She’s home

Brrrrrr, my fingies are stiff with cold, even though the sun is shining and the clouds have moved away temporarily. It rained last night and this morning.

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M’selle Evie est dans la maison! Eight weeks she was away. Did I miss her? Shall we say that her memory improved in her absence, but the reality on her return soon kicked me in the backside.

Yes, eight weeks to fix a cooling system leak, and a bill of $2,388 although that includes an oil and filter change. Urrrggh. Can’t be helped, but it’s annoying that it makes absolutely no difference to how the car feels. The workshop mentioned that they felt the engine is misfiring and when they cleared the codes, it went away. I had high hopes for a big difference in smoothness. Nope, it’s still as lumpy as ever.

So do I throw more money at the problem? It’s only at idle that it’s lumpy. It drives OK once the revs are up and there’s plenty of power. Injectors are not difficult to replace and having watched so many mechanic YouTube clips lately, I should be capable of doing the job. But they cost $125 each, and I should replace all six to be sure, so that’s $750, plus a bit more for new washers.

I think I need to sell her. There’s a sucker born every minute and I was a sucker, I think. I knew it felt like this when I bought it, but paid out the money anyway. I just need to find someone else who wants such a beautiful car.

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I had to get an Uber drive to the RAC workshops in Joondalup to collect Evie. You’ll remember that Tuesday was a howling, raining, helluva day. I tried to judge a gap in the rain, but when my ride arrived, the rain was horizontal. He pulled up onto the verge and I turned to lock the front door. The rain chose that moment to increase in intensity, so I put my hand up to ask him to wait a bit while I sheltered from the storm.

I spent no more than two minutes over all this, then got in the car and off we went.

Imagine my surprise when I got the in-line invoice showing the charge – the bastard had added $3.50 for “Wait time”. Grrrrr! With “booking fee”, what started out as a $27 ride turned out to cost $32.50. Grrr. I’ve made a complaint.

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So, sell the Honda or the Verada too? I really enjoy driving the Honda, but it’s big, heavy and drinks fuel – 16L/100Km or worse. Tyres cost a lot. But it’s very reliable.

The Verada is also a pleasure to drive and maintenance is not too expensive, although I had to shell out $350 for a mass airflow sensor a few months ago. It’s also a bit heavy on fuel – 12.5L/100Km, but I drive so little that I can go months between fills.

Which leads to the thought – what if I dispensed with owning a car altogether? I hardly go anywhere these days. What if I just used taxis? No more licence costs, no more insurance, no more repairs. No more fuel bills, no more repair costs. It makes overwhelming sense.

But I enjoy driving! How often do I do any long drive? About once a year now, so rent a nice car if I know I have a long drive coming up. That would make sense. Hmmmm. If I found I’d made a mistake in giving up cars, then I could buy something again.

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Which reminds me, from everything I’ve learned and everything I’ve heard, don’t buy a BMW! They are nice cars and when they are going well, they are beautiful to drive. But they go wrong in so many ways, and when you try to fix them, the parts cost a fortune and many parts can’t be replaced by the home mechanic because they are “chipped”, that it they have to be identified to the car’s VIN and engine computer, which can only be done by a dealer.

Same with Mercedes – beautiful cars, and I yearn to own one, but be prepared to pay out thousands each year for servicing and parts. They seem to be more reliable than BMWs, but they still break far too often and when they do, it’s the Check Wallet light that comes on in the dash.

In fact, I will generalise and say, Don’t Buy a European Car! I’ll never buy a Mercedes or BMW, which is a bit like saying I’ll never become an astronaut, but you know what I mean. Too unreliable and too expensive to fix.

No, there are only two cars to buy, Toyota or Honda. Japanese cars are so reliable in comparison. If the Japanese can do it, how come the Germans can’t? The Koreans have come a long, long way and KIA’s seven year warranty shows the confidence they have in their products, so they could be contenders, but such boring cars.

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I’ve found another YouTube mechanic channel, Diagnose Dan. Wow, this guy is good at diagnosis, which is why other workshops and dealers send him their hard-to-fix cars.

Dan is a bit of a pain to watch because he waves his hands around all the time and speaks so slowly and deliberately. He repeats himself. What did I say? He repeats himself, get it?

But if you have any difficult problem, you’d learn a lot by watching these clips. He’s in Europe, Holland I think, but it’s all in English. Recommended.

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I’m watching a fascinating series on Netflix at the moment, which I’ll name in a minute. The series The Good Doctor on Seven is derived from a Korean original, where an autistic guy becomes a surgeon. Hard to believe, but it’s only TV. The point is, he’s a high functioning savant who can recall masses of detail from his text books and reading. In the series, he has a mentor who is the surgical director or a major hospital in San Jose (I think), California. I was very sceptical at first and it’s very choreographed, but it got me in and I’ve watched all the episodes so far.

OK, now I’m engrossed in another Korean series, and it’s the original show with subtitles, called Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Yes, she’s also a high functioning autistic savant who trained as a lawyer, topping her uni classes, and is taken on by a Seoul law firm called Hanbada.

Part of her autism is that she tends to repeat favourite phrases, particularly her name which in full is Woo Young Woo. Whenever she’s introduced, she says her name, then lists five or six palindromic words which, strangely, are English words such as …….. bloody ‘ell, my mind’s gone blank. Point being, her name in Korean is a palindrome. It’s odd that the show uses English words, but maybe they’re just substituting Korean words which are palindromic.

Anyway, she can recall and recite practically any law, ordinance or statute at will. That would be handy to have.

But she’s also obsessed by whales and dolphins, any sea creatures like that, and whenever she has a brainwave, she sees a whale swimming by in her mind, or outside the window of her office block, whichever you want to believe.

At first I was sceptical, but I admit this series has grabbed me. She’s utterly charming and beautiful, for one thing, and it’s fascinating to see Korean life and what Seoul looks like. Quite like Japan, to be honest, very clean and neat and everyone bows to each other. Not a bad habit to have, I reckon.

Anyway, Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Recommended. Netflix.