no battery connected? Possibly. I've heard of otherwise sound cars being bridged as they've ended up with a recurring alarm fault that just can't be traced or fixed following a battery problem. And at first the car was ok when the battery was connected - but now the alarm was sounding as soon as the terminal made contact with the cable.

I glared at the new battery. Maybe... maybe it was dodgy? It's far from unknown; back in my Halfords days, there was probably a 10% return rate on new batteries (what can I say, they were made by Lucas back then...). I went in and found my multimeter, which indicated 11.34v across the terminals. Not, like, flat - but not great.

832854045_IMG_20210314_1652422.thumb.jpg.f74dfb969da3de4a5cce29955067f823.jpg

So I pulled the battery again, and hooked it up to the old Linwood charger overnight. Maybe it was faulty, maybe it was just low after being left to sit unconnected for several weeks. Maybe there was an electrical drain somewhere? I'd spent a happy* few weeks trying to solve the riddle of the Amazing Disappearing Charge on my flatmate's Metro back in Brighton many years ago, and never did get to the bottom of the issue.

Just as I was looking at the Linwood's needle trembling  around the charge gauge's halfway mark, there came a familiar sound from outside.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK??

For a second, I thought I was actually losing my mind. The battery was sitting there in front of me on the kitchen worktop, yet the Forester's alarm was unmistakable.

Was there a SECONDARY battery?

Was there a BACKUP independent alarm system?

Were we deep into the same twilight realm of @Jim Bell's Zafira alarm woes, and the immortal "I did a bad fright"?

My brain splintering into fragments, I rushed to the front door and pulled it open.

WEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwwwWEEEEEEEowwwww.

You have no idea how glad I was to realise that it was next door's son's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X spitting its dummy out on this occasion. Interesting that it must use the same Sigma alarm siren as the Subaru. I'm pretty well attuned to that particular sound these days, believe it or not.

 

By Monday morning, the battery was showing a healthier 12.38v across the poles, although after disconnection this dropped after a few hours to 12.24v. I left it out on the worktop, checking on it every now and then like a worried old lady whose cat's gone off its food.

On Tuesday evening, with 3 tons of topsoil due for delivery the next morning (plus another ton of grit to top up the driveway, because as we know I never learn), I realised it was essential to get the Forester mobile and out of the drive, or risk imprisoning it behind all the dumpy bags for another couple of months. So, having prevaricated mightily all day and with the scanty spring evening light now going, I bit the bullet and slotted the battery back in. And reattached the retaining bar. Now or never.

1998984231_IMG_20210313_1713072.thumb.jpg.7bea375faa380690a942759ccd1e8bf6.jpg

Positive clamp to positive terminal. Okay.

668694840_airplanesweat.gif.beadacde4ebae692b10f98e08caa4eb9.gif

As I touched the negative clamp to the negative terminal, the alarm gave a brief squawk and, as a reflex, I pulled it back off again. FFS. Was this really going to fight me every step of the way?

Screwing down my courage to the sticking point, I jammed the clamp firmly onto the terminal.

Nothing. No alarm. Silence.

I lowered the bonnet.

I pressed the key fob.

Klung-ki-ki-klik.

The car locked. The lights flashed.

I pressed it again.

Klung-ki-klik.

It opened.

Feeling like this was more of a job for the bomb squad, I opened the driver's door. Silence. Nothing.

Just the 'immobiliser disarmed' light glowing red on the clock cubby.

Key in. Engage.

BANG! It fired up!

That familiar roar through the stainless back box, and the throb of the flat-4. It worked.

I sat back in the seat, in relief.

And then I noticed the glow from the overhead lights. I possibly wouldn't have noticed if it had been earlier in the day, but as I said, the daylight was going.

Ah.

You may recall that way back, on the occasion of the Forester's first performance of solo nocturnes, I'd knocked all the interior lights on to see what was what?

And then pulled the battery lead?

