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Audi Car service Repairs Transport travel Vintage cars

One or two jobs done and the old girl starts to feel better….updated!

So during the dreaded lockdown I have been able to make very limited progress with the S4. Firstly I replaced the car battery as I noticed that the one on the car was too small (physically it did not fill the battery space, which is on the front bulkhead, as well as charge wise it was only 75Ah whereas the orignal is 95Ah) so I ordered a new Varta. Coincidentally I then discovered that the battery is identical to the one on my Vito van which I had replaced recently, so I managed to get one trade for “only” 130 Euro.

Next problem, the car started to leave the fans running when I switched off the engine, which flattened the battery overnight. Hmmmm. I then discovered, having tried to removed various fuses, that this car has side radiators as well as the usual front ones and no fuse would stop these fans, I had to disconnect the battery terminal every time I parked the car, hardly ideal.

So I got into contact with the nice guys at a8parts in the UK and they agreed that this was likely a failed ECU thingy which, being located under the car, will often fail on these cars ‘cos they are exposed to all the worst of the weather and road grit. So one of those arrived and I hope to get it fitted this week so news to follow, I sure hope that this will sort this problem!!

Next, the wheels. The lovely Audi 18″ alloys were looking a bit tired, not suprising with almost 200k kms under her belt. So I took the 4 wheels up to a local place, they removed the old tyres and rubbed down and painted the wheels in a lovely grey, which is called Gun Metal Grey from the Fiat paint range. In the meantime I ordered 4 new Conti tyres, and this week I had the new tyres fitted onto the new-looking wheels and then refitted them to the car. Wow, progress.

I finally managed to start the car up today and take her out of her 10 week garage/prison (covered in dust of course), up to my local car expert. Tomorrow he should fit the ECU to sort out the fans that won’t stop, and then I also gave him a full set of new Brembo discs and pads so I truly hope that I will soon have a great car!!

UPDATE today we managed to fit the ECU and YESSSSSSS the problem seems to be resolved and the fans no longer run all the time, at last!!

Some work in progress pictures follow:

Here is the electronic thing to be replaced on the car
Categories
Amalfi Coast Car service Scooter Transport travel Vintage cars

You just godda see what this man can do with a damaged car or van or whatever…….

I recently started a part time job at a local bodyshop. My mates are convinced that my lady pays him to pay me just to get me out of the house, which of course could be true but I don’t really care cos the experience is amazing.

Mr Cioffi has been plying his trade in the Ravello area for about 45 years and he is still going strong at almost 70. He is one of the few remaining craftsmen true to that name and he has repaired more cars than I have had hot dinners for sure. Now I am starting to understand something of what he does and I help out in the office, collecting and delivering cars and customers as well as visiting scrap yards to collect spares.

His work has changed dramatically over the years, he tells me. In the old days his customers used to keep their cars for many many years and so would come to him every few years for some repairs and even to have a new colour! These days instead most of us keep our cars for a much shorter time so the work is now only repairs. Also, airbags greatly complicate the job these days as a car can be written off if too many air bags have exploded, as the cost of replacement air bags is prohibitive.

I am also now his paint mixer, another really interesting job. But first lets see some photos I have taken recently…

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Amalfi Coast Car rental Hotels Hotels, villas, appartments and B&B Repairs Scooter Transport travel

We have some great cars for sale here in Ravello and…we can organise storage as well as long-term “rental”…..

Here at Autocioffi (see us at www.autocioffi.it) we have a super premises which used to be a paper mill (so it is next to a small river) and we have 3 floors of covered parking space. We generally have about 20 of our own cars here and we have space for at least another 30.

Our 20 ish cars are all up for sale on our website and we also do servicing, tyre fitting, maintenance as well as bodywork repairs and painting so we are fully equipped to look after all makes of cars and vans, and we even collect and return cars in the surrounding area. We are well-known by all of the local hotels so many tourists come here too, if they need any car-type help.

