Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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: 43212
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1519

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim »

It is amazing just how snow hangs around... I was still seeing some around here just a couple of days ago and it's been very mild recently...

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3760
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 382

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

Was still quite a bit visible in the shade next to the railway when I was on the train down to London on Saturday.

Water has a surprisingly high specific heat capacity...

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

The bit that caught me out was the fairly sharp left off the Tavistock road into Princetown, when my n/s r wheel clipped the base of a buttres of snow against the drystone wall, that must've been well over 6 ft high &, at the base, protruded a couple of feet into the road.

Oh, & the locals are exporting more this week - but I suspect that's based on an old wives' tail.

Today I finally managed to apply for my German "green badge" to enter LEZ's (I'd had problems changing the year of 1st registration on the website, from the 2018 default). They were quick enough to take my money but as the C15's deemed to be Euro 3 compliant, I'm not actually sure it qualifies. My fault for not applying when I 1st got it, when I'm sure the criteria were lower (e.g. orange & red badges were still being issued) but the procedure was more difficult, particularly for foreigners.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Today, finally got round to taxing the C15, so that's all 3 runners MoT'd & taxed in 4 months; a brief respite then 'til the insurance is due in June.

Really should give some thought to spreading out the MoT's; it's bad enough them all falling due within a couple of months - but when they are all in the Winter . . .

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 43212
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1519

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim »

van ordinaire wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 22:37
Really should give some thought to spreading out the MoT's; it's bad enough them all falling due within a couple of months - but when they are all in the Winter . . .


I'm busy doing the same... I'm trying to avoid MoTs in the depths of winter...

By the time my Ka is back in business there'll be a nice space between the Saxo and Ka... Pixo is in June so she's fine as she is...

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

The C15 was registered on 30 September, which is really quite late enough in the year (although down in Zunny Deb'n there's probably another 6 weeks of mild weather), so perhaps this year I'll book it in the last w/e I expect to have down there, although that's likely to be nearer Christmas. Not sure what to do about the red Cherokee (which, incidentally, I've just realised is a '98) which also, in recent years has been MoT'd in Sept/Oct but being used to the green one being in January I had that fixed in my mind & completely missed the September date. Bit reluctant to have it done again, after only 8 months.

Got an e-mail from the Germans today refusing application for a green "plankette" - no big deal in Essen & I suppose I'll just have to take my chances in Berlin in the Summer; not had any trouble last couple of years, just kicking myself for not doing something in 2015 when, I suspect, I'd have been successful.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Not been a good day, one way & another:

red Cherokee's battery as flat as a pancake, which I put down to fiddling with the seat adjustment without the engine running last w/e. Tried the spare, which was on charge & jump leads - but it'd do more than bring on all the dash warning lights (& the warning chimes & buzzers - ooh, how I hate the "Detroit" cockpit drill!). Took battery out of the green one (not "tied down" &, 'cos it'd been on charge for a few hours last w/e only had +ive terminal connected) - but that'd barely turn it over. None of the alternatives appealed, against the clock & in a bitingly cold wind, so abandoned going out, dumped the spare battery beside the garage (these are big ol' heavy batteries - & it's an obstacle course between the kerb & the charger in the garage) put the green one's on charge & retired indoors.

at some point noticed what I took to be rain on the conservatory roof &, as the washing was out, dived outside - only to find it was trying to snow! Deep joy, really do want to go out, once the "green battery" has had chance to recover as have a 5p a litre off voucher, which expires today, AND only participating garage in Torbay is on my way to the shop to return that mind numbingly dreadful Canon printer - the very presence of which I am finding increasingly depressing & distressing.