And then fitted a brand new battery on a sunny spring morning, which ran fine?

But then the alarm went off again, about 18 hours later?

You're all way, way ahead of me here, aren't you?

Yeah. I'd drained the brand new battery with the still-switched-on interior lights that I didn't notice were on, causing the alarm to flip out when the voltage dropped below 12 volts.

That was the problem the whole time.

I was giving serious thought about selling it as a non-runner, or even scrapping it altogether. When it turns out the the only problem is that I'm as dumb as a bag of rocks.

Well well well.

727060317_IMG_20210316_1903462.thumb.jpg.cbcc03dac6a2b38e363bb10a198cc1fd.jpg

743946337_IMG_20210316_1904252.thumb.jpg.7e1ddb5b1378a59ba6fe49bd2d4e55d4.jpg

DC out.

I'm on a train home from work. As I started giggling, I got some rather concerned looks from a chap waiting to alight. Which he did rather quickly. 

Brilliant writing. And thanks for shortening what would ordinarily have been a shite journey on the finest* Networker Train... 👍 👍 👍 😎 😎 😎 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/24/2021 at 8:28 PM, Split_Pin said:

I had the same issue with the wiper hole on the Corsa.

Even if I could weld, thin metal on an exterior panel like that would probably warp or blow through.

My ancient 'david's'  (sic) fibreglass matting kit came out, with some p38 on the outside. 

 

IMG_20201108_140156.jpg

IMG_20201108_142539.jpg

IMG_20201108_145730.jpg

IMG_20201206_143819.jpg

That looks like a top job! Ideally, that's what I'm going for - I've a twin-pack of P38 and P40 in the shed, bought to effect a similar repair around the wiper arm of the silver Laguna, but which (for various reasons) never happened. If I could get the tailgate area looking like your Corsa's bootlid, I'd be most pleased!

On 3/25/2021 at 11:22 AM, MorrisItalSLX said:

Alternative* solution: Get some of the double sided tape number plate pads you have in the shed, stick the number plate back on and forget this ever happened.
 

*Not recommended

Well, I can't say that option didn't flit through my mind... you've seen some of my previous fine* repairs, I take it?

20171129_154309.jpg

The Scoob' has proved itself a fairly decent and capable vehicle, and I've no plans to sell it on just yet - so yeah, a repair that at least looks like I don't want the rust to spread would probably be beneficial!

On 3/24/2021 at 9:26 PM, Leyland Worldmaster said:

I'm on a train home from work. As I started giggling, I got some rather concerned looks from a chap waiting to alight. Which he did rather quickly. 

Brilliant writing. And thanks for shortening what would ordinarily have been a shite journey on the finest* Networker Train... 👍 👍 👍 😎 😎 😎 

Heh, glad you enjoyed!

I should mebbe start putting disclaimers on some of the longer posts, stating that no responsibility can be accepted for funny looks received should these posts be read in public...

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Good stuff!
And never worry about a lack of interesting heaps - seemingly, if I stand next to something for ten minutes it'll develop all manner of interesting* quirks and traits...
Genuinely though, it's been a bizarre twelvemonth and the thought of standing a suitable distance apart in the Castle carpark and chatting shit about cars for an hour, with maybe the option of some pizza from that wee trailer parked in front of what used to be The Swift, is almost too thrilling to contemplate!
I'd noticed your S60 had departed during one of our nocturnal rambles around the North Road area - but fear not, the one thing I've learned from Disney movies, is that shite is something you have in your heart, it doesn't have to be on your driveway (okay, so maybe I'm extrapolating wildly here).
Hope the Ionic is proving a decent steer, regardless!


Yes having read your recent adventures with electronics.........you standing next to an EV might not go well......

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, They_all_do_that_sir said:

Yes having read your recent adventures with electronics.........you standing next to an EV might not go well......

No, probably not the best idea - after all I am, apparently, electrically unstable.

