I am an idiot.
Subrosa casually mentioned on Twitter that if I was an AA member (the car one, not the booze one) I could get them out to fix it.
Well I am an AA member. How could I have forgotten? Those were the guys who dragged my immobilised car home when the transmission cable snapped at the start of lockdown.
Anyway, I have the home-start part of the package so I called them today. He arrived in a little over an hour and while it wasn’t an easy fix, he was able to tell me what’s wrong. Unfortunately the piston seal is broken so the piston is full of crap. I have to get a new caliper. He was able to free it for now but it’ll soon lock again.
Well, it is possible to do it myself but I’d only do that in a dire emergency. I’d much rather have an expert look at it. Anyway, I looked up the price of calipers and was pleased to see they are available as third party parts. Not that I’d refuse a genuine Toyota part but the dealerships don’t seem to want any business at the moment. I haven’t even been contacted about getting it serviced. So it’s not going to take weeks to have a part imported from United Arab Emirates like last time (and even with import duty it was still cheaper than the local dealership’s price).
The strange thing is, prices for the part range from £50 to £250, yet they all look the same. Surely the low priced ones must be safe, or the manufacturers would have had the balls sued off them by now. Is there any real benefit in paying five times the low price? I see no clear difference in the parts as shown onscreen.
Also, does anyone know, should I get both front calipers replaced at once? They’re both the same age so if one’s gone the other probably won’t be far behind.
There is one other small issue. If the local garage is indeed (as I suspect) closed, the nearest one is five miles away. Along a road with no bus service, no pavements and no lights. Taxi? Hahahaha. The nearest taxi rank is at least fifteen miles away so would probably cost more than the repair. So I can’t leave the car with the garage overnight. Also, thanks to Wee Nippy, nobody will be allowed to give me a lift home and back to the garage from Friday. Car sharing is on her latest Do Not Do This list.
Another option is to get the parts and get the mobile mechanic to do it. He did a good and fast job on the transmission cable and at a reasonable price.
Well, I guess tomorrow I’m phoning garages. If there are any still open.
One ray of sunshine. My daughter has offered to take CStM and I to see New Grandson tomorrow. It’s now going to be garden only, since going into family members’ houses is once again a Do Not Do This. It’s going to get interesting to see how much compliance they get in the snow.
So, fixing is on the cards. I suspect the rash of car problems is due to its lack of use over lockdown. It just sits there rusting quietly in the corner. Boris won’t care, he’s already planning to ban petrol and deisel cars by 2030 (although there will still be fossil fuelled transport for the Big Nobs and for Greenpeace’s pirate ships).
Maybe I should stock up on spare parts and get a few more jerry cans. Also, consider getting a steam engine suitable for fitting into a car…