I’ve got that failing feeling…

The theory behind owning several vehicles, is that at least one should be operational at any one time. It’s a great theory but once more, I find myself getting perilously close to having a fleet meltdown. This is not good.

It was the 2CV’s turn today. I’d started stripping it for a much-needed brake overhaul, but then rather a lot of actual work got in the way. Rachel wanted to head out in it though, so during a lunch break, I attempted to get the front bodywork refitted again. It is not an easy job, for several reasons. One is that the rear fixing for the offside front wing is utterly ruined. The thread has come free and the nut cannot be removed. That’s a pain. Also, the wing – a pattern item – fits about as well as Bella Emberg (remember her?) in a schoolgirl’s leotard. Eventually though, I got the sodding thing fitted. The passenger side was much less bother. So, a quick light check and I could get back to work. Er, no. The driver’s side front indicator was not flashing. What usually happens here is that the contact on the back of the bulb, which can slide up and down a little tunnel, gets stuck. A quick, gentle tug on the wire usually frees it up. Not this time. The wire just came off in my hand.

A crap, old, worn-out car, yesterday

A crap, old, worn-out car, yesterday

If it was the other side, I could simply whip the wing off and chuck on one of my spares, which would probably work. Given how much trouble it is to remove and fit a wing to the driver’s side, I really can’t be doing with it. Removing the indicator unit is possible in theory, but small rusted nuts mean there’s more chance of the Queen dancing to Lady Gaga than it coming off without hassle. The 2CV got shoved back into the garage to await its fate.

The BX isn’t too bad, but needs an accumulator sphere, a rear arm bearing and the cooling fan wiring up properly. It’s on a switch, which is stupid as there’s no temperature gauge. How do you know if it’s getting too hot? Well, Citroen did kindly fit a warning light to tell you when your engine is cooked. Handy. Also, the clutch is horrible.

The Merc is out of bounds really, thanks to a seized rear caliper. It also needs critical welding.

I did think that left the Discovery as my sole working vehicle, but that’s far from perfect too. It pulls to one side under braking, suggesting a caliper issue, has play in a front swivel, still has no second gear synchromesh and is also still overdue a transfer box and axle oil change.

This is the problem with owning crap, old, worn-0ut cars. They’re crap, old and worn-out! Between them, the four vehicles have covered over 855,000 miles. Clearly, a new car isn’t the answer as I’m not made of money. I do think a fleet review is in order though, and perhaps I should entertain the notion of owning a car with less than 100,000 miles on the clock and a chunky folder of service history.

What do you reckon?

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