Sunday, August 14, 2005

Oz Day 039.

A car entry. And an ode to an old car.

Going to be a quick entry. Have to go to work delivering pizza in a while after this.

The car has been checked out. The mechanic work costed me almost 20% the price of the car, but I feel it was worth every cent. Turns out the the CV joint was good. Just needed a CV boot kit repack. [ What in the world is a "CV boot repack"? ]. Replaced the timing belt and the (associated?) other belts for peace of mind. Grease repack on the rear wheel (bolt?) nuts and they should last, in the words of the mechanic, "for quite a very long time".
According to the mechanic, the belts are a bit old but not frayed yet and should have some mileage left on them but best not to push my luck. New air, oil and fuel filters. Change of oil seals (on the gasket?) to address possible leak. Change of oil and checked the (other?) fluid levels.

As you can tell, I know very little about cars. At least spending that money taking the car into the shop, I hope to get some reliable operation out of it. The mechanic was saying that there is no other mechanical work it needs and I should have a reliable roadworthy "good little car" (for metro use).

The fuel efficiency on that "good little car" is quite amazing. The relatively new Hyundai Getz that I rented with only about 2000km on it was running at about 12.48 kilometres per litre. This almost 14-year-old Ford with over a hundred times the milage (over 222,000km) still gets fuel efficiency above 12 kilometres per litre under urban pizza-delivering stop-and-go conditions!

Running that old car has been an education. I have to learn to drive all over again from scratch. My driving skill leaves much to be desired. Have lots of undesirable driving habits like holding down the ignition longer than necessary, starting from stationary in second, shifting early, taking turns out of gear (clutch-in), over-revving during gear changes, skipping gears, inappropriate use of the hand-brake, taking road humps at a high speed without downshifting, etc. Just to mention a few. Driving mistakes like that on a new vehicle are hardly even noticed. The excellent condition of the new supensions, new gearbox and new engine compensate for a lot of bad driving habits.

However an old vehicle is not as forgiving of driver mistakes. The gear box is good but on the cranky side. The synchro-mesh(?) is almost totally gone, so you have to be at the right speed with the engine running at the appropriate revolutions before you can upshift or downshift. The time I learn messing around learning and practising double-declutching has certainly come in extremely useful indeed.

And the near-nonexistent suspensions and the rickety chassis lets me know in no uncertain (and very embarrassingly loud) terms when I am driving beyond my ability.


Blogger Tym said...

Your posts about immigration-paperwork-ese notwithstanding, this is the first post of yours that I truly, completely do not understand, and where my eyes glazed over after the fourth paragraph about fuel efficiency.

But I'm happy that you're happy with your car :)

August 14, 2005 10:32 PM  

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