A Turbulent First Year: Why My Car Hates Me

standard March 31, 2017 Leave a response
car

I’ve had my car for a little over a year now. I’ve managed to clock up 7,000 miles in that short time and it has been one hell of a ride. That pun was absolutely intended.

However, I’m quick to point out that my journey with Taylor (because she’s a Swift. Hur Hur) has not been a particularly smooth or easy one. Far from it in fact… I thought I’d let you know of the issues that I had in the 12 months after I bought Taylor from a relatively respectable (if a bit pushy) gentleman in the Sheffield area.

I mean, it had been MOT’d the week before and passed with no advisories. Gotta be fine, right?

WRONG.

The first was a mere two months after having this car. I’d just got used to driving it and my paranoia about all of its noises and quirks were all but settled. I’d never had a car of my own despite having my license for just under ten years at this stage.

As I started to get comfortable, it starts LEAKING.

Now I’ve seen enough films and TV shows to know that anything leaking from a car is bad news.

I got a mobile mechanic to look at it, and he instantly spotted what was causing it. Taylor’s oil filter had ROTTED away. Like, actually rotted. I believe his actual words were “I don’t think it’s been replaced since it came off the assembly line”. My car, may I add, is an 07 model… meaning we’re looking at something like 10 years ago if he’s right.

Mercifully an easy fix. But an easy fix that cost me £60 nonetheless.

A week later (I’m not even kidding), Taylor started squealing.

Really, really going for it. I went off to see the same mechanic again only to lose power completely about 50 metres from the garage. Luckily, it was on an industrial estate and he could come and rescue me.

Turned out a fan belt had come off completely on my way to the garage. Sure, the squealing had stopped, but so had my engine. Another relatively quick fix, but still at a cost.

Fast forward another four months or so, Taylor and I were starting to get on a bit better. I’d turned to radio back on recently after stopping myself listening for the squealing again and generally I was totally fine behind the wheel.

It’s the end of the day at work… I’m tired. I have to pick Short Rib up from Nursery and go home. I go to leave the car park and it feels funny. Really, really funny. Like it was full of tar… sticky and heavy. I tried to go on the road with it, but there was no way I was chancing it on the M56 in the way it was. I go back to work, rock up in the car park again and ring my insurance, who I have breakdown recovery with (Thank God) to get them to come help.

So it’s towed off to a garage and Wes picks me up.

Turns out, my clutch needs replacing… apparently it’s been knackered for ages.

Reluctantly, I fork out for Swifty’s expensive tastes AGAIN (this time to the tune of nearly £600… a quarter of what I paid for the car) to get it fixed and on the road again. In the months I’ve had it, it’s become apparent that this car is a necessity.

It’s dropped back off almost a week later. I go to start the ignition annnnnnd nothing. Not a noise, no movement, not a cough, nothing. Taylor was dead. The garage is supposed to fix things right? Well, not this time.

She’s carted off again, because the garage have knocked her starter motor out of place.

FINALLY. She’s back with me… I’m paranoid about her once more but slowly we come to terms with what happened and we start rebuilding our car-driver relationship. My confidence in her grows so much that I get a job at a place that’s 20 miles down the M6, meaning we’re about to spend double the amount of time together.

Then, almost a year to the day of me getting her, and on a day where it is pouring with rain, her windscreen wipers give up the ghost just as I’m coming off the motorway. My trust insurance breakdown cover kicks in AGAIN and they fix my car in work’s car park and weld the wiper motors together to stop it happening again.

There’s a way I could have avoided all of this, really. I took total confidence in that salesman and the fact that he’d had this car MOT’d before he sold it to me. What I didn’t account for was the fact that an MOT is the absolute bare minimum a car has to pass to be allowed to be on the road.

What I really needed, was for it to be serviced. We’re making a conscious effort now to take Swifty in for regular check-ups to stop the nightmares that plagued me for a year straight.

As well as the breakdown cover with our insurance policy (which I would recommend to everyone – it’s a lifesaver!), you should book your car in for regular servicing. If you’re in Scotland, you can book a full service for your car at Fife Autocentres at great prices (don’t let the name fool you, they’re all over the country) and if you’re in England or Wales, you can check out the Good Garage Scheme to find a garage you can trust with your motor. Halfords, who are of course nationwide, also offer car servicing where you can book online. They’re also open 7 days a week, which is a bonus.

However one thing a service can’t save you from is wayward wildlife… I found that out at Swifty’s expense.

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