General Panda no more

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General Panda no more


New member
Sep 21, 2017
As the title says, the Panda has gone - at 14.5 years old traded in and hopefully to be sold on to a new home.

It has been in our family since new in 2006, and I acquired it in 2009. I had just sent a rather rusty and unreliable Mercedes E240 to the car auction. The Panda was supposed to be a stop gap to keep me going until I got another “proper” car, but that was 11.5 years ago and the Panda did so well there seemed no point in changing it.

I must admit that when I first acquired the Panda I had the usual prejudices about Italian cars and quality etc. In fact I have been very impressed with it. The Panda (a 1.2 Dynamic) although certainly built down to a price, is in fact quite well screwed together, and more reliable and less rusty than my old Mercedes ever was.

As some of the commentators on this forum have noted, these relatively cheap and basic cars have an economic life of around 12 years. Anything more is a bonus. As the car gets older there is the perennial debate about how much to spend on it. If a couple of hundred pounds keeps it going for another year that is money well spent, as I could not go out and buy another car of that age that is better than the known and trusted Panda. Against that there is the concern that some fault may suddenly occur that writes the Panda off as beyond economic repair.

The question is whether to hope for the best and keep spending modestly on the car, or while it is in good condition, to cash in any residual value as a trade in for another car. We have this debate at home from time to time, but a few weeks ago my financial advisor (Mrs FarNorthPanda) suggested it might be time to visit the local car showrooms

So the Panda has gone. Traded in for a 2018 Honda Jazz. I will write a separate post about how we came to settle on a Jazz and not another Panda.

I have been looking on this forum for several years for information on repair and maintenance. Could I offer a big vote of thanks to all the regular contributors whose help and advice has been invaluable in keeping the Panda fit and active. My knowledge of duck bills, back axles, spring cups, power steering and battery voltages etc has been greatly expanded by their contributions. After a few months without the Panda I might even get the underseal from treating the back axle out of my fingernails.