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Honest John's Motoring Agony Column 10-08-2019 Part 2

Published 08 August 2019

In Part 2 Honest John covers false alarms, window windups, posture control, Powershifts and considerably more

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 10-08-2019 Part 1

Cashing in

After the car alarm on my 2019 Subaru Forester went rogue and disturbed the neighbours for 24 hours this weekend, I thought that you and your readers might be interested to learn of the cause. One phone call to my local Subaru garage and the super-helpful mechanic suggested that I look to see if anything metallic had fallen into the cup holder in the central console. Lo and behold, there was a 2p coin, which I must have dropped when looking for change. Simples!

SP, Longwitton, Northumberland

Many thanks. Now that is extraordinary, but worth recording for the benefit of other Subaru owners. I had the same seemingly random thing in a Peugeot 3008 that might have been caused by some drawing pins left in the centre console phone caddy.

Jeep Compass Rear

Broken Compass

Nine weeks ago my 2018 Jeep Compass was broken into via the rear windscreen. Jeep is still unable to supply a replacement, and, after a period of eight weeks with no info, has now set a provisional availability for between May 31 and June 21 - saying this may slip further (GE wrote on 13th May.) I have a temporary plastic weather cover fitted by Autoglass but have been told I cannot use my car on motorways or fast roads, and dare not leave it parked as it is not secure. At the most optimistic, the car will be effectively off the road for three months, and likely more. Jeep head office and the dealership both decline to provide a courtesy car, nor have they addressed the continued expense of car and additional expenses of trains and hire cars I have been forced to use. What are my options as a customer and what are the requirements for motor manufacturers to ensure reasonable lead times for key spares in their current models? Many thanks in advance,

GE, via email

Parts are supposed to be kept available for 10 years from the point a model ceases production, but I don't think there is a legal requirement to replace them within a specified time frame. I tried and failed to find a screen by Googling. Nothing on eBay. Maybe Collins Brothers Jeep in Wylie, Texas can get one for you and ship it over: https://collinsbrosjeep.com/ Autoglass actually commissioned a new rear screen to be made for another reader’s Honda Accord Coupe when none could be found in Europe.

Smart For Four 2018 Side Parked

Smart guy

I am 72, drive an automatic Smart car at present, but want to get a 4-seater small automatic to drive at most 5,000 miles a year. I have in the past had 4 spinal fractures and I do find the seat position in the Smart comfortable. Please could you direct me to a reasonably priced reliable model that would suit my requirements?

JB, via email

In that case the obvious choice is the Smart ForFour, which readers recommend for being upright and easy to get in and out of. If you have an older, previous generation Smart then you will find the EDC automatic in the new Smart much better: /carbycar/smart/forfour-2014/ (It looks nicer in other colour schemes.) 

Ford 6dct 450 Wet Clutch Powershift

Cracking car

I had a new auto gearbox fitted to my 2012 Ford Galaxy Titanium X under warranty, which I obtained from the selling dealer (a national company). I took the car to the local Ford dealer who changed the gearbox. I picked the car up on 26 April. When I collected the car it smelled of exhaust, but I assumed it was due to oil on the exhaust due to the work and assumed it would stop. I returned the car to the dealer on 10 May, 2 weeks later, as there were clearly strong exhaust fumes in the car when I start it. They say that it is nothing to do with replacing the gearbox. And I must pay for up to 4 hours labour for them to inspect and diagnose the problem. They have stated that they supported the engine while the gearbox was out and I consider that they must have caused the leak to the exhaust. I am very unhappy as there was not a problem with the exhaust before the replaced the gearbox. What  course of action would you recommend please?

GG, via email

Your thinking is sound. Even if they supported the engine with a transmission jack while replacing the Powershift, something could have slipped. If you have time, get the exhaust checked for leaks by someone else rather than trust the dealer to condemn his own workmanship.

