Having moved 15 miles from where we bought her it is now a major pain to have to take her back to where she came from for investigations into why she won't tick over and what the loud squealing noises are.

To be honest, it wasn't really worth while as the mechanic didn't really seem to know where to start, but I did get to go and see the 'body shop' that would have been used to do the bodywork repairs had we elected to get her 'restored' before we bought her. The guy looked at her, walked round, wrote a few things things down, scratched his head and came up with a figure of £500!

All that he proposed to do was plaster filler over all the blemishes and give her a quick blow over where she had been filled. This would of course have sealed all the problems in and made them far worse! We are incredibly glad that we elected to go elsewhere to get the work done.

Another good outcome was that I got to meet Silchester Garage for the first time. I had been aware of them and of the beautiful cars they sell and maintain but never having had any sort of Mercedes before - let alone a classic one - I had never had a good reason to go and say hello. Despite not having an appointment they dropped everything to have a look at her, spent at least 30 minutes on her, tweaked a few things and only charged me for a bottle of fuel additive. This didn't solve the problem entirely but it helped - of course I would be too far away by the time she did it again and unable easily to return. This act of kindness would turn out to be the catalyst for a much closer relationship in the future! They also took a look over her and gave me a rough verbal estimate of how much the repairs might cost - ten times the other quote. That's much more like it: she's going to be done properly!

It would be May 2018 (we are now in September 2015) before I would see these guys again and I really wish that we hadn't left it so long. The problem was that they are quite a few miles away and we had someone close by in the village who was pretty competent - although he couldn't solve the tickover issue. Problems would eventually occur there and we wanted to get expert help... As it happened, the very next time they would solve her tickover problems for ever and spot a few more issues. Much more on this much later!

In the meantime we have a couple of events lined up for Bertha. The first of these is a visit to The Goodwood Revival. With some trepidation (and a last minute oil change just to be sure) we set off dressed for the occasion (sort of - well we made the effort, anyway!).

Dressed Up

Bertha behaved herself very well on the journey there, although I was a little concerned that she would keep stalling if we had to queue to get in. This turned out not to be the case as the weather at this point was not too hot - and the problem is really exacerbated by hot weather. It would be cool when we left, too, so it turned out ok.

Bertha At Goodwood

The next event is a family wedding, so even though she is a little tatty we tidied her up as best we could and decorated her for the occasion.

Bertha Decorated
Bertha Decorated

It was a 70 mile trip to the wedding location, but again she behaved herself as the weather was not too hot and the bride and her entourage were safely delivered to the venue.

As I parked her up to join in the celebrations I noticed that fluid was pouring out of her from somewhere. 70 miles from home and we have a possible problem! Stooping down to sample the fluid I was incredibly relieved to discover that it was screen wash! Looking at the washer bottle I saw that the grommet that seals the pump into the reservoir has given up. Thank goodnes for that - as long as we don't need to wash the windscreen on the way home we'll be fine.

All was fine and we arrived home safely a few hours later. Our longest trip in Bertha so far and all that failed was a rubber grommet - which on contacting our local Mercedes dealer turned out to be a massive £0.70! This will turn out to be the cheapest part that we will ever buy from them...

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