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Avensis wagon

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  1. Yeah, the bodywork avoidance is a 'praise be', and chances are the old screen was a bit cobwebby and due for replacement, so luck there. I remember kids used to drop stuff of bridges in Peterborough, down the Parkway. Could kill someone. Hate to say, but a socially unaware group known as 'travellers' was nearby and given the blame by police. I hate bigotry, but to avoid it you've got to tow the line like the rest of us. There's a craze in the city near where I live ( Tampere, Finland, Nokia's global HQ). Kids target the most expensive kudos cars they can find and jump up and down like hell on the roof and bonnet to trash them. I did some outrageous things as an adolescent, but I'd never hurt anyone like that. I'm somewhat concerned over the windscreen on my new Avensis (still on the production line in the UK, due here mid-June). The radio antenna and wiper heating are built into the windscreen, making a replacement costly. One stone or metal a stud from someone else's winter tire and -30 turns a chip into the Grand Canyon across the glass. FYI: Avensis most sold in class in Finland, Corolla most sold in Finland and worldwide (could be because they never changed the name!). Reliability counts over here, and nothing holds its value like a Toyota.
  2. Get a mechanic, safer than DIY if it all goes wrong and your life depends on it. You might need to skim (machine down) where the HG sits (head more likely) if it's warped -- with luck it's not necessary, but a pro can find that out for you. Edge of a steel ruler and torch for desperados. Torque wrench also handy -- in fact, unless things have changed you might need to re-torque a while down the road to keep things tight. No big deal. If you want to take the risk it's easy enough to open up, place new gasket and retighten. If no warp, chances are it works. BUT, my experience from the past tells me that a quick DIY HG on a potentially warped block won't get you further than 5,000 miles before you have to do it again. And again. In conclusion, you could probably do a cheap quick fix yourself to get going, but I'm not sure how far it would carry you. Better safe than sorry or enough to tide you by? On the other hand, and as you say, the HG itself is cheap, and if you have the time and the manual and it's a sunny day, why not? It's an experience. Just keep a close eye on things afterwards. Do you feel rich or lucky?
  3. Why do you want to do it? The usual reasons are but two: love and money. I've been expatriated around eight years, and I'm not in an English speaking country. We pay high taxes on lower wages, but I don't mind since I see the social good that comes from taxes, even though I'm not in the category to receive so much back. Mind you, I did get £500/week paternity leave. We have more rules and they're enforced to the letter, but there are many advantages to that since the system works. When I move house, my drivers licence, tax affairs or whatever move with me automatically as the population register is updated. Loads of space here, though. All lakes and forests. Have to spend half the year driving with short-studded tyres and can drive on the lakes. (Finland) Oh yeah. It was love. But I do scrape a reasonable living.
  4. A bankers draft is in some ways like cash because the bank honours it immediately when it's presented -- and unlike real money it has the added safety that the 'cash' is in someone's name, i.e. not just anyone can cash it in. Oh yeah, and they generally look quite pretty. BUT they can be post dated, and it seems these scammers may rely on the fact that you don't get to find out in time if the draft can be honoured, or that even if it isn't post dated you don't get to the bank in time to find out. Always in business or any transaction, confirm that payment has been made to your account/hands before handing over the goods. Always. You see, if you took the money (always in a documented way -- not actual cash) and didn't hand over the car, it's easy to proove that something's amiss because a stranger wouldn't pay a load of money into you account without reason. But if you hand over the car and don't get paid, who's to say you weren't paid cash. The best way is to go to the bank with the buyer and do things together -- you see that payment is made and the buyer gets the registration documents, keys and car. It's a very reasonable proposition and should be reassuring to both buyer and seller. Never get involved in dodgy dealings such as laundering or tax evasion, because when it all goes wrong you'll be on the wrong side of the law and it won't protect you.
