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Ram Rod

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Ram Rod last won the day on February 7

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  1. Ram Rod

    Ceramic Car Polish

    I managed to graze the Talisman in Eastbourne, reversing out of the way of a pensioner who was blocking the road. Didn't look properly and caught a post. There you go. Anyway, I visited Maximillian who owns the body repair garage in Abbeville today, who sorted out my 518d after it was hit by large hail stones last August. He had two cars in for a ceramic coating, one of which was an Aston Martin. There are many claims made for ceramic polish protecting your paintwork against scratches and marring/swirling. I just wonder how effective these products are? The product Max uses is "Ceramic Pro" Gloss Guard Protected. I don't mind washing my car, and anyway, even after this coating they do say on YouTube videos you should still stay away from car washes with rotating brushes, or a hand wash company which uses a rubber blade to wipe off the surplus water before drying. The cost is €360 for the top product which is four applications of Ceramic Pro H, plus two treatments or layers of the Ceramic Pro Finish. What do you think? Waste of money?
  2. Ram Rod

    F11 powder coated wheels

    Those wheels look great. And I agree that sacrificing the ride comfort of the 17" wheels, unless you have adaptive suspension, is not worth it. Plus 225/55 17 tyres are as cheap as chips.
  3. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    So last Tuesday I arrived at the BMW dealership in Arras with the 5 for the independent assessor to look over the car. I can't believe how quickly three years have gone by. The anticipation and excitement of getting a factory ordered 5 series is still with me. All went well, especially as the assessor guy said I had covered less than the 80,000 kms in my contract. I had to give my wife a very stern look, as she nearly spilt the beans that the assessor had mistaken miles for kilometers! Anyway as a goodwill gesture I was let off the two lightly grazed alloys and the front spolier which had a smallish abrasion. Inside and out the car looked as good as new, still smelt new, but the dealership were selling other secondhand 5 series with less mileage as mine, for much less than the €27,750 demanded of me to keep my pseudo Police interceptor (on British roads!) So I was sad to see it go. I had given the car two extra oil changes during my ownership and it was due another service right now. Apart from the EGR and cooler problem, the car hadn't missed a beat. I would have kept it if BMW France were willing to negotiate, but they were not interested. That is the French for you. It is in their DNA. The fuel economy over the three years averaged a hard 42 mpg, ranging from tankfuls at 37 mpg up to 48 mpg. I never did crack a tankful at 50 mpg, even driving like the Pope. Driving mainly autoroute high speed journeys 95% of the time, I did appreciate the sereness of the car and its composure. The suspension was fine whilst cruising, but too harsh around town or cross country. Why BMW can't design better suspension like I had in the S Max before it, I will never know. The Ford's ride and handling for a seven seater was nothing short of brilliant. To have to fork out for the extra cost and complexity of Adaptive Suspension in what is already an expensive car, seems to be poor marketing by BMW and mean spirited. A car costing this much should have adaptive suspension as standard. The Talisman is a completely different kettle of shoes. More comfortable and it handles like a Meganne RS with seemingly unlimited grip on those big 245/40 19 tyres. Very quiet cruiser with better directional stability at speed than the 518d, and fuel economy has risen with 4,000 kms on the clock to average over 42 mpg on my usual journeys. The only problem is the small fuel tank compromised by the rear wheel steering to just 47 litres. If you had a petrol engined version, you might need a fuel trailer. However I will be on the lookout for a cheap pre-registered 1.8 225 bhp (Meganne rs engine, can be remapped to 285 bhp) Talisman in a years time, as at motorway speeds the petrols would be OK. I will keep in touch on this forum as there is a lot of useful information here. Cheers for now. ps. If you get overtaken by a Talisman, you will know who it is!
  4. Ram Rod

    Jeezzz, Look at The Size of These Kidneys!

    Is this a Chinese copy of a BMW 7 series?
  5. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    All fine until it goes wrong!
  6. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    I gave the Talisman a good hack the other night on familiar roads, and it is just insane how it attacks tight bends. Like a hot hatch. No loss of grip, I could have gone faster.
  7. Ram Rod

    Magnolia Tree

    I have an ordinary magnolia in the back garden which was loaded with flowers this year. I also have a pear tree that thrives, so it is a mystery who the grandiflora fails to bloom. One thing for certain, I am not buying anymore plants that take ten years to bloom.....I am getting too old.
  8. Ram Rod

