I knew there was an unforseen reason for Hubby coming with me Down South on Tuesday.
If I had gone on my own in my car, the chances are it would have fallen off when I was on the motorway and cost me a fortune.
I’m talking about my exhaust pipe.
We got back from town yesterday, pulled to a stop in the car park, and there was a clunk when I turned off the ignition. I didn’t think anything of it until later when I was coming out of the ladies, passed my car and thought the silencer looked funny.
When I bent down to have a little look-see, there was a big gap between it and the pipe running to the front of the vehicle.
From days of old, if you had a problem with your exhaust, the whole world knew about it because of the din and growling as you drove along. Some boy racers thought it very macho to have this throaty appendage to their machine, but for me when it happened in the 80s, it was just plain embarrassing.
There was no warning about losing my ‘end’, so I was surprised as well as annoyed that this had happened, but grateful that I had NOT been on my own driving to (or from) my Mum’s when it did.
To be honest though, it has been on borrowed time.
A few MOTs ago it was mentioned, but as it was not ‘blowing’ or an MOT failure, it was not an immediate repair that needed doing, so I left it.
The last MOT was no different, and as I’ve said, there was no audible evidence that I was going to have a problem.
Two boats down is a mechanic. We did him a favour last week with two boat batteries (I still haven’t written about that yet) and I asked him if he knew of a good garage where I coud get my exhaust replaced. He told me that he had just taken a new ‘box’ off a scrapped Peugeot 206, and took a look at mine to see if it would fit.
He wasn’t sure, but said he’d check it out and let me know.
Hubby managed to get the old silencer off with much swearing, sweat and grease, and had just loaded it into the back of his car for me to take up to the garage to see if they had a match when our boat friend came into the car park, all smiles because the one he’d removed would be perfect, and he was happy to fit it for us.
So, I now have a shiny new and legal exhaust, and even better, it didn’t cost us anything (we offered to pay for his time, but he refused), so our favour has been returned.
Incidentally, the car was not noisy in the slightest with no silencer, though this would have been an MOT failure should it have been absent at the next one.
Today, we have been looking at cars, as we have been thinking of replacing mine for a while now. It’s almost 10 years old, and although it has only 35,500 miles on the clock, it’s not going to go on forever. Wear and tear will eventually get the better of it, and in so doing, costs will escalate to keep it on the road.
There is a lot of choice out there, and many have toys and gizmos that I’ve never heard of, let alone want and the Salesman’s comment about just ‘switching it off’ didn’t impress. Why would I want something in a car that I’d never use?
ABC stands for A Basic Car.
You know, a little box with a wheel in each corner, that gets you from A to B instead of using the bus.
Cost is also paramount. We have a limited budget (of course) and want to get a good deal for our money, though I will NEVER get a deal like I did when I bought my 206 in 2005.
I will also be lucky to get £500 trade in for it, though one salesman said he would be interested in buying it himself for his girlfriend. (I am wondering if I could be cheeky and ask if he’d be interested even if I didn’t buy my replacement from him!)
I can get a nice little purple 5 door Peugeot 107 that’s 10 months old with 13100 miles on the clock for less than eight grand,
OR I can buy a new Fiat 500 (3 doors) for just over 11.
I test drove both (petrol compared to the diesel I currently drive), the former was very nice, good all round vision, cheap road tax (NIL) though grindy brakes, and the latter OK but not much poke, a pretty noisy ride, and £30 a year road tax.
Whereas the 107 would need a service every year, the Fiat was every 2 years, but reading the customer reviews on the internet, performance and economics aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.
I looked at the new Fiesta (blind spot due to design of front windscreen), a Focus (hated the plastic furnishing which I felt was more than likely to come off in my hand after a few weeks) and test drove a 3-year-old Fusion which handled quite well, but the gear box was stiff.
Again, all were petrol as second-hand diesels are few and far between these days.
We also looked at used Citroens, which are more or less the same as Peugeot, but each one we were interested in had some damage to it, to which the Salesman said it was only plastic, and he was sure they could sort something out!
These cars ranged from 3 months to 4 years old, so didn’t really say a lot for robust or hard-wearing bodywork.
One thing is certain, there are more chips in modern cars today than you’ll find in McDs, and the latest is what they call stop/start where the car turns itself off when in neutral at traffic lights/roundabouts etc, and then starts again when you put it into first gear.
Hell, I’ll be forever thinking I’ve stalled!