Saturday, 1 January 2022

New Year, new fancy functions on the Sandero

In my last and only post for 2021 I wrote about activating things that aren't activated on the Dacia Sandero (which also works with the Logan MCV), after I clocked out from work last night I had the OBDII adaptor in the car and an app on my phone, PyClip, and thought 'why not', first thing was the trip computer, finding the option to change it in the app after the car was scanned took a little time, I changed it, confirmed it on the app, the cluster shut down and restarted and beeped, I pressed the button on the wiper stalk and it was there, then I added the clock and the daytime illumination at the same time, also worked.

I have yet to do the engine temperature as I did not see an option for that in PyClip, and may need DDT4ALL to do it, none of the cars I've owned have ever came with a coolant temperature gauge, always just a warning light, but to be honest a cloud of steam coming out of the bonnet is a sure fire giveaway that the engine is overheating.

Another option I saw was something for overspeed alert which I believe sounds an alarm and puts up an icon somewhere that warns you if you're exceeding 70MPH or 120kph(though this is pretty useless on European motorways which have a speed limit of 130kph or approx 80MPH, with the exception of the Autobahn network in Germany which is unrestricted for cars in most parts but usable in the UK and I'd activate the thing just for my partner), this is documented in the handbook but I cannot see a light on the cluster so it must be in the computer display if it is there at all.

I had already tried as soon as the replacement adaptor arrived to do it with DDT4ALL but this would not talk to the car and I may know why but have yet to try, will be trying this shortly after posting this.

Remember that using tools like PyClip (which works on a lot of Renault and Dacia cars and possibly a few Nissan cars as well though I cannot confirm this) or DDT4ALL could cause serious issues with your car if you set a parameter incorrectly, do not change anything if you do not know what it is for.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Dacia Sandero/Logan MCV trip computer and other interesting feature activation

I since replaced my car since I last updated this with a Dacia Sandero 1.0 Ambiance on a 67 plate, this car has a trip computer installed, this should be capable of displaying a lot of information however on my car all I get is the odometer (miles), trip (miles), external temperature (in degrees Celsius) and the option to set the tyre pressure for the TPMS after inflating the tyres to correct pressure, here is the full list of what this computer should do

  • Fuel used since reset button pressed
  • Average fuel consumption since reset button pressed (MPG or L/100km depending on country car was built for and used in)
  • Current fuel consumption (MPG or L/100km)
  • Range (estimated, in miles or km)
  • Distance since reset button pressed
  • Average speed since reset (MPH or km/h
  • Cruise control/speed limiter set speed where this system is fitted to the car
  • Clock
  • Outside temperature (which is active on my car)
  • Coolant temperature (displayed as t -1111 where each bar indicates a range of temperatures)
  • Set Tyre pressure (available on my car as it is fitted with TPMS)
  • time to service/oil change (not sure on my car as I've not hit the service interval yet.
So I want many of these features that I do not have but all is not lost, a piece of software called DDT4ALL and a dongle in the OBDII port can do this, the issue is many of the options in DDT4ALL are in French but there is a good writeup on a German Dacia forum that helps here, and the UK Dacia forum has a handy tip for the trip computer to show MPG you select "distance/volume" in that option.

Other things that can be done is permanent illumination of the instrument cluster, presumably when the car is unlocked and a door opened, ideal as seeing these things in bright sunlight is difficult, activation of the auto rear wiper on reverse can also be done though this is already set on my car, the indicators can be set up so you just tap the stalk up or down to flash the indicator 3 times to indicate a lane change, this is also on on my car, these cars are also fitted with a shift light, usually on but can be deactivated or activated as you wish, the seat belt alarm can also be turned off but I plan to keep this on for now.

The fuel gauge can be calibrated as well though I do not plan to do this as it just works for me, and the service durations can be reset but I would not advise this and cars equipped with stop/start can have this turned off. 

My car has a hill start assist though I am not used to it, it can be turned off with this software but I do not wish to as it does prove handy as I live in a hilly area.

I would not advise using this software lightly as there is a good chance you could break your car if you change something you shouldn't, so use at your own risk

The software is easy enough to find, just search for DDT4ALL Dacia.

