Audi A4 Blog: Another Breakdown

Audi A4 Brake Light

Audi A4 Brake Warning

A few things have gone wrong recently with the ol’ Audi shed, causing me to rethink the long term ownership plans of this car. It started with the remote central locking becoming intermittent, and ended with the car being locked in a car park in the centre of Leeds – with no way to unlock it without the alarm going off. More on that later.

Whilst the intermittent central locking set up something of a warning of future problems, a more immediate issue following a relatively long drive home from Manchester airport after a short business trip to Rome, manifested itself with a flashing red light on the dashboard just as I pulled onto the driveway. A check of the manual showed that this indicates the brake fluid is low. One solution would be to simply top it up, but the correct solution is to find out why it’s used the fluid in the first place.

An internet post – and a call to my brother in law (a mechanic by trade) suggested that the brakes might be due replacement. I hadn’t replaced the rear brakes in my tenure with the car, so assumed these must be due. £39 of eBay magic later and I had myself a new set of disks and pads. I enlisted the skills of my father in law to complete the replacement duties, but he duly informed that both discs and pads are in full tact and don’t require replacement. However, there was a ceased brake calliper, which he fixed, and noted that there was a small leak on the handbrake, so might explain the dip in fluid – which was topped up and the light immediately went out. I’ve also now got a spare set of rear discs and pads for the potential new owner when I come to sell. The brakes are working fine but will monitor closely incase the leak issue hasn’t been fully resolved.

Audi A4 Recovery Truck

Waiting for loading on the Recovery Truck

The final issue to date – which had me cursing furiously, was the remote central locking keyfob failing completely, and being unable to get into the car without the alarm going off. This ended in a recovery truck being called (exceptional service once again from AutoAid) and me considering a change of car in the near future. I managed to eventually get the secondary keyfob working on the aftermarket alarm to unlock the car, and am now using the key in the door rather than risk the same issue occurring again.

So for now, we are back on the road safely, but two recoveries is one too many for my liking, so am on the lookout for a replacement. Watch this space…

Event: October Drive

As we headed towards the back end of the driving season, it was time for a final meet up with good friends in good cars. After an enjoyable drive on the outskirts of Manchester, we all arrived at Stadt Techniq for breakfast and chat. Stadt had opened their doors to showcase their new premises.

A fun morning out – here are the pics. Having sold the Porsche, I accompanied Mike in his lovely blue 360 Spider. At one point, an enthusiastic drag race almost ended the clutch of the 360. You can watch the video here:

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And here it is, making some noise…

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Great fun. 🙂

Evoque Blog: New tyres and stoppers

Freelander Courtesy Car

Freelander Courtesy Car

Following my previous post the Evoque was taken to the workshop for a few items fixing. New tyres and brakes and the hinge on the passenger door has been fixed. No issues to report, and Land Rover Wakefield held good on their promise and price matched the tyres.

All completed for £564.

Courtesy car was a Freelander. I was away on business at the time but my wife tells me it was ‘OK’. It had a bigger boot, but wasn’t as stylish and felt a bit sluggish. So there you go.

Interestingly, I also received an email video from the dealership – it was the workshop technician just reporting that the checks had completed and no issues to report. A nice touch I thought!

Evoque Blog: Minor Fault, booked in.

The Evoque is running well and still returning in the early 30-mpg’s for fuel. On long runs it gets into the higher 30’s but rarely more than that.

It has developed a fault with the passenger front door though, which creaks painfully as you open and close it. Looking closer, it looks like the centre bracket has become a bit loose. The car still needs new tyres and brakes from the service recommendations, so I’ve booked it in today. The list is as follows:

  • New tyres (front) Continental.
  • New brake pads (rear).
  • Fix the creaking.
  • Look at the squeaky boot.

Booked in for next Wednesday, courtesy car reserved.

Also interestingly, Wakefield Land Rover has stated they price match against tyre quotes. I’ve given them the quote I’ve had, so will see if they come good on their promise.

