Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Rains = Pours

My car failed its MOT last week. Argh! The major problem (of four) was that the power steering had a leak somewhere. Hence the reason for the need for a top-up a couple of weeks ago. By the way, since that day, I've checked the owner's manual for the car. No mention of topping-up power steering fluids... Ha!

Anyway, took the car back to the garage for repairs and re-test today. The fix to the part that failed was going to cost £350. With the added complication that, more than likely, fixing the leaky hose would cause the other steering components to fail, under the increased fluid pressure, and that would set me back at least £1000. And then there were the other problems to fix too. So I'm looking at a bill of at least £400 and the likelihood that it would soon escalate to four figures...

Argh! The car only cost me £500 in Nov 2007.

So, chatting to the mechanic, it seemed it made more sense to send my old car away for scrap - bringing in the huge price of £93 - and to buy another used-car from the garage for £395. Overall, I'll end up saving £100 (at least) on what I would have paid to keep my old car on the road.

Which is a fairly positive outcome - though with no money coming in (apart from what I can beg, borrow, steal, or earn from pimping myself around the town centre) I'd have preferred not to have such a big bill right now.

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.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Recession Pointers

I haven't purchased anything from Amazon in nearly 2 months! I think my account may have healed over...