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Only you can decide whether spending more money is throwing good after bad, but I think if it was me I'd try one more round of fixes ...

I'd be very cautious of jusdging a place by its hourly rate, especially going somewhere based on a low rate. The country garage I used to go to charged 35 GBP + Vat per hour & were reasonably competant but nothing special, but the next time I went it had changed ownership & mechanics and the price had gone up to 49 GBP + VAT /hour - might as well have burnt the money as they were such bungle***** the work had to be repeated elsewhere. 2nd country garage (now folded) in same village, same hourly rate and used to be competant, but the older mechanics retired & they got a total prat in reception who thought he knew better and your car wouldn't get exactly the work that you'd specified done, often this wouldn't fix the problem.
The place I go now charges 95 GBP + Vat an hour which sounds horrific, but they only charge half the hours I'd expect to be needed to get the job done. I've recommended them to friends/family, some with exotica & classics & they've always been willing to take difficult/fiddly jobs on.

Sadly they're in south cambs so no help to you at all :(

Yes it does sound like timing chain issues from what I've read. From what I've seen it needs specialist locking kit & experience, hope someone can give you a recommendation :)
 

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if were me would put on ebay as spares repairs make note of all that the car has had done in past as long as have receipts in the history to prove it, who ever done the engine rebuild i feel was a proper muppet if never replaced the timing chain at same time,, going by all you have said timing chain would be the first thing that would be wrong with it, trouble is as i keep writing on here running a car for 40k with a out of time timing chain eats the 02 sensors and cats and also hurts the engine big time,,
spares repair it move on,, as its a auto with north of 100k the gearbox will be soon your next very big bill the autos dont do big mileages
 

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My Mum has a 2012 (2nd facelift) Aygo, my observations from driving it a bit & cleaning it:

- it's a bugger to clean properly as it has more nooks, crannies, channels etc than any car has a right to

- it's been back for leaking tailgate & recall on rear window hinge failure

- apart from routine servicing the only things it's needed are an exhaust, tyres & wipers

- 1L, 3 cylinder performance is just about adequate around town, although it does sound like a 4 cylinder engine that's "missing" on one, and you have to be in a gear lower than usual. It's fun chucking it around roundabouts etc., but as soon as you get out on higher limit roads you're very aware it's a small, underpowered car, I wouldn't really want to take it far on a motorway for instance. Shorter wheelbase & narrower track makes it far more jouncy than a Mini.

- the car is built down to a (low) price & IMO the interior has suffered, it looks nice enough but there's a lot of exposed metal & feels a little cheap & sounds very clangy when you unlock it or close a door.

- boot is tiny, 5 door option makes it easier to carry passengers


TBH not a bad choice, compared to a Mini there's less refinement, less character ... and less problems.
 

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My Mum has a 2012 (2nd facelift) Aygo, my observations from driving it a bit & cleaning it:

- it's a bugger to clean properly as it has more nooks, crannies, channels etc than any car has a right to

- it's been back for leaking tailgate & recall on rear window hinge failure

- apart from routine servicing the only things it's needed are an exhaust, tyres & wipers

- 1L, 3 cylinder performance is just about adequate around town, although it does sound like a 4 cylinder engine that's "missing" on one, and you have to be in a gear lower than usual. It's fun chucking it around roundabouts etc., but as soon as you get out on higher limit roads you're very aware it's a small, underpowered car, I wouldn't really want to take it far on a motorway for instance. Shorter wheelbase & narrower track makes it far more jouncy than a Mini.

- the car is built down to a (low) price & IMO the interior has suffered, it looks nice enough but there's a lot of exposed metal & feels a little cheap & sounds very clangy when you unlock it or close a door.

- boot is tiny, 5 door option makes it easier to carry passengers


TBH not a bad choice, compared to a Mini there's less refinement, less character ... and less problems.
another joint project with psa ie Citroen and pug same car different plastics mainly, see plenty with actuator for semi auto clutch packs fail, clutch wear around 80k built for a price cheap city car
 

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The Aygo in my opinion has nice go kart handling like the Mini but feels really low on power

If they could put even the modest engine from my R50 Mini in an Aygo that would make such a good cheap car but guess it’s because of emissions laws

I agree would get the R53
 

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I am not being a troll, but an R53 is not superior to an R56 or R57 IMHO, you either look after your car and realise that at this age parts will fail. I have had some excellent classic cars that would never have survived without constant maintenance. I am sick fed up with the attitude that any car that has a fault is a pup, they are all pups if they are not maintained. The R53 collapsed as much as the R56 and 57 and avoiding engine failure is the owners fault unless they have no car history and then each is a gamble. Every second hand car is a gamble IMHO and it is always sad to read these stories but please do not disregard a generation 2 car down to the internets constant pleasure in only ever reporting faults, nobody ever comes on a website to say my car is fab and has never broken down... the major faults are due to MINI/BMW being in denial that thermostat housings, timing chains, water pumps, vacuum pumps are NOT for life!!! these have always been maintenance items on ANY car so why do folks think that a MINI is any different? To believe the nonsense printed on the gearbox that it is for life oil is another example of tosh. When they say for life the mean 'when it destroys your engine' because of naivety... follow old and necessary regimes for all car parts, this is not rocket science.
 