Event: KnightCon 2014

KnightCon 2014

KnightCon 2014

Another year, another KnightCon – and another enjoyable day out. After a few years at Xscape in Castleford, the organisers moved the event to a pay-on-entry full sale convension at Doncaster Racecourse.

The event was bigger than ever and has now expanded far beyond the original Knight Rider car park meet five years prior. Still having Knight Rider at its core, the event now expands to “Star Cars and Heroes”, featuring cars from all kinds of TV shows, like the A-Team and Transformers, to constumed characters like Iron Man, Batman and countless others walking the floor that day.

There was also a stage, where the celebrities of-the-day were present to recount their time on the sets of these fondly remembered shows – including a few of the characters and behind-the-scenes staff from good ol’ Knight Rider. 🙂

Event: Jaguar Factory Tour

Red Jaguar F Type

Red Jaguar F Type

What a fantastic day this was. The ol’ man and I took the 911 down to Castle Bromwich for an indepth tour of this prestigious car manufacturer. Organised by Supercar Driver owners club, the tour focussed on the new F-Type.

upon arrival, we parked up next to a line of other sports and supercars and went inside to the showroom for the meet and greet. Inside, they had a line of the latest models from Jaguar and, after being primed with complimentary tea and coffee, we were escorted to the briefing room where a large cinematic display told us all about the history of Jaguar. This was the start of what was to be a facinating and throoguhtly intersting day out.

Folllowing the briefing, we were taken outside to an awaiting bus that drove us across the road and into the factory. As we went down, we spotted a new car being test driven, complete with discuised livery. “err… just ignore that car, nothing to see here” said our host jokingly. On reflection, I believe this was the new Jaguar XE model, that has now been launched. Cool, huh!

We arrived at the factory momentarily and what followed was an hour or so of being led around the factory, seeing in full detail how the new F-Type car was built – from components to full car. What I found the most facinating was the robots – how they all move about with such pricision, even selecting different tools for different jobs as the cars are being built. Truely facinating stuff.

Both my Dad and I thoroughtly enjoyed this day out – a joyous day showing how modern cars are built, how focussed and dedicated the workers are and the geuine passion and enthusiasm of all the staff. If you get the opportunity, this is surely one not to miss for any car enthusiast.

Unfortunately, photos couldn’t be taken inside the room, so here is a publicity shot:

Jaguar Factory Pic

Jaguar Factory Pic

Jaguar factory tour link.


My Pictures:

Feature: Ferrari Garage Test!

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

I knew when Mike was close by. Everyone knew. That unmistakable rasp of a Ferrari engine overshadowed and broke the otherwise calm, morning air. Living on a typical UK built-up housing estate, Mike was driving in a quiet and considered manner. Well, as quiet as he could be, he was keeping the revs low but the rumble of the V8 could still be clearly heard from a hundred yards away.

A Ferrari is coming to my house. It’s exciting isn’t it. Even as a 30-something grown-up family guy, a Ferrari coming to my house still makes me feel like that teenager with the poster on his wall. It would have been a dream-come-true in those days but twenty years on, better late than never!

With a bit more hard work and effort, I will hopefully be a position to buy one of these dream cars at some time in the future, but there is a caveat – and hopefully one that Mike will be dispelling today. The mission to fulfil is one of a ‘garage test’ and the size of my garage dictates this is certainly to be a mission.

A Ferrari of some description has been on my ‘to-do’ list now for years, but each time – largely influenced by life factors – I keep opting for Porsches. My stable currently keeps a 911 (997.1) cabriolet warm at night, but today the 360 will temporarily occupy the space ordinarily reserved for the German marque.

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

But before we try the prancing horse in my otherwise very tight new-build type single garage, we are going for a drive. As Mike arrives and pulls onto my driveway, it takes considerable effort to retain the limited amounts of cool that I possess and curb a natural instinct to jump up and down, clapping my hands with glee. The gloomy clouds of the morning had parted and now a bright ray of sunshine permeated the sky. Mikes 360 is a convertible ‘Spider’ and perfect for a day like this.

