Lockdown Killed…..

Memory Saver

Lockdown has finally killed my car battery. Only being used a couple of times a week & then for just quick trips to the shops means that the battery has been killed. Despite taking a run out with it last weekend it has died. So new a battery was delivered this morning & a Memory Saver having been delivered earlier in the week it was time to replace it. The memory saver is a brilliantly simple bit of kit, and whilst it probably will have been lost by the time I next need it, well worth it for the effort that it saved.

Essentially it uses a 9v PP3 Battery to supply the car with enough power to keep the time & radio settings (as well as other stuff kept in the volatile memory in the car) whilst the battery is disconnected.

Ice, Ice, Baby

Had to clear the windscreen of ice a couple of days ago & yet another useless bit of plastic snaps. I decided to investigate a new ice scraper. Over the years I have had many, usually brittle bits of plastic, sharp edged, ergonomically awful, frequently with useless rubber strips in sharp metal bits that lift a layer of paint, or numerous layers of skin if contact is even lightly made, or else a credit card, or a bottle of de-icer.

Well the Swedish Ice Scraper is none of the above, made from recycled perspex, it is a really well thought out, incredibly simple device. I don’t know how long they have been around, but if it is very long then it is one of the best kept secrets ever. A little more expensive than most, but I am sure that time will show it to be an investment.

Bloody Cold Weather coming

As the cold weather is almost on us, I have decided that if I get a puncture whilst out and about, I want to spend as little time as possible changing a wheel. So to that end I have got some sockets & adaptors for my rechargeable impact driver, which will greatly reduce the time that I may have to spend changing a wheel. Hopefully will never need it but better to have just in case.

Bloody Batteries

The lockdown has killed my Sat Nav batteries, hardly being used for months means that even when fully charged as soon as power is disconnected the thing shuts down.

TomTom G06000 SatNav

Normally not a problem, however it takes ages to re-start. I mean ages several minutes at least. Which if you are in a rush seems like forever. It also means that if the power is interrupted briefly it switches off, for example you go over a pot-hole and the plug works loose in the 12v power socket.

So after a few weeks of just shouting at the thing I did a quick google search for replacement batteries, ordered one & when it arrived today I fitted it. It was a bit of a fiddle as the internals on my G06000 seem to be different to all the others featured in the online videos, but 20 minutes later & it is all done. I have left it on charge & will let it charge overnight for the first cycle of the battery, hopefully this is the end of the saga.

Update: Given a long charge, have unplugged the power and it is still running an hour later, Yay!

Lock Down did my car no favours

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EGR valve became stuck closed on the cars first real trip out, resulting in really poor economy and performance. The Catalytic Converter warning light came on. Initial checks led me to think that the Flexi-pipe had gone & was causing the sensors to error message.  Anyhoo get back from Derbyshire & get the car booked in, it is due an MOT in a month so, got that done as well.  Mechanic said the warning light was for the EGR Valve.

Next day I pulled the cover off the EGR to reveal that several teeth had been destroyed. Checked the movement of the valve, which seemed ok. SO I rotated the gearwheel by about 10 degrees. And reinstalled. All good.

Bugger!

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I could have done without that, the car started making a knocking noise on Christmas Eve, so cancelled the jobs in the diary, rescheduled some, and farmed out another, and parked the car up until I could get to the workshop. Picked the car up yesterday, Yay all good, could have done without the £400 bill (admittedly I did get them to give it a full service as well) for replacing the Near-Side Drive shaft. Strange that it had given no tell-tale creaks or knocks on full lock, just catastrophically failed on Christmas Eve. Anyway all good & back to work next week.

Phone Kit

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Having installed Brodit mounts & cabling for the iPod and the phone now all I have to do is install the new head unit, which is a simple swap, once the unit arrives, well I say a simple swap, all I have to do is install a DAB aerial, Bluetooth module & microphone & then it is a simple swap over.

Today the only job that I did was an upgrade for the rear number plate lights to LED nothing to outrageous just plain white LEDs rather than  the horrible yellow bulbs that were originally installed.

Set Ride height to “comedy”

 

img_0033Saw this as I was travelling today, I have seen a few old Citroens dragging their arses around, when their suspension systems fail, however seeing this old Xantia riding high on its adjustable suspension. It cannot have been comfortable for the passengers as it appeared that the suspension was transmitting every single little pot hole & cats eye through the cabin. It did make me chuckle though.

Project Stealth part II

Project Stealth is officially up and running. The van will be collected this week and I will do some before pictures to show what a shed the T4 is as a Van. The First job is to clear the back and run some speaker and RCA cables before the interior gets put in. I shall also install a Pioneer Sat Nav system, with a couple of extra screens, as well as TV tuners (digital and analogue) Ipod adaptor (which means no need for CD multichangers.

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