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Tales of the TataRover (and friend; now with Agila content)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The CityRover has in recent weeks found itself pressed into daily front line service on my new commute. I've gone from driving sixty miles a day to Manchester and back, to doing twenty miles a day driving to the railway station in Slaithwaite (pronoucnced 'Slawit' for non-yokels). And what a fab drive it is; for a while I drive parallel to my old commute on the M62 before diving down the side of the Colne Valley!

Part of the drive has a steeply graded s-bend followed by a part that isn't quite wide enough for two cars, and bordered by sharp dry stone walls. For the most part it is fairly straight forward and most people are sensible and well behaved. If I was less of a wimp, I'd be quite happy to carry on commuting in my 19 plate Dacia Logan... but one false move, or one too many idiots in vans or 4x4s and those walls would inflict some damage! I need a narrow car; enter the CityRover.

As a car it was never suited to city driving, open roads are where it comes in to it's own with that beefy engine. It's coped with the inclines, twists and turns in its stride, only getting a little flustered with the crap road surfaces. Plus, it's more narrow than the Logan. This state of affairs continued until the cold and damp weather arrived. Oh dear! I had forgotten how pitiful the heater and fan are in the CityRover, and those vinyl seats are bloody freezing! Having tired of steamed up windows, the only sensible solution was to buy a new car; and to provide extra justification for this madness, it had to be even more narrow than the CityRover;

So that's how this evening I ended up with this;



It's not as lively a performer as the CityRover, but it does have a fantastic heater! The other advantages are that I'll have loads of fun tidying, sorting, valeting and generally putting my mark on it.

Quite a ludicrous state of affairs, but what can you do?

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  • Austin-Rover changed the title to Tales of the TataRover (and friend; now with Agila content)
14 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

The heater in my CityRover was volcano hot, albeit the fan seemed to make more noise than fan movement. Clogged matrix? 

The heater in this one has always been poor, but having not used it in the colder months for a long while I had forgotten just how poor. Any sign of damp weather outside sees it steam up inside, too. The fan passes enough air, but there's very little in temperature.

I had thought the pollen filter was overdue a change - as steamed up windows can point to this - but from my research on the 'net the only thing approaching a pollen filter of any sort is a mesh/gauze inside the dash that requires complete dash removal to access and inspect, and that's a job I am not up for at the moment!

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Agila fettling thus far has involved cleaning the glass inside so I can see out (always useful!), replacing the battery in the key so I can now lock and unlock without having to put said key in the door lock, and to sort out an annoying problem with the radio.

It's nothing in the great scheme of things, but the radio has a completely useless setting called 'Ignition logic' whereby no matter what you do with the radio before you take your key out of the ignition - turn it off, or leave it on - it will ALWAYS turn on when you come back to your car and turn the ignition on. I'm a bit weird in that I always turn the radio off before I turn the car off, and that I'll turn the radio on as the last thing before driving away, having got settled and set up in the driver's seat. So, a radio that comes to life straight away quickly became an annoyance. A quick google search showed that I wasn't the only one to have been driven to the edge by this feature 😄😄. Thankfully you can turn 'Ignition Logic' off in the radio's settings!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the little Agila isn't half bad! Pressed in to every day use, nothing drastic has occurred - which is always a relief! It's a bit jittery at the lightest of throttle, which a bit of Googling would suggest the mass air flow sensor needs cleaning. Other than that, sometimes the rear wiper needs a 'nudge'. I think that's pretty good going for a fourteen year old car with unknown history from a very dodgy second hand car lot in Wakefield!

With the weather being a bit... December, the full detailing and cleaning session I would like is on hold. But I've so far managed to clean all the mud out of the rear wheel arches and give it a scrub in little nooks and crannies where you get mould and other green stuff forming with lack of 'proper' cleaning.


I've sourced a second hand set of genuine rubber floor mats (who can say no to genuine mats?) and I have eBay drip-feeding me brand new wheel trims from various locations. The two on the front are particularly trashed from shonky parking;


...and new;


To drive, it's okay. The tyres are shocking with hardly any grip, so spirited driving is on hold for the time being. The 1.2 Ecotec feels nowhere near as lively as the 1.2 8v that was in the now deceased Corsa. Progress, eh? Speaking of the Corsa... following its untimely passing in May last year, I retained its registration number purely for sentimental reasons. I figure a nice place for it would be another small Vauxhall...



