Well my little car has finally given up!
He had a good life and did me through my first 10 months as a driver but on monday night he finally said enough is enough (at the lights in the middle of the old kent road!)
A month ago he went into the garage for a service (£90) and while he was there the mechanic noticed that the suspension was badly low. Every time I went over the slightest bump I would hit the ceiling. He advised that it was actually dangerous and that it would need to get fixed. Being the car novice that I am I trusted him when he said that the car would give me a good few more years if I had this done.
So he went in 2 weeks ago to be ‘pumped up’. £120. Unfortunatly there was more work to do so again I trusted and he went back in to have some parts replaced. Another £120.
Once I got him back I have to admit that he was driving so much better and I was very happy until on my way to work the same night he started overheating and clunking noises came from underneath the car.
I now know that this was due to a lack of water due to the over heating. I was towed home and the mechanic said to get it checked out as he had a feeling that the head gasket was going.
So back he went to the garage and had his thermostat taken out, I was told this would help identify the problem. I mentioned the head gasket to the mechanic but he seemed to think that the problem was the thermostat and once again I trusted him!
So I was told to keep an eye on the temperature gauge and if it didnt go up again they had located the problem and I would be able to get a new thermostat fitted the next day. Perfect, the guage didnt go up.
Right so in he went to the garage again, on picking him up I was told, this time by a different mechanic at the same garage, that there was a problem with the head gasket. Right ok! So I asked him if it was driveable and he said yes. He showed me the evidence of the problem so I believed him.
So off I went up the old kent road, less than 10 minutes into my journey I noticed black smoke coming out of the exhaust, then the car just stopped!
A police motorbike, police tow truck, flashing blue lights, traffic stopped, and a tow truck later Percy was back in front of my house unable to move anywhere.
The mechanic that came to recover me showed me the same thing that the mechanic at the garage showed me and said ‘your head gasket has gone’ I replied with ‘Yep the garage guy just told me that and showed me what you just showed me but said it was fine to drive as long as I kept an eye on the water’ The mechanic then said ‘He allowed you to drive it? He should have marked that car as un-roadworthy as soon as he saw it!’
Oh God! Why did he let me drive it??
Anyway after explaining all of my recent problems to the roadside mechanic I also found out that the previous infromation given to me about the thermostat was a load of rubbish too! The temperature guage would never go up when the thermostat has been removed as there is nothing to guage the temperature off!!! Obviously, if I had used my brain instead of trusting everything I had been told I could have probably worked that out!
So I was told an utter load of rubbish and paid out a total of £330 in two weeks for a car that I now cant use! I havnt been back to the garage to speak to the yet but an planning to do so as soon as I calm down about the whole situation.
Here are a few pointers for anyone in my position of being a total dumbo when it comes to cars!
1: Always get your car fully checked out before paying loads of money to have something fixed
2: If you start overheating, stop immediatly and check the water when the engine has cooled down. Dont continue to drive as you will do more damage to the engine
3: The car is fine to drive for a while without a thermostat but the temperature guage wont work
4: If the top of your water tank or you engine oil hole looks like this then it means your head gasket could be going, your water and oil are beginning to mix. It also could mean that there is a bit of condensation in the oil tank so best get it checked before panicking.
5: If your oil dip stick looks like this it means your head gasket has gone and there is a large mixture of watery oil circulating around and flooding your engine.
6: Always try to find a mechanic that someone else has been to, that you trust!
Well even though we say bye bye to Percy we also say hello to Felicity Finesse, Ford Fiesta!!