Happy New Year


So where were we?  Once again, sorry for the absence.  At least I’ve managed (just) to get a post up before it becomes three months since the last one.  I put this down to the power of me not wanting to do my tax return, meaning I am finally doing lots of things I’ve been meaning to do for ages.  Anyway, the car continues to go nicely.  We were down in Somerset yesterday, to photograph the area where the proposed Severn barrage may be built.  A long motorway run followed by some very small little back lanes, leading eventually to a lot of empty caravans and mobile homes.  I stopped for a chat with the owner of one caravan park, who told me all his clients would be delighted with a barrage – smaller tides and clearer water on the beach.  He wasn’t expecting them to actually build anything though, as he can remember being shown a model of the scheme when he was at school down the road 35 years ago.
The 410 has seen plenty of use over the winter, even in the worst cold snap we had a few weeks ago.  The screenwash jets on my everyday Saab decided to pack up in the coldest weather, and before I had time to fix them (it was only a frozen one-way valve that had forced the pipe off the joint) I needed to go to Kent to see family for a few days, so the 40-year-old had to come to the rescue of the 10-year-old.  And the day before yesterday the Saab was plucked from the M4 by the RAC after it overheated and boiled over for no apparent reason, so the 410 is back on daily duties again now.  In its defence, the Saab, a 1998 9000, has been wonderful.  I got it as a temporary hack about 18 months ago, for £1600 out of AutoTrader, and have put 35,000 almost fault free miles on it in that time, while servicing (including a complete new exhaust) has come to only about £1200, which I think is not too bad for a car that had over 130,000 miles on when I got it.  The overheating is the first time anything has gone unexpectedly wrong with it.
The only thing wrong (I hope!) with the 410 at the moment however is the axle oils seals.  It was serviced by SLJ last year, and was noted then that they were leaking slightly, but the axle is definitely leaking at a rate now.  So much so that when I parked on a heavily cambered road a few weeks ago, I found that it leaked out of the end of the axle, but parked on the level it’s fine.  It’s going down to Warminster next week for a spring dose of TLC, and I hope they don’t find any other horrors.
The other thing that is wrong with it is that it is filthy.  And I don’t just mean dirty.  It is crying out for a proper polish, with some serious cleaning beforehand.  It is going to have to be absolutely spotless in May for an event, so I shall have to crack out the wax long before then.  Let’s hope the weather improves soon, so I have more inspiration to get on with it.

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