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What gets my goat - damn autoboxes!

by Paul Healy on 29 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | What gets my goat - damn autoboxes!

I have suffered something of a revelation as of late; I am undeniably and unequivocally getting older. Not in the literal sense mind; obviously we are all getting older by the second, but I have recently found myself doing 'senior things'.

I can no longer bend or reach without letting out the kind of groan or grunt one would normally associate with the women's Wimbledon finals - not because the simple movement of bending over to retrieve a child's toy causes me any pain you understand; it just seems natural. I can also not pass a mirror without searching for…

'Steer-by-wire'? No thanks!

by Paul Healy on 23 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | 'Steer-by-wire'? No thanks!

Nissan has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first digitally-controlled 'drive-by-wire' steering system.  Instead of a mechanical connection between steering wheel and front wheels, Nissan's system uses a bunch of clever electronics that transmit driver steering input from the wheel to a myriad of electronic brains and finally onto the wheels themselves. 

According to Nissan the system can transmit driver input to the wheels much faster, theoretically improving steering response, 'and increasing the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver', or in other words throwing in…

Shoe-string motoring: why's Craig so 'elated' this week?

by Craig Castle on 23 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | Shoe-string motoring: why's Craig so 'elated' this week?

I'm feeling much better this week. Elated even. I shall explain.

While running an older automobile is always going to be fraught with some expense along the way (even if it is just a yearly service and consumables), buying a automobile for €300 has got to mean some expense in the near future surely?

The blue Fiat Cinquecento that I handed over €300 for has been performing well. So well in fact that I am going to keep it on the fleet and report on how it gets on. With this in mind I have set out to put…

Bangernomics update: Craig seems smitten with a little blue Fiat

by Craig Castle on 13 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | Bangernomics update: Craig seems smitten with a little blue Fiat


Thank heavens for sensible wives and girlfriends eh? If it wasn't for my own long suffering girlfriend, I may have bought a 2000 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Ghia X with a partial history - rare in itself at this end of the market - featuring leather, electric and heated seats, climate control and so on. Pretty much all that the Lexus has, just that bit more involving to drive. With an NCT until February 2013 and tax until the end of the month, plus four new tyres, it's incredible value at €500. This is a automobile that would have cost over…

Shoe-string motoring: update on Craig's fleet

by Craig Castle on 04 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | Shoe-string motoring: update on Craig's fleet

After the fiasco with the Fiat, this week has been divided between the Lexus and the Renault. The Lexus has reminded me just how refined it is. It is not perfect, not by a long way - in fact at motorway speeds some irritating wind noise creeps in through the passenger side rear window rubber. While it is an annoyance one can either slow down a bit or turn up that high powered premium sound system.

But shock horror - something is not working on this paragon of reliability. The cigarette lighter that powers my satnav system has stopped…

Shoe-string motoring: getting the Fiat Seicento through the NCT

by Craig Castle on 25 Sep 2012

changagoidem Features | Shoe-string motoring: getting the Fiat Seicento through the NCT

It passed! First time. Straight through and no advisory whatsoever. The few checks beforehand to make sure all the lights (including the often forgotten rear number plate lights) were working probably helped to ensure it wasn't going to fail on any silly points such as a bulb out or no screen-wash in the reservoir.

I also put on two new front tyres at €40 each as they had about 1.6mm of tread depth left - the limit - so better safe than sorry there and it would be a false economy to leave them while that worn anyway. They…






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