Friday, 26 February 2010

My face of Audi

In my humble design opinion, this is the future face of Audi.
I sketched it, so Wolfgang Egger or Stefan Sielaff, this is how they should look from now on.....

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Alloy Damage!

Kolo, like all Audi A2's, doesn't really suit a bodykit. Plus, I don't actually like them, on any car. Yes SouferKa, as a SportKa, could be argued has one, but it's a factory fit and an integral design by Ford. But yes, bar a Lancia Intergrale, I don't like them.

So, like many A2 owners, the only way to lift our A2 away from other A2s, is to fit a nice set of alloys. So, my choice, a set of 17'' Audi Allroad (on Toyo Proxes Wet-Weathers). It's harder for us A2OC guys too, as we know the limits in wheel dimensions and offsets the A2 can roll on without damaging the car and if any left, the manufacturers warranty. Plus, the car was only available in a small range of body colours (met black, denim blue met, met silver of course, red, and as part of the weird looking run out 'color' model: neon blue, bright red and mustard yellow, all with black body trim). So wheels are really the only way to go.

It's odd for non A2 fans to get it; to customise such an anodyne car as an Audi, but as mentioned before, an A2 is not a normal Deutsch-mobil, it's got character, and as an owner, you want to make your version an individual version.

So, as S L comes back for her daily commute to work to report alloy damage. She might as well have broken my right leg. In truth, it didn't get me as much as I thought, and she thought, it would. I think it's one of those things that was going to happen, plus I'd already clipped the same wheel months earlier, to which I kicked myself in the nuts for already. Maybe if it was a different wheel? Anyway, it wasn't her fault. No, no, it wasn't. A similar thing happened when I was in the car too. Just passed the new St Mirren's stadium, the road narrows before a T-junction. taxis, coming the other way, run wide and force cars coming the other way onto the pavement. I say taxis, because they don't give two hoots about others at this junction, it's shocking. Plus there has been a number of taxi v taxi accidents there, hee hee.

So it all got me thinking....

....I've seen these wheel-proctors advertised in the back of Topgear magazine, £28.99 plus £6.95 P&P for 4 17'' grey rim protectors. A bit steep for four plastic rims only 80mm thick. You could, if you so inclined, make these a statement in their own right and get them in red, or gold, or make your wheels look smaller and get them in black. Hmm, I'll just get the grey I think. Maybe another time, I'll vote red.

But then, if I add £26.99 for the Sportka's 16"s, which doesn't increase the P&P, it might just save SL and I a £60+ trip to the wheel repairers. And it is also of note, every time the wheels get damaged, the more likely they are to corrode, even if they get repaired and, at rim, get weaker as well.

But won't these graze the wheels themselves? In the video, they do line the wheel with masking tape, but that can't stay under the protector, can it? Maybe a call is needed.

The wheelprotectors, or as they're actually called; wheelsprotector, do have guarantee against future wheel scuffing, but lets not try that one out, 'ey.

But really, £30+ is a lot of money to spend per car, even if it is preventative. But it might just prove worth it as the stadium corner is a part of the Paisley commuter rat-run and thus, it might not be the last time we're forced to kerb either of the cars. I might, as a result of getting these things, park closer than 40cm from the kerb. I'll keep you posted.

Time to ressurect the French Project?

The weather's getting better; no snow, less rain. Plus, longer days, might even make it out before the traffic gets a hold on the roads?

I do have to watch out for the monster pot holes and the numerous roadworks too, which litter the run through Glasgow at the moment. All post Frozen Britain.

Maybe do it in stages? Maybe go around Saracen Street too. Maybe go and find more landmarks visible from a car?

Hmm, it might get fun again!

This time, it'll be in SouferKa as post serviced Kolo is doing the honest commuter run to Paisley and back with SL at the moment.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Kolo returns from the garage.

It has been three days since I last saw my little Audi A2.
Admittedly, today, the third day, the car was ready this morning, so it's really just two and a half.

Kolo has a strange relationship with SL. Whenever she borrows the A2 for any amount of time, whether a day or an hour, she brings the car back with some issue or other. We (Kolo and I) joked that SL can't use the Audi any more and I shouldn't drive the SportKa either.
As reported a few posts ago, the A2, after a brilliant tour of duty during the Big Freeze, or whatever that cold snap was labelled, the misfire became a major thorn in the side. So much so, the car couldn't even get above 25mph, it was also sounding like a dumper-truck. I was convinced it was down two cylinders to just the one pot, hence the dumper-truck like idle, which was visibly rocking the car on it's wheels when at traffic lights.

After dropping the ailing car off at Clydebank's AudiVW Repair Centre on Wednesday morning, I recieved a call an hour later. The mechanic had plugged in his diagnostic laptop and reported the numerous warnings. 1, cylinder #1 has a major fault, 2, the turbo is reporting a loss of pressure, 3, ABS brake issue. The mechanic went on to say that issue 2 might be to do with issue 1 and thus fixing the injector was the first port of call, even before the Audi B service.

A day later, another call, injector coil replaced with two and a half hours labour, issue 2 resolved too. But the ABS warning was due to a need to replace both front discs and pads. Hmm, with the major service and injector repair coming in at about £400, the brakes can wait.

It's starting to look like it might be a cheap year for Kolo after this visit, I mean. What else can go wrong, well after the brakes? In the year and four months that I've had the privilege of this little aluminium machine, it's had a number of major jobs done under the bonnet; cam-belt change, fuel pump in tank and high pressure fuel pump on engine, intercooler replaced and finally, front door hinges replaced too. Like I said, what else is there? Touch wood, or aluminium in this case, nothing else.

The mechanic said the brake replacement wasn't urgent but should be done this year. Well, it is still January. I'll do it when the dashboard light comes on, but with SL driving it tomorrow, it'll when she comes back then.

Ferrari v Mclaren, Round #1

Ferrari are already, just after one day, on the back foot.

Mclaren, with advice from the FIA, have a new double floor diffuser for 2010.
The Ferrari F10, launched the day before the Mclaren MP4-25, does without the double diffuser, with designers and bosses of the Italian team still thinking they're illegal.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Karma Comedian

It would seem that Kolo and I maybe cursed. Well, Kolo and my wallet.
Yes, during the dark, cold Frozen Britain of weeks gone, Kolo has been exceptional in proving safe, dependable transport to my aspiring nurse wife; SL Bartlett. But during the subsequent thraw, it's all gone wrong for the little aluminium horse. Very wrong.

You see, about November time, Kolo developed a bit of a misfire. Nothing that would last more than a second or so, just every now and then.
It turns out, according to the A2oc's Mike Skipton, to be a cheap switch or relay that controls the injectors. This thingy sits in the engine bay somewhere near all the hot bits and after five or so years, it becomes a part to replace.

Well, its now time to replace it.

During the last week, during this Big Thraw, the A2's misfire became a real feature. From a thing that barely raised it's head to a hazard at junctions in just three months. Reducing the engine to just 2 cylinders, which is almost a scooter.

It's now time to service the wounded soldier anyway, so it's forced my hand and it'll go away on Wednesday, instead of Easter or some other time in the future. Anyway this time, it to AudiVW Repair, which strangely, is in Clydebank, although a different part, to the 'fix on thing, break another' A for Audi.

Lets hope they're better. At £195 for a major service on a 3cylinder TDI A2, they better be. Still, it's not the £300+ at a dealership.

(Kolo, fore, and SouferKa, background, in BBCs Frozen Britain)

When in LA, I'll be driving...

...a car with these headlights: (c'mon, this is cool.)

'The '65 Riv'