I think it was at then that I decided a hot chocolate wouldn't come amiss, only to find that I'd used almost the last of it with longlife milk that was off - while still being months within date AND not the 1st time it's happened: Lidl's used to last forever - now its no better than the, previously, vastly inferior Aldi product!

later decide the battery's had as long as I can spare it, if I'm to get to the shop before 2:00, when I believe it closes. Haul battery out to kerbside, attach leads - won't start! Fear this is combination of battery not being fully charged &, whille not exactly "toytown" the only leads I can find down here are not the mostb substantial. Can't face turning the Eldorado round (it's parked in front of the red Cherokee) so opt for fitting the green battery in the red one, that's when I find the +ive clamp's past its best (generally Jeep clamps ARE rubbish - they appear to be made of something akin to lead). Anyway it's in &, at about the 3rd attempt, get the clamp tight enough to resist being turned on the post. Get in, turn key & - it, reluctantly, starts. Hastilly put everything away & set off, in gentle snowfall.

the 1st time I have cause to look in the mirror (once the HRW's done its job, impressively efficiently (especially as it's got one element out) I notice one rear interior light is on - so THAT was the cause of all my grief earlier; still, at least I know it's nothing more serious. Next, I see, to my amazement, part of my preferred route into Paignton is still closed, due to, I think, a burst watermain - must be a month ago now!

Approaching the garage, see unleaded is "only" £1.17 - but then notice it;s closed! Still, get to the printer shop in time (& note it's open 'till 3 o' clock!). Briefly explained why I wanted them to dispose of a printer I'd only bought a month before, to which they readily agreed. Glad I was saved having to launch into a catalogue of its shortcomings which, to my mind, made it precariously close to being unfit for purpose as, in fairness, I think they sold it in good faith AND I just wanted rid: my state of mind being worth rather more than the cost of a piece of useless IT hardware.

Stop in the town on the way back (parallel parking behind a Transit - or similar - next to a 5' wall, in a reratively narrow road with cars parked either side, is an interesting exercise!). Go to Poundland & get a pack of 8 "button" batteries as I wanted 2 for a rather nice little work light I've recently rediscovered. Couldn't help noticing that 2 of them were the same as I paid £4.99 to have fitted to a key fob last w/e (it's a long, tedious story which is why I didn't mention it before - but the fob still doesn't work properly). More imprtantly, there was, unusually, hardly any queue - was it just coincidence that, for once, they actually had 4 0r 5 of the manned tills open? Next stop, Lidl's: disaster, they've completely remodelled it, so - can't find anything! Not the end of the world - but, today (or rather yesterday, now, as it's passed midnight) I just wasn't in the mood for it. However, I was relieved - no, delighted - to observe they hadn't seized upon the opportunity to install a whole bank of self-service tills; just hope that's nor Phase 2 (no, sorry, 3 - of course, Phase 1 was painting the outside grey, to bring it line with the new (up-market?) image).

next stop Aldi (it's just a longer way round) for a couple of things I hadn't found: no luck - & they didn't have any of that glass cleaner either (or any HD van seat covers, which might be worth looking at for the C15: too cold to re-apply gaffer tape to the split bolster - & the only time a pair (of seats) turned up on eBay, they went for far too much money, as far as I was concerned.

on the way back, decided it was probably a good idea to keep the green battery in the red Cherokee for a while, so that it cycles properly. So red battery on left on charge overnight. Fitted new batteries to lamp, which now works a treat - so, some small success, at last!

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3760
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 382

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

Oh, one of *those* days. Know them well.

Did you at least remember to deal with the errant interior light that had drained the battery originally?

Sounds like a decent set of jump leads are something you could do with too, especially with big old engines like some of your stuff has. There really is no substitute. Ones I got from Halfords a couple of years back while pricey, are just as heavy duty as the home made ones we used to use for jumping buses.

It's surprising being able to jump something pretty heavy duty from a very ordinary battery that you'd normally struggle with. A tool I admit I don't use often, but it's one that when I need it, I know I'm not going to want to faff about...so allowed myself to get the dearer one.

Ps. Yes, those battery leads are utter - and I use the term deliberately here given the origins of the vehicle - garbage. If the leads are long enough, chop them off and fit something better. Save you time and tears in the long run.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Yes, as soon as I saw it, I leant back & switched it off.

