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Avensis wagon

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  1. Yes, we should all give each other a penny... ME FIRST!!! (laters)
  2. (the fast way to sum up which Avensi have electronic or hydraulic PAS is that the 1.6 and 1.8 are electronic, to save engine power, the rest hydraulic) I've experienced no loss of grip, and I don't anticipate that I'll be causing uneven wear to the centre of the tyre. Like I said, one tyre manufacturer over here has given much higher recommendations for its tyres on the Avensis -- they came in, test drove, checked the tyre footprint etc. Over here, where the Avensis is a highly prized car and most sold in its class (admittedly the population is rather small), tyre pressures have been a popular topic on internet forums and those in the know are recommending around 2.5 bar. I tend to err on the side of caution and found 2.4 to 2.45 to be enough to make the difference without hardening the ride too much. A digital guage is recommended. That reminds me that the inaccuracy of forecourt guages coupled with different speeds and loads surely indicates that there is some tolerance to spare in how you inflate your tyres? Like I said, and in addition to the public, a local tyre manufacturer knows it and so do the mechanics at my main dealer's. And as you have found yourself, the Avensis is a wanderer on low pressures. If putting in 2.4 bar still worries you (and there's surely no harm in trying for a day) you could always ask a tyre dealer's opinion or get them to check how your tyres' profile is affected by this moderate increase in pressure. And if you do try it for a day, you'll know whether it is the tyre pressures or some other fault that needs looking into. Give it a go and let us know how you get on.
  3. I refuse to work all hours and contribute to society and then give a hand-out to a cheeky parasite! (well, the concept of it, though I question that this guy is genuinely what he claims to be). Shame publicity-seeking corporations won't see it that way. Bring back national service I say!
  4. I guess at the end of the day, if there are double yellows and you leave your vehicle on them unattended you risk a fine no matter if it is only for ten minutes. When you break a law and get caught, you pay. Otherwise everyone would see double yellows as a marker for temporary parking! An unfortunate incident but difficult to see reasons for true sympathy! (I'll soften up before Christmas, I'm sure). Admittedly, it is annoying when you have fed the meter, get back two minutes late and some jobsworth has contributed on your behalf to the city fund raiser. As for outrunning the warden --well, I guess it's tough on the streets and all's fair in love and war. Slower OAPs will have to drop a trail of marbles behind them or something...
  5. I can answer that one. The Toyota-recommended tyre pressures are too low (some have suggested to give a US-acceptable soft ride). I read about this wandering in a review and found it to be so on my test drives – until I test drove a mechanic’s car. The mechanic knew better and kept his tyres at much higher pressures. Then I test drove previously ‘faulty’ cars with higher pressures and found them instantly cured. I wouldn’t have bought the car in the first place if it wouldn’t drive nicely (directional stability). On low pressures I found the Avensis gets pushed around by every bump and on corners can even unpredictably change direction a little as if it had a mind of its own. The dealership I bought from had also had Nokian Tyres round to do tests for their winter tyres (sorry, writing from Finland). The tyre company recommended pressures up to 2.7 bar! On my summer tyres I use 2.4 to 2.5 (being a ditherer, 2.45 with a digital gauge). It’s not that high – 2.4 is recommended for high speeds anyway. 2.5 certainly won’t cause ‘ununiform’ tyre wear. Try it and see – you should have a different car! (Apart from that I also favoured the hydraulic rather than electronic PAS to give that impression of a car that sits nicely on the road by itself in a non-fiddly, non-tiring way.)
  6. I used to own a 1.6 VVT-i Corolla, presumably the same engine, and I never noticed any lag. However, when towing a trailer, it did take that little split second to start building steam. Well, you know where I'm going with this one -- Corolla around 1100 kg, Avensis near 1500 kg. It's a possibility. If you aren't happy, trade it in when you get here -- dealers are selling one year old versions of your car for around 25,000 euros. Just a thought!
