Seized piston on brake caliper

After having my brakes inspected at the garage due to heavy vibrations when I was accelerating / braking. I suspected a warped brake disc or wheel balancing issue


My brother informed me that the piston was seized on my drivers side brake caliper at the front and it would need replacing. This was causing excessive heat when driving and was the cause of the over heating brake pads and vibrations that I felt.


I purchased some replacement brake pads and discs for my car from KNS and a new caliper for a total of £135.39 after giving them my cars registration, talk about a nightmare day


Me and my brother went through early morning to replace the discs and pads, the discs were 100% the right fitment because the part number on them matched a previous set I had bought.


We were unable to check the caliper was right until fitment, but visually inspecting it turned out to be correct. One comment I mentioned was I hope they gave me the right brake pads…. oh low behold me and my bad luck. They weren’t the right pads, they were for my model of car, but not my model of vehicle.


The pads for my car used different types of lugs to hold them in place on the caliper, they’re ones which point down, where the pads I was given were more slot in. I think the pads were for the 110HP model and mine is the 140 as they’re also smaller than the ones I currently use


Basically I had to do a trip to a local car parts store, which luckily is open 7 days per week. Get there early morning with my existing calipers and compared them against the ones I purchased and they were an exact match…. this is exactly the reason why I’m very awkward about VW, if you get the wrong gear your fubar’d


Anyway, in returning back, Steven had already changed the caliper, luckily and the new pads were correct (albeit, didn’t have ABS wear sensor, but a dummy wire was fitted so it didn’t trip the warning alarm).


At a later date I’ll order some parts from a site I’ve used before “Brake parts superstore”. I’ll be rebuilding my existing caliper as a spare for a Youtube Video and Article for the website and posting further detail in the brake article

Views – 1181

Timing belt replacement

Low and behold, after owning the car that had a lowly 32,000 miles on it when I first purchased and “Full” VWSH, my car was approaching the 80,000 mile limit for timing belt replacement

Normally I go through around 1,000 miles per month and at current mileage it would be around summer next year when it needed replacement but I decided to carry out the timing belt replacement early as I’m expecting this winter to be a cold one and don’t want extra strain on the vehicle during the snow. The current mileage on the vehicle is 73,472 before the timing belt replacement. Which means my next one shouldn’t really be due until 140-150,000 miles

One of the main factors I wanted was using genuine parts (ideally) for the replacement. After market parts are generally the same as manufacturers parts just without the stamp on them, but I’d prefer knowing I’m using the genuine kit so I know what I’m getting on the vehicle when it’s repaired.

It took me a while to select someone to carry out the timing belt replacement on my Golf, because I’m fussy. Use the wrong grade of antifreeze or miss changing important parts and your engine is knackered.

Rather than take it to a dealer, I decided to have it carried out at a specialist. After a lot of searching and a LONG email trail (sorry Ben), I decided to have the work carried out at Darcys Garage a VW specialist in County Durham. Their tech worked for Audi for 10 years so has experience working with this vehicle.

The total quote I received for replacement of the following parts was around £400. For one major component on the car, I wasn’t fussed about spending more money. I don’t like “cheap” always when it comes to cars

The job was carried out after dropping the car off early in the morning and finished around 4 hrs later.

The following parts were replaced with genuine VW gear

  • Water pump (the ORIGINAL has a plastic impellor, and so does the genuine one), hopefully I won’t get the common impellor issues, my original one lasted until 75,000 so fingers crossed
  • Timing belt. This included the belt and all tensioners
  • Antifreeze – I don’t know what, but I’m assumming it was correct grade that suits VW spec. I think mine is G80 or G80++
  • Alternator belt

Total price came to £385

The car didn’t feel any different when driving it, how it stands up will only show test of time. If anything fails I’ll be certainly taking it back to the garage to be inspected as the original equipment should last me for the next 7-8 years.

At the moment I’m happy with the work received and will recommend Darcy’s garage as it was friendly, fast and great value for money. My car will stand the test of time to find out.


Only downside is the car parking, is VERY limited

I’ll be posting a more in-depth information on my website, including pictures of the equipment and part numbers used. I couldn’t keep the original water pump as it had to go to VW, but it seemed to be in very good condition, no issues with it detaching from the impellor spline. Tried to get a pic but my phone was up the duff.