Skoda Octavia 2017 F34 Rape Seed 1

Far flung family car

My sister covers some 20k private miles a year and needs an economical, automatic, family car. For some years she has changed annually, always buying a 12 month old Skoda Octavia 1.6TDI DSG with very low mileage so that by the time it's 2 years old, after 12 months with her, the mileage on the car is about average. She has managed this regular change of car through an excellent small family dealer. Sadly, that dealer has now given up the Skoda franchise and has reverted to selling second-hand cars only. He is trying to source a suitable Octavia for her but that might take some time. Would you recommend any other car to suit her needs: excellent economy, automatic gear box and reasonable family size? Many thanks if so.

CB, Birmingham

Happily, she's been getting rid of these cars before the problems start with the DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG. But if this is her experience there is no point in trying to put you off Skoda Octavia 1.6TDI DSGs. A VW Golf is the same thing, but more expensive. A SEAT Leon is the same (and much better looking) for about the same price. But this whole generation of Golfs, Leons, Octavias and Audi A3s will be replaced with the next generation over 2019/2020.

Volvo V70 Drive E 2012 R34

Bolt-in wonderer

I bought a new Volvo V70 with D5 diesel engine in 2010. Since then, it has done only 58,000 miles, has a full Volvo dealer service history and I had not had any problems with it until about 18 months ago when I started to get occasional warnings about low coolant levels. Initially, only small  and very occasional top-ups were required, but as the top-ups became more frequent I had the car checked and pressure tested (twice) by Volvo, but no leaks were found. Recently, the problem worsened and a chemical test by Parkside Volvo in Orpington revealed that the head gasket was most likely to be blown. As my Volvo dealer was quoting a starting figure of £2,400 or so just to replace the head gasket (c. £9,000 for a replacement engine) I asked around and Rick and Richard at KAM Automotive in Basildon were recommended to me by someone in the trade. I dropped the car off last Saturday and Richard said that in his experience there’s always a reason for a blown head gasket, and he’d call me when he’d found out what the problem was. He called this morning. He’d found one of the bolts between the cylinders was loose and the thread had gone. It is repairable, but will require a new set of twelve bolts, further delay and workshop time and an extra £4-£500. Still, the whole job, which includes replacing the timing chain, water pump, and auxiliary belts, will come in at quite a bit less than the minimum I was quoted by my Volvo dealer. I bought this car expecting to keep it for many years. I certainly didn’t anticipate major engine problems with a Volvo after 58,000 miles. KAM suggested I get on to my Volvo dealer as they thought that, with no evidence of catastrophic overheating, the loose bolt was likely to be the result of a manufacturing fault in the block. What do you think? Should I approach Volvo for some contribution? Are you aware of similar problems with this engine? When I asked the service manager at Parkside Volvo if he had had many cases of blown head gaskets he told me that they had 5 this year. He thought that engines were performing closer to their limits than in the past, so basically the days seem to be gone when you could rely on a Volvo engine to go on for hundreds of thousands of miles without problems.

RB, via email

Thank you for the information, which I will record in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar. It probably is a manufacturing fault. But because the car is nearly 10 years old, neither the supplying dealer nor Volvo are legally liable at this late stage. The car has exceeded its intended 'life' of 7 years by 2 - 3 years already. Obviously worth seeing if you can get any goodwill. But this is also Volvo's old 5-cylinder diesel engine based on an even older Audi design. It has now been replaced since many years by Volvo's own design 2.0 litre petrol and diesel engines. See: /faq/consumer-rights/

Subaru XV F34 Green 700 (1)

Raisings to be cheerful?

What about the Subaru XV 1.6 CVT and Suzuki 1.6 CVT? Are these cars logical for buying? If buying these cars, which one is better?

