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You live and learn

Yesterday I went to my little tame garage man around the corner [definition: the excellent old-school mechanic who, unlike all main dealers, doesn’t charge a fortune and, if I call in extremis, will drop any/everything he’s doing to ‘sort me out’] for my car to have what amounts to its 100,000 miles service.

Later in the afternoon I returned to collect it, received a bill for what I estimate is about 50% of what my local main dealer would cost me, and drove away with his ringing endorsement (“For it’s age that vehicle is in remarkable condition, good for another 150,000 miles at least …”) ringing in my ears.

But life’s like that, and just keeps getting better.

On the way home I sensed a warm glow in the small of my back – my driving seat was definitely heating up, as if in response to the coldness of the temperature perhaps. There was a good and a bad aspect to this. The good aspect was that I have a ‘compressed disc’ problem in my back and I could sense that the warmth was doing it some good.

The bad aspect was that the seat was getting almost too hot. I didn’t know whether there was a switch or similar via which I could turn down the temperature a little … or whether perhaps the car had over-heated in some way and was therefore in danger of catching fire. Perhaps I should have turned around and gone back to my little garage man, but in the end I decided I couldn’t be bothered.

However, later I spoke to one of my neighbours. I mentioned the issue to him and he volunteered to come outside to our common car park and take a look.

When he did so, he soon identified the problem. On the dashboard console in the front of the car are two little widgets, one for the driver’s seat, one for the passenger’s. By this either the driver and/or passenger can – if they choose – cause heat to flow through the back of their respective seats and at any strength between 0 and 5. Mine (the driver’s) had somehow been adjusted to 5 – possibly inadvertently when one of the little garage man’s minions was dusting/wiping the inside of the car including the dashboard.

Problem solved.

What’s even better about this incident is that I’ve had this car six years now and in all that time I never ever noticed these two little widget features, nor had I used them for what they could be used.

What a perfect day for an old gentleman of my vintage!

I get my big service done at a very reasonable cost and also learn something new about my car at the very same time.

I wonder whether I shall every learn what all the other little switches and widgets dotted around the cabin do – there must be at least six or seven of them in this category.

Then again, at my age, I suppose it doesn’t really matter one way or the other …


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About William Byford

A partner in an international firm of loss adjusters, William is a keen blogger and member of the internet community. More Posts