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Easter Drive Down - chit chat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

judicious use of tablets.. the electronic kind.. helped!

@sparklies, I'm a fan of better living through chemistry - particularly in the case of children on a long journey. We dole out 'Joyrides' at the start of the day and find it makes for a placid atmosphere in the back of the car. And so far so good - no car sickness on the twisty mountain roads.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@tomj, yeah.. you're right about that. Trouble is, on the way up we didn't want them dopey for skiing, and on the way back we didn't want them sleeping too much in the car in case they didn't sleep later! Although for future reference given the time of day we'll be leaving, I think joyrides on the way home are probably worth it.

Saturday is definitely "changeover" day in France for any nationality!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
PieterG wrote:
blahblahblah wrote:


I was shocked how bad they were driving down for Easter. Very nearly taken out by one lane swapping, every accident I saw was a Belgium registered car.


I'm sorry, but I saw 2 accidents on my way back from Val d'Isère via Reims and all had UK-licenseplates Wink
I even got tailed for more than 200km by a Brit who loved my pace of 160km/h.

But ok, generally speaking we may speed a little on the French highways, but hey, at least we are quiet at night in the resorts Wink


Well if you want to break the law that's your lookout. British driving did take a dip the moment we got back to the UK with the lack of lane discipline british drivers seem to use. But tail gating and pulling out in front is Belgium driving rules.
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@blahblahblah, tailgating really does my head in. Of course plenty of British drivers do it too, but I definitely noticed a lot more of it on this drive. How on earth anyone can think it is safe to drive so close behind somebody they can't even see them in their wing mirrors is a mystery to me. At one point I put my hazards on as I needed to slow slightly in order to pull over (was already doing over 130km/h and did not wish to increase this further!) to rejoin the inside lane. They had left me no space for me to slow down in order to get out of their way and frankly it was quite scary. And before anyone suggests it.. no, I hadn't been sitting in the outside lane at all, this driver was just being rude and unsafe. Hazards seemed to do the trick though, probably confused them as much as anything else but they bought me some breathing room to pull over!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sparklies, Yes, I found the hazards a useful tool, and I make a point of pulling in after overtaking ( noted British cars take this as an insult and have to retake you back) left foot braking helps as well. All in all it is still so much better than the UK, not sure I would want to drive 1000km in a day here.
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@blahblahblah, ha, yes they do take it as an insult! It came as a surprise to me to see there was no willy-waving over having to overtake again when I did it in France. Drives me bonkers - the whole speeding up when you overtake crap too. Didn't see much of that in France at all, but see it regularly here at home.

I always pull back in too, but I also like to leave a bit of a gap (not a massive one, just a safe one) when pulling back in. Not just because it's potentially dangerous to cut people up, but as I use adaptive cruise control myself, I'm very aware that when people cut right in front, it will cause them to have to slow down (and then accelerate again - petrol cost!) in order to keep a manufacturer-decided safe distance. However, the number of people who seem to think I should cut up the car I've just overtaken because they would themselves seems to be far too high. Of any nationality.

Part of the reason this was our first drive to skiing is because we have relatives in Cornwall and Cumbria. 5-6 hours total drive time. On UK roads. So you can see why I was put off! Such a difference especially off-peak times on French roads - it was genuinely pleasant and the hours just melted away.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Tolls for my Easter to and from were €169.20 - which includes an on and off at Reims for fuel on the way down. (just got the invoice) 1833km on toll roads.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Routes on via Michelin show the toll cost.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Just an FYI, check your statements if using a toll tag. Couple of times in past we've shown up as Class 2 (big car with roof box triggers sensors) but have always appealed and had it reduced to Class 1
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Boris, thanks for that! Will look closely - we definitely have a big car with a roofbox!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Boris wrote:
Just an FYI, check your statements if using a toll tag. Couple of times in past we've shown up as Class 2 (big car with roof box triggers sensors) but have always appealed and had it reduced to Class 1
Our local slip road access outside Cluses has always done this...even with a bike up it thinks were are a van!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The car is back. After 4 weeks in France it was returned on Wednesday to a UK garrage. They fixed it in a couple hours and we have it back again.

I was very pleased that the snow chains and ski box hadn't been stolen on the way.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

They fixed it in a couple hours and we have it back again.