After a short break upon arrival to give Mike the opportunity to stretch his legs and rehydrate – and for me to make sure that everyone local knows I’ve got a Ferrari on my driveway today – we head off to a lightly used industrial estate nearby. But not before being papp’d by the neighbours youngest.

At the far end of this lightly used industrial road, we swap seats and I’m the one in control. This isn’t a track drive. It’s a real world drive and people will see me. People will probably judge me too. It’s the experience you just can’t get elsewhere and this type of attention would undoubtedly form part of any Ferrari ownership experience (for better, or for worse).

Mike gives some instruction on how to move the seat and steering column (I’m very surprised to find my 6’4″ frame can find a very comfortable position) and usage of the F1 paddle shift system. This particular car also has an F430 exhaust system with the noise inhibiters removed. It’s a real screamer, even at low revs.

The seats hug nice and tight and all of the important dials are easily readable, less so the speedo. I love how in a Ferrari it is almost disregarded with indifference – anything below 40mph is just a bit-part at the bottom of the instrument cluster. Conversely the rev-counter shouts at you with large fonts and can be understood with a mere glance.

A fast machine this may be, but the level of noise from that exhaust, combined with the V8 power plant, can make this a fun car even at very low speeds. During town driving, this combination makes it sound like you are pressing on, even when you are within the laws of the land. That’s not always a good thing.

“Someone once tried to hit my car with a newspaper!” Mike tells me. “I’m just glad it wasn’t anything more substantial”. Exuberate noise doesn’t do him any favours for neighbour relations either. “A few weeks ago, I was going for an early morning drive. You are supposed to leave these cars running for a few minutes so the gearbox warms up. Whilst I was waiting a somewhat tired and exasperated neighbour came over in a dressing gown pleading ‘Every Sunday! Every Sunday, Mike. Why??’ That claim is an exaggeration though as the 360 isn’t used that much, but it certainly isn’t a car you buy to keep the peace.”

As we set off – gingerly a first, after all I’m in someone else’s pride and joy, I get a little more confident with the controls, the feel of the steering and the travel on the accelerator and brake pedals. It all feels good. Very good, like a giant go-kart.

Ferrari - Loved by all ages!

Ferrari – Loved by all ages!

Reaction from passers-by seems to be one of admiration from petrol heads, and indifference from everyone else. Onlookers who care about such things stop in their tracks and watch the car go by. “If its younger kids who are pointing at the car, I’ll sometimes blip the throttle for them,” Mike informs. “I think back to when I was that age and if an owner would have done that for me, it would have made my day”. I didn’t experience any negative gestures or comments.

As we arrive at the supermarket (Mike has instructions to bring back a disposable BBQ for an impromptu party that night), a young petrol head comes over as we lock up the car. The expression on his face is one of amazement, excitement and delight. “Wooooooaaaaahhh”, is about all he can muster. His expression tells you all you need to know. “Ca…can I take a picture of your car please?” he says, eyes transfixed on the 360. Of course the answer is yes and Mike is accommodating, showing him around the car. “So, do you like it?” Mike asks. “Like it? I want to own it!” the lad replies. Me too, I guess we never really grow up.

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

Ferrari 360 Spider TDF blue

Back in the car and armed with a BBQ in the boot we head back to the house to see if it will fit in garage. A Ferrari is such an event to drive. The feel of the car will be familiar to anyone who has owned a mid-engined car, just a lot bigger, a lot wider and a lot noiser. Oh the noise. The noise. It’s that instant switch at 3,000 rpm when the exhaust valves open and the engine just explodes its soundtrack through those fat tailpipes! It is a continual giggle fest and something I reflected on after fifteen minutes of driving that I hadn’t actually stopped smiling the entire time – and we hadn’t really pressed on other than a couple of test runs on a quiet speed-restricted road – real lough out loud moments those.

