"I ain't dead yet"
I swear they ain't joking when they say cars have personalities. My Arosa certainly does, it likes to be on the brink of dying and then some how come back to life.
The previously mentioned compression issue continues to bug the car, and after some poking around and tests, my stepdad and I are convinced it is definitley cylinder/piston related, not valve related, most likely a split piston ring. Whatever it is exactly isn't worth fixing, and amazingly the car still drives just fine and hasn't seen any abnormalities in fuel consumption.
However, we discovered it had another issue. We took it in for an MOT a few weeks back just to see what would happen, and it turned out that there was (and I quote) a "Massive leak of exhaust gas from the exhaust pipe". We suspected it might have been the rear muffler that my friend and I had replaced after the old one fell off at 50 mph on a country back road, and we hadn't sealed the pipes properly.
That was not the problem; while trying to yank the rear muffler off the car, the connection between the flexipipe and the catalytic converter gave way. Turns out that someone had botched a fix of it some years back and tried to hold it together with a metal ring clamp that had now corroded. The exhaust clip that should have been there to hold it to the bottom of the car was also missing.
Starting the car up, it was making a dreadful noise and we really thought that was it. My stepdad decided, just to see if it would pass, botch the job again and replace the old ring clamp. It was worth a shot, surely?
And would you believe it, it passed. Only for the flexipipe to finally give up the ghost while the garage were moving my car. But, a pass is a pass, meaning we just needed to have that part replaced properly and we'd be back in business.
And that's exactly where we are now. The Arousa lives to fight another day. Above, you see it parked in the Ashford Designer Outlet car park, its predictable early 2000s styling matching the early 2000s overly-styled tent canopy thing found at this shopping centre.
I happened to find a brilliant road from Cripps Corner to Ashford that is well worth a visit if you're in the area. Great scenery, excellent mix of tight corners and big sweepers and plenty of room to get up to speed, even in this slow thing!
But alas, we haven't dodged death just yet. I doubt I'll be selling this car, as I think it'll be write itself off within a year. A number of problems are developing on it:
- It had an advisory for play in the left front wheel due to a bearing that's about to go bust. As for when that's going to go bust...
- The afortmentioned compression issue. It's gradually making the tick over lumpier and lumpier.
- An unknown starter issue. Every so often, the engine simply can't seem to get going, forcing you to hold the ignition key down while the engine gradually builds up revs very very slowly until it finally gets going. Thought it might have been condensation in getting into the HT lead connections but cleaning those up hasn't made a difference.
- Cosmetically, it's not doing well. Covered in scratches (some of them thanks to me, others due to it being stored for most of this year in a less than suited place), some bubbes of rust around some of the panel edges and some cracking of the paint appearing on the drivers door. It really needs a full respray to properly fix all this.
And then there is the most unusual problem of all. It's not affecting driving, but it i's very strange nonetheless, and if anyone knows why this might be happening (or whether it's even intentional), please do say!
The indicator stalk has the ability to control other lights. If turn on and turn off the engine and remove the ignition, and then push the stalk left or right, the corresponding brake light comes on (only one at a time). Here, you see the indicator light coming on when the engine is turned on and the stalk is pushed left, and then what happens when you keep the stalk in the left position and take the key out.
It gets weirder though. If you unlock the car and do not put the key in the ignition or turn on the engine at all, and push the indicator stalk either left or right, the corresponding side light comes on at the front. Regardless of what you do, the brake light and side light are never on at the same time, and it is always only ever the left or right light depending on which way the stalk it pushed.
Any explanations? Or is this car slowly developing a massive electronics problem without me knowing?