Thursday, 24 June 2010

Fire up the Rover

The old Rover 420D was bought about 16 months ago to replace the crappy Laguna, it's amazing that the cost of the Rover with 12 months MOT is within £50 of the cost of getting the Laguna through it's MOT.

The Rover made it's way to Exeter, to the Midlands several times, up and down the motorway to Runcorn, to Devon, touring round Scotland and other trips without a problem and apart from needing some tyres.

I then decided it was time to get an oil change and to be honest, I couldn't be bothered doing it myself. I knew I couldn't get better than a Kwik Fit fitter so I went down there. The Rover was put up on the ramps, there was a sharp intake of breath and I was told that they couldn't do an oil change as the car had a major oil leak.

Now, the oil level had not dropped in 7,000 miles so I thought something wrong here and got it sorted somewhere else. They also informed me of an oil leak as did the MOT station and the next garage that serviced it also said there was a leak from the power steering and an oil leak from the turbo.

Again, i have never had to top up any of the fluids in the car despite it having done over 12,000 miles and so I suspected a gearbox leak as it was a bit rattly at low revs and has done 140,000 miles. The gearbox oil was changed and then I had a loss of coolant which was cured by pouring some radweld into the system but that was about it.

Then in June 2010, we decided to go up to the Lake District for a run, no problems occurred and we stopped at The White Bull in Bilsborrow on the way back for some food and the Pub Quiz. On the way home, Angie said she thought she could smell paint stripper but my nose detected no odour.  In the morning however, there was a puddle under the car and some fluid could be seen to be dripping, the coolant had dropped a little so I though that may be the case and we got in the car and made our way to Runcorn.
As we neared  the end of the trip I noticed that the fuel guage had gone down faster than I would have expected. The big platsic cover that made the old Perkins diesel engine look newish was removed and the culprit was spotted immediately. There are three little rubber pipes linking the injectors together, two of these had perished completely and diesel was pouring out of them, down the front of the engine and all over the underneath of the car.

A new length of pipe was purchased at the cost of a quid and fitted and it seems that my major oil leak has now stopped, it will also be interesting to see what effect that this has on the fuel economy as the car has been doing about 47 to 48 to the gallon.
The thing is, if the fancy bit of plastic had not been fitted to the car in the first place, the leak would have been spotted ages ago, that's modern technology for you.

And one more thing, my gearbox has stopped rattling now.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The MRI Scan

For some months I had been having some pains in my left arm and tingling in my fingers, I could make my hand go numb by rubbing the back of my arm or by letting the water from the shower hit me on my shoulder.

The arm was that bad that I couldn't lie on it and couldn't lie on the other side as the pains would keep me awake.

And so after several visits to the doctors it was decided that I should undergo a thing called a nerve conduction test. As this is the 21st century I had all sorts of ideas about the equipment that would be used for this test. And so you can imagine my utter disappointment when I found that the only equipment that would be used were some small pins and a hammer.

I was jabbed in the finger and asked if I could feel it and hit on the joints in my arm with the hammer to see if my left arm twitched as much as my right one.
After the test I was told that basically there was nothing wrong with me other than wear and tear but to be on the safe side I would be booked in for an MRI scan.

I have to say that on the day of the scan I was a bit nervous, maybe there were bits of metal in my body that I knew nothing about, maybe I should have gone easy on the iron tablets and how many cans of Irn Bru was it safe to drink before entering one of these things.

So I entered the waiting room and my name as called, I was escorted out of the hospital to a mobile MRI unit asked if any bits of me were metallic and could I leave any change in a dish in the control room.

Then it was onto the machine, it's basically a long tube not much bigger than you and a bed on rails that slides in and out. You lie down on the bed, stick some headphones on as it's a bit noisy and then put your head in between two blocks while they clamp a bit of plastic over the front of your head to stop it moving about too much. You are given a panic button in case you become a bit worried and then you are slid completely into this tube.

That wasn't too bad and there were a few noises similar to a flat bed scanner which I didn't think was a problem. But this appeared to be akin to the orchestra tuning up before playing the 1812 at number 11 on the amp.

It started, it was like the opening of Spirit of The Age by Hawkwind played at full volume through several reverb units and a tape loop. Quite enjoyable really and then after a while it stopped and I seemed to move down a bit.

That was quick I thought, just as Hawkwind once again launched into Masters of The Universe  the really heavy mix all around me and this time it was the full unedited track.

Eventually, it stopped and the bed slid out and I was told that my results would be sent to the specialist who would tell me what they showed.

All my fillings were still intact, no unknown internal staples had been ripped from the internals of my body and accelerated to light speed by the magnetic field around me, I didn't turn green when I got angry and no laser beams shot out of me eyes when I took my glasses off, so that was it till the results come through.

And when they do I'll be back here rambling on again as normal.