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‘Christine’ and Another Audi Setback

September 17th, 2013 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, The National, UAE

This car may be cursed.

After five days, a dead battery.

Two weeks later, a right-front tire, with plenty of tread, that mysteriously went flat.

Which brings to mind the Stephen King novel Christine — about a car apparently inhabited by a “vengeful spirit”.

At best, the Audi is proving to be a money pit. At worst, it seems out to kill us.

(I jest. Well, kinda.)

This can all be explained rationally. Of course.

That dead battery on a scalding hot day?

Batteries don’t last long, here in the UAE, and we should have taken a look at it before buying the car. Our fault.

The flat right-front?

Again, tires suffer in the Abu Dhabi heat. Some have been known to explode, at high speeds on hot days. Just happens. Just because it had a lot of tread on it doesn’t mean it hadn’t seen a lot of hard life.

And this one went flat gently; we didn’t notice it till we five minutes after starting a journey, as we crossed over the first set of road “dots” — and it felt like the car might shake itself to pieces.

After another 50 yards, I got out and had a look … and the right-front was low. Not riding the rim. But certainly had a problem.

I was due to be at a meeting at The National in about 10 minutes, so I pushed to get there in the Audi — and have it dealt with by some roadside service people.

We did about 30 mph for the final couple of miles, over in the right lane, driving on the flat, and we nursed the car into the parking lot. Though the tire was shredded, by then. (Not that I had any plans to repair it.)

Some risk, in driving on a flat, though I have done it before, and for longer distances. But I also was not going to be a half-hour late, nor was I going to mess with putting on the spare in summer heat.

So, is this car out to get us? Have awful things happened inside its doors in the 10 years since it came off an assembly line in Germany?  As was the case for Stephen King’s Christine?

Who knows how many owners it has had, since 2004. At least two, Maybe many more.

It has some, uh, interesting stains on the upholstery. I prefer to think they involved babies and diapers, and not something more sinister.

Oh, and the Audi version of Christine also appears to be an oil-burner. Already have added a liter of oil. Would have changed the oil completely except the Adnoc station did not have in stock the appropriate oil filter.

We have agreed on this: buying this car was a terrible idea. We have already spent about 15 percent of the original purchase price on basic stuff. Does that make it a “possessed” car … or us lame used-car buyers?

I suppose we will see, as time goes by. It can’t be as bad as Stephen King’s Christine.

Can it?

Meantime, I’m not taking any long trips in it, on hot days. Or at high speeds.


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