We have recently devised a really cunning scheme. If you plan to visit Italy for an extended length of time (minimum for instance 6 months) and you need wheels, we can help. See our list of cars for sale, we specialise in small Fiat, VW and Renault but we generally have a variety of cars from a 2 seater up to a SUV. The retail prices are all shown. So what can we offer?? You come and see the car and try it, see what you think. Try more than one or two, no problem.

If you find a car you like, you buy it, simple no? Well sure, but here is our proposal. You tell us how long you wanna keep it, you must insure the car, and when you bring the car back to us PROVIDING OF COURSE THE CONDITION IS AS IT WAS then we buy it back, LESS an agreed rental fee. How much? Well that will depend on the value of the car you choose plus the proposed rental period. Contact us for a quote.

Check out Avis and Hertz, of course they will provide a much newer car BUT they will charge you about 1200 Euro per month (category F), and from Ravello you must go and get the car from Salerno. And we can also offer car or motorbike storage here at very reasonable rates too.

Clever idea number two: We have plenty of secure parking spaces where you can leave your car (or motorbike or scooter or whatever) on a daily weekly or even monthly basis. Parking in this area (Ravello/Amalfi) is VERY hard to find as well as expensive, so contact us for a quote!

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Amalfi Coast Car rental Car service Repairs Transport travel

Car repairs, painting and selling used cars on the Amalfi Coast…

I recently discovered an amazing reality, only a few kilometres from Amalfi about halfway between Amalfi and Ravello. The company is called Auto Cioffi and their web site is www.autocioffi.it and their Facebook page is here https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=auto%20cioffi&epa=SEARCH_BOX.

But the web site and the Facebook page really tell very little about the company and their activity. These guys are amazing. The boss Luigi has been working now for 45 years and he is still the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave, as well as the hardest worker, he almost never stops. What do they do?? Kind of everything.

The main activity is car sales and car repairs, so they have usually about 20 to 25 cars in stock to sell. In addition they have a paint shop with a massive computer controlled paint mixing system. Plus an oven for painting the cars which is big enough for the biggest SUVs and which gets up to about 80 degrees C. Plus they also have a Blackhawk Car Straightening System, an amazing machine which enables you to realign a car after a heavy smash and or just to check that a car is straight.

And I have now seen all of this in action!! The main man (Luigi) is truly amazing, his panel beating skills are worthy of a YouTube film, and he employs a guy (Paolo) a full time spray painter with talent. They are an amazing team and Manuela (Luigi’s daughter) is the office lady who coordinates their work and tries to keep them more or less under control.

The results?? Well, these guys offer more or less a complete “servicenolimits” service to car owners in Ravello and along the Amalfi Coast! Luigi’s son Leo has a tyre business next door, so they offer a total car service. They collect a car and fit new tyres, change the oil and filter, repair some body damage and return the car. Stunning. Some photos below.

Categories
Amalfi Coast Audi Motorcycle and Bicycle Scooter Transport Yamaha and Suzuki

Selling off some of my fleet. Sob.

So the time has come to part ways with my cherished Audi A5, as well as some of my bikes. Garage space is one problem and cash flow is another as I now work part time so I have much less income of course, thus I have decided with a heavy heart to offer my lovely A5 to a new owner.

I kind of “adopted” the (2008) A5 Coupe four years ago when I found her in the corner of a used car parking lot near Roma looking very sad, scruffy and unloved. Indeed, she had been badly neglected and sat on four bald tyres and had scars all round, damage from careless parkers and door openers. The interior trim was also worn (the cloth was semi bald on the drivers seat) and she was dirty as hell. They wanted 20k Euro so I offered 15k and as I walked away the guy followed me so I knew that I should have offered less……

Long story short, I bought the car and started a labour of love to restore her to her original condition. You can read the story elsewhere on here, suffice to say that I now badly need the garage space so I must reluctantly let her go to a good home. She is in fine fettle, fully restored, looks wonderful and goes like shit off a shovel, I will post a pic below.

