Straight Talk - Tales of a Monday morning motoring breakdown
To those of you who were delayed, however briefly, on the old A17 in West Lynn by the stricken silver Peugeot 206 blocking the way on Monday morning, I apologise.
For that was my stricken silver Peugeot 206 blocking the Lynn-bound lane of the road, where it spluttered to an unexpected halt. It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start to my first day back at work.
I was on holiday last week and one of the, admittedly very few, tasks that I’d set for myself over the week was to get the car MOT tested.
Given the hefty bill I was left with when the gearbox failed earlier in the year, and my other previously documented bad experiences with cars, I wasn’t exactly confident of the outcome.
But, with a couple of fairly costly new parts duly fitted, I returned to West Norfolk on Sunday with that sorted out for another year. At least, that was what I thought.
So it would be fair to say that there was quite a lot of cursing happening in the driver’s seat when the car started to chug for no obvious reason on Monday morning before slowly losing all power and grinding to a halt.
Several attempts to re-start the engine, combined with a fair amount of shouting increasingly loudly at it, had no impact whatsoever.
A brief, and completely non-expert, look under the bonnet by yours truly revealed no obvious clues to the source of the problem and so, as a very helpful police officer came upon the scene and assisted me in making some progress towards eventually getting to work, I was resigning myself to another hefty bill and contemplating another period of limited mobility.
At that point, I was calculating how much money maintaining and running that car had cost me since I bought it back in January and was beginning to wonder whether I could get by without driving at all.
So you can probably imagine the mixture of amusement combined with anger I felt when the chap from the garage who finally towed the beast away from the scene told me later that it had started first time when he looked at it later that day.
Not only that, but when I got to the garage after we’d finished your Tuesday Lynn News, he promptly took it out for a test drive which went without incident before I drove it back home without problem.
So was there really something wrong with the car or did the blame lie with what my father would describe as the bit between the steering wheel and the seat?
Well I was told it was the first of those options, though I have to admit that in the days since, I have come up with two alternative theories.
Given that it wasn’t used all that much last week and Monday was the first day back on the morning commute, maybe it was trying to throw an automotive sickie, seeking an extension to the holiday that had ended. But if I have to be ready to work on a Monday morning, it should be as well.
No, I reckon there’s another reason, particularly as – at the time of writing – it has run without any problems since. My mother often says, usually during a strike, how she thinks we should be more like the French in standing up for ourselves. Perhaps the car didn’t like being driven early in the morning again and went on strike as well.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North east