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There's a catch...

I've been meaning to check the tyre pressures on the car for a couple of weeks, so decided to do it today, as it was sunny. Got to the garage, off Netherthorpe Road, all right and did the tyres. As I was both off the road, and on level ground, I decided to open the bonnet and check the fluids. I can't do this properly at home, as I park on sloping road. Anyway, all was OK for now so I dropped the bonnet to let it close.

It didn't. Well, not fully. When it is closed, you pull a lever under the dashboard, to release it a little, then push a lever under the bonnet itself to release it fully and open it. This second part was securing, but the top wouldn't close down flush and engage. I tried several times, letting it drop to close under it's own weight, as it should, and pushing down on it to try and close it fully - didn't work. An obliging woman driving a van had a look, and sprayed some of her WD40 into the mechanism which didn't seem to be moving to hold the catch. Still no luck. We agreed that the part that was securing, released by the lever under the bonnet, was enough to hold it while I drove home. It was only a five minute drive, and I wouldn't be going over 40 at most.

I pulled out of the garage and joined the side road behind another car waiting to join Netherthorpe Road. After half a minute or so, the driver of that car got out, with me and another car behind me, queueing at the juntion. He came and pressed down on my bonnet, then came to my window to tell me that my bonnet wasn't closed. I explained that the wretched thing wouldn't close, thanked him, and said it was just a short journey home. The bonnet was only up by an inch or two, so not very obvious, and it was nice of the fellow to come and tell me (the car itself was nagging me).

I got home with no trouble - not even the horror of negotiating Brook Hill roundabout. I called the RAC and a nice bloke showed up an hour later. He couldn't immediately get the bonnet to close properly either, which was a relief - it wasn't just me being feeble/stupid. After asking a few questions and looking at the marks on the catch, we figured out that the mechanism must have been knocked just slightly out of alignment when I bumped another car on Penistone Road last November. Why this hasn't shown up before, I don't know. The RAC man tweaked the mechanism slightly - there wasn't much he could adjust - but fortunately it was just enough. We opened and closed the bonnet about four times, with it closing fully each time, so we're all good.


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