21 February 2015

No photos today, just some blah-blah

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?


  1. Now why was it again that the chicken crossed the road?
    .... to get to "The Other Side!!"
    The Chickens are Restless.......

    1. ... and thank you Gary Larson!!

      I do like your mechanics comments about the C4...
      it is independent people like that who can afford to make real criticism of something....
      it isn't his job to sell... it is his job to fix!
      I used to go to the Co-op depot for our MOTs [CT à l'Anglais]
      whilst they did them for the public...
      and then to an independent garagiste ...
      neither had a stock room full of spares to get rid of!!
      We are going to have to do something about the Merc this year....
      a C4 Picasso is one option that has the room we need...

      The Chickens are Restless.......

    2. Ah the pleasure of a 2-car family. Our (my) problem is actually getting to use the car. Most of our outings are to Paris and, if going alone, then the RER, metro, and bus are our solution. When we both go, we still tend to take the RER. Finding a parking spot near our son or daughter is a real challenge, so unless we are transporting things or intend to stay late, we don't take the car. For local outings, my sweet husband always argues that we'll lose our parking spot in the street if we move the car! Sometimes I win and take the car anyway; most of the time, it's not worth the argument. (Still, 10 minutes to take me to my painting class by car vs 45 when I go by bus!)

    3. There's that old joke: Hey, there's a parking space! Run buy a car!

      I think my driving days in Paris are over, but I might make an exception if I have a good reason to. I had a car for a year (1981-82) when I lived in Paris, and parking was a real ordeal, especially on the rue Montorgueil, which had not yet been pedestrianized back then. The street I lived on, rue Saint-Sauveur, was very narrow and there were no parking spaces on it all. It was fun having that car back then, and Walt and I really enjoyed it, but if I lived in Paris again I'm not sure I would have a car. The transit network is great, and I'd think renting a car for infrequent trips outside the city would be less expensive than owning a car. I guess it depends on what neighborhood you live in.

  2. Englisgh lesson :
    " timing belt"
    belt is " ceinture" timing" is something with the time : ceinture du temps ? non !
    I open my Harrap's : belt, to belt up , it's ok up down away etc after a verb is something I never anderstood ! to belt along ( I forgot '" along" after a verb.! Zut alors !
    Une ceinture pour voyager dans le temps ?

    1. I don't know if I ever said that what it's about is 'la courroie de distribution'. More than the 'courroie' (which means the belt itself) but 'la distribution complète' — courroie, galets (pulleys), et pompe à eau (water pump).

      But in a way, it is 'une ceinture pour voyager dans le temps', since the Peugeot is nearly 15 years old. Not to mention that out in the French countryside, sometimes you feel like you have entered into an earlier century. And everybody in France seems to talk about 'le timing' these days.

      I'm not sure I know the expression "to belt along". Must be British.

    2. alors
      to belt along ( rush) filer à toute allure
      then you have ' belt up !!" for " boucle- là !" or shut up . I shut up and you shut down non ? Logic !
      Nous irons donc voyager dans le temps , ce sera très poètique, nous mettrons nos timing belt pour le passé ou peut etre le futur, nous transformer en cerf du moyen âge afin d' apprécier la Grande Bonté de notre Seigneur et Maître...

    3. We Americans don't use belt along, and belt up in the sense of shut up doesn't turn up in the U.S. either. We can enjoy a good belt of bourbon, or belt out a favorite song, or belt somebody with our fist. And then there's the Bible Belt in the U.S. South. Talk about time travel — go there!

    4. Belt along, or belting along...
      is getting a good pace on...
      and needn't apply to just driving...
      some songs and some classical music is said to belt along...
      but as a driving translation... try "pedal to the metal"....
      necessary in a '56 2CV just to keep up a good "modern" road speed...
      but, it always seems to be the women drivers around here that feel the need to hammer along...
      and sit on the tailgate hoping I'll just evaporate...
      I then tend to slow down to a speed that I feel they could possibly brake at without shunting us!
      Yes, it probably annoys them more... but that is their heart attack!!

    5. We always used the expression "knockin' 90". Flying, figuratively. Like a bat out of hell. Peeling rubber is related. We step on the gas. En français, on fonce, on appuie bien sur le champignon (remember when accelerators looked like mushrooms?). On brûle le pavé. On roule à fond la caisse.

      I've noticed three incidents of flagrant tailgating this past week. All three tailgaters were following me, and all three were women drivers. I could see them pretty clearly in the rétroviseur. I don't imagine anybody in France, or anywhere else, has a monopoly on tailgating though.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?