I used to get static electric shocks all the time; off escalators, freezers in Tesco, that sort of thing. Anything that could build up a charge, I was fantastic at earthing it - usually with a loud 'crack' and a blue spark. Used to scare merry hell out of other shoppers.

I once nearly knocked myself unconscious from the jolt I got stroking a cat on a plastic wheely bin. The cat was fine, I hasten to add - just a bit surprised by the noise.

Hasn't occurred for a long time now, but still... things could indeed get sticky in a few years time when only EVs are around...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

No, probably not the best idea - after all I am, apparently, electrically unstable.

I used to get static electric shocks all the time; off escalators, freezers in Tesco, that sort of thing. Anything that could build up a charge, I was fantastic at earthing it - usually with a loud 'crack' and a blue spark. Used to scare merry hell out of other shoppers.

I once nearly knocked myself unconscious from the jolt I got stroking a cat on a plastic wheely bin. The cat was fine, I hasten to add - just a bit surprised by the noise.

Hasn't occurred for a long time now, but still... things could indeed get sticky in a few years time when only EVs are around...

The thing building up a charge is you, touching conductive stuff that is earthed discharges it to ground; do you wear rubber soled shoes and/or a lot of manmade fibres? With 70s-tastic polyester strides and a short walk you can be Dynamo from The Running Man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

The thing building up a charge is you, touching conductive stuff that is earthed discharges it to ground; do you wear rubber soled shoes and/or a lot of manmade fibres? With 70s-tastic polyester strides and a short walk you can be Dynamo from The Running Man.

Well, you're not far wrong, as it happens - though I think it might have been a bit of both: when I got that knockout shock off the cat on the bin, I'm assuming that was caused by the cat building up a static charge, insulated by the plastic bin, and then I created the earth discharge when I stroked it by completing the circuit?

(I am not quite an ELEKTRIKAL JEANIUS, as you may have gathered by now.)

I did wear quite a bit of retro nylon-tastic shirts back in the day, it's true (and I just hope I haven't passed that curse on to @Conanalong with the paisley-patterning)... though not exclusively, and never polyester trews! Shoe-wise, Adidas Super Samba trainers were my weapon of choice for a good many years, which I suppose did have a high rubber content to the sole.

The most persistent shock used to happen in one workplace, when I would slip through a gap between the till and a metal display rack and cause an electric shock to my left nipple, through my workshirt. Blimey, that hurt. And I always forgot, so would nip through to get to the stockroom, and then: *SNAP*. Ow.

Oddly though, I still wear the same workboots I wore back then, and it's been years since I've got a major shock off anything, despite a fondness for acrylic jumpers.

I also used to get powerful shocks off the family cars - what particularly galled me was that I'd be the last one out of the car, with everyone else having closed their door, and I'd still be the one to get a shock (and, as a control, my brother and I generally wore the same type of shoes, so the same resistance/ conductivity?) When I started driving, I had two of those anti-static straps fitted to the rear valance of the Viva and the Datsun in a vain attempt to stop the shock, but again this is something  I seem to have grown out of. The anti-static straps never seemed to work, anyway!

The escalator thing was particularly weird, as I usually received the shock whenever I touched the rubber handrail - which surely should have had an insulating effect? Even now, I tend to take the stairs...

My ex's father was an electronics fitter (security systems and the like) and he told me that some people do just seem to naturally build up an unstable electrical charge around them; he was one of them, and showed me a bracelet thing with a coiled wire attached and a crocodile clip at the end, which he was supposed to wear while installing sensitive equipment, with the clip grounded through an earth terminal.

I actually haven't thought about this for a long time, but it probably comes as no surprise that most of my vehicles' maladies have been electrical rather than mechanical...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Datsuncog changed the title to Datsuncog's Heaps: 20/07/21 - Torque to me...

So the Forester's alarm issue seems to have been mostly solved by the complex and ingenious method of NOT LETTING THE BATTERY GO FLAT, which will no doubt come as a relief to all and sundry.

