We took the old Peugeot into the mechanic's yesterday so that his crew could change out the timing belt and water pump. It's been 10 years since the timing belt was last replaced. When I bought the Citroën a couple of weeks ago, I realized that putting on a new timing belt is not just necessary after a car has run a certain number of kilometers (160K for the Peugeot, and I've only put 80K on it in 10 years), but also after a certain period of time. In the case of both my cars, that time limit is 10 years.
I'll feel good about the Peugeot again, and I'm going to take it out for a drive this morning to see if having a new timing belt makes it drive differently. We left the car with the mechanic, Dominique, overnight. We'll go pick it up this morning. The man at the Renault dealership where I bought the Citroën put a new timing belt on that car when I bought it. So I decided to go to his shop and ask for an estimate of the cost of doing the Peugeot too.
As I expected, the dealership's estimate came in a lot higher than my independent mechanic's did. Dominique wanted 465 euros to do the job. The dealer wanted 725 euros ($825 in U.S. dollars at today's exchange rate). I went with the lower estimate, especially since Dominique has been my mechanic for many years now and has consistently done very good work for very reasonable prices. He came out and took a look at the Citroën, saying he thinks the C4 is a good, solid, reliable car. He said he didn't see too many of them coming into the shop with repairs needed. That made me feel good about finding a low-mileage C4 at a good price.
It's a real luxury to have two cars. Now I don't have to sit and wait while the Peugeot is being serviced or repaired. In the past, for all these years, I've always had to wait in the seating area at the garage while the car was being worked on. Or I could walk a few blocks over to Intermarché or some other store in the business park where Dominique's shop is located. If it was raining, that wasn't too much fun.
So we left the Peugeot with Dominique and we drove the Citroën up to Amboise and on to Limeray, a wine village on the north side of the Loire. We wanted to stop and have a look around in a garden center called Baobab in Amboise, and that's what we did. We wanted to buy some wine at the Léonard de Vinci cooperative in Limeray, and we did that too. And we mostly just wanted to take a drive in the car. It started to rain, so we found out how the car behaved under less than ideal weather conditions. Walt drove the car for the first time.
As we drove into the village center at Limeray, there was a chicken running around on the main street. We had to be careful to avoid the bird, which didn't seem to be too bothered by our car and the few others on the streets of the village. A chicken playing chicken with the cars downtown on a rainy day... Now why was it again that the chicken crossed the road?