Being the owner of a Bentley Continental GT is not as fantastic as you think it may be. Don't get me wrong, it's good, infact, as I've said before, it's very good. But for me, a regular fella who has pretty much invested every penny he has in one car, It's kinda stressful!
Don't panic, it's not gone off with a pop yet. Although, and I think this is completely unfounded as it's given me no sign of any impending doom ahead, but I am waiting for something to go pop. I think, or infact I hope that this is all in my head because of how much I have invested in this thing. But still, I have this little niggling voice in the back of my head that keeps saying "I wonder if it's alright? What will I do when it goes pop? This is gonna cost a fortune!" I'm tellin' ya, this little voice is kinda sucking the joy out of it a little! I guess this is just one of the joys of being a border line schizophrenic, these little voices that just chat away to me in the back of my mind. In the plus column though, I never feel alone. Anyway, why are we looking at the Bentley on a lift in Kwik-Fit?
Well, I had a little light come on on the dashboard informing me that I had a flat tyre. Now, in my little corner of the world we've had a little spate of tyre slashing recently. Something else to worry about while I lay there wide awake listening to the sounds in the street every night, and wondering if someone is hurting my car. So one morning when I got into the Bentley this light came on, and I thought to myself I hope that I've not had a tyre slashed. I got out, and walked around the car, but all the tyres looked fine. So off I went to the petrol station, and then to wherever it was I was going. By the end of the day the light had gone back out, and all was good in the world. But the following day, the same thing happened. Again, after a quick look, and all seeming OK, I went on my way. This went on day after day, the first start of the day it would inform me that I had a flat, which I didn't have. So it got to the point that before I would even get in I would have a walk around the car, kicking all the tyres as I went. In the end, I decided to give my friend at Kwik-fit a visit, and see what his professional advise would be on the subject.
While I was there having a chat I asked him if we could pop it on the lift just so that I could have a little look underneath it as I've never looked under a Bentley before. Pretty soon my Bentley was up in the air, and we were having a look underneath the thing. I'll be honest, I really don't know how mechanics do it. I mean, I'm sure these lifts are pretty much 100% safe as long as the vehicle on it is loaded correctly, but still, I feel very uneasy walking around underneath the car while it's up on these things. I guess it's the same as most things, the more you do it, the more confident you get, and the easier it becomes. But still... It's that niggly voice agin. I'll be honest, I don't really know what I'm looking at here, but what I was surprised about was that despite the roads being pretty grubby at this time of year, and I have been trying to drive this thing as much as I can afford, the underside looks pretty clean. I seem to be forever trying to wash the road grime from the top of the car, how come it doesn't look all that dirty underneath? Further more, something else I noticed was that it wasn't exactly plastered in oil either. I mean, for the most part, my cars don't mark their territory with little puddles of oil everywhere I park, however, whenever I've looked under them in the past there always seems to be some evidence of seepage in the past. The Bentley seems to have none of that, which should probably re-enforce in my mind that this car is pretty good, and not about to go off with a pop... But it doesn't.
Anyhoo, while the car was on the lift I chatted with my friend about this warning I had on the dsahboard which said that I had a flat tyre somewhere on the car. I mean honestly, you'd have thought that a car like this would've told me which tyre, or even pin pointed the puncture, right? I told him that it always tells me on pretty much the first start of the day, but when I check, they all seem good. He asked me if I checked them with a pressure gauge, or just looked at them. I said I looked at them, and maybe kicked them a little if I was feeling particularly energetic. He laughed and said that the problem may be that one of the tyres was a wildly different pressure to the other three, which would cause the sensors to detect that one of these tyres was different to the others, and put the warning on the dash to let me know. He got out his little tool (no, not that one, the one to check the tyre pressures!) and walked around the car looking. He started with the drivers side front which was 42psi, the passenger side front was 45psi, the passenger side rear was 37psi, and then we came to the problem, the drivers side rear was 104psi! Why would you have pumped it up so hard? Who does this? He looked at me and said I guess you've not done this have you? I said that I had not, the tyres looked hard when I got the car, and so other than check the tyre tread wear I've not touched the tyres at all. He deflated the tyre, and then pumped them all up to the correct tyre pressures. He said that with the exception of the drivers side rear tyre, they were all pretty much within the range of what they should be, but as I was there, why not get them all perfect?
With that done, I started to chat about the little spate of tyre slashing that had been going on in my local area, and that a fella that I talk to from time to time had all four tyres slashed on his car three times in one week. This is something I'd like to avoid if I can, but, should some little oik decide to slash my tyres, what would I be looking at to have them replaced? He tapped away on his computer, and pretty soon he had a price for me.
If I was going for like for like I'd be looking at £354.50 per corner! Oh good I thought, that's going to help me sleep at night! At this point in time because of the price of petrol, and the amount this thing likes to drink I'm not sure I could come up with the funds for just one tyre, let alone £1418.00 to buy a whole set! Let's just hope this little oik gets caught before he works his way through the estate to my house.
I'll be honest, I do struggle with people who touch my cars, even the crappy ones like the StreetKa Named Desire. I just feel that I don't touch other peoples cars, why do they feel the need to touch mine? The other night, as I left my friends house to walk home I followed a group of maybe twenty lads walking alone the street, as one of them got to my Bentley he stopped to start writing in the ice on the rear window. I walked briskly up to him, and tapped him on the shoulder and said, don't write on my car please. At the same time as I did this, the little voice in my head went, it's late at night, there's nobody around, and you're about to have a go at one, of maybe twenty lads? Are you insane? (I think if you're talking to yourself, then you probably already know the answer to that one, right?) I should've just walked on by, but foolishly, I didn't. Anyway, he finished up what he was writing, and looked back at me with deeply stoned eyes, and just said "Ahh, sorry doooode." before shuffling off down the road with his other friends, all of who I think were probably stoned too. I think I may have had a lucky escape there, I looked at his artwork, a badly drawn heart almost as big as the rear window its self with 'Jason luvs Heather x' written in the middle of it. Gotta give the lad credit, despite the lad being pretty stoned, and with the exception of the word 'loves' all his spelling correct, so maybe as Jason has managed to spell Heathers name right even when he's stoned perhaps we're dealing with true love here, but Jason, proclaiming your love for Heather on my car is not the right place...
And Heather, if by chance your stoner boyfriend is infact Jason, I really think you could do better. But if you do fancy sticking it out with him, might I suggest a hobby that involves cars or motorcycles, that should keep him off the weed as he'll just never have the money for drugs. Good luck!