In-Car Laptop Charger

I recently purchased a new in-car USB-C charger, and I have to report it is a complete success. I recharged the 13 MacBook Pro from about 45% to full, whilst using it to edit photos, in about 45 minutes. The charger got a little warm, but not enough to worry about. It will also charge a mobile phone as well, but as I have a dedicated power supply for my iPhone I haven’t needed to try it.

I purchased it here, it may be available cheaper elsewhere.

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


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.



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.

Ling Long & Prosper


F*ck me! It’s not often that I swear… OK you got me! But F*ck me! I put my alloys in for refurb yesterday and the people doing the refurbishment have kindly lent me a set of wheels & tyres in the mean time.

Anyway on the road to a football game yesterday,  I had to pull over because of  the noise, I thought that either a rear bearing was going bad or the wheels (which are a slightly different off-set to the originals) were rubbing on something.

On checking there is no interference and and the bearings are fine, it turns out that the culprit is the shocking cheap Chinese tyres that are fitted. One pair are “Ling Long” which I think is the Thai Bride from Little Britain and the other pair are something called Wanli, who may have been Bruce’s brother.

Anyhooo, I can’t wait to get my OEM tyres back on the car. I will need new tyres in a few months & one thing for certain I won’t be going for cheap Chinese shite.

New Toy


Finally embracing the digital age, well the radio side at least. I would usually do the installation myself, but as the canbus needs updating in the Golf to prevent battery drain (a known fault apparently) I have decided to outsource the upgrade to a local company. Whilst at it I shall have them do the full installation, including DAB aerial.

Just need to acquire a VW MDI for iPod control now.

At Last…

DFggk04XgAAb53g.jpg-largeThe Saga of the Golf is hopefully over, I picked it up from the dealership this afternoon after it had been in the bodyshop for the week.  It first started a year ago, when rust appeared on the front wheel arches, after an argument with the dealers after they refused to repair or replace the wings saying that it was outside of warranty & that there was no goodwill for replacement.

After getting VW UK involved they agreed that a 12 year warranty meant a warranty period of 12 years, not 11 or 10 or 9 so they agreed to replace the front wings.  For 10 months all was well until I noticed that the paint was delaminating on the top of one of the wings. The dealership agreed to rectify the problem, after a bit of a discussion they also agreed to spray the bonnet as well for the cost of the consumables (£90 inc VAT).

I have to say that it looks nice, hopefully it will last longer than the last paint job that they did. I fitted new headlights a couple of weeks ago & the car now only needs the wheels refurbished & it will look like a brand new car again.

New Toy


My insurance company offered a significant discount for on renewal if I had a dash cam & I had been toying with purchasing one for a little while. So I ordered a Next Base 512G which has largely received good reviews, and although it doesn’t have wifi it seems to be very highly specced in all other areas.

I shall in due course give some feed back.


Phone Kit


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.

A week later..

_PBB4360Having spent the last week tooling around in a VW Sharan whilst the front wings on the Golf were replaced under warranty I have finally been able to collect my car from the dealership & I have to say that they have done a pretty good job too, including a full valet which was unexpected.

So thank you Lookers Volkswagen & Volkswagen for the work done, all I need to do now is get the alloy wheels refurbished to bring them up to the standard of the rest of the car.

Expensive Month….


The Golf needs a new door lock module, as it is a little temperamental, it will always lock on the key, but on the remote, sometimes it will & sometimes it won’t, so it is booked into the stealership for a replacement, whilst there they will have a look at a small oil leak as well.

I have also ordered a new vinyl backdrop which should hopefully be here tomorrow plus the repair of  the 16-35mm F2.8L means, plus with the other expenses this month means eating feathers for the next few weeks….


_PBA4647Very pleased to hear from Volkswagen UK & my local VW dealership that the warranty work on my Golf has been approved as warranty work, which is as it should be. The car was sold with a 12 Year Anti Corrosion Warranty & the car is not 12 years old.

VW Warranty people at my local dealership  did initially try to say that there was no warranty or goodwill for the work. Well a little twitter campaign has meant that VW UK got involved.

The car has been thoroughly spoilt in its life, it has never wanted for anything, in fact the previous owners lavished love & polish on it including an autoglym lifetime treatment. You only have to look at it to see, the only issue with the car is the rusting front wings, which has been caused by a design fault which was rectified in later cars.

It is booked in for two new wings in August, and later that month the Alloys will be refurbed also.


VW warranty



Wow, what a day…


Shiny, as all

It has been a day of great joy & not a little hard work, whilst I was out today a parcel arrived carrying a little shiny bauble, well not so little as it goes….and within a couple of hours it is done.

Yep the poor old boot handle on the Golf has gone to the great landfill site in the sky (well more likely Chobham) as it had a nasty dose of white-worm, and there is no known cure, and a new one has taken its place in the centre of my boot. Fortunately the weather held good this afternoon, although looking out of the window now, I think I may have got it done just in time.   Got to like a tidy back end.



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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