Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bark: Of all the things to break...

What do you think is the most important part of a car? The engine? The wheels? The steering? Nope, it's the spring mechanism that pops out the cover plate over the fuel refiller cap. Or to be more precise, the 5p piece of plastic attached to the cover plate that gets pushed out by the spring. Which broke this afternoon as I went to fill up the car.

I stop at my local petrol station, turn off the engine, open my door, pull the lever to pop the cover plate and... nothing happens. And I only have about 40 miles worth of diesel left in my tank. It's not much use having a car if you can't bloody refuel it, is it? So I burn 4 miles of precious hydrocarbon getting home, and call out the AA. We figure out what's gone wrong, and opt for a high-tech solution. We simply wedge a bit of plastic under the handle that pulls back the locking bar on the cover flap, letting me tap it open manually...

I find it faintly ridiculous that a car costing the best part of twenty-two thousand pounds can be rendered almost completely unusable because of the failure of possibily the cheapest component. Though I suppose that shouldn't be any surprise. Just ask the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger... okay, slightly tasteless, but you get the idea. And I can just imagine how much the garage will want to charge me to fix (or should I say, replace) the cover.

Still, I know what Jeremy Clarkson would say - that's my fault for being stupid enough to buy a Peugeot in the first place...
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