remind me why i own a car again ...

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so, this morning i leave the house at 10.30 and jump in the car. "clunk," it goes as i try to set off. "fuck," say i.

anyway, i get out and discover my nearside front tyre is totally flat. (mental note: this is why the IAM wittered on about a pre-drive exterior check.) bastardry. that'll be the roads on arran; bet it was a slow puncture.

changing a tyre on a narrow-ish street that's also a two-way bus route isn't fun. anyway, the spare's flat as fuck too, but at least the thing's driveable. so i hoy gingerly round to the supermarket, where there's an air pump.

an "out of order" air pump.

next to the supermarket is the cheesy auto-mart place. i go in and buy a poxy pump thing for £20, trying to kid myself that this is a sensible investment that will save me ever wrestling with a length of plastic hose in a soggy supermarket petrol station again. then i ring the tyre place to order a new tyre. £53.50.

then i drive into town and get fucked over by the world's most expensive car park (£3 for just over an hour). coming out of the parking space, i scrape my offside rear mudflap on the edge of a sloping walkway thing. "clunk," goes something ominous as i move forwards. "fuck," i say again.

i hop out to discover that my ridiculously flimsy rear bumper is hanging off at the offside, and a small but vital-looking screwy flangey thing is sitting on the ground beneath it. i've botched it back into place but i can't wait to see what acme world of tyres charges me for 1 x screwy flangey thing, plus associated labour.

if, of course, they can actually fix it and i don't have to go all the way to the FUCKING BASTARD MITSUBISHI GARAGE OF ALL DOOM; the one that managed to order THE WRONG PART the last time i was there (necessitating a groundhog-day-style repeat visit the next morning) and then tried to charge me for it come whacking-great-bill time.

so. £75+ so far on pointless, pissy car-associated shite, plus more to come ... not to mention daily petrol usage/road tax/insurance costs. christ's TEETH.

i really wonder why i bother. why don't i just rent a sodding car on the few occasions i actually need one?

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 5 June 2007 18:20 (fifteen years ago) link

£40 a day for a Mazda 6, Arnold Clark charge. Vroom.

stet, Tuesday, 5 June 2007 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link


cost for fixing bumper: nowt.


method of fixing bumper (bearing in mind i specified a cheap and not necessarily elegant solution): drilling a small hole near where it meets the wheel arch and fixing it on with a cable tie.

it seems about as sturdy as it used to be, if not sturdier ... but now, of course, i have a little bit of plastic sticking out the side of my car. hmm.

i might just get a new bumper. and get the irritating little dent some funster at the gym decided to put in my front offside wing sorted out at the same time.

cue stet saying "nah, get a new car" in five ... four ... three ...

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 6 June 2007 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe you could do this for the dent?

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 6 June 2007 17:32 (fifteen years ago) link

stet, Wednesday, 6 June 2007 17:36 (fifteen years ago) link

spencer: yeh, considered it, but i need the bumper fixed, so ...

stet: swivel.

grimly fiendish, Wednesday, 6 June 2007 19:22 (fifteen years ago) link

sorry 'bout the bad car day, grimly - you might've caught it off my little brother.

Jaq, Monday, 11 June 2007 15:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Mr. Jaq and I talked about the possibility of getting rid of the car this weekend. Living in a place with good public transportation (esp. if we move to Capitol Hill) and having a service like Flexcar, it's feasible but something I'm not ready for just yet.

