What a day!
We set off from Huddersfield around 11am with a quick pit-stop in ASDA for a full tank of petrol and hit the road. Our chosen route was the A640 out of Hudds heading for Milnrow, then skirt the edge of Dogdale and head up the A680 'Owd Bets' road and then pick up the B6232 Grane Rd in to Darwen. reasonable enough stuff. Things started well, the drive to Milnrow across the tops was great. It drove really well, the engine was on song. Going was good. A quick pit-stop on Kingsway Business Park in Rochdale to check things over and... oh - an oil leak. Quite a big one, too. Still, oil in the boot - lets put some in and off we go. The next pit stop was at the bottom of the A680 and the oil is coming out at a steady rate. It's also burning off on the exhaust pipe. We wonder if it's the mounting for the oil filter where it's bolted to the block. Out come the sockets and I do get the two bolts nipped up a bit. More oil goes in and off we go. It's a bit of a climb out of Rochdale on this road and the car is still smoking (therefore must still be leaking oil on to the exhaust). We pull in outside the Owd Betts pub and decide to call it quits. I ring the AA and we head in to the pub for a bonus pub lunch.
The AA takes us the short distance on to my MoT place in Darwen and the car goes straight in the air on the lift and sure enough the leak is coming from where we suspected. My mechanic has it all reapired and oil tight in half an hour and we get on with the MoT.
The good news is, it now has 12 month's MoT and no advisories! This was, however a false flag and the car duly disgraced itself once more on the way home. I leave Darwen and all is fine. the car's been sat running for most of the MoT test and all seems good. I get out of town and hit the B6232 and happily motoring along about 50mph. Hmmm...I think the engine sounds a little louder. Yup, it's getting louder, and it's banging. Thankfully, there was another pub for me to bail out at. I turn in to the car park and it cuts out. I coast in to a space and the car starts up again, except it now has the same metallic clattering noise it once did two years ago when it arrived with me. Balls!
I finally get home via another AA patrol about 7.30pm with a fully MoT'd but broken (terminally?) Charade. A couple of people have suggested I bung it on eBay as spares/repairs. It's either that or the scrap man. I'll sleep on it and decide which option I'll go for...