Friday, 23 June 2006

An AA update

Good news and bad news - the AA have agreed to pay for the coolant hose/bleed but are still arguing about the starter motor. It looks like I'm gonna have to send the insurance dept a letter, so far I have only dealt with the underwriters.

Car desperately in need of a washing at the moment.

Friday, 9 June 2006


After a very long day waiting around Horizon the car has been sorted. The new hose has been fitted and the coolant changed. The surprise of the day was the heatshield bracket, it took ages to fit so cost be about £70 in labour ":-("

Just doing all the bits to get the AA to cough up for the hose/coolant costs.

Also enquired about a front end respray, mines covered in stone chips and a few little spider cracks. Will be about £450 so might wait a while before I do that, new interior is a higher priority at the moment.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Another breakdown :(

Had another breakdown yesterday, this car is the most unreliable thing I have ever owned! Driving home from Cardiff and the temperature shot up to about 108 degress accompanied by a strong smell of coolant. I immediately pulled into the services and took a peak in the engine bay to be greeted by a steady hissing noise and steam pouring out of one of the coolant hoses. Bugger. Called the AA and luckily the head gasket (the achilles heel of the K series engine) was OK, I had pulled over in time. He bandaged a 2mm split in the hose and everything's OK again. She's still leaking coolant but its usable until it goes into the garage, I just have to keep topping it up.

Its booked into Horizon on Thursday and should cost around £100 which the AA have already agreed to pay under the parts and labour cover. I'm still arguing with them about the last claim - they're still being arsy about it. Lotus have missed more business from me - I called them since its a lot closer and the AA will be paying but they couldn't fit me in until the end of June!

I must be stupid, I still don't want to get rid of the car. A few other bits are being done when its up Horizon, the heatshield has decided to rattle again so thats being done. The AA guy also noticed theres a cam cover missing off the side of the engine. This isn't a major problem but I'm getting it done at the same time.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

7 months!

Just realised that I've had the Elise just over 7 months now and thought its about time to have a summary of ownership.

Its cost me £2365.51 in repairs/upgrades (excluding insurance, sat nav, etc). Thats about £340 per month, not including petrol! Didnt think it would be this expensive, it really is a bit of a money pit...but I don't care. It's the best car I've ever driven and really can be used as an everyday car as long as you've got access to something a bit bigger to move anything massive. I've got access to a Fiat Multipla so that's occasionally used when I'm hauling really big stuff ":-)"

I've decided to remove the fuel bill from the cost counter, I'm pretty sure I've missed a few fill ups so the figures arent 100% accurate. If anyone's interested it costs about £28 to fill the tank (I normally fill up when I'm down to about 16ltrs.) and I get anywhere between 200 and and 250 miles between fill ups. Normally around town driving with a few motorway miles. This goes up signifigantly when doing a steady speed on the motorway though. At a rough guess I get between 30 and 35 miles to the gallon which is pretty good considering the way I drive and the roads I use.

On to more serious business - the AA. They are still arguing about the bill for the starter motor. They are saying they wont cover the work because they were called out for a flat battery, not a dodgy starter motor. Anyway, i think this is an absolute cop out, especially considering that the patrolman said that the starter motor needed replacing and it would be covered. Anyway the war wages on, I'm in the middle of sending another letter to them.

So what's next? Well the car is in need of a retrim to be honest, the car has covered over 80,000 miles and its starting to show on the inside. There's a tear on the right shoulder of the drivers seat from getting in and out of the car. There's a few scuffs and scratches in a few other places. Another Elise owner in the area had a complete interior retrim including seats, sil cards and wheel at a local upholsterer for about £400 which seems a bit of a bargain. I think I'll stick with the black leather but I might decide to jazz it up a bit with a touch of red here and there. I'm sure I'll be able to get a bit more padding on the seats stuffed in at the same time.

One of the guys on MLOC has kindly sent me a template for the rear arch protectors so I've chopped up some Fablon and managed to get a pretty good fit. It's all done and been stuck on the car - looks pretty good, much better than the yellowy originals on there. I'll post some pics once it's had a good clean, it's filthy at the moment.

Anyway thats it, 7 months of motoring in a nutshell. I don't have any plans to get rid of the car yet, despite the amount of cash it's costing me. I just hope the bills are a bit lower from now on, all the major bits have been done (especially that expensive C service) and I hope the AA warranty cover will pick up some of the bills - if they ever pull their finger out of there arses.