Friday, August 11, 2006


Right. That's it. I'm never having another Renault. I am a bit of a Francophile but this car has tested my patience to the limit this week. I've had Citroens that gave me no end of trouble but I loved them to bits. This heap of tin can shake its sorry "ass" straight into the Shropshire Union Canal for all I care. Were it not for the fact that it's a Motability car and we're tied to it for the next 18 months, I'd be...without a car, because I'm skint as usual. I do have my own mota but it's unsuitable for the lady.

We have half a ton of cases and medical toot to put in the boot ready for the scoot down to Weymouth tomorrow and the car has pulled its final stunt of the week (see below). Sharon went out to take the stepdaughter's lad home and came back within a minute saying the boot won't shut. As the Renault Grand Scenic has more alarms on it than the Louvre this means that every 5 seconds it screams at you to either lock something, insert something or switch something on or off.

It has done this before though and a judicious squirt of WD40 over the latch usually clears it. It's probably a bit of dust over a contact because as usual with all modern things, it's 100% electronic. I couldn't find the WD this time or rather, I got halfway to where it was and decided that no, I'm not actually meant to even change a wheel on it because it's Motability so I called out the RAC instead. An hour later he arrived, removed the rear door panel, took the cover off the latch, stuck a screwdriver in it and then sprayed it all with WD40, at which point it started working perfectly.

He was a patrolman of 15 years experience and a nice bloke so I asked him how reliable cars are now compared to when he first started and he said they're all shit, all of 'em. All electronic management systems and once a module's down you're stuffed. During my six year stint at the world's No 1 tolled river crossing at Dartford, I ran a kind of ad-hoc reliability survey based upon the number sad sacks in flash cars who had to open their doors and, usually smiling meekly, give me their quid instead of winding their electric windows down and doing it the easy way. This is not made up; worst offenders by a long chalk were Mercedes, followed by BMW and then Volvo (Volvo drivers were also the worst at pulling up as far away from the window as possible without actually being in the next lane because they didn't (probably still don't) appear to have any spatial awareness whatsoever). BMWs were also regular breakdowns in the lane and I once had a guy drive his BMW Estate into lane 15 off the QEII Bridge on three wheels as his nearside rear had come off about 100 yards out and had gone through lane 16 about three seconds earlier. Admittedly this wasn't BMW's fault as he'd just had the wheel replaced an hour earlier in Purfleet and they'd just forgotten to tighten the wheel nuts so they all sheared. No, that's an Essex thing. We'll have to wait for evolution to solve that one.

I'm digressing dangerously. I have a bad feeling about this trip. These have all been minor annoyances, what's it got saved up, I wonder? I'll let you know. See you in a week and a bit.

7 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dyna Girl said...

At least you are a Francofile...Dyna is Francais. Au revoir, ami.

2:16 am  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

All this, and Weymouth to look forward to. Things are boding badly.

7:59 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

Have a good break R and S. I'm withyou al theway on modern technology. the turning point was the Hillman Avenger - the last diy car ever produced.

9:05 am  
Blogger Aunty Marianne said...

You see? Vicus is dissing Weymouth as well. It's not just me!

Renault... who am I to criticize. I'm on my second Fiat, more fool me.

2:23 pm  
Blogger orange said...

This is why I always buy the great British automobile, engineered and constructed for the highest performance.

8:13 pm  
Blogger orange said...

But who needs the great British automobile whilst one is habitating on the doorstep of the pride of Europe's rail network, another great British feat of engineering.

8:31 pm  
Blogger Sharon J said...

Ossie. We would have had a great British automobile had we been able to find one that I could actually use. Alas, that wasn't possible.

11:30 am  

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