TW, Turkey

XV Lineartronic: /carbycar/subaru/xv-2018/ SX4 S-Cross: CVT to 2015, then DCT from June 2015 to September 2016, then switched to torque converter in September 2016:  /carbycar/suzuki/sx4-s-cross-2013/

Ren Meg 06 5dr F34 700

Oasis

My neighbour’s husband has sadly passed away, leaving a 2005 Renault Megane Oasis with 55,000 miles plate in his name as owner. She wants to dispose of it, but cannot find the V5. Can you advise on value and/how to sell or dispose of it as she cannot locate the paperwork?

AS, via email

This is what she has to do: https://www.gov.uk/tell-dvla-about-bereavement/keeping-the-vehicle The car won't have much value:  Maybe £1,000. /used-prices/Renault/Megane/2005/ For a quick disposal, try http://www.motorway.co.uk

MB C320CDI Est T Side 700

Soft underside

Our 10 year old Mercedes C280 Estate 3-litre V6 petrol auto on 16-inch Cross Climates is the smoothest, quietest and most refined car we have ever had. They don't seem to make them like this anymore. So, with up to £40k, is there anything new today that could match it?

CC, via email

C-Class estates now start at £35,000 for the most basic cars. No chance of a strong engine for £40k: /carbycar/mercedes-benz/c-class-estate-s205-2014/data/ I'd probably go for a Volvo XC40 T4. (T5 tested here: /road-tests/volvo/volvo-xc40-t5-2018-road-test/)

BMW Z3 F34 Red Retouched

Little red roadster

I've seen a 97k 1999V BMW Z3 soft-top for sale at £2,200 (just a classic) and the car is advertised with 12 months MoT. It's a possible treat for me really but I'm not sure if I'm getting carried away with " the wind-in-the air" thing. Is it likely that the 1.9 4-cylinder engine will be worn out and what should I look for on a viewing/ test drive?

GW, Banbury

If you think of them as wind in the hair open-top roadsters rather than as sportscars you won't be too disappointed. They are currently undervalued, but won't be for much longer. More here: /carbycar/bmw/z3-roadster-1997/

Toyota Land Cruiser 2003-2009

Fridge factor

I have a 120k mile 2008 Toyota Landcruiser Invincible 2.8 Litre Auto. It vehicle has been in to the Toyota dealer twice to try and fix the air-con. It was re-gassed, including a new air filter and aircon deodorizer for £69 on the 3rd. May 2019. I was quoted two years ago to re-gas the air con of £170 as the cost of the gas had gone up and it is a large vehicle. (When I mentioned this at reception recently they had no knowledge of this.) I took it back yesterday as the driver’s side is “coldish”, but the passenger side is warm air when the setting is on max. cold. The main agent said it could be the damper under the fascia board which has got stuck and it is a four hour job just to strip the fascia to check this. (It went in primarily for the brakes to be attended to so this air con query was just an add on.) I have just booked the vehicle in to an auto electrician for them to sort this air con out. I think the air con has simply broken down. The air coming on to the driver’s side is air direct from outside with no conditioning. The air coming on the front passenger is warm air, as is the air emanating from the vents serving the rear seats. What do you think has happened? Does this sound like a costly repair?

DM, Preston

Could be a partially blocked pollen filter upsetting the distribution of the air. Yes, as a result of the EC imposing very expensive R1234YF onto car makers, supplies of the R134a your car uses diminished and that also put up the price of R134a. This is one of the reasons why EC Commissioner Directives need closer examination by the EC Parliament, but, though a resolution was passed by the EC Parliament to do this, it just gets ignored by the EC Commissioners. One of the reasons people shot themselves in the foot voting for Brexit.

Honda Jazz Hybrid UK F34 Retouched

Self-charger

I want to replace my Honda Jazz Automatic SE for a similar sized hybrid car. The priorities are: safety, reasonable head room, high seat, minimal blind spots and an opening hard roof - as air conditioning doesn’t agree with my health condition. Can you suggest a suitable replacement car please?

