Camaro Running Report: Summer ’17 Update

Maintaining it:
Detailed!
A few weeks ago I took it to Tony Spears (Autoshine Specialist Detailing) for a quick mini-detail. The car was nice and clean, but it wasn’t perfect, so I wanted it to have a good refresh by a pro. I didn’t have a paint correction done, but a good clean, polish and interior clean. It looks great! Interestingly the car has some curious paint spots, they look like stone chips in a circle shape and there are several all over the car. You can’t see them from a few feet away, but up close they are noticeable. I asked tony about these, and he informed me that they are the results of the car being egged at some point in its life! He went on to say that the when the eggs shells break they crack the paint as well, resulting in these odd stone-chip circles.
MOT Time
The annual test was due by the end of Saturday, so it was booked in for Monday and duly passed with flying colours. Very happy with that, always a little nerve racking the first time under ones ownership that a car gets sent off for its inspection. Thankfully, it appears nothing untoward with this car which is great news.
Next in maintenance world will be a service at the Chevrolet specialists over in Stockport.
Driving it:
Like attention? This car grabs it in spades. I’ve driven a lot of wonderfully exotic machinery, but nothing to date has the attention grabbing abilities of the Camaro in the UK. These are rare sights on the roads over here – plus it is bright yellow – and it looks like a car from the movies. Its certainly a stand-out car. But the best thing about it is that it makes people smile. Everywhere. No hand gestures, no swearing, just great big smiles. Kids do a double-take with the mouths wide open, even wives nudge their husbands and point at it.
Performance wise, the care is used almost exclusively for family days out at the moment, so the power is barely tapped into, but I have noticed that the downshifts are very keen and there is plenty of acceleration power, even in this V6 model. Compared to my Porsche Cayenne V6, the Camaro is more keen with its shifts and makes for a smoother ride, whereas the Cayenne is a bit notchy by comparison.
I’m also used to driving LHD now, which didn’t take half as long as I thought. It’s pretty easy, the only caution is on very tight roads. A few weeks ago I was passing by a school. The yummy mummy’s were parked on both sides of the road, leaving a small access to get cars through. I had to squeeze through and much of that was sheer luck when a car decided to come the other way rather than waiting for me to get through. I must have been inches away from it. But that aside, its pretty easy and there are no blind spots in the mirrors which is excellent!
I was thinking of maybe setting this up as a wedding hire type business, as I guess there may be some interest in such a car? I think I’ll attend a few comic-conventions with it and see what the take up is. Maybe see if it can pay its own way? I’ve not looked into the costs of such a venture though, but no rush on that front.
And Finally…
I don’t think this car park was big enough, nor empty enough for this BMW who had to park next to me. Sigh…

Camaro Running Report: The Garage Test!

I’m loving this car so far. Its great fun, and having the back seats means we can use it for families days out too. More on driving adventures and the attention grabbing nature of this car, in a future update.

In this update however, it’s time for a garage test! The Camaro is a very big car with dimensions similar to that of my Porsche Cayenne. I live in a new-build type house with an integral garage and, like all single integral garages on pretty much any house built in the last 20 years in the UK, they aren’t generous with their space.

The typical size of a UK garage is 2.4m x 4.9m (and is true of mine also.)
The Camaro dimensions are 1.92m wide by 4.8m long and the mirrors don’t fold in either.

That gives an interior space of less than half a meter wide and 10cm length to spare! Before buying the car, I measured everything several times and the answers were always the same: in theory, the car would fit, but it would be immensely tight. I decided that in all likelihood it would have to live outside, thinking that it is unlikely to be a particular target for thieves, being a rare bright yellow left-hand-drive car. So to keep it from prying eyes I bought a cheap outdoor cover to keep it hidden until I’d tried it in the garage.

That day came a few weeks ago when, with the assistance of my good lady wife, I reversed it into the garage. Easily did it with literally a few centimeters on either side as the mirrors went past the garage entrance, parking sensors flat lining continually in my ears. Finally through the door, the front is narrower than the back and Mrs Paul O guided me to within an inch of the back wall.

The result?

Camaro in a single garage!

Camaro in a single garage!

