Tales of a C3, a Goddess and some BMW's.

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

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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Last week I had the once in a lifetime pleasure of collecting a Rolls Royce Ghost EWB fresh off the production line at Goodwood and driving it to Geneva, with the active (distance radar) cruise control set to 130 km/h the car averaged for the entire journey a remarkable 23.5 mpg, not bad for a V12 563 bhp monster.

Whilst the car was an absolute dream the majority of the journey was relatively dull to be honest, the flat countryside of northern France doesn't make the most interesting of views but all that changed as I neared the Swiss border with chocolate box houses immaculately kept littered around the side of mountains in seemingly impossible positions. Quite what was going through the mind of the Swiss border guard was beyond me, he spent ages examining my driving licence yet wasn't interested in seeing the documentation of a brand new car worth £300,000. The car is shown below just over the Swiss border at the side of the mountain pass road into Geneva with what must be half of the insect population of France embedded on the front of it.

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From my jaunt to Monaco a week or so ago this photo shows what over a million pounds of Rolls Royce looks like, as you can imagine whenever we pulled in the cars caused quite a stir! Taken just south of the Mont Blanc tunnel.

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Geneva (or more honestly the area around it) is a wonderful place to live, immaculately clean, no yobbos, the scenery looking south is simply breathtaking as you gaze across Lake Geneva towards the Alps/Mont Blanc which is still covered in snow. When you then factor in that Geneva is centrally placed in Europe it's easy to why its so popular. However Geneva does have one problem and that is the traffic which is truly horrendous during the day and especially around the rush hours where it become log-jammed due to insufficient capacity getting over the bridge at the end of the lake, what doesn't help is the phasing of the traffic lights which generally only allow 3-4 cars at a time, central London in the rush hour is positively free flowing by comparison.

A couple of weeks ago I took delivery of some new diagnostic equipment by the way of a BMW GT1 (Group Tester 1) comparing it with Lexia it looks very impressive but is not very intuitive to use, carrying out even quite basic tasks is leaving me scratching my head, I reckon it'll be a while yet before I'm familiar with using it.

Fleet wise nothing to report as they are all behaving themselves.
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myglaren
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by myglaren »

That's a very shiny Ghost, looks like Vince has been let loose on it. :)
Xantic
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by Xantic »

Great photos of the scenery and the cars. Why don't i get jobs like this.. I must admit when i drove to Cannes, all be it in a truck, i wanted to go to Monaco but couldn't find the time.
One day maybe i might get back down there.
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

I drove a car that I didn't know existed on Sunday, a BMW 640 4 door, it's along the lines of a Mercedes CLS or in other words a low slung 4 door coupe', nice car but not a lot of room in it considering it's similar in size to a 7 Series outside but smaller than a 5 Series inside, it certainly drew attention from passers by and favourable comments from other motorists about it's sleek looks.

I'm now working at the Olympics which has been rather revealing in a couple of area's, firstly several vehicle's needed collecting from LOCOG at the main Olympic site in Stratford so armed with their written instructions I arrived at the site to collect a pass to enter the vehicle collection area to be told that I couldn't go into the pass issuing office (5 yards away) because I needed a pass to enter the pass issuing office, yes you did read that correctly :roll: After spending two hours walking around the site and talking to what must have been every (clueless) security guard I eventually managed to find someone who had been briefed, I kid you not the standard of knowledge amongst the G4S security staff is beyond a joke. Thankfully the airport style screening into the Olympic venue itself is being done by the Army and RAF which came as a great relief as it meant that at last I found a group of people who actually knew what they were doing.

The following days were spent touring various Olympic sites around London, again the level of knowledge of the security staff was nothing less than appalling, only two sites, Eton Dorney and Wimbledon had staff that were helpful and knowledgeable the rest can only be classed as useless. I have a close friend working for G4S for the Olympics and from what she has told me plus my personal experiences all I can say it that the press have massively understated the G4S fiasco.