VR, via email

There was a Jazz hybrid up to around 2016 and will be a new Jazz hybrid next year, but in the meantime the only hybrid the same size is a Toyota Yaris, but it does not have the versatile interior of a Jazz: Test: /road-tests/toyota/toyota-yaris-2017-range-road-test/ You can get a 'mild hybrid' Suzuki Swift but that rarely retains enough electrical power to drive electric alone. It does, however, offer some excellent fuel economy figures, if that is your reason for wanting a hybrid: /carbycar/suzuki/swift-2017/ and /realmpg/suzuki/swift-2017 / Test of automatic (not mild hybrid): /road-tests/suzuki/suzuki-swift-10-boosterjet-automatic-2017-road-test/

Bristol Beaufort Convertible 1984

Top drop-tops

I have two beautiful concours Bristols: a Beaufort convertible, the only one ever built, and a 412 Zagato. I know diddly squat about engines, so, after the coil went at midnight on the 412, last week, my wife has insisted that at our ages 67 and 76, I should give up classic cars and get something more reliable. She is fed up waiting for the AA at midnight. Could I ask your advice please? I would like a convertible with a back seat or ledge for our Border Terriers, automatic, petrol. I’m looking at the Audi A5 cabriolet, Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, the BMW Convertible, the Porsche 997 Cabriolet. I know nothing about all the extra ‘add-ons’. What do you think are ‘essential’ add ons? It’s all very confusing. I simply want a fun, reliable convertible to pop out to a country pub in, or a trip to the Continent. I’d be looking to spend £30k-£40k or so. Is new a good idea, or a low mileage used car, or even a demo. I would appreciate it if you could let me know your pros and cons of these, and anything else you can help/recommend a ‘dork’ with. (The Beaufort, LHD, with 30,000 miles is for sale at £135,000; valued at £175,000 and insured at Lloyds for an Agreed Value of £175,000. The 412, RHD, is for sale at £47,500, with a Bristol valuation of £60,000 and insured at Lloyds for an Agreed Value of £60,000. Naturally, if you knew of a buyer, we can talk commission. Beaufort details here: https://www.sljhackett.co.uk/cars/blue-1984-bristol-beaufort.htm )

DH, via email

£30k - £40k doesn't buy new a new version of any of these worth having. A BMW 4-Series convertible comes in cheapest, and has the advantage of a folding hard-top rather than a canvas soft top, but needs to be at least a 430i: /used-prices/BMW/4-Series/?q=Convertible / It gets an older 997 convertible at a classic car auction. Porsche dealers might want more: /used-prices/Porsche/2009/?q=Convertible / A C43 convertible is okay, but for the money would have to be used: /used-prices/Mercedes-Benz/C-Class/?q=3.0+AMG+C43 / I'm not so keen on A5 convertibles: /used-prices/Audi/A5/?q=Convertible

Mercedes W123 230E Side

Seized

I have an ‘A’ reg Mercedes-Benz W123 280E, which had an intermittent starting problem eventually traced to the immobiliser alarm system, although the garage fitted a new ignition switch as they thought that was the cause of the problem. The car was with the garage for over two months. I picked it up on 8th February 2019 and drove down to Tonbridge the following morning. However, as I was travelling along the A21, there was an alarming sound emanating from the engine. I had to drive a further 500 yards in an attempt to get off the motorway as there was no hard shoulder, eventually coming to a grinding halt at the lap spur leading to the A26. The AA serviceman said there was practically no oil in the engine and it had seized completely as he could not release the crank shaft. On the advice of the AA, the Police checked the Southbound A21 for any sign of an oil leak for safety reasons, but could find no trace of a major oil leak. The Police also closed the A21 temporarily to enable the car to be winched safely on to the flatbed of the rescue vehicle. There is no visible sign of an oil leak in the engine that would account for such a significant loss of oil. The garage maintains that they check oil and fluid levels, but cannot provide a plausible explanation for the absence of any oil in the engine, nor can they identify a cause for the breakdown or loss of oil, such as a blown head gasket. The engine has either to be rebuilt or a new / re-conditioned engine has to be procured. The alternative is to write off the car. I have reasonable doubts whether the garage checked the oil levels as the car was in an on-site locked up garage when I picked it up. Where do I stand legally on this issue? I need  advice on whether the garage is at fault or if the mechanical failure is attributable to the age of the vehicle. It is in otherwise very good condition and in all the 23 years I have owned it, it has never given me any problems.

