Wednesday, 25 April 2018

All is not good in Daveland

Having owned Dave2 for 7 weeks I'm sad to say all is not good with the new car, now I've often been accused of being a Dacia fanboy and I've always said I'm not, I say it as it is, to that end my experiences with Dave1 was always so positive, hence my blog and thoughts of the brand have always been so good.

Fast forward to Dave2 ownership, firstly paint issues that were identified when he was collected, the drivers door had been dinked that morning, the dealers took the car back within a couple of weeks and rectified the issue, however the other paint issue involved cracking and damage to the laquer due to bird poo, a small mark the size of a 5p piece on the roof and two similar size marks on the tailgate spoiler. Still waiting for these to be rectified and disappointed that they weren't sorted at the same time.

Now the other issue and this is a BIGGY!

Dave2 has a lack of power/torque, this has only just started to come to light as because I was 'running in' the car I've avoided using the turbo to its max, however after 1500 miles I'm starting to stretch Dave's legs, this has highlighted a lack of torque, especially at midrange when you most need it for those overtakes.

Last year I moved house, this now makes it almost 50 miles for me to get to Jaybee Motors in Banbury, but as they have always given me exceptional service I will continue to use them.

So on Monday I drove the hour and a quarter to drop the car off, got given a 67 plate Stepway diesel as a courtesy car and noticed instantly on the drive home the difference between the two cars. Well Dave has been plugged in, poked, reset, checked and the diagnosis....No fault found! This is where I have a problem with modern tech, 'computer says no', however over 30 years driving, almost as many years working in the automotive and associated industries and having rebuilt many engines in the past, I know something isn't right.

Back to the dealers today and spent a couple of hours with their chief technician (that's what I call customer service) going through everything, we took my car for a drive, the Stepway courtesy car for a drive and also a Logan demonstrator out as well, all having the same 1.5 turbo engine. Both the latter cars had huge amounts of torque and pulled through the gears well, whereas Dave feels flat through the similar rev ranges.

Time for a little digging further, the tech plugged in his little box of tricks and printed out the readings on all three cars, it would appear that although all 3 cars have the same software updates however their are some differences with some of the other settings and appear to have different ECU codes, unfortunately they aren't just plug and go ECUs (contrary to popular belief) and they require programming to each car so we couldn't just nick one out of the two good cars to try.

So things are being referred to Dacia UK's technical team to get some feedback as to how they want things progressed, Jaybee's are going to need authority to replace parts, particularly when they don't know where the issue is. Could be an ECU, could be fly by wire, could be a turbo related issue or a component part of the turbo, obviously this potentially could stretch to thousands of pounds to replace the lot and still may be no further forward, so this is now down to Dacia to progress.

I am also considering getting Dave to the local rolling road centre, just to get an idea of power, torque and powerband readings.

Now the real dilemma, this was the last unregistered diesel Logan Stepway Summit left in the UK, so I'm very very reluctant to reject the car, as I really want to love this car, but at the moment I'm really torn.

Hoping Dacia UK can do me proud and make me sound like a fanboy again by sorting Dave to be the car I so desperately want him to be.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

First milestone

As I pulled into work today I looked at the dashboard, low and behold Dave2 has already hit his first milestone.

Looking forward to the long weekend, lots of stuff has arrived in the post so Friday will be spent fitted some little bits before trying out my new snow foam gun.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Automobiles, planes and trains

Unfortunately not me, but my partner who has headed off to Switzerland for a travel conference. But our reference is the fact that historically with the Sandero Stepway we have had to put luggage on the back seat when we go away together. By total contrast her main travel bag took up less than a third of the bootspace meaning there's room for everyone and the dog's gear in the boot for future holidays.

So having stopped on the way back from Heathrow for a quick coffee I took Albert for a great walk around Black Park near Pinewood Studios, then drove up the M40 and off towards Christmas Common giving a quick chance for a few more snaps.

Really love the rugged look, the car just looks so natural in this enviroment, again the physical size of the car and the Stepway styling suits the Logan so much.

What I have noticed on Dave2 is how dirty he gets on the lower rear panel, behind the rear wheels, from road spray, never really liked them but may have to consider getting some mud flaps.

Got home and found some parcels to open. For those that don't know the Summit has orange piping around the seats and orange detailing on the dash and heater vents. I'm already looking at a couple of little additions to enhance the externals with a touch of orange, something small and subtle, unlike what some have done in the past to there Stepway! (though I know a certain Duster that has nailed the orange brilliantly). Back to the parcels, new boot bag for the wellies and some small luggage cases, one for the first aid kit, the other for bulbs, tools and cloths. The later all fit behind the boot liner in the alcove for the jack etc.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Interior light swap

So the new Logan's interior light is the single bulb version, my old car had three lights, normal middle light plus left and right map readers.

