I took my car for its 10,000 mile service in Cardiff, and the man phoned me up to say I needed a new exhaust. The whole thing. That’s a bit steep- he offered to take payment in cash, so I would not have to pay VAT. I was tempted, and I would probably not get caught, but it would have been dishonest, so I refused that offer.
I went round to pick the car up, and found the exhaust they had got was too short. If it was just an inch, the mechanic said, you could bolt it on under tension, but not that far. I went under the ramp, and saw it was indeed too short, so I went away again. The first replacement was even shorter. They got another exhaust system, and fitted it by the following evening.
As I drove away, the engine management light was on. Well, that is useful. “There is something wrong with your car”. What? Something. I should have dealt with it sooner, but previously when I had had it read, the reading machine could tell when it had been activated, but not what fault it indicated. Not useful. The dealer could read it properly, but then the dealer had told me I needed a new sump and brakes for £800 the last time I went there, and another garage had shown me that was not true.
Eventually, with my fuel consumption rather poorer than before, I got round to sorting it. Things have moved on with engine management systems, and the garage in Swanston could read it. I liked the way the man came to me in the car-park and asked how they could help.
-Have you noticed anything wrong?
-There is a deeper note to the engine noise, it sounds like a larger engine.
-That can’t be bad.
I would rather it felt like a larger engine. They find that the sensor by the exhaust which tells how much fuel to put into the cylinders. With the sensor broken, it put in too much fuel. Like driving around with the choke out, I said.
-Yes, in an old-type car.
That is my second “In my day” moment this week. The first was the posh frocks shop selling “Prom dresses”. In my day it was the school disco, and we did not particularly dress up. I’m too young for “In my day” moments!
Oh, and though the garage in Cardiff had charged me £125 to fit a new cable for the bonnet release mechanism when it broke, the man in Swanston tells me that there is no bonnet release catch. It is not there. There is only the secondary catch to release by touch.
So I won’t be going back to that garage in Cardiff. Or the dealer in Cardiff. My only slight consolation is that I get to moan to you about something other than transsexuality.
It has done me well, lasting nearly eight years so far. I hope to pass my half-lightsecond in it in a few months.