On being confusioned
My car is due its first official road test last month.
Seeing as last month and this month were fully book up I put it down for March. If they have a problem with that, then that’s their problem.
The test is next week which is fine [apart from the fact that it lands me in the morning rush hour and even worse, I have to get up early].
It occurred to me that I had better have the car checked over. I have had it for eighteen months so it’s about due a service anyway. I phoned Spanner and he can do it on Thursday. Fine. Except that the car could do with a bit of a clean inside.
The forecast [mine, not that shower in the Met Office] is for rain tomorrow and Wednesday so if I were to clean out the car I would have to do it today.
I did it just now.
I was surprised at how clean it was. There was the usual quarter ton of gravel in the foot well which gets carried in on my shoes and there was a packet of mints which had melted into a horrible sticky mess. There was a nasty area in the boot where it looked like someone had vomited but I cleaned that easily. Actually it was a Mexican Bean Tagine which has spilt but it still looked like dried puke.
In the days when Sandy was around, cleaning the car was a nightmare. She shed hairs like a blizzard and the cloth on the seats and floors where solid with them. It was a nightmare cleaning them using combs, dry sponges and a powerful vacuum cleaner. Penny sheds hairs all right but is very neat about it. She has a rug in the middle of the back seat and it’s the only place she’ll go in the car so all I have to do is remove the rug and give it a good shake.
Anyhows, I was vacuuming away when it crossed my mind that I had never actually seen the engine. It shows how old I’m getting as it used to be the first area to explore. But in all those eighteen months I had never once lifted the bonnet [that’s the front lifty uppy sheet of metal that you Mercans insist on calling a “hood”]. The time had come.
And this is where the confusionism comes into play. For the life of me I can’t find how to open the fucking thing. I have searched everywhere. There is a lever beside the seat which I pulled but that just opened the boot [that’s the back lifty uppy sheet of metal with a window on it for you Mercans]. That was no good. I pulled another big lever I found in the darkness and the whole steering wheel column fell on my head. That wasn’t it. I found another large knob that seems to twist but it’s quite stiff and didn’t have any obvious effect. I don’t know what it is but it isn’t what I was looking for.
In the end and in moment of utter frustration I tried the last and ultimate resort [to be used only in sheer desperation] – the manual.
There it was. A little lever on the side of the foot well. It was on the left of the drivers foot well but the illustration was for a left-hand drive, so it must be on the right hand side by the door. I happily went back to the car.
Nothing. No lever. Just a nice pristine surface. No knobs, levers or switches. Nowt.
So I still haven’t seen my engine.
I wonder if Spanner knows the answer?
Did you try on the left of the passenger footwell?
Welcome Steve [A]! Found it! You're right – tucked up out of sight. Thanks.
And the good news is that I do in fact have an engine in the front of the car. Who'd a thought?
Since the majority of countries drive on the right it's probably no surprise that things like the bonnet catch are fitted on the left, since they will be within easy reach of those drivers. Manufacturers can't be arsed to swap over something trivial for awkward buggers like us, and sometimes even safety related items like the wipers don't get properly converted. This also means most RHD front wheel drive cars have a crossover linkage between the brake pedal and servo, which normally sits over the gearbox, and can't be squeezed in behind the engine…
Peugeot vans have it placed on the L/H end of the dashboard – such that you can see it ONLY if the passenger door is open!
There is a knob/switch there at the end of the dashboard only accessible when the door is open. I think it's something to do with switching off the passenger airbag. Handy if I want to discreetly kill my passenger?
In all fairness, at one time (a few generations ago) we had "bonnets" here. Worn by the fair sex to keep their heads shaded from the sun. (And God help ya if ya tried to lift one!)
You say "boot", my first thought is footwear. Although, over the years, I have been "given the boot" from various establishments after overstaying my welcome.
I'd like to know why "boot" became used to describe the act of starting a computer operating system…
I have wondered that myself a few times.
On my Peugeot, it is only possible to pull the catch to release the bonnet when the passenger door is open!
The mystery knob you twiddled is probably the headlight height-adjuster – I'd advise resetting it to its natural position before the car is tested, as maladjusted headlights will be a test-failure item.
Having finally found the bonnet-release catch in the passenger footwell, you may also notice another economy factor – the 'emergency' key-hole to gain access to your car when the key-fob blipper fails to operate is also located in the skin of the front passenger-door, as designing quite different door-skins for RHD cars would compromise the pricing.
In contrast, and when you finally open the bonnet, you may be delighted to find that, rather than a flimsy little bonnet-stay for which the designated hole is virtually impossible to find, your car actually has a gas-strut to keep the bonnet open, an odd luxury feature in a car so economically built.
I have to check for the emergency keyhole yet. I was too wet yesterday to be farting around the front garden.
I was very impressed with the gas-strut though. Very neat!
Think it is because the thing gets its self up and running without outside input, other than pushing ON button.
It pulls itself up by its boot laces. Much like you can attempt to self levitate.
Touch of the Munchhausens.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
Glad you found your lever…and that you have an engine. Afraid you were going to find it was a wind-up with half the spring unwound for a minute there (you need a special tool to wind the damn thing back up…
Okay, this comment is getting a bit ridiculous so I won't attempt to finish it. There's a good reason though–I'm confused as well. We're expecting the delivery of a brand new laptop tomorrow and I swore I'd never set up another Windows computer–ever. Guess what I'm doing over the next couple of days?