Whilst BMW are sponsoring the games and supplying all the cars they don't make MPV's so have hired various vehicles to cover this area, three brand new Peugeot 5008's were collected for the job, all I can say with those don't buy one as the build quality is as poor as G4S's performance, all of them have had to be returned as the drivers door's were rubbing against the front wing every time the door was opened on two of them and on the third one the air conditioning was dumping its condensation into the front passenger footwell, so three cars and every one has a major fault, shocking, no wonder PSA is in trouble. By comparison and for those wondering the BMW 520D is fault free.
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CitroJim
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by CitroJim »

Oh dear, looks like the games are going to be a rip-roaring success :(

Aren't G4S good at loosing prisoners too? Sounds a bit like they're putting an alkie in charge of a brewery...

Surprising the 5008 is a pile of poo. I thought it was some re-badged Jap thing. A Mitshibushi?
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

CitroJim wrote:Oh dear, looks like the games are going to be a rip-roaring success :(
I think the games themselves will be OK, the sites are quite impressive but the impression you get as a customer when you are greeted by a load of clueless personality bypass zone people who struggle to converse isn't great, hopefully common sense will step in and the powers that be will move individuals around to avoid that issue.

At the moment the car parks at Eton Dorney and Wimbledon are big building sites as a massive project is under-way laying aluminium and plastic sheeting to cover the grass due to the ground being waterlogged. On Sunday I went to a Polo event in West Sussex and found the ground to be completely waterlogged, everywhere I went on the extensive lawns my feet just sank and were covered in running water, any event such as the ICCCR will need to consider doing likewise (if the materials are still available) to avoid everyone getting stuck in one big bog.
CitroJim wrote:Aren't G4S good at loosing prisoners too? Sounds a bit like they're putting an alkie in charge of a brewery...
Yep, it's the same old story of paying peanuts gets you you know what, one things for sure paying such low wages means you won't get any loyalty from your workforce whatsoever hence why so many are not turning up for work.
CitroJim wrote:Surprising the 5008 is a pile of poo. I thought it was some re-badged Jap thing. A Mitshibushi?
No think it's made by Peugeot, whilst it drives OK it really is like driving white goods, no fun, a fairly hard ride and just plain bland.
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Xaccers
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by Xaccers »

I can foresee another name change for Group4 coming up soon!
Your pass for a pass reminds me of the fun we used to have delivering computers in DERA.
The correct procedure was to phone one of the people you had a delivery for and get booked in.
Invariably we'd turn up, that person wouldn't be contactable and we'd not be allowed in to make any deliveries. The van would be searched thoroughly, normally disrupting our delivery pattern with the order it was packed. Eventually we'd convince the mod plod to call the people we had other deliveries for and be let in.
However, turn up unannounced and you'd get let in straight away, often asked if we needed the windscreen pass to get in to some of the more restricted areas!
Chicksands was the most bizarre, they wouldn't tell us where it was so we just headed for the big blank area on the map in the rough location.
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by KP »

Where can i get a job like yours Rich :D

I did think of using my clearances to apply for security staff at the Olympics but i think my early warning radar kicked that idea into touch just in time :D
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by ashy90 »

Without reading through 32 pages, how come your driving all of these fancy cars? Is that Royce your's?

Thread started off about Xantia's, and ended up about driving Rolls Royce's through Monaco :lol:
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Having finished the contract working at the Olympics I'm now enjoying some R+R in the Greek Isles for a few weeks 8-)

As I the Olympic job involved working long hours with silly early starts and late finishing I haven't had time to access to forum so I'll be doing a bit of catching up, apologies to those who pm'd me and have been awaiting replies, I've now replied to all of them.
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

ashy90 wrote:Without reading through 32 pages, how come your driving all of these fancy cars? Is that Royce your's?

