Tag Archives: AA

Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL

Following on from THIS DISASTER STORY

In short, from the latest breakdown:

The Fiesta overheats. Chris pulls over. AA are called.

He  removes the thermostat which has broken – this allows Chris to get home.

Oddly, this was previously replaced with a new item by Farnham Carriage Company when the head gasket blew 10 months ago… or not. You see, the failure of the thermostat was caused by a fracture piece of metal, and the only way it could have received the damage was if it had been REMOVED incorrectly.

Now, you can’t damage the thermostat FITTING it… only removing it… SO Farnham Carriage Company had actually REFITTED the faulty thermostat (damaged on removal) and not replaced it with a new item as they had said. Yeehaw cowboy.

A few days later Chris goes to buy a new thermostat. When she starts the car to come home it makes a very serious noise. She stops the engine and  the AA are called out.

The AA roadside mechanic tells Chris that the big end has gone. Writes a report saying the very same thing.

There are two choices, the AA man says: A new car or a new engine.

Bugger… that’s the advice from the most respected experts there are – Not a good result.

Chris asks our neighbour if he can swap the engine out. He’s a good guy and has helped us out a lot with cars, heating and  plumbing. He says no problem, he can put some time aside to do the job. He also suggests a new clutch whilst the engine is removed as it would be well worth it. Nothing really in it for him as we would supply the parts – so no ulterior motive.

After a few weeks the engine arrives, the new clutch and new gaskets are purchased. We’re looking at about £300 in parts.

A couple more weeks go by whilst we wait for a window to get the job done. All of this time the car has just sat doing nothing. It had’t been started as there was no point, and anyway, we left the starting of it to the moment we had to move it into the neighbours garden  – a last few minutes of running for the dead engine just enough to move the car… we hoped…

He starts it. We both look confused. The noise is not a big end failure – not by a long shot. The noise is from the top of the engine and our neighbour says “Stuck valve”…

The rocker cover is removed (4 small easily accessible bolts).

Straight away our neighbour spots the problem. A push rod has slipped from the rocker. This happens in older cars where the adjustments slowly drift. The popping, tapping noise was simply the gases building up and back firing.

The adjuster was loosened easily, the rod popped back into place, the adjuster reset. The cover put back on.

10 minutes work.

The key is turned and the engine runs sweet as anything.

Nice one you AA “Experts”…. we almost scrapped the car on your advice… but instead paid £300 for spares we didn’t need and had no car for 4 weeks whilst all that was required was A TEN MINUTE ROADSIDE FIX to be carried out by our “handy man” neighbour.

Just because they are the AA it doesn’t mean a damned thing – They are cowboys under a respected badge, but still cowboys.


What else CAN go wrnog?

Okay… so just the other day I wrote this https://moretimespace.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/things-can-only-get-better/ and some folk said – Hey, don’t worry – at least things can’t get any worse.

I figured today would be a bad one when I woke up having a coughing fit due to the damp (caused by the water tank leak, mould, damp and glass fibre). It was a proper coughing fit… big lumps and blood… left me slightly breathless all day – and 18 hours later I’m still wheezing.

To cheer me up – and give me a late Fathers Day meal, Chris bought a curry in so it would be delivered just as I got home at nearly 6pm. Sounded good to me.

I hate it when people say “at least things can’t get any worse….” because life sees that as a challenge.

At least it isnt raining.... oh.... hang on...

At least it isn't raining.... oh.... hang on...

So… today as I drove home from work in the car we brought on Saturday I had to stop at the side of the motorway as the engine emptied it’s contents of oily water on the road. I had to call the Lloyds TSB card services (again) and get the AA out.

5 minutes before they arrived it started to rain, and all I had was a shirt (and trousers of course) to protect me.

I finally got home at gone 9pm. I just wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the meal that late at night.

I spent the next 45 minute trying to sort out taxi’s and trains so I can get to work in the morning…. that’s damned expensive = and money that we just don’t have – as you well know from the past years blogs…

Less than 4 weeks ago I had never called an insurance line, never claimed, nothing…. In the past 4 weeks our car is written off due to an idiot driver, the roof floods and wrecks the ceiling due to an idiot plumber, and the new car dies at the side of the road due to… well… because it bloody had to really, didn’t it.

Don’t tell me it can’t get any worse.

Yes, I know I am a lot better off than millions of other people – but it’s all relative. Someone with my problems in some third world country would be considered a king! BUT I’m not in some third world country, and my problems are relative to the area that I live. Yes, I have my health – It isn’t great, but it’s a darn site better than many other people… I really have nothing to moan about… but grant me this rant – it’s built up over the past mounting months and years and I need to let it out before I go nuts.

Bring on the next “surprise’.

P.S – Before anyone else says I haven’t spelt wrong correctly… I KNOW!!! That was a pun.


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