I’m just going to put it out there and say I have not had a good week; this time of year never seems to be a great one for anybody (including my mum and it’s her birthday tomorrow!), but even so I feel thoroughly trodden down after this week’s events. After a rubbish week at work I traveled to Birmingham for a weekend of catching up and partying – now the former certainly went smoothly but as ever it seems with my bunch of friends there was drama on our night out. You could say that a bunch of 20-somethings dressed as pensioners is asking for drama, but a certain friend of mine seems to create drama even if it isn’t really her own fault. Anyway moving on from that on Monday I had an assessment centre for the Marks and Spencer Retail graduate scheme; a big deal for me and one which *hopefully* paid off. I am less convinced that I did well in my video interview for John Lewis’ Technology graduate scheme, and the less said of my brother’s efforts to get me into his company the better.

The Pantheon store where I did my assessment centre

I apologise if all of the above seems a little non-sensical and whiney, so I had better get onto the crux of the issue and talk about the signs the title of this post refers to. Of course it’s about cars and it began on my journey to work Thursday when I noticed a horrible clinking noise coming from the front drivers wheel. I have not had the best luck with suspension on my car, with a least 3 of the springs having snapped in my 5 years of ownership, the most recent (rear drivers side) back in November. Now unlike that incident there is no visible ’tilt’ to the car when it is stationary and my brief look underneath did not shed any light on what exactly might be wrong…just the clinking noise whenever the right side of the car went over a pothole or speed bump.

Not my car…at least I hope not!

Rather foolishly I decided to wait until after my weekend away to get it seen to; after all motorways should provide no major issues, there was just the nasty speed calming measures down the A34 in Shirley to contend with. To be fair the car took it all in it’s stride and even a rainy outward journey did not dampen my spirits. However the way back started poorly with a literal hailstorm and near zero visibility on the M42, confounded by the fact that my wipers smear the screen badly and make a horrific screeching noise unless there is a torrential downpour – and whilst this was the case to begin with, the general rain we had for the rest of the journey led to me having to sweep the wipers manually when needed (annoying and potentially dangerous!). I am aware that the wiper wear is my responsibility but they have been noisy and smeary from when they were unnecessarily replaced a couple of years ago…I’ve refused to change them out of principal!


Once we reached the M1 things got even worse when the engine management light came on in the instrument cluster. That symbol has haunted my car for many years so whilst I was a little stressed I was not overly concerned about my safety, more the fact that if I took my car to the garage they would again attempt to diagnose the electrical gremlin (and charge £50 for the test alone!). The only difference I did notice was a slight uneveness when the engine was idling, but thankfully just as I had resigned myself to taking the car in after work today, the light vanished when I turned the ignition on this morning. What’s more, the suspension fault seems to have cured itself for the time being…I mean I know I should really get it looked at but whilst I cannot see or hear a problem I may let it lie whilst I need the car for work etc.

Oh and a quick end note, I’ve been trying to keep track of my car’s fuel consumption over the last few fills and it is frustratingly/thankfully lower than I’d thought. Usually I seem to get about 33mpg from a £30 fill up but than tends to be more traffic laden routes with lights etc, and yet after a £60 tank and 360 miles (230 of which were to Birmingham and back) I only managed to eek out around 34mpg! Now I won’t pretend that I drove like a saint but neither was I reckless…I can only imagine there may have something off with my car to increase the consumption that much. Either way it makes me feel that coping with 30mpg from a big SUV (if I’m lucky) might not be too bad! 

Over and out 🙂


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