Thread started off about Xantia's, and ended up about driving Rolls Royce's through Monaco :lol:
I wish I did own a Ghost :-D I get to drive these fancy cars through contract work I've been doing recently.
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Deep breath, fleet update time, my VSX 'Goldie' had been SORN'd for a few months so it appears that in protest she decided to threw some toys out the pram by way of the nearside front ABS sensor declaring a fault then a couple of weeks later the windscreen suddenly developed a mighty great crack whilst parked. After fitting a new sensor I ordered a replacement windscreen and had the most delightful chap turn up to fit it who was extremely complimentary about 'Goldie' and spent more time perfecting/tiding up his work than he did actually removing and fitting the replacement screen. Next on the agenda was an MOT which she duly passed without issue revealing that over the past 18 months she'd done 500 miles with most of that being done during a honeymoon trip to Devon, I re-taxed her yesterday so I can now enjoy the pleasure of taking her for the occasional drive and best of all I've now got her tucked up in a nice dry heated garage just as winter approaches, in fact she's rather familiar with this particular garage,,,

Dawn's BMW had a timely illumination of a the brake pad wear warning light last week, both her and I believed that the MOT on her car was due much later in the year but as it turns out the present one expires on Tuesday :oops: Interestingly genuine BMW and one or two manufacturers of disc's for this car offer them with a plated coating which apparently prevents the disc rusting and offer guarantees between 2-4 years, having a nose around various forums suggests that this plating does indeed do as is claimed. Time will now tell me first hand about the effectiveness of the plating on these disc's as I fitted a new set (and pads) this afternoon, MOT is booked in for 9am on Sunday.

For some time now I've been on the lookout for a C5 Exclusive Tourer and having owned just about every version of Xantia since 1995 (not to mention suffering a degree of pressure from SWMBO for something more modern) I felt it was time for an update, I preferably wanted a 3.0 V6 or a 160 HDi manual (2.0 auto's are far too juicy = 10mpg less), finding a 3.0 is like rocking horse poo especially as I decided I had to have the three optional extra's of a panoramic glass roof, built-in Satnav and full leather seats, I did spot a 3.0 with these options oop norf whilst I was busy working on the Olympics but other than that the cupboard was bare then a couple of weeks ago a 2.2 with the above three options plus Xenon headlights and 19" alloys became available at a price that was too good to miss so I took the plunge and bought it.

So far I'm very pleased indeed with the car and if anything what's taken me by surprise is just how impressed I am with it, very quiet, the ride is very smooth and floaty and it has more toys to play with than I could ever imagine :-D It took me a whole week of searching through the handbook and internet to discover that the switch just to the left of the steering column turns the 'ambient dashboard lighting' on and off :lol: put a hand into a door pocket and it automatically illuminates. The Satnav works very well so far, quite often these very expensive factory fit Satnavs are a pile of poo with tiny screens and are hard to program as they do not recognise full postcodes.

At some point I'd like to get the alloys refurbished as the face design is diamond cut with lacquer which is inevitably lifting due to corrosion. Tyres (245/40R19) are ahem somewhat expensive @ £220+ each but contrary to popular belief don't appear to have a detrimental effect upon ride quality as the suspension absorbs those annoying corrugations in the road surface very well indeed.

It's been interesting comparing the C5 with a Xantia, interior size is pretty much identical with the Xantia maybe having a very slight advantage in the boot size and maybe rear seat space but here I'm talking of about 1/2" no more, the non moving drivers airbag appeared strange for the first couple of drives where it felt confusing turning the steering wheel with the centre remaining stationary in my peripheral vision, the benefits of having the numerous control buttons remaining in the same place during turns makes for a pleasant change. The panoramic sunroof is simply wonderful making the car very bright and airy, pretty much an essential item for the car in my books as like all modern cars where their crash protection is significantly higher than older cars they can become rather dark and dingy due to their high waistlines if you don't have a glass roof of some sort.

