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    Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon

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  1. Ah OK, it must be a different car then. Still, they're a lovely drive and I still miss mine after almost 5 years - though I do still very much like the Alfa 159 sportwagon (estate) that I replaced it with, and there's no doubt the estate is far more practical for my needs these days. I used to average 23mpg from mine, less in town obviously, and about 28ish on a longer run. It was a wonderful place to sit and after a long and difficult day at work, with sometimes 300 miles of dark, wet, journey home, there are few cars that could have made a better job of that sort of journey. I had it about 4 years and did 50k miles, and the only that thing that went wrong with it, ever, was a completely dead battery after I left the internal lights switched on whilst away on business for a week. When it's time does come to change the Alfa, I'll probably come back to Lexus, probably an NX or RX though, to keep the hatchback/estate practicality aspect.
  2. Out of interest, does the reg plate on your new car end in HFG? If so, it's probably my much-loved old one... the age, colour and approx location where you say you bought it all match up and it's not exactly a common car. It'd be nice to know where it ended up (though I'm disappointed to hear it's got white wheels on it at the moment!)
  3. You have a 430, therefore you have a facelift car. The 430 was introduced at the same time as the facelift appeared.
  4. Saw a blinder a few years ago, at an urban roundabout. To set the scene, two lanes of traffic went onto the roundabout, but only one lane exited the other side. Traffic was heavy so there was a queue across it. An imbecile in a Golf GTI decided he wasn't waiting like everyone else, and floored it round the inside lane of the roundabout and tried to shove in at the exit - without realising there was only one lane... he went straight into the little triangle of kerbstones and the car stopped dead... Everyone else wet themselves laughing as the black puddle from his smashed sump spread out onto the road... :hehe:
  5. Sorry but this is just nonsense... Firstly, nitrogen expands and contracts with temperature exactly the same as any other gas does - it obeys the same laws of physics as everything else does. So tyre pressure will rise and fall with tyre temperature whether it has air or pure nitrogen. You could fill them with any gas you choose and would see almost exactly the same effect. Secondly, normal air is 80% nitrogen anyway, and oxygen is of a similar molecular mass and makes up almost all the remaining 20% of 'normal air'. Therefore pressure stability will be pretty much identical. If there is any benefit, it's the nitrogen is less reactive and doesn't interact with the rubber. Oxygen can and does react with the inside of the tyre and leach through, which effectively reduces pressure over time.
  6. Don't be too concerned about it - it's extremely unlikely that a recruiter would actively tell your current employers that you are looking - there is all manner of privacy laws that would be breached by such a communication. Even if your current company does find out, once you've made up your mind to leave, they may conceivably try and persaude you to stay but otherwise there isn't much they can do apart from keeping you away from any major upcoming projects or commercially valuable info that you might take to a competitor. No great loss - you'll have more time for jobhunting!
  7. I'm not sure it's the way things are moving in general. There is at least one individual in this thread who is summed up nicely by your 'flavour' though. On many sites such people get banned for trolling, especially after they have basically admitted only doing it to wind people up as they have nothing better to do!
  8. I can answer that question. Over the last few years, safety of people inside cars has been improved hugely, in the main because the publication of NCAP tests has meant that increased safety has become a good selling point. This is why pretty much all new cars now come with a 5-star rating - it's well worth the maker's time and money investing in getting this right. However, as a side-effect of this, the proportion of pedestrians being seriously injured or killed, as a proportion of all road-accident victims, has increased sharply. The EU therefore decided 'something must be done' and presented two options to the manufacturers - either make your cars less likely to injure pedestrians (soft bonnets, exterior airbags, no protruding bits etc) or make pedestrians better able to see you. For obvoius reasons, the manufacturers chose the latter option and as a result, DRL are becoming mandatory. On a personal note, I am deeply unhappy about this. I ride a motorcycle, for which DRL was made compulsory about 5 or 6 years ago, and so you cannot turn off the main headlight on any new motorcycle sold in the EU. For bikes, this is fine, as they are small and harder to spot, and also they are generally the only vehicles on the road with lights on during the day which makes them stand out. However now that every vehicle will have their lights on, bikes will become invisible. In every country where DRL are the norm (not just the Nordics, Hungary has been like this for many years) motorcycle accidents are much more common. Unfortunately, it seems that the government (and EU) is essentially completely at ease with literally sacrificing the lives of motorcyclists in order to save a few careless pedestrians. Further, I have no doubt whatsoever that the increase in deaths will be used to justify a later ban on bikes on the grounds of safety. :tsktsk: :tsktsk: :tsktsk:
  9. Winter tyres can be rated quite fast - the ones I have on the Alfa are V-rated (149mph) and the ones I had last year on the GS were rated the same, though were different tyres. Certainly the grip I have from the Nokians in the dry doesn't give me any concern - and I do throw it about a bit and will happily use them at 80-90 on the motorways...
  10. That may be the case for snow tyres, but we're not talking about snow tyres. We're talking about winter tyres, which 1) do not usually have stud holes, and 2) are not merely made of softer rubber. They are made of softer rubber, but they are also much more heavily treaded (usually start at 9 or 10mm depth), and they are heavily siped (the zig-zag pattern slits in each tread block). It is the sipes that do the work on ice, the deep tread that does the work on snow, and the softer tread that does the work on cold tarmac. There is a hell of a lot more to it than 'formulated to remain soft at lower temperatures'. It is also false that the tyres wear out very fast at higher temperatures. They will wear quicker, but there is no need to panic once the snow has cleared - they are designed to be used all winter ie until spring has come!
  11. I've heard it said before that the new tyres should always go on the rear - I can only assume this is because it will make the back gripper than the front, and understeer is better understood by most drivers than oversteer so they are more likely to get away with any skid that results. I can't see it making much difference in the real world though... :duh:
  12. Prices go up and down every week it seems - I ordered at £143 a corner, which was annoying as a week earlier they were £120ish. However, last week they were nearly £200, and have since gone down again! I don't know if MyTyres are in any sort of trouble, but I'd be surprised since they are part of an enormous German company called Delti with country-specific tyre retailing websites across most of Europe. With my order (which, admittedly, hasn't turned up yet!) they reserved the money against my credit card (you can see this on the online banking website) but didn't bill it until Monday this week, when they also sent a mail to say the tyres had been despatched. Incidentally, the supply of winter tyres across Europe has been caught badly short because Germany has now made their use mandatory, so suddenly demand surged there...
  13. The place to buy winter tyres is MyTyres. Trouble is, this time of year stocks are low, and prices go up accordingly. It's not helped by the fact that most tyre places over here don't seem to carry them - MyTyres ship them from Germany.
  14. I guess you've found the auction by now, but I'm afraid it's just the tyres. I was intending to buy a second set of rims but never got round to finding some!
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