bunn: (Car)
Yesterday as I was coming home from the morning dog walk, Helga Saab started to make an alarming wheezing groaning noise, and then she went PING, and I realised that her engine temperature gauge was right up in the red.   I pulled her out of the road, and peered into her engine, which did indeed feel very warm.  In fact she seemed to have no coolant left in her tank at all, which was odd because I check that regularly as the sensor that should report upon it is knackered.
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bunn: (Car)
In other news, Helga Saab had a few minor fixes, re-took her MOT and passed! For a car made in 2002 that is getting on to 150,000 miles, I think passing an MOT at a price of only 200 quid (including a new tyre) is pretty good. Well done Helga. Well done, 2002 Swedish engineers, I'm sorry your car company went bust. Well done, Dave the Garage with your stylish-yet-affordable tyres.

ETA, apparently Saab has risen from the ashes and is now National Electric Vehicle Sweden, still based at the splendidly named Trollhättan! Good for them. I bet their cars will be quirky and efficient. Sadly, it's very unlikely I shall ever be able to afford a new car, but I shall send them generalised good wishes anyway.
bunn: (dog knotwork)
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bunn: (Skagos)
Maybe with one of those huge black SERIOUS looking cameras that announce so loudly 'I Am a Photographer' that you can shove them in people's faces.  Or possibly, just lurking behind bushes with my normal camera and charcoal.  Things seen today:

Things seen without a camera.  )

Helga Saab has passed her MOT, and she only needed a fuel filter and one headlamp bulb!  Rejoice! For a car that has done over 135,000 miles, that's not bad. Well done Helga.    I think her fan controller thing has got stuck and needs looking at -  but given how absurdly cold this summer is, slightly misplaced aircon is hardly a major problem. 
bunn: (Car)
Helga the Saab flashed up a plaintive message at me this morning: "Time for Service"

She reinforced this when I cruelly clicked the clear button and ignored her, by releasing her left indicator light as I drove along, so that it flapped about on the end of its cable.  I had to stop and shove it back in.   And I KNOW she needs a new tire.  Pants. 

Also, Az's pet insurance is up for renewal, and they want £351.69 for the next year!  That's only fifty quid less than the insurance on Helga!   Mind you, both of them are getting on a bit, so I don't know which one I expect to break sooner...
bunn: (No whining)
- Our washing machine has died. Debating whether to buy a new one (probably more efficient, will take more stuff in one load!) or see if I can find a repairer (more economical and more green to repair than replace - IF I can find a repairer that will come out here for not-astronomic sums and who can actually fix a machine that's about 8 years old and was cheap to start with...)

- Not only does it keep hailing, but I see from my window that Dartmoor is covered in snow! It's nearly April, this is most unexpected.

- forecast for the weekend is dire, so for a change I don't have Gardeners Guilt for going away rather than trimming and pruning madly. Fingers crossed the advent of Aaargh Day will be late this year.

- I went to Milton Keynes with my mother, two collie crosses, and a working Saab. I came back with my mother, two collie crosses, a whippet, an attack of the lurgi, and a Saab with a knackered thermostat.

- The thermostat is fixed and only cost £50 inc parts & labour. And because I'd topped the oil up, I didn't get charged for it by the garage (which tends to do stuff like that and ask later). Am rather cross with Helga Saab for going wrong when I'd bought her new tyres and everything...

- I wrote to my MP about the Digital Economy Bill, which seems to be being shuffled through in a bit of a rush, containing many worrying ideas. There is an Early Day Motion to delay and debate it properly, which I have asked him to support.
bunn: (Default)
WOOHOOO!!!!!

Have returned the horrible courtesy car.  I hoovered it within an inch of its life last night so with a bit of luck they will not spot that it has spent the last 2 months full of greyhounds (and a week or so full of collie as well).  I noticed that it has a minor scratch at the bottom of the front bumper : can't remember if that was there before, or if it was me.  If it was me, hope they don't notice it!

Car again.

May. 27th, 2009 12:10 pm
bunn: (Default)
Yet another update to say that I still don't have my car back.  They rang me today to say that they have just ordered in a tyre, and will call me on Friday 'to say how things are going'.

