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February 2014 - timeshock!

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    Posted: 30 Jan 2014 at 11:45pm

Congratulations on winning February 2014 MOTM Ash! How does it feel to be our exclusive Member Of The Month and having your name up in lights?

Wow, what an honour to be asked and following on from “Stevie-Boy” the very first MOTM, this is unbelievable.

I wanted to firstly say a BIG thank you from myself and the Club Owners, because the help and all your time that you give, in helping out your fellow club members, with technical and mechanical advice is quite simply outstanding! You sum up, the very core of what this club strives to achieve and we’re a better club for having you as a member here – Thank you so much! Are you generally a helping type of person?

Yes I like to think so, a lot of family, friends and colleagues will ask for help and advice about a whole host of issues and problems which I can generally help with. One caveat is that I could not be a teacher, I was once asked to be a lecturer though in structural design.

We’d love to find out about you the person. Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

Big question, I am going to have to come out from relative anonymity of my user name. I’m married and last year celebrated our silver wedding anniversary, we have one son who will be 18 this March.

I am a chartered Civil Engineer, started as an apprentice on the drawing boards in 1976, yes most of you were not even a twinkle. Principally bridges and highway associated structures until I moved to water engineering in 1995 on the dirty side as a project manager delivering expensive capital projects.

What am I into? Family, science, computers, gadgets, rugby and real ale, pretty kind of nerdy guy really.

I have a very small group of friends which I have known since I started work (one of them since 4yrs old) and we meet for a drink every Thursday.

How did you find the NPOC forums and are we any good? Would you happily recommend the club to other Nissan Primera owners?

I had just bought the Nissan Primera P12 and the garage serviced it but the computer service interval was wrong. My first question the month I bought it was, ‘how to do the reset?’. Five months later I signed up as a full member. I love it, like the banter and defo believe in the “Members first, car second” club motto. Would I recommend the club and membership? Every time! The forum is unique in the warmth and friendliness it exudes and this comes right from the top by all the people that work in the background.

You joined as a member in January 2006 and as we all read this feature, you’ve just rolled over 8 years of NPOC Membership WOW! What keeps you coming back and signing in every day here?

Hmmm…. thinking….. I just love it, there is a common theme around Primeras, there is a huge range of people from next to no knowledge and needing help to fantastically knowledgeable, competent people with themselves having varied reasons for popping in here and contributing. Probably one of the main reasons is I don’t like to see people in a spot, it is not nice and can be depressing or worrisome, if I can alleviate that in a little way then that’s great.

Now we know your car is a Nissan Primera P12 and we’ll get into that a bit later but until then, I’ve been dying to find out what gems you have owned during your car ownership history. Any previous Nissan Primera’s in this list? You’ve had many years of driving now Ash (this is a compliment hahaha!), give us some car highlights over those years, what’s been good, what’s been painful?

I am not car mad; in fact I hate the whole process of changing my car. I can see folks skipping the feature right now LOL.

I have been driving since 1982. My first car was a V reg Talbot Horizon 1.3 with cream velour seats, it really was a bag of hammers, but I did thousands of miles in it travelling all over the country, no matter how many times I did the tappets it was rattling again within weeks. It was the car I cut my teeth on keeping it going, replacing the brakes, CV joint, drive shaft and shock absorbers. Did a 180 in it at speed under heavy breaking, when some pedestrians ran across the barriered dual carriageway and I damaged the rear quarter suspension, the wheel was at 30 degrees.

After that I bought a brand new “01 Aug” job, a G reg Nissan Sunny 1.4 hatchback and I kept that for 5 1/2 years and only ever changed a bulb.

Followed that up with a nearly new M reg Nissan Primera 1.6 Circuit Saloon and both I and the wife are in total agreement, it was the best car I have ever driven, it was on rails. Unfortunately a change of job and I was forced to take a lease car.

The choice was Ford of Vauxhall, so I went for an R reg 2.0 Vauxhall Vectra Sri, the company subsequently scrapped the policy and paid a fortune to buy itself out. I picked the car up for £6k and ran it into the ground. When I got rid of it, it had a leak of just about every fluid it had in it! The final straw was the petrol tank seam coming apart. It was an alright indescript car but perky. We had it nicked off the drive when someone broke in and stole the keys. The Police found it 24hrs later minus the alloys and some body damage, six weeks after getting it back I reversed it into a low bollard at work.

So I part exchanged that against my current car, the Nisan Primera P12 2.2 DCi SVE and I love it, not as much as the P10 but for the spec at the time and even now it is outstanding.

