from Pantperthog to Knockando

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wahey the car has heat.

So last Friday, I took the car into the garage for them to work out why the heater wasn't working. The basic problem, it appeared, was that the heater motor was dead, no more, gone to meet it's maker, shuffled off it's mortal coil etc. etc. And the really bad news was that new one would cost £158.

My mechanic, Phil, suggested I find a replacement online, which they'd then fit. He plucked a figure at random out of the air and said 'You'll probably find one for about £30'.

So, on Monday I went spare part hunting. I found a website which links into 2500 breaker's yards across the country. You type in what part you need and what car it's for, and your details, and then you get emailed quotes. I had about 9 people get in touch with me within about three hours, but I thought I'd wait and see if any came in overnight.

Sure enough, on thr Tuesday morning, there was a new quote in my inbox, from a place which only does VW and Audi spares and it was cheaper than all the others. The price including postage was... £30.

I rang them up. "Yeah, this is for a mark III," said the guy. "It came out of a P reg. Is that OK?" Well, as my car is a P reg, that was perfect. I gave him my credit card number and asked for him to send it to me at work.

On Wednesday, it arrived at work, wrapped up in bubble wrap and a bin liner. "Is that a severed head?" asked a colleague. "Yes," I said, "of the last person who asked me about my parcels." I rang the garage asking if they could fit me in. Phil told me to bring the car in the next day and leave it with them.

So, Thursday I took the train into work (Grangetown station is right opposite the garage - handy!) and then returned after work to find the heater worked perfectly. Woo hoo! No more having to be a human demister with a wipey pad thing. In fact, it works so well I'm beginning to think the old heater motor was broken for the whole time I've had the car.

So, it took me about a week to get the heating sorted, but it saved me £128 and I felt very manly sourcing my own car parts and everything. (I've left out the part where I rang Phil and asked him what the difference was between a heater motor, a heater fan motor and a heater blower motor, only for him to laugh and say they were all the same thing, as that undermines my manly abilities.) So, yeah, it all worked out well.

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