Used car buying advice
April 11, 2018 at 10:34 am #19495
Good to hear – well done.
It makes a hell of a difference on medium to long runs. I occasionally open the sun roof an inch or so once in a while on the journey – refreshes the air – then let the air con stabilise the temp again.00April 11, 2018 at 2:14 pm #19510
I’ve not had a sun roof in a car since 2006! They are coming back into trend in the form of moon roofs, but they are expensive options.00April 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm #19516
Yes – I’ve got the panoramic version on mine – it’s superb when the weather is good. It’s got 5 or 6 segments that fold back against each other and slide back, with the front one staying in place but acting as a wind deflector. When I got it second hand 5 1/2 years ago it came well loaded.00April 11, 2018 at 3:54 pm #19518
I can’t afford posh roofs 😥00April 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm #19520
That’s why I buy secondhand – if you choose carefully they can come really loaded, for not much more than standard equipped.
We used the MB Approved Used scheme. Took us a couple of months to find one that had all I wanted on it, with the right mileage. I wanted the panoramic roof, bi-xenons ( superb lights ), cruise control and Sat Nav, and got headlamp washers, voice controlled satnav/media, electric adjusted front seats, heated front seats and a load of others I can’t remember. Patience is the key!!00April 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm #19523
I am not a great fan of sun roofs as the sun on my head causes me problems when driving, but they can be useful to vent excess heat before the AC gets going if we ever get a sunny day again. I have only ever tested mine or demonstrated it to my wife in a year and a half of ownership, perhaps this year that will change, but then perhaps not.00April 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm #19524
I took the bi xenons out of mine and swapped for ice white LEDs (6400kl iirc) , they was an extra 750£ option from Vx, cost me £10 for the 4 replacements, both DRL and main beam, (high beam on the gtc is just a mechanical lens, so no extra bulbs needed. I didn’t bother to swap the fogs out, as that was too much work, iirc the bumper or the inner wheel arch liner needed taking off.
Also the xenons are an expensive replacement . I asked Vx about their prices and I’m sure they said around £100 a pop. I like my LEDs they are super white. Though given most councils now have white LED lampposts it’s weary strange the first few times you drive into such an area. It feels like your lights are off, not cos you can’t see up the road, more you can’t see your own lights, it’s very much like turning your lights on on the day.00April 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm #19525
You almost certainly need to have the working fluid topped up. (Probably propane + lubricant is used today ). Kwik-fit and others do it. Probably best to have a specialist do it so they can vac rest it for leaks. When I lived in the Tropics this was a regular 3 year job (freon in those days).
I don’t know why you thought that the refrigerant is propane, HFC R-134a refrigerant was used for cars approved before the end of 2010 with HFO-1234yf replacing it over time for new cars. Some time back it was R22 as far as I remember. A bit of research suggests that using a slightly wrong gas in a system can produce some though provoking issues. Add the wrong lubricant and stand back…00April 11, 2018 at 7:34 pm #19532
You’d hate my car Richard. Everyone that enters it moan cos I never have the air-conditioning off. Even in the winter I get warm in the car. Always set to 16.5 degrees.
Anything above 30mph it’s more economical to have the air con on than open a windows or roof. Which is all driving.00April 12, 2018 at 7:57 am #19548
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Thanks Richard, but when I read the blurb on HFO1234yf it looks far more dangerous (ex flammability) than the relatively benign propane! That may be a personal issue as I worked in an industry that used HF, and that material certainly is not friendly – get a drop of liquid HF on your skin and it keeps going until it hits bone, HF gas fills your lungs with water, and both give you a painful death two days later. Nice stuff!
Bottom line if your car ever catches fire get out quick and keep up-wind.00April 12, 2018 at 10:17 am #19555
Steve, I was referring to the sun roof not getting much use, not the A/C. I don’t need the A/C all the time, heater off, fan on and the vents open, not on recirculation is normally enough for a large part of dull cold year, perhaps its the effect of living in hot climates for a long period. Today may be an A/C day as I take my wife to get another hospital appointment on a dull, misty November like wet day that is great for fogging the windows. The A/C does a much better job of demisting than almost anything else, though if it just me, the open windows are pretty useful, if it not raining with puddles filling tank trap size potholes everywhere, like today. I yearned for A/C back in the 1970s when we returned from overseas for a ‘medical breaks’ and were stuck in the North Circular car park trying to get to London hospitals.00April 12, 2018 at 10:41 am #19557
Thanks Richard, but when I read the blurb on HFO1234yf it looks far more dangerous (ex flammability) than the relatively benign propane! That may be a personal issue as I worked in an industry that used HF, and that material certainly is not friendly – get a drop of liquid HF on your skin and it keeps going until it hits bone, HF gas fills your lungs with water, and both give you a painful death two days later. Nice stuff! Bottom line if your car ever catches fire get out quick and keep up-wind.
Nothing is perfect or easy and yes the fire promotion properties of the current ‘benign’ refrigerant gas have been known about since they were introduced. I am not sure it they are heavier than air or lighter than air though with any vehicle fire get the heck away. The plastic, fuel and other combustibles are a rich enough cocktail to give you something to think about – from a safe distance.
If it is a van or truck brewing up, think distance, even the tyres can do you damage and as for the load, best to avoid.