 

It fits!!!

The width of the car at the door section is actually no wider than that of a Porsche 911 (which I have owned previously and fits in the garage without a problem). Despite what the photo above suggests, once it is in the garage, its pretty easy to get out – although because I’m reversing in I have to get out of the passenger side. Thankfully its pretty roomy in the Camaro so that’s not too arduous, even for my 6’4″ frame. There is no way I’d be able to get it in the garage myself though as the entrance width and overall length is so tight, so its a team effort. All part of the fun of ownership, eh! As for the length there is perhaps 2-3″ to spare at the front and back, so not as roomy as that first photo looks at the front.

Camaro in a small UK single garage!

Camaro in a small UK single garage!

But I was absolutely overjoyed that I can keep it safe and secure in the garage – it literally made my night! So far in that garage I’ve had a 911, Cayman, VW Beetle, Audi S5, Ferrari 360 (cabriolet – doors too wide to open without the roof down) and now the Camaro.

So if anyone tells you they can’t get their car in a modern garage, you can tell them they are talking bullsh*t because your mate at Paul O gets his Camaro in there, “and that’s a big as a Porsche 4×4, don’t you know”**. 😀

** Caveat this with the common denominator that all of these cars have frameless doors, which I suspect is a big advantage.

Welcome to the fleet, Bumblebee!

Here it is, the latest addition to the fleet: My 2010 Chevrolet Camaro!

Yellow Chevrolet Camaro, Bumblebee replica

Bumblebee!

I’ve loved the design of these cars ever since the world was woken up to the concept in the 2007 Transformers movie. At the time I remember thinking “I really hope they make that car!” Whilst the design is now getting on for a decade old for those in the USA, in the UK these cars are still incredibly rare and therefore still look pretty fresh over here. Unless you are at an event with an American or movie related theme, the chances of seeing one on the road are minimal.

The Purchase
I have been looking to purchase a new sports car for some time now – I’m going to be 40 years old this year, so a bit of a present to myself I suppose (midlife crisis? I’ve been having those since my 20’s). Initially I was looking for another Boxster (987 model, still on the to-do list), but after several months I haven’t been able to find one with the spec and colour that I was after, within an acceptable distance of my home and at a price I was willing to pay.

As a car nerd, part of every daily routine involves searching the internet for my next possible car and I happened to do an eBay search on the Camaro. A Camaro does indeed have a legitimate entry on my ‘to own’ list, but previous cars for sale have either not been the correct colour, or too expensive. But, to my excitement, a yellow car was now available for sale, in the UK. It also had the black stripe and silver wheels, replicating the first concept car that was BumbleBee in that first Transformers film.

This car is a complete step away from everything I’ve bought before. Its left-hand drive for a start and an import. I slept on this idea for a few nights, and both occasions I woke up with my first thought being that I desperately wanting to buy the car. I told my wife who was sceptical to start with, until she saw one in the metal at a car show the following weekend and thought they actually looked quite nice.

It turns out that the seller of the car that was ultimately to become mine is someone who I’ve known from the past, when I used to go to meets for those who loved Knight Rider replicas. He remembered me too, when back at the first KR meet, I parked my old Boxster in the middle of all the KITT cars for a photo. A mutual acquaintance also vouched for both the seller and the car, which made me much more confident about buying it. After conversations with the owner, a week followed before a road trip could be organised with a couple of mates who know far more than I do about mechanical stuff to go and see the car.

A few hours later, I was driving home in my new Bumblebee Camaro!

The Drive Home
This was a real exciting experience. Having not driven left-hookers before, it was to be a new lesson in driving – and part of the attraction for buying this car, I’d have to really concentrate on the actual aspect of driving. One of my friends accompanied me in the car and being on the right-hand-side of the car was able to gauge where I was on the road as if he was the driver. I’d recommend doing this for anyone who’s thinking of doing the same as for the first few miles I’d get the instruction “you’re a bit too far over” or “you need to be more on your side”. These minor adjustments helped me with the unfamiliarity of the driving position and prevent me from panning it on the first go. After the two hour drive home, I was more or less sorted with where the car needed to be placed on the roads. That said, I do need to check my mirrors a lot more, just to be sure – but that’s all part of the ‘driving’ experience. There is nothing autonomous when I’m behind the wheel here – it’s an active participant role.

