Some time during August, after we had driven round Asda and John Lewis's car parks in High Wycombe, the car started sounding a lot louder than usual. I booked it into brrm's favourite garage, but since they didn't have a slot until the 24th we ended up driving to London and back for a picnic (accompanied by elleblue) with a very wobbly tailpipe. The garage found that the tailpipe had sheared off at the silencer, so they attached a new one and the car was happy again.
On December 11th as we were driving to Ashford the steering felt funny. To be honest I suspected a tyre quite early on, but as long as the car was still going I didn't really want the hassle of stopping (yes I know — don't write in). Not long before we left the motorway there was a pretty clear signal from another driver that we had a flat tyre, and we started looking for a garage with an air pump. Which was easier said than done, because the first one we stopped at was out of order. Anyway, the right rear tyre was entirely flat, so I pumped it up. I checked the left rear and it hardly registered (maybe half a bar), so I pumped that one up too. At which point the passengers were getting impatient and cold, so we drove on.
For the next few trips we visually inspected the tyre, but it seemed to hold up. It wasn't until the 30th (once we'd stopped worrying about it) that anything happened. I drove all the way to Bolton without noticing anything, then got back in the car for the 5-minute drive to my Auntie K's and we had arrived and were trying to park before I discovered anything wrong. The same tyre was flat, and it was decreed that we'd have to leave the car there then go back and change it the next day.
So the tyre was duly changed on New Year's Eve and the flat one was taken to Thistlethwaite's Tyres to be mended. A mechanic took it away and said he'd be back in a few minutes with a verdict. After rather more than a few minutes he came back saying he'd tested it three times and couldn't find anything wrong with it. He said he would change the valve and test it a fourth time, which he duly did, and there was still nothing wrong. So it was put back under the car as the spare and I was charged a tenner for the privilege.
We were just going round Headington roundabout on the way home from mzdt's on January 8th when there was a big clonk. When we got home I found the tailpipe loose again. Where they had attached the new tailpipe to the old centre pipe, the old one had just crumbled away. So back to the garage it went on the 14th, and a new centre pipe cost me another 80 quid.
Nothing more wrong with it so far, touch wood…