Tuesday 20 October 2015

New Car

After the demise of the E34, I had to get a new car in a hurry. Had a few ideas of what I wanted to go for and one of them was a Volvo V70. Always liked the shape of them, they have good safety ratings and are pretty big, which is something we still need at the moment. Plus my wife liked the look of the Volvo, so I didn't have to 'sell' it to her :)
<a href="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/volvo-v70-3.jpg"><img src="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/page_thumb/volvo-v70-3.jpg"></a><a href="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/volvo-v70-2.jpg"><img src="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/page_thumb/volvo-v70-2.jpg"></a>

<a href="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/volvo-v70-1.jpg"><img src="http://www.jcrdevelopments.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/page_thumb/volvo-v70-1.jpg"></a>

So I found a decent looking example in a used car garage, went and had a look and a drive and liked it. The garage offered a pretty good deal, offering to put 12 months MOT on it and also to perform a cambelt change as they could not find a record in the history of it being done - fair enough.

So I am now a Volvo owner! I've moved from 6 cylinders to 5, so it is still a little bit more interesting than an inline-4. Its a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_D5_engine">D5 diesel unit</a>, so 2.4l, 163bhp, 340Nm. Not a bad spec. - best I have had so far. It is also the first diesel I have owned with VGT (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_geometry_turbocharger">Variable Geometry Turbo</a>), which really makes a noticeable difference down low. Can here the turbo whistling a bit, which is nice :)

Its got leather, climate control and all the usual electronic goodies. The seats are like comfy armchairs. But the best bit is the stereo - Volvo's HU-803 Dolby Pro-Logic Surround Sound incorporating 9 (yes 9!) speakers and a 4 CD changer in the head unit. It sounds phenomenal!

But unfortunately, when I went to collect the car (a week later) as I went to start it to drive away, the bugger was misfiring. I let it warm for a minute but it wasn't clearing. Was definitely down on one cylinder. So before I left I got the salesman out to have a listen and confirm that it was indeed misfiring. He said that seeing as it was coming back later that week to have the cambelt done, take it and drive it and see if it clears. If it is still doing it when it comes back in they will investigate - fair enough.

So I spent the next four days driving on 4 out of 5 cylinders, getting very pissed off. Of course on the day it was to go back in it stopped doing it. So it went in one evening to have the cambelt done the next day. The garage (kindly) lent me a car to use until the cambelt was done, hopefully just the next day.

I got lent a bit of a clapped out 2001 Renault Espace. Looked like well used family car full of rubbish and dog hairs, that they had just collected that day as part of a trade-in. Still as long as it went I didn't mind.

So it got me home, then it got me to work the next day (80 mile commute), then I got the call in the day to say my car was ready so set off after work to go get the car (~45 miles).

And then it broke down! Oh the irony... the cambelt went. So my journey home was extended by 2 hours but thankfully my RAC cover got me and the broken down Espace back to the garage to collect the Volvo. Excellent service by the RAC - the recovery man could not tow the car as it was too heavy, so had to call for a flatbed, but then he waited with me until the flatbed came. Then the flatbed guy was really friendly, so wasn't such a bad experience. Just tiring as I wanted to just get home.

Was very happy to get back into the Volvo and drive home in comfort.

So far I am loving it. Its the nicest car I have ever owned. I am starting to learn its little noises and finding things wrong (am building a to-do list), but I enjoy it a lot.

Will start a Log on it soon and start documenting some jobs I need to do on it.

Sunday 4 October 2015


Just finished watching Season 1 of Betas on Amazon Prime Instant Video. It's a series about a group of programmers in a startup who develop a social app and try to make it a success.

I really enjoyed it but was sad to learn that Amazon cancelled the show and won't make any more seasons. Boo.