With well over 100,000 miles on the clock and every country of the United Kingdom under his drive belt, Monty is proving himself to be a fabulous car.
However, he's recently been a bit poorly.
On Friday morning, Coyote noticed a touch of oil on the tarmac of Traffic Towers. He didn't think too much of it; after all, Monty had enjoyed a full service the day before. It was probably just something settling in - or maybe they'd overfilled him a bit.
So he drove up to HQ as usual on Friday with nothing untoward happening. No smoke, no clunking, no engine falling out onto the M4 spraying bits of gnarled metal across the carriageway...it looked like all was going to be just fine. But no.
After being parked outside the cottage for a while, it was evident that there was a substantial oil leak. Monty was bleeding! While Coyote slept after a grinding early shift, I wriggled underneath to have a better look. There wasn't anything obviously wrong with the underside; so I slipped a couple of trays underneath to see just how much oil he was losing.
It rained that night and we woke the following morning to see a beautiful rainbow. Normally we would've been quite pleased to see such vibrant colours...but it's not quite the same when the rainbow is trickling out from under your car.
We decided to play it safe and stay local - so we drove to Machynlleth to pick up some bits and pieces. Cheese Strings, mainly. When we walked back to the car after exiting the supermarket, it was evident that Monty was in a bad way. The oil was dripping out of him like snot drips out of a primary school kid's nose in a winter playground. We needed to get some oil.
Off to Tuffin's we trundled - where we bought 2 litres of juice to try and top Monty up. We were only in the shop a matter of minutes, but came out to see oily footprints all over the car park. Uh oh.
There was only one thing for it. We didn't know what was wrong...but we knew a man who would. A very nice man. Yes, a Very Nice Man. It was time to call the men in yellow.
While our knight in fluorescent jacket made his way from Shrewsbury (about 60 miles away) to rescue us, Coyote went and bought him a coffee and a Mars Bar - he's thoughtful like that - and I entertained myself by making oily flower pictures in the car park. It was 4 degrees and chucking it down; but we didn't care. We just wanted Monty to live!
Eventually, the Very Nice Man - thank you, Andrew! - arrived and shoved his head under the bonnet:
After a lot of tweaking, tinkering, glaring, revving and dabbing, it was concluded that the oil filter - which, remember, had only been fitted the previous day - was leaking profusely. Apparently that's what can happen when a spurious part is fitted in place of the genuine, made-for-the-purpose part that you expect and pay for.
Thankfully, the Very Nice Man managed to twist the oil filter on much tighter than it should've needed and the leak appeared to stop.
Coyote drove back to Cardiff this morning without incident, but he'll be calling the garage that 'serviced' Monty to have a select few words in their shell-likes.
Hopefully, they'll admit the error of their ways and put things right. If not, I dread to think what's going to happen. I'm not saying that he or I will do anything rash...but Limmy might. Yes - our mascot Limmy the SheepHog. You should've seen him when a Freeloader took Monty's wing mirror off. He was chuntering in Gaelic, foaming at the mouth and everything! I've advised Coyote to keep an eye on him if he has to return to the garage any time soon.
SheepHog bites can be nasty.
With much gratitude to @AA_Members