kingandy: (Default)
Heading home from my Mum's house last weekend I accidentally ran a speed camera. It's a fair cop - it was a motorway, and I was only doing 58mpg, but it had a speed limit of 50, which was clearly signposted and has been that way for years. (If you're interested, it was the M606 south from Bradford, immediately before the M60 flyover where it bends to the right, sharp enough to warrant a speed restriction apparently.)

I mention this because I've just received the penalty notice, and it's clearly an automated one - rather than saying "Exceeding the speed limit" or whatever they've decided to phrase it as "Exceeding 50 mph on a motorway". Which, in and of itself, isn't technically an offence.

I'm not planning to argue it (since I'm well aware that it is a 50mph zone), but it's still an interesting turn of phrase ... I can see that some people might be baffled by such an accusation.
kingandy: (Octopus)
The other driver is admitting full liability. Hooray!

Prang!

Aug. 4th, 2008 04:22 pm
kingandy: (And yet I stare)
While driving back to work from lunch today, my car got pranged. Hiss and Boo!

I was driving along the (empty) left-turn filter lane when somebody in the (motionless) straight-ahead lane decided he would rather like to turn left, actually. Unfortunately he was in front of a big white van and he didn't realise that the left lane was not empty, it was full of me.

Both cars were fine apart from superficial damage around the front wheel arches (his left, my right) and my front bumper's a bit mangled. Still, I have contacted my insurers and denied liability. Them things costs moneys to fix, after alls.

I am sooooo fucking glad I got around to doing the MOT last week.

New Car

Sep. 13th, 2007 10:25 pm
kingandy: (Frowny)
New car!



It's lovely, drives well, nice to sit in, good high seat with plenty of leg/head room, etc etc.

Unfortunately, when I went to drop off some kit at [livejournal.com profile] cuthrose's place, I noticed that the side lights weren't working. No problem, thought I, the headlights are fine, I don't need side lights right now.

I also noted that nothing on the dashboard illuminated. Hmm, thought I, mayhap nothing lights up on this one, it's not like there are all that many controls. (The main dash readout is a big bright digital display that is always lit up.)

It wasn't until I reached my destination that I realised there were also no rear lights. Arse, thought I, and spent much of the drive home fretting about being driven into from behind. (I wasn't, though one gentle driver kindly thought to warn me of my disabled lights by flashing his own, brightly, repeatedly. How thoughtful.)

So - long story short - I think something the garage did when they disconnected the integrated radio and fitted my own must have caused a short in that circuit, because apparently the radio is on the same fuse as the non-headlamp lights, and that fuse was distinctly blown. I switched the suspect fuse out for a spare and it blew immediately.

I'm quite narked, but Scott at the garage did give me a three-month warranty covering 'everything' (apparently they would make reservations if I planned to use it to travel from London to Aberdeen daily, but they're quite happy to offer an unconditional warranty for a local commuter like myself), and even if they hadn't I'm pretty sure it was their botch job on the wiring that has caused it so I'd have pretty firm ground for making them damn well fix it. (Also they're a dealership, and I picked it up today, so I'm pretty sure that counts as "not fit for purpose" or whatever.) So I'm going to give them a ring tomorrow and be upset at them.

That is all.

UPDATE: Dropped it off with the dealer at lunchtime and it's all fixed allegedly. Apparently it was something to do with the different wires that go into the back of the stereo, and some Toyota-brand peculiarity - there's three power lines that connect to a stereo, being the Earth, the perpetual preset-preservation power feed, and the ignition-activated actual power. Unbeknownst to the engineer, when the lights are switched on, the Earth changes into the actual power - or the perpetual feed - or something weird and mad. This whole arrangement is probably so the radio knows to dim its lights, or something. Anyway, fixed now, so whatever.
kingandy: (Default)
I am slightly tired today; as I was about to go to bed I was struck with a sudden notion that I did not know the exact location of my car registration document, and it might be as well to lay my hands on them before the eleventh hour of Thursday, just to reassure myself. A cursory look in the places I was certain it would be was followed by a somewhat more urgent review of some spots that were less likely. Then I ransacked every box that is being used as storage since the move, at least twice, all the while occasionally checking and re-checking the original important-things-live-here spots, in case it had spontaneously come into being in the intervening time.

By this point I was fired with adrenaline and panic, such that I knew I would not be able to sleep until I had the offending article in hand. Several boxes were double-checked and previously-overlooked piles of drawings were more thoroughly sorted through in case paperwork had worked its way inside in a deliberate attempt to frustrate me.

I even went out and checked the car, half-hoping that I was stupid enough to leave the car ownership papers inside the car itself, and half-relieved when it turned out I was not. (I did, however, uncover the MOT and was entirely delighted to find a whole month left on it.)

To cut a long story short[1], eventually I turned to the top of my bedside cabinet (whose drawers had been checked several times), and moved a solitary piece of paper aside. Lo! There was the damn' thing, taunting me with its easy-accessibility.