CS, via email

Probably valve stem oil seal failure. When was the oil and filter last changed? If the body and trim are excellent (no rust) then it’s worth having the engine rebuilt. Try a member of http://www.fer.co.uk (A work-mate had one of these that expired in similar circumstances on the A303 about 25 years ago.)

Citroen C4 Picasso Facelift F34 1

Artful dodge

I love my 15 year old diesel Citroen Xsara Picasso but sadly the time has come to change to a petrol driven automatic. Is there anything to rival the Picasso for its high entry and driving position, its Tardis-like roomy interior and spacious boot for the grandchildren's bikes? My budget is up to £10k.

MW, via email

Citroen has ditched the Picasso name to save on royalties and now calls the C4 Picasso the C4 Space Tourer. One of them with 1.2 Puretech 130 petrol and EAT6 or EAT8 torque converter auto would do the job: /carbycar/citroen/c4-spacetourer-2018/ Or a cheaper Berlingo 1.2 Puretech EAT8. But then I saw you only have £10k so all that sensibly leaves is a Toyota Verso 1.8i Valvematic Multidrive S.

Audi A3 Cabrio 2014 R34 Horses

Convertible asset

I have a PCP on an Audi A3 Cabriolet Sport Navigation 1.4 TFSI COD, first registered in July 2016.  The contract expires on 1 September 2019 when I have the option to pay £14,630 to take ownership of the car. Currently it has 22,500 miles and I enjoy driving it  Please could you advise: Is this a good deal? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? I would take out an extended warranty but if there are known problems with this model I may not purchase it.

HB, via email

This gives you our valuation on 16th May when you asked: /used-prices/Audi/A3/2016/?q=1.4+Convertible+Sport So the GFV is bang on private sale price rather than dealer sale price which, while it gives you no equity in the car, is a good price for a car you know and like and intend to keep. A3 problem areas here: /carbycar/audi/a3-2012/good/ Test of A3 1.4TFSI Sport cabrio here: /road-tests/audi/audi-a3-cabrio-2014-road-test/ As for an extended warranty, we work with https://honestjohn12.motoreasy.com/ . But http://www.warrantywise.co.uk is also very good. Enjoy the summer in your car.

 

Clunk-click every trip

The gearbox of my late 2012 XC70 D5 occasionally gets a bit clunky and whines a bit, especially changing down in the lower gears. It doesn’t always happen but I’m concerned it will gradually get worse and I will end up with a huge bill. It’s done about 90,000 problem free miles and been fully serviced by my local Volvo franchised dealer. I had the gearbox oil changed (by the dealer) at 70,000 miles. It’s done some very occasional towing, though nothing particularly challenging. Do you think it might be worth changing the oil again or may be getting the box rebuilt? I’m looking to keep the car for a few years yet so, don’t mind spending a bit of money to pre-empt on potential problems. Your views would be greatly appreciated.

JH, via email

The Aisin Geartronic torque converter autos in Volvos have a little bit of a reputation. You very sensibly had the ATF changed at 70,000 miles. Worth taking it to a member of http://www.fedauto.co.uk for an opinion.

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 10-08-2019 Part 1

 

Comments

thisisme    on 10 August 2019

Tired of hearing of the "corrupt" EU commission I went looking at why the R124a was forbidden. It seems that it is an HCFC (that thing that is still bad for ozone and global warming) and was part of the Montreal protocol signed to protect the ozone layer.