I have, I think, 4 sets of jump leads but these were bought in a hurry out of a perceived necessity, & live in the back of the one or other Cherokee, essentially to rescue other lesser vehicles. They have started the green Cherokee - BUT from another vehicle. The fat ones are in the lock-up with the STS, as that's where they're most likely to be needed. There's a 1/2-decent pair (of unknown origin) in the C15 which I somehow acquired after an abortive attempt to start a C8 with them, when they only had croc clips at one end.

I also have 2 starter packs - but could never get into the routine of keeping them charged.

Now a really silly jumpstart story: when I was at college, I had a holiday job in a garage, which had an old Chevy gun tractor as a breakdown wagon. It was so seldom used it was like a recurring barnfind. One day we had to collect a Daimler Majestic Major so the old Chevy was dusted off, & the tried & tested starting it ritual began which was, basically, clean the plugs, hook up the 2 biggest batteries we could find in series to the 6v starter, turn the key, hit the button - & hope for the best! Of course, as soon as it fired, probably not on all 6, you had to whip off the jump leads.

I know all about replacing battery clamps on Cherokees (the green one nearly got those fancy gold ones the sound-off guys like - I wasn't impressed!) but I hadn't realised the red one needed the job doing; problem is there are 2 leads per clamp & they are only just long enough so you have to surgically remove the clamps with a junior hacksaw. Oh, & the -ive to the body needs up-rating. However when at Essen next w/e I will be on the look-out for any superior fittings at an attractive price.

It snowed in Torbay last night (disregarding light dustings, gone by late morning, I think for the 1st time since 1963) but I wasn't going to let that stop me going out to Princetown for the breakfast I missed yesterday. Loaded up the Cherokee with a shovel, sandbag & tow strop, only to find the telescopic screen scraper/snow brush had disappeared from its home bewtween the driver's seat & the sill (must've fallen out while I was fiddling with that dam' seat cover last w/e - if I'd known, I'd have got another one in Poundland on Saturday). Still the snow was light & powdery so having uncovered the wipers & made sure they weren't frozen to the screen, they were left to do the job.

Oh yes, it started - no problem! So off we set, if anything the snow seemed to be less in evidence as I passed through Totnes, heading towards Ahburton. Even the "Not suitable for motor vehicles" shortcut I use to pick up the Two Bridges road only had snow down the centre but once I reached higher ground there was some drifting across the road but nothing the C15 wouldn't have coped with just as well. All quite odd: I've known it much worse out on the moors when there's been no snow in Torbay at all.

After breakfast get back in the Cherokee, start it - & the brake warning light stays on, release the handbrake - still doesn't go out! Now it doesn't have low pad sensors, so the fluid must be low - & not due to pad wear, so perhaps I wasn't imagining things earlier when I wondered if the pedal felt different BUT I was wearing snow boots AND occupied with the prevailing conditions. In all circumstances have little choice but to head back, using the brakes as little as possible. Being even more cautious than the conditions warranted & relying heavilly on the, surprisingly effective handbrake, worked my way back to Bovey Tracey - & between there & Newton Abbot is Trago Mills & the prospect of cheap petrol & a sensible quantity of brake fluid at a good price. Filled up with petrol & topped up the brake fluid, it was well down but a quick glance underneath revealed no wet calipers/discs or backplates, so last leg shouldn't be so fraught as to this point from Princetown. Of course by now it was snowing again & settling fast, even on the main road any attempt to do more than about 20 made the back decidly twitchy (trying to avoid 4WD 'cos the front prop. desperately needs a new u/j & the diff howls like a banshee). Just to show how bad it was as I approached my turn (to head X-country to the Torbay Ring Road) lightly applied thenbrakes &, even from that sedate pace, just saile.d straight on. Nothing behind, so reversed but only so I was across the mouth of the turn (bad mistake) which meant a sharp turn & back on myself to gain the correct side of the road which, in the event, meant a lot of unseemly shunting back & forth, in 4WD, trying to cope with the slope AND camber, all in several inches of virgin snow. Drama over, just have to concentrate on going down hill without gaining speed & negotiating the blind double bend under the railway at the bottom. The whole route, if I think about it, is a series of obstacles, plus sheep, dogs & walkers though, mercifully, today, no cyclists or horseriders. So a time came when I decided I would be more comfortable if I shed my fleece, so I pulled into the next passing place - & got stuck, not in the sense of not being able to move but every time I tried to pull forward, the nose lurched to the left (even on right lock) where there was a water channel! The trouble was (a) I didn't really know what was behind me, i.e. under the snow & (b) there is no guarantee, in either direction, that you will proceed in a straight line, even less likely in the direction the front wheels are pointing. I finally dropped back far enough to be able to pull forwards slightly diagonally, rather than applying lots of right lock &, in doing so, noticed pink spots in the snow: antifreeze! They were just inboard of the rut the front wheel, unbeknown to me, had been in, it's new bottom hose, the rut wasn't deep enough for the rad to have made contact with anything & on opening the bonnet, the only sign of a leak was water running out of the overflow of the expansion tank. Rather tentatively start of again, when progress was particularly slow (e.g. edging down hills at tickover) when steam wafted out from under the bonnet, presumably, from that overflow, & a couple of times the fan cut in but it never got above 100* (usually runs cool) but otherwise it was fine, so journey completed without further mishap.