When you do firmly commit the loud pedal, this car is just sublime. The noise, the howl, is by far the most satisfying element, closely followed by the wonderfully linear acceleration and – on this dry day at least – confident handling. Even the gear change on the F1 is great. My reference is a previously loaned PDK ‘box from Porsche which is probably the most efficient automatic gearbox ever designed. The shift on the Porsche is immediate, whereas the F1 on this 360 feels more like a manual. There is a momentary delay where you can imagine the auto gearbox engaging the clutch and changing gear, and the result just makes it feels more interactive.

The feeling of driving a Ferrari on the road is totally different to that on track – it makes you feel like a big kid. It is everything that I hoped it would be all those years ago looking at the mad angles and shapes of the poster Ferrari’s and wondering then what they are like to drive and whether I would ever see one in the metal.

Someone once described his Ferrari to me as “silly”. A silly car that always makes you smile because it serves no purpose other than fun. It is totally impractical, expensive, a noise nuisance and at the same time utterly amazing. That same person also told me he always leaves his Ferrari at work, so that after a bad day at the office, he can opt for a drive home in the Ferrari and in doing so, will always arrive home happy.

Ferrari in a small garage!

Ferrari in a small garage!

Back at my house, it’s time to see whether the dream could ever be a reality. The 911 is demoted from the garage and we tentatively coast the 360 into position to see if it will fit. Money matters aside, this will determine whether or not a Ferrari could ever purchased in the future. Mike drives the car in, folding the mirrors as the 360 approaches the doorway. To my surprise – and delight – the car fits without any real problems. It’s a mordern, and typically small, garage and yet the ultra wide 360 can be stored in there without issue – but only if it is a convertible! The downside is that the width of the garage is just too narrow to open the door wide enough to be able to get out, but with a convertible the exit is to simply climb over those low doors and raise the roof once you are out of the car.

So, the Coupe is a reluctant ‘no’, but the spider is a firm ‘yes!’ The downside of the spider means more saving is required as the spiders come at a premium. However, I love the light blue coloured 360’s and the resale market seems to hate them so maybe that will even things out on price. As much as I love red coupes, I couldn’t own a red convertible because I’m not an Italian, twenty-something playboy singleton with a chiselled jaw and rock hard man-muscles. But a blue spider might make me look less of an arse. Hopefully.

Ferrari in a tight garage!

Ferrari in a tight garage!

For now though, I’ve got the Porsche and the more I drive it, the more I love it. But would I change the 911 for one? The 911 looks good, it drives great, it is desirable, relatively good value and can transport the family with ease. My daughter (who has just turned three) loves going out (and playing in!) my “Porsch-a!” and it’s getting a lot of use as our sunny-day car, as well as for the spirited solo-drives should the mood take once fancy. It’s a great all round sports car.

By comparison, the 360 is bonkers. It’s a slightly unhinged, impractical, ridiculously loud, desirable machine that makes people stop and stare.

The quote the old adage, a Porsche is a wife – everything you want and need to be content with life. The Ferrari is the mistress and, as far as cars are concerned, I think I want both.

Time to get a second job…

Photos by Dom Fisher (dfishpix) and used with permission.

The 911 Years: Cleaned Driveway!

Ok, so this isn’t technically anything to do with the 911, but following the post of part-1 of my garage floor refresh, I thought I’d post anyway.

Our home is now around ten years old, and the red paving at the front of the tarmac drive was looking a little tired. Indeed a quick blast with the Karcher jetwash showed just how much grime is on there. In addition, a colony of Ants had taken residence at the top of the drive and had sunken four or five bricks over time.

A chance meeting with a tree surgeon(I need one cutting back in a few weeks time) and noticed his business card advised that he also cleaned and restored driveways. Happy days. I received a quote, which I was very pleased with which also including relaying the sunken bricks and (if the Ants nest was under the bricks) removal of that too.

