Xac's adventures with Cassy (and friends + wife)

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41572
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33

Post by CitroJim » 12 Dec 2010, 13:15

myglaren wrote:I'm not very familiar with MK but hadn't realised it was as bad as that.


To be fair Steve, It's not but just like every big town, it has it's good and bad areas. Those that Xac mantioned are our worst and represents perhaps 10% of Milton Keynes. Most of the rest of the town is a great place.

I dare say that those areas we think are bad are not that absolutely bad when compared to other towns in the UK but relatively, to us, they're terrible simply because the vast majority of Milton Keynes is rather good.

robert_e_smart
Posts: 1031
Joined: 23 Oct 2009, 10:51

Post by robert_e_smart » 12 Dec 2010, 14:51

Milton Keynes, great place to live if you own an Activa.

Roundabouts, roundabouts and even more roundabouts. And reasonable straights between them :lol: :lol:

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 12 Dec 2010, 16:49

robert_e_smart wrote:Milton Keynes, great place to live if you own an Activa.

Roundabouts, roundabouts and even more roundabouts. And reasonable straights between them :lol: :lol:


Yup the grid roads make a fantastic rally course :D

andy5
Posts: 268
Joined: 05 Nov 2010, 14:40

Post by andy5 » 13 Dec 2010, 08:54

CitroJim wrote:
Xac wrote:So I've now ordered tax, but from the looks of the law I can't drive her until the it arrives :(


If you did your tax on-line then yes you can drive her legally, as long as the tax is applied for and you have the confirmation email to prove it then you're home and dry...


Be careful, as this is only true if the application for the new tax disc is made before the old one expires.

In other words you can apply online up to the last day of the month, then have 5 days leeway for the post. But apply in the new month, you have to wait for the disc to arrive before driving.

As Xac queried whether it was legal to drive, I'm getting the idea the old one ran out on 30th November ...

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 13 Dec 2010, 10:17

andy5 wrote:
CitroJim wrote:
Xac wrote:So I've now ordered tax, but from the looks of the law I can't drive her until the it arrives :(


If you did your tax on-line then yes you can drive her legally, as long as the tax is applied for and you have the confirmation email to prove it then you're home and dry...


Be careful, as this is only true if the application for the new tax disc is made before the old one expires.

In other words you can apply online up to the last day of the month, then have 5 days leeway for the post. But apply in the new month, you have to wait for the disc to arrive before driving.

As Xac queried whether it was legal to drive, I'm getting the idea the old one ran out on 30th November ...


That was my reading of it.
However, I've also read that it's within 5 days of the SORN expiry, and that is due to expire sometime next year.
It would be really handy if the DVLA confirmation email actually set out what you can and cannot do, it wouldn't be dificult to even make it specific to your vehicle, after all, they know the tax status of your vehicle and how that affects your online order.
Anyone would think they want to make it unclear so people get caught out.
I would suppose an ANPR check would not flag up any issues though as my status is taxed since the 1st December, however a visual check would show no tax disc displayed.

andy5
Posts: 268
Joined: 05 Nov 2010, 14:40

Post by andy5 » 13 Dec 2010, 11:13

I didn't realise it was SORN, as I only read the last few pages.

But the disc will probably come in faster than 5 days - mine took 2

User avatar
MikeT
Posts: 4404
Joined: 11 Jun 2007, 16:17

Post by MikeT » 13 Dec 2010, 11:54

With the ANPR databases and the weight of law thrown behind it's (accurate or not!) etc, it puzzles me why we still need to show a valid tax disc.

At the end of the day Xac, you've paid the duty, you've got a reference number and you've got a valid reason why you can't display it on the windscreen while the likelyhood of anyone even noticing is minimal, what could you possibly get in trouble over? Is failure to display an offence?

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 13 Dec 2010, 12:19

MikeT wrote:With the ANPR databases and the weight of law thrown behind it's (accurate or not!) etc, it puzzles me why we still need to show a valid tax disc.