As for the performance and noise, more on that in a future update as I’ve been driving pretty boring whilst I get myself sorted with the left-hooker thing.

My Car
This car was originally a Florida car and had two owners before being imported to the UK last year with around 62,000 miles on the clock. The guy who imported it was in the States for a while beforehand and liked these cars, but upon importing to the UK didn’t like the attention it received and so sold it on to the guy who I bought it from.

I purchased a CarFax report (like a HPI over here, but much more detailed) which came back clean, and then a HPI for the UK element which was also clear. Happy days!

This is a 3.6 V6 model, so the ‘baby’ of the range, but it’s still got plenty of poke with 0-60 coming in around six seconds – and having back seats means it’s a family car, rather than just a solo thing. But the colour was one of the main deciding factors to buy.

The interior is the standard cloth affair and it has an automatic gearbox. These days I prefer autos plus I didn’t fancy a LHD manual car as my first foray into other-side driving. It has a sports option on the gearbox and you can use the flappy-paddles on the wheel. It’s not PDK dual-clutch rapid, but it seems pretty keen on the downshifts and compares favourably to my Tiptronic Cayenne.

Why A Camaro?
As mentioned, this was an entirely new car experience for me. I know nothing at all about Camaros. Before buying the car, I didn’t know where to get them serviced, how to get a USA-HPI done, what things that might go wrong with the car and I’ve never driven LHD up until that point. All of that put together made this an exciting and interesting prospect. It is a car that I’m going to have to research, get to know new forums, local specialists etc – all the things I’ve got nailed for the Porsches that I’ve owned over the past decade, I’d be starting again with this.

And, it is a car on my to-own list. It is also different, and a bit daft.

To-Do

  • The car is in good condition, but I like to have my cars well-cleaned when I buy them. So it’s off to my detailer soon!
  • Fix tyre pressure sensors. These are broken (there is a story behind this for a future update).
  • Found out more stuff about them – servicing intervals etc.
  • Leather interior? Maybe! We’ll see. Quite liking the more practical fabric to be honest.
  • Personalised Number Plate.

Lots more to come on the ownership experience on this one. I’m excited about this car and I’m looking forward to documenting the experience.

Hope you enjoy too!

Cayenne Report: Window and Hatch Opening Problems

I was driving the Cayenne last week taking a colleague to the site where my upcoming charity event is being held (Meadowhall, Sheffield – on the 13th May if you are interested! Details here). He pressed the button to wind down his window, but rather than rolling down smoothly, it sort of stuttered and flopped half way down and then refused to go back up. With a bit of persuasion we did manage to close it but since then every now and again the window will drop an inch or two of its own accord. The window button has zero effect.

Time to call John at Porsche Euro.

John suggested it would be the window regulator as these wear out and rust over time, resulting in the issue I was describing. Unfortunately its a Porsche-only part so I took a deep breath whilst he priced one up for me. In addition to that, the rear-window hatch opening has been intermittent lately, it felt like the switch was only doing its job on a part-time basis, so John ordered a new switch to be fitted at the same time.

Fast forward to today and both parts have been fixed and fitted and everything is working marvellously once again! John showed me the old window regulator (I should have taken a picture, but I forgot) and the cables and connections were completely rusted.

Total cost to fix both issues was £330. Not a cheap fix then, but one that needed doing and I am still really enjoying this car so worth it to keep the car in good shape for a while yet.

Review: Ferrari F430 Spider

Originally written for Supercar Driver (www.supercar-driver.com) in December 2016

Ferrari F430 Spider, Red

Ferrari F430 Spider, Red

With a pick of the crop to showcase the Vanrooyen stock for the SCD magazine, whilst scanning the roomful of exotica, my car of choice had to be the Ferrari. It could only be the Ferrari. A red F430 convertible stood out like a beacon in a man cave. Fabulous.

