The speedometer in my car over-reads. The car, named Bora Horza Gobuchul, has been with me for a while and I remember being on a motorway thinking that I’ll settle at 60m.p.h. as I wasn’t in a rush. After a while I was being overtaken by HGVs and that was quite disturbing given they have a 58m.p.h. speed limit. So, I got a speed application downloaded from the iTunes store and tested my speed using the phones GPS signal.

The result, my speed, according to my phone, was 54m.p.h.

That explained a lot. I had never tested the speedo in the Beast, there never really seemed to be a need to do it. So I set about testing the readings my car was giving me and it turns out that my speedometer over-reads my speed by 10%.

So, if the car is indicating 70m.p.h. then I’m really going 63/64 m.p.h.

My understanding is that speedometers are allowed, legally, to over-read the speed but NEVER under-read the speed. Because of this rule that they are NOT permitted to under-read means that a tolerance HAS to be included for under-reading. It would be costly for manufacturers to produce speedometers that are “exact”.

So, a car indicating a speed of 70m.p.h. could be doing anything in the range of 63 to 70 m.p.h.

Having tested this and observed the traffic around me and used various different speed testing apps I have now adjusted my speed accordingly. This effect could also be deliberate to try and make Prius drivers drive a little slower and therefore save fuel. You use approximately twice the fuel to travel at 70 than you would at 50m.p.h.

Now, here’s the rub:

My car has a “computer” as they used to be called and it tells me average speed, m.p.g. etc. Over the summer I reset this to zero while travelling on a clear motorway. I set the car’s cruise control to a steady speed of 77m.p.h. and reset the trip computer. Once the computer had enough data it flashed up my average speed: 70m.p.h! This continued over the next ten miles of travel before I had to slow down.

It appears that the car’s trip computer reads or reports the correct speed.

This confuses me. The trip computer either uses a different source for its data OR it knows the correct speed from the existing source. I don’t understand why either of these would be designed like that. The car has a mechanical device for reading the speed OR it could use the GPS system but why over complicate things?

I don’t understand my car.

More Comparisons

Having calculated [or rather tested] that my house uses 2kWh of energy per day when nearly everything is turned off I thought I ought to work out how far that would drive my car.

In this communication I wrote about the energy usage of my car, Bora Horza Gobuchul. I use 50kWh of energy for every 100km I drive, on average.

So, the energy I use to power my house; the fridge, a few clocks and the ADS-B receiver, would drive my car about 4km. That’s not quite enough to get me to work, but it would get me to the nearest supermarket.


I’m trying to monitor my car’s efficiency. It’s not the easiest to compare to the Beast because I didn’t really keep records of fuel consumption for that car. From memory I could get about 50mpg on a motorway and about 35mpg through the week when I’d be driving in and around town a lot.

This display shows that over 72 miles of driving which included motorway, dual carriage way, town and country I got around 56mpg.

I will do a big run one day and see what I get.

The main thing about this car is that it makes you very aware of how efficiently you are driving and so your driving behaviour changes.

Travelling The South or Why Isn’t Anything Open?

After seeing Rogue One (again) Mr O and I decided to visit a military museum. Rather, what we did was use the POI thingy on the Sat Nav and it came up with the Military Museum in Aldershot. I’d never been to this garrison town before and it is something to behold! Plenty of red signs everywhere.

We journeyed from Guildford to Aldershot. The road was a curious one making its route atop a ridge.

Journey Part 1
Journey Part 1

After arriving at the museum we noticed the gates were locked shut. We weren’t that far from a set of armed guards securing the base itself so we tried a search for something else. This time we checked the website to make sure it was open. Off we set for Tangmere Museum. It would appear the Mr O misread the website as it clearly states it opens in February. But, we weren’t aware of that and so drove to Tangmere near Goodwood.

Journey Part 2
Journey Part 2

Along the way we saw many lovely countryside sites with layers of fog which, if we had a decent camera, would have been great photos. It was very picturesque. Except for one bit. We had seen a race course on the top of a hill and we were discussing whether it was Goodwood or not and BLAM. The sun was directly in our eyes along the line of the road. I came to a halt. I couldn’t see shit. The sun was literally in line with the road.

Blinded (highlighted bit)

We had to try and drive for about 200m without being able to see. I found that if I moved my head so the door pillar blocked the sun I could just make out the left and right sides of the road. I still couldn’t see anything in front but we ambled along and hoped that someone else would stop if they were coming the other way. It was a curious experience and one I don’t really want again. We should have made a note of the time because there would be a decent set of mathematics to be done to check where the sun was and how much it aligned with the road. If I had the inclination we could probably work out where and what time just from the facts I have already said.