My old Honda VFR800 (2007) could also be up for grabs for the right money, as could my beloved restored 2010 Yamaha Giggle, pics below. Let the bidding begin…..

Categories
Amalfi Coast Car service Motorcycle and Bicycle Repairs Scooter Transport travel Yamaha and Suzuki

An amazingly talented tyre fitter and mechanic who can service, fix or repair almost anything on wheels….

Since I moved house from Roma to Tramonti I have had to restart with all of my contacts to look after my car, my van, and my small fleet of motorbikes. This was not easy as I had lived in Roma for more than 20 years and starting over is never simple, Roma is a huge city with loads of choice whereas Tramonti is a small town in the middle of nowhere. “Tramonti” means between the mountains, as it is perched on the top of a mountain between a town called Angri and the Amalfi Coast, near Salerno.

BUT. In a fairly short time I have managed to find some amazing guys and the most amazing so far is Leo Cioffi at Pontone, a tiny town near Ravello. See https://www.autocioffi.it/. Leo is officially a “mere” tyre fitter and he works on his own in a small and cluttered premises just off the main road up to Pontone. I first met him when I damaged a tyre on my old Audi A5 (I managed to hit a rock on the road and tear open the rear tyre, what an idiot). He had to order the replacement Pirelli P Zero 19″ (I bought 2 and changed both tyres, they were half worn) as he did not hold these in stock, 2 days later he called me and I returned to have them fitted.

Not only was he chatty and friendly (and a good Italian coffee is always available) he was also fast and efficient and did a very thorough job. I noted that he went the extra mile without extra charges which I liked immediately so I realised that he was a good contact. Indeed, since then we have become mates and he has done loads of work for me on my van, scooter and Quad and he is always fast and efficient and works REALLY well, the quality of his work is amazing. I have seen him turn his hand to almost everything from trucks to tractors to Vespa scooters to wheel barrows as he also works for the next door family car business and is called upon to fix everything.

What a great discovery!!! And his prices are much less than Rome prices and his knowledge and standards are amazing.

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travel

Car and van servicing in Rome, San Lorenzo. Great work at very reasonable prices.

For seven years I lived in San Lorenzo, which is very near to the main Termini train and bus station but without the whores, homeless sleeping rough and the drug pushers. Well we have some pushers but mainly it is a great area full of pubs, bars and eating houses plus students as it is very close the the main University. We have some homeless and many students, sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart…..

I run an old Vito van as well as an Audi A5 plus some bikes and a Quad so I needed a good service man. I have tried several official dealers (BMW and VW/Audi) in the past and found them all a massive rip off, so I looked round for a good independent service man and I found Beppe, he runs his small service operation as well as a covered car parking facility near to my place.

Firstly I negotiated a monthly fee for parking the van OR the car, and in the price he agreed that I could also leave my moped too which was great for me as the city is famous for vandalism and theft of vehicles, my van had already been broken in to below my house which cost me a few hundred Euro for a new window. The garage is a 400m walk from my house, through a lovely park so the exercise is also useful….

Well, one thing led to another and over the years he has become my official service man and he specialises in VW Group cars but is good at all 4 wheeler servicing. He is also ok with 2 wheelers. I am a very fussy devil so I always insist on supplying my chosen engine oil (for instance) but he will always supply and fit the bits that you supply or specify. I recently asked him to fit new brakes to the Audi so we chose Brembo discs and pads, and they work great.

Also, we purchased an excellent software for VW Group cars (he has a VW Golf and now Tiguan, I have the A5 and my lady also has a Tiguan) which we bought from the States and it works really well. He studied it as it is mostly in English and he now uses it frequently with ours and with customer cars.

So if you need a car park or a service or repair or whatever when you are in Roma, give him a call or a visit. He gives EXCELLENT service and he is totally honest. I call him Prof cos he loves to study difficult problems and he almost always wins!!