Car maintainance for the mechanically vague

Through years of determined disinterest and bodging, I have garnered some essential facts about keeping cars on the road.  This isn’t a ‘girls don’t know about cars, isn’t that cute and funny?’ type post, merely an observation that some people nod seriously when others discuss head gaskets, other people giggle and make up their own jokes when others discuss head gaskets.  I think we can all guess which category I fall into.

So as I’m all about the sharing of wisdom and innuendo (one much more than the other), have some mechanical know how on me:

– If there is any kind of disturbing rattle type of noise coming from the car, simply turn the radio up until you can’t hear it.  Hey presto, noise is no longer disturbing.


– If you need to check the levels of things under your bonnet such as oil, water and pixie dust (my mechanic assures me that this is vital for the smooth running of my vehicle), simply locate the little lever that makes a delightful poppy, clunky sort of sound and pull it.  This is not the same lever as the one that makes the seat go back and forward.  Learning this saved me many hours of frustration and back pain.  Also, bonnets should never be opened with a can opener.  Seriously.

Anyway, the non seat lever performs a magic trick that allows the bonnet to be lifted and secured with a stick.  I don’t know who thought a stick was a good way of supporting a weighty sheet of metal that you are about to put your head underneath but presumably that just demonstrates my total lack of automobilic IQ.

So once you have the stick in place you simply stand and wait.  The newly exposed car techy parts release a pheromone like odour that will attract all the people in the area who know what a head gasket is (and several that don’t but think that they will appear macho and knowledgeable, or have got fed up with daytime tv, or want to know how to do the bonnet trick without ending up attempting to drive from the back seats).  These people will stare intently into your inner workings like a gynaecologist with a brand new speculum (I knew that ‘word of the day’ toilet paper would pay dividends) and eventually one of them will stop sniggering at the word ‘dipstick’ long enough to identify the vital fluid required for motoring merriment.


– Pimping your ride is totally not what you might reasonably expect it to be.  Let’s never speak of this again (also it was part of my plea bargain not to)


Actually, I think that might be it.  Perhaps my mechanical insights are not the way to fortune and fame after all.  Still, at least I know that my pixie dust comes all the way up to the tappets





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