Union Jack    on 10 August 2019

Cashing in
After the car alarm on my 2019 Subaru Forester went rogue and disturbed the neighbours for 24 hours this weekend, I thought that you and your readers might be interested to learn of the cause. One phone call to my local Subaru garage and the super-helpful mechanic suggested that I look to see if anything metallic had fallen into the cup holder in the central console. Lo and behold, there was a 2p coin, which I must have dropped when looking for change. Simples!

Interesting that there is no mention of whether the neighbours might have benefitted from the battery being disconnected pending that one phone call.

Honestjohn    on 10 August 2019

Thanks, Union Jack. put that into the carbycar entry in May: 13-5-2019: Report of car alarm going off repeatedly in 2019 Subaru Forester. "Super-helpful" mechanic at local Subaru dealer suggested that owner look to see if anything metallic had fallen into the cup holder in the central console. Turned out to be a 2p coin. Maybe the same problem might be solved by the same solution with other Subaru models, here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/subaru/forester-2013/good/

Edited by Honestjohn on 10/08/2019 at 13:06

Heidfirst    on 11 August 2019

13-5-2019: Report of car alarm going off repeatedly in 2019 Subaru Forester. "Super-helpful" mechanic at local Subaru dealer suggested that owner look to see if anything metallic had fallen into the cup holder in the central console. Turned out to be a 2p coin.

why should something metallic being left in a cup holder trigger the alarm, though?

Slow Eddie    on 11 August 2019

why should something metallic being left in a cup holder trigger the alarm, though?

Why, indeed? Glad somebody asked that - had me scratching my head!

Lee Power    on 12 August 2019

Some car alarms use a more advanced volumetric sensor to detect movement inside the passenger cabin, these are usually located in the centre console.

One benefit of the volumetric sensor is you can leave windows open & wind wont trigger the alarm unlike the cheaper ultrasonic sensors you normally see at the top of the A pillars.

A metallic item left close to the volumetric sensor area can upset it & trigger the alarm system.

Penumbra    on 10 August 2019

RE; SEIZED A SERIES
I may well be missing the point, but why is the garage responsible for not checking the oil level for an intermittent starting fault. Sounds like the owner is angling for a free engine rebuild.

glidermania    on 10 August 2019

I really wish HJ would stick to motoring issues instead of showing how little he knows about other things. He says this "This is one of the reasons why EC Commissioner Directives need closer examination by the EC Parliament, but, though a resolution was passed by the EC Parliament to do this, it just gets ignored by the EC Commissioners. One of the reasons people shot themselves in the foot voting for Brexit."

So the unelected EU (not EC) Commission ignores the EU Parliament and foisters a costly change in AC gas with no other option to the User. This effectively created a monopoly.

This is exactly the kind of reason why people voted for Brexit. How HJ thinks this is people shooting themselves in the foot is beyond comprehension.

Engineer Andy    on 10 August 2019

HJ - how would not leaving the EU help the situation as regards the COmmision ignoring the parliament as regards unwisely changing from the R134a to R1234a refrigerant - they (and the UK generally) had obviously influence or power over the Commission then, so what exactly would we benefit from if we stayed in?

If, and hopefully when we do leave, we can set our own rules and show them how stupid a change it was, meaning that older cars at least can be regassed with the proper refrigerant, as I suspect that outside of the EU (i.e. in North America, Down Under and in the Far East) most cars a/c systyem designed and sold there can accept both, but (as you've stated many times) work better and more reliably than those working on the so-called 'drop-in' replaement R1234a.

As Glidermaina says, this idiocy (including the lack of control over the decision made and not being able to change it, despite lots of evidence showing it was a very poor one) is preceisly the reason 17M people (myself included) voted to Leave. In fact, at the time of the referendum, I was not 100% sure about which way to vote (about 66% sure), but given much of what has gone on afterwards (including the much hated, but passed without thinking [now admitted] Articles 11 & 13 regarding media/internet usage and free speech, amongst many other things, including Project Fear I & II), I am more convinced than ever (now 100%) that we made the right choice.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 10/08/2019 at 14:43

Andy Lane    on 12 August 2019

HJ - how would not leaving the EU help the situation as regards the COmmision ignoring the parliament as regards unwisely changing from the R134a to R1234a refrigerant - they (and the UK generally) had obviously influence or power over the Commission then, so what exactly would we benefit from if we stayed in?

