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God, I need a mug of tea!

As you might recall, I wanted a new drive belt at my car's service back in January.
Well, since then I called Cyril and no drive belt, and then when I had to go to the town he was in to pick up a parcel, I stopped by. Still no drive belt.
I asked him to please call me when it arrives.
That was just after mid-January.
It's now the end of March.

Thankfully, VSP Ouest have opened a new concession in a place called Bain de Bretagne. It's a lot closer than the wrong side of Rennes.
But it's still kind of far. 45-50 kilometres, though thankfully mostly cross country so shouldn't be too busy.

I put it off. And procrastinated a little more. Today, I got up at six, fed the furry, made a tea, and then looked at the forecast. There's a storm coming in. Storm Mathis (still March and already at 'M'?!?). Stuff this, I'm going back to bed.

I woke up again at half nine, and thought to myself "Bloody hell Rick, just bloody well go".

And so I just bloody well went.

Cross-country. Aided by Google Navigation. I knew the way, as mom used to go to vide greniers in that area quite often and we'd go have a meal at the Total Station on the motorway (but I can't, not allowed on motorways!). However it's been... oh my, what, maybe four years since I'd last been there? It was reassuring to have the nanny telling me where to go, and mispronouncing all the French in a way that makes sense to a British person. ☺

It was the grey haired guy that used to come and pick up Felicity. He remembered me, and the car. I told him I really don't like driving, that's why I didn't call beforehand, as I wasn't sure how far I'd get.
But I got. And could he please, if he has time, change the drive belt and see what's up with the ABS.

He took one look at the drive belt and said "it's dead". It's only done two thousand kilometres since Cyril said it was still alright. I'm guessing "intact" might be Cyril's definition of alright.
He put a bolt into the rear pulley to force it open (it was good to watch that as it's what I'd need to do if I have to do an emergency repair). It looks like it also involves a bit of brute force to get it in place.

That's when he discovered the little metal ring on the front pulley was crap. The bearings had failed and it was half worn down and just rattling around.
Getting the front pulley off was worryingly easy. The rear pulley, on the other hand, is an engine-out job!

A bit of crunching and banging later (I was reading The Guardian and not paying too much attention, didn't want to watch everything he did as that sort of thing annoys me when somebody does it) a new part was fitted and the pulley reinstalled. He gently sanded it as the engine turned (health and safety!) and sprayed something onto it that I think might have been brake cleaner.

Then he took it for a drive and there were clouds of black smoke coming out of the exhaust. I asked him about it and he said it was normal, he was stressing the thing to make sure it was all good, and he was doing sixty. Said it'd do the same for me when I'm doing that speed.
Uh... I do about 48. It's a plastic car! I didn't mention the "it's also illegal" part. ☺

The bill came to €176. €65 for the drive belt (can't complain, the last one did me around 18,000km), €42 for the ring thing, €7 for cleaning the pulley, and he only charged about twenty for his labour (a half hour). Hell, the VAT came to more!

He told me that the ABS unit responded normally, so it's probably not toast (else it wouldn't reply) and it is reporting that two of the sensors are faulty. They're €53 each (with tax).

I reckon the next service, a major service, will be sort of around August time. He's on holiday the last week of July and into mid-August (I asked), so I will have to see how the driving does as to when I book the car in for the service, and to also get the ABS sensors finally sorted.

He remembered that my little white 400 was called Felicity, and asked me what this one was called. Caoimhe blew his mind a little when I told him how it is said. I said it's a fairly common Irish name. He Googled the name and found an actress called Caoimhe O'Malley which we both found amusing - that's like the most Irish name imaginable. Her profile on Instagram says "{Kwee-va}" underneath the name to aid all the hapless English speakers that are bound to mess it up. You know, like pretty much everybody when talking to Saoirse Ronan, to the point where hearing her saying "ser-sha like inertia" is practically a drinking game, isn't it?

I think the big service will cost about €150 (all the filters and such), plus €106 for the ABS sensors, plus whatever his labour is. If it gets the ABS back up and running, that'll be good. There is a notable difference between manual and assisted braking. But, then, one could say the same thing about power steering...

 

Because the Aixam dealer was located in the commercial/industrial area to the north of town, it was a short and simple drive to the big Leclerc supermarket.

Supermarket in Bain de Bretagne
Supermarket in Bain de Bretagne.

I got myself some comfort food. The Black Forest verrine was quite nice. The... what did the other thing call itself, a New York biscuit? It was weird and had a strange taste like an uneasy mix of industrial crème patissier (think "what custard would be like if it was served in hell") and raspberry sauce...which was probably exactly what it was.

Comfort food
Comfort food.

I know me, so I also picked up a big-arse solid mug for my tea. Something I can cuddle for what's now (as I write this) my third mugfull since getting home a couple of hours ago. I definitely feel like I need a cuddle, so my tea mug will have to suffice.

A big red mug
A big red mug to cling on to.

I'm a little less frazzled. Happy (and proud of myself) that I did it. But... I really don't like driving.

 

I need tea.

Lots of tea.

 

 

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Mick, 7th April 2023, 13:30
Do you ever drink the brand formerly avertised by chimpanzees? I've given up one. Not only do the bags seem to biodegrade before the tea is brewed, the decaf now comes in packs of 70 rather than 80! How mean! I did read a French investment company own it now and they have changed the flavour to be what the French expect from their cuppa. I actively avoid that brand now.

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