As director Martin edged the car out of the showroom, the gleaming paintwork reflected the lighting, making every other car seem muted by comparison. This car looks good as new. The bright paintwork and cream leather interior belay the 40,000 miles on the odometer.

When the F430 came along back in 2004 it addressed many of the 360’s controversial lines of the time. The 360 was a big design step away, both in size and appearance, from its forebears – namely the pretty 355 and 348. It was visually striking but didn’t hit everyone’s sweet spot. The highly regarded F355 was a tough act to follow and the 360 brought the marque into the modern era, both with interior design, a rounded shape and increased reliability. Perhaps the shape was a little too soft, with designs from other brands beginning to take on a more edgy styling that was proving popular. So, when the F430 was launched, it brought the shape more up to date, with a predominant facelift at the front including revised lights and bumpers, plus angular detail to the rear of the car making the overall appearance more aggressive yet contemporary, whilst also improving aerodynamic efficiency. The F430 also brought with it numerous styling cues as a nod to previous generation models, including the embossed exterior mirrors and those rear light clusters echoing the design of the mighty Enzo.

But as with all Ferraris, the biggest change was in the heart of the machine – power was up almost 100bhp over the outgoing 360, making the revised engine (up from 3.6 to 4.3 litres) a lively beast indeed.

As we began our journey on this cold winters day, the car is set to Race on the Manettino dial and the tail happy F430 immediately gave us a hint of its playfulness as the rear scuttled us onto an empty side road, with the engine song brightening the day. Big grins all round but, as ‘Race’ is not something we intend to do in this climate with no track in sight, I switch the dial down a notch into Sport mode. This provides a more civilised experience, with the car’s computers still allowing maximum enjoyment, whilst keeping the F430’s mischievous side in check. This all helps to inspire confidence when driving this car, even in damp conditions.

The photographer wanted to get some motion shots for this feature and requested that I drive as close to his camera car as possible so that the ‘perfect shot’ could be obtained. Now, “as close as possible” in Raid’s world means mere inches away from his rear bumper. Never before have my buttocks been quite so clenched, nor my reactive instincts so immediately primed to stamp on the brake pedal, as much as when driving someone else’s Ferrari that close to another car. Apparently, I still wasn’t close enough but our photographer was happy none the less.

Photos over with and it was time to enjoy the car on some country lanes. With my winter coat on, the F430 was absolutely fine with the roof down even with the chill in the air. There was little buffeting that I noticed, it didn’t feel cold and conversation was easy. That said, words were always halted when the boot was put down, as the F430 exhaust comes alive at 3,500rpm. The discernible difference in volume will guarantee you a smile every single time with that trademark growl of a modern Ferrari being ever-so present here. Not quite the screamer of the V8s from the past, but a hugely enjoyable sound nonetheless. What surprised me was just how good the stock exhaust was, where traditionally aftermarket versions are needed to fully extract the song of Maranello.

The F430 feels sure footed as you’d expect, with oodles of power available on demand. It can cruise or go bonkers as your mood requires. The steering feel of these cars is not in the same league as say a modern Porsche, where precision is in abundance, but it doesn’t detract from the experience. The F430 feels more like an all singing, all dancing event, packaged up and delivered to you on four wheels, rather than something designed to beat the world at the Nürburgring.

The interior has stood the test of time very well. It is a simple and effective design, a real driver’s machine. This particular car has a nice set of options, not least the Daytona seats and the ‘Carbon Driving Zone’, which gives the interior a race appearance. There is also a sat-nav should you get lost, but having to drive this car more than necessary to get to your destination would hardly be a bad thing. Outside this model features the Challenge grill and the ever-important Scuderia shields on the front wings.

As we arrive back at Vanrooyen HQ, Martin asks “What did you think of it then?”. “I love it!” is my smiley reply. “Like it enough to buy it?” he grins. Oh, I would if I could, Martin. It is the perfect spec Ferrari, Rosso Corsa with Crema leather and, being a modern car, could offer lower overall maintenance costs than previous models (the F430 is chain driven rather than the belts of old to maintain). Nothing stops a crowd quite like a pulsing red Ferrari on full chat. It stirs the soul in a way that other car manufacturers just can’t match.