Certainly best to avoid vehicle fires in the first place some vehicle makers please take note!00April 12, 2018 at 11:30 am #19561
Just about anything, in most cars, has the propensity to explode – given the right temperatures and conditions.
Glass windows shatter from heat then blow out from pressure. Tyres give a good impression of an explosion after the tyre melts enough and the super-heated air inside finds a weak point.00April 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm #19564
Yes Richard, I never used my sun roof back in the day. Always been an aircon person. My FiL will sit there sweating and will refuse to put it on, so I leave his on every time I borrow his car lol.
And yes aircon demists the windows the fastest. As a sweater my windows most up fast, as soon as I turn the aircon off. I overheat far to easily, I get uncomfortable if the house is over 17 degrees, so in the car with a fleece or coat on, I start leaking in December after 5 mins in the car if the aircon isn’t on.
The wife used to hate this, now she is worse than me for getting hot, which is a full 360 to when I met her. She was one of them what would walk in a house, and sit on the flaw next to the fire.
Our (electric) fire last been on for 2 or 3 winters now. It was tried about 3 days into the last snowfall, but it didn’t start (probably a fuse) but no one is bothered, so I’m not bothered to fill it. The fire looks nice, that’s why we bought it, so it will stay. Maybe be swapped for a burner in the summer, or next.00April 12, 2018 at 7:24 pm #19576
You would not love my office, it is currently 24.7 C with its heating turned off. I am close to ‘open the window time’, except that the rain is an unwelcome presence. It told its good for the rice harvest, the run off from the fields is already flooding the main road. The rest of the house is not that far behind the office temperature. My wife has several ‘issues’. An autoimmune disorder, a severe circulation disorder and a few other problems not to mention a pending trip to a specialist centre tomorrow after an accelerated series of scans and biopsies. This will mean the third different hospital I have been to this week. Tuesday it was for me, for an unwelcome change. I now await a skin operation to remove that issue, others got the nitrogen blaster. A blood pressure check at the surgery this afternoon confirmed my findings in the ‘not good’ zone, so somehow I need to find time for a GP visit ASAP. I have never been busier since I joined the ‘old retired folks club’. Monday’s ‘outing’ is for our daughter in another different location. No doubt there will be more fun and games following my wife’s clinic party tomorrow, I tell you, never a dull moment, even if daughter does not brew up again.
I did not need the A/C in the car today the windows remained clear with just the ambient air, I guess the temperature was well enough above the dew point.00April 12, 2018 at 9:28 pm #19584
My windows have been open since about mid Feb, thry closed when the snow came, though my boys (16) room windows have been open for so long one doesn’t shut anymore. I asked him if he wanted it sorting, and he looked at me like I was mad. And said why.
He had asthma and his window has been open since about 2005 or 6. He likes the fresh air, the temperature doesn’t bother him either, as I’m constantly telling him to put cloths on, he walks around in his bills.
24degrees is just bonkers. It’s currently 21 in my bedroom, (I’m watching the footy in peace) and it’s killing me.00April 13, 2018 at 12:01 am #19585
finally found the photos that inspired my last post:-
The last one gives away the make of car ….
That event made for interesting times!!!00April 13, 2018 at 12:24 am #19586
Reminds me of my childhood in the 80s. I grew up on an estate what had a liking for joy riding and burning cars out. Every Thursday Friday and Saturday night at least one car would be burnt out on the playing fields our house backed onto.
When later passed my test, and later moved to north Wales, my insurance premiums Half. I had to buy a van as my first car as insurance is cheaper than cars. Even them the 10 year old plus escort van was £750 a year, a similar aged cavalier I was given was almost 3k to insure. So I never bothered.
I moved to Wales and the insurance was just over £300 for the van, and evey car I’ve had since has hovered between £280 and £320, doesn’t matter if it’s an old beater or brand new, always the same year in year out. So in real terms my insurance has gone down, by not going up in value in 15 years. Still it never seems to feel that way.00April 13, 2018 at 9:54 am #19598
Unfortunately, no insurance on that one. It was a Reliant Scimitar, V6 (Ford) 3 litre.
It was bought after having a minor front end shunt, by a mate that repaired accident damaged cars. His garage was just behind my old flat in East Finchley and I used to help him out with electrical work and he returned the favour on my cars. ( No that’s not me in the picture, it’s another guy that worked in the garage.)
He had not long got it running again with the ( fibreglass ) bodywork all done, but it was mis-firing. I’d checked all the electrics and all was fine so the next check was fuel – possibly water in the tank. He had it jacked up at the back and was removing the flexible fuel pipe to drain the tank into 2 gallon containers. There was a static spark ( no wiring there at all ) and it caught. He came out with his dust coat ablaze. We put that out and then dropped it off the jack and pushed it out of the garage into the alleyway. Called the Fire Brigade and stood well back.
That would have been that if only he’d disconnected the battery, but he hadn’t. Something burnt/shorted/whatever and the car started hopping forward as the starter turned, I don’t really know how, but it was going back into the garage, straight toward two oxy/acetylene tanks. We had to get back in and push it back out again, luckily by this time the Fire Brigade had arrived and took over, but there were several bowel-clenching bangs as various bits of the car succumbed to the fire.00April 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm #19602
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On a PC I could not see any car photos from JayCeeDee. Is that a PC bug to report to Lee, or have the photos been taken down?00
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