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Archive for the ‘car’ Category

After 20 years of Continuous RAC membership and a Black Card, I sacked RAC! @RAC_Care @GreenFlagUK

Monday, January 30th, 2017

In the last couple of years I’ve been the proud owner of a Black RAC Membership card, given to customers, I’m led to believe this is because of my loyalty to RAC. I’ve never been sure what benefits it actually gives me, other than a black rather than orange card in my wallet.

Black R.A.C membership card

Black R.A.C membership card

I been with the R.A.C for 20 continuous year, but the renewal cost  was £27.46 a month, a total cost of a £328.99, I spoke to them today, to discuss this cost, this membership does included Onward Travel, which I decided I do not require, but even the reduction they offered does not match the current £13.13 they want to charge NEW CUSTOMERS!

They were NOT prepared to discount any further despite friends telling me that had current cover for £8.50 a month. I’ve noticed R.A.C twitter handle is RAC_Care ?

I don’t think so!

So R.A.C YOU ARE SACKED!

I’ve now switched to Green Flag for better cover, which also includes Onward Travel and Mis-fueling….!!!

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Let me introduce you to - Xsara No.2

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

As many of you may know, Xsara No.1 was destroyed after a serious road traffic accident in January 2016. (not my fault, a lorry did a u-turn into me on a dual carriageway at 65mph!).

I loved the last one so much I purchased another one, and here is Xsara No.2

Citroen Xsara LX HDi 90 BHP - Phase 2

Citroen Xsara LX HDi 90 BHP - Phase 2

and inspiration from Wheeler Dealers, I got Wheel ‘em In in Hull to refurbish these

Original Citroen Xsara alloys

Original Citroen Xsara alloys

refurbished satin black alloys

refurbished satin black alloys

a complete set

a complete set

and finally…

Xsara No.2

Xsara No.2

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Retro ’80s - the compact cassette tapes from the 80’s

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Compact cassette tapes from the 80s

Compact cassette tapes from the 80's

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrico plays with it

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching’s is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu

Lyrics from Peter Gabriel 3, “Games Without Frontiers”, I’ve been finding it a little boring driving to work, listening to Radio 1 & 2, so decided to dig out some OLD compact cassette tapes from the 80’s, and considering these have not been played since the 80’s sound very good and fresh, in my car stereo!

Yes, I can here you asking, who has a cassette tape player in their car, these days!

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My name is Andy, I’m a Grease Monkey!

Monday, August 29th, 2016

After watching many episodes of Wheeler Dealers on Quest and watching Ed China (The Mechanic), whilst I was recovering from my serious road traffic accident, and also encouraged by Paul at JLB Electronics.com to complete my own car maintenance, on my new car, I’ve completed its full service, changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter myself. Repaired the central locking, repaired the rear windscreen wiper motor and pump, repaired the seat belt, and replaced the exhaust silencer. I’ve still got a few jobs to complete, replace the head lamps and bulbs, and fit a spare wheel lock, to stop the spare wheel being stolen.

I’ve had to purchase new tools, because they were lost in the old car, and this is my new chest for my tools.

This is the K-Lock spare wheel lock kit.

And this is a hole I’ve drilled/cut in my boot to install it…using my new drill bit from Machine Mart, and it cut through the car body, like butter!

A dab of red oxide paint, top and underneath.

Some grey primer…

And Citroen metallic blue paint, glad it’s under the carpet – not quite sure this is the correct match! This was a tester to check the correct paint match!

Lacquered..

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Andy’s new gadget for testing car batteries! - A Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Yes, I have been experiencing car troubles again, well to be honest, the issue has never really gone away, and I’ve done nothing about it, other than keep charging my car battery!

The Problem

The issue has been, if I do not use my car for 24 hours, when starting the car, it does not turn over. So I have to ensure, I start and run my car 7 days a week. Lately, however this period of time, has been decreasing to less than 10 hours, so if I park up overnight, the car will not start the next morning.

The Temporary Solution

If I connect the battery to a battery charger, and charge for less than 5 minutes, it allows me to start the car. This is odd, because the battery is not going to charge much in 5 minutes.

This temporary solution to the issue, was becoming problematic, and delaying me getting off to work in the morning, unrolling the 50m extension lead, plugging in the battery charger, charging the battery, driving to work, and the car was always able to start after parking up in the car park, until Tuesday, when it refused to start, requiring me to get a jump start, with my special jump leads from my Boss! (I think Lindsey was probably getting p***** off as well, because my car is parked behind hers, on the drive!)

Discuss with “The Specialist”

I spoke to Paul from JLB Electronics, pop by their website, and purchase some electronics bits and bobs… about the issue with my car, I took some voltage readings with a voltmeter, before and after charging, and current draw from the battery at idle. The voltage of the battery was 12.4/12.5 volts, and current draw was 0.77A at idle (which could be high!), but not really enough to flatten a car battery overnight.

The Fix

So I decided to purchase a Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries from Amazon.co.uk, this is not just a voltmeter, which can test starting minimum and maximum voltages, battery under load, battery at idle, to check your alternator is working correctly, but also checks the car battery conductance, and compares with the stated value on the battery e.g. the CCA (cold cranking amperes - this is the current which can be delivered for 30 seconds), the value is stamped on the battery!

Amazon parcel

Amazon parcel

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

As I had suspected the battery was at fault, I also purchased a new battery from Halfords - a Yuasa YBX5096, this brand in the UK, commonly associated with batteries in alarms, but very common in Japan and Japanese cars!

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

After connecting the tester, the CCA value tested is 300, the battery has a stated CCA of 680, so therefore it’s a fail, you cannot make out the numbers on the LED, but the fail light is lit! So it was nice to technically know, after testing the battery is duff!

