Meet tank, my favourite car I thought I'd never buy. He's a VW Polo, with a 1.9SDI engine. Yes, that's a non turbo diesel. Which is where his name comes from. He sounds like a tank and is about as fast (with his 64bhp). He came into my life after my Skoda Fabia (which I have never written about before) encountered some gearbox issues. It's (Limey) mechatronic unit failed, it was originally diagnosed as the dual clutch unit which was then changed by the "gearbox specialist" and they said it was good, but then it wasn't. There is nothing like driving your car on the so called "13 bends of death" road, and it only deciding it wants to go into even gears (and reverse as it uses the same clutch). Thankfully I got home fine, with some jerky shifting due to the only even gear preference. So it went back to the "specialist" and there it has remained whilst they try to figure it out, it's had a new mech unit but they can't get it to go into reverse. It's been there for a while. I was car sharing my mothers car but that was getting difficult and resulted in a lot of working from home plus the loss of freedom of just having your own wheels. I did drive the series into work a few times, but that developed it's own issues of stalling everytime it came to a stop (not awesome at junctions), plus the whole gearbox issue that's resulting in the (very slow) rebuild project.
I'd mentioned possibly buying some cheap car to tide me over to my dad so I didn't have to keep using my mothers car. His friend owns a garage, which had a polo for sale. After a short test drive Tank was mine for the pricely sum of £550. He had some issues, but who cares for that price? The rear brakes were shot and needed replacing/the handbrake reach was high, and the rear wiper/washer didn't work, and he needed front tyres. I got the brakes/handbrake sorted by the garage. That cost me around £200. The front tyres were replaced for around £70. I asked the tyre guy for the cheapest ones as he was just a temp car at the time. I took Tank camping on a farm with my farmer friend, he got muddy.
He was surprisingly good offroad, on the fields and on the bits between fields on which I would be hesitant to drive the skoda on. He even crossed them with the back full of logs and camping stuff, basically on the bump stops. At Christmas camping this year we loaded the back with all the logs and I reversed him down the field, he makes a good work horse.
Photo credit @thewatchingeye0099
With all the commuting to work and other driving I've been getting 55mpg from him which is way more than any of my other cars. The Skoda is around 33mpg and the series... maybe 15 at best? His rear wiper not working cost £15 for a second hand motor from ebay.
The washer was a bit more involved, and required removing about half the engine bay to get to where the pipe had become disconnected due to being crushed and had caused the connector to pop off the pump connection as well, but I managed it in the end. I think I'm about £1200 all in, with initial cost + insurance + tax + repairs, which isn't too bad considering. Though the water temperature gauge has started to play up.. so that's the next thing. Sensor or thermostat..? We will see.. He is 16 years old, teenager issues.
I'm really enjoying driving him so far though, he's definitely a keeper. When the Skoda is eventually fixed I'm going to get rid of it and keep him. Future things to get done are the cambelt/aux belt as I don't know when they were last done. Then whichever issues crop up..