The garage is a dangerous place for a car

As many of you will know, I am trying to sell my beloved Mini.  Some may say that this is the wrong time to be selling a classic car, what with the economic state of the country – the credit crunch means people don’t have much spare money, and petrol prices are so high that an additional car probably won’t be high on people’s agendas.  Still, I can’t really justify (or afford) to have two cars, especially if one of them is just sitting not doing anything.  So it’s for sale.

Unfortunately, having a Ford Escort as well now as my daily runner, the Mini has been left neglected in the garage.  Now, normally this would be a good thing; the garage is dry and safe, so in that sense it’s the best place for it.  What I forgot to do was disconnect the battery.  As a result, the month and a half it’s been sat stationary has drained the battery almost to its limits, the consequence being that the car won’t start.  Ordinarily, not the end of the world.  But it was supposed to be going in for its MOT today, so that’s had to be postponed until I can get the car running again.

Thankfully the garage round the corner has been very helpful, and has offered to charge the battery overnight to give it a full dose of energy.  They’ll then be able to test it to make sure it’s still working, and if it is I’ll be able to pop it back in the Mini and get it MOTed tomorrow.  If the battery is dead, I can always pop into town and buy a new battery, and still get the car MOTed tomorrow.  So it’s not the end of the world.

It’s just rather frustrating that my own negligence caused the problem in the first place.  I have to admit, I had just sort of forgotten that I had a Mini in the garage.  I did manage to get the car started briefly yesterday by bump-starting it, and had a quick drive around to make sure everything else was still working.  At first the brakes were stuck on a bit, but they soon loosened up.  What surprised me most was how fun it was – I had forgotten just how much like a go-kart the Mini is!  Of course I’ve always known this, but having been driving a ‘normal’ car for the last month and a half I had got used to its refinement and quietness.  Neddy roared and bumped along the road, loving being out on the road again.  It certainly brought a smile to my face!  And a gut-wrenching shame in putting the car up for sale.

There is a ray of hope though for Neddy’s future.  I did have someone get in touch with me the other day enquiring about the Mini, so they should be coming round on Sunday to have a look.  I’m just hoping it will have passed the MOT by then so it’ll be road-worthy, because I’m going to struggle to sell the car if they can’t take it for a test drive!

In other car news, I have also discovered a problem with the Escort.  Actually, to tell the truth, I discovered the problem a while back, but only today found the cause.  I noticed soon after buying the car that it was low on power steering fluid, so topped it up.  I did note at the time that there appeared to be some leakage around the reservoir, but couldn’t see where the leak might be.  Today I found it.  There is a pipe plugged into the top of the reservoir which, I presume, is for bringing the fluid back to the reservoir after it’s been round the system.  The clip holding the rubber pipe on clearly isn’t quite tight enough to make a good seal, and it’s leaking ever so slightly from there.  It’s not a massive problem, as it’s not exactly spurting out all over the place, but I don’t really want to be topping the fluid up every month if I can help it.  So I just need to replace the clip with something a little more adequate, and hopefully that will put that problem to rest.

I suppose it all just goes to show, all cars have problems, not just the old ones.

3 thoughts on “The garage is a dangerous place for a car

  1. Rubber pipe… is there’s enough length, chop a bit off the end first before you put the new jubilee clip on, it will make a better seal.

    Bump start… be careful, alternators don’t like it when there’s no battery to charge!


  2. Oh don’t worry Dad, the battery was still in when I went for a drive! I was hoping that driving around would recharge the battery, but it was so dead that half an hour just wasn’t long enough to make any difference. Mini is back in my garage now, and hopefully will be putting the battery back in tomorrow ready for the MOT.

    Thanks for the tip with the rubber pipe, I’ll bear that in mind.


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