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

Checking the new Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - it passes with a CCA value of 900, and 860. So good to know, my new battery is perfect!

So, before I removed the old battery, I tested, starting minimum and maximum voltages, and charging at idle and load and both these tests pass, so clearly it points to a duff battery, so it was quickly removed and changed.

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New battery installed and connected…..sorry about the fuzzy photograph, excited!!!)

New battery installed....

New battery installed....

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Two Days at Lotus F1 Team courtesy of Microsoft & @lotus_f1team @1MikeyT @TechNetUK

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

All work and no play, makes jack a dull boy so I was told when I was a little boy!, I had the opportunity to visit the Lotus F1 Team at Enstone, Oxfordshire for a Microsoft IT Camp on the 8th and 9th April 2014, the days were entitled

Day 1: - Managing the Data Center with Windows Server and Microsoft System Center
Day 2: : Journey to the Cloud with Windows Azure: Microsoft IT Camp

Here are a sample of some photographs I took, there are 141 more here hosted at Google.

Two days, I will remember of a long time, I had an excellent time, and learnt some golden Microsoft nuggets, to take back to the Office, so it was not all about the cars!

Thanks to Guys and Gals at UK Technet, and Michael Taylor @ Lotus F1 Team for two great days.

Lotus F1 Team

My fat arse on a Lotus F1 Racing Car!

Andy on a Lotus F1 Racing Car!

lotusf1rachingcar

Lotus F1 Team Forumla 1 Raching Car

Lotus F1 Team Formula 1 Racing Car

Lotus F1 Team Steering Wheel

Lotus F1 Team Steering Wheel

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Ouch - My Banger!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Someone drove into my car…Ouch!! I did try and use gaffer tape to stick it back together, it didn’t work!

Before….

carbump1

carbump2

carbump3

After, some bits from a Dell Server!

carbump4

carbump5

carbump6

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Andy’s Citroen Xsara central locking goes bonkers! - But now fixed!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

bonkers - a technical term for stopped working, or you walk away from the car, and it opens the doors again, and also my drivers electric window has stopped working!

A quick scoot over to the Citroen Xsara Owners’ Club, and quickly searching the Electrical forum, this seems to be a very common fault, where wires in the “door connector” have broken. A quote from the forum Citroen acknowledged they’d used wire that was too thin and brittle many years ago.”.

A quick post, with the symptoms, just to get a response from Xsara Owner’s to confirm the issue, the problem was as follows:-

1. drivers door electric window does not open or close, using switch.

2.
a. when a key is used in drivers door lock does not open/close central locking on other doors.
b. when key is used to close passenger door, locks close and then open.
c. when remove is used to close doors, it opens again.

So, I had a few minutes today, it was not raining, so I thought I would have a quick look…a few broken small wires, must be easy to fix! I had expected to find two or more broken wires, to my surprise I found a single quite large (green with yellow bars) wire that had visibly broken, I checked all the other smaller wires, and none were found to be broken.

This large heavy guage wire, caused me a few issues, it must carry high current at this guage, so I used a heavy guage wire from an old UPS, and spliced and soldered the broken wires together as per  @The Wrinkly Ninja suggestion, this would also prevent the existing wire from breaking again. I had to use my high power soldering iron to “weld” the joints together, and then used heat shrink to seal the joints.

Door Wiring Connector on Citroen Xsara Phase 2

Door Wiring Connector on Citroen Xsara Phase 2

broken wire - green with yellow bars or spots

broken wire - green with yellow bars or spots

fix in progress - new yellow wire to join the broken wire

fix in progress - new yellow wire to join the broken wire

new wire soldered and jointed, heat shrinked

new wire soldered and jointed, heat shrinked

Thanks to @Captain Slow, @The Wrinkly Ninja and @Wheeler at the Citroen Xsara Owners’ Club, my central locking and electric window are working again.

Also Many Thanks to JLB Electronics, for the heat shrink and heat gun. Reliable, fantastic prices, quickly delivery and do not rip you off on postage! The new Maplins for the 21st Century!

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Citroen Xsara Modification - Guiness fuled car!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Do I need to notify the insurance company I’ve got a Guiness fuled car!

In the damp, cold, wet January weather guesss what I’ve been doing today?

The exhaust dropped off the car yesterday, so I’ve been trying to fix the exahust with a

Diet Coke Can - didn’t work,

Heinz Backed Bean Can - didn’t work,

Draught Guiness Can minus the widget fixed it!

I later took it to a garage to get a price to replace the exhaust, and they spotted they following:-

  • two front tyres are illegal (caused by tracking!), and need replacing.
  • two front brake disks on the front are badly corroded and need replacing.
  • and I just need a centre pipe for the exhaust!

So I just need the cheap centre pipe to the fix the exhaust!

Oh well that’s not too bad!!!

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Andysworld! Advent Calendar - Dec 7 - Andys Early Morning!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Awoken early by Lindsey this morning with this :-

Flat Type - Continental Premium Contact 185/60 R15 84H

Flat Type - Continental Premium Contact 185/60 R15 84H

Flat Type - Continental Premium Contact 185/60 R15 84H

Flat Type - Continental Premium Contact 185/60 R15 84H

So, the first jack had siezed, and then after removing the wheel bolts, could not get the alloy off the car, almost a call to the RAC, but finally after some spinach, I managed to get the alloy wheel off the car.

The car, has a “get me home spare”, so I’ve called the local tyre dealer, to order a Continental Premium Contact 2 185/60 R15 84H, so I’m waiting on their delivery this afternoon!

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