Sunday, June 08, 2008

Wasn't Summer Nice?

That's all folks. Here in England we had two weeks of beautiful sunshine in May. That was summer. And you know what? The Lotus was out of action throughout, on the ramp in Barry Ely's workshop. *sigh*

I just got her back with another punishing bill for leaving her standing for half of the winter. When will I learn? The story goes like this:

Some time in late January (I think) was the last time the Lotus actually started unassisted. The starter motor was sluggish but just when I was about to give up she fired and ran. We went for a spin and all was well, so I put her away again. When I next came to the garage, probably about two weeks later, the starter motor was so reluctant it was never going to turn the engine over quick enough to start a cold Lotus.

Clearly (or at least partly) a bad earth, but it being winter, me being in a cold garage, miles from the house with no tools and no power all stacked up to mean I wasn't going to fix it there! So I went away and about six weeks later I tried to get the car going with my father. However, by this stage the bad earth was even worse and to compound it, the battery was half dead too, refusing to hold any sensible charge. Even hooked up to a Volvo 940 via some hefty jump leads there was no starting her.

And so there she stayed, again. Until May came around, another six weeks or so later, and I decided to call Barry and have him come and fetch the car on a trailer. The result?

Clutch seized so solid he thought he might have to take the engine out to get at it. Seized brake calipers. Blocked accelerator jets in the carbs. Twelve hours of labour at £45/hour, simply because I'd let her stand too long. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

The moral of the story is if something breaks, especially something which prevents you from starting the car, don't leave it until spring! Repair it as soon as it happens. The longer a car like this sits unused, the bigger the bill will be when someone eventually comes to sort it out.

I know this, but a mix of laziness and fear of what might be wrong caused me to ignore it and hope it would go away. It did not.

On the plus side, I have the car back, so in the unlikely event the British summer gets a second wind, I'll have a lot of fun.

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