Tag Archives: clutch

Jetta Jameson Clutches Me Once Again [Part 3] My Life 10 FEB 2010

At last the grand finale. I am now finally mobile again, after having sat without my beloved Jetta Jameson for quite some time now (haven’t been to the office or even karate practice in the meantime), though I just wish my wallet wasn’t sobbing quite so loudly at her return.

R4,063 it cost me this time around to get her back up and running.

But in all fairness, it didn’t start out costing that much, as it usually does if you think about it. As mentioned in the last chapter of this saga, I had left Jetta Jameson in the capable hands of mechanic supremo Ian Basson over at Nistec in Tokai where I let him happily tinker away while I got stuck into powering up my home office and working from home again.

Considering the fact that my car was overdue a service by at least a month or two, I phoned up Ian and asked that while the car is already sitting in the shop, if they wouldn’t just service it for me while they’re at it, a brilliant idea, but an idea that nevertheless had me chewing down on my bottom lip in the hopes that I wouldn’t be getting that dreadful phone call that usually accompanies Jetta Jameson services where the mechanic phones you up to tell you the unpleasant surprise that they had discovered.

But nothing ever came and I started to feel a tinge of joy in my heart at the prospect of only paying for a service and the R900 for the replaced cable – which is of course exactly when the phone call did come through. As Ian explained, they had replaced the pin and cable, completed the service and as they rolled her out of the workshop, all of a sudden the clutch gave in completely – meaning that they had to ship her back into the garage and now drop the box to find the problem – and lo and behold, the time for a complete clutch kit replacement was finally upon me.

Not altogether unexpected if you consider that I’ve yet to ever replace the clutch on the car despite the number of years I’ve owned the car and the number of kilometers on the clock (239 000 in case you are wondering), but still sucky because that meant the horrible boost in cost that I was so dreading – and boost it did.

To cut the story short, the job took far longer than expected, it cost a lot of money (there there oh wallet of mine – could be worse of course, I’ve spent R11 000 on the car once if I remember correctly) and was a pain in the ass logistically for me in particular.

But at least I now have her back (thanks to Chantelle and our ever friendly GPS for getting me there) and she’s riding smoothly again – though with her new clutch and the setting completely different from what I’m used to, I am looking a bit like a Noob Poephol every time it comes to pulling away from a stop street at the moment! :)

Sorry about that.

Jetta Jameson Clutches Me Once Again [Part 2] My Life 04 FEB 2010

Having dropped Chantelle off at work and taken the Getz through to work in order to make the interview we were conducting on the day, I was rather relieved to find the lifeless Jetta Jameson still standing untouched in the Steenberg Virgin Active parking lot on Tuesday morning.

Now we had originally bashed together a plan which would see Monty and Cheryl arrive in Westlake at 13:00, just after our scheduled interview (Touchwork is still hiring, just in case you haven’t submitted your CV yet!), which would mark me leaving work early and jumping in the Jetta so that Monty could tow her all the way back to Disa Auto Services in the Strand with the Tucson while Cheryl would be left in charge of bringing Chantelle’s Getz back to the pad at Gordon’s Bay. In hindsight probably not the best of plans to have come up with, but I guess it worked for us at the moment, despite the prospect of the 50 km tow back towards the Helderberg.

However, following the interview (which didn’t go all that great mind you), Rory provided me with a brilliant alternative to our shaky plan, prompting me to call off Monty (just in time) and cancel with Disa who I had already organised with to receive my clutchless baby.

Ian the mechanic is a man that Rory has been using for well over ten years now (and who is currently servicing almost the entire population of Spintelligent thanks to Rory’s referrals) and who just happens to run a repair shop out in Tokai, not all that far from Westlake Business Park.

Giving him a shout, Rory convinced Ian to come out to the office where he and I would go have a look at Jetta Jameson and determine whether or not the problem lay with a simple snapped clutch cable which could be fixed on the spot, or something more serious like the last time the clutch went on my girl, prompting the necessity for towing her into the shop.

A little later than scheduled, Ian and assistant in his bright red bakkie turned up and off we twaddled towards the gym, where on quick inspection it was revealed that what ailed Jetta Jameson was nothing more than a broken pin that handles the attaching of the cable to the clutch arm. However, don’t laugh with joy just yet I’m afraid.

Unfortunately for me, the Jetta is fitted with a self-adjusting retractable clutch cable, meaning that when the pin went, the clutch cable automatically retracted and adjusted itself to the new length, effectively rendering the cable useless and prompting its replacement. Sucky.