The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to” has perhaps never rang truer than with present day cars, with their lower capacity engines mated to turbos or electric hybrids now ruling the roost. If you want a screaming engine, then previous generation models are where you need to look. And with Ferrari used values on the increase in recent times it could prove to be a relatively low cost ownership proposition too. Every petrolhead needs to experience the thrill of a Ferrari at some point in their lives, to wear a beaming smile on your face, courtesy of that unmistakable prancing horse.

Motorcloud: New Colours!

Hi everyone. I’ve had the orange colour theme for a few years now, and thought it was time for a change. Given the current fleet is red and grey, I’ve gone for.. red and grey! I’m still keeping with the same simple user interface, I hope you like it.

Screenshot of before and after of the website colours

Motorcloud Colour Change!

Cayenne Report: Airbag fixed and MOT

Cayenne Airbag Fault

Cayenne Airbag Fault

I took my car in to Porsche Euro in Barnsley to have a look at the airbag light. Reassuringly, during the phone call to book in John had said it is probably the connectors (a common fault) – and this proved to be correct!

The MOT also passed with flying colours, so is good for another 12 months.

John also read the fault codes on the car and finally the Cayenne has reported against the intermittent parking sensor issue – on my car it is the inner most right-hand-side sensor that is intermittently faulty. John has cleared the code and they are working again but I need a new sensor – about £40 plus fitting and painting. A job for another day, but good that we finally know which one it is! 🙂

In other news, I have also purchased a new Dyson vacuum cleaner, to sort out the mess in the car. Our current Dyson upright (DC55 – less than 2 years old) is absolutely shite, so we now have a cordless rechargeable jobby, which is ideal for cleaning the cars too! I’ll report back on how good is fares….

Beetle Life: Creaking door sorted.

Just to keep you all in the loop (and for those unfamiliar with the term, being in “the loop” simply means you are being updated, but us corporate clones like to loop people in because it makes us sound executive-y and powerful 🙂 )…

So, the Beetle was booked in for the door mechanism to be sorted and, as VW Leeds is close to nothing else in the world, I requested a courtesy car. What a ‘mare of inconvenience that is. You call through and, if you need the service department you go through to an anonymous call centre who then book you in. You don’t get to talk to the actual service dept. Now, I know that the job at had wouldn’t take very long. I asked if I could have a timeslot, maybe first job of the day, and I can be in-and-out without needing a car. “No”, is VW’s answer. Instead you have to book a hire car, get a pre-authorisation driving licence code number from the DVLA, take in your ID, wait for it to be copied, sign insurance papers, take the car for the day, the bring it back to collect your car, via the petrol station to put in what you think you’ve used.

Now, this all sounds like a first-world problem – and indeed it is. But it needn’t have been anyone’s problem if VW wasn’t so absolutely corporate. I can see why indi’s are preferred over main dealers who offer a far more personalised, custom service.

But the generic (and admittedly small) inconvenience aside, the process was pretty painless overall. I was booked in for a few weeks later, and a pretty simple process followed. When I arrived, there was a bunch of the staff all stood outside waiting for customers like me to get us on our way. As soon as I pulled up, they knew who I was and came over to greet me. I was ushered inside, signed the forms and taken to my courtesy car – a new Polo (quick review: A very nice little car, but if you are in the market, buy a Fiesta, it’s better). So perhaps 10 minutes of effort, not the end of the world. All very professional and corporate.

I returned later that afternoon once I had finished work to collect the Beetle and, as expected, the check-straps had been sorted and we no longer have any creaking. VW also noticed a nail in one of the tyres and repaired that for about £30 if memory serves correctly.

So, all good, and Beetle is back – in and out within the day. Sorted. 🙂

Cayenne Report: Airbag Fault

Cayenne Airbag Fault

Cayenne Airbag Fault

Ooooh, the little nuisance. We have a new light on the dashboard – one that won’t go away (unlike the “your side light is out” warning previously mentioned, which seems to have fixed itself, must have been a loose connection).