    Magnolia Tree

    We have a Magnolia grandiflora in the front garden. Ten years so far since planting.and it hasn't flowered. We live in hope...
  9. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    Hi Guys, Well I have been using the Talisman a lot, but I still have the 518d until the 4th May. Although with the Beemer you feel you are driving a battleship, I do admire its quality. But maybe I am getting old, the seats caused my legs to ache and the ride quality should be much better without resorting to the extra cost of adaptive suspension. Although on paper the Talisman's 1.6 bi turbo set up is more powerful, thr BMW's 8 speed box makes better use of the power and launches off faster than the Renault. Over the three years I have owner the BMW I have kept a strict record of fuel consumption. Every tankful is record. Overallybthe 518 avwraged a hard 44 mpg. Mainly long distance motoring and fast cruising. For its size the BMW was exceptionally fuel efficient. Only my 2004 Ford Mondeo MK3 Ghia 2.0 130bhp TDCi was better. The Talisman however is at best averaging 38 mpg. So much for efficiency! I may get it remapped, but the gains are not great - 20bjp and 40 nm of torque. Much better gains on the petrol varieties! Especially the new 1.8 which is in the Meganne rs. 225 bhp as standard, but easily remapped to 285bhp!! However I have found this Talisman Initiale Paris in Amiens with the previous 1.6 motor found in the Clio rs. Massive discount on this car if you fancy driving something different.
  10. Ram Rod

    Convertible Care

    My CLK convertible in Italy goes through the car wash initially, then the guys leather it etc Seems fine although the noise of the brushes is worrying. In Italy a lot of people put their cars into bodyshops for a pre winter proper polish. This CLK was originally registered in Hull. Who on earth wants a convertible there
  11. Ram Rod

    VW Arteon 4Motion R Line 280

    I did consider the Arteon, but the seats are not that great. Lovely looking car though. There was an Arteon with 1,500 kms innthe VW dealer in Arras in black, four wheel drive, black wheels as new. I sat in it. €36,750 Timing was wrong for me though. Similar front to the Talisman
  12. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    I gave the Talisman a good run on Friday. From London to north Dorset, a nightstop in Eastbourne and back to France. Average mpg was 42.65 mpg. What I am comparing is a top of the range Renault with a bottom of the range 5 series.....the humble 518d. Well, driving roads I am very familiar with, the BMW does edge the Renault in composure and driving the car with precision on the limit. It is a shame BMW undermines grip with the 5 series by making wider tyres and wheels an option. After driving over 300 miles in a day, the Renault was as comfortable and a great place to be as the BMW. It really is a case of you pays your money and takes your choice. The French have traditionally struggled to make large cars with the quality to match the German makers. The Talisman is a genuine effort to regain lost ground, and in that aspect they have done well. The car feels well screwed together. For the next six weeks I will drive both cars on alternate days until the BMW goes. In the UK I see that nicely specced 518d estates with 20,000 to 30,000 miles are going for £17k to £19k, so paying BMW Finance in France the equivalent of £25,000 for mine is well over the top.
  13. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    First run over to the UK today. Just 37kms on the clock on departure. Filled up after getting off the train and average mpg over 160 kms was 38.75 mpg. So how does it compare to a 5 series and my humble 518d in particular? On smooth tarmac at 130 kph the Talisman is quieter than the Beemer, mainly due to less wind noise around the wing mirrors. My BMW has standard suspension, but the Talisman in Comfort mode is more compliant. The four wheel steering on the Talisman is a revelation. On a section of tight bends going cross country, the Talisman feels remarkably agile and changes direction with alacrity. The 245/45 section tyres obviously help compared to the 225/55 tyres on the BMW. The auto box is a 6 speed Getrag unit. The changes are super smooth, but not so quick off the mark as the 5 where the first three ratios are very low. Service intervals are 30,000 kms. First service is just an oil change at €130. BMW was €460. Second service with new pollen, air and diesel filters is €462. My BMW was €780. The main reason I bought the Talisman Initiale Paris model in particular was because of its seats. They are simply as good as Recaros but with more comfort. Heated, cooled and with a massage function. Although supportive, the sports seats in the Beemer were a disappointment being firm and having no lumber adjustment. I did wish I had taken the standard seats. The Talisman was the result of a €400m investment in the Douai plant near Lille. Daimler were involved with quality aspects of the cars construction and finish. But it isn't a BMW. Are Renaults robots and welding as good as BMW? The Talisman's paintwork is first rate. As customers we must ask ourselves where is the value in the extra cost of a 5 series? Look at the EGR problems I have had and some owners complaining of corrosion on doors. I have enjoyed the three years with my 518. But I was put off buying it when the lease ends because of the exorbitant servicing costs, plus the potential for huge bills in the future. BMW France wanted €27,860 for their car, three years old with 82,000 kms and no guarantee. For a relatively small extra outlay I have a new car with a three year 150,000kms warranty.
  14. Ram Rod

    Goodbye and thank you

    yHi Guys. Well I picked up the Talisman today, yet I will be keeping and driving the BMW for another six weeks. I have been forensically comparing the cars and have driven the Renault quite a lot. Honestly, the Renault runs the Beemer very close indeed. The EDC gearbox is very smooth, the engine silent, road noise slightly worse on rough surfaces, boot is slightly bigger and ride quality is better on broken surfaces. Here are a few pics.