  7. I agree in part with the above -- 17" is a cosmetic rather than functional option on a family car; stick with 16". I also agree about the Mazda 6 -- noise from the road, the engine, wind, every single stone under the car etc. plus sickening suspension for rear passengers. A great handler but hardly a family car for these reasons in my view. It was also my first opinion that the Avensis seems to suffer from tyre noise because it is so quiet in most other respects, although the petrol engines are harsh above 4,000 rpm and Toyota engines traditionally only start producing at higher revs, VVt-i or not. Nevertheless, if you take a Nissan Primera for a test drive you'll find that a quieter sounding engine and even less wind noise than the Avensis do not bring tyre noise to the fore. It's a much quieter car all round. My conclusion has been that the fact that the Avensis is reasonably quiet in most departments (despite some rumbling throughout) is not the reason why the tyre noise seems louder -- i.e. it's not perceived, it really is coming through. Solutions to somewhat reduce this noise could include a choice of tyre known for its quietness to reduce the noise at source (recommendations elsewhere in this forum) and sound dampening material inside the wheel arches, though some have debated whether this has any real affect, perhaps because the wheel arches aren't the only place for the noise to come through.
  8. All I can say is it is possible -- here in Finland it's law that, like motorbikes in the UK these days, the lights come on as soon as you start the car (i.e. the lights are always on day and night, good safety feature). BUT, if you want all your instrument panels lit up at night (radio, air con controls, etc.) you still have to twist the stick as if turning the lights on. The upshot is that without twisting the stick you set a brightness for daytime, and when you've manually turned the stick as if going on to dip beam you set the brightness for night time. In summary, try adjusting the diplay brightness with your lights off and then with your lights on dip (not side?) and see if your car remembers the settings for each.
  9. Yeh, I was going to ask about the damage done during removal -- probably more costly than the stolen goods will fetch to feed some drug habit. It's very insulting when someone causes so much damage and hassel for trivial gain, and irritating isn't the word for it when they manage to do it in such a cheap and cowardly way and get away with it. I'd be all for name and shame with big photos in the local newspaper. It's too late for social readjustment. They say don't take it pesonally, but it's hard not to. Try and rise above it anyhow -- and if that doesn't work consider the tragically pathetic looser lives your car assailents have before them: no career, no money, the worst chavette of a girlfriend if any until they have lost their youth and live a smelly, unshaven middle-aged existence in a rented hovel reeking of cheap stale booze... Why don't we cheer you up by painting a picture of their horrible lives and focusing negative thoughts on them! Just who are these people? After a week you'll be over it and have the repair noted down on a nice and unemotional 'things to do list'. Perfectly matter of fact -- but now we demand catharsis!!! Die scum!!!
  10. I compared the Primera against the Avensis when buying new since it was cheaper. The Primera is quieter and may even have driven just a fraction better. Its engine reliability shouldn't be so far behind either. Apart from that, the engines fall short in terms of fuel economy and power (size for size), the overall build quality is inferior/plasticky (but not bad), from the trim to the metal-looking but really plastic interior door handles. The Primera is also somehow more narrow inside and feels less snug due to the less cossiting materials used. It certainly looks as if it would wear faster overall. I also didn't like the central display, not so much because I didn't feel I couldn't get used to it (and the odd emptiness behind the steering wheel) but because absolutely everything was chanelled through it -- sound, aircon, computer, you name it: it's much easier to have a button for everything than go through an inconvenient menu for even simple tasks. I don't believe in the displays longevity either. And when it goes wrong? The colour reversing camera seems more of a gimmick to justify the display, particularly on models without satnav. Visibilty to the rear is a little poor, but the camera won't help if A) it's not fitted on your model, B) it's dirty/covered in snow. I suppose overall the Primera gave the impression of a much less solid car than the Avensis and had a touch of Citroen-like gimmickiness with a hint of flimsiness to match.
  11. I've found tree sap a real problem --Maple is one of the worst! It seems to be very hard stuff but comes off well with water -- so don't try picking at your paintwork! I had trouble woth ageing fly smears and tried a Turtlewax cleaner which worked/disolved them well. On the inside a very mild detergent solutions works OK (can't beat soap and water). I'd do that anyway before using one of those squirty products -- they're nowhere near as smear-free as they claim if there's any real muck to get rid of imo, but they finish the job well enough.
  12. I'm on too, though sadly looking a bit stupid as I pinned twice and couldn't delete. The lowest is pin is correct, between lakes Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi in the world of TOC.
  13. I don't believe there's anything wrong with the new car prices -- it's just that second hand isn't valued and it's a competitive marketplace with lots of choice. While the new price is what it is, there's enough choice to drive down used prices. What if those of us who couldn't afford to buy new had to pay 90% of the full price for a 2-year-old car? The UK system is great for the consumer. Buy new only if you plan to keep it, in which case it's good to know you've run it in gently and maintained it well, or if you can stomach the loss and love to change often. Admittedly, it's good to know that the Avensis I bought new in Finland will hold its value -- the garage put the 5-year old Corolla I traded in up for over £10,000. Here you pay through the nose to buy new and do even worse second hand in terms of value for money and choice. You can't win here but it is possible to find a bargain in the UK! Imagine what I could have bought second hand for 37,000 euros there!