WHY WHY WHY did they not order the sodding tyre earlier?  And it takes 3 days to get a tyre delivered and fitted on a common model of car now???  When they got the car, almost 2 months ago, it was immediately apparent that the tyres had been damaged.   I can't believe they have found another excuse for delay.

In case anyone is travelling to Devon and Cornwall on holiday and happens to have a car accident this year, I strongly recommend that wherever your insurance company tries to send you for repairs, you refuse to have any work done at Exway Coachworks.

Car again

May. 18th, 2009 03:30 pm
bunn: (Sunset)
Nother call from the garage to say they are still waiting for parts.  They hope the parts will come in on Weds and will call again then.

I have Given Up Hoping. 

Car again

May. 14th, 2009 05:11 pm
bunn: (Sunset)
 I just called the garage again (Exway Coachworks, if anyone wants to put it on their 'must-avoid' list. )

They had told me that the car would definitely be ready on Friday, but surprise surprise, it has more damage than they thought so we are once again waiting for parts.  Despite the fact that they've now had the car 5 weeks, they are still finding new things wrong with it, and apparently they were 'too busy' to phone me to tell me what was going on.

I really wish they had written the bloody thing off from the start: I could have bought a new car by now. I'd be totally skint, but at least I'd have a proper car that would fit 2 hounds in comfort.

I asked the garage for the total cost of the work so far and I thought they said: £3700 (they became very indignant when I asked about this.  I'm not sure why, it's my sodding car).  So I rang the insurance company, who rang the garage, who said £2700, which is the original estimate.  I'm pretty sure that I did explain that I wanted to know the total *including the new work*, but apparently nobody apart from the insurance company engineer knows how much that will cost.  How they can authorise it and order more parts without making any record of how much the parts costs, is beyond me, but it appears that is the case. 

I asked if there was any limitation on how long repairs could take before the car would be written off or the garage investigated but apparently there is no limit.  

The insurance company phone guy kept assuring me that the work would be done as soon as parts arrived, but was unable to explain, in that case why :
a) I was told that the original valuation took a long time because staff were on holiday and there was an unusual amount of work in.
b) if they confirmed that they had all the parts they thought that they needed 2 weeks ago, why they have only just noticed that additional parts are now needed.  I just can't believe they can really have been working on it for 2 whole weeks before they realised that the drive shaft needed replacing.   I wish I'd made more thorough notes now: I think it was Friday 1st that they confirmed they had all the parts, but I don't have a record. 
bunn: (Bungles)
I damaged my car on 10th April. It's supposed to be being repaired under the insurance policy, but the garage are *REALLY* taking their time. They told the insurance company it would be finished Weds, but rang me on Friday, not to say it was done - but to say that they would ring me again on Tuesday... Tuesday will be over a month they have had my car!

Does anyone know if there is any kind of limitation on how long they are allowed to take over this, or if there is anything I can do about it? It took the garage 10 days to assess the damage and produce a quote!

Because the accident was my fault and nobody else was involved, I am forced to use the insurance company's choice of garage rather than my own.
bunn: (Default)
The repairs have been authorised by the insurance company (Egg: Good Egg!)  They are not going to write it off! 

 *dances with joy*

Car hmph

Apr. 20th, 2009 04:40 pm
bunn: (No whining)
On the 10th day after the day I trashed my car, the garage finally deigned to look at it.  They have valued repairs at £2,800.  I now have to wait for the man from the insurance company to come and look at it and decide if it is economical to repair it.

There is 1 (and only one) Saab 95 estate on Autotrader of comparable age, model and mileage for £2750, so I suspect I may need a new car.   Of course, if I wanted to buy the damn thing it would cost me far more, what with having to travel 185 miles each way without a car, so I suspect I shall either have to pay more money that I don't really have, or buy something cheaper. :-(
bunn: (No whining)
Saffy collie has a new home lined up.  She's here for one more week, then she's moving down the river to a new home in the middle of the woods.  Having her here has been a lot of fun, (Sooo much walking!  soooooo much!) but has confirmed my view that three dogs is Just Too Many, at least with  6 cats as well, and particularly when one of them is a needy walk-obsessed collie! Though to be fair, as collies go, Saffy is fairly laid back and relaxed in the house.