I say 'mostly' as it's gone off a couple of times since the last updates - generally because the suction cup thing that holds the dash cam on to the windscreen has an annoying tendency to unstick itself when the weather gets hot, then swing around merrily at the end of its power cable, tripping the interior sensor things as it does so. You may* have noticed that it's been a smidge warm of late. But that's not really all that much of an issue, and since it hasn't reoccurred at 4am I'm significantly more relaxed about it.

I was so chuffed, I even washed it.

486564887_IMG_20210612_1018352.thumb.jpg.6e4eb0131c2cd94aae17a04a06f96037.jpg

The rebuild of the ignition key by the fella from Peterborough has proved a satisfactory move, as it continues to lock and unlock on demand with a single squeeze of the button, rather than two dozen frantic pummelings while my fingers turn white as I try not to drop seven bags of shopping in Tesco carpark.

I guess this was a blessing in disguise, as it was highly unlikely I would have bothered my lazy arse to get the failing microswitches fixed otherwise - preferring instead to continue taking no action while complaining vociferously about it at every opportunity to MrsDC, who just loves* my charming* tendency to do this.

Naturally, I've done nowt with the rusted out tailgate yet. Unable to find any Araldite locally, and reluctant to breach the 'stay at home' order in place at the time for what amounted to cosmetic automotive reasons, I bought some cheap Poundland two-pack epoxy and then got no further with it. I'm now kinda used to the jaunty little angle of the rear plate, though I know I'll need to do summat before MOT time in October.

But you'll be well aware that I don't tend to come back and write on this page because everything's hunky-dory. Oh no.

 

Since starting to use the Forester again in April, once things started to open up again, I'd noticed a curious thing; the fuel consumption has improved a fair bit.

Generally, over three years of Forestering I've come to expect about 300 miles out of a full tank, the last thirty miles of which would be accompanied by the fuel light (the downside to a turbocharged 2.0 flat-four - but also in fairness it only has a fairly piddly fifty litre tank). But since things started opening up again at the end of April, I've noticed that 330 to 340 miles can go under the tyres before the fuel light puts in an appearance.

Hmmm. Maybe I'm doing fewer short-distance journeys these days; maybe my driving style has become more relaxed (unlikely).

But I'll set that aside for a second.

Last Saturday, on a mission to Dromore to look at sofas (rock 'n' roll, kids), we had achieved a pleasant cruising speed on the M2 when I casually glanced down at the clocks to find the EML glowing away with its evil yellow gleam.

You don't have to go very far back on this thread to find out why this put the shits right up me; even though everything else was showing as A-OK in terms of temperature, oil etc.

So I steered off onto the hard shoulder near the Fortwilliam junction and brought it to a halt. There were no odd noises beyond the rattling exhaust heatshield that always vibrates at idle - I went back twice to get the exhaust fitters to fix it and apparently they couldn't - and when I popped the bonnet release (still working well after its strip-down), there appeared nothing untoward in terms of noises or leaks under the bonnet.

Admittedly it was hard to tell, with five lanes of traffic thundering past me, but it seemed ok - none of the smoking, steaming ruins as per the Green Gooner's histrionics.

Now, the Forester does burn a bit of oil now and again, and as far as I can tell it's not an uncommon habit for this particular hi-powah engineering gem - so I keep a litre of 5w/30 part-synthetic in the boot for the odd top-up. I'd thrown a glug down the filler neck no more than three weeks previously cos it looked a little low on the dipstick, so I didn't think it was an oil issue, but in a fit of paranoia I cut the engine and began frantically checking the dipstick.

After a few minutes of hard shoulder hypertension, I managed to convince myself that the oil level was indeed low, and with few other options apparently open to me, poured in a goodly slug of the ol' motion lotion - only to note with rising panic that a bit more must have returned to the sump while I was busy guddling in the boot, since the oil level was now reading above the dipstick's upper indicator.

Well, fuckaroonie.