At the end of the day Xac, you've paid the duty, you've got a reference number and you've got a valid reason why you can't display it on the windscreen while the likelyhood of anyone even noticing is minimal, what could you possibly get in trouble over? Is failure to display an offence?


Yes, if the DVLA choose to, they can fine you £200.
Thankfully I've got Cassy to drive while I wait for the tax disc to come for Jenny, as it really isn't clear about if the car was SORN, some of the information reads that it's only the first 5 days of the month after the tax/sorn expires but makes no mention of renewing mid month.
I also don't see why failing to display one should technically be a legal issue these days, as you say, with the database.
I bet if I were to show a valid disc, but the database have the wrong information saying I wasn't taxed, the database would be the one they'd believe, so how is that any different to displaying a wrong disc when the database is correct?

I still think allowing drivers to pay monthly by direct debit would increase the number of road tax payers.
Have a monthly payment type disc with the car's MoT expiry date on it.
Add a premium like they already do for paying every 6 months, so over the year you pay a bit more, but monthly it's more manageable.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41572
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33

Post by CitroJim » 13 Dec 2010, 13:38

Well, I'm shocked and amazed :shock: :roll:

Yet another breathtaking example of idiocy that pervades our world these days. Yet another example of where commonsense was left at home before going to work...

As said, a paper tax disc is hardly necessary these days. Better to display an insurance disc.

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 13 Dec 2010, 16:37

Just got off the phone to the DVLA ordering a replacement V5 for Juliet as I've no idea where her's is.
Asked them and they said it would be an offence to drive it while I wait for the disc to arrive, the 5 working days grace is only from the start of the month after tax/sorn has expired, so if I'd been able to tax her just before the 1st December, I'd have 5 working days driving while I waited for the disc to arrive.

It does strike me as bizarre, to my knowledge it's up to the DVLA to fine you for driving without valid tax/disc, and they should know when you applied for your disc, so there's no technical reason why they can't give 5 days grace, and if you're reported to them for having tax but no disc, they can easily see if you're within the 5 days or not. Likewise with losing your tax disc.

Insurance disc makes a lot more sense, you've got the details there should you have a bump (eagle star used to give a credit card with the details, and elephant give a cardboard info card that fits easily in your wallet with all the info on, so obviously they think it's useful to keep it handy).

User avatar
MikeT
Posts: 4404
Joined: 11 Jun 2007, 16:17

Post by MikeT » 13 Dec 2010, 17:04

From my motorcyling days, it was common not to display the disc as it's too easy to have stolen and so was kept in the wallet or lockable underseat compartment should it be required on a roadside stop. This practice was quite common, especially by those that had their tax stolen and suffered the added cost of gaining a replacement.

Many a time the police would warn it's an offence but not once have I known a rider to be prosecuted, just let off with said warning. As I also know some have been warned more than once, I doubt it's even recorded against them in case of a second-time offence.

This suggests, anyone feeling mean enough to prosecute someone for failure to display - while knowing the person has actually paid the duty - has either no chance of success in court or at best, gets reprimanded by the magistrate/judge for wasting valuable court time.

Obviously, the theft argument isn't a valid excuse for a hard-topped vehicle - then again, I suppose that preclusion could be argued as prejudicial. :P

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 04 Jan 2011, 01:08

Spent an interesting afternoon/evening with Jim today, replacing Cassy's aux tensioner.
When the previous bolt sheered it also snapped off the bit that jutts out from the end that goes into the recess in the pump/alternator cradle.
I'd tightened the bolt up to lock it in place but with the cold mornings it was leaving the belt a bit slack and flapping between the the crank pulley and compressor when decelorating.
I'd bought the tensioner from ECP, so this time I went back to GSF, not only was the tensioner cheaper but also of a better design with proper o-rings to protect the needle bearings rather than just foam discs with the hole cut out.

