So today I'd expected to go for a drive in the Citroen, write a full in-depth review for you all, tell you how wonderful it was then sit back, safe in the knowledge that I'd done the whole car buying thing brilliantly this time. Alas, fate had other plans.
All this week I'd been trying to find somewhere to get the BX's tracking and balancing done. Responses from garages had ranged from telling me to get the settings then come back, to one place whose mechanic simply stated 'can't touch that mate, it's got air ride suspension, 'an't it?' before he'd even found out what I wanted doing to it. Eventually a willing garage about 10 miles away, who had the settings and didn't seem to have a payroll made up of mongtards, agreed to do the work today.
Five minutes after setting off my hopes of an uneventful and enjoyable drive were shattered as the 'STOP' and coolant warning lights began to glare a piercing glare at me. With no obvious signs of anything wrong, I limped to the nearest car park and opened the bonnet expecting to simply curse rubbish French electrics and carry on as before.
Unfortunately when I checked the coolant I discovered the cause of the little lighting show. The coolant, which had been clean the other day, now looked like the orange cream filling they put in cheap chocolates. Things only got worse when - to add to the tragicomedy of it all - a group of lads in a Rover Metro pulled up and started to take the piss out of me.
Undaunted, I decided to chance my luck and try to get to my destination regardless. The various dashboard lights of doom stayed unlit, the car ran perfectly at normal temperature, and I was struck by an eery sense of normality. This leads me to wonder, is it full-blown OMGHGF, or could it be something much more minor? Surely with HGF I'd expect something more than a cursory flash of a coolant warning light and otherwise business as usual? Would a coolant change and nothing more do the trick?
Anyway, I reached my destination trouble-free and asked the mechanic to check the engine over, to which he responded he hadn't the time and to come back another day for anything beyond the task at hand. After giving the BX a world-weary stare and muttering something about old Peugeots under his breath, he set to work, coming back into the room two minutes later to say 'can I have a word?'. He then proceeded to inform me that both front tyres were at their legal limit and therefore he wouldn't do the tracking unless I changed the tyres as well. So, I now have to wait for a pair of new Michelins to be delivered to him, and then take it back during the week to have them fitted.
I sure know how to pick 'em.
TL;DR I bought a French car, and it's broken.