So it’s off again to Porsche Euro in Barnsley. I’ve not booked it in yet, so John will get a call from me next week. The Cayenne is due an MOT as well at the end of February, so my next update will probably include both of those.
A few things needed this year then for the ol’ grey tank:
• Fix the scratch I did last year (stupid, stupid).
• Needs a good clean. Starting to look too ‘lived in’.
• Sort out the airbag warning.
• Sort out the MOT.
• Retrofit Cruise Control – possibly. I’ve been doing a few long jaunts recently – and being drives in this car has made them really quite enjoyable too – but when I drive home in an evening, I do think cruise would be nice. However, that all depends on if the Cayenne stays with us long term.
We might refresh the fleet this year, but we’ll see. We’ve only had the Cayenne and the Beetle a year, with the latter covering about 1,000 miles so far. As such, I’m still very happy with the Cayenne, and wifey still loves her funky Beetle. But we do like shiny bling and so the magpies might go searching for new metal. Lets see what the year brings…

Cayenne Report: Service Time [again]

Well, it came around faster than I’d hoped or expected, but with the surprise extra of a 10,000 mile service required on a V6 Cayenne, it was back to Porsche Euro in Barnsley to have it sorted out. I’ve also recently had a headlight bulb blow (it tells you on the dashboard, which is helpful), so John kindly sorted that out for me too. Just shy of 120 notes later, and my car was serviced, oil changed and service book stamped. Happy days.

Ouch
On the way to the service, there was a huge ‘thud’ on the roof as I travelled on the country lanes to Porsche Euro and it didn’t half make me jump. Nothing untoward with the car, so I presumed something had fallen on the roof from a tree above. A check at Johns place and it proved true – I’ve now got a dent in my roof.  . Not best pleased, but rather that than being my head in a convertible! Blimey.

Light Blown. Again.
Well, isn’t that typical. After John replaced my headlight bulb last week, the bloomin’ sidelight has blown on the same side tonight. I was tempted to have them all replaced at the time, as I find lights have a habit of all blowing in quick succession together but I didn’t bother. I watched John replace it though, and its a similar fare to 986 Boxsters, where you have to remove the headlight to replace. So I’ll have a go. Watch this space.

Comfort…
I am still extremely happy with the Cayenne, which for a car enthusiast who is always on the hunt for the next thing, gives me mixed emotions of elation that I don’t need to spend more money to satisfy a craving, but frustration that I’m not actively keeping up with the Jones’. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy with a car before. Sure, its pretty old hat now, the external body (a shape that I do like), whilst pretty much immaculate (aside from my previous scrape driving it into the garage, which I still need to have repaired) is showing its age in design when parked next to newer cars and the tech inside definitely looks last-decade.  So that’s not cool to impress the neighbours, if you are bothered about such things. But, as I eased my 39 year old buttocks out of a sumptuous cream heated-and-cooled massage leather driving seat of an utterly wonderful, nearly new £90,000 Bentley (more on that in a future update), and plonked them back into my seven grand Porsche, I was surprised to find that getting back in the Porsche was not the come-down you’d expect. It was like putting on your favourite pair of jeans. No matter how luxurious the new pair, those old ones fit like a glove and are still as comfortable as anything new. The engine note is lovely on the Porker too. And whilst a new Cayenne (2009 on) undoubtedly offers more luxury, more refinement, space and comfort, I’m not convinced that it could really provide me £20,000 worth of extra happiness. As a guy who always wants to own the next-thing (keeps me working hard), this isn’t positive-bias talking, I’m simply yet to find something that’s actually worth the extra to change.

And that, in summary, suggests to me that these cars really are an absolute steal.

Happy motoring folks!

Beetle Life: Warning, Nothing Is Wrong.

Red VW Beetle Cabriolet

Red VW Beetle Cabriolet

I’ve realised I’ve not updated this at all with the beetle. In fact, 6 months in and we’ve only done about 1,500 miles so far. With my good lady wife now having a job within walking distance from our home, the mileage will probably drop even further. But, thus far, the car has been great.

One issue so far, which is with the drivers door latch, which is creaking as you open it and you can see that there is excess play in the mechanism. I’ve booked this in to be looked at and hope/expect it will be covered under warranty as the car has only been in our possession for 6 months.

