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Nearly a navy knitting wool moment

There is one summer holiday when I was  teenager which has gone down in family history as the year that the exhaust pipe fell off the car in the middle of nowhere in France. My parents made a frantic raid on our luggage to find something to tie it back on with until they could get to a garage, and my navy knitting wool was sacrificed to the greater good.

I nearly had another of those moments recently. I had no excuse really – I knew there was an issue because when I got the MOT done last autumn I was told that the exhaust was on its way out, but that it should last a few more months so wasn’t urgent. A few weeks later, there was a horrible metallic grinding noise whenever I reversed, and I went back to the garage in a panic – only to be told that the large piece of metal dangling from the exhaust system was “only cosmetic”. The mechanic simply ripped it off (and didn’t even charge me for doing so!) but reminded me that I would need a new exhaust in the near future.

Since then I totally ignored the problem. I’m not usually a head-in-the-sand person, as I generally prefer to confront problems face-on and fix them. But I’m still not used to having to worry about the car – that was always Christopher’s job, and I haven’t yet got into the habit of thinking about it. So I just ignored the increasingly loud rattles coming from the car whenever I cornered.

Then I had a day out on business at our Hampshire offices that ended pretty late, so my colleague (who was driving) dropped me off at home. He took one look at my little mini and told me that I needed a new exhaust immediately. It was hanging on by an absolute thread. He kicked it to show me what he meant, and I had to agree that it wobbled very alarmingly indeed. I was merely a few miles of potholed roads away from another “navy knitting wool moment”.

So I ended up spending most of an afternoon at the local “exhaust tyres and batteries” garage getting a new exhaust fitted. And I have to say that the car has rattled an awful lot less since.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Graham Horn | 1 August 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    A few years ago I went on holiday to Cornwall with a slightly blown exhaust, thinking that it would last until we got back. Of course it got a lot worse and a day trip Castle Drogo turned into a day in Okehampton (where we visited the ruined castle) whilst waiting for the parts to be delivered to the local tyre & exhaust centre. Happily they arrived and were fitted the same day. This meant that we were able to drive home at the end of the week in relative silence (though the return journey was interrupted by the massive floods that meant an unscheduled weekend with my parents).