Lightning Port

I had to get my iPhone fixed recently. The charging connector would only fit correctly into the socket at very particular angles. This was a touch annoying and it also meant that I couldn’t play music in the car as I use the cable to send information to the stereo. I could connect via the headphone cable but that’s a pain and I can’t use the car stereo to control the iPhone.

Searching online it looked as though I was going to have to post the phone it off to some company and then wait for it to be returned. I was almost looking forward to spending some time without my phone. It would certainly be a bit weird. I know I rely on it a lot for weather, news, email, twitter, remote control, in fact nearly everything tech-wise. I rarely turn on my PC now because I don’t do a great deal on it. I use the PC when I have to type because I don’t like non-tactile typing on phones [such as writing this website].

For some reason I hadn’t thought of looking for shops in town that would fix my phone. I also had found some instructions online showing how to do this by myself but given the equipment I would have to buy and the time and stress of doing this alone in my dining room it just wasn’t worth it. I would have liked to have tried doing it myself but the phone is a precious thing!

I searched Google and the little map bit in the right came up with some possible places in town where I could get the phone fixed. I gave one a call and they seemed confident they could fix my port and also change the battery at the same time. I enquired about warranties and times to fix etc. I was reasonably happy to let them have my phone.

One morning I took my phone in to town and left it with Mobile Street to be fixed. Customer service was good. They seemed like bright people and confident they could fix my phone. It would take about an hour.

Later, I went to collect the phone, pay my bill which was comparable to the online services, and feel connected again. The technicians had managed to fix my phone charging port, replace the battery and also clean some chocolate that had ended up being dropped in the speaker grill.

The charging port works brilliantly. The battery seems better than previously but I haven’t really been able to test it properly as the phone has had a lot of use. The battery dies pretty quick at work because I work in a building that is almost a Faraday cage and my phone is constantly seeking a signal. At weekends the phone has been used to play games a lot and so it is being used intensively. Maybe one day I’ll try not to do much on the phone and see how long the battery lasts.

I, once again, feel connected to the world.

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.