Hi y'all. I'm still here!

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Hi y'all. I'm still here!

Joined
Oct 1, 2017
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Edinburgh Scotland
Some of the more regular forum members may have noticed that I've been rather quiet of late? Well, unfortunately, my brother died just before Christmas and it hit me rather hard. He'd been "poorly" for some time following a heart attack but seemed to be getting along Ok and was on the list for a bypass operation. Unfortunately they just didn't get round to him in time. I've had great support from Mrs J and the rest of the family which is allowing me to get my head back into "normal service mode". He lived alone and never married so has no dependents, but some of his friends have been in touch to offer support. So, all in all, I'm now in a much better place and I'll be "lurking" around, in my usual way, on the forum. Just felt I owed it to you all to explain my "absence".

Of course his solicitor has been in touch about winding up his business - he was a sole trader - and all his other affairs and he seems to have left me quite a few challenges in this respect! We've been buzzing up and down the A7 - roughly an hour and a half each way - on average twice a week and the poor old Ibiza is taking a bit of a bashing and it's knocking the miles up. Those that have read some of my posts will know this car has had it's problems, most dramatically when it chewed it's final drive on the M5 and needed a new gearbox. At that time the garage advised slight wear was evident in the O/S driveshaft inner (plunge) joint. This has not really got any worse and AVW have checked it out and said yes there is play in it but not really enough to merit replacing it yet. However there's also now a little "jingly/jangly" noise from the bell housing which I'm guessing is most likely to be a loose or broken friction plate spring - doesn't sound like any release bearing I've ever heard, too "tinkly". Add to this that the strut top mounts make a rubbery creak when going over speed humps and my confidence in it is severely challenged. Consequently I've been half heartedly looking at what I might replace it with for the last couple of months and making a nuisance of myself around the dealer showrooms and service advisors. I've seen quite a number of vehicles I quite fancied but then went on to find reasons why I shouldn't buy one - Wet cam belts, Timing chain setups with well known problems, Dual mass flywheels, concentric clutch slave cylinders (what a silly idea they are) well known problems with infotainment equipment, and so on and so on.

The worry over the possibility of the Ibiza deciding to let us down, maybe on the top of Middleton Moor on the A7, in the cold and wet with maybe no mobile signal, has not been helpful in reducing my anxiety levels. So, last Thursday, Mrs J said "Look Jock" (I know it's going to be "serious stuff" when she speaks like this) "The Ibiza is just coming up on 8 years old and you've not been happy with it for the last year or so. Do you know what you want to replace it with?" Well, after so many weeks, nay months, I've come to the conclusion that I should stick with the "Devil I know" and buy another VAG product. "Right" she said "tomorrow we're going to go and try some out"!

We set out to look at vehicles around 12 to 18 months old and, as I'm not at all fussy to own a "premium badge" we concentrated on the Skoda and Seat brands. I've very recently become aware of the Skoda Scala so was interested to see one in the flesh but also tempted by the Ibiza, Fabia and Arona. Anyway, to cut a long story short, and sitting the diminutive Mrs J in a variety of VAG products, We turned up a Skoda Scala SE Technology 1.0 litre 110 HP in non metallic "energy" blue non metallic paint - which is just fine by me - pre-reg 73 plate with 10 miles on the clock at £5,000 below list and £5,400 trade in on the Ibiza (one of the other dealers offered us nearly £1,000 less). We've paid to reserve first option on it when it's delivered to them next week (apparently it's in the port at this time) and there seems to be some slight confusion over whether it's an SE "Technology" spec or a more basic SE - I'd be happy with either as the simpler electronics on the SE gives me all I need but like the wheels on the Technology version more. There's a face lift version due to come on sale this spring - probably with the new reg numbers - but it has some features I'm not so happy with so this model will suit me just fine!

Anyway, watch this space! I'll get some photos of it when we go to see it and post them here. Must say the thought of a new car is cheering me up a bit too.
 
Very sorry to hear that Jock, I’d noticed you’d been very quiet but assumed you would have your reasons.