Out of options, I had to sheepishly explain the situation to MrsDC, before exiting the M2 at the next junction and slowly crawling homewards on 30mph roads, then jumping into the 'orribly abused but ever-faithful Yaris to get to Dromore before the shop shut.

I then ignored everything for a week, in very best DC tradition, before eventually digging out my cheapo no-name eBay special OBD2 Bluetooth reader and starting to faff about trying to find out if the EML had thrown up a corresponding fault code.

159503772_IMG_20210719_2109312.thumb.jpg.5ec94f2b94af1d8738046881b7d731c6.jpg

I'll draw a veil over my cack-handed technophobic fumblings, but ultimately it turned out that the freebie Torque Lite app doesn't work too well with the most recent versions of Android, and that's why I couldn't get the damn thing to pair.

Because I'm a packrat hoarder who never ever chucks stuff, a superannuated Samsung with impaired memory and only 13% battery life rode to the rescue, and suddenly we had an idea what the issue is:

322499597_IMG_20210719_2105212.thumb.jpg.dbf645e78d61a6c7afdb1374866cd7ce.jpg

Hmmm. Code P0420; catalyst system efficiency below threshold (bank 1), which some light Google-fu suggests is linked to an oxygen sensor detecting that something isn't right somewhere.

This seems to cover a vast variety of maladies and potential expense, from a fucked catalyst to a grotty fuel filter, or an exhaust leak, or crappy fuel, or a banjaxed sensor somewhere in the system.

And, just to refer back to what I was blathering about earlier, is a sensor issue perhaps altering the car's ECU to run a little more lean, hence the recent improvement in fuel consumption?

So, I'm not really much the wiser (when am I ever?), but I am at least reassured that it's probably not something that's going to explode messily everywhere - Subaru forums seem to broadly agree that a P0420 fault code can sometimes be a temporary blip with no real cause, and there's nothing wrong with simply clearing the code and waiting to see if it returns.

So that's what I did.

I also checked for historic fault codes, but there weren't any. Either this old thing is fairly well-behaved, or a previous owner has plugged in and cleared them already.

Obviously, even with the EML now off I still haven't driven it anywhere, as there's waaay too much oil in the sump and I really ought to drop that and change the filters too...

The most complex part of the whole operation was removing the OBD2 widget, which was now sitting tight and flush in a recess under the steering column, and seemingly impossible to retrieve.

I mean, I would have left it - only I know it puts a drain on the battery, and... well, we don't want to go there again, do we? 

Eventually, I prised it out using a combination of scissors, keys and needle-nose pliers, with only some light scuffing to all parties (including myself).

So there we have it. Fun fun fun?

I think I'll wait for the weather to cool down a bit before doing anything more involved...

1566566173_IMG_20210717_1500262.thumb.jpg.93a912698f77c77ffd70dc953f6fb991.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it makes you feel any better about the static shock thing, I used to get them all the time off escalator handrails too, and certain cars that I owned. I learned to keep a hand on a metal part of the door when exiting which meant I didn't feel it. I haven't had one in years, maybe it was my footwear as I still wear pretty much the same clothes I always have.

Oh and we treat the EML in the Lupo as a confirmation that the engine is running, and just clear the codes or disconnect the battery occasionally to clear it. It stays off until we go on a motorway run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could simply be because you haven't driven it much.

How much did you overfill it? Unless it's more than half the distance again between max and min, I'd go for another motorway drive. My Civic was about that much overfilled before I changed the oil tonight and it was fine.

If the light comes back I'd look at the O2 sensors first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

How much did you overfill it?

Not all that much... probably about 5mm above the 'max' mark, or thereabouts. Maybe less, as our driveway slopes down and the dipstick tube's on the lower side of the engine block.