Jaq, Monday, 11 June 2007 15:55 (fifteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

jaq, yr brother's story is bleakly amusing ;)

anyway. since i started this thread, some little shit decided to nick two of my hubcaps. "fuck this," i thought, and took the car to the mitsubishi garage in paisley. "gimme a new bumper," i said. "and some hubcaps, yo."

cost of new bumper: not much. cost of fitting: negligible. cost of PAINTING THE FUCKER: vast and staggering.

cost of ONE SINGLE HUBCAP: mind-quaking.

length of time in the garage so far: ONE FUCKING WEEK. fair enough, i did say "no hurry", but this is absurd. especially given that, when i rang them on tuesday, they said: "it'll be ready tomorrow." when i rang them at 9am this morning (thursday) and said, right, i'm on my way, they said: "oh, sorry, it'll be ready by noon." which was no use. i start work at noon.

that's PHOENIX MITSUBISHI in LINWOOD, PAISLEY. the same people who have previously demonstrated their immense problems with the concept of "nearside" and "offside" when it comes to ordering parts, and also with the concept of "no, i'm not paying for the part you wrongly ordered, you fannies".

anyway. tomorrow morning i will go and get my wee colt back, complete with new bumper. i will then drive to the crappy sub-halfords place round the back of lidl and buy a set of 13" trims.

AND THEN i'm gonna sell it. oh yes.


and, er, buy an alfa GTV. no, really.

i mean. it's a nice car, the colt. it's a zippy drive and surprisingly fun. but it's now starting to cost me some serious cash: it's getting old, and bits keep falling off or breaking or wearing out. if i'm gonna have to spend money on a car (and oh, with an alfa, i'm sure i will) i'd rather be doing it on ... well, a GTV.

the clincher: discovering a wee backstreet garage a couple of miles away that specialises in alfa repairs and servicing.

not sure how long this process will take. i might not even go through with it. but i'll post the occasional progress report ;)

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 28 June 2007 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

In, errm, related news, we're using a Flexcar for the first time tonight, to test it out. Cuz the place we really really want to move to doesn't have parking and a garage will run us around $200/month and the insurance cost will go up DRAMATICALLY and hell, we'll be right by the main bus thing and can get anywhere, right?

I love this Prius though, I don't want to be rid of it. I want it to be waiting at my beck and call, safely (and cheaply) housed in a warm, nearby place.

Jaq, Friday, 29 June 2007 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Drove a hybrid Honda Civic flexcar Friday and it was okay - LOTS of road noise, analog gauges (hello 1990s!), not as roomy as the Prius nor as easy to maneuver into a small parking space. The flexcar thing went well on Friday: wave your passcard over the windshield and the doors unlock, the key's in the glovebox and the gas credit card is in the visor. But, when we went to pick up the same car on Sunday morning, no car in sight. A quick check of the surrounding parking lot confirmed - no Flexcars here. Took forever to get them on the phone (partly our fault), and since we were using this as a backup only, we just canceled the reservation. Had we really needed a car, they would have put us into another close-by one (it's actually miles away from our pickup point) or paid for a cab to get us to and from our destination. So, not as convenient when the car's gone missing.

Jaq, Monday, 2 July 2007 15:48 (fifteen years ago) link

update: GTV plan already fallen by the wayside. can't be arsed explaining why in detail. key words: girlfriend, provisional licence, insurance. you can probably work it out for yourselves :/

in fairness to her: she said go for it anyway; don't bother about insuring her for it. but that would be wrong of me. and a bit pointless.

so the plan goes on hold until she learns to drive :)

grimly fiendish, Sunday, 8 July 2007 22:12 (fifteen years ago) link

and, having got the colt back from the valet place, i thought, hang on, i fucking like this car a lot. as long as no more bits fall off for a while, i'll be damned happy.

took some pix anyway so when i do come to sell it i'll have them there. will post them on the pix thread at some point soon. still not sure about my replacement wheel trims, but fuck it.

a tiny part of me thinks "get some alloys".

grimly fiendish, Sunday, 8 July 2007 22:17 (fifteen years ago) link

I think you should, on your way back from Phoenix Mitsubishi, go round past the alloy place at the back of the train station in Paisley which has a great big sign outside illustrating how they sell ALLOY'S (sic). Get all your rage-inciting needs fulfilled at once!

ailsa, Thursday, 12 July 2007 22:50 (fifteen years ago) link

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