I came home a few days later to find the driveway fully completed – and significantly cleaner than even the small section I had done with the Karcher – and fully sealed too. Unfortunately, the ants nest wasn’t directly under the pavings and they are still there battling away, making holes in my newly laid sand. But on balance, I’d rather they be at the top of the drive than in my house and if it takes another 10 years for them to sink a few paves, then it will be time to re-clean anyway. 🙂

Regardless, the driveway is now looking fantastic and has led me to thinking about cleaning the tarmac too. It’s possible to buy a tarmac stain which gives it that fresh black wet look that newly laid tarmac has. Decisions, decisions.

Driveway cleaned!

Driveway cleaned!

BMW i3 Review

BMW i3 - Grey/Black

BMW i3

“1.21 Gigawatts? 1.21 Gigawatts!” Those words that echoed in my mind, and refused to leave, the entire time I was in the company of this new electric powered BMW i3. For the uninformed (and where have you been?), those words were immortalised by the legendary Dr. Emmet Brown, whilst trying to work out how to send Michael J Fox “Back to the Future” in 1985. The movie car in question (a Delorean, no less) required a bolt of lightning in order to power the car through time. Mega electric indeed.

This nifty BMW i3 on the other hand, doesn’t require quite the same amount of juice, but then time travel isn’t on BMWs options list either. What the i3 does do though, is allow true home-powered motoring in an incredibly efficient and environmentally conscious package.

The i3’s appearance will divide opinion greatly, but personally I think this is a real funky looking thing. A little futuristic, small on the outside, big on the inside, tall and thin. The diminutive BMW has a very roomy cabin and feels that of a larger car. The narrow front seats and the lack of a centre console really give an impression of more space than you would expect given is external size. It is comfortable, if a little harsh on the suspension and the lumbar support is quite unforgiving. There is lots of glass all around the cabin though and if spec’d with a light coloured interior gives the i3 a really calm and airy feel. Plus, being fully automatic makes the whole driving experience a pleasant one. It comes with plenty of toys including two large LCD information screens and the optional Business Sat Nav is the best navigation system I have ever used.

The construction of the car is carbon fibre with the materials and general ethos of the build being around sustainability. You can spec an all-electric, or opt for a range-extender version (tested here), equipped with a 647cc bike engine. This is used to charge the batteries should you find yourself running low on electric juice. Charging those batteries at home can be an overnight affair from a standard plug, but there are various options available to speed this up, including a rapid charger at public stations which will bring the car to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.

Being new to this electric business, I decided that the first stop would be the petrol station to make sure I’d got my backup fuel. There is the first surprise – the tank is tiny. Less than £10 of fuel brimmed it. Handing over a tenner – and getting change – is a very good feeling on the forecourt. The i3’s petrol motor will only come to life if you either specifically tell it to, or if you are running very low on electric power – at which point it will cut in and start charging the batteries to keep you moving. Otherwise, you are on electric only.

When in use, the petrol motor isn’t intrusive emitting a low noise hum. You have two fuel gauges – one for petrol, one for electric and there are three different modes to suit your driving style, each extending the range further by turning off non-essential items like climate control.

Being an electric car, you do have to adapt your driving style, but this is something that takes minutes, rather than days to master. When you are not accelerating, the car is braking; there is no coasting function. This means it is quite possible to come to a complete stop – and quite quickly – without touching the brakes at all. Acceleration is a giggle, the power is all there immediately and the i3 takes off very rapidly. Handling is all fine for a car of this size, but despite its low centre of gravity (the batteries are central underneath the car), it did feel rather blowy at motorway speeds.

As a package I think this car is absolutely fantastic. It is different to look at, but not massively so to fall into the ‘weird’ category and it looks a little space-age’y. And charging a car at home has massive appeal. MPG, even when using the petrol extender came in at around 75mpg and running on electric, was the equivalent of 350mpg. Big numbers indeed. With a BIK value of zero, this car really comes into its own as a company car too (the Range Extender model will give you around 200 miles total petrol and electric between fill-ups).