The wife drives an 04 Nissan Almera shortly to be replaced with a new Nissan Micra Hatch 5Dr 1.2 DIG-S 98 SS EU5 Visia AC.

What was your favourite out of all of them and why?

The Nissan Primera P10 loon, it just drove and handled superbly and never hiccupped. I was gutted when I had to sell it and the people who bought it got a great deal and paid in cash. I looked it up on the net a few years ago but sadly there was no record of it.

If you had to choose between the classics / Old Skool and modern technology based cars, which one would it be?

Right now with the age I am, tech, if it goes wrong I will pay someone to fix it. Plus the reliability, buildability corrosion resistance is outstanding. If I was a young lad, then nothing beats the simplicity and simple working room in the engine bay of an older car, to give the thing a tap with a hammer to get it going.

What got you into a Nissan Primera to start with, was it on the list of cars to own back in the day, or a chance encounter?

Well I learned to drive in a Datsun Cherry and was always impressed how maneuverable it was and how light the clutch was, so there was the seed for Nissan. A colleague had a Bluebird, which caught my attention but by the time I could afford one, that model had gone and the Nissan Primera was born! I wanted something with a huge boot and this really fitted the bill. Nissan back then and to some degree now, was not on the list of cars to own, the press had a real downer on the brand with some justifiability. Datsun’s and early Nissan’s like some British made cars, had real corrosion problems but they scored on spec and reliability. I went to a dealer and saw the P10 and that was it for me with the brand. Also, I would much prefer to buy a car made in the UK than something made abroad and what could be better than a car being built just 16 miles down the road in Sunderland and keeping many people gainfully employed, boy do we need it up here!

How long have you owned the Nissan Primera P12 2.2 DCi now? Were you looking for a diesel from the outset?

I bought the P12 when it was six months old in February 2006, an ex Nissan managers car and it had just 7,800 miles on it. I had never owned a diesel before and had not gone out intentionally with any preconceived idea other than a P12 of some description. It now has 112,000 on it.

As I’m sure we’ll both agree, most of the members arriving at the NPOC forums with a P12, sadly arrive with tales of woe and problems. Yet there’s many P12 owners who have had a pretty much trouble free ownership. How’s the P12 been for yourself over the years?

Well I have had one major glitch and at the time it hurt. I had a 60,000 extended warranty and had the P12 serviced just before this warranty expired and specifically had the turbo checked due to the concerns on the forum. It got the all clear then at 62,000 miles the turbo started to whirr, so I had it replaced for a not inconsiderable sum of money.

I had the steering loom replaced under warranty as the audio / sat nav / air con would change settings when turning the steering wheel.

I had a cell collapse on the battery and the thing cut out with tons of black smoke when the fuel filter developed a fault and I have change one rear bulb.

I’m still on the original exhaust and clutch, just wondering how long for.

All in all, it is not bad, just disappointed with the turbo going. Actually ever since that was replaced it has been a bit of a smoker. I have to laugh sometimes, as when I just tootle about it builds up soot, so when I have a knob head too close behind, I floor it and you can’t see the car behind ROFL!

My girlfriend bought a Nissan Primera P12 eighteen months ago and despite the high mileage on it, we’ve also had an enjoyable ownership so far. I love driving the car, I love being inside of it.. I do still struggle to stand 10 feet away from the car though and look at the P12 and feel happy (sorry you P12 owners). I’ve always believed the cosmetics / styling were “before it’s time”, which is a compliment but do you think the overall look / shape of the car, also contributed to its unpopularity in the mass market (moreso the Fleet Sector)? Or was it something else?

Ahhh…Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was so chuffed when I heard your girlfriend had got one, just need Grim to see that and stop breaking them.

I personally like the shape, it is just soooo different from every other popular box out there and Nissan deserve better press for it. As alluded to earlier, the press have always had a downer on Nissan, not least that knob head on Top Gear so it was never going to make it a fleet alternative, taxi drivers took to it for some reason.

All this talk about the P12, let’s find out more about yours please. Let’s see some photos of your 2.2 DCi black hatchback and tell those of us who don’t know the ins and outs of what a cracking car these are, what gadgets and goodies the Nissan Primera P12 is packing:

Mine is a 2nd edition P12 2.2 DCi SVE, just one model down from the range topping T-Spec and it is really packed with goodies such as:.

Sat Nav.

Climate Control.

Cruise Control (which I use at every opportunity).

Xenon headlights with washers.

Rain sensing wipers.

Self-dimming rear view mirror.

7” in dash information screen, which displays pretty much everything!

Colour reversing camera (displays on screen).

