Everyone seems to be getting a new car nowadays. Well, not really everyone but there are a few of my colleagues who are either driving a new car or waiting for their new cars to arrive. I am not sure if I will get the same excitement as they do. One of them have some expensive Amps fitted while some have leather seats or huge alloy wheels. To be honest, nothing seems to excite me much. When I received my house key, I was quite calm. When I received my PS3, it was like another gadget to me. I don’t feel the need to have to play it right away. I could go days without playing it too. Whereas in the past, when I first got my PSP, I played night and day. Even Mee has to start putting restrictions on my play time.
When I bought my Ford Focus, I was quite excited. It’s my first car in UK. My second car, Toyota Auris, though newer, I didn’t get the same kind of excitement. Maybe I have more responsibilities now than before. Most people in UK can afford better cars because they are cheap. You can also make monthly payments to ‘hire’ a car. It’s cheaper than hiring a car for leisure. The monthly payments will mean that you only need to put petrol, everything else is covered. At the end of the three or four years term, you can then choose whether to keep the car by paying an amount of money, or change to a newer car by continuing the monthly payment scheme. To some people, it’s good because you can always drive a new car. For us, I prefer to just buy the car outright. I don’t need new car or sports car because I just think car as a liability. The price is never going to increase the moment I get the car key. I will need to keep pumping my cash in until such time when it becomes too much, I will have to look for another car. It will be really nice to have money to spare on car but we don’t have that luxury. We just have to be satisfied with what we have.
By the way, driving a new car may make both Mee and me mad. We will be thinking about where to park and always aware of the road condition.
When I was searching for a car to replace my Ford Focus, Auto Trader is my most used website. The search function is easy to use and there are lots of filter that can be used to limit the results. In addition, it has an app which I can use on my iPad and the app is as useful as it’s website. Lots of filters and touch friendly too. One day when I was using its website, I saw the advertisement from Auto Express at the bottom of the Auto Trader’s search results. Look at the title and then the photo. It’s a photo of Nissan Juke titled Ford Fiesta facelift. It’s definitely a mismatch and what’s worst was when I clicked on the linked, it said page not found. It’s not the first time that I came across something like this. I wonder if it’s Auto Trader’s problem or Auto Express’ problem. I seem to have a habit of focusing on the wrong stuffs that one can find on the internet.
It’s my second day of driving in the snow. I may be exaggerating a bit here because there weren’t many snow. I only had to drive a short distance to reach the main road which was already cleared. Well, my first impression is that Toyota Auris seems to hold better than my previous Ford. The previous Ford always had a terrible sound when the traction control came in and it struggled in slushy and icy road. When the forecast said it was going to snow, I actually did a search on how Toyota Auris performs in snow. Most of them said it was rubbish. Having driving my Toyota Auris these two days, I like to think that they didn’t know how to drive in snow. Hence, it’s not Toyota Auris’ problem.
I got out of the driveway with no problem and no skid considering that it has no traction control system in place. I still can’t believe my Ford, which would have been 13 years now, has the traction control system and Toyota Auris has it as optional. I would have thought that traction control is standard nowadays. To be honest, I bought Toyota Auris only because it has climate control, cheap to insure and it’s only 1.33 litre engine. Having said that it is a 1.33 litre engine, it doesn’t seem to be much difference compared to my previous 1.6 litre Ford Focus. Maybe the Ford Focus has lost too much of its engine power over the years. Given a choice next time, I believe I will go for european car instead.
I still remember when I passed my driving test, I wasn’t allowed to drive the family car on my own. My father would sit on the passenger seat and see me drive for a few months. It is a Honda Accord and it is still at my parents’ home. The car must have been at least 20 years old now. Since then, my very first car was a Proton Wira. It gave me a lot of trouble but from there, I learnt a lot about cars and some very good mechanics too. It’s a manual car and I don’t remember that I had any problem shifting gears with it. What I am trying to say here is that I don’t remember the car jerked every time I changed gear. Then, I sold it and bought Proton Waja. When driving the Proton Waja, it jerked half of the time when I changed gear. I blamed it to the stiff clutch. I consulted my mechanic and he said that there was no way of soften the clutch. Well, I did read some articles saying that some clutches could be loosen to improve gear change.