These instructions are reported to work with the Sandero (Sandero II in the list of cars, the original Sandero was never sold in the UK), they also should work with the Logan MCV station wagon as this car is the same up to the B pillar.

I will be trying this out in the coming days to get those features I want, I have the software, and just need an adaptor

Saturday, 31 August 2019

driving in Europe the pre-Brexit version

This is generally applicable to UK registered cars driving on the roads of continental Europe, the light conversion notes will also relate to cars registered in the Republic of Ireland as these are also RHD and traffic predominantly keeps left there as per the UK.

So I had to make 2 emergency trips to Europe, my first trip took me briefly through France and the Netherlands, then a longer period of time in both Belgium and Germany, I had already done my research on what I needed to take with me and what I had to do to adapt my car for use out there, so I purchased a Halfords Motoring abroad kit, which came with a first aid kit, a warning triangle a 'GB' sticker so as to identify my car's country of registration, and a pair of 'Eurolites' headlamp beam converters, which I replaced on my second trip as the removal of these is somewhat destructive.

Mandatory in France is breathalysers in the car, Halfords sold these in packs of two and the packaging stated the French police used them, though these will probably never get used I will keep them in the car anyway.

I also purchased a stick-on speed conversion chart as all speeds in Europe are in KPH whereas in the UK it's MPH, though my speedometer is calibrated in both units the KPH reading is actually quite small, another sticker for my windscreen was a pictogram of which side of the road to drive on in Europe, the sticker being reversible for tourists to the UK.

France's motorway network is also heavily tolled, the sign 'Péage' means toll, the tolls work by on entry you get a ticket from the first tollbooth, which is on the left hand side so in a British car it can be quite a chew on, then drive on until you exit the motorway and when you do, you will come to another set of toll booths, where you can pay cash, card, or using an electronic tag called 'telepéage' (an orange 't' is above those lanes in which you can use the tag if you have one), for me the toll between Calais and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport was approximately £20 each way when converted from Euros

Insurance wise your fully comprehensive insurance here will give you third party only out there, however I was able to have equal cover in Europe for less than £5 a month more, you don't need to make special arrangements with your insurer while the UK is still part of the EU, your existing UK photocard driving licence is also valid while the UK is in the EU, no international driving permit is needed while you drive abroad just yet.

Your headlights must be adapted, to do this you will need 'Eurolites' headlight converters that stick onto a prescribed area of the headlight, what this does is reduces light going off to the left from your headlights (left-hand traffic configured cars have the headlight emit more light to the left on dipped beam), these must remain attached to your headlights at all times in Europe (I fitted mine on both occasions once I was on Dover port) so as not to dazzle motorists coming the other way, and must be fitted day and night.

The AA have a comprehensive list of things you'd need to travel on European roads and not fall fould of the law, including information on low emission zones and their names in the country or countries you visit, they also offer breakdown service if you are abroad and your car so unfortunately happens to break down out there.

And finally, fuel, the RON of Unleaded fuels in the continent is similar to the UK (95/98), however the cheapest fuels available are E10, that is they contain no more than 10% Ethanol, in the UK E5 blends are starting to appear, the Ethanol content should not be cause for concern, Toyota recommended for my car that the blend not exceed E10, check your car owners manual before you leave, some places the fuel is a bit cheaper than the UK but others it is not, also pre-pay pumps can authorise up to £100 however you will get back the difference and only pay for the fuel you actually have bought, and it may take a few days in which to return to your account, I cannot comment on Diesel fuels as I have a petrol car and therefore have no need to buy Diesel fuel.

And remember, keep right in continental Europe.

Safe travels

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Welcome to my cars website/blog

This website is associated with my cars channel on YouTube, where I will post all things car related, from repairs and servicing you can do yourself, stereo installation, aftermarket accessory installation, bulb replacement and more is planned as the time goes on.

My own car, a white 2013 Toyota Aygo Mode, will feature in some of the videos, and I am no stranger to the Aygo having owned a 2009 Aygo Platinum as my last car.

Also, a recommendation of mine is get yourself a Haynes manual, you'll find some of the jobs on your car are so easy you can do with simple tools and will save you on garage fees, for the bigger jobs involving the engine and drivetrain leave that to the pros if you are not comfortable or not well equipped to take it on.