Tuesday, 22 April 2008

A Salute to Greasemonkeys

by Rabbie Macintosh

I believe that I am currently being visited by the Karma faries. For my mild rant of disgust aimed squarely at the commuting masses (of which I am one.) The Deities which I so squarely placed my motoring trust have decided to abandon me. In quite a non-leathal manner, I'm glad to report.

Instead, they saw fit to have my car broken.

This is the worst possible thing that could happen to me at this juncture in my life. Well, apart from something terminal occurring anyway.

However, having something like this happen proved to be a very costly expenditure. I feel that Bambi (my fearless renault megane 1.9dCi, which has notched up a number of wildlife casualties. I was considering getting some stencils made and painting their numbers onto the doors as some sort of badge of honour.) was probably in need of some TLC anyway, being about halfway through her useful life.

I learned 3 very important things through this experience.

1) I know far less about automotive things than I should. However, even I could tell that something was wrong with the fan belt by the horrid shrieks eminating from beneath the bonnet, around the fan belt area, funnily enough.

2) It is critical that within your group of friends, you should have someone who knows a lot more about automotive things than most people. This can save you great deals of money when speaking to mechanics.

3) Always ask to see the parts that were replaced on your car. If they can't provide evidence that things have been changed, don't pay.

So, after discovering the problem (requiring complete replacement of fan belt and belt tensioning pulley, and a separately diagnosed fault of something called a dog bone mounting, which holds the gearbox in check relating to the engine.) and getting some quotes, I was fortunately well prepared to get the painful, yet required work carried out.

£280 later and I feel slightly violated, but relieved to have a working car.

The kicker in all of this. My fiancee blames me entirely because, and I quote: "You should have bought a German car."

It is the uncompromising nature of the statement that reinforces my affection for my little French motor.

3 comments:

Charles Pooter said...

I had a Citroen for a few years. Never again.

Anonymous said...

Renault clio 1.8 RSi was my albatross. Will cut off my own feet before buying another French car. Less painful in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Your fiancee is right, of course.

I suppose that makes it worse.

Just wait till the Renault "electrics gremlin" strikes - when, not if.