You knew where to find us when you were feeling a bit better and it’s good to have you back.
 
I'll echo Andy and say you were notable in your absence and sorry to hear of your bereavement.

I'll be interested to see the Scala as I seem to remember we've discussed them in the past.

Although our requirements are possibly slightly different in that tech wise the thing cost more than a Golf by the time I'd finished speccing it. 🤣 Although from the sounds of it they really want some cars out of the door.
 
Some of the more regular forum members may have noticed that I've been rather quiet of late? Well, unfortunately, my brother died just before Christmas and it hit me rather hard. He'd been "poorly" for some time following a heart attack but seemed to be getting along Ok and was on the list for a bypass operation. Unfortunately they just didn't get round to him in time. I've had great support from Mrs J and the rest of the family which is allowing me to get my head back into "normal service mode". He lived alone and never married so has no dependents, but some of his friends have been in touch to offer support. So, all in all, I'm now in a much better place and I'll be "lurking" around, in my usual way, on the forum. Just felt I owed it to you all to explain my "absence".

Of course his solicitor has been in touch about winding up his business - he was a sole trader - and all his other affairs and he seems to have left me quite a few challenges in this respect! We've been buzzing up and down the A7 - roughly an hour and a half each way - on average twice a week and the poor old Ibiza is taking a bit of a bashing and it's knocking the miles up. Those that have read some of my posts will know this car has had it's problems, most dramatically when it chewed it's final drive on the M5 and needed a new gearbox. At that time the garage advised slight wear was evident in the O/S driveshaft inner (plunge) joint. This has not really got any worse and AVW have checked it out and said yes there is play in it but not really enough to merit replacing it yet. However there's also now a little "jingly/jangly" noise from the bell housing which I'm guessing is most likely to be a loose or broken friction plate spring - doesn't sound like any release bearing I've ever heard, too "tinkly". Add to this that the strut top mounts make a rubbery creak when going over speed humps and my confidence in it is severely challenged. Consequently I've been half heartedly looking at what I might replace it with for the last couple of months and making a nuisance of myself around the dealer showrooms and service advisors. I've seen quite a number of vehicles I quite fancied but then went on to find reasons why I shouldn't buy one - Wet cam belts, Timing chain setups with well known problems, Dual mass flywheels, concentric clutch slave cylinders (what a silly idea they are) well known problems with infotainment equipment, and so on and so on.

The worry over the possibility of the Ibiza deciding to let us down, maybe on the top of Middleton Moor on the A7, in the cold and wet with maybe no mobile signal, has not been helpful in reducing my anxiety levels. So, last Thursday, Mrs J said "Look Jock" (I know it's going to be "serious stuff" when she speaks like this) "The Ibiza is just coming up on 8 years old and you've not been happy with it for the last year or so. Do you know what you want to replace it with?" Well, after so many weeks, nay months, I've come to the conclusion that I should stick with the "Devil I know" and buy another VAG product. "Right" she said "tomorrow we're going to go and try some out"!

We set out to look at vehicles around 12 to 18 months old and, as I'm not at all fussy to own a "premium badge" we concentrated on the Skoda and Seat brands. I've very recently become aware of the Skoda Scala so was interested to see one in the flesh but also tempted by the Ibiza, Fabia and Arona. Anyway, to cut a long story short, and sitting the diminutive Mrs J in a variety of VAG products, We turned up a Skoda Scala SE Technology 1.0 litre 110 HP in non metallic "energy" blue non metallic paint - which is just fine by me - pre-reg 73 plate with 10 miles on the clock at £5,000 below list and £5,400 trade in on the Ibiza (one of the other dealers offered us nearly £1,000 less). We've paid to reserve first option on it when it's delivered to them next week (apparently it's in the port at this time) and there seems to be some slight confusion over whether it's an SE "Technology" spec or a more basic SE - I'd be happy with either as the simpler electronics on the SE gives me all I need but like the wheels on the Technology version more. There's a face lift version due to come on sale this spring - probably with the new reg numbers - but it has some features I'm not so happy with so this model will suit me just fine!