Sooooh, that's 2 jobs it's given me for Easter - which I really wanted to devote to the errant indicators on the Eldorado. Oh well, in the 1st 12 months I only had a problem with the fuel pump relay - & it IS 20 years old!

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Unusually, it's only a few days since I last used the C15, although (I need hardly say) it has been particularly chilly in the interim: last of the several inches of snow that had been covering it most of that time only went this morning! Pleased it started without hesitation for the weekly trip to Lidl's as that sets my mind at rest for the morning when it's back to Dover. (Think of the money I'd have saved if I could've left it at the fery terminal in Dunquerque.)

User avatar
Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur
Donor 2018
Posts: 1192
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 17:24
x 177

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur »

van ordinaire wrote:
09 Mar 2018, 00:29
Looked at buying advance tickets for the big Essen show in a couple of weeks
Fabulous show, have you been before? My first time I went by overnight Eurolines (National Express Europe) and a couple of years back we drove there. I plan to go again in the future. Get there early too, its simply enormous, you need all day; and you should find by doing so that you're not stuck in the secondary car parks a 20min Shuttle Bus Ride away.

Stop by Landschafts Park https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landschaf ... sburg-Nord if poss. Its quite something, the scale of it is simply immense; less than an hour from the Messe without any significant diversion from the route and free overnight parking for Campers / Estate Cars / C15's there too.

..and if you've got a few days,
Bloemencorso https://www.bloemencorso-bollenstreek.nl/en/
and
Koningsdag https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j ... 5UilfrI6VR
in NL are well worth bothering with.

NB: back to Germany, I'm also in the course of researching the "Dortmund Industriekultur" route / Ruhr Industrial Heritage Tour. Well worth a look if you're able. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Heritage_Trail

oh and last but not least, buy your Duty Free's before you leave Germany, its cheaper than B, NL or F; and the Beer's stronger. We found a well placed branch of Netto at the small town of Wachtendonk, just off the relevant Autoroute for the Messe.

final mention, we'll be in NL from mid to late April; via Calais, shout if you're there too... and likewise if you know any 'In Case of Emergency' contacts that way (I'll probably take my spare Rotodiesel Pump and Alternator as usual, but it'd be nice to have help, especially if I should need the former). We might even catch up in person
Attachments
Landschafts Pk 1851.JPG

