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Marm's fleet report: Omicraon


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When I moved out of London I left behind the cheap and reliable mechanic-turned-friend that I've been relying on for 20 years to fix my bangers. On the plus side I gained a driveway and a garage. Over the years I have occasionally had a go at stuff, but with little confidence and mixed success... But since the move I've been attempting to have a go at being a bit more self sufficient.

To tell the truth I haven't been all that successful so far... I thought I'd start a thread in the hope of getting a bit of help...

Here's what we're dealing with: 

1. The CR-V.

Status report:

  • covid ticket.
  • fully functional*
  • *exhaust fallen off

This is pretty much my wife's car... so I need to fix it ASAP



2. The Caddy

To do list:

  • Fix temperature gauge
  • Sort loose/rattly exhaust
  • Sort rusty bits
  • Adjust clutch (bites v. low)
  • Repair loose o/s indicator
  • etc.

In spite of these minor issues it's proving brilliant daily transport, fun to drive, loads of room and returned 49mpg on a recent fast run. I think it's my favourite car/van of ever.




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OK. So the CR-V (pronounced "cruv") lost it's silencer on a recent camping trip. I'd been ignoring various knocks and rattles from the underside which perhaps with hindsight was a mistake. One of the rubber hangers had had it, although oddly enough the ones on the rear box that fell off were OK. When I removed the rear box I replaced the dodgy middle rubbers with the ones off the back...

Here's what came off.


Turns out a rear silencer is pretty cheap so this evening I had a go at removing what was left. I'd already managed to get the bolts off on a previous evening (pleased about that) but the remaining flange wasn't budging. This evening I had another go at it.


So far i've mainly tried squirting it with WD40 and attempting to lever it off with a long screwdriver...as you can see i've made a bit of a mess and it hasn't budged. I sort of thought about tapping round with a hammer and punch but access is awkward and at the time I was working without having raised the car. I had a bit of a go but didn't hit it hard enough to do anything. The Cruv has pretty good ground clearance but maybe tomorrow I'll get the ramps out..

Anyone got any tips for getting it off before I continue making a mess of it?

Now I'm going to take the caddy to Morrisons.

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That quite a mangled flange,  I had a quick look on't interweb and found a picture of the rear exhaust box , I believe the mangled flange is stuck on the internal round flange gasket thing, they need to be replaced when renewing the rear box to save leaks of exhaust fumes,  they normally just fall apart in my experience so a hammer and a screwdriver/chisel normally sorts that out, if height is an issue for swinging a hammer get it up on your ramps and see if you can remove it thenScreenshot_20200721-191235_Chrome.thumb.jpg.16b3c2a02e157141fc28fc624be441d9.jpg 

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I'll have a go using the ramps tomorrow. It's all pretty solid...

More jolly is the MPGs from the caddy. Loving the 1.9 SDI engine. 42MPG is mostly scenic miles along hilly lanes. 48 and 49 achieved on A roads and 70-80 MPH dual carriageways. Compared to the Cruv it's amazing.


The caddy's exhaust is also rattling about. A couple of the rubbers are totally knackered and held together with cable ties. None of them look all that brilliant and are a fairly loose fit so I've ordered some Febi/Bilstein replacements. I think the issue is made worse by the fact that none of the mounting rods have a lip/bump on the end to keep them in place. They're all free to slide about. What's that all about then?


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loving the cr-v, I had one very similar and wish I'd kept it. I happened across it a year after it sold and the new owner had ruined it, scratches and dents everywhere, exhaust blowing badly :( mk1's seem to be getting thin on the ground now, if I can find a good one, I shall have another.

good luck with the exhaust, I replaced the centre section / back box on this one and don't remember it being too tricky, other than lying on my back in the snow !




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I was doing an exhaust recently and a butane torch was the tool that finally made separations possible. Also allowing the WD40 time to penetrate helped, re-applied for a few evenings and left to soak overnight before I started heating and pulling. 
Good luck, hope you get it sorted. 

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My own exhaust woes involve my recently acquired friendly mechanic regretting his decision offering to fit my used exhaust section.  Despite his lift and offering it up it wouldn't go without modification, and now he's made those it won't fit.