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  • 2 weeks later...

First service today, in quite a while I reckon. The last stamp for any attention was in 2017. The paper oil filter didn't come out in one piece, which points to it having been in there quite some time! It's also had new spark plugs, an air filter and a new cabin filter - the one removed was stuffed full of leaves and muck. I'd be surprised if it even let any air through! 😄


There was rather an oily mess around the throttle body, so it was decided to investigate the breather pipes running to it. Surprise; full of emulsified oil. (also previously spotted on the underside of the oil filler cap). They were cleaned out and around the throttle body cleaned up, too. Hopefully its current twenty miles a day usage will be enough to keep the mayonnaise at bay. I can only assume that most recently it has been used for very short journeys.






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On 01/11/2020 at 17:12, Austin-Rover said:

This weekend was time for an oil change, the first one since 2018 (Only 3,500 miles ago!)


A straightforward job, with the only gripe being the spin-on filter pisses its contents down the front of the block as you screw it! Oh well!

I'd also ordered a brand new central locking/alarm fob. Old MGRover stock in its proper bag, for £15. Matching it to the car is a DIY job, provided your ECU specific 'learn fob' hasn't gone walkies! Learn fob? Yes! If only all cars were this easy to code replacement fobs!


The 'learn fob' has a lead attached to plug in to the alarm/immobiliser ECU. It features an 'unlock/disarm' button and another button marked 'learn' where on the proper fob, that button is 'lock'.


It is a pretty simple process with easy to follow instructions. First job is to erase all known fobs associated with the car (make sure all fobs have fresh batteries to avoid having to do this too often!). Second stage is to associate however many fobs you like with the car by pressing the 'learn' button, and any button on each fob three times!

A pretty good system, but sadly the 'learn fob' is one of those things that a decade or so later, any remaining CR is unlikely to still have. It is matched to the ECU, so you can't mix and match. If the learn fob is missing, you also can't replace fobs as they die. ECUs and 'learn fobs' might be matched to each other, but not to the car, so they can be moved between cars without issue.


Isn't it ironic?


MGR couldn't make a proper steering wheel center, but they stretched for a bespoke fob shell with a 3D viking ship, something you wouldn't even find in the Rover 75 back then...

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 hour ago, bezzabsa said:

hows the Agila doing? 

off to look at one tomorrow on 55 plate with 98k on the clock

The MoT is imminent, so it had a once-over the other week, with a good poke round underneath. It might need a brake line, and it might need a CV boot, but other than that there's nothing to report. No rust and seems well put together.

Not long after, the water pump gave up, so it was parked up for a week. On Monday I dropped it off at the garage to have a new water pump fitted and to do the MoT. I've not heard back from them yet.

I'm impressed with it over all. From what I can find on the net, they are well-regarded by those in the know, and I can well believe them. As with most cars of this age; just don't buy a shit one that has been trashed!

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  • 2 months later...

Agila update time;

Mid January saw the arrival of five Vredestein Quadtrac tyres for the Agila, and they transformed the driving experience for the better! Since the new tyres, and the new water pump a week prior, it has performed admirably at 'pottering about' duties. The mayonnaise under the oil filler cap and the dip stick has eventually cleared, and it feels to have got a bit livelier with use. I might be imagining that part, though.

The couple of warm days before Easter were nice enough to tidy up some bits of bodywork; a scuff on the front bumper, a nasty stone chip on the bonnet, and some odd damage to the top of the driver's door that had been badly covered over previously.






Easter weekend itself saw the first polishing session... which I'd been waiting to do since November! First up is a bottle of the Autoglym Magma. It's only the second time I have used it (First time was on a week-old Logan MCV had was delivered to me covered in fallout and feeling like a chalkboard to touch!). The nice thing about the Magma is that you can see it working and obviously reacting with stuff adhered to the paintwork. The bad thing is that it smells vile!



Once washed off and dry, this was followed with the machine polisher, two coats of Autoglym Super Resin Polish, glass polish, treatments for the plastics, and some cutting compound on the machine polisher to revive the headlamp plastics.

The finished article;






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