Anyway, watch this space! I'll get some photos of it when we go to see it and post them here. Must say the thought of a new car is cheering me up a bit too.
I am very sorry to hear about your brother. Family are precious. My Favourite (and last) auntie had a stroke yesterday Im waiting to hear what the prognosis is. Its hard. If its any consolation our Seat makes the suspension noise. It did it from new and carried on after the front end was rebuilt when it was around 15. It ought to be long gone but seems a tough old bird. Bet your Beckie has follow u ome lights. Even the old Leon has this!
Welcome back.
 
I'll echo Andy and say you were notable in your absence and sorry to hear of your bereavement.
Thanks Steven, very kind of you.
I'll be interested to see the Scala as I seem to remember we've discussed them in the past.
Yes, I remember that, it made me rethink about the Scala and realize my priority was for the mechanical engineering in the vehicle not the electronic "toys".
Although our requirements are possibly slightly different in that tech wise the thing cost more than a Golf by the time I'd finished speccing it. 🤣 Although from the sounds of it they really want some cars out of the door.
The standard SE with limited function smaller infotainment screen and volume knob for radio (so not relying on swiping a touch screen) and simple air con rather than climate control just seemed to fit the bill in that respect. I like also that it comes on 205/55R16 tyres so have a good resilient sidewall for compliance - doesn't hurt either that 205/55R16 is the most common tyre size sold today. Have to say though I'm not really mad about the standard "Orion" 16 alloy which comes with the SE.

The dealership we finally bought from was a very large multifranchise showroom and the majority of vehicles on show were SUVs. It was the last of the 3 dealerships we visited on that day and the showroom was moderately busy however everyone was looking at SUVs. We had a wander around. Looked at the BYD products - but only out of curiosity. Sat Mrs J in an Arona which she thought was "quite nice" but it doesn't come with a spare, not even a spacesaver as an option and there's not enough room to take a full size spare as the full size standard wheel is large diameter. We drifted back past the Peugeots etc (wet cam belts? no thank you) to where the Skodas were. Lots of interested customers around the Kamic and other SUVs but no-one near the Scalas. There were two on show, with not a single customer looking at them. A Monte Carlo and an SE-L. They tried to steer us to the Monty Carlo but that one was rapidly rejected when we found Mrs J, a person of short stature, couldn't get out past the deeply sculptured seat sides and steering wheel with the seat far enough forward for her to reach the pedals! Anyway it was far to flashy for me and fitted with very large diameter wheels running "rubber band" low profile tyres. The SE-L driving position was very similar to Twinkle (our Ibiza) although Twink has the previous body/chassis (The Scala being on the latest Fabia/Ibiza/ Polo chassis but stretched slightly compared to them) so just a little bigger all round than Twink's older series estate body by about 10 cm. Oh, and it has a "proper" spare! Mrs J immediately found a comfortable driving position and liked the car. I had a good old crawl around it while she kept the salesman off my back and I liked pretty much everything I saw. Many components, like brake calipers for instance, the same or very similar to the Ibiza. Oh, and it has a manual hand brake, no "silly" electric rear calipers! Driveshaft inner joints look different to the Ibiza too.

Next thing was to get a test drive and they allowed me to have a really good one. Went through the town and out onto the A1 so got a good idea what it is like in traffic and out on the dual carriageway at motorway speeds. Engine performance very similar to the Ibiza - this has the 108hp (110ps) engine whereas the Ibiza has the 95 hp engine - I think the Scala is probably just a little heavier than the Ibiza. The ride was however much more comfortable with it coping well with potholes and giving a very smooth ride on the dual carriageway. 6 speed gearbox - compared to Twink's 5 speed - with 6th really knocking the revs back for motorway cruising, I liked it a lot. Decided there and then that I would have one.

