General First 12 months - 10k miles in my Panda

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General First 12 months - 10k miles in my Panda


New member
Oct 25, 2020
Afternoon all, I’ve owned my Panda for 12 months now and covered 10000 miles so thought I’d give a quick update,

I bought the Panda in a rush when I returned to the UK from overseas just before the start of the November lockdown last year. I'd always wanted one but didn’t have much time to shop around before the car dealers were forced to shut. Ideally I’d have liked a 1.2 Dynamic, but fell for the very tidy 1.1 Eco Active with only 33k miles in Optimistic Yellow!

We have nicknamed him Gudetama after a particularly unmotivated, very yellow Japanese cartoon character.


I love the basic nature and simplicity of the Panda, it is fun to drive and ideal for the narrow Cornish lanes. I have had to re-learn how to drive small petrol engined car after many years of big diesels. I found the high gearing a bit frustrating at first but have got used to it now, the Panda is much better on the motorway than I expected for a small car. Over the last year we have moved house in it twice and it has gone from being a local shopping car to doing 400 miles every week as my wife commuted to her new job.

It hasn’t been problem free, as well as the regular servicing I’ve overhauled the front brake calipers, replaced the discs and pads, replaced the front Lambda sensor, the passenger window clip, the NS lower arm, changed the gearbox oil, had intermittent stalling problems and last week had the joy of replacing the head gasket! I’ve done all the work myself, using some of the forum guides so it hasn’t cost me too much and hopefully will be good now for many miles to come. The only modification I have made is to fit a USB charging socket under the radio. Jobs left to do are rustproofing the rear axle and investigating the uneven tyre wear….



Well-known member
Sep 14, 2009
Do check that steel coolant pipe. A notable cause of coolant loss that can lead to head gasket failures.

That is definitely a low compression engine. ;) If you still have the easy access, remove the alternator bolts and coat the threads with a good quality anti seize. The open back ends lead to the threads getting corroded and galled when you unscrew them.

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