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Everything posted by Garth-1

  1. Consider a Honda with their new i-MMD transmission. It has no gearbox at all, just one clutch, one fixed gear and 2 electric motors.
  2. Try Nippon Auto Spares in Derby, who do replacement engines & gearboxes. Tel. +44 (0)1332 293 399. I used them 5 years ago, for a replacement engine for my '04 1.8 Avensis. (Condition excellent, delivered to my local garage for fitting, £600 inc VAT).
  3. I can't comment on the diesel but I can say that the 1.8 petrol is very pleasant to drive and is surprisingly economical. I disagree with Alan1234 when he says that " petrol version is a low torque gutless wonder". I actually found it better for towing my caravan than my Volvo 2.4 petrol.
  4. Garth-1

    Winter tyres

    On my main car I have Nokian all-season tyres and can recommend them. On my "occasional" cars, which do a low mileage, I keep winter tyres on all year round. I would never go back to having summer tyres on any car in the winter - too much of a risk, too many slippery episodes.
  5. The whole logic around auto-dip is fundamentally wrong. If it works as (incorrectly) designed your lights will dip when someone's lights are shining at you, whereas the correct solution should be that they dip when your lights are shining at them.
  6. Don't mess about. If you need a sensor get a genuine Denso one as recommended by Mr Fixit-Norm.
  7. I get my batteries from Tayna - always good value. This Varta battery is the same as the Bosch one you are considering; it's made in the same factory, just branded differently. If you have a battery charger with a "supply" output you can maintain voltage to your car whilst changing batteries, or you could run jumper leads from another car's battery. To avoid getting in the way of your work in the battery compartment the negative lead can be connected to any convenient earthed point on the bodywork whilst the positive lead can be connected to the positive terminal of the alternator.
  8. Sorry to put a dampener on this discussion, but didn't someone in the States get crushed to death only a few days ago when someone remotely started the Lexus he was looking at, intending to buy? As an ex driving instructor I always told my pupils never to leave a car unattended with the engine running.
  9. I have followed many discussions about tyres on many different car forums. It strikes me that one thing that is never mentioned, but is blindingly obvious to me, is that a new set of tyres - having more rubber and a deeper tread - is almost always quieter and smoother than the old set they replace. What else would you expect? So when I hear that "I replaced brand X with brand Y and my driving experience was transformed, well .. that's what new tyres are for. Of course there are differences between tyres, but you have to do the comparisons when all conditions are equal including wear, time of year etc.
  10. In my opinion an Avensis will be much more suitable as a taxi than a Volvo S40. I am not aware of head gasket issues with the petrol versions. The 1.8 petrol is good to drive, comfortable and surprisingly economical on petrol. (I won't attempt to predict your mpg; that will depend on how the car is used). If you can make it last 18+ months then there will be a lot of good, cheap diesel cars coming onto the market in the south east due to the expansion of the ULEZ emissions zone.
  11. Whilst different tyres may have different noise levels, it's my experience that the amount of sound insulation in the car is a bigger factor than the tyres. My Avensis is noisy-ish (Nokian all-season), my BMW 5-series is almost silent (Continental summers) and in my elderly Mercedes S-class I can't hear the (Continental winter) tyres at all.
  12. Do not be tempted to lubricate your strut pistons with WD-40 as I did. It just lets all the gas out and they stop working altogether. So I replaced my struts with ones from sgs-engineering (as recommended by olcodger above) and they work fine.
  13. Despite the engine warning light there is probably zero wrong with your engine. Unfortunately under the new MOT rules your warning light is an MOT failure, so you'll need to do a bit more investigation. I had the same situation with my Avensis but it's a petrol, so maybe members with diesel experience can help.
  14. I recently replaced a faulty MAF sensor on my 2000 BMW 5-series and can tell you that the engine will definitely run, whether hot or cold, if the MAF sensor is disconnected. If the sensor is disconnected the ECU simply guesses at what the fuel mixture should be in the light of what the other sensors are telling it (engine temp, rpm, lambdas). In my case the mixture was weak, performance was poor but fuel economy was OK. More commonly the mixture will be too rich, performance will be reasonable but fuel economy will be poor. One caveat though. I'm assuming the ECU in your 2000 Corolla is about as sophisticated as my BMW's. If on the other hand it was programmed badly then it may not have the intelligence to take all relevant sensors into account and will simply give up if one of them is faulty or disconnected. Trouble is, the manufacturers never reveal how their ECUs are actually programmed.
  15. My T25 is on its second 1ZZ-FE engine. When it belonged to my daughter-in-law it drank oil, ran out of oil and blew apart. I bought the car, replaced the engine (*) with one that had done about 60K miles. It's now done 90K miles and uses no oil whatsoever. I would go so far as to say its the best 4-cylinder engine I've had in any of my cars. (*) Recommendation:- Nippon Auto Spares, Derby.
  16. Sorry to butt in, but stickiness in the straight ahead position isn't normal behaviour. My T25 Avensis (well strictly my wife's, but we both drive it) has a perfect feeling and sensitivity to the steering under all conditions. No kidding, but I actually prefer its steering to my Mercedes S-class (too light) and BMW 5-series (too heavy) and I would rate it as equal to my wife's MX5. Yes, really. So, I'm sorry to say your sticky steering is not normal. As to the cause, I can't say because it's not something I have needed to investigate.
  17. I should add that in December (which Which? say is the most expensive month to insure a car) I insured my wife's MX5 (1.8 petrol) for £100. Yes, it's not a typo: £100 (=£150 less £50 vouchers for being a new customer). Fully comp, protected NCD, 4K miles/year, rural Cheshire postcode, both retired. Her Avensis does up to 8K miles per year but otherwise all details the same, cost was £147.95 as stated above.
  18. Yesterday I insured my wife's 2004 Avensis T3-X, 1.8 petrol manual, for £147.95 with the Co-op. No guarantee you'll get yours as cheaply, of course.
  19. Konrad, I think this illustrates that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To you the Corolla looks better than the Auris. To me, the front of the Corolla is unspeakably ugly. Sorry! It's all down to personal taste.
  20. I run my Avensis tourer on Nokian Weatherproof all-season tyres and am very happy with them. Possibly not as quiet as Michelins, but certainly cheaper and wearing extremely well. Have a good steering feel to them too. They're made in Finland, so you can be sure they'll be good in the cold. I got mine delivered from Tyreleader at a very good price then took them to a local garage for fitting.
  21. Thanks for the replies. I think Byzii's "shoes" explanation is the right one. My wife uses her own car (an MX5) when the weather is good but takes the Avensis when it's bad, so by definition she will be wearing bad-weather clothes i.e. heavy shoes.
  22. My wife has just told me that the gas pedal in our 2004 Avensis (1.8 petrol) is too light, and that's why she accelerates so quickly. (Some excuse!) Does anyone else think this, and if so is there a cure (for the Avensis pedal, not for my wife)?