Everything else has been great. Its fun to drive and it looks great! Its a chunky thing though – care needed when putting it in the garage as those wheel arches really jut out!

Beetle Cabriolet Interior (Red)

Beetle Cabriolet Interior (Red)

“WARNING! Nothing is Wrong”
The strange thing about the Beetle is how it will warn you about nothing being wrong. Whenever you turn off the ignition, the dashboard flashes up “Check SAFELOCK!”. This is simply telling you that the deadlocks are enabled when you lock the car. Fine. Why wouldn’t they be? Why do I need to be told to check it every time I turn the car off?

It will also light up the amber airbag light for about 30 seconds when the car starts saying “AIRBAG ON”. Yes, I know, this is what I expected, why are you telling me?

Whats next? “Warning: Driver in the drivers seat”. “Warning: The boot is closed”. “Caution before you drive off: The Engine is on!”.

Its a bit stupid if you ask me and detracts from real problems.

Everything else though, fine and dandy! 🙂

Cayenne Report: Things I Don’t Like…

Things I don’t like about the Cayenne

Given my reports are generally filled with glory and happiness at the value-for-money proposition that the Cayenne now presents to the modern world, I thought I’d balance it with things which could have done with some more R&D. These are small things, but irksome nonetheless.
  1. The Boot. On all of the Cayennes that I looked at, the boot only raises up by about 85% of its allowed height. If you want it up at maximum level, you need to give it an extra push up with your hand. Now, that might not sound such a big deal, but the amount of times both me and the wife have doinked the ol’ noggin on the top of the flippin’ thing when getting the shopping out is embarrassingly more than I’d like to count. Silly design.
  2. The AirCon. This blows icey cold upon request – and it really is cold. Great. However, no matter what I try, I can’t seem to get it to cool the air around the car. It is either freezing my t*ts off (literally), blowing a gale in my face, or the car just stays warm. Its as though the only way to make it feel cold is to blow it right at you. No matter where I swing the vents, its either offering zero effect, or chilling you to the core. I wonder if this is simply due to the size of the car and that it can’t push enough air about the place to make the whole environment feel cool?
That’s about it really. Everything else is more ‘what you see is what you get’.
In other news… Service Time.
Again. Blimey. That’s come around quickly. I thought that the servicing was every 20,000 miles as per the handbook. John at Porsche Euro told me otherwise and that they require an oil change at the 10,000 interim, but I just hoped he was misinformed. Of course he wasn’t misinformed, its what he does for a living! Anyhow, the computer is telling me that I’ve got a thousand miles left before its time for a check-up at the 111,000 miles mark. I’ll keep you informed.
Average miles per gallon by the way is around 22mpg on a long run, and about 18-20mpg on local runabouts. This is pretty consistent over the duration, if anyone is wondering.

Cayenne Report: Sat Nav Update

I looked into updating my Nav a while ago but was told that I’d need a software update from Level A on the PCM to Level C, which would then accept the new maps, which sounded too much like hard work as it would require time at the OPC. I didn’t want new maps that much.

However, a chance encounter a recent car event and I got talking to a chap who was very knowledgeable on the subject – and he had the discs to perform the update.

And so the update was done! I had to put Level B disk in the head unit, then C into the Nav unit, and finally my new Map DVD into in the navigation drive. Voila! I am now up to 2015 maps. This is great, it now knows about various motorway link roads which weren’t around in 2005, and also recognises that my street is finished!

It brings additional extras too, such as the traffic reports and auto-diversion for major issues – something which I had on my previous 911 and it was very useful. It also has improved display on junctions, the nav will zoom in on a ‘target’ showing when you need to take action. It’s a small, but useful improvement over the standard nav of 2005.

No postcode search still – and that will probably never change, but at least it now knows the majority of street names.
All in all, it gives me the confidence back in the product and that I can now put my google maps away on the phone and be relatively sure that the nav will take me the best way home possible. Don’t get me wrong, it is still not as good as the Google Maps that you may have on the phone, the PCM simply doesn’t know about every minor delay (I still don’t know just how google knows about these so precisely, very clever tech!) and therefore isn’t as intuitive for the best way home all of the time – but it will avoid any major delays during travel.