  14. As I write, I really do have tears in my eyes. Thank you, haven't lolled so much in ages! Is this the positive response the vendor so regularly receives?
  15. Yes, look over this site for common possible minor problems. The windshield sealing has been one, another is the door seals -- there has been a time in production when the wind can whistle in through them. I test drove my sales person's car, among others, and noted that his actually had this problem. Ears open! But it is a fine choice of car -- a sort of "could have bought an A6 etc. but wasn't daft enough to spend the money". Bet I get ripped for that!
  16. I had the Ibeza in mind too -- cheaper and more of it than its clone parent. Mondeo comment: stats are released over here for every car in terms of which models have what percentage of faults at a given age. By the time they reach five years of age, how many Modeos have rust on their wheel arches? 100%. Amazing! That's enough to put me off. Admittedly, I haven't been a Ford fan since I rolled my Mk III Escort a week after passing my test. Still embarrassed to admit it today, but I guess you don't know where I live...
  17. Trouble is it's a very underated job and there's plenty of surplus labour, let alone staff wanting transfer. The boss obviously feels he has all the cards in his hands, particularly as he is also your landlord. Probably what has happened is that the level of intrusion has gradually got worse over time and has now crept in to the position of accepted practice. It does seem that you have a reasonable deal but you need to draw some lines in the sand. Have a friendly chat and point out how the situation has got a little out of hand. Agree on some guidelines/definite free time and inform the staff and stick a note on the stairs on the way up to your flat. If you still get the tough luck response, start looking around for alternative emplyment on the quiet or make yourself unavailable -- go out at night, inform the staff you're not to be disturbed or have company over. Stick a note up in the stairs anyway -- "gone out / this is my night off/ use your own initiative for a change / I don't know what a phone is/ doorbell on strike!". Seems your getting all the stress and probably not much of the managerial pay! Speaking of which, had you considered pointing out your success and dedication and asking a higher authority for promotion/training for promotion? At least that way you might get paid for your efforts and you won't be throwing it all away in haste. Good luck! Oh, one thing. Whenever I've been on a downer concerning my own career (i.e. frequently), I've come to realize that there's a difference between how things really are and how I perceive them. Think positive, it's probably not as bad as it looks and easily resolved! Don't chuck away something thats OK in nearly all other respects. Oh well, back to work -- I'll never make this deadline and they don't appreciate it anyway!
  18. Go for it. The minute you stop caring about what others think you'll have a great time. Anyone who 'poo poos' you is simply afraid of the spectacle because they daren't let their own hair down. Chances are they have picked a costume that'll make you look a bit of a@!"# but you'll simply have better and longer lasting memories that way and one day prove to your kids that you were young once too. It's nice that you have people around you who make the effort. Don't drink too much -- you'll have a lot more fun that way!
  19. Yes! So cultural, many cultural references, RKO radio pictures, science fiction – double feature, cult, made in Britain! And yes, go see it live at a theatre near you (went around 15-18 years ago). Bring water pistols, wear stockings whatever your gender, shout ‘boring!’ during the narrated bits, ‘!Removed!!’ at the mention of Janet’s name and the ‘a’ word which means bottom, suffixed with ‘hole’ when you hear a mention of Brad. Oh, and when the narrator says ‘they came from paradise’, you throw a Bounty Bar on stage. Put your hands on your hips, bring your knees in tight and go there. Demonic, where have you been? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. !Removed!! ;)
  20. I think if a child is the issue, it's best not to make the mistake of going too small. My year-2000 Corolla had no leg room for the kids, especially since baby seats tend to move them forwards. Admittedly the current 2001- Corolla has more leg room (around 10 cm) in the rear, but even so... I also noticed estates are good because of the way the roof line stays higher/horizontal beyond the rear door compared to a saloon where the roofline drops too soon. I like that because it's easier to get your head ducked in to take care of the young ones' seatbelts etc. Makes life so much easier. It's for this reason that I'd consider the Corolla/Astra size the minimum, and ideally the Avensis/Vectra size. I guess my advice basedf on practical experience is to narrow your focus to size class before model, and strongly consider an estate. I like my Avensis. Mazda6 was a great drive but suspension sickening for passengers. Primera a reliable and inexpensive option, Guess I like Japanese.