Obviously, even then I couldn't get right to sleep, what with the panic. So, basically, I'm ever so slightly sleep deprived.

I am running my first session of Big Eyes, Small Mouth tonight.

Whee!

[1] Too late
kingandy: (Default)
Dropped off my car stereo this lunchtime so the garage could fit it into the Yaris. Apparently this is not so easy as it was with the Honda - because the Yaris stereo is integrated into the dash rather than being a modular unit, making it harder to steal I suppose, so they will need to do some actual re-wiring rather than simply sliding it in. Whether this proves true or not, they're not charging me for the privilege.

So, until Thursday (the garage man is off-duty tomorrow) I am back to the Honda tape player that came with the Accord.

If I were a more paranoid person, I might be concerned that, thus far in the car-purchase transaction, I have handed over £100 and a car stereo and had nothing in return but a scrap of paper.

Gah

Sep. 10th, 2007 11:26 pm
kingandy: (Frowny)
On the way home my 'low petrol' light came on.

I stopped to put a bit of petrol in the tank and, out of habit, gazed off into space while the pump did its business.

The tank was nearly full before I realised - I'm trading it in for a new one before the end of the week! There's no way I can use that much petrol in the next few days.

Gah!
kingandy: (Smiley)
I've decided to buy a new car!

I say new, it's second hand, five years old, 40K miles and one lady owner.

Green Toyota Yaris 1.3l five-door, and no doubt everyone will have an opinion on this, but I like it. Efficient for the commute, acceptable for the LARP haul, and open to passengers when the need arises. (Though the latter two may be mutually exclusive.) Also it is more of an upright car, the Accord is very low and laid-back and I think it might be bad for my back.

Won't be picking it up until next week some time but I will be dropping the deposit off this evening.
kingandy: (Hammad)
I have checked out my options somewhat.

Leasing would mean waiting 10 days while they approve me for finance[1], so I'd be past the tax date anyway. Also, I'd have to pay 3 months of installments in advance, which would be (I'm looking at) about £400.

As far as actual loans go ... I'm still morally opposed to them. Plus they'd probably have to do the same sort of finance approval check. Potentially my bank could do it more quickly, I don't know, and obviously if I wanted to shoot myself in the foot I could walk into a dealership, sign up to their loan shark service and drive off the lot that afternoon. Still distinctly the No.

I've looked around Auto Trader. There are a few things that caught my eye, but most of them are either £500+ or miles away. There's a £400 Citröen AX only one mile distant, but I don't know, despite some glowing reviews it's a Citröen AX. Anyway, there's the logistics of getting the cash, picking up the car and getting both cars home ... and then I've no real chance of getting rid of my Honda[2] by Friday anyway, so I'd still be paying the fine. Also ... private sales. Very likely there would be some manner of mechanical difficulty before too long that would push the effective price of the Functioning Motor-Car well above the advertised price.

On the other hand, the repairs are looking to be about £400. And I do like this car.

Current thinking is, therefore, to bite the bullet, pay the late fee and get the Honda fixed up and running. It is probably the cheapest, easiest and most reliable option. At least I'm paying £400 for a guaranteed working car rather than mystery meat.

When did law-breaking become the cheap and easy option? Oh, right, yeah.


PS: Anyone who gets the reference in the title (without Google) wins a cookie.

[1] Rather than just lending you the car and trusting you to pay the weekly "rental", leasing turns out to be a much more binding "loan" type arrangement. So, aside from the fact that the company takes care of things like servicing and road tax, you might as well take out an actual loan and cut out the middleman.
[2] I should name it really, I've had it a year. I tried a while ago and thought about "Tim" but I'm not really sure it fits. It's definitely a man-car though.
kingandy: (Default)
Oh![1] Looks like if I use the handy-dandy V11 form that arrived a week or two back, I might not need to get the MOT before I tax it after all.

This strikes me simultaneously as a Good Thing (because people will not be pressured into rushing their MOTs, or letting their tax lapse in order to get their vehicle roadworthy) and Phenomenally Stupid (because people can let their MOT lapse and still be taxed). I guess it's the insurance that's the safety valve in this situation, you still need to be MOT'd to be insured, and you need to be insured to be taxed.

Still, that takes the pressure off me a little.

EDIT: No, never mind, I am a fool.

[1] To the tune of "man-eater" by Nelly Furtado
kingandy: (Default)
Obviously, tempting.
kingandy: (Default)
Car's exhaust started to make horrible rumbling noises on the way home from work last night, so I took it to the Kwik Fit today[1]. They gave me an exhaust and decided I needed new tyres as well, which I suspect was largely because they are Kwik Fit and their job is to sell people new tyres. Nonetheless, I accepted their kind offer because I am a soft touch.

My car[2] now has two exhaust pipes. Also I am poor. Still, never mind, eh - that's what credit cards are for.

[1] Following consultation with [livejournal.com profile] stsquad, who wandered around the car a bit listening to it and agreed that yes, it was probably the exhaust.
[2] After some deliberation I have named it Tim.

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