THE TG GUIDE TO...
fixing your car
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.