Anyway, few years later, I came to UK and bought a Ford Focus. The clutch was almost like my father’s Honda Accord. It was so deep but I thought the gear change was a lot smoother in Ford Focus compared to Proton Waja. I think about after a year driving the Ford Focus, the engine seemed to lost power and the first gear often stuttered and I had to depress a great deal amount of the accelerator. Hence, whenever I drive my sister’s car, Toyota Corolla, I tend to rev higher during first gear although her car doesn’t require that kind of treatment.
Now that I sold my Ford Focus and got myself a Toyota Auris, I have to change my driving style yet again. In reality, it’s a lot easy to drive but since I am already used to driving Ford Focus, I found myself having trouble when driving Toyota Auris at first. Occasionally, it is still jerky whenever I change gear. I like to think it’s a lot better now as I have tried a few different methods such as releasing the clutch half way after gear change or release the accelerator first before depressing the clutch. Just recently, I started not releasing the accelerator fully while changing gear which seems like a better method. I still need sometime to get better and I do think that I am getting better. Hmm… an automatic car would be a lot easier. It guess it’s always a challenge when driving a manual car.
Just before I decided to purchase my current Toyota Auris, I did some research on Toyota Dealer. It turns out that they offer Free Visual Safety Check for all Toyotas. Hence, I booked my car in as soon as I bought it. Even though the car dealer, where I got my Toyota Auris, had done the MOT, I still felt a little bit unsafe. Well, the MOT failed at first due to a tail light bulb. I was told that the light bulb has been changed but when I got home, it was still not working. I then had to make another trip to the car dealer. Unfortunately, the sales person who dealt with my purchase was not in on that day. Another guy came to look at the light bulb. The first thing he said was that the car has passed its MOT with a hint of how could the light bulb go bad. Well, I should be asking the question.
Anyway, my car had its visual safety check done by Toyota dealer today and there appeared to be no major problems. There were only a few advisory problems due to wear and tear which I have already known from the MOT check. At least I got the car checked twice and I have the same report. Mee and I can now be happy with this car. I have to say the person who explained the report to me is the type of person whom I like to deal with. He told me the problems that I needed to be aware and then proceeded to say that I didn’t have to change the parts now as it can still last me for this long. When I went to Kwik Fit for the past three years, they just wanted me to change every changeable parts in my old Ford Focus. I was just too stupid to trust them. The first time I went to Kwik Fit, the manager was really good. He too explained everything to me and advise me on things which needed to change and which didn’t need to change. I should have avoided it when the manager wasn’t there the second time I went there.
There are a couple more months to go before I need to do a full service on this car. Should be I go to the dealer or approach the mechanic that my colleague’s recommended to me?
I am still not quite getting used to driving Toyota Auris. The interior design makes the car seems bulky and I can’t even see the front of the car no matter how I position myself inside the car. I have to admit that it is wider, though not longer than my old Ford Focus. I no longer have that kind of confidence when it comes to parking. Reverse parking is a lot easier for me when driving Toyota Auris. Eventually, I will get used to it.
As Mee and I are going to the car dealer tomorrow to change one of the brake light bulbs, we have been testing the electronic equipment as well as every single lights just so we don’t have to make yet another trip. By the way, I almost drove into my neighbours gate just now. Well, it sounded serious but actually, it’s not. The reverse gear is just next to the first gear and while I was trying to reverse my car, I was actually on first gear. Hence the close shave. Anyway, I don’t normally accelerate quickly and when the car went forward a little bit, I stopped immediately and reposition the gear. By that gear design, it would have been great if there’s an indicator on the dashboard to show that the car is on reverse gear or otherwise.
Mee and my plan was to go for a smaller car originally. We ended up with a similar size car, if not wider. Well, in my mind, it’s smaller already as it only has a 1.33 litre engine.