IMG_20210721_191810.thumb.jpg.db212505809233956d317cd99a2a555f.jpg

I'm probably panicking over nothing again, though the oil could do with a change, for sure. Because it's had phases where it's gone nowhere for months at a stretch in the past year and a half, I've been even less fastidious than usual about oil changes - but there's probably about 12,000 miles covered since I last gave it a good sluice.

I checked the air filter while I had the bonnet up, and it still looks pretty clean - the fault code can apparently indicate a clogged air filter, but after having a poke around the air box, I don't think it's that.

Whenever I bought the Forester, I went nuts in ECP and bought a new fuel filter along with all the other service stuff, which I still haven't fitted as it all looked a bit... involved. But I really ought to bite the bullet and fit that too; its failure is another potential reason for the EML.

Assuming of course that it's not actually a coil for an Alfasud or something like that in the box, knowing how ECP operates more like some kind of surrealist car parts tombola than as a shop...

'Any part for any car', they say?

Yes, it very probably could be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5mm above I would not worry about, especially if it sometimes uses a wee bit.

My Audi oil level can only be checked by eye. The dipstick holder is broken off and was a faff to change. I wondered why it read full but I only drained 2 litres at the first change. That's because the dipstick was sitting at double the depth it should be but reading full. I drained out the oil, filled it to the correct capacity and then took a picture of the dipstick which showed that 'full' is actually the same distance again above the full mark. I now just judge that by eye so a bit over is not going to do any harm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few mm is nothing. Unless it’s mashed spud in a sock to be used as filler, then precise measurements are definitely required.

I love your writing. Your Rover 75 in the style of Samuel Pepys nonsense was the best loved feature in any of the four issues of MotorPunk magazine, before we wound it up. Which is nice, and also annoying, as that was just about the only bit that I didn’t write myself.

More stuff, and that, please.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the relatively limited value of 'for what it is worth' my Merc occasionally chucks that very same error code. Faced with a new cat at £700 and/or new sensors at about £250 (plus the joy* of having to remove them) I have taken to using this voodoo:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203214630811

Clearing the code and getting another few months of error free motoring. Perhaps I'm falling for the old correlation and causation fallacy, but I'll buy it for now. It has been over 1500 miles since the last 'go'. Plus I have managed a record 41.3 mpg on a voyage on the M25. Viva smart motorways set to 60mph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We get P0420 pop up every now and again on our H6 Legacy - Initially I was clearing down the code, but it would pop back up every now and again so I just leave it now... I'll turn it off for special occasions such as the MOT 😅 From my research last year I found much the same as you, which was that most of the Subaru forum group thought agreed that the P0420 seems to sporadically crop up as the cars and sensors get older and that it isn't necessarily an indication that the catalyst has failed. Some recommended an O2 sensor spacer - I bought one to try out but I put it on the mantelpiece rather than on the car and my partner has cleaned up after me and put it somewhere safe/never to be seen again 😅 Nice Forester by the way, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for them - we always seem to end up with a Legacy instead though, we're on number 6 now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

7 hours ago, The_Equalizer said:

For the relatively limited value of 'for what it is worth' my Merc occasionally chucks that very same error code. Faced with a new cat at £700 and/or new sensors at about £250 (plus the joy* of having to remove them) I have taken to using this voodoo:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203214630811

Clearing the code and getting another few months of error free motoring. Perhaps I'm falling for the old correlation and causation fallacy, but I'll buy it for now. It has been over 1500 miles since the last 'go'. Plus I have managed a record 41.3 mpg on a voyage on the M25. Viva smart motorways set to 60mph.

That's very handy to know, thanks!

Sensors and fault codes push me into uncomfortable territory, in terms of 'not what things were when I were a lad' (i.e. merely cramming tub after tub of Isopon into a shagged £80 Cortina and then fitting a crap Pye radio/cassette player whilst fondly thinking of myself as an AUTOMOTIVE GOD), but it's one of those things I know I'm gonna have to learn to live with...

As a semi-professional catastrophist, the previous sight of some warning lights while cruisin' on the motorway has seldom had a happy resolution, but it's reassuring to hear that it doesn't automatically spell certain doom.