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

So I've now been in Germany since Wednesday, after an entirely eventless trip - apart from road closures. Now some of you might know the French don't believe in diversions & the Germans are quite good at closing the diverted route & having a 2nd generation diversion - & between the two, it's a bit hit & miss, e.g. I must've lost 1/2-hour negotiating greater Bruges: an area of which I wasn't previously aware.
Of course none of that would've happened had I stuck to the Autoroutes/bahns, but just as the Interstates were built so you can cross America & not see any of it . . . (besides the C15 is not the greatest highway cruiser!). I've been doing this most years since 2007, the 1st time by train & in a succession of vehicles, a much travelled XJ40 (that was the car I used to go to Zagreb for the weekend in - so Essen was like an evening out) the 2CV, at least one Cherokee, the 1st Seville &, in more recent years the C15 but the days of getting a ferry in the small hours, driving straight to the Messe & checking into the hotel (well a room over a pub really) afterwards have been replaced with ferry at a civilised time (i.e. one that doesn't entail getting up any earlier than a usual weekday) & gentle meander across Europe the day before. I remember just about to leave the 1st time I went &, quite by chance, I found a hall I'd not seen before. Since then, I used to reckon 3 or 4 days but (right) now I can see it's a 2-day show, even allowing for all changes (at the moment it rather reminds me of "Bristol" when it was partly in marquees) & it'll be different again next year! (perhaps I'm getting a bit jaded - I gave Paris Retromobile a miss for about 3 years for the same reason - or, more likely, I can pass serried rows Of Porkers &/or relativel y late model M-B's with complete indifference). So, even now next year's schedule is looking rather different - meanwhile I'll be going back tomorrow 'cos I've got the ticket but I'm sure they'll be nothing new to see - except possibly, in the outdoor sales area(s) - & there is a rather nice pair of Cibie driving lights which might be rather more realistically priced on the last day.

As for NL I normally only go for the big show at Maasrtricht &, more recently, Citromobile but this year I'll be in USA when that's on - in fact, I think Europe, except a w/e in Ireland, is off the agenda now, 'til the end of May.

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

On the ferry home now; left Essen later than anticipated - not least 'cos I realised I hadn't looked in Halls 1 & 2 - so had to do most of the return trip flat out on the Autoban/routes. Have to say the C15 acquitted itself very well - even if it did stay resolutely at 75/76 (per SatNav) despite my endeavours to hit 77 at 177,777 miles, with 177 miles to go to Dunkerque!

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 43212
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1519

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim »

van ordinaire wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 21:45
despite my endeavours to hit 77 at 177,777 miles, with 177 miles to go to Dunkerque!


177,777 is a very significant number....

In Octal that is...

And in Hex and indeed for computery-minded people...

FFFF in Hex and 65535 in decimal ;)

Octal is a very familiar number base for me... For twenty-odd years I worked on a computer system that worked exclusively in Octal...

User avatar
van ordinaire
Donor 2017
Posts: 2585
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 14:45
x 240

Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

& to think:-
(a) some of my colleagues think I'm knowlegable
(b) symetry aside, it's only significance for me was that (seemingly mpossible) 180,000 mile service is becoming a reality.

via-a-vis nothing really:-(from Tom Lehrer's "New Math")
"Consider the following subtraction problem: 342 -173 . . .
but in the new approach, as you know, the important thing is to understand what you're doing rather than to get the right answer. Here's how they do it now.

You can't take three from two,
Two is less than three,
So you look at the four in the tens place.
Now that's really four tens,
So you make it three tens,
Regroup, and you change a ten to ten ones,
And you add them to the two and get twelve,
And you take away three, that's nine.
Is that clear?

Now instead of four in the tens place
You've got three,
'Cause you added one,
That is to say, ten, to the two,
But you can't take seven from three,
So you look in the hundreds place.

From the three you then use one
To make ten ones...
(And you know why four plus minus one
Plus ten is fourteen minus one?
'Cause addition is commutative, right.)
And so you have thirteen tens,
And you take away seven,
And that leaves five...

Well, six actually.
But the idea is the important thing.

Now go back to the hundreds place,
And you're left with two.
And you take away one from two,
And that leaves...?

Everybody get one?

Now that actually is not the answer that I had in mind, because the book that I
got this problem out of wants you to do it in base eight. But don't panic. Base
eight is just like base ten really - if you're missing two fingers."

(I suppose now we'd wince at lack of political correctness - but back in '64(?), when this was written . . . AND it was satyrical)