Wednesday, 5 August 2009

cars, problems, value for money

David bought an estate car after his previous saloon car had been written off in a car accident, which, incidentally, left me with a broken wrist. I'll never forget that Valentine's Day!!!

The idea of the estate car was to enable him to take more stock to the car boot sales he enjoys doing. To be, in effect, a workhorse. It has done sterling service, working hard not only for car boot sales, but collecting and delivering furniture to auction houses, collecting sand, cement, plasterboards, paint and other DIY paraphanalia from various emporia.

It's also ferried huge granite cobbles from David's house to mine without complaining once, nor asking for hay!

It has had to have the odd part replaced, and small parts have cracked, like the frame that holds the passenger door handle in place, or the courtesy light fitting. A pane of glass still needs replacing from when he bought it - the piece of plastic serves the purpose wonderfully, and it was never a thing of beauty!

About 3 weeks ago, there was a puddle of liquid under it, and the man at the garage said it was the power-assisted steering tube which was leaking. David tracked down a second-hand tube at a breaker's yard, and paid to have it installed. This week, the puddle returned.

The man at the garage was authorised to order a new part from abroad, and yesterday morning, it was fitted. All done, no more leaks.

Yesterday evening, I waved David off as he drove home - he lives about 40 minutes away. I sent him a text to say "goodnight", as you do, and received a reply. I wasn't sure if it was a joke, it said "car broke, serious engine prob, may be scrapped". You can imagine I was suddenly wide awake!!

Apparently he had been obliged to call out the RAC - we're both members, thankfully, and they had taken him home.
Poor David! One problem solved, and another raises its ugly head.

I'm waiting for further details to discover just what is the matter with it. It's only about 5 weeks ago that it passed its MOT with no problems, now it may be dying. How fragile life is, not only for humans, but for our possessions too.

It's an elderly car, a P reg, I think, and he's had it four and a half years. Would it have been better to buy a new car? Would that have worked out cheaper? Who can say?

I buy new, because, as a woman, I need to have a reliable car. Or that was the case whilst I was working. Now, my car is about to celebrate its third birthday, so will need its first MOT. It's only done just over 6000 miles, so you can see how little I drive now that I don't work.

I take a bus into town for uni, and walk back. It's cheaper and easier than finding suitable car-parking, and the walk home keeps me fit. I don't really need the car at all, but if I sell it, I'd probably never buy another one, and would lose the skill of being able to drive, along with the convenience of just being able to go where I want, when I want.

I consider myself to be quite a "green" person, so should I sell it? I really don't know. What do you think?


  1. Tough question, Christine. I think that driving is an important skill and if you don't drive, at least occassionally, you may lose your nerve. Nothing worse than a timid driver! As long as your car is working well, you should keep it. If you feel the need to be more green, then perhaps a hybrid of sorts.

    Congrats on the win at PPP ... Your tyre swing story was so sweet.

  2. Thanks, Monica. I suspect you're right, and I'll hold onto it until it dies, like I have my previous cars!
    I'm glad you liked my refelections on the tyre that Rachel used to swing on - I son't likve there any more, but I can still picture her upside down, pony tail swinging :-)


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