My old banger ~ the troubles of a teenage car

I’ve had a problem with my car. At the weekend, it broke down. There wasn’t much of a warning and there certainly weren’t months of worry, it just gave up. Oddly enough, this little teenage Corsa was one of the better cars that I’ve owned (and there have been many!). Usually my hubby and I buy a cheap ‘n’ cheerful secondhand (or more like 5th-hand) car and run it until it dies. Normally our vehicles don’t make it through am MOT, if they even make it to the MOT at all…

But this little beauty was different. Don’t get me wrong, it was a heap of a car, old and rusty and boring to look at. But it drove really well and it passed its MOT! Don’t ask me how, but it did and it’s been running well for the past 6 months. Which is why it was such a surprise when it just stopped working at the weekend.

My husband and I were driving across the countryside for our regular saturday-car-boot-sale visit, and we were following a lorry up a hill when we heard a knocking noise. We looked at each other and I asked “is that the lorry making that sound?”. We carried on driving and even when we were no longer following the lorry, the sound remained. It was getting a little more insistent now, and we’d begun to discuss what it could possibly be. Hubby thought that he’d heard the exhaust getting louder over the past couple of weeks so we decided that the brackets holding the exhaust onto the car had come loose and the exhaust pipe was wobbling, knocking against the bracket. This has happened to us before, so we weren’t too fussed. But about 5 minutes further into the journey the car was making very loud knocking noises that seemed to be coming from the engine and it just stopped going. And there it sat in a lay-by, no going. And now, not starting. So we did what anyone in the same situation would do, we looked under the bonnet, using our extensive knowledge of mechanics, touched nothing and put the bonnet back down.

cassiefairy lifestyle blog car breakdown

Slightly more glamourous than our breakdown via Cassiefairy on Pinterest

We were stranded in the middle of the countryside with no way of towing the little beast to a garage (no, we don’t have AA or RAC anymore, what a false economy to have cancelled that policy!) and my mind was worrying about the cost of replacing a car at this present moment in time. I thought about how all our savings had just been spent on an awesome party for our 10th Wedding Anniversary and how I’d need one of those payday loans from Cash Window that you see on TV! And to top it all off (you won’t believe this) I’d just put 6 months car tax on this vehicle THE DAY BEFORE. Yes, my husband and I had stood at the Post Office counter and he joked “I hope it lasts the 6 months! haha!” and I said “I hope it lasts the day! hoho!”. So, I confess, it’s my fault. I jinxed it. I still can’t believe it.  

So after 5 minutes of huffing, hubby tried the ignition again and cor blimey it worked! It’s still making lots of noise, but at least it’s driving! So we limped home very slowly and when we got there I jumped out and I swore that I “would never get in that car again”. However, once it was on the driveway, my jack-of-all-trades husband got to work on it, changed some fuses, wiggled a lead or two and hey presto, it seems to be okay again. I did get in the car again, and I let it drive me to the supermarket. So massive phew, my money troubles aren’t going to be as catastrophic as I thought and I didn’t need to borrow emergency cash, this time! I’m still going to look for a different car, but I’m going to do it quietly, on the side, making sure that the car doesn’t hear me and go wrong again…

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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