The only thing (aside from postcodes) that is really missing now from the PCM is Bluetooth for the phone. Integration is possible via Dension and similar adapters, but it really isn’t worth the expense. There are also aftermarket stereo systems available which look very similar to the Cayenne Gen2 model PCM. These systems are bang up to date with tech, but for what I use it for, I think I’ll stick with my stock system and its updated maps.

Cayenne Report: New Ditchfinders

I have somehow ended up with a slow puncture on one of the rear tyres, which was halving its pressure every few weeks. A repair was needed and so I took it to my local ATS. They do a standard check across all wheels and noticed that the tyre on the opposite side of the axel had hit the replacement wear markers. I always replace my tyres in pairs, and so there was little point in continuing with a puncture repair. Instead I asked for a price to replace the tyres, requesting the budget variety as this car doesn’t do any extreme sports – be that seat-of-your-pants driving, or cliff mountaineering.

The tyre fitter came back a few minutes later with a price on the Simita tyres that I also have on the front, at a very reasonable £89 each. Ever the bargain hunter, I checked Black Circles who were similar in price for a set of budget tyres and so I elected to book directly with ATS for the Simita models.

The next day, they had arrived and were fitted. I’m a few hundred quid lighter in the wallet, but I knew I’d have to replace these, this year, when I bought the car anyway.

Onward for more happy days of motoring in the Cayenne beastie!

 

Cayenne Report: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

6,000 miles and 6 months on the Cayenne has been our chunky trooper. The time has certainly flown by and so far, overall, so good. Here is a reflection on our time with the Cayenne, along with some recent updates:

The Good.
I have a new spare-key! Hurrah! Porsche Euro ordered the key for me and it arrived a few weeks later. Not cheap at a few hundred quid, but I decided it was a price worth paying should my only key suddenly develop a fault. Whilst John was coding the key, I mentioned to him the flickering lights and the fact the car seems to rock itself when stood idle. A quick check with his expert eye and a confident declaration that the alternator was knackered. A new one from Porsche was an eye watering £800, with a pattern part coming in at £400ish for the parts only. However, John had a third solution: “I can have the existing part refurbished for much cheaper”. Let’s do that then! A week later, and a full on door-to-door collection and return service of my car within the day and John had fixed all of these problems with the refurb of the alternator. The cost? £220. Superb value!! I’d highly recommend Porsche Euro.

In other news, everything else is working fine so far, and the interior is holding up well. Very relaxing to drive. I love it. The Mrs would still like a Discovery Sport though…

The Bad.
MPG? Christ. It drinks the stuff! DRINKS it, I say. I think it sniffs petrol even when turned off.

I’ve also got a puncture. I need to get that fixed.

The stench of smoke is still making an appearance too, despite the big valet that I had done a few months ago. I purchased a bottle of AutoGlym odour eliminator to try and that seems to be really good. I suspect the headlining is the main issue, but a good squirt every week or so and it seems to be sorting it. It’s certainly nowhere near as bad as when I bought the car.

I think I do want cruise control; it is something I am really missing on the monthly 160 mile round-trip. That’s probably the only thing that’s missing really from the actual driving experience.

The stereo is a strange one. It sounds absolutely fine, and it is incredibly bass-y if you want to crank up the choons. However, it lacks the clarity of the Bose system from my Cayman, and definitely much worse than the Meridian system in the Evoque. It’s not unpleasant by any stretch, it just sounds a bit ‘dull’ on high volume. But I’m being picky. And I don’t listen to loud music very often either.

The Ugly.

Cayenne Scratch

Cayenne Scratch

Oops. My own stupid fault. I decided I wanted to see if I could get the Cayenne into a single width garage by myself without anyone watching. Heading nose-first was a no-no, impossible to see around the sides of the car, so I reversed in instead. All was going well until I got the front wings, when I heard a crunch. I thought this was merely the wheels landing on the drain grates in front of the garage, but as I continued back, the ongoing crunching suggested otherwise. I looked out of the window to see the wing attached to the bricks. Fek!! Next job: Chipsaway.

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