Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Cost counter added

I've just finished coding a calculator that will display a running total of all the cash spend on my Elise, there's a link to a page with the breakdown of the costs.

Have a look in the top right, I wonder how big the number's gonna get!


Digging through the documents that came with the car I came accross the details for the car's tracker. I havent quite decided if I'm gonna pay to get the license renewed since the guy at my insurance company said it wouldnt reduce my premium. Flicking through the docs I notice that the company I work for (ntl) supply the network that the tracker company uses. I smell a discount ":-D"

A quick email to the people at tracker and Im told that they would waive the reactivation charge (£30) but the subscription would be the same - either £109 per year or £320ish for the life of the cars ownership with me. hmmm.

I also noticed on the docs that the insurance company Admiral do offer a discount. I'm with who are a child company of Admiral so would expect the same discount. Another email to tracker and theyre getting in touch with elephant/admiral to see if they can arrange something ":-)"

Just waiting for their reply. Fingers crossed!

Quick fix and CD changer

Indicator Stalk
Decided to fix the annoying problem with the indicator stalk, it kept turning the main beam on when I wanted to indicate (think it was just worn). A quick trip to the local scrap man and £10 gets me a new indicator stalk, fortunately the ones on the elise are the same as those on the vauxhall astra so they had plenty.

Fitting it was easy enough so I did mit myself. Just remove the screws holding the casing on the steering column (about 5 of them). Unclip the old stalk, clip in the new. Job done. £10 well spent.

CD Head unit and Changer
I wasnt fussed on the Kenwood CD head unit that the car came with despite it only being a few months old. Luckily I kept my JVC headunit and 12 disc CD changer form the MGF so decided to fit those.

Fitting it was a nightmare! I couldnt get the original headunit out and ended up going to a local car audio specialist so it cost me £10 to get the old one out. The new headunit would just slot in BUT, I needed to run the cable for the CD changer to behind the drivers seat. I never had any problems with this in other cars but the only exit from behind the dashboard was through a hole about the size of a 1p peice. The connector was too big for the hole. Bugger. I had to cut the wires and reconnect them once the wire had been pushed through. There were 12 wires so I took a little while! Running the cable wasnt easy either, I removed the gear knob, the both gaitors and the metal that divides the footwells.

Once all the cables were connected I tested the system before completing the installation. It worked! woohoo! After a lot of bruised knuckes and some choice four letter words the headunit still wasnt flush with the dash. I pushed a bit harder and I heard something clatter down behind the dash. The headunit no longer powered on. A quick check proved that the 15amp fuse had fallen out of the unit while I was trying to jam it into the dasboard.

Getting a new fuse tomorrow and will try again...

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

First expenses

OK, money spent so far (excluding cost of the car)..

£1500 Insurance (I know!)
£25 Petrol (full tank)

I'll try to get a little box with a running total up, might do a bit of php for it over the next few days.

UPDATE: Little box now done, see top right


I've just traded in the MG F and bought myself a Lotus Elise, this blog will detail pretty much every expense associated with owning it, such as..

- repairs
- fuel
- upgrades
- insuranance

This is my only car and will be used for everything from my communte to work to shopping to (possibly) trackdays. It's not considered to be a practical motor, most people use them purely as a weekend 'toy' and have said that it's difficult to use them as an everyday car. Im hoping they're wrong.

First thoughts
I've had the car 3 days now and I've only had chance to use it driving to work and back (about 11 miles of dual carriageway/motorway).

Bad Bits
- Its pretty very basic.
- The seats arent particularly comfy.
- The engine/exhaust noise it VERY loud, this is great when hammering down the motorway but my neighbours havent taken much of a liking to it at 6:30 in the morning.
- It also drowns out the sound of the CD player unless you're at "Driving Miss Daisy" speeds.
- It's a real pain getting in and out of the car. If you're a bit tall/fat/old then you're in real trouble.
- No storage in the cabin, can't even put my CDs anywhere.
- The alarm fob/immobiliser dongle/2 keys combo is annoying.

Good Bits
- Performance is amazing. Superfast acceleration.
- Sounds like a spitfire in attack mode
- Looks good and turns heads wherever it goes
- Handles like its on rails (but I havent been silly yet because of poor weather)
- Its a Lotus

Repairs/expenses required soon
- New windscreen to get rid of the big crack on the passenger side (covered under insurance) DONE
- Possible new fuel pump as the current one whines a bit (not urgent) DONE
- Class 'B' service, it's a little overdue DONE A FULL C SERVICE
- Fix an annoying rattle on the exhaust (think i need an anti-tizz bracket)
- Change the stereo (putting in the one off the MG) along with a CD changer DONE
- Fix/replace the indicator stalk, it keeps turning on hte main beam DONE

I'll get some pics and a general page with the car specs soon.