Back to Fernhurst it went, after all I had spent enough on cooling in 2012 to expect the issue to be resolved by them once and for all, and after having a chat with company owner Graham I was confident it would be resolved this time. I took the car to them early one morning and waited around to be kept up to date with progress. To their credit I was kept fully up to speed with regular calls to the car to see what was happening and Graham and I went out for a 25-mile drive to ensure the problem was solved after fixing. The cause of my cooling fan failure was the wiring harness to cooling fan connections and on my car, both connections were at fault. The cooling fans are fused and wired separately and over time, both the terminals had corroded which caused the bad connection. With new parts fitted I can be confident that my issues are over, and as a gesture of goodwill the work was carried out with no charge, including some other issues not related to cooling. Can't say fairer than that eh?
Meanwhile, back with the MX-5
Life in Mazda-land is also rosy and KMO has been used extensively without issue since we fixed the brakes a couple of months ago. Life with a Mk1 as a daily driver is relatively painless, aside from a lack of bootspace when I take the Mrs shopping, and the more I use the car the better it gets. The previous owner didn’t use the car often and with every mile I drive the gearbox becomes sweeter and the engine appears to be running smoother and punchier than ever too.
Other work has involved getting the door speakers working on both sides and adding a front strut brace in an attempt to tighten the car up a little. So far the brace seems to have eradicated the scuttle-shake so apparent on our pot-holed roads and also stopped the dash from rattling so much. Steering feels more positive too, but it’s early days and I’m wondering if many of these improvements are in my head. More on this next time once I’ve had the chance to drive a few more miles.
Speaking of MX-5s we recently took a call in the office asking if we wanted a loan of a Mk2 MX-5 and naturally I was keen to have a go. Warranty chaps, and PH partners, Warranty Direct had noticed the Mk2 appeared regularly on their ‘most reliable’ list and their PR company bought a car to demonstrate this fact. Driving the silver Mk2 definitely highlighted a few things about my own car, in fact it made my car feel light, lithe and completely fit for purpose against the slightly softer, more comfortable Mk2. I must confess this car needed some attention with a vague steering feel, brakes that made the car pull to the left and a few other bits and pieces so maybe I wasn’t trying the best of examples (I also hear the Mk2.5 are the ones to have). Hopefully we’ll get the car back once these issues have been sorted and we can have another go as I'm sure i'll warm to the car when it drives correctly.
In the meantime I’ll enjoy being in the rare position of wondering which of my own cars to use now both are performing well. Roll on the summer.
Car: 1999 TVR Chimaera 4.0
Run by: Garlick
Bought: December 2009
Purchase price: £12,995
Last month at a glance: Cooling, noisy, been to Fernhurst
Car: 1997 Mazda MX-5 1.8is
Run by: Garlick
Bought: November 2012
Purchase price: £600
Last month at a glance: Working, fettling, driving