The i3 could be the car that kick starts the electric car revolution into the mainstream. It has that BMW badge on the bonnet and is reasonably priced (starting at £30,680 but then minus a £5,000 government grant). It looks quite funky yet still familiar and it is very easy to drive. It also points to what we can look forward to in the upcoming i8 supercar.

Whilst it seems that you might still require 1.21 Gigawatts to head back to the past, all you actually need to head towards your own future is a 13 amp plug. The future is here, and it’s pretty cool indeed.

The 911 Years: At the point of Depreciation

For some reason, certain cars (or brands of cars) attract a notable dip in value depending on the mileage that they hit.

For Porsches, I think this is 70,000. A car with 65,000 miles might be considered to have strong mileage, but 70,000 would be high miles. Weird huh. Anyhow, I am now but a couple of miles away from that ‘probably difficult to sell’ threshold of 70,000 miles and thought I’d share this landmark point with you all…

Porsche - almost 70,000 miles

Porsche – almost 70,000 miles

And here is a picture of the old girl, still looking great after 9 years and (almost) 70,000 miles…! 🙂

Porsche 997.1 Black Cabriolet

Porsche 997.1 Black Cabriolet

Event: Supercars and Pizza Night, July 2014

31st July was the date set for the monthly Pizza night at the Cadeby Inn near Doncaster. And what a turnout! I arrived just as the UKs first customer Lamborghini Huracan was leaving, and in funky orange looked fantastic!

On arrival to the car park, the amount of people there was really surprising – the place was packed and really bustling. A number of other non-“Supercar Driver” (aka SCD club) cars were also there, including a fabulous Escort RS Cosworth, a classic Rolls Royce and a funky Porsche Boxster in a blue/red combo!

Porsche Sheffield were also there sporting a bright blue Carrera 4S, the latest 991 Turbo S, and a Martini stickered Cayman.

BMW were also showcasing the latest M3 and the futuristic i8 hybrid supercar.

A great evening – albeit expensive drinks (£3.60 for a pint of non-descript cola, made me wince a bit), but the atmosphere, the pub and the cars made it a very worthwhile trip

Here are a few pictures, taken later as a number of cars had left, but shows the quality of the turnout!

The 911 Years: Porsche Festival

A spur of the moment decision for us, it was a lovely day and we decided to head over the the annual Porsche Festival, held this year at Lotherton Hall on 20th July 2014.

It was surprising the number of cars that were on display – rows and rows of Stuttgart’s finest. The event also allowed discuounted entry to the hall, gardens and its bird zoo – a great family day out then! 🙂

There was a 911 (997.1, same model as mine) there in particular which had the modified DRL front side lights. I have to say they do look great on the photos but in ‘real life’ I think they are a little too bling for my tastes. I was considering purchasing a set, but I think I might leave it.

In summary, a really enjoyable day, albeit a relatively short one for us, but I was impressed at the turnout – this being my first attendance at a Porsche Club GB event.


Audi A4 Blog: Happy Birthday!

OK, so its not technically it’s birthday, but it has now been in my ownership for 2 whole years!! Well, about 25 months to be exact, close enough for an update though.

Reflecting on this, it has been a period of ups and downs, but mainly it has been right across the middle being a relatively reliable and dependable car – albeit not a particularly comfortable one, it has to be said.

But, with the onset of this anniversary, I thought I’d knock up a quick list showing the approximate costs to date. So without further adue…

Audi A4 Costs:

Year 1:

  • Purchase cost: £300
  • Work at purchase: £100
  • Insurance (3 months): £87
  • Ignition Switch: (unsure)
  • Insurance: £350
  • MOT: £40
  • TOTAL: £877

Year 2:

  • Tyre fix and balance: £25
  • Car Tax: £260
  • Insurance: £350
  • Mini-Valet: £12
  • MOT: £45
  • 4 tyres: £200.02
  • Discs and pads (front): £32.50
  • Upper and lower arms: £54
  • TOTAL: £978.52

Ancillary costs:

  • Air over 2 years: Approx £5
  • AutoAid Breakdown cover: £39 per year.