The downside to buying the C5 is that it means that I have to sell one of my present fleet due to lack of parking space not to mention the cost of taxing and insuring all these cars especially as my daughter has recently passed her test aged 17, it costs more to insure her C3 than all the others put together. Sadly for me the car I have to move on is my HDi, whilst I'd love to keep her being realistic there'd be little point in buying the C5 if I continued to drive the HDi. This car for me is like sitting in your favourite armchair, very comfortable and dirt cheap to run as it never does less than 50 mpg (by comparison doing local drives the C5 is averaging 42.7 ATM) and is as reliable and loyal as my dog Barney. After regretting selling my previous HDi Exclusive estate I needed to make sure I was happy to let this one go as it must be just about the last one left in good condition with sensible mileage of 73k, the chances of finding another like it must be nil so I was just getting to the point of realsing that I'm completely happy with the C5 when Chris contacted me stating that he was interested in buying the car. Thankfully with Chris buying it I know that it's going to a very good home and will be looked after, I spent a fair bit of time and money getting this car up to scratch when I bought it so it would have rather broken my heart to see the car being abused in some way.

Other than servicing such as oils and filters the only thing I've needed to purchase recently was a new set of wipers, I was in Costco when I noticed some Goodyear flat blade wipers at a reasonable price so I thought I'd give them a try, what a result, one thing that's always annoyed me about Xantia's is that when the drivers wiper starts it return sweep it always makes a noise as the blade flicks over and sounds a thump on the screen, fitting these blades has stopped that annoying noise, I've tried Bosch, Valeo and other make standard/traditional blades but they all made that same noise. With that in mind I later bought another blade for the rear wiper of the estate and found that it wiped for the full length of the blade even at the top of the screen unlike the Bosch blade on there previously, these new wipers are highly recommended.

One other development is that I've taken on a full time job :shock: whilst I've had a great time driving new Rollers around Europe that work is rather sporadic and my embarrassment levels were being breached on a daily basis with Dawn going off to work at all hours of the day and night, leaving me sitting there clicking the TV remote in one hand with a beer in the other as she set off working a three shift system was more than my embarrassment tolerance levels could suffer :oops: This new job isn't too stressful and appears custom made for me :-D Now if I can get Dawn to retire then I'll be off like a shot, retirement is highly recommended, anyone who says they get bored being retired needs their head tested for traces of brain activity.
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CitroJim
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by CitroJim »

Cracking update Richard :-D
DickieG wrote: retirement is highly recommended, anyone who says they get bored being retired needs their head tested for traces of brain activity.
Indeed to goodness yes :-D Speaking of one who will be in a sort of semi-retirement for a while yet, I can definitely see the benefits. I'm getting very used to it and returning to work is going to be quite a game.
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by Citroenmad »

Yes, a very good update Richard.

Im pleased to hear you like your C5III, I can see me getting one at some point.

I am very impressed with your HDi Exclusive, as you know, its a brilliant car and I can see why you might miss it. You can rest assured that it will be looked after. :) I did notice yesterday how good and quiet the wiper blades are, both back and front. I might well get some for my Activa now I know what they are :)
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Quite a busy motoring weekend, after dropping off the HDi at Jim's for Chris to collect yesterday, today was spent putting Dawn's BMW through the MOT (passed no advisories) then getting the tracking adjusted on my C5. Some of the tyres had unusual wear plus a receipt for a tracking adjustment given to me by the previous owner showed that the tracking had been set up for a steel sprung C5 :roll: For the tracking I used the garage who does my MOT's as he's a proper mechanic of the old school who knows his stuff and is a straightforward good bloke who I've got to know a little over the years. He invited me to act as his assistant as he set up the "Hunter" 4 wheel laser tracking system, the results were interesting in that the N/S/R wheel was shown to be toeing out by a fair degree and according to the information about C5's it stated that the manufacturer didn't allow for any adjustment, however there is an adjustable rod which after using heat was coaxed into moving.

Now the interesting part about this rear toe adjustment is that as it was being done the front suspension measurements changed significantly including the toe angle, so it goes to show that 2 wheel alignment is pretty much a waste of time and money. The steering felt much better on the journey home, I've learned through experience to get the tracking accurately adjusted within the first few weeks of buying a new car as it pays dividends in the long run.