New family member :-)

After ending 24 years of being on the road, the company car concept equally ends after those 24 years on August 4th.

And so a mobility substitute was needed. In 1999 it was Car of the Year and for me it hasn’t lost any of its charm to this day: the Toyota Yaris P1.

Side note:
My car has the steering wheel on the left, where it belongs. The British have theirs on the wrong side – but it doesn’t matter, they are also driving on the wrong side of the road.:-)

is my friend and I would find a candidate at the end of April:

A (facelift) three-door in the flavor 1D2 (color code) and 17 years or 132,500 km of experience from two previous owners, here with 87 horses under the hood. The usual equipment, so with servo-assisted steering and brakes, electric windows and central locking. The latter 2 things are actually of no consequence. Oh, and air conditioning.

So I ask a favor at a car dealer several hundred kilometers away, because the owner of the car lives nearby. On a Saturday the car finds its way there for a test drive and a check on the hoist. The owner asks € 950. Sounds promising. The description says something about fog lights – the car obviously doesn’t have them.

Then the call from the dealer with the list of defects:

  • One or both O2 sensors defective (known).
  • Air conditioning without function.
  • Brakes are due this year.
  • Rear silencer with a wide crack on the pipe.
  • Tires with DOT 0708 (July 2008 and therefore 12 years old).
  • Accident traces door & fender on the right, contact traces in the rear wheel arch and front left bumper (known)
  • MOT due in two days.

The seller quickly realizes that his potential buyers would be limited to the export market with the approaching MOT – we agree to € 650.

The dealer “just manages the MOT somehow” (don’t ask ;-)) and I travel to the dealer on a Saturday. By the way, via train, because of Corona I once paid the small surcharge for 1st class – and had the WHOLE TRAIN CAR to myself. Spooky. I had organized temporary plates from my trusted local Toyota dealer – so let’s go!

The little car manages the almost 190 miles with flying colors. I drive between 60 and 65 mph (so as not to stress the battered exhaust) and fuel consumption levels off at 42 mpg, according to the on-board display. The seating position is surprisingly comfortable, there are no unusual noises and the noise inside is at a completely inconspicuous level.

Byebye, exhaust.

Bild von Bilderjet auf Pixabay

Arriving on the A43 from the A1, the exhaust reports that it has finally lost contact with the muffler and the resonator is now trying to keep the sound quality at least at the sports exhaust level. It hums, the exhaust pipe is supported on a strut in the center of the vehicle and the muffler happily swings back and forth on its two rubber hangers. Nothing dramatic, nothing can fall off and has to be replaced anyway. At home, the Yaris enters the garage. Good night.

A replacement muffler is quickly organized on eBay – no idea where the thing is produced, but not by Toyota (their version is more than 300 euros) and at a retail price of € 34 including seal, screws, springs and brackets not in this country either.

How long will it last? A small hole at the lowest point will dispose of the aggressive condensate as much as possible and delay corrosion. I give the magic two years – we’ll see.

Registration, please.

Bild von Angie Johnston auf Pixabay

Since I’ve worked for Toyota and the workshops long enough, I am aware of the airbag recalls on the Yaris, Auris and Corolla models. So reason enough to ask the dealer if there is anything left to be fixed. And there is – the passenger side airbag.

Note: A safety-related recall must be processed for each new registration of a vehicle. No airbag exchange = no approval. Makes sense somehow.

So an appointment was made, the temporary plates were organized again and the car was driven to the dealer. Oh, I asked the shop foreman to remove the busted muffler and the broken flange – since the car is up on the hoist already. We know each other and he does me a favor.

I take a drive over to the Herne registration office to assess the “COVID19” situation.

Signs everywhere: “NO entry without an appointment“. OK.
When I asked in the license plate shop next door, I was told that the city of Herne would activate the “appointment calendar” online around 12:00 each day for a few minutes so that you can enter an appointment there. Alternatively, I can commission the shop as a “registration service”. For 30 euros.

I will try myself at this “appointment lottery” for a good two weeks. On time. No dates available. The “telephone appointment” from 1:30 pm to 3:15 pm? No hold for the next available operator – please call again later… I’m done with this.
As a citizen, I should be compelled to pay 30 euros to a third party in order to receive a city service?

Three calls later in the city council offices and really nice conversations with the ladies at the other end, I get the information I want: Appointment in two days, so Thursday at 10:00. Magic.

I organize insurance coverage and get there with all the documents shortly before 10:00 on Thursday. My motorcycle is deregistered (with the nice, short number) and the car should take over the number. Got all the documents and wait with 3 or 4 other 10:00 candidates to enter the building. A lady appears with a list and calls everyone by name. Except for me. Who I am supposed to be. I give her name and plate number. “Not on my list”, she replies. With an implied and barely surpressable arrogance, I suggest for her to check the V.I.P list: “The appointment was made through the town hall.” Now she seems to recognize my name – but not until 10:30. Anyway, she wants to take care of it. Less than 5 minutes later, I’m in the office of my contact person and the procedure is done after another 15 minutes. I pay at the cash register and have 2 license plates hot off the press.

So the Yaris gets to leave its hut and is now allowed to park outside with his peers – completely legally.

The muffler still has to be installed. But first of all the trailer hitch. Stay tuned!

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