Full leather seats with the fronts electrically operated and heated.

Electric windows all around.

Electric pan and tilt sunroof, with pull sunscreen.

On board computer information (MPG / Range etc etc).

Dash mounted CD multi changer with sub woofer under the drivers seat and god     knows how many speakers!

Steering wheel audio control.

Key user setting for audio.

Front and rear side and curtain airbags.

ISOFIX points.

Heated electrically and colour coded door mirrors.

Power steering and steering wheel positioning.

Leather gear knob and steering wheel.

Lit passenger vanity mirror and a driver vanity mirror.

Sunglasses holder.

Super lock, anti hijack and keyless entry.

Map light and auto dimming interior lights.

Front door courtesy lights for stepping out.

Red and white lights on doors for warning drivers from the rear, that the doors are open.

Fuel filler unlocking within cabin.

Hatch / boot unlocking from cabin.

Six speed transmission. 

17” Alloy wheels and ABS as par for the course.

I fitted Nissans “hands free” option myself.

Phew have I covered everything?

The paint is deep, lustrous and exceptionally well applied.

If I miss anything that this car does not have, it would be traction control. With the 17” 205 alloy wheels and 138 BHP to the front it would benefit from TC, when pulling away on wet steep inclined junction or in the snow, (admission.. I am a shite driver in the snow LOL).

I like the built in Sat Nav but what were the designers thinking, when they omitted post code selection?!?!

The driver information and 7” colour display with computer information, is a lovely toy but the best by far is the colour reversing camera is a must for all cars.

The boot can hold a boat load of bodies for simple disposal (generally vandalizing chavs that destroy club members dreams, Harvey Keitel ‘The Wolf’ eat your heart out ...cue Pulp Fiction music) !!

Lots of discussion over the years about MPG on the Derv P12, straight from the horses mouth then, what’s your real world figures? Happy with this, not happy etc?

42-44 MPG fairly consistently, better on long motorways and worse around the city, not great but it is a beast of car. As you may have gathered form my posts, it does get my goat on how consumption should be calculated and the many factors involved in how that consumption is affected.

If you could have sat in with the designers of the Nissan Primera P12 when it was on the drawing board and the ideas were being thrashed about, with hindsight, anything you would have changed?

Nice one! Post coded Sat Nav for sure, Traction Control, maybe just a tad of flexibility for changing the head unit, could have kept this model from dating with this type of tech, MP3 etc. The same accusation with the hands free. Beef up the turbo and get some robustness on the electrics. I would definitely have done something about the turning circle, I have seen supertankers get round faster than my P12!

I opened this feature with a big public thank you about your contribution to the forums and I wanted to point something out to all. The forums have a built in “Thanks” option, which in a nut allows any member to thank another member for their post / help / advice etc. These “thanks” all get added to a members profile and out of our 40,000+ member base, you are ranked number 2 as the most thanked member! Which just about sums up why we’re all reading about you as February 2014 MOTM. You don’t discriminate against offering your help to a paying or non paying member, you just roll up your sleeves and get stuck in regardless. But my real question here is, do you ever get frustrated when you’ve spent hours of your time and many posts helping another member and then they just go permanently AWOL and we all assume their problem has been fixed but they never gave an update (and sadly some never say thank you either)?

Hand on heart Shaun, never. It is nice to get feedback, not really bothered about thanks. I am no expert but to paraphrase Sir Issac Newton, ‘On the shoulders of giants I stand’, every bit of knowledge I pass on is from here and my life experiences. Most of the advice I give on here, could easily be looked up in a matter of no time by a simple search and some common sense but hey everyone is different.

Random question by myself here and one I’ve never asked before but as we’ve touched on paying / non paying membership to the forums, is £15 a year too much for full access to the forums? Is it money well spent?

I would not still be here after all this time, if I did not think it was of value. I did pause for thought when I first came across the forum, but if anyone is like me and abhorrently detests the intrusion and targeting of adverts, then to keep the forum free of this stuff it is worth it and it and the membership fee has never gone up!

I have all but given up on live commercial TV because of advertising. Is it just me, am I a grumpy old sod, probably, definitely. Random rant now… Why do I have to put up with anti-piracy advertss and film previews when I have bought the damn DVD / Blu-ray and just want to pop the bugger in and watch it, what a set of timewasters!

Time for the quick fire question round!

What makes you smile? 

MP3 tracks on my headphones when I am out and about, music is so powerful. If I’m down, I’ll watch ‘My Cousin Vinny’ on DVD, it just never fails to lift.

What makes you sad? 

