I’ve never been interested in cars, yet I’ve made a decent living out of the things.
My working life consisted mainly of working in a huge car plant in the West Midlands, manufacturing those gas-guzzling four by four monsters. It was a great company to work for, but the work was hard with varying shift patterns every week. You have to be slightly barmy to work in a place like that, but the people I worked with were mostly barmy, so it helped.
Kev Will Fix It
One daft guy I worked with, Kevin, always had plans to set up his own business with a small garage, repairing and servicing four by four cars. He was one of those guys who was always pottering about at weekends, poking away under a car bonnet and ranting and raving about valves or piston timings etc. It was all a foreign language to me. Often on a Saturday morning, he would have a Range Rover parked up on his driveway at home making simple repairs in exchange for twenty-five pounds or so. Very rarely did he have any free time on a Saturday.
I even popped over there one Saturday as he said he would look at my little Ford Fiesta that was having problems starting sometimes. It was suggested the cause might be a loose nut behind the steering wheel! As I pulled up outside his house, I could see his backside hanging out from underneath the bonnet of a fairly new Range Rover. “Morning Kev, how long will you be working on this then?” “Shouldn’t be too long” he replied, “there’s a loose wire or something that’s made the indicators stop working.” I took a step back and watched as he went through various cables, pulling this, pushing that until he yanked one off from somewhere.
We are now entering the Chuckle Brothers zone
I Heard Something
It was one of those with a push connector on the end. He said he thought it was causing the trouble and that it was probably just a bit of dirt in the connector. Without further ado, he poked a screwdriver up the end of the connector at which point we both heard a dull thud. He looked at me and asked, “Did you hear that?” “I did” I replied. A quick look around the engine showed nothing untoward and so Kev proceeded to push the wire back onto whatever pointy thing it came off. It was probably another ten minutes before he decided that the job was done and he’d get in the car and try the indicators.
As he shut the bonnet, which is a huge thing on a Range Rover, the rest of the car came into view. I could see the windscreen was all misty and you couldn’t see through the glass. I asked Kev if it should look like that and he made it clear it shouldn’t. The next thing I saw was him opening the door followed by something which meant, “Oh good grief, what has happened here?” Every airbag in the car had gone off and in a Range Rover, there are a lot of airbags to go off. You just can’t push these things back into their spaces, they have to be reset by a qualified garage and it’s expensive. Very expensive. When they go off it’s usually because the car has been in an accident so they don’t need resetting as the car would be deemed scrap.
Keep It Quiet
However, these airbags went off because Kev stuck his screwdriver where he should not have! Needless to say, I never got the job done on my own car. I never found out how much the airbag repair job cost Kevin, he wouldn’t say. He gave up the idea of running his own garage too. I think the cost of the repairs to the Range Rover probably meant he had to take out a small mortgage to pay for it. Some of the trim had been damaged too and had to be replaced. I drove home soon after the incident and I’ll be honest as it’s quite some time ago now, I chuckled to myself. Well, it started as a chuckle and turned into one of those uncontrollable guffaws. The last words I remember him saying to me were, “Don’t tell anyone about this will you.”