Well, I have not been to visit New Grandson yet. It’s not because of lockdown, well maybe partly. My car, the cantankerous bastard, has now decided to lock the front brake caliper on. I suppose it’s the car’s revenge for being neglected all year but it doesn’t believe that’s not my fault. It might be a bit upset by the cobwebs and my refusal to remove the green garden spider eggs from under the driver’s side door handle too. But… I like baby spiders. They feast on baby ticks. The ticks have been very active this year so any tick predator is to be encouraged.

I can drive it, it gets warm after a visit to Local Shop (two miles away) but going to the nearest Co-Op (five miles away) makes it heat up so you can smell hot rubber and can’t touch it. New Grandson is 15 miles away and while it would be cool for him to see his grandad arrive, for the first time, in a car whose wheel arch flames are not just painted on, I think it might turn out to be somewhat expensive and possibly a tad more dangerous than even I am comfortable with.

Local Garage has been closed since this silly virus game started. They were trying to sell it before, so I suspect they’ve just taken the furlough money and let it slide. Can’t blame them really.

I’m not confident about messing with brakes. I’ve always held to the feeling that if I mess with the engine and screw up, the car doesn’t go. If I mess with the brakes and screw up, it doesn’t stop. The latter seems by far the biggest risk.

So I have to find a garage that’s open. There might be one near the Co-Op that’s still running and I’ll phone them tomorrow. Otherwise it’s tamperin’ time and that doesn’t always work out as I intended. Might have to carry an emergency anchor and be ready to throw it out of the window.

Visiting has to be soon because another lockdown is coming. It won’t work, just as the last one didn’t work, and the masks don’t work, but they’ll do it anyway because starting lockdowns meant they never had a way out. Sweden was right, but no other government seems to see it.

Well, in the meantime I have started the editing on stories for Underdog Anthology 12. It’s still ten days to closing for submissions but there are always one or two last minute ones. Best keep up to date, especially since there are other books in the queue and the Christmas anthology will be starting soon.

Tomorrow I might be driving slowly to an expert or playing lunatic grease-monkey outside my house. One or the other will happen.

I’m determined to say hello before the next ridiculous lockdown.

11 thoughts on “Buggeration

  1. Well, one option to consider… when you consider the money you’d be putting into the car, not just in terms of fixing it up at the moment, but all the other taxes/insurance/expenses when compared to the amount you really have felt a need to use it:
    Consider going carless. Seriously. When you want to go somewhere shortish, call a taxi or get those bicycling legs back in gear. Ten to 15 miles, taxi. 20+ miles… maybe a taxi or a bike to the train and then relax and nap till your stop. I know there’s a tendency to have an attachment to one’s car that I’ve seen in a lot of people… I think it stretches back to the “Wait till I’m old enough to drive ‘n I’m a gonna git me a HOT ROD ‘n pick up da Hot Babes!” years, but… if you make it out to one of the “smoke ’em if’n ya got ’em” places for an evening… wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about driving home?

    Heehee… ok… I’ll get off my pulpit now. Sheeesh… maybe it’s cuz I made the mistake of getting involved a bit in the God question during a careless moment over on Quora yesterday and I’m dreading that I may have opened the floodgates to the Godder/AntiGodder wars again. I made that mistake early on in Quora and I have “religiously” avoided religion there ever since! (Hint: use mute on all those topics: it works… or at least it has BEEN working quite nicely. I hope I didn’t break it!)

    – MJM, who’s now got an annoying itch… who was it who wrote about The Great God Awto? Heinlein? Hmm… AHHH! Google to the rescue! Clark Ashton Smith! Worth reading! : https://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20120633

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sticking brakes are not difficult to sort. The most common fault is sliding pins that don’t. If you take a look you’ll see the caliper (the bit with all the hydraulic pipework) is attached to a U shaped mount by a couple of pins with rubber boots.

    If you take the whole thing off (2 bolts, maybe need a bit of grunting to release, leave the hydraulics alone) you can “persuade” the pins to free off, then clean them up with a bit of wire wool and smear some copaslip or hi-temp silicone grease on before refitting. Job done in half an hour or so.

    Take the wheel off, have a look, see if you can figure it out from my description. If it all comes clear, have a go. If it still makes no sense, find a local back street grease monkey.

    You’re welcome.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The brakes once failed on one of my cars. It was quite terrifying, luckily I had already turned off the motorway and was on a 40 mph fairly straight stretch and wanted to slow down to turn off left when it happened.

    So no, don’t risk it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kirriepete is spot on, it’s either the pins/sliders sticking (assuming a single piston sliding caliper arrangement) or the piston(s), could be up to 4 on each caliper depending on vehicle, seizing up

    Pins are easy, pistons seizing in place might be ok once you’ve pushed them back by leverage a couple of times, if they are really seized then it might be a new caliper the only sensible cure.

    Brakes don’t like standing around, especially how its happened this year, winter over and not enough wet clean driving to wash the salt off, salt cooks into the brakes during the hot weather, perfect.

    You need an old school mechanic on your team Modern techs at main dealers think squirting brake cleaner about is servicing the brakes, an old un have had these things greased up so well it wouldn’t have mattered if you hadn’t driven the thing for 5 years the brakes would still be free working.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As an alternative to lockdown, why not lower the pension age to 60 and then get all pensioners to shield in place? Let the old buggers that are more susceptible to the virus stay at home paid for by the government and replace them with a more covid resistant younger workforce. Solves the issue of increased risk for old people, solves the issue of youth unemployment and keeps the wheels of the economy working rather than the brute force lockdown we had last time.
    And no, I’m not over 60 before anyone asks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll be lucky, in my game it’s us older than 60 that have turned up every day all though this increasingly bizzare situation no matter what (essential staple foods which cannot stop), i work with a chap been undergoing chemo off and on for some years now, never misses work they nearly had to frogmarch him off the site to take some furlough time.

      It’s the younger ones proving unreliable sick notes, only goes to make our jobs more secure.

      Odd thing this, it’s like a sworn duty to some of us to go to work no matter what, my father was the same, wouldn’t have surprised me one bit to see him rise again after being pronounced get a wash and shave and bugger off to work on his Velocette.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kirriepete and Judd are right. A prybar or big screwdriver and coppergrease are your friends : just don’t buggerup the rubbers and afterwards remember to pump the brakes before setting off to take up any space you’ve created.

    Liked by 2 people

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