fix­ing your car

Top Gear (UK) - - INTAKE -

Dis­as­ter! You’ve hopped into your car, turned the key and… noth­ing. Dead. Ex­pired. But fear not. Just work your way through TG’s handy ques­tion-an­dan­swer check­list, and you’ll surely be up and run­ning in no time…

1) Do you own a car?

Sur­pris­ingly com­mon mis­take, this. The frst, and ar­guably most im­por­tant, step in fx­ing your car is to de­ter­mine whether you do, in fact, own a car. If not, you may be sit­ting in your gar­den shed, or atop a mighty shire horse named Stephen. Ei­ther way, this more than likely explains why it’s fail­ing to fre into life at the turn of your key. Also, where did you get that key?

2) Is the car you’re sit­ting in your car?

Again, an all-too-com­mon er­ror. Even if you do own a car, please check thor­oughly that you’ve ob­tained en­try to your own ve­hi­cle, rather than, say, your next door neigh­bour’s, or that of Seven Fin­gers Gary, your friendly vil­lage drugs lord. If it isn’t your car, prob­a­bly best exit rapidly. And maybe move house for good mea­sure.

3) Are you sit­ting in the driver’s seat?

Some cars sneak­ily lo­cate their vi­tal driv­ing equip­ment on the in­cor­rect side of the car. If there’s no sign of pedals or a steer­ing wheel, more than likely you’re sit­ting in the pas­sen­ger seat, and have in­serted the key not into the ig­ni­tion, but the cig­a­rette lighter. On the plus side, you can now use the end of your key to ig­nite your morn­ing che­root. If there’s no sign of pedals, steer­ing wheel or in­deed a dash, you’re sit­ting in the back.

4) Have you lost the fac­ulty of hear­ing?

No en­gine noise doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean the en­gine isn’t run­ning. If you can’t hear the en­gine, or in­deed any­thing at all, you’ve gone deaf. In the ab­sence of au­ral ev­i­dence, to de­ter­mine whether the en­gine is in fact run­ning, check the rev gauge. If your car doesn’t have a rev gauge, buy a car with a rev gauge.

5) Have you checked the fuel level?

De­spite the ex­tra­or­di­nary ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy of the last cen­tury, au­to­mo­biles re­main frus­trat­ingly re­liant on reg­u­lar en­ergy in­put to achieve en­ergy out­put. If your car’s out of juice, please en­sure you re­fll it with the cor­rect fuel. TopGear can re­late from bit­ter ex­pe­ri­ence that electric cars do not ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing brimmed with su­per-un­leaded, what­ever YouTube might tell you.

6) Have you checked the oil level?

Mod­ern en­gines re­quire reg­u­lar oil top-ups to main­tain per­for­mance.

TopGear rec­om­mends a de­cent ex­tra vir­gin olive oil for day-to-day use, though Ja­panese cars tend to beneft from a dash of se­same oil from time to time. Cod liver oil should only be used in emer­gen­cies.

7) Has the big end gone?

Check the area of your car in which the big end is usu­ally lo­cated. If the big end’s still there, you’re good. If the big end’s not there, it’s gone.

8) Have you checked the points?

That’s north, south, east and west.

9) Are you a qual­i­fied me­chanic?

No? Sur­pris­ing as this news may be, nei­ther is TG. We’re out of sug­ges­tions. Best call a pro­fes­sional.

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