As many of you will know, I have a “toy car”. This seems to spend more time in the garage gathering dust than actually on the road, and from talking to a lot of owners, this isn’t unusual. It is however, annoying. Mine has been off the road for the last year or so, mainly waiting for me to fix a problem with some brackets on the rear axle that would prevent the car passing it’s MOT test. It’s also needed a couple of other things done to it that required the engine and gearbox to come out the car, which have meant that most of the car has been in pieces.
My cancer treatment hasn’t exactly sped up the process of getting it put back together again.
However, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with keeping myself occupied, and so I’ve been trying to work on the car when I’ve felt up to it, slowly working towards the longer term goal of putting the car back on the road before the summer ends. Given my relative lack of strength and stamina still, progress has been painfully slow; I’ve managed half an hour here, half an hour there on it, but it has (just!) been progressing.
Yesterday was a red-letter day though – I finally got the car to the point where it should be possible to start the engine again. So I got the keys, turned the ignition, let it prime the carbs, and then turned the key to crank the engine, only to hear the click of the starter relay and nothing else. 5 minutes trouble-shooting showed that the maintenance-free, 4 years guaranteed battery was as dead as the proverbial dodo. And that was after only 3 years, a large chunk of which has seen the battery disconnected and on a shelf.
Fortunately I kept the original receipt, and on taking it back to Halfords (where I expected to have a huge argument) I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was no quibbling whatsoever. They tested the dead battery and replaced it with a new one on the spot. The battery that I had was no longer available, but they provided me with the nearest equivalent and some adaptors for the connector posts, which have changed shape, all free of charge (no pun intended!).
So top marks to Halfords for an excellent warranty on their battery, which saved me from having to spend some £90 on a new one. Oh – and well done me for actually filing the original receipt somewhere that I could actually find it again 🙂
Update: This afternoon I finished putting the rest of the car back together before installing the new battery and retrying to start the car. All the interior is back in place, the new 4-point harnesses are fitted, and (as far as I can tell) the only thing left to do is to grind down the axle brackets to allow better location of the dampers. That’s ultimately a two person job, which I’m hoping to finish late next week, so in the meantime I tried starting the car again.
Va va va va vrooom, Vrooom, VROOOOM!
After a year off the road in pieces, it was so good to hear the car start up on the first attempt that I celebrated by driving it up and down the drive a couple of times. Now I just need to sort out the axle, and get it taxed and insured so I can drive it on the roads again!