If, and hopefully when we do leave, we can set our own rules and show them how stupid a change it was, meaning that older cars at least can be regassed with the proper refrigerant, as I suspect that outside of the EU (i.e. in North America, Down Under and in the Far East) most cars a/c systyem designed and sold there can accept both, but (as you've stated many times) work better and more reliably than those working on the so-called 'drop-in' replaement R1234a.

As Glidermaina says, this idiocy (including the lack of control over the decision made and not being able to change it, despite lots of evidence showing it was a very poor one) is preceisly the reason 17M people (myself included) voted to Leave. In fact, at the time of the referendum, I was not 100% sure about which way to vote (about 66% sure), but given much of what has gone on afterwards (including the much hated, but passed without thinking [now admitted] Articles 11 & 13 regarding media/internet usage and free speech, amongst many other things, including Project Fear I & II), I am more convinced than ever (now 100%) that we made the right choice.

R134a is a greenhouse gas. As to voting for Brexit. This is the most dumbest thing done by some our our easily lead people have done. No repeat NO upsides to it. Dunning Kruger I'm afraid.

Engineer Andy    on 13 August 2019


R134a is a greenhouse gas. As to voting for Brexit. This is the most dumbest thing done by some our our easily lead people have done. No repeat NO upsides to it. Dunning Kruger I'm afraid.

Yes, I know what the ODP of R134a is, but in many people's view, its drop-in replacement is not a good one, as despite being told it is more leak proof, evidence says it is definitely not. It is also significantly more flammable (see the Wiki entry for more) - not helped by the introduction of DPFs etc (beforehand).

I wouldn't have a problem with it if it lived up to the makers' claims and there was a viable market for it - only one firm makes it in the EU, so there's a monopoly and thus prices are sky-high.

As for Brexit, that's your opinion, but I noticed you didn't refute any of my comments about the many issues with being in the EU, including having apparently no say over the introduction of this refrigerant in the motor industry. And I'm hardly 'dumb' (ps. that means you can't speak - I believe the word you're looking for is 'idiot'), given I'm a degree-qualified engineer from the 1990s - and besides, you don't need a degree to be able to weigh the pros and cons of a politicial argument. Are you advocating for minimum IQ levels to be able to vote?

A LOT of very bad decisions over the last century, and especially in the last 25 years have been made and lies told (and accepted by the 'liberal elite') by the very same remoaners who now are trying to stop Brexit by any means, even if that means ruining this once great nation and democracy (remember that? 2016) for good.

Andy Lane    on 16 August 2019

Brexit. Still no benefits are they?

I don't care if you are a degree educated engineer. It's still a stupid decision. All repeat all of the UK problems stem from our government's decisions.. Brexit will only make it worse speaking of worse, the rise of the right wing nutters isn't good. Also Northern Ireland. Hmm.

Patrick Russell    on 10 August 2019

Congratulation on an entire column with no mention of left foot braking!

sammy1    on 10 August 2019

No just being " helpful " to the prospective Mini purchaser who was advised to avoid a 2 year old mini with only one oil change in 8600miles as per the Mini service schedule. Obviously knows better than the engineers at MINI

Union Jack    on 13 August 2019

Congratulation on an entire column with no mention of left foot braking!

I'm more than happy to remedy that! I was initially as sceptical as some readers about this initially but, living as I do in a very hilly part of Somerset, I am delighted to. say that I have found left foot braking of enormous benefit in inumerable everyday close quarters and slow speed manoeuvring situations in automatic cars.

if you've tried it and like it then that's great

If you've tried it and don't like it then don't do it

If you haven't tried it, then try it

If you haven't tried it and don't like it then belt up!

