Monday, 4 February 2013

Chitty Chitty BANG BANG

My car went bang yesterday.

This was really quite inconvenient but it has cemented two facts in my mind.

1) My assessment of the situation was spot on and I quite clearly have missed my calling in life as a mechanic.  The lads at the garage completely agreed with me when I told them I was sure that great big pieces of metal should not fall out of the front of the car when driving.
2) Just because your car passed its MOT 10 days earlier does not mean that it is in fact in perfect running order.

I love my car.  It's a Renault Megane Coupe that I have had it for less than a year (2nd hand) and it is so much fun to drive, but it has also been significantly less reliable than my old Nissan Micra.  It's prettier than the Micra though.
Yesterday I was reversing out of my space in front of my house when there was a loud bang followed by a strange clunking sound from the somewhere under the bonnet.  I searched under the car, checked the wheels for rocks and punctures and could see nothing wrong with it.   I did the sensible thing, went inside the house and asked Steve to come and take a look.  He also drove it in a little circle, listened to the clunking noise, checked everywhere that I had checked and also could find nothing wrong with it.

I then decided that it was probably a good idea to run it down to the local Mr. Clutch centre.  I have been bringing my cars to the one around the corner from me for years now so they know me by sight.  I once had to go in there and ask them to undo the petrol cap as it was stuck and I was in desperate need of fuel.  They laughed at me a bit but after three mechanics had struggled with it for twenty minutes while I smirked in the corner they conceded that there really was a problem and put a little catch inside the cap for me so it would open with ease in the future. They didn't charge me for this either which I thought was rather sweet of them.

When I set up this blog it was with the intention of talking about places in Canterbury that I love, mingled in with other things that interest me. I can't say that I love the Mr. Clutch centre (that would be a little odd) but I do seem to spend time there so I suppose it's only right that it makes it onto the blog at some point!  I have to say I have never had any issues with them - they are quick, friendly, reliable and completely upfront about the costs of repairs.  They also show me extreme patience when I have to book something in at the last minute and go completely blank in the eyes when they starting using technical terms around me. 

As I was driving there I heard another loud bang followed by a distinctly metallic clunk and the front of the car vibrated.  Now I am no expert but I am fairly sure cars aren't supposed to do that!  I pulled over and found a semi-circle of metal resting on the road.  After I had limped the car to the garage and presented the mechanics with the semi-circle of metal it turned out my driver side front suspension spring had shorn in half and the other one was close.  Both had to be replaced, just what I needed at 8am on a Monday morning!

Luckily the boss was very understanding and let me work from home and I collected my now fixed car this morning.   So that's 2 suspension springs, 1 tire and 1 petrol cap in under a year.

The roof also leaks.  The electrics aren't great either.

It is pretty though.

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