In the good old days any idiot could take his car apart in the morning and put it all back before tea time. Things were simpler then. People were simpler. Life was, well, simpler. And better too.

Nowadays it seems you need a degree in philosophy just to understand how the owner/operator’s subjective perceptual experience of the components comprising a combustion engine’s mechanical apparatus, in varying states of assembly and disassembly, differ from their collective construal as a more or less perfectly realised expression of the designer’s creative will.

“We’re a nation of useless mechanics” warned motor vehicle repairer’s news organ of choice Bodyshock magazine this week. Delve a little deeper into the story these words introduce, and you may be inclined to conclude that the true situation is even worse than that.

Many members of the UK-British nation are not mechanics at all! Not even in the loosest possible non-vocational sense. Some of us, it seems know FCA about fixing a car – or even, in some extreme cases, how to refuel when the gas runs out.

“Millions of us drive every day,” reveals Mark Haul of fexed.co.uk, the company behind a shocking new survey highlighting his fellow Brits’ shameful deficiencies in the field of motor mechanics. But, he says, many people “know very little about the machine they’re operating.”

Exactly how little becomes worrying clear with the survey’s revelation that half of all UK motorists don’t even know how to change a tyre, and a third can only drive when it’s raining because they don’t know how to fill up their windscreen washer bottles.

Mark says he finds the findings “astonishing” but then confesses he ‘has a friend’ (i.e. he’s probably talking about himself but is embarrassed to say so), “who openly admits that he doesn’t know which hole to put the petrol in his car.

“It’s a wonder he even passed his test,” Mark chuckles ruefully, before recommending, not unreasonably, that people should be taught some of this stuff at school.

Either that or we could all use public transport or get a horse or something



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