As you may have guessed from the title, things have been a bit on the hectic side (understatement of the year here) with my vehicles. Stressed didn't cover it!
I decided to sell my Nissan Qashqai (isn't she pretty?) whilst it still had some value in it. Having had the SAAB convertible that I bought for a small fortune brand new and seeing it be worth almost nothing after 7 years, I decided to put a few pennies in my back pocket this time. Seemed sensible.
The dealer that I bought the Qashqai from had no qualms in buying it back off me. Yes, I'd probably have made £300-500 more selling privately but the thought of advertising on AutoTrader, the tyre kickers, the nuisance calls from other companies wishing to advertise my car and the time wasters really put me off. I'd rather have a cheque now and know it's done. That was the easy part.
I decided to look around for a 'new' car (not brand new you understand) before selling the Qashqai and despite looking at some serious rubbish - what do some people do in their cars??? - I found a lovely, older Volvo S60 2.4T SE (right) which seemed absolutely perfect! Nice bodywork, leather seats, all the bells and whistles and fast. What more could a girl ask for? I bought it on the spot! At the test drive, an engine management light came on. No problem said the dealer and we whizzed it straight to the garage next door to him as we came back and they diagnosed a faulty coil. It would be replaced before I picked the car up. Spot on. He would also get me 6 months Road Tax put on on his cover note which saved me some hassle. Great.
So, on the Saturday, off I went to drop the Qashqai off and pick up my new speedy motor. I was so pleased with it. I popped £45 of petrol in and headed home. As I drove up the road a light came on. "Low Oil Pressure - stop safely". Oh dear. I thought I had about 4 miles to home so I gently went on. The light changed "No Oil Pressure - Stop Engine". I pulled into the garage and got some oil and looked under the bonnet. Dipstick said there was lovely clean oil in the engine. I got back in the car and started it. Light gone. Ah, must be a minor electrical fault then. I drove home and showed hubby (no, he'd not seen it yet). He gave it a wash down for me (it was a bit dirty from the snow) and we decided to pop the girls in and have a trip to his folks to show them the new motor. Off we went.
We trundled down the small dual carriageway and headed into the very tiny slip road by a large roundabout which everyone gets to very quickly indeed. The light came on and I turned to my hubby and just said "That light's b..." and the car stopped. Dead. Nothing. Couldn't start it. Stuck in slip road with traffic racing towards us and 2 little children in the back. I jumped out and flagged people that I'd broken down as you could hardly see the hazard lights! I hopped back in, hubby went to the back and managed to push me around the corner so I could just get up onto the curb just out of danger. AA phoned - priority so will be with us in 1 hour. Dealer phoned (very apologetic, let him know what AA said). We waited. It was very cold. AA phoned after 45 minutes (youngest was crying at this point) and said they had handed the job off to a local garage who would be with us in 75 minutes. What?! We were freezing and two young children in the back. I was not amused. Father-in-law headed over and picked up hubby and the girls and I stayed with the car. He came back so I could sit in the warm. After a total of 1 3/4 hours, the garage turned up. He tried to jump the car with a battery pack. Nothing. He plugged it in to his truck and let it charge for 15 minutes then tried. Still nothing. He decided to lift the car to my in-laws for me. He put it on the back and called in. The control told him to not take it and just drop me somewhere safe and leave me for the AA. I was beginning to rant at the guy on the loudspeaker. It ended up with the driver saying that he had the car on and it was less then 5 miles to the drop. The controller said "Oh, just do what you want" and hung up. Nice to know that he would have been happy for me to be dumped at a roadside in the freezing cold. Wish I knew his name!
Anyway, dropped at inlaws and borrowed their car for the weekend. It had been a very long day. Phoned dealer and he was coming over Monday to try and sort it. He offered me my money back. On Sunday I called him and accepted. I collected the money Monday morning but guess what? He couldn't refund my Road Tax as it would mean waiting for me to get the new owner V5 and cashing it in then and that's another owner on the car which he didn't want. Did he compensate me for that or the £45 petrol for my 5 mile journey? Did he f**k! I am furious with him but just wanted the main money back. I'll deal with him shortly...
I went out Monday and got myself another new car. A SAAB 9-5 (isn't it lovely). It even had tax on it so no worrying about another pay out. Drove it home happy as pie.
Tuesday we went out for a drive and to a playground a little way from our house with the girls. Got some petrol on the way home and guess what? An engine management light came on! I took the car (after dropping off hubby and girls) to the garage to get it checked. The ignition cartridge had failed and it was going to be £315! I called the dealer and the warranty company that I'd got with the car. The warranty company wouldn't pay out because they've not received their fee! WTF? I was astounded. Shouldn't warranty start the minute I sign the papers, not when the cheques reached them in the post! Anyway, the dealer agreed to pay it (I paid first, and he gave me a cheque). It was that or risk the Cat being damaged and a bill of £1100-1200!
I collected the cheque the following day and put it straight into the bank. Fortunately we have the same bank and it cleared instantly. I was pleased about this as I was worried that his partner, who was on holiday, would get back this weekend and stop the cheque as it turns out that my new SAAB was one of his partners cars. Hey-ho. Not my problem now. SAAB is booked in to main dealer for a service next week - just in case!
So, as you can see, it's been a frantic weekend of cars. Quite frankly I never want to see another engine management light in my life! Let's hope this car now keeps on running just fine :)