Thanks also for the reminder on the Cataclean - looking waaay back, I did buy a bottle of that stuff after I had to limp one of the Lagunas back from Dublin on three cylinders, so it might be no bad thing to see if it helps matters in this instance. Certainly much cheaper than a new catalytic converter...

On 11/14/2017 at 2:08 PM, Datsuncog said:

Right, two new HAAS coil packs are now in my possession - so will throw them in once I get home later on, and see if that does the trick.

Also a bottle of something calling itself Cataclean, which will hopefully scrog out the unburnt fuel that got dumped down the exhaust for 100+ miles, and avoid an MOT emissions fail (test booked for the end of the month).

Glad to hear the Merc's still behaving itself, mostly!

 

12 hours ago, motorpunk said:

A few mm is nothing. Unless it’s mashed spud in a sock to be used as filler, then precise measurements are definitely required.

I love your writing. Your Rover 75 in the style of Samuel Pepys nonsense was the best loved feature in any of the four issues of MotorPunk magazine, before we wound it up. Which is nice, and also annoying, as that was just about the only bit that I didn’t write myself.

More stuff, and that, please.

Heh, cheers dude!

Yeah, the old Pepys story seemed to develop a life of its own - I've had a few folks tell me they enjoyed it to an unfeasible degree. I haven't done much writing for a while now, but mebbe I should go back and pull out the other Pepys stories I started but gave up on, and see if there's anything salvageable.

 

39 minutes ago, Rust Collector said:

We get P0420 pop up every now and again on our H6 Legacy - Initially I was clearing down the code, but it would pop back up every now and again so I just leave it now... I'll turn it off for special occasions such as the MOT 😅 From my research last year I found much the same as you, which was that most of the Subaru forum group thought agreed that the P0420 seems to sporadically crop up as the cars and sensors get older and that it isn't necessarily an indication that the catalyst has failed. Some recommended an O2 sensor spacer - I bought one to try out but I put it on the mantelpiece rather than on the car and my partner has cleaned up after me and put it somewhere safe/never to be seen again 😅 Nice Forester by the way, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for them - we always seem to end up with a Legacy instead though, we're on number 6 now!

I like the idea of turning the EML off for special occasions... and that's a handy way to think of it!

As someone who's relatively new to the joys of Subaru ownership, it's encouraging to learn that 'it's just one of those things' that they do - kind of like the age-related alarm issues mentioned upthread.

I've had a few compliments from bystanders on it since I took it on - seems to be one of those cars which either gets totally ignored, or people really dig them. Even though it's the 2.0 rather than the 2.5 XT, it can certainly get a move on... The brand loyalty for Subaru is encouraging;  I'd deffo consider a Legacy or an Outback in future...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Potentially just a few niggles after being laid up then put back into regular use again.

If it wasn't for MOT fun and games I'd be tempted to decat it and map it. There is a guy in Carrick who seems well respected in Evo circles, and has mapped three of my friends cars.

Having said that I imagine there is already more than ample performance as is.....

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, They_all_do_that_sir said:

Having said that I imagine there is already more than ample performance as is.....

Ohhh, there's ample performance alright.

My PSNI Road Safety letter 'inviting' me to attend a Drivetech speed awareness course arrived a few weeks back...

😕

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ex's old 1.6pez Meriva started to throw up a  cat code once or twice, based on its 7/8 miles a day it did... I used to clear it and take it to work where I vmaxed it up the hill of the m40 I use and to the office and back to get it steamy hot, seemed to go away and didn't return ever. 

Chuck some magic potion down it and find some excuse to almost throw away a tank of fuel and get it used up within 150 miles. 

Ironically her current octavia petrol has the eml on but luckily that's fuck all to do with me now! The only light on my dash is the airbag light because its turned off so the kids can sit in the front (must remember to turn it back on before the test next month, or that could be funny*) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...