June 8, 2016
This morning I had to rush over to the guys who fitted our front door for a replacement letterbox. The flap failed first thing this morning as the lads were getting off the school and with rain forecast I was intent on replacing it before getting in to work.
Tragically, my car had other ideas. Specifically, the gearbox developed a taste for the outdoors life and made a bid for freedom. A gentle pop signalled the failure of the housing and a rhythmic splurging noise the rapid exit of very warm and dirty oil. I didn’t know this at the time, I just recognised the sounds of something very very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2016
As the Blues sing, Keep Right On (to the end of the road). And in my car, the next thing is indicate, turn and carry on into the wide world. Against all expectation it passed its MOT with flying colours yesterday, and I couldn’t be more relieved.
I have an outstanding issue with the alternator to fix up, but I can always save up to get that done next month. The car is certified and back on the road!
Many thanks to Stan Reynolds Garage Ltd who nursed my car through the test and sorted out the brake balance valve problem which failed it last week. I was really impressed with their work and will be returning there in future. It’s a family firm on Mill St, just over the railway from The Butts and about ten minutes stroll from the town centre. Perfect.
May 5, 2016
Snatching satisfaction from the jaws of expense, I have tonight worked my way through the five items on the failure list from this morning’s MOT and fixed four of them myself. I have used WD40, a flat bladed screwdriver, more WD40, a 20p coin (retaining pegs on the fascia), a soldering iron, and lashings of WD40.
The offside fog lamp now works. The intermittent headlamp fault is no longer intermittent or faulty. The nearside brake light has a brand new soldered lead which looks horrible on the inside but at least lights the lamp effectively. And the windscreen washers finally live up to their name with enthusiasm.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 23, 2015
This evening has seen the latest episode in the soap opera that is my serial ownership of cars. I’m not complaining about this car in particular, but generally my cars are great until they suddenly develop a fault that’s expensive or going to seriously increase the running costs and I have to find a new one.
This car is different. I have enjoyed running issues with the electrics, from a brake light cable that simply won’t play the game through to an alternator rewind last summer which was totally spurious when it turned out the accessories belt wasn’t at the right angle to enage it in the first place.
So imagine my deep joy and delight when this evening the car finally gave up the will to start and left me stranded more or less on my own driveway without the means to get it going again.
I could have jump started it if I’d had anything to jump off. Jumping off things seemed like an attractive solution about thirty seconds after the final failed attempt to start the infernal machine.
With some support from my beloved father, and more importantly with the help of his trickle charger, we are adding juice to the battery as I write, a charge transfusion which I hope will revolutionise the performance of the car tomorrow and give me a few more weeks in which to find either a new battery or a fresh alternator belt. Because a fresh alternator would cost serious money, which I’m fresh out of.
Maybe if I can scrape together £99 a month I can go and get me a little Pug to run arounud in, because at the moment my big cat is well and truly in the doghouse.
May 7, 2015
I have been equipping my motor with new wing mirrors.
The old ones were cracked and one had been broken following poor treatment at the hands of a passing pedestrian and, more to the point, rather small compared to the bulky van body. It seems back in the 1990s it was fashionable to tone down the commercial vehicle styling when producing an MPV from a van, and smaller car-style wing mirrors were the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »
August 29, 2014
Very quick note to say thanks to James.
On Tuesday, when everything went horribly and comically wrong for me, I ended the day by running out of fuel just outside Aldridge. My passenger Pete called his wife to ask her to come to our rescue, but before she could reach us a passing motorist turned round and came back to check that we were OK.
James was not only a pleasant young man showing excellent character. He also had 40 litres of unleaded fuel in his boot, destined for his rally car.
You really can’t put a price on timing like that. A couple of litres in my motor and I could limp to the petrol station. Pete was astonished. I was delighted. James was a hero.
August 9, 2014
Earlier this year I had to bid farewell to the lovely Peugeot 306 to which I had so successfully attached a towbar, and replaced it with a gifted Peugeot 806, which came without.
It was only a matter of time before I needed to fix up the new motor with a towbar of its own, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling with the very decent PF Jones kit I bought online to attach it to the frame of the car and make good. Read the rest of this entry »