Back at the dealership they told me a standard SE was not available either new or used but the SE-L in the showroom was available for immediate delivery. The SE-L is a fair bit more money than the SE with the same mechanicals but a load of "tech" stuff I don't want (big touch screen in the dashboard, full digital driver display, climate control air con, etc. It also runs 17" wheels with lower profile tyres whereas the SE is on 16") They did offer a substantial discount for it as it was the display model and then offered us even more off if we took finance, but I said we'd keep looking for a good used SE and could they find us one?

At that the salesman - who was actually very pleasant and not at all pushy and I think was worried we were about to walk - went to check for stock and came back with the branch sales manager. A used example to the spec we were looking for - maybe a year old with under, say, 1500 miles on it - would sell for "Whatever". For very little more he thought he could probably find us a "nearly new" pre reg. Would I be interested? Ok, I know what a pre reg is, I bought the Ibiza on that basis and the savings can be excellent. Ten minutes later he was back. There's one right now in the port compound. It's the only one I can offer you and it's in a non metallic Energy Blue with 10 miles on it's clock and on a '73 plate. The price he gave us was a little over £4000 under current list. (I know I stated £5000 above, but read on) He also offered slightly more than £1000 more than the last dealer we'd visited for the Ibiza. Even at that it's a lot of money but in the end we went for it and paid our deposit which is returnable if we don't like it when we see it. - which should be this Saturday.

I wasn't expecting all the paperwork had to be completed on line on their "digital Dashboard" and it took me some time to do this using my laptop after we got home. Luckily it wasn't as difficult to do as I'd feared. The next day I went back into the "Digital Dashboard" and found my order confirmed, deposit recorded as paid and that no further action was required at that time. Right at the top of the "page" was a nice big picture of the car in the correct colour and with the correct number plates. Very nice I was thinking when I noticed the wheels. Hang on, those are 16" multispoke, as fitted to the SE Technology spec car (a much nicer wheel than the Orion pattern fitted to the standard SE and very like the 15" ones on Twink) Well, I'm pleased about that. Then I started thinking, maybe that's just a generic image with the number plate photo shopped in? So I rang the salesman up and asked. Yes, that picture is of your actual car sir. I'm not going to "rock the boat" by making further inquiries but it's going to be very nice if this turns out to be the Technology version as it's retail price is a good few bob more than the standard SE. Fingers crossed the price stays the same? Can't wait to see it. Mind you I won't be disappointed if it does turn out to be "only" an SE.
 
I am very sorry to hear about your brother. Family are precious. My Favourite (and last) auntie had a stroke yesterday Im waiting to hear what the prognosis is. Its hard. If its any consolation our Seat makes the suspension noise. It did it from new and carried on after the front end was rebuilt when it was around 15. It ought to be long gone but seems a tough old bird. Bet your Beckie has follow u ome lights. Even the old Leon has this!
Welcome back.
Thanks for that and so sorry to hear of your auntie. Did she receive attention quickly? We have experience of this and stroke recovery is so difficult to predict. We, Mrs J and I wish you well and hope she recovers soon.

The creaky struts are, I think, due to the rubber "squirming" against the metal seating in the strut towers and doesn't particularly "worry" me, but it's annoying as it sounds "cheap".

On the subject of lights, I was following a Scala today - just about the first one I've actually seen - and it had sequential rear indicators. Many many years ago I saw this on an american car, a Mercury Cougar if I remember, and always thought it was "cool". Probably mine won't have them, but just maybe?
 
Thanks for that and so sorry to hear of your auntie. Did she receive attention quickly? We have experience of this and stroke recovery is so difficult to predict. We, Mrs J and I wish you well and hope she recovers soon.

The creaky struts are, I think, due to the rubber "squirming" against the metal seating in the strut towers and doesn't particularly "worry" me, but it's annoying as it sounds "cheap".

