Mazda MX-5 in Poitiers, France

Eau dear: winter wary

Putting your car in for repair can feel like handing over your debit card and PIN number to a stranger and hoping for the best. That’s especially true if, like me, your familiarity with how cars work is limited to knowing they need filling up with petrol and their tyres pumping up.

I rely on my car not just for work but also for my holidays in France.

With the top down, driving along the routes nationales and départementales is a great way to get down to Bergerac. (Pictured is the car outside a chambres d’hôtes near Poitiers, where we stayed this summer.)

I’m already planning my next trip to France – a two-week break over Christmas and New Year.

So keeping the car in good shape is important.

When Damon got out of it a couple of weeks back with his suede shoes soaked through, I feared the worst. The passenger footwell was letting in water – and with winter coming, I couldn’t ignore it.

When I called the Mazda garage that services it, they said it would take them four hours to find the problem and wanted £400 for their time. Actually putting things right would cost extra.

Figuring that letting the bottom rust off the car would ultimately prove more expensive, I agreed.

So imagine my pleasure when they called to say that my bill would come to £196. Apparently the problem is not uncommon in the MX-5, so they had a pretty good idea what to look for. The new parts actually cost just £3.70.

All I need now is a new set of front tyres – then I’ll be ready to begin my journey southwards in December.

This entry was published on Monday, 15 September 2014 at 07:08. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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