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Thread: What a few days!

  1. #1
    Regular Member 4eyes's Avatar
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    Default What a few days!

    Hi all,

    I don't really post much but watch the boards like a hawk - guess I'm a bit of a leech really!

    Anyway, my lovely Vec was coming just about due for a service, I got the bits ordered (main dealer parts only at mates rates) and after a long awaiting catch up with our mates on Saturday, I set to work on Sunday on the lovely derv:

    Bit of background, I've been having troubles with engaging and disengaging the clutch, with it 'snapping' in to bite the drivetrain. Most of my driving is motorway for work (I did 30k in the first year of ownership when I got the car in January 2010, and bumped into a member at the local Kwik-Fit at the time, who couldn't track the Vectra obviously...), once I'm in 6th and cruising at 70 getting 55 mpg+, the box isn't really a problem. Car went to Bagnall Saab (as 9-3 is the Epsilon 2 platform same as Vec) and they diagnosed a clutch master cylinder ie. the reservoir, which was changed with pattern parts even though I EXPLICITLY told them I'd get a main dealer part...

    I get the car set up at 'The Wheel Alignment Centre' in Handsworth, Birmingham as they have a Hunter machine and regularly deal with Ferraris etc, believe Stratstone use them, and thanks to the Mrs. whacking a kerb twice, it's had three tracks at £40 a pop already.

    Also, the car has been at the services of the EXCELLENT AC Medic in Great Barr, who gets refers from the Kwik Fit down the road who seem to know nothing about air con, and if the gas comes back out, they just ADD ANOTHER CYCLE TO WATCH IT DO THE SAME!!!

    Anyway, the bloke (sorry I can't rememebr his name, it's a one man band run out of the garage next to his house) said he'd do a good deal because I was obviously an enthusiast who looked after the car and even diagnosed another holed condensor after I'd tried to cable tie wire mesh to stop it getting holed again, and he said I'd outsmarted myself as the mesh cuts through the fins lol. He did give me the tip of coating its replacement in a s*** load of engine lacquer, as this is the finish VAG condensors have and he's not seen a broken one yet. Haven't been back to get it gassed since (about 6 months ago) so I will try and visit soon to see if it has been effective.


    Anyway, back to the service:

    - 10k boost de-coked as per the How 2 as it's not been done since I picked up the car at 41k in Jan 2010, it's now on 101k (first MOT was at 70,008 miles a week before Xmas 2010)
    - Changed the leak off pipes due to a puff of smoke on start up. I also get random battery warning lights on start off that goes out with a flick off and on of the ignition to reset the level - could be a worn alternator pulley, aux belt, battery needing topping up, worn alternator bushes etc. that I need to investigate further when I get the car back (read on!!!).
    - Blanked off the EGR on the downpipe side - tempted to order the Regal one for the other side of the valve because I'm fussy as and think that some air must be escaping backwards into the EGR!
    - Fitted new bonnet stay catch to the N/S headlight
    - Took the beast for a run to warm up and check the EGR blanking operation before draining the oil overnight into my lovely new Sealey catch tank ordered from ECP.
    - Fitted the Astra VXR steering wheel I had treated myself too, but realised that because I hadn't put the steering lock on, so I'd spun the boss slightly on re-fitting and it's now on wonky as if the tracking is out.
    - Monday morning at 5.30am I was outside armed with my oil filter, new sump plug and washer (I always change the sump plug), and FINALLY slackened off my overtightened oil filter housing with a 32mm Halfords Professional spanner (Trade Card comes in handy). Got the filter out that had been in it for the last 20-30k as I couldn't get the housing off at the last service and had only drained and re-filled the oil.
    - Fitted the sealing rings and the new filter in, lubing with a tiny bit of the old oil as I didn't want to contaminate my oil with sweat on my fingers/latex gloves (I'm fussy if you haven't guessed and I'm sure someone will say it's OTT), and, after re-fitting the housing to 25Nm, filled up with 4 litres of oil, started the engine and watched the oil pour out of the filter drain plug (yes I had re-fitted the sump plug and tightened it) and watched it empty all the oil back out. Cue re-tightening the housing and the same again, to watch it happen all over again.
    - As our road was being re-surfaced, and all cars would be towed according to the Council, I then had to get it sorted ASAP. Ended up having it recovered to a dealer as I had rounded off the oil filter housing by trying to tighten it and getting it stuck against the flap next to the oil filter - attacked this with a screwdriver to snap it off so I could slacken the housing and re-check the two seals with no success.
    - Had an argument with the AA that I had broken down on the roadside but as it was within 0.25 miles of my home, they wouldn't come get the car, so I instead had it trailered away to be sorted by someone else!

