I cannot believe it has been over a month since I last posted! That is quite disgraceful. No excuses. I’ll try not to let it happen again. Hope all my followers have missed me…I don’t want to know if you haven’t.
A few weeks ago my car began making a terrible swooshing noise and a ‘red light’ flashed on and off on the dashboard. I took it to the local garage man who came with me for a test drive. He was a little unsettled by the right hand drive situation and felt the need to grab hold of the door handle and even grabbed the hand brake at one point. He paled when a car came in the opposite direction as he was used to being a passenger on the other side of the car. The short trip may have affected his subsequent diagnosis.
He shook his head and tutted, as they do, and told me sadly that the cambelt had gone and I was looking at possibly as much as €3000 to fix it.
I was allowed to drive it home and think about it, but not to drive it anywhere outside the village, just ‘piano, piano’ quietly and slowly. I discussed it with my man and we were both pretty gutted as the car is only 6 years old, a VW Polo 1.2.
We talked and thought and googled, (it is a verb you know; to google). Our googling came up trumps there is NO cambelt in the VW Polo 1.2 2007 cars. YIPPEE!!!
So back we went to the car man and gleefully told him, ‘This car has no cambelt’. He scratched his head and said it must be some bearings in the gearbox then. He’s a good and helpful mechanic despite the lack of knowledge re the cambelt.
He’s had the car now for two weeks, I’ve been down twice but he hadn’t had time to look at it. Today I paid another visit and this time my little car was up high on the ramp things, it’s innards sitting on the bench. He smiled. We’ve ordered the part, it will come tomorrow the car will be ready on Thursday at the latest.
‘How much will it cost?’ I asked.
‘Not much. It’s not so serious.’ He picked up one of the parts on the bench and tried to explain, ‘this we need new, this is not so bad, if it had been these..’ he pointed at a large mechanical thing with lots of cogs, the gear box I’m presume, ‘it would be serious but this is not so much.’
‘But, how much? ‘ I asked again,
‘Not much, it’s not serious.’ Oh, so unhelpful.
So, ‘not much’ could be anything, let’s face it, everyone has a different conception of expensive and cheap. Some people might think that €500 is not much when it could have been €3000 but €500 is a lot to me at the moment. I’m hoping now it might be less but thinking about the entrails of the engine strewn all over the bench I’m wondering how much labour it will take for him to put them back and close it up., tidily.
The thing is, a similar thing happened to me in Devon in 2011, with the same car. I drove a few hundred miles from Cardiff to Devon and began to have a problem with a juddering sort of action. I took it to the local garage and he when I told him how far I’d driven he was horrified. ‘I wouldn’t drive it another two feet!’ he said. I can’t remember what the problem was now but it involved ordering a part and they needed all sorts of intricate details about the car so they could get the right bits.
When I phoned them the next day the conversation had been much the same as the one I had today. The Devon mechanic also said, ‘it won’t be much’ and when I asked again he said the same thing but in a different way, ‘it’ll be a good job, not that expensive’, but refused to give me a price. It turned out to be less than £150 so I’m hoping that all country garage men think the same and that the bill for the Polo this time will be just short of €200…
Somehow I doubt it, but I’ll let you know.