Views – 1142

Repair a broken wordpress with shared hosting

Recently I migrated to a shared hosting connection for my entire website, one of the problems I encountered was that it broken all of the links to my MySQL databases

When I moved the directories and files, all I was consistently receiving was database connection not available.

The problem you have with shared hosting is that all the MySQL databases must be separated. So to do this, all hosting providers give your MySQL database a leading connection.

In the form of myself, my host gives all my database names andrewho_ (then the database name)
For my databases, they were called wordpress and zencart.

My new MySQL databases are called andrewho_wordpress and andrewho_zencart. The problem is you need to repair the connection when migrating to shared hosting connection with wordpress and it’s actually really easy

Here is how to fix the SQL database problems

1) Carry out an SQL dump of the entire database
You need to back up your entire existing database, for me it was hosted on my home PC. I had the MySQL Workbench installed, so it’s just a case of selecting the “Export” option, ticking your database. Giving it a name to identify it (ending in .sql) and saving to your computer

2) Create a new database from your hosting provider for the directory where you want to install it
Your wordpress needs to be reimported with phpmyadmin to recreate all the tables and data

3) Modify your .SQL file (so it doesn’t create a new database)
One of the major problems I encountered was every time I uploaded the file, it failed. This was because my user account didn’t have permissions to create databases with the names given by the SQL files. This is because you need to reimport the data with a modified SQL file using the new details

The quick way of doing this is to open your SQL file with Notepad++ or any text editor and comment out the lines and change the database names. I have given an example of this below so it’s easier to explain.

USE `wordpress`;

Note the highlighted entries, you need to comment out (–) the option to “create” the database… in this example it wants to create a database called “wordpress” (it’s already created)

Originally it was called “wordpress”, you need to change the database name so it knows where to import the data
USE `andrewho_wordpress`;

I had to modify both my files when uploading the data other wise it break the database.

4) Once you have uploaded the files, you need to modify the wp-config.php file otherwise it will just try fail to connect to the database. This is in the following directory

Here is an example of the details on my directory…..
// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘andrewho_wordpress‘);

/** MySQL database username */
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘andrewho_myusername (eg root, admin)‘);

/** MySQL database password */
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘My secret password‘);

/** MySQL hostname */
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);

Views – 838


After upgrading the HDD’s in my existing PC to a 2TB Sata HDD. I had a lot of spare IDE drives (totally approximately 1.4TB raw storage).

I needed a useful for them, so (after constantly thinking about it) decided to build myself a Media Centre PC to host all my home music and files on it. For the project I selected to build an XBMC Gotham HTPC (Home Theatre PC). I’ve always liked the XBMC software and it looks really tidy. Best of all it’s free.

Firstly I set about downloading the ISO file for the current release of XBMC Gotham. I would need this to install the software on the machine for hosting the files.

After installing the software on the computer, I had to install the disks. This is where I encountered a few problems, I will be documenting these on my main website under the PC building section as there are too many things to name here and wanted to make a full guide.

Now I have a working XBMC PC hosting all my music, movies, TV shows which I can watch locally or over the LAN

Views – 1122

AA Membership

OK, so a thing I always forget about each year is calling up about my AA Membership.

Every year I get a renewal quote £20 higher than the last year and I look at the overall total and think how much of a rip off that figure will do to my bank account.

The trick with AA is that it works similar to car insurance, with your AA Membership, you accrue an effective no claims bonus. My renewal quote was £210 (10-year member) and I asked them to renew it at a discounted price. To which I received a new price of £135

Now I know over a year my initial breakdown cost works out at £0.57 per day, but with a discount it works out at £0.36 per day. Every little helps


The trick to remember is that AA like most companies need to increase their profits, if you look at your membership it will bump up every year. If I cancelled it, sods law I’d need it. I’d rather have the peace of mind and low cost. If you have a membership however unless you specifically call them up, they’ll make you pay the extra.


Always remember to try and penny pinch when you can. At the end of the day, it’s not your duty to feel guilty about hurting the AA’s profits. Your concern is to make sure you can get home safely.

Views – 1090

Virtual Hosts

Every now and then I come across a stupidly annoying problem with my website and it’s configuration before I can move on. This time it’s virtual hosts. Apache has the ability to allow you to host mobile domain names from the same directory and web server using the virtual hosts configuration.


I’m currently at this stage. I own more than one domain name and it’s annoying me.

