Car troubles - random brainstorming

MikeMarsUK
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Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:10 pm

I've been struggling with my car (2002 Audi A2 TDi, this is a 3-pot diesel with an aluminium body) for more than a year now - head gasket, starter, battery, oil leaks, smoking & rough idle ... I'm hoping that the current smoking & rough idle is something minor rather than something major.

If it IS something major then I'm not sure how long I can continue to keep it running. So I've been looking around at alternatives, but not coming up with much.

I bought it for £3.5k back in 2011. Until this year it has given me 70+mpg pretty effortlessly, and in previous summers I was getting upper 70s / low 80s without major hassle (best tank 87mpg but that was high-effort). Just stick to 60mph and be gentle. My daily journey is primarily 20 miles of motorway in each direction with about 8 miles in each direction of easy town driving (not many stops, steady 30-40mph).

Ignoring the fact that it's struggling right now, the pros & cons of my current car:-

Pros:
* Sits 4 adults comfortably with luggage, 5 uncomfortably
* Great build quality, really nice interior
* manual gearbox (I am not keen on auto)
* huge panoramic sunroof <-- this is why I bought it
* Aluminium body so no worries about rust etc, lightweight --> good mpg
* No expensive dpf / dual-mass flywheel
* 70+ mpg normally, 80+ when stretched (primarily motorway driving)
* Good coefficient of drag (about the same as a prius)
* £30/year tax
* Nice small footprint on the road (the same wheelbase as a polo but bigger inside)
* Was cheap
* I love it

Cons:
* Anti-diesel charges which may be coming up
* 15 years old + 225k miles so getting harder to maintain
* Doesn't do well in short distance or start/stop city driving (knocks mpg down to the 55 area, but I don't do much of this)
* the cost of getting it back into 100% working order

I'm being nagged to look at hybrids, but they seem pretty expensive 2nd hand and don't seem to give good motorway mileage? Plug-in is out of the question (no way to charge it).

Things I've pondered:

Hybrids:
https://www.driving.co.uk/car-clinic/bu ... t-hybrids/
* Yaris hybrid (maybe a bit too small)
* Auris hybrid
* Prius (even old ones seem to be really expensive)
* PSA HYbrid4 (diesel hybrids from citroen / peugeot - DS5, 3008, 508) - in theory combine diesel's motorway economy with hybrid for towns - but they're all too big and owner reviews aren't good. From a purely technical viewpoint I find these ones very appealing.
Real-life motorway MPG from any of these doesn't seem great, they all seem to be automatic (except apparently the Honda CR-Z which has a manual box). About 7.5k seems to be the cheapest going price for an older but decent one. The idea of paying double for a car which gives significantly lower motorway mileage is giving me trouble lol.
Of the hybrids I'm most drawn to the Yaris/Auris/DS5.

More recent diesels:
* Audi A1, A3, VW bluemotion, Skoda Octavia Greenline III, Seat Leon Ecomotive, ...
Official MPGs seem to be increasingly unrealistic (for all cars)
DPFs seem to be a big problem + pull down the mpg when they regenerate
All the current ones are frowned upon now by government
I suspect diesel prices will be increased

Just buying another A2:
* Most recent one is 2005
* Finding the 'right one' seems difficult now
* Seems better just to keep this one running

... the more I look at it the more I just want my car. Just not sure how practical that is.

Sorry this is all just a random brain-dump but I'm struggling with what to do.
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

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tighterse
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Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby tighterse » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:13 pm

I'm being forced into the throes of changing although I'll be buying new - the CEO lays down the law on this!

I wandered into the Kia dealer where I bought the Sportage to have a look at the new model. I don't really like the new front. I looked at the Niro hybrid but don't fancy it although the salesman hinted heavily that a very good deal could be made with it.

On my way out I stopped to look at a Venga. Very, very impressively equipped and I thought the salesman was going to wet himself at the prospect of selling one. Without mention of negotiation £1,200 off was on the table even though I hadn't said I was considering it. This was a a "4" model with every goodie under the sun. I've already driven one at an open day and feel the 1.6 diesel could manage 60+ mpg easily.

After that I looked at a 1.5 diesel Ford Bmax. Once again very well equipped and at once a hefty discount was hinted at if there was no trade in.

Next week after the celebrations are over I'll try the Ioniq and hybrid Auris and see what kind of offers are made.

So maybe my advice would be to look at new cars, dealers seem to be a bit desperate just now.

To conclude - 2018 will be here shortly so orrabest and try some Glenkinchie Distillers Choice - expensive but very nice.
Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi isg Retired undefeated on 25,720 miles and 62.91 mpg overall

Now driving my second Sportage.

Warning. May contain a nut.

MikeMarsUK
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:54 pm

I've been exploring nextgreencar.com to get some ideas and thinking of the Octavia Greenline III which is a diesel. The hybrids simply don't match my type of driving (primarily motorway).

http://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/51 ... l-5-speed/

On the other hand, it's only a 5-speed (according to wikipedia the greenline has a 6-speed gearbox?), I would prefer a 6 ... Of course it should be possible to upgrade to a 6 (as I did with my A2), but it's way easier and cheaper to get one with a 6th gear to start with. So maybe:

http://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/51 ... l-6-speed/

Or: Honda Civic Tourer i-DTEC https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests ... dtec-2013/ which also has a 6-speed.

The A2 is in for it's 4th garage visit in 3 weeks on Friday so might have a clearer idea of what is going on then. Fingers crossed it's something fixable and all this planning is unnecessary!
Next week after the celebrations are over I'll try the Ioniq and hybrid Auris and see what kind of offers are made.
The Auris and Yaris hybrids have very good reviews & are high in the reliability tables. How much short distance / city driving do you do, compared to motorway driving? If you do a lot of short trips then I think they'd be perfect. The Ioniq is new I'd guess, I hadn't heard of it before, certainly looks good.