Another set of locked gates indicated closure. Bugger. All we wanted now was a cup of tea and some cake. We knew Goodwood circuit was nearby and so we drove to that. Everything there was also closed. The day had turned out to be a series of closed places that we wanted to visit. We had to drive back to (near) Reigate for a cuppa.

Journey Part 3
Journey Part 3

The journey itself was fun, interesting and a delight. It’s just a shame everything we were trying to see was closed.

Hacking The Car

I recently purchased a new (ish) car. The name of the new vehicle has yet to be decided  but some things did need to be sorted out.

As a safety feature the car beeps an alarm inside the car while in reverse. There aren’t parking sensors so this was purely to warn the driver that you aren’t going to move forward when you depress the go pedal. This beeping was annoying. Googling around soon led to two potential ways to fix it.

If the Prius is pre-2010 then you can use the following method:

Step 1: Depress the brake pedal and hold it there.
Step 2: Press the Start/Stop button to turn on the engine.
Step 3: Push the Odometer button. Push the button on your dash designated Trip/Odometer until “ODO” is displayed on the screen. If it is already displaying this, you will have to cycle through the options to refresh it by pressing the button a total of three times.
Step 4: Press the Start/Stop button. Press the Start/Stop button to turn off the engine of your Prius.
Step 5: Press the Start/Stop button again. With your foot still on the brake, press the Start/Stop button again, and your engine will restart.
Step 6: Push and hold the Odometer button: Push the Trip/Odometer button again and do not release it.
Step 7: Press the park button. While still depressing the Trip/Odometer button, put your Prius in reverse, then immediately push the Park button. Do not release the Trip/Odometer button until this is complete.
Step 8: Push the Trip/Odometer button. Instead of the usual miles traveled on the odometer display, there should be the text “b on.” Push the Trip/Odometer button until the dashboard displays the text “b off.”
Step 9: Press the Start/Stop button again. Press the Start/Stop button again to turn your Prius’ engine off. The reverse beep is now disabled, and you will not hear it again in future trips.

This, I think, is the car equivalent of ctrl-alt-del and using reg-edit and BIOS simultaneously. Now, I can follow instructions, but I wasn’t looking forward to doing this. My car is registered as a “59” but apparently it was a 2010 model as when I looked under the dash there was a OBD2 connector.

It turns out that car manufacturers have standardised the laptop connections to the car and its CPU. This makes sense and it also allows people to connect their own devices and customise or fix or break their own car.

So, I invited a friend over who tries does hack his own car and attempt to improve or fix it. He has a Bluetooth and WiFi connector and I downloaded the Carista app on my phone. After connecting the adaptor to the car and then getting the phone secure connection running the app decided to run some diagnostics tests.

After a short while I was able to pay for a week’s subscription to the Carista app and then able to change the settings.

My car no longer constantly beeps when reversing. It beeps once. Which is good.

I also turned off the seat belt alarm. That would beep constantly too if the driver didn’t have a seat belt on. I always wear my seat belt so this noise isn’t needed either.

Weekend Musings

It was a weekend of many happenings. I usually try to keep weekend happenings to a minimum and then I can use all the spare time to see a film, exercise, mess around with technology of various forms and play the PlayStation.

This weekend was the end of my relationship with the Beast. But, it was also the start of my relationship with the Not-Beast, which has yet to be named.

Not The Beast
Not The Beast

There’re a lots of differences between a diesel turbo six speed manual and a petrol hybrid automatic! I will probably bore you with these over time so I won’t go into the detail here. My main current issue is that I don’t know how to hill start this car. Oh, and sometimes I forget to take the “handbrake” off because in this thing it’s a “parking brake” and operated by the left foot.

The new car isn’t named yet, but will be soon. Suggestions welcome to @iparish. This purchase does now mean that the only manual driving experience I will get is either the school minibuses [limited to 100kph] or my Playstation. I’ve upgrade to a six speed manual stick for the PS4. I had been pretty good at heel-and-toeing and matching engine revs to new gears when selected. Now I’m worried my left foot will whither away through lack of use in the new car.

I spent some time in Essex this weekend and I can never be sure if I feel like I am home or whether Kent is now my home. I’ve been down here mostly since 1996 and so while not all of my life it certainly consists of quite a bit of my life. I don’t think I identify as an Essex-boy any more, but I’m not sure I was to start with.

I had a very nice run along the A1060 while in Essex.

It was good until the last mile when my left knee decided it didn’t really want to run and all I could do was hobble along keeping that leg straight. While it continued to ache through the day it turns out that a day later the upper part of my right foot hurts a lot climbing stairs. It is quite possible that my body is starting to fall apart due to age and wear and tear.

