Sunday, 12 June 2005

Driving #1 The one with the catalytic converter!

I love driving, so much so that I have a lot to say on it. I've decided to make this a series so that if one day I manage to (or need to) organise my posts I can easily link these ones together.

Having driven a few hundred miles over the course of the last few days it has reminded me of many thoughts I have on the subject. These journeys had been immediately preceded by an emergency visit to the garage. Our car been doing some rather interesting chugging... you'd be driving and then come down a gear and it seems as if the car has lost oomph. Not for long, very momentary and then carry on as normal. Very strange. Not too alarming but rather worrying.

So, knowing we had these various trips Mr Doris and I left it to the last minute to get the car looked at and here comes my salutary warning if you are a car driver.

Mr Doris has his strengths but he's not a car sort of man. He doesn't care for them and doesn't hanker after them. When asked by the AA people once what sort of car we had he answered "blue" in all sincerity and without intending to be funny. He's nice like that and not at all macho (macho has its place but that's another post or two).

Neither of us were too alarmed by our vehicle's strange behaviour and so left it to the last minute. Turns out, that our catalytic converter needed replacing because the honeycomb in it had deteriorated and the exhaust could no longer get through freely and occasionally it would block up but we were still at the stage where it would only momentarily cut out the engine (It can't keep working if there is nowhere for the waste to go).

It would eventually have got to the stage where it would cut out completely and as we were going to a 75th birthday party on Saturday I couldn't face being on the side of the road with a dead car waiting for the AA to come out to these incompetents who don't know what car they drive and then missing the party and good food and drink.

Back to Mr Doris - I'm quite fortunate that he also doesn't much care for alcohol which leaves me free to wine and dine for both of us and as I like driving too much and am still very independent I usually drive to places and he drives us back. Me in a usually very happy mood with an inane grin on my face. He seems to like me still and it works for us.

I still haven't gotten to the warning bit.... how did our catalytic converter get to this state? Especially in a car that had only done 45,000 miles. We only recently bought the car second hand... well, it seems that if you drive your car on a very cold day and the engine gets hot, as it does, and then you see one of those very flooded bits in the road, don't go through it! It might seem fun when the cold water goes whizzing up in the air, or feeling as if you are suddenly a ship, but that sudden change in temperature is enough to cause your exhaust (which contains the catalytic convertor) to have a hissy fit and to cause the cat to suddenly shrink and demolish itself or at least begin a rapid deterioration.

I suppose sensible people would keep out of large puddles but I'm not one of them, however I would now. An unexpected bill of several hundred pounds is a salutary warning.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...
Give up and become a bus driver! You could do it all the time then, AND aim the spray at pedestrians, it's part of the job description, I'm sure.....
Nice post.
Monday, June 13, 2005 7:05:00 AM
doris said...
Nah, I'm too nice to be a bus driver. I wouldn't want the water to ever hit anyone: I just love watchng it as it goes right up; and I'd be no good at the art of sitting at a bus stop and then closing the doors and driving off just at the right time when someone has just done the 500m dash to get to the bus.
Monday, June 13, 2005 8:10:00 AM

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