The hardest part of the job is removing the allen bolt from the bottom of the tensioner spring.
With the earlier mechanical pump, the cold advance jutts out in the way seriously reducing access which isn't great even with the later semi-electronic pumps.
So the easiest way to do the job is remove the hydraulic pump.
Last time I tackled the allen bolt I used a 6mm allen screwdriver bit, with some tape on the end in an 8mm ratchet spanner.
This time, Jim used a 10mm to 6mm hex bit, with some tape on the larger end, in a 10mm ratchet spanner with a floppy head.
Removing the eccentric tensioner gives enough room to drop the auto tensioner down and out, then feed the new one up and back into place.
With it all back together, I took advantage of having the front up on axle stands and adjusted the handbrake.
Job done Jim and I had another cup of tea, I sent Danielle an email to say I'd be home soon, and we went to move the cars as Jim's V6 was behind Cassy and needed a run anyway.
As I manouvered Cassy out onto the road her steering was unbelievably heavy, no power at all.
Maybe it was just air in the system which hadn't bled through yet so I tried steering left and right and returned to Jim's drive to do some citrobics, all to no avail.
Jim returned to find me with the bonnet up checking out the pump.
The fear was that some swarf had gotten into the steering line.
We checked and it all looked clear, nothing was swelling or exploding, so the other option was air getting in, which I've experienced before as giving initially heavy steering when you first turn the wheel.
On closer inspection the inlet pipe on the pump's spiggot was cracked, so Jim went to get the stanley knife to chop off the cracked end while I removed the jubilee clip and found the pipe was actually split to about half way up the spiggot.
I trimmed off what was needed but the pipe was rock hard so I couldn't feed it any further down the spiggot.
I also noticed some LHM weeping from the feed pipe clamp at the front of the pump, which is not a good place to see LHM, I moved the pipe and it split there pouring out plenty of green blood.
Not good!
Jim had no suitable garden hose, but did manage to find me the pipe from a V6, which combined with another piece of pipe was a suitable temporary replacement.
Plenty of citrobics and checking the resevoir showed no bubbles, so off home I tootled (via the train station as I'm in London tomorrow :( )
The steering is now lighter than ever before, and rather than sinking when I got out, the back actually sprung up!
So, given our cars are 10-15 years old, and we know most of their o-rings have gone hard and are starting to let air in/fluid out and therefore need replacing, it's also a good idea to replace some of the piping as well.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41572
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33

Post by CitroJim » 05 Jan 2011, 21:49

That was an excellent day of spannering Xac. I reckon we've just about got those axillary belt tensioners cracked now!!!

Just now caught up with all the jobs I planned to do on Sunday afternoon :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
Xaccers
Posts: 7655
Joined: 08 Feb 2007, 00:46

Post by Xaccers » 05 Jan 2011, 22:16

When Danielle got home there was a knock on the door from the bloke across the road.
Apparently somehow reversing out of his long drive and across the 3 and a bit car width road, he "scraped" Jenny's bumper.
I had a look and this is what I found:

Image

Image

Not happy but these things happen, shouldn't be a problem, I can get a second hand bumper, it'll just need respaying so no one would object to that would they considering the costs involved in going through insurance, right?
So I headed over with a smile and introduced myself.
He said it was because it's so tight as Jenny's bum hangs out into the road (her rear wheels are on the edging of the drop kerb).

This is the road layout, his drive is the one with two cars, the red rectangle is Jenny, and he reversed out to then head off to the right.

Image

So I said as a replacement I can get hold of a second hand bumper and just need him to pay for the respray.
He started going on about how the car is out in the road and that the couple next door know not to park across from him "because it's so tight" and they don't have three cars and a garage that could keep one of them.
I just said "You broke my car. Now either you pay for the respray or I go through your insurance which will probably write my car off due to the cost of getting the bumper replaced professionally"
That stopped him in his tracks.
Then he asked how much a respray would be, I said I'd find out and he said as long as it's no more than £50.
I said I'll find out how much it is and then we can decide how best to deal with it.

Frankly I've got a good mind just to contact my insurance company with his address and vehicle details.

So, anyone got a spare bumper colour code ETWCR?

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 41572
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33

Post by CitroJim » 05 Jan 2011, 22:36

That's outrageous Xac :evil:

If he considers your locality "tight" I dread to think of what he'd make of my road...

There really was no excuse at all for him hitting Jenny.