  5. I vote for the police -- whatever government is in, whatever the small change in policy, there aren't many exceptions to the rule of doing good for society. Now, without mentioning any specific wars, when you sign up to the armed forces you accept that whatever the cause, whatever the moral justification or complete and utter lack thereof, you agree that -- if the situation arises -- you go where you are sent and become part of the killing machine and risk getting killed. That's OK when the cause is noble, but what if it isn't? We do need defence forces and there are many good causes that need people to sign up. It's sometimes very admirable. If you can say "this is my place, I'm part of the machinery and I do as I'm told by superiors without questioning it" that's good. But if you're the kind of person that when someone tells you to do something your first reaction is "on the wider perspective, why would I want to do that?", maybe it's not for you. Can you fit in as part of the machinery or are you the type to take a couple of steps back and mull over the wider perspective? I also favour the police because you still get a normal life -- it's a job, you do the hours, you buy a house, get married have kids, do the shopping, pay bills etc. Life in the armed forces is often much more institutionalized, especially in the early stages and for some it always is. A friend of mine does security in the RAF and has just come back from you know where (to think my old school mate signed up at 17 and has done 18 of his 22 years already -- time goes so quickly!). Naturally it wasn't a pleasant experience, but no details here. Back in the UK, however, he's only happy when on base, and they'll be kicking him out in four or five years. What then? I'm sure he'll find work, and... ah, sod it. You know, he'll adapt. Travelled a bit got paid ok, pensions sorted, still alive. Maybe it's not so bad. But bear in mind that you get more independence in the police and are paid enough to take holidays abroad -- in the destination of your choice and without people trying to shoot you. And there's a lot to be said for that!
  6. I wouldn't write off things just because we don't understand them or can't describe them with conventional methods, e.g. physics. Then again it's no doubt true that for every real case there are a million mistakes and hoaxes. My wife told me that (before we got together) when her mother's mother died she was watching TV and suddenly felt very disturbed as if something had changed or gone wrong -- a couple of hours later and the phone rang with a relative telling her her grandmother had died. She lived 300 miles away. So OK, that's just a story because I wasn't there, not that my wife would lie. BUT, two years ago my wife's grandmother on her father's side died (also 300 miles away). At 7 a.m. my wife woke up and told me that she felt something bad had happened -- in fact she told me she suspected her grandmother had died. Sure enough, an hour later the phone rang and it was true. Now (yikes, I just jumped out of my skin!) this may be unexplainable, but just because we can't describe the mechanism, doesn't mean it never happened. And the reason I just jumped out of my skin while typing this spooky stuff is because my kid's toy robot (Robosapien) just work up by himself, made a few noises and walked around a bit. But there's hopefully a reasonable explanation for that, even if it has been inactive for hours and chose this moment to wake up. The above isn't necessarily proof of any continuation after death, but it does indicate that there's more to us than we know or can explain. Ghostly presences often come with a feeling of pressure on the kidneys/lower back (so they say). Do you get any of that?
  7. The UK = the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That is to say, Great Britain (=England, Scotland and Wales only) plus Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland isn't included in this (being a republic and all that). But anyway, why ponder minor details when you can congratulate me on shaking my Toyota dealer's hand today on a new 2 litre Avensis wagon (estate) with cruise control and 6 CD changer. Oh, and let's not forget the tow bar! Yeah, boring family dude I know. Platinum is my colour of choice, 36,000 euros the price. Outrageous! Could have got it tax-free if I was still resident in the UK (of GB and... )
  8. Hi I'm new, rather a novice and about to upgrade my Corolla VVT-i to an Avensis 2 litre Wagon (as they call the estate in Finland). The spec over here is that the 2 litre and above plus the deisels have the more conventional hydraulic PAS, whereas the 1.8 and 1.6 have electronic PAS to save power. That's one of the reasons I'm going for the 2 litre, as on long hauls the steerings not so light and figety. The electronic is in many ways more pleasant in town, though. This could be why the PAS feels heavier on your 2 litre.
  9. Hi quick question: I'm considering buying a 2 litre jobby, all but signed the papers. From the above posts, does this mean that it shouldn't suffer from the oil problem that everyone seems to associate only with the 1.8?
  10. Hi, I'm considering a new Avensis 2 litre. On my first test drive the car was pushed around by irregularities in the road surface and also had a tendency to wander off course. Second test drive, different Avensis, no problem. Third test with another car, and directional stability was an issue again. The second, well-performing car was a mechanic's and it seems that it's well known that Toyota's tyre pressure recommendations are way too low at 2.2 bar. 2.4 or even 2.6 bar seemed to be what was recommended in tests by tyre manufacturers like Nokia for their own tyres on this car. Certainly did the trick. Does anyone know anything about this or have any comments? Secondly, the oil issue. I currently have a Corolla 1.6 VVT-i and it has never burnt oil in a noticable way (4 years, 40 k). People here seem to agree that the 2 litre doesn't suffer as badly as the 1.8. Is this true or is it because 1.8s are more sold and therefore more talked about? What are the pros and cons of 2 litre vs 1.8? (the hydraulic steering on the 2 litre may be preferable to the electronic stering on the 1.8 for sitting back on the motorway) And one last point since I'm about to make a purchasing desicion. Is there any reason why I should buy the Primera instead? Thanks all!