I’m currently experiencing two problems with the domain

  • Apache not “serving” the index page for the virtual host directory. All it is serving is blank pages.

Initially I thought this was a permission problem. I later identified it and remembered it was the cause of problem#2 which is why I gave up in the first place. For reference, in the httpd.conf file there is a section called Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf this must be enabled (remove #) otherwise it won’t load the files

  • Apache now serves the home pages and finds them, but ignores the main /www root of the web server and goes straight to the virtual host directory

This is the current problem I’m encountering. Once I work out the virtual hosts configuration issue, I will post an update for future reference if I need to go back to it. Or help someone else out

I did a quick google search and find this post. Free link.


I’m currently researching it

Views – 1109

Oil change VW Golf MK5

After carrying out my last oil change on my VW Golf MK5 when I switched from flexible servicing to fixed servicing, I was prompted again to carry out another service on the Golf, it’s long overdue to be honest, but decided best to get it out the way incase of any winter weather coming in.


The VW Golf wasn’t treat to some low quality oil, I gave it some Mobil1 5w/30 ESP, low ash formula really good for the engine and a decent make. Volkswagen are very stringent when it comes to using specific oils for their car. Quite frankly I wouldn’t use any other cruddy oil anyway for the Golf. I prefer some decent stuff, I’d love Silkolene, but can’t justify the price when carrying out an Oil Change on the Golf.


I documented this procedure in a written up guide in the automotive section of my website. The downloadable link is available. I also uploaded a youtube video showing you how to reset the service indicator warning using VAGCOM

Views – 2257


Overtime you may have heard constant references to “madbid” and how you can earn items at a fraction of the price of their real value. Is this possible at all, it’s certainly possible, you just need a bit of luck when using the madbid website.


The way the system works is that you pay for credits to bid on auction and then you are doing a live auction like eBay for the item. Each time you bid it allocates a set figure going up in pennies until everyone stops bidding.


So if 1000 people are watching an auction and each time someone “bids” when the timer reaches zero, it adds a few more seconds to the clock uses a few more credits and starts the ball rolling again. So when people finally win the item people have used maybe a few hundred to a few thousand credits (say £25-200) each per person, and then paid for the price they won the item at (say £50) then delivery. Madbid certainly doesn’t lose out, their site works in the same principals as the high APR companies on credit cards. They make a decent % on each sale (probably a few thousand %) so either way they don’t lose money

If you’re willing to take a gamble why not try out madbid for yourself and see if you can make a deal or two


Please note the above links use my referral code, it doesn’t harm you. Just helps me. So I’d appreciate if you register on the site you retain my code 🙂


I’ll make a post at a later date if I win any good stuff for cheap 🙂

Thank you

Views – 1379

The Last of Us : Left Behind DLC

On the 14th of February. Naughtydog producers released a new DLC add on which was 5 gigs in size for their much liked game “The Last of Us”. The DLC was entitled “Left Behind” and goes deeper into the game of Ellie and her friend Riley Abel.
last of us dlc

The DLC adds much needed information to the storyline of game but it’s best to have completed the game itself before playing this as you will understand the game better and be more familiar.


Overall, I found the game quite enjoyable, albeit REALLY short in terms of a DLC add on. The first time I played it, I completed it in around 3 hrs on normal mode. I then played it in hardcore survival mode, and completed the game itself in around 1 hr. It really is that short, I just skipped all the cutscenes.


The DLC focusses more on a filler gap and how Joel survived his injuries. If you are asking yourself what injuries, then why are you reading this? Play the game first!


There’s not really that much fighting in the game other than a couple of scenes where you have to play through the game, if you play in the hardcore mode of the left behind dlc you really need to remember to use bricks. There’s not enough ammunition to justify your survival in the game


I’ll do a playthrough for my youtube channel at a later date to show this new game. It’s fairly basic but in terms of playthrough was still enjoyable like the original


Views – 981

Gambling with Betfred

Every now and then I like to try out new forms of gambling and one of the sites I like to use a lot of is Betfred. It’s a good site, just watch out for all the welcome bonuses. I made that mistake. It’s best to start off with small amounts and work your way from there.


Now, my experience with this site, is it’s sort of OK and user friendly. Although at times the menu options can be a little confusing. I tend to like the virtual games more like roulette and greyhounds, mainly because I’m impatient. Roulette is definately my fav game though, just always remember never to bet more than you are willing to lose


Views – 1166

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