Our Cars: Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI Monte Carlo

6 March 2015: Con-fused

The Details

Current mileage 3263
Claimed economy 62.8mpg
Actual economy 50.6mpg

If I find myself on a long journey without my phone in the car I get deeply frustrated. I need to listen to Spotify or web radio when I’m on the move, I need to check Facebook and Twitter three hundred times when I get to the motorway services and I need to find my way when I get lost. Thankfully none of those things is too bad for battery life.

Something that is bad for the battery is Waze, a sort of interactive free navigation system that interconnects all of its users. It’s fantastic – other people can mark traffic jams as they happen and explain the cause, even with a photograph if they want. It also intelligently plots ideal routes based on the amount of time it takes other users to make similar journeys.

I now almost exclusively rely on Waze to navigate, meaning the perfectly useful PID nav that came with the car is relegated to music duties. That means my phone sits on a none-slip ‘Gecko’ pad on my dashboard with its screen on all the time. And that really takes its toll on battery life.

The obvious solution is to get a 12V charging device, but I have bad luck with those. The coiled-up 1990s looking-one I had spare in a draw broke in half and there is no USB output in the Citigo - unless I can’t find it. So, out of desperation, I bought a socket with two USB outputs for an extortionate amount of money from Beaconsfield services.

A Fuse

Spare fuses - not standard equipment

Not only was it ludicrously expensive, but I discovered it didn’t work. By this time I was too far away to go back and get a refund, so I pulled over and twisted it every which way, eventually bashing it hard enough to slice my thumb open. This didn’t work either. Apparently the fuse had blown.

After consulting the manual in a layby I found the fusebox – which was actually quite hard – and pulled out the blown fuse. That wasn’t much help though, since Skoda, for some reason, doesn’t provide spare fuses as standard. I considered for at least ten minutes whether or not I actually needed ventilation or interior lighting more than a 12v output.

Eventually came to my senses and went to a car parts shop. Thankfully fuses are cheap and after popping one in I was away with my phone merrily charging – for about 10 minutes until I gently agitated the now infuriating red 12v charger and it popped the fuse. Again.

So I stopped, smashed it to pieces, went to a proper shop and bought a better one for about a third of the price. Since then everything has been fine. But I have learned two lessons from this – Skoda doesn’t provide any spare fuses and motorway services shouldn’t be trusted to sell reliable goods at reasonable prices.

« Earlier: Would I buy a Citigo?     Later: Moving house in the Citigo »

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6 March 2015: Con-fused
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