  11. Mmm... should be easy enough to automate, and then appeal if your circumstances have changed. But back to the wider picture, fines are means tested downwards, but not so significantly upwards for the comparatively wealthy. Therefore the fines paid by the financially average and poor are in terms relative to their circumstances equal. But the financially well above average are relatively getting away with it to the point that what is meant to be a punishment barely tickles them. This thread started out about inequality -- about a wealthy person of high social status receivng unjustified positive discrimination since he kept is licence despite two prior offences where others would have lost it. And on top of that, the fine he paid wouldn't even touch him, relatively, so it's hardly a punishment. Other members of society would have felt the severity of the punishment, and that's unequal. It's not right I tell ya!
  12. Exactly. It's supposed to be a punishment, and it should be a punishment of equal hardship to all, not a severe kick up the backside for the majority and no Emmerdale tonight for the wealthy, who may also have inherited that wealth rather than earned it. There is a minimum fine where this rule is practiced, and the loss of licence applies across the board. Oh, but in the case of a lord it didn't.
  13. Wow, third offence, six points already And if there was a public road where it's safe to do that, which there isn't without causing endangerment, the A47 isn't one of them. And yeah, what message does that give to the rest of us? What if we argued that "I'm a courier and my entire livelihood depends on my licence and my childen will have to go to the orphanage!" -- "Sorry, you should have thought of that earlier" would be the reply. Not only that, a fine that size would hurt Lord Such and Such much less than the rest of us. Here in Finland you are given 'day fines' -- so many days wages according to your income (and if you exceed the limit by 50% or more it's an instant ban). If you can be bothered to follow this link, here's what is believed to be the world's highest speeding fine ever: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1759791.stm Looks like the class system might be alive and well: I always wondered how people like Andrew Lloyd-Webber could be made a lord and with no political experience play a part in deciding which acts do and don't go through.
  14. Back yo your first question, as you point out, American society is becoming increasingly polarized. Personally I put it down to the way that what is marketed as freedom gives you the right to be left to fend for yourselves when you start from the lowest point or when things go wrong. If a government is meant to look after its people, that's not responsible govenment. I believe in taxes (I pay 40%), because we need taxes to fund our education, healthcare, welfare etc. and generally provide a better society in which to live. The things to which we are all entitled. And sure, there's always going to be that 4% who just want to take, but that's some people for you. It's always been that way. Many politicians in the UK look up to the American model of free enterprise and we are leaning that way more than ever, not so much upfront but it's creeping through the back door. I don't like it. Thatcher was very much for it. She wanted us to become entrepreneurs and own our own homes (dole pays rent but not mortgage, so by convincing the working classes that they were now lower middle class they suddenly had more to lose than their chains and were forced to keep in line -- this isn't helped now by the banks lending astronomical amounts, driving house prices ever upward. They're in it together with the estate agents). Anyway, I want to see proportional representation and multiparty government. That is democracy, and that is civilised, business-like government. I suppose the good news is that a couple with ordinary jobs can afford a house and a car and have a family. Finally, yep all politicians tell lies. They have to. The competition is so tough that all parties have to make promises they couldn't possibly keep. Disclaimer: The above is not stated as fact and simply reflects some of the views of a forum member
  15. Best get a job and remain an active and integrated part of society. In some ways, taking a lowly job can look worse on your CV than a short spell of unemployment. But a long spell of unemployment looks worse than no job at all. If you have to, and if the opportunity exists, continue in the same field whilst submitting articles to various publications. However, the market in any country is saturated with freelancers, many of whom specialize. That is to say, you don't stand much of a chance with Bird Watching Weekly or Your Toothpick Monthly. Publishers are continually bombarded with offers and they get to take the pick of the crop at a rate that suits. You could start your own small business alongside work or whilst unemployed. In a field where you sell your own labour the initial investment is low -- indeed it appears you have a computer already! Just hang in there for a while, eventually the communications department of some company will come along, they like you, tell their friends an it all builds from there. Just some thoughts, not telling you what to do or anything...
