If you read my previous article, ‘Matt’s £500 challenge’, you’ll remember that one of my main objectives was to get to work in the dry and despite the fact that I had bought a car and not a rickshaw, I seemingly needed to use an umbrella inside the vehicle, whenever it rained. This was both difficult and inconvenient. After a damp 1st week of ownership, I was panicking about the state of the car in general. To be honest, I was beginning to regret fully filling the tank.
Now, the car was cheap of course and well, “what did I expect?”, but the English winters are typically inclement which meant that owning this Clio was beginning to look like a damp affair.
I don’t give up that easily and let’s face it, the car leaked water, how hard could it be to fix? I mean, really?
The water appeared to be entering the car via the sunroof, an old Clio favourite bugbear and luckily for me, water leaks on the Mk2 Clio are well documented on car chat forums and YouTube, so a few Google searches on my lunchbreak revealed a few possible sources of water ingress.
The Webasto pop-up sunroof on my car was fitted at the factory over 15 years ago and consists of a metal frame, a hinge and clip system to hold the glass in place. About 16 retaining bolts hold the frame to the roof and no special tools or skills are required to remove it from the car. Most forum chat suggested that the frame to car body gasket fails with age, so it seemed sensible to have a look at that first. I’m not going to go in to detail about the repair, but suffice to say that with the sunroof out of the car, the gasket had appeared to have failed and bits of it were clearly missing from the frame.
If you’re still reading (thanks) you might think that it must have been really expensive to fix something like this, but it just wasn’t the case. A 10mm spanner, a simple roll of sticky-back silicone tape (bought from eBay for £6.99) was all that was needed, plus cleaning rags. I removed the old gasket, cleaned everything up and applied the tape where needed. It was a warm sunny day at the time and I tested the fix using a watering can with my daughter sitting in the drivers’ seat (yes, on the drive, keys removed). She found the whole experience amusing and reported dry hair at the end of the test. An hour or so spent on the leak, had solved the problem. A car dealer might have had the car for a whole day?
So far then, Clio ownership has been fairly straightforward. Other people might just choose to live with a car leak like that and leave the windows open on nice days or just gaffer tape the whole thing up. But I couldn’t have lived with a fix like that, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.
Costs so far (excluding fuel):
On the road £443.00 (inc. car, insurance etc)
Costs incurred (excluding fuel) £6.99 (plus 1 hour of my time)
Servicing costs £0.00
Miles covered 300 ish
Depreciation None (market value £300 with MoT)
Follow Matt: @fix_it_workshop or fixitworkshop.co.uk