REGULAR readers of this column and those who follow me online will be aware of my constant car troubles. 

I have a car which is only about seven years old but which is acting like it’s about 50 years old. It is afflicted by a myriad of electrical problems. 

My uncle had a look at it and says that, essentially, the brain of the motor is ‘fried’. This has led to it simply not starting up. At the time of writing this, it has been sat outside for a week now refusing to start. 

I have tried everything to get it going, using my own extremely limited mechanical knowledge and also by following a number of YouTube videos made by people much more knowledgeable than me. 

Glasgow Times: Sales patter is incredible... Sales patter is incredible...

You should see me, hands blackened by dirt and grime from the engine, tinkering about with things I do not know the name or indeed function of. In my head, the motor is filled with wee gremlins whose only purpose on this earth is to bam me up. I read online a way to get the car started by removing the starter relay and placing the ends of a bit of wire into two of the ports underneath. 

Against my better judgement, I tried it, wincing as I placed the bit of wire in, fully expecting either to be electrocuted and/or killed, and the car juddered back to life. 

I felt like I had just performed CPR on someone and brought them back from the very brink of death. I stood staring at the engine as it groaned, stunned that I had just performed this feat. I jumped in the motor, ready to go for a celebratory drive, only to find that no matter where I moved the gearstick to, it was showing on the dash that it was in reverse. It also wouldn’t move, not even backwards. 

I admitted defeat and phoned the AA. I told the guy what I had tried to get it going, including my escapades with the bit of stripped down electrical wire. He looked at me, smiled very softly and asked if I had a death wish. I spoke to him using my new vocabulary of car jargon. ‘Starter motor’s fine, mate,’ I said. ‘The battery and alternator are working awrite as well.’ He seemed surprised I knew about all this and treated me as his equal. 

He was at the motor for hours, the two of us growing ever more frustrated as nothing seemed to work. 

He left, defeated, and I returned to the fountain of knowledge that is Google. 

My girlfriend found me alone in the motor several hours later, the whole centre console and dashboard removed and flung in the back. 
She watched as I reached under the gearstick to remove a wire, with more than a hint of trepidation as I followed a diagram of the fuses. 

She looked at me with pity and suggested I call it a night. I had used up about a decade’s worth of good luck by avoiding electrocution earlier, I doubted I would be so lucky again. 

Before going back in, I tried the key in the ignition one more time, hoping this would be it but it wasn’t to be. The motor was officially deid. And so a new obsession began, the hunt for a new motor. 

I found one online that looked alright, phoned the dealer and asked if they’d take my currently gubbed motor as a part exchange. ‘Anything wrong with it?’ the guy asked.

Where to begin, I thought. ‘Eh, aye. It won’t start.’ 

He informed me that there was no chance they’d take it unless I could get it started and drive it to the dealership. He starts the sales process anyway, he’s selling me this motor whether I want it or not. 

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Sales patter is incredible. The people who sell motors for a living are incredible. It’s like a jedi mind trick they can pull on you to get you to open your wallet. ‘What tickles your fancy about this car then?’ he asked me over the phone. I told him I just need a good reliable motor than can handle the mileage I do for work. 

Something comfy inside and with a decent engine. ‘This is perfect you then,’ he said. I could imagine slapping the roof of the car with a winning smile. ‘A lot of car for not a lot of money,’ was his next gambit, the thing that made me weak at the knees and convinced me to go for it. I think he could literally have sold me anything and I’d thank him for it. Before I know it, I’ve paid the deposit and sitting wondering what kind of air freshener to get for it. 

Anyway, does anybody want to buy a motor that doesn’t work?