Budget Motoring

In January, I bought a car for £300.00. The MOT ran until September 2012 and I figured that if it ran until this time, it had been a good investment.

The car in question is a 973cc, 1998 Vauxhall Corsa. It had just under 100,000 miles on the clock when I bought it.

I know that an advisory notice was provided at the time of it’s last MOT in September last year, but the details weren’t with the MOT. I had a look online and found that there had been some rust underneath the car. Rust is usually a bad thing and will generally need some welding to fix the problem. I wasn’t confident that the car would last very long.

The hose to the rear washer had come detached, so had been squirting water within the boot lid. When it rains heavily, water also enters the boot lid. After a heavy downpour, water trickles out of the corners of it when I open it. I’ve since fixed the hose, but believe that the seal around the rear window is letting rainwater in. When I get around to it, I’ll peel it up and stick some sealant around it.

The window washers are very feeble. To get them to work properly, I have to rapidly squeeze the washer leaver so that the water comes out in spurts and actually lands on the windscreen.

I have two keys for the car. One unlocks the boot and doors (but only from the driver’s door- the key doesn’t fit in any other locks) and another key for the ignition.

The radio doesn’t appear to have a permanent live, so I can’t store any radio stations or sound settings.

My Corsa
My trusty little Corsa

Sometimes, when I flash my headlights, the indicators start to flicker on and off and I can hear the relay making a funny buzzing sound.

One of the front wiper blades is too long and catches the other one when the wipers are on their fastest speed.

Two of the tyres had slow punctures and required a top-up every couple of days, although I’ve since swapped the wheels with those from another Corsa which was scrapped.

I found out when filling up with fuel for the first time that the fuel tank had a rather large hole in it, which made an expensive mess on the petrol station forecourt. I’ve since repaired the leak.

The ride is quite bumpy and I suspect that some of the suspension components require repair or replacement.

One or both of the rear wheel bearings are on the way out as they make a terrible hum at speed.

However, the car is incredibly economical and the engine size isn’t a problem on the motorways.

I wasn’t going to bother repairing any of the above problems because I wasn’t expecting the car to last very long. I booked it in for an MOT the other day, just to see what would happen.

Imagine my shock when I found out it had passed the MOT! The only advisory was that there’s some surface rust around a couple of suspension mounts, but this isn’t a major safety issue at all. I’ll keep an eye on it and if it gets any worse, I’ll get the rusted areas repaired.

As a celebration, I thoroughly cleaned my car, inside and out. I jet-washed it, I hoovered it, I washed it, I wiped it and I sprayed a shit-load of Fabreeze inside, as it has a weird smell (may have something to do with one of the many dubious stains).

I’ve had a few cars in the past, but I’ve become really attached to my little Corsa and I’m going to start looking after it. It’ll be Sod’s law that it’ll breakdown within the next couple of weeks but I’m confident that my little Corsa will last me at least another year.

Old washer pump
The old washer pump

In fact, just after writing this, I decided to pop out and buy some new wiper blades, because they all needed replacing. Whilst grabbing the wiper blades, I noticed that Halfords had some washer pumps. The feeble washers on my car could only be down to the existing pump or leaky hoses somewhere- replacing the pump seemed liked the easiest thing to try.

When I was replacing the washer pump, I could see that there was quite a lot of water around the base of the old one- I can only assume that a seal had perished and that water was leaking out of it, hence the feebleness. I swapped the washer pump, connected the new one back up and gave it a squirt. I was a little alarmed at first because the pump was making a noise but no water was splattering the windscreen. Suddenly, out squirted the water- the nozzles on the bonnet were perfectly aimed too, which was a pleasant surprise. It’s nice to be able to see properly out of nice, clean windows. The £46.00 I spent today on window wipers and a washer pump was a worthy investment. My car just keeps getting better and better.

5 Replies to “Budget Motoring”

  1. The unladen weight of a Corsa is less than 1000kg. In one of your other posts about caravans, you said that your car weighs 1232kg. I think you need to double check some of your figures.

    1. I don’t know what the exact unladen weight of a Corsa is, but you’re right in saying that it’s below 1,000kg. You’re also right that in my previous article, I said that my car weighs 1,232kg. You’re either very observant or very sad.
      The car to which I previously referred to is my Ford Focus, which has an unladen weight of 1,232kg. That’s right, I have two cars.

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