  16. Ooh! I can do this one (a bit). First: 100%, no doubt about it, whatever you do in life, your kids will be your greatest achievement. The cats thing you mentioned is an understatement. Only when you have kids will you appreciate that fully and beyond the abstract level, i.e. really know what it means. For most, if you wait until you can afford kids you'll never have them. But it is smart to have a little reserve. The age thing: having them young means you'll make more mistakes and behave less reasonably than if you were a little older (hopefully we all get smarter as we get older). But having them older increases many risks -- e.g. Down's Syndrome is something like 1 in many thousand at age 20 and 1 in 400 age 35. Not only that, at your current age you're much more able to handle the sleep deprivation and other demands placed on you. Your relationship: your partner will no longer be the most important thing in your life. s*x could go comparatively out of the window die to tiredness, lack of opportunity and possible physical factors. So far you've only been responsible for yourselves, so it's a big and maturing change. In that respect, you grow with your child. Now you'll be responsible for a helpless little person who demands your attention every second -- you'll be lucky if you get to go to the toilet alone. The good news is that when it seems pretty desperate when you're caught in the moment, it does get better and there is light at the end of the tunnel. So it's tricky, but if you survive it you'll really grow and have a greater understanding of life the universe and everything. When is the right time? Between now and the age of 32 for your first. And yes, leave it later and you'll be pensioned before they leave home and you get your life back. Finally, it's a difficult desicion to make, isn't it? You know: "I will now decide to have children, take a step into the unknown and irreversably change my life forever". Here's a tip that takes the difficult decision-making out of it. Come off the pill/implant (I'm assuming here). This is a good start anyway because it's recommended that you don't get pregant on the pill and also that you get your natural cycle going for six months. During this time, use condoms. That's the trick, because sooner or later you're going to slip up or not hold back = one pregnancy with no difficult decsion-making. In my experience, most women get the bio-clock thing really strongly at 28 -- and if they're not with someone they may even marry some bloke who is far from their first choice and possibly divorce as soon as the relationship is put under the strain of kids. So if you feel you've made a sound choice of partner while time allows, as opposed to a last-minute act of desperation, GO FOR IT! You'll live.
  17. Maybe it's a bit unfair to call all the workers lazy. If they're not producing much it's pehaps more to do with the process and its management. (no, I don't work there ) I mean, surely MG Rover hasn't employed Britain's 6,000 most lazy workers? And surely we're not all lazy by nature? :o It's got to come down to inefficiency, starting from the car design, materials and parts sourcing, production design, bad management etc. The Avensis and Primera are made in the UK, and they're doing fine with Britts on the production line. The guys building the things turn up and do the job... because that's their job. Masterminding the thing is someone else's job, and at MG Rover. he or she and co. haven't done it well, and it seems we excel at that. A huge domestic market all too willing to buy their wares and, again, they haven't come up with the goods.
  18. Yeah, MG Rover has all but collapsed. The idea of the government cash injection is to keep the company afloat while negotiations start/continue with various parties interested in buying in/taking over. One week might actually make a difference between life and death. £6.5 million isn't that much on the wider scale, and it's a lot cheaper than paying out on unemployment/other resultant social problems, so it's worth the risk. It also means that MG Rover's parts suppliers -- some of which have supplied goods in excess of £1 million without receiving payment -- also won't have to collapse and put their own people out on the streets. The knock-on effects could be serious. I'd guess that some sort of deal will be reached, but it's not as if MG Rover has much to bargain with. I suppose that people must be buying cars made by MG Rover, otherwise they wouldn't want to keep producing them. Looks like the issue is more profitability than demand. That said, I can't imagine who would want to buy one. Innovation? Performance? Value for money? Anyone?
  19. Don't you get Stargate SG1 in Finland?? :D ← You have an excellent point there, Bora Sera Can I change my vote?
  20. I voted stay brunette. Your complection looks like it would take blonde nicley, but you'll have to rethink your make-up and your wardrobe, do your roots more often and then be one of many in the crowd. Blonde also looks better on longer hair (OK, I guess that's just an opinion). Having said that, life's too short and as someone else pointed out, maybe you should find out. Then go to an expensive make-up department and have them recommend something and make you up -- better than buying three lots of cheap stuff you don't like.
