Monday, 18 June 2012

Stupid cars

The Micra is knackered.

Driving home last week, I pressed the brake pedal and a fairly unpleasant and expensive-sounding grating noise came out of the front of the car. That usually means the brake pads have worn out. Frankly, the brakes have been fading badly for a week or two, so it wasn’t much of a surprise, really.

Now, the Nissan is 14 years old, so I begrudge spending much cash on it. So I went onto eBay, and ordered replacement pads and discs for £30. Reasonable. The discs are scored, mainly due to worn out brake pads scraping against them. Replace the lot. Easy-peasy.

As if.

The bits arrived Saturday, and on Sunday I jacked up the car and made a start. Driver-side first. Without getting into mechanics, the brake comes in two bits, you remove the first bit to replace the pads, but the second bit is fastened to the strut. This is done by two bolts. These bolts seize up, and are a pig to remove. In this case, the 14-year old bolts gave up on life and broke, leaving the brake attached and no means of removing the bolt. In addition, part of the calliper has seized and so the brake calliper needs replacing.

Never mind. I’ll try the other wheel, I thought, and at least I only have to pay the mechanic to rectify one side. No such luck. Although the bolts came off so I could remove the calliper, this is also seized and needs replacing. Fantastic.

Anyway, I’m now awaiting delivery of two new brake callipers, 4 bolts, left handed drill bit to drill out sheared bolts, and a couple of other bits. Price is now up to about 90 quid, and that assumes I can remove the said bolts. Lovely. Probably be about 4 hours labour – minimum – in a garage, and I don’t want to think of the cost of that!

The car, since it’s MOT last September, has cost me about 800 quid in repairs, including replacement gearbox and clutch, welding, front struts, and various other bits. By the end of the week, it’ll have had a complete front brake overhaul.

I suspect it’s days are numbered. Shame, because I actually like it.

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