Friday, April 12, 2013


hi there

oh, goody goody. it has only been a few weeks, maybe a month or so, since my last incident with the car. you are all probably wondering what's wrong in as far i have not mentioned anything. well, something very nearly went spectacularly wrong with it - how fortunate that i have friends who are as good as they are wise to the ways of wheels.

in my older age, i have taken to the obscene idea of not having the vibes on at full volume as i potter about the roads. no, i am not moaning that "it's a racket and you can't hear what they are singing" just yet, i just have the volume down a bit. well, down to 35 - 40 instead of the usual max 50. this obscenity has allowed, accidentally, for me to hear the noises that the car makes as it does its thing. and, as it happens, i noted a most peculiar noise from it, one that changed a bit when i hit the brakess.

i mention in passing at verk that i was probably taking the car in over the weekend to the brake menders to see if they couldn't sort it all out. Jayson, my colleague, friend and chief mechanic, was offended at the idea of me going to the brake menders and insisted we go and have a look at it. this we did, although the "we" there means that Jayson looked whilst i sort of stood around and asked "what does this bit do, then?".

Jayson advised me that brake pads take all of 10 minutes to replace if you know what you are doing, and that there would be no need for soliciting the skills of a brake mender. this briefly pleased me as that would mean less expenditure. i was even more pleased when Jayson looked at the brakes and assured me they were "100% OK". this pleasure was somewhat tainted, however, by the fact that this brake perfection implied the fault was somewhere else in the car. i do not know all that much about cars, but i do know the difference between "normal happy car noise" and "upset sad car noise". mine was making the latter.

to this end, Jayson took the wheels for a spin to see if he could detect the problem. in that regard, Jayson promptly took the controls and, as it were, "rode it like a bitch" to see what noise was made and perhaps what bits might fall off.

despite being old and somewhat poorly looked after by your humble narrator (although the stereo oddly is always in excellent condition and soon fixed if wonky), my car is rather celebrated by people who know me. it's what i believe in the trade is called "souped", and can absolutely bomb it. i rarely do, mind, as i quite enjoy a relaxed drive with the vibes. Jayson, as you may have guessed, takes a somewhat different approach.

he parks it rather better than i do, too. you can't see it in the above picture, but at the front there are some grey marks that look like the same shade of grey as one finds on the poles on the shade thingies in our car park. this would be because, due to some deft angling on my behalf, i managed to get the paint off the poles and on to my car without a paint brush.

moving on, then, and Jayson agreed that there was a most strange noise coming from the thing. that meant popping open the bonnet (that's what the thing at the front is, yeah?) and having a gander. this he did and soon saw what the problem was. that thing called a cambelt, known in certain circles as a "timing belt" (cheers, google thing), was on the verge of collapse. bugger.

actually, not bugger. on previous instances, and there has been more than one, i have become wise to the ways of a cambelt after it has broken. cambelts are, if we are honest, twats. they don't just break and get on with it; they break and tend to cause some rather significant damage to the remainder of the engine. something called a gasket and several things by the name of valves tend to get knacked, usually leaving me with a substantial repair bill.

however, with thanks to Jayson and his exceptionally talented friend, large cost and time savings were mine. apparently, if you replace it before it breaks, you can avoid most if not all of the above. this is the argument many have put to me in regards of saying that i should, on a regular basis, take my car for something called a "service". i will look in to it eventually, but for now i am prepared to rely on the wisdom and generosity of friends for such matters.

as you can see, all done and better now, with no reason to trouble the established menders. i am indebted to Jasyon and his talented, wise friend for helping me out with this one!

at home, James and William were very excited to hear that Uncle Jayson had taken Daddy's car apart and mended it. they were very interested and so i showed them all these belt thingies that Jayson and his mate did, and they were impressed. no pictures of them, of course, as i was far too busy keeping their hands away from the hot engine and prone to breaking parts within.

it is my simple and earnest hope to get a number of months of happy driving out of the car without it doing its thing again. if i manage to knack something else, well, i am rather fortunate to have Jayson to call on.

if there is any sort of lesson to learn from this i suppose it would be a strange noise as you are digging some vibes might not be just a Ray Manzarek keyboard fiddle or Mani bass smack that you hadn't picked up on before.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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