|The lights of death|
So I've got the new exhaust on it's sounding shit-hot. Love it! Everything has gone OK for a couple of months, but as the winter months start setting in again the gremlins come out of the wood work.
There must have been a problem with my exhaust hangar, because I noticed the left tailpipe had dropped lower than the right one. Upon further inspection I could see the whole rear end of the system was tilted to one side.
I left it for a few days - not thinking much of it - but experience should have served me well. I've had exhaust problems before... so when I felt the car become more sluggish and LOUD, I knew I had to get it looked at.
At the local garage I was just hoping that a hangar had snapped and needed rewelding or something, but once they had it on the ramp they told me the Cat had snapped too (not again!). Unfortunately they were booked up that day and so I had to leave the car with them until the next day.
Some £45 lighter and the exhaust was secure once again and the Cat welded back together.
So not long after (and completely unrelated) I'm driving home and suddenly the steering goes heavy as if the power steering pump has failed and all these lights come on the dashboard. I contemplate this for a moment, before remembering I had a new power steering pump fitted earlier in the year, surely it couldn't be the same fault.
Unperturbed I get the car home and ring up Mintech for a scheduled visit the next day. "It sounds like the alternator," they say.
"I'll drive over," I tell them. My Odyssey battery is awesome and I was confident it wouldn't fail me.
I was wrong. I didn't even make it out of town after dropping the kids off at school. Fortunately the recovery service is based in the town I live, so it didn't take them long to pick me up.
A quick diagnosis confirmed the alternator had died a death and so he loaded up the car for a 30min trip to Mintech in Bury.
Ahhh, our second home.
While I waited for a ramp to become available I had a little nosey around and found this nice lump... with a huge hole in it!! Remember to oil your engine kids!!
More crack than your local drug dealer!
Elsewhere, this MINI seems to have been rolling in the grass for fun...
If you have a Red Bull fetish you may get your extra large wings from here - but that's one can of energy drink you definitely don't want your kids drinking!
Back to business and Nathan has been tasked with swapping the alternator over. Martin doesn't do holidays so he's probably working elsewhere - just listen out for the cursing!
So first task is to get the front bumper off.
Then the big chassis bar which allows access in behind the radiators.
Then it's just a matter of a few bolts, remove the old item and replace it with a working one.
The old spindle still turned, so obviously an issue with the brushes inside then.
While Nathan rebuilt the front end this was my first chance to have a look underneath the car since the exhaust had been welded up. As you can see below, where the left side of the exhaust dropped it has melted part of the rear bumper on the inside.
And job done in time to get back to Colne and pick up the kids before school finishes. Result! Right, what's going to go wrong next... place you bets...NOW!!! (Banzai!)