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I have been without wheels for two weeks since selling the BMW.

Having trawled ebay and marketplace it became apparent everybody believes there car is worth much more than it actually is.

I was looking for a BMW e61 - plenty in budget but too far away geographically. Those closer to home were overpriced for 16 - 17 years old with over 160k - plenty of bork factor. I wanted a six pot diesel - I would never have the awful four cylinder. A few XF jags were in budget but advisories for corrosion put me off.

E91's in my budget were 4 pot petrol and diesel - again overpriced. A lot of the adds made me laugh - pointing out the good bits and at the end of the text chucking in that basically it was fucked.

I looked at A6's/ mondeo - even insignias.

This morning an add popped up on ebay. I made contact with the seller and headed to Bickerstaffe with much haste.

I bought this - 


It's a 2.0 cdti SRI. It's minging inside and out but comes with one of the most comprehensive histories I have seen - the service book is stamped up to 175k. It has just passed 181k. It came with a sheaf of bills and all the books. Clutch replaced 10k ago. Timing belt in 2019. Oil pick up seal done in 2021. Ticket until September '24. Somebody really loved this car despite it now looking like it had been yanked from somebody's ringpiece.

Deal was done. I had insured the BMW with Swinton - it was less than £300.Unbelievably the thieving fagins wanted just short of £700. For an insignia. I have been driving for over 30 years.

They were told what they could do with their quote. Swinton will get no more business from me.

I actually  got a policy for two hundred and odd quid.

I put £30 worth of diesel in the car and headed straight for our caravan.

Observations? It's not quick - more brisk - I am certain it picks up quicker than the mondeo but it has less weight.

Through the new 20 mph zones I can leave it in 3rd - the mondeo needs 2nd. Brakes are sharp but gear change is not ford - smooth and has a bit of throw to get it over to 5th gear.

I have not tested all of the onboard functions cos' I need to read the book.


Filthy. But all the levels are correct and I cannot see oil anywhere.


Did I say it was filthy? And it stinks of cowshit having lived on  a farm. The seat bolsters are intact but the trim at the base of the drivers seat is broken. The aircon does not blow cold - looking through the bills it has been regassed a few times so this suggests it loses pressure over a couple of years.


Boot carpet will need to be removed and cleaned to assist with getting rid of the whiff.


No spare wheel. But bonus breaker bar and adaptor.

I doubt the expensive VXR alloys were standard - the tyres are legal but not for much longer. 

Road tax cost me £35 - much better than the £395 for the BMW.

It needs a monster of a clean and some refrigerant. And a spare key. Given the mileage I won't be putting much money into it and due to this it means when I am done with it I can P/X with no guilt rather than deal with scavengers on tinterweb.

You may be wondering how much the bovine excrement smelling GM chariot cost me?

I paid £2k. The alloys are worth near 50% of that.

There is still the odd bargain but you need to be quick.

It seems that £2k is the new £500.

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I don’t even bother looking below £2,000 these days to be fair, 99% of it is scrap. A friend was telling me today about his trials looking for a £1500 Corsa, my advice was to do a few more shifts, up the budget. Buying rubbish is never cheap in the long run. 

Looks tidy enough, if it’s half decent keep hold of it as there’s so much dog shit about for mad money it makes sense to fix everything but the most impossible of problems. 

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To be honest you are lucky to get a reply from most facebook ads. Cars for sale with days worth of MOT - if it is ok put another ticket on it. If not ring redcorn because nobody is going to give you £1500. Some really overpriced shit - last night I spied a 2009 e61 520d with air bags that won't hold pressure for £2895.

Sadly getting a bargain is only going to get harder - I have said my next car will not be sourced through marketplace - it's like rifling through bins - my next car may well be financed.


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Facebook is just a massive no-no as its full of morons, Gumtree mostly shit but occasional decent stuff. Best stuff seems to be eBay and Autotrader. 

The issue with old BMWs etc is that they are usually in the hands of the type that wants a bit of flash but hasn’t any money, consequently it’ll be an absolute dog 99% of the time. 

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If Autoshite did knighthoods you'd be top of the list in the New Year's honours, Bren.



14 hours ago, bezzabsa said:

like the look of em, but heard too many chocolate gearbox and oil starvation horror stories to actually hand over cash for one!!

The oil seal horror was only up to a certain date (helpfully can't remember when) and the gearboxes were pretty much confined to the 1.8 petrol ones. Besides those two things, before the crazy 'covid' prices fucked up buying a fairly priced used car, I think DMF/clutch replacement saw a lot of these another diesels off.

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My rationale was if it's got this many miles then it's either ok or about to die.

Having driven it I don't think it's  ready to die just yet.

I noticed that there is a message saying service due. I also know that this means the glow plugs ( they have pressure sensors for the dpf built in) are kaput. I believe GM changed things so that if this happens the dpf will not clog (unless you are doing lots of short journeys).

These plugs are the expensive type. So that's something I will have to eat. However I will do the job myself - I have deep sockets but I will buy a set of glow plug sockets before tackling the job. It needs patience and plus gas.

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Panic over.

AA man put egg cup full of fluid into resevoir. For me not enough to make any difference but he tried gears and made me look a complete knob.

Nothing in the way of fluid on the engine tray or any other signs of leaks.

I remarked it might be haunted?

AA man replied more like female.

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Got the car home. Time to see what was under the grime.


Even Charlie helped.20231008_175154.thumb.jpg.2091a3606f74b8c2263fb232dfa10027.jpg

Under the filth car is surprisingly good.

Near - side side skirt has a chunk missing and there is a few chips and marks. The paint on my BMW was in better shape but I paid £2k so I can't complain.

I have to say the wheels really do enhance the look of the car - it wouldn't look as good with standard rims.

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42 minutes ago, horriblemercedes said:

I haven't had a Vauxhall for years but I often do admire Insignias. Good looking cars. Looks like a decent buy 

Yeah I think they're a handsome thing too. Be interesting to see how you get on with it Bren

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Regarding the clutch, if it does it again, check the position of the pedal. If it doesn't come all the way up, it won't go down far enough to disengage. Had something similar with Zafira C. MrsD had borrowed it and couldn't get the gears. Pulled the pedal up and all good. Kept occasionally staying down again though, for a long while. Seemed worse when it was warmed up. That was back early last year though, and it's not done it since. Looked on the Internet, it seemed to be a regular thing with the Astra Js. 

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Bit of an update.

The interior was so filthy I was worried about getting the plague. Big guns would be needed in the form of a rug doctor.


You can see the difference - I did the drivers seat first.


I told you it was dirty


I had a look at the clutch pedal. One spring looks slightly on the piss - I gave it a blast of silicon spray because that seems to be the fix.

Having driven the car for a bit I have made some observations - the quality is not as good as the mondeo and the engine is not as smooth as the pug unit. It does seem more sprightly than the ford and the spec is not bad - dven heated seats and steering wheel.

It does need new rubber however.

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