So maybe my advice would be to look at new cars, dealers seem to be a bit desperate just now.
Not sure what the newest car is I've ever bought, but usually they're around 100k miles already!
Last edited by MikeMarsUK on Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

MikeMarsUK
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:00 am

To conclude - 2018 will be here shortly so orrabest and try some Glenkinchie Distillers Choice - expensive but very nice.
Happy new year :-) Now for 11 months of typing in the wrong year...
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

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frv
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Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby frv » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:55 pm

Happy New Year Mike.

I’ll give this some thought but how many miles do you do a year?

I only did 7020 miles in 2017 which was one of the reasons I went for petrol (the other ones being the increasing demonisation of diesel and the increased servicing costs plus the DPF issues on more modern diesels).

I loved my Honda 2.2 I-CTDi, that engine was a beaut - I was regularly pumping out 60+ mpg tanks even in a 6 seater FR-V but at over 9 years old I felt it was time for a change! I’m loving the Audi, the mpg (for petrol) is pretty good for a 7-speed Auto at over 55 over the last 12 months and I occasionally enjoy the 150bhp on tap ;)
'15 Audi A3 Sportback SE CoD S-Tronic - 5+ year average 55+mpg
Image

(Retired) '06 Honda FR-V 2.2 i-CTDi - Best/longest tank: 67.92mpg (+51.6%) / 815.5 miles.

MikeMarsUK
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:06 am

I’ll give this some thought but how many miles do you do a year?
Roughly 18k / year, mostly motorway.

The compression test on the car was good, so that points to injectors / injector harnesses rather than something like piston rings / head gasket. So I was happy yesterday.

However I picked it up today from the garage and it was really struggling (extremely erratic, felt like it was running on 1 cylinder at times, stalled at idle). It seems like the compression test itself made it a lot worse!
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

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tighterse
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Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby tighterse » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:41 pm

It's all in the mind! Face it - you want a new/different car.

I'm not immune, it is a common disease in car ownership. When you reach a stage that you start seeing change as desirable you're stricken and there is no known cure other that putting a hand in your pocket and buying something - anything. I know you'll deny this and try to be rational so I'll just sit back and listen to your feeble excuses.

I'm very,very close to 80 years old and a retired, logical ex-accountant but for the past week I've been to half a dozen car dealers, I've driven six different models and I can't scratch the itch. I've GOT to buy a new car.

And incredibly, and don't laugh, the current favourites are either a 1.6 diesel, 120 hp Crossland X or a 1.4, 140 hp turbo Mokka X. Don't look for logic or rationality, it's an incurable disease.

I see the new wee Audi looks good. Deutchsland Uber Alles to you!
Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi isg Retired undefeated on 25,720 miles and 62.91 mpg overall

Now driving my second Sportage.

Warning. May contain a nut.

MikeMarsUK
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:53 am

Ah, the confusing thing this morning is that I started the car expecting to have to nurse it back to the garage, but it behaved fine (other than the pre-existing smoke / rough idle). So I don't know what was happening with it on Saturday. Maybe there was still air in the system from the compression test.

So it's back to plan A - since we know the compression is OK, thus ruling out catastrophic damage, on Thursday I'm driving it 2 hours north to a specialist who knows my car very well, and he's going to have a look at the injectors / injector harness. This is the same guy who upgraded my gearbox to a 6 speed, and a bunch of other things too numerous to list.
I know you'll deny this and try to be rational so I'll just sit back and listen to your feeble excuses.
I certainly can't deny irrationality, but in the opposite way - over the years, a) I spent £1500 to save 1p/mile via the gearbox upgrade, b) bought brand new window switches because the paint was worn on the originals and it was bugging me, c) did the same with the headlight switch, d) replaced my dash with the dash from a different version of the A2 (the higher spec dash shows MPG etc), e) paid a guy who could adjust the odometer on the new dash to add another 120k miles to make it correct, ... etc etc. And if the injectors need to be replaced, I'll probably have spent £4000+ (head gasket, 15 litres of fully synthetic oil, oil leak fixed, major service, tyres, starter, battery, injectors, injector loom, ...) over the space of about 14 months to keep a 15 year old car on the road. Worth it ... as long as it's good after that!
Last edited by MikeMarsUK on Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

MikeMarsUK
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby MikeMarsUK » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:43 pm

Good news, only the harness & one injector needed to be replaced, so the bill stayed under 4 figures. Car (and therefore me) all happy now, no smoking, I could see my MPG is already significantly improved on the journey back home :-)
Audi A2 1.4 TDI w/6-speed gearbox. Best tank 87mpg, average of all tanks 75mpg. Fuelly ID is MMUK.

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tighterse
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Re: Car troubles - random brainstorming

Postby tighterse » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:25 pm

"Under four figures". Lucky you.

I've changed my mind on the Vauxhalls despite the lack of inty ooty (access for for the elderly and unsupple) problems with them. Basically they were not easy and relaxing drives, too much gearchanging. The existing Sportage can toddle along at 30 mph in sixth and if a quick burst of speed is needed it is easy to drop down to fourth.

So I'm off looking at other and bigger SUVs with more engine torque. If the CEO and her Appointed Successor would leave me alone I'd simply continue with the Sportage that has only 21,000 odd miles and has never been a bit of trouble. The price of peace I think it's called.
Kia Ceed 1.6 crdi isg Retired undefeated on 25,720 miles and 62.91 mpg overall

Now driving my second Sportage.

Warning. May contain a nut.

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