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Old 27th Sep 2018, 09:55
  #94 (permalink)  
eal401
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: UK
Age: 43
Posts: 588
Where to start!

On gear boxes - my personal preference is manual and I would always, always encourage people to learn to drive with a manual. I think "automatic" only driving instruction should be banned - my opinion - caveated to say "for able bodied people" as obviously there are circumstances where automatic only may be necessary for an individual. I can and have driven automatic, no animosity towards them, in fact if driving overseas - they can be very helpful in allowing greater concentration on the road!!

On fuel - I have owned diesel cars for almost a decade. When I swapped from a 2l petrol to a 2l diesel (both second hand Mondeos), my fuel bill plunged. I'll be getting a new car next year though and would be looking at petrol again, but they seem to be a minority still in new vehicles.

On cars - well, I haven't hit the mother lode of a trouble-free vehicle yet! First car was a Rover 200 MkIII - K-series engine blew its head gasket pretty much on schedule at 66k. Second was a Ford Fiesta MkV, which was reasonably good for the first few years, but the engine and suspension deteriorated significantly over time, regardless of servicing and driving behaviour

I then had a high mileage Mondeo MkII (all I could afford post child and house move!) which was fine until a gentleman in a Beemer decided give-way markings are for other people and smacked in the side of it. It would have carried on for sometime more had it not been for that! I replaced that with a MkIII (The petrol to diesel move) - another high-miler. That was fine until the first week of a new job when it blew its head gasket. It was repaired but didn't feel right and it transpired that the cylinder head was cracked putting it beyond economic repair for me.

A few months later, I inherited my dad's Skoda Octavia which I still drive. Again, nice at first - but despite regular servicing and maintenance has suffered a raft of problems, continuous problems with the suspension (I suspect due to living somewhere with a far higher number of speed bumps that previously), failures in the air con system, dodgy connections in the electrics. Much to my surprise, it passed its MOT yesterday, despite the smoke it can sometimes produce on acceleration (yes it is a diesel too) - it'll be getting replaced within the next 6 months! The Octavia is also one of those cars where self-replacement of headlight bulbs is nigh-on impossible - unlike the Fords we have had.

My wife had the Fiesta, that was replaced with a Focus MkIII which she still runs. All is well with that car - but its 1.6l petrol engine can't accelerate worth a damn and it has the turning circle of a disabled oil tanker.

So, I will read this thread with interest for positives. Don't seem to be many yet!
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