Total of two years ownership: £1899.52

Approximate value of the car now: £300

Final Standing: £1599.52 in 25 months, not including fuel. = £63 per month.

Shedding looks to still be the cheapest mode of transportation! However, I suspect that running the Porsche as the only car rather than the Audi might have been cheaper than this, or if not not much more expensive overall. However, that would ruin the fun of the Porsche – and of course having a variety on the driveway is more fun. 🙂

Evoque Blog: Evoque Clean!

Our Evoque is regularly treated to a £5 hand wash special at the local petrol station, but the inside is only ever cleaned out occasionally. It was beginning to look a little too ‘lived in’, so I put a call in to Tony Spears who owns Autoshine specialist detailing. He has worked on my cars in the past. As the Evoque is only 2 years old, and a daily workhorse I didn’t want the full detailing package, but just a spruce up inside and outside. Tony completed the work in the day and our little red off-roader is now fully polished and protected with the inside looking good as new.

Particular note is the cup holders, which seem to attract all kinds of micro dirt, and they looked positively sparkling again. Here are a few pictures (apologies they aren’t great quality, these are iPhone snaps as I didn’t have my camera on me):

A couple of days later it was covered in grass on the inside again, after my good lady wife did a sponsored charity ‘muddy run’ across a large field on a particularly wet day. Armed with passengers that day too, it is now due another clean, which I’ll sort with the Dyson over the next few days. It won’t be as good as Tony’s efforts, but at least it’ll be nice again. 🙂

If you need yours either valeting or full detail restoration, give Tony a call.



The Evoque is still going great guns so far, with no issues to report. Perhaps a minor point is the boot squeaks a bit when you close it, which I assume is the hydraulic ram jobbies. I’ll get that looked at next service as it isn’t a big thing.

I’ve also noticed that the newer Evoques all have the Land Rover badge jutting out of the centre grill. Personally, I think it looks a bit naff as it isn’t flush with the grill. Thankfully mine is an older model and doesn’t have this cosmetic feature but retains the original cleaner look. 🙂

The 911 Years: MOT Time 2014

MOT Time.

It’s the same old story. I know its round about due. I’ve had the reminders from previous companies and it’s on the to-do list. Then it slips one’s mind only to return the day before it expires. That’s right, it’s time for the Ministry of Transports annual inspection test on my Porsche 911.

I called my local, friendly MoT centre and they were able to book me in for the next day. I’m pleased to report the car passed with flying colours, aside from an advisory on the rear tyres. Given the low miles I’m doing (approximately 3,500 per year) he said the might even last to the next test.

However, I don’t like to risk tyres or brakes so they will get done when we arrive at winter – probably another 1,000 miles away.

Oily Bits.

The 911 has been puffing out smoke on start-up fairly frequently which I understand is a trademark of the flat-six engine, as is the use of oil. A call to Russ at Revolution to buy a few top-up bottles and he advised that anything up to 1 litre per 700 miles is generally acceptable by Porsche’s own standards but if it’s any fewer miles that I should have it booked in for a check-up. To be honest, I think I have only used 2-3 litres since my last service about 3,500 miles ago so things are hopefully all OK. However, I’ll top it up again this weekend and then reset the odometer and see how things stand between fill ups.

I also enquired about re-spray costs whilst at Revolution. They’ve got a car in at the moment and the bumper re-spray looked like a good colour match. The price was acceptable, so a blow-over on the front and into the wings might be a consideration for next year, depending on finances, as the front end is badly stone chipped. It looks fine from a few feet away, but up close it is very peppered.

In other news.

Nothing else to report other than I’m still enjoying driving the car and sharing family journeys with my wife and daughter. My wife used it for the day recently whilst the Evoque was in for a spruce-up with AutoShine, and unfortunately she still doesn’t like driving it! But my almost-three year old daughter still loves it to bits. Which is good news, because I’m still pretty fond of it too.

Isabelle in the Porsche Seat!

Isabelle in the Porsche Seat!