Car maintenance

I drove the dog to the groomers along the city’s dreaded ring road last weekend, there were a few beeps but too far and distant to be directed at me, but there were a couple of mishaps and missed turnings. It reminded me of when I drove down south several months ago.

It was about a year after I passed my driving test. We were planning on travelling down south to see family and friends and the day before going dad called saying before a long journey to check the oil and radiator. So I did: oil was fine, radiator/engine coolant – no idea. It looked empty, but thought that couldn’t be possible.

Took dog to the groomers to be cleaned and trimmed, then went to Halfords and got someone to check the engine coolant level, verdict was that it was empty. Great. Bought this bottle of pink liquid for the car and thought “the car needs to cool down, I’ll drive to asda and the car will cool as I do the weekly shop”.

So that’s what I did. One hourish later, opened the bonnet, unscrewed the radiator cap and poured the pink liquid in. Then the pinkness started dripping out. Poured some more in, pinkness started leaking out. Totally confused, poured more in and it was streaming out. Called the garage, literally paniced and said “don’t think this is right, not sure it’s safe to drive”. Garage said to bring it in and make sure the temperature gauge does not reach to hot.

Drove slowly home to deposit food, then drove to garage and waited. Apparently my radiator was full and the leak was overflow because the engine wasn’t cool enough. Engineers said it was like a pressure cooker and that I shouldn’t go to Halfords. Well the garage sorted it and that was that. Car was ready for the 240 mile drive. Collected the fur ball and planned the route.

Next morning cruised along down southwards and then hit some roadworks signs with no one actually working on anything. There was a 20 mile slow down most probably down to congestion. Eventually arrived, caught up with everyone, and then we were ready for the epic drive home.

Pulled out of car park onto a road full of red lights, preparing to leave the city and head to the motorway. Saw in the rear mirror a taxi driver frantically pointing at my car, had no idea what he was referring to, and he was not letting up. Saw some teenagers shout and point at me, rolled down the window and finally heard them shout “flat tyre!”

Great. Drove to nearby train station, called my family to see if they could help. They couldn’t. So called AA. Thank God. They came, they saw, they fixed. AA man also advised not to drive on the A road we had planned as it had just shut due to an accident.

We eventually got home, ignoring the satnav most of the way, we wanted to go north, not east.

So that was that. An epic journey filled with issues before it even started.

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