  21. I would do it -- did with my present Toyota and the last new one which drove well until I changed car at 70,000 km, so at least it didn't mean instant death. It's recommended between the first 1,000 and 3,000 km, so Toyota seems to think sooner rather than later. I'm told the oil in the new car contains cleaning agents and it's maybe not as good in some respects as the normal oil that follows. At least that's the way Toyota pitched it, so I follow their recommendation for their car. It's good to give the engine a good clean, little metal bits creating hotspots and all, and get rid. I have a paranoia about waiting 15,000 km with that in my engine. Besides, this first minor service thrown in when I bought the car, so it only cost me time. The engine's just starting to loosen up nicely at 4,000 km.
  22. I know it seems strange at the mo, but six years isn't really that long. It's true that at your age I couldn't see six months ahead, yet nearly twenty years later time goes faster and there are so many commitments that I'm thinking 'maybe I could do this or finish that in five or ten years' time'. You'll still be young and handsome in your mid-twenties, you'll have a degree and loads of work experience -- no matter what work it is you'll have proven yourself reliable, hardworking and be somewhat wiser of life at work. You'll have money in the bank and no chain around your neck. How long would it normally take to save up £15,000 plus interest and how much cheaper would your mortgage with compound interest be if you put that money there instead? Maybe you feel that you're missing out on the student scene. It may look as if everyone's having a great time and all your mates have gone on to study together and share an experience from which you are excluded, but you do have a car and you can afford to run it to visit them. Frankly I'm not sure whether to shout 'God that's boring, get your ***** to uni' or 'you're doing the right thing mate, much respect to you, stick with it.' I'd end by saying that the grass isn't laways greener, that you're not necessarily missing an experience, you won't have a huge debt that could take years to clear, and in 15 years' time it will look like a short time. It's that versus short and maybe more exciting, new surroundings, like-minded friends around you and perhaps higher chances of meeting your soulmate of the opposite s*x. Do you feel ostracised with your friends gone to uni and making new, like-minded friends there? If you recognize that feeling in yourself, I think perhaps you should go.
  23. Although the compulsory time to have winter tyres fitted ends at the end of February, you are permitted to have the studded variety until the end of March. This is highly recommendable – the legal requirement is conservative, partly to stop us ripping up the asphalt. Most years I have mine on until mid-April (and start in November, once in October) -- I’m in the Tampere area. The police often announce that the law should be ignored if cold weather persists. And if you still have your winter tyres on in May, as many do, and you get pulled over, you simply claim that you are driving to Lapland. Anyway, it’s handy that the garage will have fitted your winter tyres for you and stuck your summer tyres in the back. Mine were about 900 euros. I’d still consider the engine heater strongly. Their use is recommended below +5, and in March, even in Vantaa, it can be -15. Wouldn’t give your new engine the best start in life and you’ll be a long while getting warm air into the car. Almost any block of flats would have parking spaces with an electricity supply (admittedly, some older places have a limited number), or on private ground, rented or otherwise, you simply need an extension lead and segmental timer for a two hour blast before setting off. Although it is sold as an ‘extra’, I’m not sure that anyone would buy a new car without an oil heater, and it wouldn’t help resale. At the same time you could consider an internal 240v supply (electric socket) that runs off the same line in as the engine heater. Plug in your 60-euro Defa fan heater and your car will be warm inside when you start.
  24. Perhaps you could try posting your message here. http://www.toyota-europe.com/forms/contact.asp
  25. Odd, really. We've been excercising this natural right for centuries and suddenly it makes you a hardened criminal. Can't wait for a cop to pull up when a family has travel sickness problems at the side of the road. "Your 5-year-old is off his head on some intoxicating substance!" Nah, I see the point. There are toilets in the pub and toilets at home, and you probably wouldn't do it sober, especially as the planet doesn't look so dimly lit in that frame of mind. It's true, our behaviour can be lacking after a few and we should take a look at ourselves. I staggered home a few times in a right state 20 years ago -- was kind of embarassing to have the door turn into my father after half an hour trying to get the key into the hole. Then again, don't we all experiment and make mistakes? My only gripe is that public toilets in the UK are few and in poor condition, and in some cases unsafe. The problem with men is that some are really disgusting and they make the whole place disgusting for others. A tree is preferable to those filthy places, but not the one in the town centre.
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