Jack

gordonbennet    on 11 August 2019

Fridge factor.

Your Landcruiser almost certainly has dual air-con, the long alloy pipes going under the car to the rear passenger aircon unit corrode and seep over time, but finding the actual leak point may prove difficult at best and sometimes impossible.

Getting it repiped will be a seriously expensive job, into 4 figures without a doubt, though a tame (good luck in finding one) aircon specialist might be able to make up and fit alternative pipes...or unless you really need the rear aircon, you could get it disconnected by cutting and sealing the pipes leaving you with front end aircon only, very seldom do i need the rear aircon working in mine and that was only during the extreme rear heatwave when the dogs were in the boot.

Honestjohn    on 13 August 2019

In response to "thisisme", EC imposed GDPR had the unintentional consequence of preventing used car buyers checking on the cars by contacting or even knowing who the previous keepers were; EC imposed Directives freeing access to vehicle information inside a car's EVU had the unintentional consequence of a huge spate of car thefts because security information was no longer secure, and the EC Directive forcing manufacturers to use R1234YF instead of R134a refrigerant for car a/c systems had the unintentional consequence of a spate of leakages and a quadrupling of the price of a/c refrigerant that is in near monopoly supply. Any small reduction in HCFCs released by the new gas was wiped out be the increase in HCFCs released.

HJ

thisisme    on 17 August 2019

In response to "thisisme", EC imposed GDPR had the unintentional consequence of preventing used car buyers checking on the cars by contacting or even knowing who the previous keepers were; EC imposed Directives freeing access to vehicle information inside a car's EVU had the unintentional consequence of a huge spate of car thefts because security information was no longer secure, and the EC Directive forcing manufacturers to use R1234YF instead of R134a refrigerant for car a/c systems had the unintentional consequence of a spate of leakages and a quadrupling of the price of a/c refrigerant that is in near monopoly supply. Any small reduction in HCFCs released by the new gas was wiped out be the increase in HCFCs released.

HJ

There are many things in the response that aren't really related to my comment, however the reason to forbid R134a is known - even if you agree or not with the reason, it is a part of an international accord we (whole of EU) signed. The new gas is inert so it shouldn't have a global warming effect (at least until the science changes). There are many other possible gases to use, however this is an "easy" replacement. Complain with the AC manufacturers who chose not to use something else that is available.

Regarding GDPR it's not that different from the previous UK based DPA, the main difference being it carries penalties, so people can no longer ignore it like they did. It will also avoid what happened to me where someone got a hold of my information and tried to scam me based on released information from my license plate. I imagine how many people got actually conned by those scams. Actually GDPR doesn't prevent that, it just makes it required to become explicit (i.e you have to ask the seller to confirm to keep and share that data).

On the EVU I'm not sure what happened, but security through obscurity never works, but tell that to GCHQ/NSA or our politicians...

gentle giant    on 15 August 2019

Re left foot breaking. Many years ago I used to run Volvo 240 automatic estates because of their load capacity.
I needed one with a tow bar to tow a small trailer, one became available being sold by a local undertaker. Fast forward to 5 month later driving in Wales with a fully loaded car and trailer. I am using left foot braking to try and control the car and trailer on the hilly roads when suddenly no brakes.
I don’t know if you have tried to stop an automatic without brakes, needless to say I couldn't and crashed. It turned out I had boiled the brake fluid hence no brakes. I still wonder if it was the undertaker tryin to drum up trade!

edlithgow    on 16 August 2019

Re Top drop-tops""

Seems to me that, if the poster doesn't need or want to sell BOTH his Beauforts, he shouldn'.t.

A fraction of the price of HJ's used convertibles should buy a refurb of at least one of them , which should give reliability.

But then I'm not married.

If I was and that happened, then I perhaps wouldn't be.

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