And while I could replace it with a grey product, Ian highly recommends against it as in his experience the after market parts are so inferior that in most of the cases you would be back within a month. So that means an original part then, no problem of course, but that particular bloody cable costs R900! Stupid broken little clamp type thingie…

Anyway, Ian and his assistant hooked up Jetta Jameson and towed her back to his shop while I returned to the office, squeezed in the last bit of work for the day and then took Green Getz home, pleased that the situation is now half way resolved and more importantly, the solution ended up not involving a 50 km towing ordeal!

(Plus, at least the R900 + the rest of the expenses has some sort of benefit – I get to work from home until I get the call from Ian to come and pick my baby up. That’s not too bad a deal my tired body in need of more sleep reckons…)

[End Part 2]

Jetta Jameson Clutches Me Once Again [Part 1] My Life 03 FEB 2010

Oh noes, Jetta Jameson has gone and done it again. My lifelong partner has decided to once more say bye bye to her clutch and in doing so, leave me stranded all the way out in Westlake at the Steenberg Virgin Active parking lot. Sigh.

It all unfolded on Monday evening, after a late day at the office due to another job interview I was part of (Touchwork is hiring again in case you’re interested). Although already too late for karate practice, I was nevertheless keen to get home sooner than later in anticipation of a great meal prepared by Chantelle at the start of her healthy eating campaign, and after offering a lift to Dave whose car was funnily enough currently sitting in the shop, went to collect Jetta Jameson from the Virgin Active’s basement.

With bags all packed and ready for Dave, I eased Jetta up the ramp and as I turned up the last corner and started heading for daylight and those annoying access booms just up ahead, all of a sudden the clutch jumped inwards, propelled my foot forwards and yanked out a well-placed “fuck” from my mouth, all at the same time.

Luckily I was stuck in first and so continued my painful crawl up the ramp, with me leaning forward out of my open window frantically waving my access disc around in the hopes I could trigger the boom to lift before Jetta’s nose reached it. I did.

However, I wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. Now in a busy cul-de-sac with no where to pull to the side of the road, I opted to swing right, past an astonished and quite bewildered Dave, heading straight for Virgin Active’s outside parking, which yes, is also protected by a boom. This time my leaning out the window with the access disc didn’t quite work out and I was forced to shut her down just before she plowed into the boom, stopping literally just with a centimetre or two to spare!

I tentatively opened the boom and started her in first, where she jolted forward to life and edged through the boom, thankfully missing it on the way in. Now desperately scanning for an open space in what is quite frankly an almost always busy parking lot, I was rewarded with a huge stroke of luck as I spotted an open spot directly ahead of me, allowing me to guide Jetta safely home and put her to rest within its snuggly confines.

By this stage Dave was rather confused, and as I grabbed the valuables and my gym stuff out of the car, I explained to him the dilemma and as such, sent him on his way in search of train in order to make his own way home. I on the other hand grabbed my phone and phoned my lifeline, Chantelle, who just so happened to have gotten home minutes earlier, having just completed her epic grocery shopping trip.

Eager to help, we hatched up a rescue plan and happy in the knowledge that help was now on its way, I made my way back to the office to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and some toast with peanut butter on. Needless to say, this didn’t change the fact that I was still feeling quite grumpy. (Actually, grumpy is probably too nice a way of putting the mood I was in!)

Unfortunately for me though, in my infinite stupidity I had managed to slightly screw up the directions I had given Chantelle and after the allotted time had passed and she still hadn’t arrived, I realised my mistake and phoned her to find her well on her way all the way through to Wynberg. She wasn’t impressed, I was grumpy, and my repaired directions proved to be pretty inaccurate too, meaning that more than one phone call had to be directed between the two of us, with the end result of her only arriving at around 19:15 to pick a rather tired and stressed Craig, sitting all alone on the sidewalk, up.

The drive home back to Gordon’s Bay was a pretty silent affair, but we did at least manage to bash out a plan that involved Monty and Cheryl coming through to Westlake where Monty and I would tow the car back to Disa Auto Services in Strand while Cheryl would bring back Chantelle’s car which I would borrow after dropping her off at work on her split shift in the morning.

Still, this didn’t really improve my mood and as such our trip home took a slight detour as Chantelle treated me to a Spur burger to try and cheer me up.

