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Going for a drive in Caoimhe

I felt bad about not having a video of me driving yesterday. I hope you understand that I wanted to get a feel for how the car handled without distractions.
So, today, I got up and went out for a short drive. Only a few kilometres around here, but it was just to show how she handles.
The video is edited. I know some of you would prefer a proper "going for a drive" video, but with my rural broadband and it's ~700KiB/sec upload speed, it takes about an hourper quarter gigabyte (about five minutes of video on my phone). So, I'm sorry, but for the moment, full length videos are out of the question.
Why those sizes? Because that's how the video is created. I don't want to transcode to drop file size, because it drops quality (YouTube already does that), and if it happens too often it'll end up looking like an old VHS tape! (remember those?)

Also, I must apologise for mostly concentrating on the interior of the car. One could say that this is logical for a driving video, but I was intending to have a little bit more scenery. I can only imagine that I knocked the tripod in closing the boot. Well, it's better than nothing. Maybe some day I'll find somebody to hold the camera so this sort of thing can be done a little more organically and, well, less rubbish...

Given how wobbly the video of driving in Felicity was, I decided to try a different mounting. This time, a tripod was installed in the boot and held in place with bungee cords. Caoimhe usefully has two eyelets at the rear on either side. The third was clipped to the lower frame of the passenger seat. A little more stable, I think you'll agree.


Other stuff

I gave Caoimhe a wash, then cleaned up the inside. This had already been done by the garage, but it looks like someody went over it with a wet J-cloth. That never works. I know, it's literally my job! So I went over it with a damp J-cloth that was rinsed and wrung a dozen times, and followed up with paper towel to emove excess water. For the inside windows, special window cleaning cloths (disposable) followed by paper towel. Let's just say the windows needed a lot of attention.

Something I noticed when looking around is that there are signs of rusting in the coolant. It looks like it was, once, quite bad, but the coolant has been changed and now it's just murky. I'm not sure why that would be, though I did see that several parts (the flywheel, for example) were rusty. Did the previous owner keep it in an environment damper than this place? The oil looks the normal shade of black, so it's unlikely to be a head gasket problem, and the coolant isn't that bad after a hundred kilometres (it was clearly a lot worse), so either the coolant wasn't changed often enough, the cap wasn't fitting correctly and it let air in, or - most likely - the previous guy ran the car too hard and overheated the engine.
I'll ask them to change the coolant (again) on the next service.

Rust around the radiator cap
Rust around the radiator cap.


I took the radio out to look at the damaged LCD and also to see what sort of connections it has. The LCD is unfixable. It looks like summer heat has affected the LCD and made part of it dry up. So with no liquid between the layers of glass, it doesn't function correctly. Never mind, it'll go soon...
As for connections, I'm in luck. The Clarion model has a single combined ISO connector, and the car provides dual ISO connectors (one for power, one for audio). It's only wired for the two front speakers. There is a conversion cable between the two, and the conversion cable is wired up with insulated in line bullet connectors, so things can be changed if - for instance, the +12V for memory retention and the +12V for use are back to front.


The boot is now nicely organised Two warning triangles, a second jack, inflatable tyre repair stuff, medical kit, and the box with assorted stuff (including two survival covers, a second yellow jacket, a clip together shovel, some small warning cones, and various bungee cords. Things have velcro tabs attached, so they stay put.

An organised boot
An organised boot.


At the bottom of the rear door/hatch is an interesting little thing. It's a flap to let air out. This happens when closing the boot, closing doors, and perhaps when driving with the windows open. You see, a lot of air can enter, but where does it go? In this car, there's a way to safely release the air without damaging the boot door or its seals.

Air release mechanism
Air release mechanism.


Now I have a proper glovebox, and not just a ledge, I can put stuff into it. The blue disc for parking, spare bulbs, insurance papers, two shopping bags, and the infamous yellow vest so I don't need to hang it over the seat like a right numpty.
When the glovebox is open, it doubles up as a useful drinks holder. I'm not sure what the narrow slits are for. A guess would be fuses, but this car doesn't use that sort of fuse.



Speaking of fuses, the Aixam 400 was rather messily organised. There was a small stubby fusebox, and relays and things were sort of "here and there". The GTO is much tidier, with more fuses (tiny ones, just like the car!) and everything together.

The fuse box
The fuse box.


Spring is on the way

I'm sitting outside to write this. It's bitterly cold in the wind, but around the side of the house on the Western Winderness (oh god it does need mown again!) it is sheltered from the wind so it's quite pleasant.
I made the mistake of letting Anna out, so doing this is taking a lot longer than it should because a rambunctious furry object is not leaving me or the table in peace.

The bulbs are coming up now. Hyacinth, Daffodil, Crocus... The grass is growing, and there are signs of buds on the cherries. Plus, growth starting to be visible on the roses. It's still cold in the morning (there was a ground frost yesterday), but the weather forecast into April, if correct, suggests that there will be chilly nights, a few below freezing in early March (but not by much), and between 10-12 in the day (when it rains) and 14-17 (when it's sunny). That's not so bad...



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John, 28th February 2021, 16:37
The slits are for coins - here that would be the tunnel toll! 
The reason for putting your hi-vis vest on the back of the seat is so the flics can see it, and thus don't have an excuse to stop you to check you've got one! 
The right-numpties do know a bit, you know! Check with the natives at work! 
John, 28th February 2021, 23:35
As the various pronunciations of Caoimhe equate to either kee-va or k(w)ee-va, I really dont understand why you don't write "Qui-va?", a shortened form of "who goes (there)?". 
It'd be much easier to remember! 
But I suppose your reputation as an "odd fish" has to be preserved!
Rick, 1st March 2021, 19:01
I had a look at the cars at work. Only one person with the vest over the seat. Almost predictably, a white van. 
As for Caoimhe, I happen to like the name.
Rick, 1st March 2021, 19:03
Thanks for the hint about the little slots in the dashboard door. I've repurposed it (with the aid of some rolled up kitchen towel to close the gap) as a place to put those little "jetons" that you use to unlock supermarket trolleys. 
Damn, I'm almost organised. 
This can't be me. Must be some other Rick temporarily inhabiting this body... 
John, 1st March 2021, 22:33
> I've repurposed it (with the aid of some rolled up kitchen towel to close the gap) as a place to put those little "jetons" that you use to unlock supermarket trolleys.  
Irene suggested that tonight when I updated her on my response to your blog. 
I still think I'm right about the visible vests, tho'. Hope you don't learn the hard way! 
You anthropomorphise your vehicle as you wish - just don't expect the rest of us to play ball! The "car" or "sans permis" will suffice for me! 
John, 1st March 2021, 22:40
Rick's reference to "jetons", for you less French-oriented persons, means a "token", or, in this specific case, a "trolley token" - or pseudo-euro used to save putting actual money into the trolley to release it! 
Super-U give out plastic ones on request, but many charities "sell" tokens as fund-raisers.
Mick, 13th March 2021, 12:43
Shame about music copyright as the theme to Roobarb and Custard would not be poorly placed. Feel like I've done a round with a spin dryer! ;-) Glad your Moms kitchen garden is still there. Have you thought about your next car? Not going to remember your cars name, sorry. I have Irish blood too so shame on me.
Rick, 14th March 2021, 22:34
Just remember "kwee-va". It's easier than remembering how to spell it! 🙂

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