Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Halfords Car Cover

Well one last attempt at getting out of Dornoch saw us return almost empty handed. Although the main roads are fine, the side roads including those within towns in the Highland region are still pretty bad. we got to Tesco in Tain, but their car park was more of a skating rink and did not fancy walking across it, so Tesco home delivery it will be until the thaw sets in properly.

Upon returning home I decided that it was time for the car cover, so a wash down and then she was put away under the car port. Now whether I'm just not clever enough to work this out, or whether it's just a design fault, but I would have expected a lot more from the purchase of the dearest car cover in Halfords, at around £60.

Just unwrapping was bad enough, but what can one expect having a car this big, the cover itself is plenty big enough to house the Scorpio. What is a problem are the two stupid straps fitted to cover to hold it in place, the rear strap works, it does slide under the car with enough space for you to connect the clips, it's the front end that is the issue.

The front straps sit square to the door end of the front wheels, this in itself is understandable, but now to run the strap to the other side you have to lie down on the ground and have arms longer than the engine bay. If the straps were longer you could thread the strap under the front wheels but it's just too short, so at some point in the new year, I'll be calling upon a friend to make a minor adjustment to these straps so I can use this expensive cover.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow and More Snow

It seemed no sooner had I purchased this magnificent vehicle, the weather conspired against me, the joys of rear wheel drive were soon back. As the car was and is still requiring a major service, I decided to park her up under the car port.

Over the last month I think she has been out just twice, for the rest of the time the conditions are just not suited for this wonderful thoroughbred. Today as I write I took her out and upon reaching Clashmore, I decided it was far enough and the bridge was just too far.

My concern is not how I respond to road conditions but to how others around me respond. Snow clearing is not as it use to be, the council and possibly the Highways Agency have decreed that no snow plough mush use the plough in allowing it to connect with the road surface. This leaves a thin sheet of snow, slush and now of course ice on the ground, with freezing temperatures this soon causes several problems.

Speed in the highlands is far too high at the best of times, I think this has been a record year for motorcycle deaths. Not wanting to add to the carnage many will experience during the winter months I am more than happy to allow my Scorpio to sit under my car port.

Tomorrow I'll wash her down once more and fit the car cover to the body for some protection, so for now I'll thank Tesco for their home delivery service.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Carlisle to Dornoch

Prior to starting I checked the oil, nothing had appeared to lost, no tell tale signs under the engine where she was standing. With the new battery installed she started well that morning of 14th, I let her warm up as cleaned the screen and wiped down the glass and lights.

Out to get some fuel, obviously being a 2.3 and a heavy she is not the cheapest car to run, but I knew that and to be honest enjoy having the power when required. As of writing around £80 will fill the tank, but with a good 400 miles in the running this I hope will even itself with use.

Once into Scotland we he hit some snow, I eased her down to 50mph and then down to 40mph before hitting slow moving traffic and having to follow this for a few miles. Once through the lower passes and now heading toward Glasgow the snow cleared, this allowed us some open roads until the outskirts of Glasgow where I eased off and allowed the SatNav to take us on to the correct route toward Perth.

Wanting a slight detour on the way home I took an alternative route to Pitlochry, only to find out the SatNav wanted us to go back to Fort William. With wet and snowy roads I was surprised how she coped with the bends as I head back toward the A9 and Pitlochry. Once on the A9 I sat at a comfortable speed of 55mph sometimes drifting up to 70mph, however once the roads soon became snow covered once more I dropped her back down, with plenty of stops en route.

Cheshunt to Carlisle

Having driven down from Scotland in my Honda Civic, the drive north was something different, nervy of over doing it with her I took a leisurely drive on the M1, by the time I'd reached the M6 she was looking for some more power and not liking the 60mph I was offering.

Once the traffic eased off a little I slowly opened her up, giving her what she asked for and soon we were cruising at 80mph, this I eased off to 70mph and also dropping back down to 60mph. Around an hour from Carlisle I pulled in as I had noticed a burning smell whilst slowing, everything appeared normal within the cockpit and nothing was flashing up on the dash.

I popped the bonnet to find smoke coming out, this later proved to be from the breaks, rust seeming the likely culprit. After around 40 minutes I eased her back on to the motorway and headed for Carlisle, no further issue of from the breaks and performance wise she handled well.

First Run

Although I drove her back to where I was staying on the 10th, it was not until the 11th I really took her out, and, this was just a short drive north on the A10 up to Braughing. Upon returning to Cheshunt I went and purchased some fluids, oils etc for the journey home.

What I then knew and still do is that she needs all the fluids changed and, having stood for seven months under some trees the body work is a slightly damaged due to sap and oxidisation from the air. The brakes responded well, however again these I would dearly like to change completely, with new discs all round.


I purchased her during my holiday in London 10/11/10, originally sold by Godfrey Davis in St. Albans she had stayed within that region until now.

Having sat for seven months without use, she needed and still does need some TLC, the first port of call was a new  battery and some petrol.