Very pleased with how well Mollydog has coped with extra-long collie walks.  That previcox she is on for her bad leg is good stuff!   Pix of yesterday's (two hour) walk are here: http://pix.clareassoc.co.uk/pix/thumbnails.php?album=22

Still no news of my car: I've rung a few times and get the impression they haven't even looked at the damn thing yet. I think this may be a consequence of all the major insurance companies only having about 3 'registered garages' in the region, plus an unexpectedly busy Easter weekend. Irritating: if they'd let me go to my local specialist garage I'd probably have it back by now. I'd definitely at least know what it was going to cost!

I'm regretting not using better compost for my pepper and aubergine seedlings. Even with plenty of liquid seaweed feed, they are growing far too slowly.

Bought some more solar lights for the garden.  I find the most reliable sort seem to be the ones that are designed to float on ponds, so are completely sealed: otherwise the water gets in after a while and they stop working.   They have a loop on the top so you can stick a bit of garden wire through and hang them on trees.

We have started the cats on 'senior' cat food.  Of course, the Bungles are not 'senior' (though I was surprised to discover that the vet considered the Hairy Bears at 8-9 to fall into that category) but Perl and Footie are (I can't remember their exact ages without looking them up.  This makes me feel guilty!).  Anyway, we have one bag of each, and are supplying one bowl of each.  I was expecting them to eat the normal stuff and ignore the 'senior', which has fewer calories, but in fact the reverse has been the case: the 'senior' has been scrobbled up with great enthusiasm.  Cats are odd.
bunn: (garden)
 So annoyed - I bumped a bank at exactly the wrong angle and have knackered my car's steering. I was stuck right in the middle of a very narrow walled lane when I did it, so I then had to pull the car forward with knackered steering to get it out of the way, and that has shredded both front tires (because of course the wheels were pointing at mad angles).   So no car till Tuesday when I can get a courtesy car, and an insurance claim for the steering, one panel, and of course the tyres which are practically new.  Am hoping that the car can be economically repaired, as I really can't afford to replace it at the moment and I'm sure the insurance people will give me the tiniest possible amount for it. 

On the other hand, we had a very successful burning today and got rid of a mountain of bits of tree and bramble root.  It's magic the way that such a large amount of stuff is digested down to a tiny pile of ash. I was so pleased with it that I rushed about afterwards gathering more stuff to burn before the fire died down too far.   It's so dry at the moment, the fig tree already has noticeable figs.  

I must take some  photos of the wood anemones and ramsons in the woody corner, they are spreading all over the place. The ramsons were from an online plantswap, and I think I bought the anemones as corms.  I didn't buy any more after that because they didn't seem to do very well, but perhaps they just needed a long time to settle in. Or a dry spring. 

car tax

Dec. 17th, 2008 03:37 pm
bunn: (Default)
I failed to pay my car tax on time this year. This is 90% my fault, but, I would argue, 10% the fault of DVLA for sending out the renewal notices well before you are actually allowed to go and buy the tax, thus ensuring that the renewal has to be put in a Safe Place, and therefore, in my case, assuring disaster.

Anyway, I'd only missed one month so I rang the DVLA and after fighting my way through the biggest set of options in Christendom, managed to speak to a human (Welsh). She told me I should tax the car at the post office and send a cheque to a secret address in Exeter. This information isn't on the DVLA website. It is a Secret.

So I did that. Today the cheque came back, with big stamp on it, and a hand written note saying they needed the car registration number. I had foolishly assumed that given that I had given my name, address and the reference number on the renewal reminder, they could look up any other details. But no, apparently not. I know I gave the renewal number, because I also wrote it on the back of the cheque...

I wonder why the renewal had a reference number if the number cannot be used to check other details also shown on the same form? Is it purely decorative...?
bunn: (Default)
It may be time to visit a car wash...

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