While running I spent some time directly under the flight path for the approach to Stansted Airport and I have to say I stopped twice to watch the aircraft fly overhead. It’s a lovely sight. I’m not sure why I like planes but I do.

EGSS Approach
EGSS Approach

Since I got home I have learnt of an update to No Man’s Sky. I am looking forward to seeing what that is like. I really enjoy a good hour of time exploring planets. I’ve tweeted a few things from this game, it’s nicely relaxing [as long as you don’t die].

So I am currently waiting to decide a new name for the car and enjoying the knowledge that I should get 70mpg, because, you know, the planet is fucked.

Wrong and Right

Spot the difference between these two pictures [the lights being on is not the one I’m after]. The top picture indicates a very bad way to leave the car.


The following picture shows the correct way to leave a car. There is NEVER any excuse for leaving the wipers in any position other than STOP.


It’s A Passat But Not Original

I like my car. It has enough power to be interesting and yet is also comfortable. It is rather family orientated as it’s an estate and full of old sweets and cake crumbs.

Just for fun, here’s a list of things that I’ve had changed on the car because bits broke [I am not listing things you would replace regularly]:

  • Boot door
  • Rear windscreen wiper motor
  • Front headlamp units
  • Rear light units
  • n/s wing mirror (x2)
  • n/s cv boot (x2)
  • both front springs (blame a pot hole)
  • both rear door locks
  • radiator
  • fuel injector on number 4 cylinder
  • Front VW badge

The boot currently contains two bikes, a bass guitar and some shopping bags. What else would you expect?

The wing mirror has some interesting stories [sorry, I wrote interesting, but I meant boring]. The first wing mirror replacement was needed after an incident on Christmas Eve of 2013. There had been storms the day before and various trees were knocked into Pilgrims Way near where I live. Someone had been along and cleared the trees from the road and made the journey passable. Unfortunately at one spot the tree trunk still stuck into the road by about 15cm and perfectly at wing mirror height. The first time I drove this road I noticed this and managed to avoid the tree. However, the next time I drove this way it was dark and my headlights were pretty poor [they’ve since been replaced]. As I came to the point where the tree was sticking out into the road there was a lorry driving towards me and I couldn’t move out to avoid the trunk [to be honest I had forgotten the trunk was sticking out]. I was driving the car in one direction and my wing mirror hit the truck which stubbornly refused to give way or move. My wing mirror was ripped off. A few days later as I drove past this spot I noticed a lot of wing mirrors in the hedgerow, probably in the order of 10s. There were quite a few cars in the village with their nearside mirror broken, I think that tree trunk claimed a number of kills for the week that it stuck into the road.

The next wing mirror I had to replace was because someone drove down the street too fast and clipped my mirror, it smashed the glass and the holding mechanism and so needed replacing again.

The front springs decided to die after I hit a pothole with the near side wheel and this broke the nearside front spring. I didn’t notice this at the time as the car was held up by the off side spring, although I did notice that the car was handling slightly strange. After about a day the off side spring broke on the way to work and for the last few kilometres I was driving without any suspension on the front. The car did not like the speed humps near my place of work and it didn’t like turning corners. It did look rather cool though as the front end was lowered by a few inches! A truck was called and the car got fixed [for a very tidy sum – from the garage’s point of view].

There are a few things I am expecting to need replacing over the next year or so [although I will get a newer car in 18 months so I am hoping that these bits last that time].

  • Driver’s door locking mechanism
  • Driver’s door window (it doesn’t work which makes getting car park tickets interesting)
  • n/s differential or front n/s bearing
  • Air intake trunking

Sometimes I hear a new rattle or noise from the car but I fix that by turning the stereo up a little bit more! That way my car is always working properly.

Water Ice

I find the water ice crystals on the roof of my car yesterday morning rather attractive.


This photograph isn’t a brilliant representation of what I saw, so, I shall try again to take a picture next time the car is covered in a beautiful blanket.



I Don’t Get It

About five years ago there used to be three or four burnt out cars by the footpaths surrounding my village. The were rusty and were old, plants had grown in them and I couldn’t see a track or pathway to get them there. At some point there was a clean up and the footpaths and surrounds were back to a more natural look.

This morning on my run up the Downs and down them again I found a freshly burnt out car. It was still smoking. I don’t understand why someone would do this. I really don’t. It’s not that I care for cars, I just don’t get why you drive a car to a relatively quiet spot and set light to it. Seems pretty shit to me.

Here’s the route I ran:


Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun


Here’s the car I found along Common Road at the top of the Downs.

Burnt Out

Possibly a Vauxhall Corsa. I don’t really care.