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I am not being a troll, but an R53 is not superior to an R56 or R57 IMHO, you either look after your car and realise that at this age parts will fail. I have had some excellent classic cars that would never have survived without constant maintenance. I am sick fed up with the attitude that any car that has a fault is a pup, they are all pups if they are not maintained. The R53 collapsed as much as the R56 and 57 and avoiding engine failure is the owners fault unless they have no car history and then each is a gamble. Every second hand car is a gamble IMHO and it is always sad to read these stories but please do not disregard a generation 2 car down to the internets constant pleasure in only ever reporting faults, nobody ever comes on a website to say my car is fab and has never broken down... the major faults are due to MINI/BMW being in denial that thermostat housings, timing chains, water pumps, vacuum pumps are NOT for life!!! these have always been maintenance items on ANY car so why do folks think that a MINI is any different? To believe the nonsense printed on the gearbox that it is for life oil is another example of tosh. When they say for life the mean 'when it destroys your engine' because of naivety... follow old and necessary regimes for all car parts, this is not rocket science.
you have just taken all that totally the wrong way, for a start r53 compared to a 1.4 r56 is a no brainer r53 all day long,,, as a super charged performance car is a totally different thing, the question was not is a old car like r53 better than all r56 etc,, it was compared to a 1.4 automatic mini and someones budget,, budget being the bit that defines it,,, ie r56 cooper s for a good one around £3500 where a early r53 can be found for under £1500 with miles on it,
i would always tell people to go buy old evo's and supra turbo and nissan skylines etc as all these do is keep running and go up in price, but that wont fit some people
 

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you have just taken all that totally the wrong way, for a start r53 compared to a 1.4 r56 is a no brainer r53 all day long,,, as a super charged performance car is a totally different thing, the question was not is a old car like r53 better than all r56 etc,, it was compared to a 1.4 automatic mini and someones budget,, budget being the bit that defines it,,, ie r56 cooper s for a good one around £3500 where a early r53 can be found for under £1500 with miles on it,
i would always tell people to go buy old evo's and supra turbo and nissan skylines etc as all these do is keep running and go up in price, but that wont fit some people
yip, totally wrong, can't argue with that. Sticking with my advice though but I should read the whole post before jumping in.
 

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yip, totally wrong, can't argue with that. Sticking with my advice though but I should read the whole post before jumping in.
thst's ok bud easy thing to do as most gen 1 cars slag off the newer cars for a past time while their gen one cars fail apart around them just the same but do have a better timing chain but tensioner is a bit iffy on them, i like r56 onwards cars on one level but also like the gen 1 cars on a different level they really are so different,, the gen one is so much like the mg zr in it makings but its old hat these days,, but o do believe the r53 will become a collectors car one day a bit like toyota supra has big time as will not be many super charger small cars around,, its horses for courses, at end of day they all cost money
 

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Thanks... I've looked after my R56 as best I could re oil & coolant topped up, regular servicing and repairs. Short of being a mechanic and knowing that timing chains are meant to be replaced, I'm not sure what else I've done wrong aside from been an idiot in not checking the service hx 4 years ago. It's an old car - parts fail of course...

In other news, the garage who did the recent MOT didn't give me an emissions print-out. Upon request today they said they couldn't give us one because the reading was 'too high' it broke the machine! Does this sound odd to anyone else?
if its over loaded with oil then can cause a problem with machine,
with this in mind i would have it compression tested, oil pressure tested, and remove the rocker cover and look down at chain tensioner if can see more that 14mm of the plunger chain totally going to slip at any moment, if its 10mm its stiff very worn out and still needs replacing,,,
but before spending money on it need to know if its burning excess oil for rings damaged before throwing money at it,, i know its a pain as will need to spend money before knowing how bad it is,, its very hard for me to know what state it is in from the other side of a internet connection so can only go on what you write as a guide
 

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Only you can decide whether spending more money is throwing good after bad, but I think if it was me I'd try one more round of fixes ...

I'd be very cautious of jusdging a place by its hourly rate, especially going somewhere based on a low rate. The country garage I used to go to charged 35 GBP + Vat per hour & were reasonably competant but nothing special, but the next time I went it had changed ownership & mechanics and the price had gone up to 49 GBP + VAT /hour - might as well have burnt the money as they were such bungle***** the work had to be repeated elsewhere. 2nd country garage (now folded) in same village, same hourly rate and used to be competant, but the older mechanics retired & they got a total prat in reception who thought he knew better and your car wouldn't get exactly the work that you'd specified done, often this wouldn't fix the problem.
The place I go now charges 95 GBP + Vat an hour which sounds horrific, but they only charge half the hours I'd expect to be needed to get the job done. I've recommended them to friends/family, some with exotica & classics & they've always been willing to take difficult/fiddly jobs on.

Sadly they're in south cambs so no help to you at all :(

Yes it does sound like timing chain issues from what I've read. From what I've seen it needs specialist locking kit & experience, hope someone can give you a recommendation :)
Hi T_T_L, I'm also in S Cambs and I have recently had major issues with a garage that advertises itself as one of the best - they have a 'Govt contract' and reside in very 'professional' buildings etc.. I would welcome your recommendation! Thanks!
 
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