Monday, 6 April 2009

And what are the four round, black things on the corners?

All my attempts to look macho and manly are ultimately undermined by my unceasing ignorance about cars.

In the last week my motor has started making nasty grinding noises whenever I turn the wheel. Convinced that the bearings, suspension, dampers, axle or some other component was about to fail, I carried on driving regardless. Because, of course, a broken - or even crashed - car, is preferable to paying money to get it fixed.

Yes, I am a stupid twat.

Today I came to my senses. Partly because I don't want to die in awful crash, but mainly because my MOT is due this month and I thought it would be prudent to get any problems fixed in advance.

So, off I drove to my local garage. Luckily it's nearby, so I didn't have to turn the steering wheel too many times. As I pulled in the friendly mechanic said "Sounds like you've got a problem with your power-steering." Oh, balls! That sounds expensive. At which point he popped the bonnet, unscrewed a cap and poured in some special, magic, pink power-steering fluid.

"Looks like you let this run out", he said.

"I didn't know that there was anything that could run out", I replied.

I asked if it had run out because there was a problem. "Nope. You just have to keep it topped-up. Like the oil and the water."

He unscrewed the cap of the water reservoir.

"Hmmm. Your water's nearly empty too. Here - I'll fill it up for you."

"Oops!", said I, "It's twats like me that keep you in business."

"Yes", he said - fixing me with a look that confirmed that I was indeed a twat of the highest order. "See that?", he asked, pointing at a plastic loop. "That's the dipstick".

"Ha ha ha. Yes, I know", I replied, in a jaunty, look-at-us-grown-men-larking-about-with-cars manner.

In a bid to completely subvert the natural order of such things, the nice mechanic refused to take any payment in exchange for his advice, his fluids and his pointed remarks about my twattedness. Truly, this man is the nicest mechanic in the world. And I'm not telling you where his workshop is.


chux said...

that is a very nice man indeed!

Although I would have done exactly the same thing as you. I appreciate the opportunity to stand afar pointing at you and say ..."look at that stupid t**t, the poof knows nuffin about cars". Then I might offer you a bra to wear, ya fairy!

lol thanks for sharing bud!

Jon Sandys said...

I take it you've never read the maintenance section of the manual that came with car.

To be fair, most modern cars (and I include yours in that description) are pretty unmaintainable outside of a fully equipped workshop. Wifey's new style Beetle is a good case in point. It takes about an hour and requires a lot of luck and previous gynaecology experience to change the headlight bulbs. I was recently investigating how to replace a failed bulb behind the dashboard heating controls; after removing several dozen screws to no avail I figured it would probably be easier to take the engine out.

All part of the manufacturers' scam to maximise after sales revenue within their dealer network, if you ask me. You did well with your friendly mechanic; Vauxhall would have charged you fifty quid, not been able to do the work for two weeks (because the mechanics are too busy changing headlamp bulbs) and the car would have come back with a previously unheard rattle.

jomoore said...

I'm pretty proud of myself having managed to buy ready-mixed windscreen washer stuff. And finding the right hole to put it in (ooer!).

And today I managed to pay a little man a small amount of money to clean my car.

That's the extent of my car maintenance skills...

Now you've scared me with your power-steering-pink-fluid story!

Delmonti said...

Dont feel too bad Pete, I too am a member of the "I'm not touching THAT" club when it comes to cars. In fact, my last car was an Audi A2. The Deal was done on the fact the engine bay is a sealed unit....yup, effectively there was no bonnet, access to the watery, oily things was via a few pipes under a flap in the grill...... which of course I completely ignored.

MaryB said...

Wheeeeewwww! I love a happy ending!