On the subject of lights, I was following a Scala today - just about the first one I've actually seen - and it had sequential rear indicators. Many many years ago I saw this on an american car, a Mercury Cougar if I remember, and always thought it was "cool". Probably mine won't have them, but just maybe?
Unfortuately my Uncle and Aunt thought they should wait and see so she had left it two or three days! Time will tell if she can recover but Im fearful going home may be very difficult. Shes just 2 weeks off 90.
I hope you enjoy the new car, I think there is no difference in quality between Seat and VW or Skoda except possibly in the trim materials where the cheaper two may be a few degrees lower or cheaper seat fabrics. Certainly nothing to shout about. My worry with the daughters car is that it will die one day soonish and catch her out. Dads 24/7/365 breakdown service will go! Our Seat is a mix of Audi A3 VW Polo, Golf and unique Seat parts. It just keeps plodding on. The brakes are slowly being replaced and the clutch is nearly finished then there is the massive oil consumption which I now believe is an oil separator / catchment issue and the part is beastly expensive so its days must be numbered.

I totally get the I dont want to be stranded off grid thing. Its not worth it. Im looking forward to seeing the pics of the new car.
 
Ten minutes later he was back. There's one right now in the port compound. It's the only one I can offer you and it's in a non metallic Energy Blue with 10 miles on it's clock and on a '73 plate. The price he gave us was a little over £4000 under current list.
This is a lot like how I bought my Golf, I was looking at used models, there were few about, but it was suggested I get one new. I said I didn't want to spend the money on a new car and they said at that time they had an offer on new cars that VW paid the VAT which made the car about £6k cheaper the second hand models at that time were selling for about 24k, the brand new golf which was still on it's way to the uk, but pre-reg, was 26 with a better interest rate with it being a new car and 17 miles on the clock, no previous owners and came with a lot of extras such as the £1200 leather interior option, climate, cruise and a promise of Apple CarPlay (which they did eventually install) all things I could not guarantee to get from a used model, so it was a no brainer, the new car technically worked out cheaper over the finance term than the used model because of the lower interest rate on new cars and come the end of the finance I just paid off the balance.
 
I thought the Scala was a reasonable car...if a bit straight faced for something my wife would drive.

My main issue was probably I was building a unicorn and had no interest in the Monte Carlo due to the vaguely ridiculous one piece seats and wheels so ended up needing to spec up a lower model and even just a reversing camera, tinted back windows, rear curtain airbags and climate control added nearly 2 grand to the price of it before you painted it in half decent colour. Which seemed a bit mean when the list is well over 22 grand as standard.

Not an issue when buying pre-reg it is what is...

The rear lights I seem there's at least 2 variants of the rear and 3 variants of the headlamps ranging from halogen to smart led with stupid led in between so god knows what it will arrive with. Think the sequential is reserved for the top spec cars.
 
The rear lights I seem there's at least 2 variants of the rear and 3 variants of the headlamps ranging from halogen to smart led with stupid led in between so god knows what it will arrive with. Think the sequential is reserved for the top spec cars.
I think the rear light clusters are LED but the headlights are probably LED/halogen combination on this mid range spec. Not too sure.
 
Yeah but seem to remember there are also 2 levels of LED rears.

One is standard kinda lights do what normal lights do but use an L.E.D. bulb the other is the scrolling sequential business which I think also comes with the higher spec of headlight.

You'd assume it does otherwise none sequential on the front but sequential on the rear would be somewhat odd.
 
Good to see you back…sorry about brother, seems to be a lot of ‘it’ going around…one of my brothers has been in and out of hospital with an erratic and dangerously low heartbeat for the last two months, he’s on a personal monitor but they’re struggling to find the cause.
 
Some of the more regular forum members may have noticed that I've been rather quiet of late? Well, unfortunately, my brother died just before Christmas and it hit me rather hard.
Sorry to hear of your loss. Always hard but hopefull time will heal and fond memories will be with your forever.

Getting a new car is always exciting. We tend to hang on to our cars possibly too long and when we do eventually take the leap we often wonder why we didn't do it earlier.

Hopefully your new car will reliable (little niggles/issues fixed under warranty) and you can enjoy it without having to get the spanners out :) No worries about MOTs either fro the next three years!
 
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