Seriously ?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, glad your car is back and on the road again.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Hells Bells, Yes; it could have been done in France the next morning and we would not have need hire cars, taxis and a ferry.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
johnE wrote:
@Hells Bells, Yes; it could have been done in France the next morning and we would not have need hire cars, taxis and a ferry.
Shocked rolling eyes rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE, I am astounded right now at the number of similar incidents I've read about. Our own experience was to be without any transport in a rural village for nearly 4 days. The bus service in July is virtually non-existent. There was no hire car available within 3 hours (there are three airports within approx that time scale) and no taxi that would transport our dog. We had to rely on friends to get us to Briancon, and then to Gap to collect the car, only to be told they couldn't find anything wrong, despite the engine management light being on. They also wanted to repatriate us by plane, along with the dog, but couldn't see that we couldn't get to the airport if they couldn't get us a hire car or taxi.
The garage had also cleared the diagnostics, so there were no historical faults available once we got home. Our problem only occurs in the mountains.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 27-04-18 13:07; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@johnE, good grief Shocked It makes no sense. The insurers are just losing money if this is a frequent thing too; yet I can't see garages etc benefiting from NOT fixing it, as they don't get the money from the hire car, ferries etc. Just weird.
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@sparklies, was similar to us this season as well, even though we encountered problems on the way up to resort and reported to our breakdown insurer, local mechanic rocked up on the Monday, brief diagnosis, and said it was a turbo problem.

we were then informed the nearest garage that could deal with it was about 180km away from us, so they decided to repatriate it.

in the end it transpired it was not the turbo, but another problem, though this was easily repaired by my local garage when it had been repatriated.

it must of cost the insurers at least £3k, when you take into account flights home (4pers) /taxis and vehicle repatriation, for the sake of a local garage being unable/unwilling to diagnose properly!!!!
(we were also supposed to take the car hire/ferry/car hire route back to the uk, only for the insurer to realise car hire depots in france and dover close on a sat lunchtime, hence flights!!!!)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
A friend broke down around Annemasse a couple of summers ago in a BM 5 series.

He called out the breakdown guys, but whilst waiting did a Google and rang a Brit owned garage serving the expat community in Geneva. Diagnosis over the phone was a high pressure pipe leading to the turbo, it was Saturday and no part available, but a jerry rig would temp get them on way for a few quid.

Breakdown turned up and refused to go to said garage as it was close but in CH not France. Instead towed to BM dealer in France.

9 months later after the (belated) intervention of insurers and solicitor in UK & France the French police had to go extract the car from the dealership because they were refusing to release it and so the owner effectively reported it stolen. The dealership had quoted many €,000's to fix the problem, including printed quotes that included parts not even fitted to the specific model!

After the police got it back it was taken to Geneva, where an afternoons work saw it fit to be driven back to UK. The owners had spent the balance of their original holiday in Chx with no car and then had to buy a Disco back in UK as it was apparent they would be waiting a while for their car to come home.

Not ideal.
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sparklies wrote:
@johnE, good grief Shocked It makes no sense. The insurers are just losing money if this is a frequent thing too; yet I can't see garages etc benefiting from NOT fixing it, as they don't get the money from the hire car, ferries etc. Just weird.


Ah but they charge the insurer a storage charge for doing nothing but "look after the car".
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I've started a new thread on this in Apres http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3229693#3229693
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I think I said elsewhere, if your manufacturers not paying, check if your breakdown policy is for repatriation broken of they 'fix' it in the foreign country then repatriate it. From my experience, (one of each) I would go for repatriate broken every time!

I had a similar situation where a French Merc dealer was chasing for 3k's worth of repairs - fortunately I could leave it to Mercedes to sort it out amongst themselves... (Uk dealer thought it was a new battery at most, we think the battery had been frozen... French dealer reckons he had changed both batteries new HT leads etc etc etc)
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

Ah but they charge the insurer a storage charge for doing nothing but "look after the car"

No doubt they did, but the vehicle was stored securely in their yard (we walked over to the yard while waiting for the car hire clerk to return from his long lunch and had a look). Nothing was stolen from it and it was not damaged in any way.

The French main dealer said they thought it was the fuse board from a visual inspection and the diagnostic check, but their were two different part numbers given for it so they didn't know which one to order and they thought there could be more wrong that they couldn't see (I think that is code for we cannot be bothered to do this). The UK garage just looked at what part was in and ordered another.

I think it was most likely a main dealer problem. They are not really interested in 7 year old privately owned cars and really only know how to swap whole units in and out.

For what it's worth I thought the UK insurers, Start rescue (or rather their agents in France), were very good in terms of keeping us informed and organsising things. They just didn't seem to do the logical things just what appeared as standard operating procedures.

@Hells Bells, and @boredsurfin, seem to have had much harder times and @midgetbiker, a real bad time.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@johnE, we've had the fault happen again during other trips, but chose to ignore it, as it usually cleared once we'd stopped the engine and left it. We've now had something done in the UK to stop it happening again, but only after another snowHead in Serre Che found out what the exact fault was.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Hells Bells, unfortunately the whole car shut down and we had to stop. It started again after a few minutes but after a few hundred metres cut a
out again. After a couple of hours it started and was able to drive onto the recovery vehicle. Then wouldn't start again. However I think it did run to enable the French garage to move it about.

of course it ran perfectly in the UK garage. I suspect the massive amounts of spray that day contributed to the problem.

It really was undrivable in France.
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