I'm a bit incompetent. It's something that I've touched on a couple of times before, but the last week or so has done a reasonable job of really hammering this fact home.
The Legacy still over-fuels. The Lancer still hasn't started. The Lexus still has no MOT. All of this is as a result of me putting the day-job first and the movement of time causing it to be dark at an outrageous hour for the next few months.
We'll start with the Legacy. Subaru engines have a bit of a reputation, but I was full of optimism when I started the import process on the Legacy - optimism that, it seems, was a little bit misplaced, illustrated by the unavoidable engine light sitting in the middle of the dash cluster. It mocks me day to day, flicking on every time the car gets some heat into its veins, a little reminder that I sometimes give cars a little too much of a wide berth. Some gentle fondling of the driver-side foot-well to locate the OBD port and run some diagnostics gave me a variety of quintessentially-Subaru codes, mostly centring around the pre-cat O2 sensor - a sensor that makes the final years of the US involvement in Vietnam seem like an unlikely failure. Seriously, a quick internet search will bring up tens of thousands of results relating to the failure of an upstream O2 sensor on an EJ20, an issue that has seemingly plagued the cars for years and never really been rectified, either at a manufacturer level or an aftermarket one. No bother though, surely a part that fails so often is going to be mega cheap, right?
If you want a reasonable quality O2 sensor for most cars, you're looking at maybe £20 or so. Want one for an EJ20? Think closer to £100, and then add some import and shipping fees on to that. Honestly, considering the failure rate of it, I was astonished. I probably should have realised therefore that, despite the best efforts of the seller checking and confirming that a turbocharged Legacy would use the sensor he was offering at a very reasonable £34, it was a bit too good to be true - sure enough, the moment it arrived, it was easy to see that the part was completely wrong - the offending item, pictured below, has a tiny wire and a very distinct connector - this one didn't even vaguely match, so back to the drawing board there.
The Lancer is still being an arse. Having failed to induce a start into it with various applications of jump leads, jump packs, tow starts and swearing, the only option now seems to be putting a new (but not brand new, it doesn't deserve that) battery into it and trying to fire the damn thing up. I wouldn't usually be too worried about it - after all, it's worth the square root of nowt and is about as visually appealing as tapioca pudding, so it's neither going to make me money nor give me something interesting to drive. The fact that it's now sat for about seven months, however, is haunting my bad dreams now. And when a car starts making it's way into the hallowed ground that is your nightmares, you know it's time to make it disappear as quickly as possible - something difficult to do when it's backed into a corner and refusing to come back to life.
The Lexus will most likely get a dedicated addition to its series in due course, if I can find the enthusiasm to get the work it needs done. As it stands, it needs a clutch, strut, front brakes and, after unsuccessfully fitting some RX8 wheels that seem to disagree with various components behind them, some round wheels that actually fit. But with everything going on at the moment, I really can't be arsed with it.
A perfect time, therefore, to add something else to the collection. Prepare yourselves for the inevitability of another awful car coming into my possession soon.