Written by Clive Danton
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image for Dear Mechanic Two Ladies Pretending To Be Clever Mechanics

As a mechanic of many years standing and de facto a member of one of the truly unimpeachable and most respected professions along with estate agents, tabloid journalists and football agents, I often receive letters from distressed members of the public who need a little comfort or sage advice from someone they can absolutely rely on to be forthright and honest in their dealings with them. The following is just one example of the type of problem I deal with on a regular basis.:


Dear Mechanic

I'm a 19 year old girl and my boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years now and have recently become engaged to be married. However my entire world has been turned upside down by recent events and I knew I could turn to you for some sound advice and comfort in what has been a truly horrendous few days for me.

It all started last Tuesday morning when I set off for work in my battered old mini after saying goodbye to my father and my boyfriend who's staying in our home for a few days while his flat is being decorated.

I'd only gone a few hundred yards when my car suddenly came to a halt and wouldn't restart. I then walked back to the house to ask for help from my dad and boyfriend. It was absolutely pouring with rain and by the time I got in I was soaked from head to toe.

I ran upstairs to see if my boyfriend was upstairs but there was no sign of him so I went back down and poked my head round the door of the lounge. To my absolute horror I saw both my father and my boyfriend stark naked and engaged in an unatural act in front of a roaring log fire.

I was so shaken I was unable to move for quite a while and just stood there transfixed as they went at it full pelt like common beasts of the field. Eventually I tore myself away from the disgusting spectacle and vomited violently into the sink.

I crept out of the house and got a bus to work hardly able to believe what I'd just witnessed. When I got home that evening they were both very relaxed and behaved as if nothing whatsoever had happened.

Since that day I've become deeply depressed and a bag of nerves. I cant eat or sleep and am taking a number of powerful anti depressants to keep me on an even keel. To be honest I'm just so distraught that life no longer seems to be worth living and I'm seriously considering doing something rash and ending it all.

Please help me! I'm at my wits end here and so fearful for my future!

Linda Forbes
Plaistow
East London


Dear Linda

Please try to calm down and take a few deep breaths as there is no future in getting yourself all worked up about something that can quite easily be remedied.

The problem you describe is very commonplace in older vehicles and particularly the Mini 850 which I believe is the vehicle you own. It's almost certainly water getting into the ignition system as you drove through a puddle. Simply remove the distributor cap and give it a wipe out with a piece of clean rag making sure that the spring loaded carbon centre brush is fully operational. Then a quick spray of the plug leads and distributor cap with a water dispersant such as WD40 or Holts Ignition Seal and you'll be up and running again in no time.

If you have any further problems just call one of the freephone numbers listed below and hopefully I'll be able to help out.

Vehicle Pulling To One Side On Braking/ Vaginal Dryness- 0879 50001

Slipping Clutch/ Love Is Over In Seconds - 0879 50002

Engine Overheating When Idling/ I'm Too Tiny For Love - 0879 50003

Noisy Rear Axle And Final Drive/ Erectile Disfunction Woe - 0879 5004

Wheel Wobble And Noisy CV Joint When Cornering/ I Think I Might Be Gay - 0879 5004

Piston Slap And Worn Crankshaft Journals / Embarrassing Itching - 0879 5005


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