Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bark: Wait, it gets better!

As predicted, yesterday's service for my car (admittedly, one that was about four thousand miles overdue) was expensive. Cheaper than I'd feared, but still the thick-end of a monkey (that's not a euphemism - or not a sexual one, at least - a 'monkey' is £500 in gaming parlance) and the garage wasn't even able to fix the problem of the loss of power from the engine. They did, however, at least manage to identify the problem: one of the lines to the turbo (my car being a turbo diesel) has cracked, most likely due to the recent spate of sustained cold weather, which would at least account for the loss of power from the engine.

Unfortunately, the garage didn't have the part I needed in stock to repair it, so the car's going back in on Monday to have the line replaced and get MOT'ed (watch it EPIC FAIL!), but as if that wasn't enough to place a drain on my meagre financial resources as a student, today as I was pulling in to park my car at work, the front driver's side tyre punctured on me. Fan-bloody-tastic, hey? Though I am grateful that the tyre didn't go on the dual carriageway miles from the middle of nowhere and waited until I'd reached the car park. Still, not the best way to start the day, given that new tyres for my car cost upwards of £100 apiece.

At least I get to drive around on a full-sized replacement tyre, since the advantage of having a decent-sized car of a certain age is that you have a proper spare tyre, not a slimline one you can only do 50mph on (though with the turbo problem, I'm hard pressed to get more than 50 out of my coupé right now) - though even that is an improvement over what you get with some new cars these days - they don't put in a spare at all - all they give you is a puncture repair spray that's good for about 50 miles before it fails again.

I'm hoping that Monday will represent the last of my car-based dramas for the foreseeable future - the last thing I need would be for the cracked turbo line not to be the route of the problem. The alternative is that the particulate filter in the engine might have gone. The difference between the two is that the former costs £25 to fix and the latter costs £250... So with my natural sense of Scottish pessimism, I'm bracing myself for the worst.
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