  21. Yep, the Toyotas are very reliable in all extremes, and that counts for a lot over here. The Octavia is in some ways tempting, but the distance between front and rear axles is 20 cm less than the Avensis (and 10cm less than the Mazda 6), so I wonder about rear leg room. How is it that a shorter car can have so much boot space and still leg room in the back? Apart from that, a great 150 hp 2.0 litre on the Elegance estate I test drove, handled reasonably well (a little numb) and thoroughly kitted out - cruise control, rain radar, cooled glove locker and cubby holes, you name it. Test drove the 2.0 litre Mazda6 the other day. Great drivabilty, lovely feed back, a pleasure to drive and certainly the best of the cars I mentioned it that respect. BUT, it's not quite the family car as the seats could be nicer (the Octavia's too), engine noise and tyre roar come through quite loudly and the suspension that makes it so nice to drive really makes a passenger's stomach go up and down on bumpy roads. Also, a new model comes out in autumn, which as far as we know has improved noise reduction and a more fuel efficient engine to start, so maybe not the best time to buy. So, test drove a 1.8 Avensis today. It was roomy, comfortable, quiet. Yep, could be more torque -- I'd rather not have to wait for the revs to climb so high to get it into good acceleration (I thought that was supposed to be an advantage of VVT-i), and when turning corners at low speed in town, not much happened when I put my foot down to drive out in second. But, you know, I'm buying a family car. Agree about the deisel but too pricey over here to buy and run due to heavy environmental tax loaded onto road tax. 2 litre petrol could be an option. In summary I found the Avensis comfortable, of quality build and with OK performance. But it did have the problem that everyone's talking about over here and highlighted in ll the reviews like those in Top Gear (I don't always listen to Top Gear as they put more effort into sarcastic so-called wit than objectivity, but this time they were right). Here's the problem. I don't mind the light steering, I don't mind that the equipent level could be better for 35,000 euros. But I do mind that the car is constantly wandering off by itself. On the straight or round corners, you've steered it just how you want and it suddenly changes course a couple of degrees, calling for continual correction. It seems everyone finds it that way and it's pretty outrageous, especially for a car of this class. Some say the fault can be slightly mitigated with wheel alignment and careful tyre pressures a little on the high side. I'm just your average mid-thirties family guy, so it's doubtful that I'll be dropping the suspension (even if the wife would let me!). I'd like to buy the Avensis, but with one of the least pleasant driving experiences for that much money, I'm looking at all the options. Has anyone else here experienced the Avensis as a bit of a wanderer? Nissan Primera test drive tomorrow! (2 litre petrol). Distinctive Looks, many toys, maybe a halfway decent drive. Worst fuel economy of those mentioned in my first post, but competetively priced. And a proper large family car, whereas the Octavia on the MKIV Golf frame is a small family car somehow looking big -- maybe it's like the TARDIS? How have they done it? If I could just be convinced it really is that big I'd overlook the excess plastics and go for it. A sensible allrounder with great specs. Anyway guys, thanks for talking to the newbie! Any thoughts on these cars appreciated.
  22. Hi, I'm a newbie. Own a 2001 model Corolla 1.6 vvt-i, looking to buy a new Avensis 1.8 estate. UK citizen living in Finland. I know the Avensis is of quality build, reliable, quiet, quite refined though not a dazzler. And the power to fuel economy ratio is more than acceptable. But here in Finland everyone seems to agree that the Avensis is pushed off course all too easily by irregularities in the road suface and cross winds, not to mention having overly sensitive electronic power steering. Too much driver input required while at the same time lacking feedback. The problem is compounded by our roads -- if you imagine that we drive with metal-studded tyres half the year, damn great grooves are left in the tarmac in summer. They're like tram lines, dragging you in and pushing you out. I've also noticed even UK reviews pointing out that the Avensis is quick to stray off course. Any comments? Some have said that wheel alignment has fixed the problem. P.S. Other contenders for me are Mazda 6 2.0 (Good handling, OK ride, reasonable performance and fuel economy), new Octavia (look at the performance of the 2.0 litre and the fuel economy, good handling, but plain inside and no Japanese reliability), Nissan Primera (seen better performing 1.8s and 2.0s in power and fuel econ, ride and handling OK, good price, loads of goodies, distinctive style like the Mazda) FYI: The Toyota Corolla is Finland's most sold car, and the Avensis is the most sold in its class (Primera second at the moment due to aggressive pricing, Mazda also well respected). At -25 you need reliability -- engine, electrics, door locks, petrol hatches, you name it. Japanese cars might not have the French ride, but nothing in Europe is as reliable. Every taxi driver in the local town had a C5 last year, and now they don't... All constructive comments appreciated!
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