Carried out a very simple upgrade costing less than a tenner and as you can see in the video only a couple of minutes to do.

These ones were from 2003-2008 Renault Megane, but I'm sure other Renaults of the same era had similar fitted.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

And so it begins.....

Nearly 72 hours since picking him up and last nights drive home from work reminded me of one of the first things I did before.

Headlights appear to get mentioned by many new owners with criticism about alignment and brightness, alignment is fairly easy with an allen key. 

So what to do about bulbs Osram Night Breakers are very much a favourite for Dacia owners wanting to upgrade (I already had this set as spares). Fitting can be a little fiddly, particularly if you have large hands, with very restricted access and some relatively sharp edges. After about 30 minutes and a few quid in the swear box I managed it.

Interesting to note on the newer model the bulbs only push in to secure, no securing springs.

Next job was just to see what the new car looked like with the bonnet protector fitted, would love to hear people's views on it.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sunday Sunday, so good to me

First full day with Dave2, first job reroute the power cable for the dashcam to a permanent position, easy to do as I had removed it from Dave1 before.

While I was sat there looking at the roof lining I realised that the interior lights were single bulb only, not 3 bulb units with map reading lights on each side. Quick Google and they appear identical to early Megane ones, off to order some from eBay.

Sunday morning has a bit of routine here, nice long walk in one of the nearby woods, now most of them are a nightmare to get to and with the big thaw underway we decided on the easy option for today.

 After a great walk, it was time for shopping, interesting in the car park to see just how physically big the Logan Stepway is parked next to a previous generation VW Passat and a current BMW X3.

Since as long as I can remember UK Dacia owners have been commenting on the annoying issue whereby you have use either the key or the lever by the drivers seat to open the tailgate, it's never really bothered me that much, but within a day it's really began to get on my nerves.

Time for a little bit of clever thinking, involving relays, interior lights, a push button switch and either a motor or solenoid.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Goodbye Dave..................

So after nearly 4 amazing years of ownership of Dave today saw me say goodbye to the old boy.

After the weather over the last few days we did wonder if we were going to be able to get to the dealership today. After some frantic phone calls first thing this morning we established that the roads had cleared considerably, so at 10am we set off for the couple of hours drive to Epsom.

The roads were amazingly clear, obviously people had finally listened to the warnings and stayed at home, result, it meant it only took us 90 mins to get there. Lots of spray though so Dave arrived looking dirtier than ever.

So now for the paperwork, a checklist of things, 'mileage?' funny you mention that I just took a pic (didn't realise how dusty the clocks were!)

Then that awful moment when I signed Dave over to the dealers, sad in some ways but excited in others.

Speaking to the dealer they will be selling Dave themselves and not sending him to auction, which is good as I gave them a huge folder of paperwork. Dave has been left with many bits still on him, towbar, RGM rear boot protector, Automotiva door protectors, Heko wind deflectors and the Media-Nav Evolution that I fitted. Would be great if one of our readers decided to buy him, whoever does I'll give them loads of hi-res images of him.

So what did I get?

Well last March I flew out to Geneva for the motorshow and did a live feed for DaciaWorld for the launch of the Logan Stepway, on the Dacia stand they had the Summit SE on a turntable, I said then it's the only thing I would consider changing Dave for and after lots of calls to various dealers around the country I located an unregistered diesel version, one of only 3 left (now 2).

Have to give a massive shout out to the guys from Wilsons at Epsom, from the first phone call ten days ago to the handover today, they have been absolutely superb, so nice to experience such professionalism and customer service. Neil is such a genuine guy, very knowledgable and not your usual pushy salesman. Also want to mention a massive thank you to Stuart, not only for getting everything 'sorted' but importantly for the hospitality extended to Lewy, copious amounts of coffee, water for Albert and a desk for Lewy to work on while Neil and I did the boring stuff.

So before we left the first job was to fit the new dog seat cover, god forbid he goes into the boot, that has a dog guard fitted. My god how big is the boot on the Logan, it is cavernous.

Think Albert is happy with the new car and his seat cover, which has orange piping to match the cars interior.

So now for the drive home, firstly leaving the dealership (cant believe someone insisted on these pics)

So fans, cast your mind back nearly 4 years (or read the early blogs) and the day I collected Dave and you may remember the photos on the way home. So it only seemed fair as we were in the area to try and recreate a couple of those shots. Firstly Brooklands.

Then off to Runnymede, where we have also held a brilliant DaciaWorld Sunday breakfast meet previously and WILL be do another this spring.

And there you go day 1, oh and incase you are wondering.......

Ladies and gentlemen meet.......


Think of Dr Who, he (she now) transforms from one body to the next, but the same soul remains. Dave2 will carry on the adventures of his predecessor and will continue to share them on here.

So as we wrap up for today we'll leave you with image overload from Runnymede.