    After all that had happened, we took the dog to the vet to be checked out and came home to find the kettle had caught fire and destroyed all of the contents in our house. On opening the front door and seeing black billowing smoke coming out of your house, I went in to put it out while the Mrs was on the phone, she shouted at me to cover my mouth because I came straight back out coughing my guts up, so I got in and traced the route to the fusebox in the dark, flicked the trip switch because I didn't want all the wiring going up and got the back door open to vent the black smoke. Realised I'd left the house rabbit behind and went back in the back door to get him out (he lives next to the kettle on the floor as he has snuffles so is house bound) and assumed he was dead, but he's fine!!! Must be because smoke rises that he was OK.

    Cue the next three days spent on the phone to More Th<n, with pretty much nothing done until I contacted the Ombudsman on Tuesday afternoon which then got a rocket up More Th<ns arse (part of Royal Sun Alliance Group).

    Have had to fund our accommodation ourselves for the Monday and Tuesday night, and after getting the Ombudsman involved we have now been reimbursed by an emergency payment from our insurers to cover our costs including having to go get new suits for me and my partner for work.

    I'm not looking for sympathy, but I just thought I'd let everyone know that being without the Vec and the house just totally sucks and wanted to vent!

  2. #2
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    ****** hell mate, you should buy a lottery ticket this week - your luck has to change sometime!!

  3. #3
    Regular Member 4ndy's Avatar
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    Holy Mother of God. It never rains.... and all that. I've had bad weeks but I don't think I have justification for complaint again.

  4. #4
    Regular Member 4eyes's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - did the lottery and didn't get a number! I'll try and suss out the pic uploader to put a couple of pics up tomorrow.

    Thinking a Vectra VXR gearstick will be a suitable treat - maybe some half leather Recaros if I can afford them after I get my drop links done (the car has a nice list of things to do on it now it's coming back tomorrow - think the rack might be leaking somewhere too as it hasn't steered right for a fair few k now!

    Was told by another garage i phoned that they had the same problem with the OEM filter and they solved it by using thicker rubber washers around the filter hosuing, but I'd had enough of DIYing it and just going to bite the bullet, leave it to the pros as I couldn't get the airbag to disengage from the wheel again to correct the boss so I'll sign a disclaimer that it's disabled and fix it myself in the car park tomorrow/Saturday when I pick it up and have someone else change the rack as I don't fancy another escapade with the damn thing involving dropping the subframe at the side of the road lol!

  5. #5
    Regular Member 4ndy's Avatar
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    The airbag can be a pain in the @r*e. I did exactly the same thing. Popped the airbag out first time, swopped the steering wheel over without straightening the wheels and struggled for about an hour to get the airbag removed a second time to remove the steering wheel to get it straight.

  6. #6
    Regular Member 4eyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenleprechaun View Post
    The airbag can be a pain in the @r*e. I did exactly the same thing. Popped the airbag out first time, swopped the steering wheel over without straightening the wheels and struggled for about an hour to get the airbag removed a second time to remove the steering wheel to get it straight.
    Bet yours wasn't struggle for an hour, then rush it back on as the tow truck turned up to winch you on to a low loader lol! To top it off, when he dropped me at the dealer, he also put me near to the low brick wall by the service deparment so as he told me I was jumping in to move it when he was pushing it towards the number spaces, I couldn't shut the door in time to avoid scratching the lacquer off against the brick wall - least of my problems to be honest!

  7. #7
    VIP-Member Johnsdutton's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Signum

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    Default

    Holy ****, you make me feel embarassed. I thought I had problems. Hope it all works out for you.
    3.2 v6 Signum and loving it

    http://www.freewebs.com/johnsdutton/

  8. #8
    Regular Member 4eyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsdutton View Post
    Holy ****, you make me feel embarassed. I thought I had problems. Hope it all works out for you.
    Thanks John, to be honest, we think we've got off lucky after hearing on the radio the next day about the guy who had 6 of his kids pass away in a fire! All our neighbours are now unplugging their kettles and toasters from the wall lol, and we won't be buying the same make kettle and toaster again (it was part of a set from Argos)!

  9. #9
    VIP-Member Johnsdutton's Avatar
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    Aye it sure puts things into perspective. Poor guy, god I don't know what I would do.
    3.2 v6 Signum and loving it

    http://www.freewebs.com/johnsdutton/

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