Burger was good, but Castle draught was better. Mood not all that better, still grumpy, but at least all the relevant phone conversations and smses were handled.

Slept surprisingly well though…

[End Part 1]

Clutching at Straws My Life 26 AUG 2008

HitchHikerYou would think that a day can’t really get more disastrous than that atrocious loss the Springboks endured against those Aussies, their first win here on our home soil against us in absolute ages, but unfortunately Saturday was not quite done with me yet!

As I mentioned earlier, Chantelle was working a full day shift and so she only got home quite late in the evening, exhausted and ready for bed. However, my liefie had a craving for McDonalds McNuggets and so I agreed to accompany her through to the McDonalds, a couple of kilometres further down Faure Marine drive from where we are.

So we hopped into the Jetta, she ready for bed and I still in my slipslops, shorts and T-shirt and off we drove looking forward to our little late night treat. However, that little treat was not meant to be because just short of three kilometres down the road, my clutch suddenly went limp and I subsequently lost all gear changing ability. Wonderful.

I haven’t had a snapped clutch cable since the one on my Monza went while delivering pizzas all those years ago, so you can tell that I was rather less than pleased.

About 21:30 on a Saturday night, pitch dark and without roadside assistance (that I know of) or friends in the area to come help us out, what choice did we have but to grab our stuff, throw on the car’s indicators and start hitchhiking back home in order to pick up Chantelle’s little Getz and tow my stranded Jetta home. Now the walk itself isn’t a problem, but when one is not exactly dressed for the occasion then it becomes a mission. Like for Chantelle in her fluffy slippers, stretchy long pants that keeps falling down and oversized tracksuit top, the 2.8 km walk (we measured) was not exactly heaven on Earth.

Luckily for us though a motorist who was stopped at the traffic light in front of us took pity on our plight and he gave us a lift back over the last kilometre or so, cutting our walk considerably shorter and at the same time giving me less time to fume because by that stage I was RATHER ‘hot under the collar’ so to speak.

A quick changeover into some more suitable attire and shoes, brushing off our neighbour who happened to be outside and wanted to talk kittens, we jumped into the Getz and raced off to the Jetta’s extraction, with me breathing a huge sigh of relief when we came around the bend and my car was actually still there and in one piece!

Next on the list of problems though was actually finding my Jetta’s front tow eye – I’m not sure how long I was out in front of the car, torch in hand and scouring the underbelly before I finally gave in and broke into my cubbyhole (the handle to open it is long since broken) to release the all-knowing manual which thankfully I make a point of keeping in the car.

It turns out that to tow the Jetta I need to pry loose the fog light panels next to the indicator light and then screw in the tow eye that is kept with the car’s jack in the back, a process I would never have guessed and in fact a process that neither Ryan nor Pops could take a stab at either!

Thank God that a couple of years ago I decided that I need to keep more emergency stuff in my car and that a tow rope was amongst my purchases, because I triumphantly pulled it out of my boot to proudly show off to Chantelle, only for my moment of triumph to turn into a moment of worry because I noticed that the two metal sides were in fact in the process of rusting. Just wonderful.

Nevertheless, I attached the ends to Chantelle’s Getz and my Jetta and we were off, this being Chantelle’s first ever attempt at towing someone. What we didn’t count on however was the fact that my 1.6 1997 Jetta seems considerably heavier that Chantelle’s little 1.6 Getz and we actually struggled to pull my car along, leading to more than a few mini heart attacks every time the Getz jerked to a semi-halt trying to pull my car from a standstill.

Nevertheless, we made the 2.8 kilometres back to Nagua Bay safely enough, but the night still had one last surprise in store for us. Just past the security boom and the first speed bump and our first stall. It would seem try as we might, the little Getz just couldn’t pull my behemoth up (I seriously should lose weight!) and after suffering enough, I yelled for Chantelle to stop and I exited to unhitch the cars.

So Saturday night, Nagua Bay was alive with the sounds of Craig merrily pushing the Jetta through the complex, taking nice run ups to hoist the car over the speed bumps and then cruising to the next one with Chantelle sitting nice and comfy behind the steering wheel. A final team effort to push the car up the last little hill and we were home safe and sound, exhausted after a rather stressful ordeal.

Thank goodness those McNuggets we went back for tasted good.

Oh, and it doesn’t help that I learnt the next day that I theoretically should have been able to drive the car home by starting it up in second – a fact that I was completely and utterly unaware of :(