Flying Colours (Again)
April 27, 2006
I’ve been sitting here all day, gnawing my fingers to the bone because Audrey, my faithful Audi A3 1.8T Sport has been in for her annual service. No big deal usually: this typically comes in at around £150 and to date nothing has ever gone wrong. The only thing I ever seem to spend money on are, er, tyres, but she’s so grippy they can last me years.
However, she’s getting on now. I worry more. Furthermore, at the last service I was told that I really need to change the timing belt soon. The recommendation is 5 years or 70,000 miles. I’ve only done 45,000 miles (I don’t leave the house much these days) but she is 7 years old now.
See the whole Audrey Set on Flickr.
It’s a big job because they have to take the engine out, and at Audi service rates I could feel my credit card melting in my pocket. Around £650, they said, just for that. At the time, I was just about making that sort of money a month, my credit card bill was already twice that and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that wouldn’t be paid off in a hurry.
I figured, given the low mileage, that I could eke it out another year, praying all the time that nothing would happen. I couldn’t face the thought of her twenty valves shooting through her smooth, golden bonnet; her spark plugs losing their spark; her pistons all shattered; her turbo sadly deflated. OK, I don’t actually know what happens when a timing belt goes, but I know everything will be fucked. Give me poetic license here, OK!
I’m no longer as skint as I was. I earn much more, I have money in the bank. Even so, I’m hardly rolling in it. I thought I would be looking at a bill of at least £850, and to be pessimistic, £1,000.
So imagine my delight when they called me up to say that the work was completed and the bill (apologetic at this point) was £540. And they picked it up / brought it back for me, cleaned it (she’s surprisingly much more bright and golden than I was expecting! We must be talking layers of filth here) and I couldn’t be happier.
I somehow knew, when I bought the car, that I would need to keep it for a long time and I knew also that I wanted something strong, as well as fast and cool (while understated, because I was sick of getting pulled over by the law). I didn’t have plans to quit my job back then, but I always had this feeling inside. Good job I did, because if there’s one thing that is important to me right now it is to have predictable bills (if they come in lower than I was expecting, I’m not going to complain) and no hassle. That’s why Audrey is the love of my life! Bless.