Not sure why I'm posting other than to say exhausts can be bloody annoying things for what are in essence nowt by tubes and rubber bands.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I took the family camping again, only this time in the rain in the Caddy. It didn't rain all the time (see pic) but enough to make it not exactly a holiday. Nothing fixed yet, but it continues to be good transport. 

In the meantime the cr[u)v has mainly sat on the drive. Mrs M was in danger of getting a bit fed up with me not fixing the exhaust so In the end I took it in to a local place to get it done. £150 later and it's basically perfect. Money well spent, especially as she paid.

It's freed me up to get stuck in* to the Caddy. We'll see. I'd like to just spend a day fiddling about with it. Got a new temperature sensor and some exhaust hangers waiting to go on and i'd like to pick at the rusty scabs and see what lies beneath.


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  • 2 months later...

The CRV now has a years ticket as detailed elsewhere...

Caddy has just received a fail. They ignored the crack on the windscreen I was worried about but found some other stuff.65E7147F-BCDF-4836-88B4-5CE8D4CE22ED.thumb.jpeg.103d398886510d4af76c9f78a3e8b2ba.jpeg

Just done the plates and lamps in the rain. Seized screws in spinning inserts, mole grips, brittle plastic, etc... but done.





I think "illegible" was pushing  it, but at least it looks smarter. Had to drill a new hole on the rear then got anxious about the position of the (r/h) screw. Is that OK?

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Caddy MOT failure

Didn't bother. Argued with the kids instead and got the garage to do it. Did treat it to having one of the advisories done though. Maybe some tyres soon, and a service. It deserves it.

After the CR-V MOT debacle I'm quite pleased to have found a garage that just gets on with it. Bill seems alright to me really. When it comes to the service I'm torn between being loyal to this place, going DIY, and trying a one man VW specialist not far away who seemed alright when I dropped in...



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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Caddy MOT pass!
  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Ignoring essential maintenance on the Caddy and upgrading the radio
  • 2 weeks later...
  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: TAKATA AIRBAG RRECALL
  • 3 weeks later...

Off work so trying to get some shit done. Booked the airbag replacement. Chap at local Honda garage was friendly and efficient and commented that if I bought a new Honda I wouldn't get one as good as the one I have already. Obvs a shiter at heart.

Last week I fitted a pair of new Bosch wiper blades to the Caddy. That's the best tenner I've spent in a long time. So buoyed by that success I just emptied out my PayPal account for some more fresh rubber. Currently it has 4 mismatched budget ditchfinders, all legal, but one has a bulge on the sidewall, and another is obviously past its sell by date. And they're all shit cheap tyres. I've been umming and ahhing about just replacing the really bad one, I don't like chucking stuff which has life left, but new tyres are nice. Merry Christmas Caddy.


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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Spending on rubber

Tyres are on. I should have painted the wheels first really.

A bit of a drama over fitting:

The garage initially rang up to say the tyres were the wrong size.

The car had 185/65 R14 tyres fitted. The (original, full sized) spare is 175/65 R14. Blackcircles website recommended 175/65 R14 so my gut feeling was that was the correct size, and that the ditchfinders fitted were a touch too wide. They looked a touch too wide to me, too, but what do I know?

Anyway back to the phone call from the garage: I asked whether they were sure - and explained about the spare - they sort of laughed at me, then looked it up and then said that they could fit the tyres.

When I went to pick it up the chap behind the counter still reckoned they were the wrong size. But on the other hand he didn't appear to actually understand how tyre sizing works... He said that spare tyres are usually/often a different size. Sounds like nonsense to me (surely a full-size spare should be interchangable with the other 4 wheel?) Again though, what do I know?

I'm not sure whether they attempted to balance them, none of the wheels have balancing weights on - one looks as if the balancing weights have been removed.

Drives OK anyway...rides smoother and feels grippier... but the experience has taken the edge off my enthusiasm for the new rubber.



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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Wrong tyres.

Don't worry, they look the right section to me. I reckon they just saw the different sizes, assumed you'd got it wrong and the guy you dealt with was just winging it a bit with his explanation. 


I never tell garages that I have an interest in cars and do most of the maintenance myself and I've been told some really odd things over the years. I just nod and pretend to accept it and carry on. A couple of times I've had to explain in detail what I need doing because the receptionist doesn't get it. It'll just be one of those things 

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  • marm changed the title to Marm's fleet report: Omicraon

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