Why i Joined the AA (broken Toyota)
How does this relate to bikes then ? how do you get to your races ? you drive in your cars and vans, this is a shameless plug for the AA as they bailed me out big time and i am really really happy that i joined years ago, and this is the first time the little Tercel has needed a piggy back home.
At low revs the battery light comes on ! while driving it goes out, however the battery is not charging and i have been running on the stored charge, when this got down to 8.2 volts the car shut down, The men from the AA where impressed it ran that low as most modern cars with computers will shut down when it drops to 9.6 volts, a few tests, lots of multimeter action, then a whack on the alternator with a hammer and the charge light goes out (thats good) i am happy to carry on the battery is getting a healthy dose of volts, Matthew tells me to drive to the next service station Tibshelf, he will follow, as i leave the services the charge light comes on again and off at higher revs, as i enter Tibshelf the light comes back on. Heres the issue, i am a 4wd they have no info on my car (old ) and after Tibshelf i enter the M1 roadworks, no hard shoulder for a very long distance, i may get through the roadworks, but with no charging i will break down again, and being 4wd if i breakdown in the roadworks they cant tow me out i will need lifting to a lorry ( most recovery vans now lift the front wheels as this is safer than a tow bar and dosent require you to steer the car and break and stuff) some 4wd drive systems cant be unlocked for towing, you cant lift the front wheels if they are going to rotate as the rear wheels rotate.
Little van in the background there doing someone else !
I get home about 7.15pm what was going to be a 5 hour trip has become 10 hours, i managed to drive about 50 miles of a 270 mile trip they did the rest, this is the first and last time the Tercel will be rescued, i went to the garage today and had a chat, the car is old, it was not going to be put through the next MOT in a few months anyway, depending on damage it's a new alternator, funny thing is that one is only 3 years old and then it was the only one in the country and a pain to track down, the cost of repair against a few months MOT isnt worth it, we decided to retire the car. It has been racing with me for 4 years, it has done the dragons 2 trips to Fort William and allround Orkney and the west coast. It has been a field ambulance for practice days back with the South West winter series, people where stunned at how capable the little estate car was off road, it has lugged timing gear up to the very top of Avill ball, where the tractors couldnt go ! it did 2 winter series of that, i have only done about 35,000 miles in that time, but it has been a working car, and never failed to get me home, now is the end of days for the Toyota, it's been awesome !
So there you go, when you make that 200 mile drive to the next race, who will bring you home ? you NPS racers from down south do serious mileage, Fort william back to Plymouth, dont even try to think of the cost if you dont have cover, DAMN glad i joined years ago, i got my moneys worth the other day, hopefully i wont need to call for a few years, but nice to know help is there.
Big thanks to Simon and Matthew and Phil and John from www.theAA.com