Intolerance and things done in the name of religion. I am a big time atheist but people can believe in whatever they want but please keep it to yourself, live and let live.

Tell us something things we don't know about you..

I am a blood donor of many years, given 68 donations so far. I would recommend to those that can give, please give, it is one of our greatest gifts, don’t stop there body parts accepted as well.

I am a governor at my sons special educational needs school, believe me, life can be a bit of a fight some times.

I have not had a day off on the sick for over twenty odd years!

Your favourite colour? 

Black.

Your lucky number? 

Don’t believe in such like or superstition.

What will it say on your gravestone?

Life’s a bitch then you die.

Your favourite drink (any)? 

Real ale, Indian pale ale (IPA) to be exact, also like a drop of Southern Comfort.

Your sub £10K second hand dream car would be? 

A P10 loon please with a bit of power.

Your sub £30K second hand dream car would be? 

I’d quite like a Merc C class.

If you could steal the keys to someone else’s car (on NPOC) for 1 day, which car would you steal and why? 

Now there are some wonderful cars on here and these folks in the garage project sections with skill, flair and vision I have the utmost respect for, so if I had to pick one it would be “P12DMR”. I love it, it epitomizes the height Primeras got to in the publics imagination, during those heady racing days. So to cruise around in, that would be a delight. Here's a photo of P12DMR's car:

You’re a regular at pretty much most of the North East regional club meets but 8 years of membership and you’ve sadly never stretched the legs on that P12 and made it to one of our bigger national meets, further down South. Are you avoiding me or something?

Yeah Shaun, your photo scares the hell out me! Down sarf, I have thought about it and feel very tempted by Ace Cafe and the weekend camp / BBQ at JAE etc, just a matter of time really. I came closest when Geordie was having a bit of trouble and offered to take him down but who knows.

Tell everyone who has never come out and joined us at a Club Meet, why they should..

Keen, friendly, diverse group of people with a common theme and great craik!

So 8 years of NPOC membership Ash, is there a defining club memory in that lot somewhere?

I won an NPOC quiz once and was bestowed the honorary title of NPOC Quiz King, could not believe it went I lost it to Doug!

NPOC for life (regardless of what car you own and drive) or leg it when you change car?

This question always prompts me to think about this one whenever I read it, the answer is YES and the chances are that whatever I will be driving it will be a Nissan anyways.

Tell Carlos Ghosn why he needs to bring back the Nissan Primera brand:

Ooh…I think he understands his business better than me and the market has moved on. The Primera is a great marque and like all classics should not be replicated.

As I asked Steve last month, we all read the debate in the December 2013 COTM about my decision to change the name of our monthly feature to "Member Of The Month" and also change the criteria and so on.. I do appreciate as a winner of this new feature, it’s going to be potentially hard to speak out against the new format LOL but as a man with probably more wisdom than myself, did I make the right call in changing things around here? Or should I have left it as it was?

Difficult one and I read the article with interest. The club motto “Members first, car second”, may be seen as difficult to recognize, without some other visible effort on here to support this, other than the obvious closeness of the members interaction. Nevertheless I liked COTM, which shows the commitment and pride keeping the cars going and looking at their very best. I think MOTM can be both, so on reflection you have to move on, otherwise you risk stagnation.

Member Of The Month is all about highlighting the unsung heroes around this club and also their cars, should they be driving a Nissan Primera. You won this feature because you have played a massive part in how positively the world see our club from the outside. The majority of posts you make are made in public non paying sections, where you offer your help and advice to complete strangers, who don’t pay for membership and for this reason, this feature gets written into the Club Archives for all time and it’s so truly deserved too. With my thanks out of the way, it’s over to you Ash.. Congratulations once again for winning Member Of The Month for February 2014! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Strong words indeed and I truly feel very honored indeed, to be asked and receive this recognition. I also strongly believe that the direction of the forum is lead by yourself and your hard working team, this club would not be the same otherwise, I cannot thank you all enough for the time and effort you all put in.

I would like to give special thanks to Geordie whose encouragement and cajoling got me to attend a meet.

I want to thank all the members, some of which who travel miles and miles to our chilly North East meets and each and every one of them is so friendly.

A big thanks to Col (Japsniper) who is very approachable, brilliant Yorkshire accent and so keen and knowledgeable about his car, he even gets his son and family up here as well which is great to see, you should speak to him about the racing, mesmerising.

And finally a big thanks for anyone still reading this, hope I have not bored you rigid.

Congratulations once again to Ash!

February 2014 MOTM - timeshock!

Written by essNchill
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