Because we have two work cars we keep one at Saint Pierre des Corps and the other at home, the plan being to rotate which car we use. Lately, however, the car at home (currently Célestine) has been as busy as the car at Saint Pierre des Corps (Claudette). This means we have to do minor maintenance on the run, as it were: when we work from Saint Pierre des Corps we arrive at the garage just before 8am, check the water and oil (and occasionally the tyres too), and then we are off for a day's driving.
A couple of weeks ago we did all that, collected the clients and started the drive to Cheverny. About 5km outside Tours I noticed a fine spray of water on the windscreen, which was odd - it wasn't raining. I said (jokingly) to Susan that I hoped I had put the radiator cap back on. When we arrived at Onzain (to view Chaumont from acoss the river) I checked just in case.
I hadn't put the radiator cap on.
I usually put the radiator cap on the air filter cover on the passenger's side of the car, and it wasn't there, so I grabbed a plastic bag out of the boot and taped it around the filler, then when we arrived at Cheverny I left Susan and the clients at the chateau and drove off into town to see if anyone could help. I called at a garage that appeared really busy, and the mechanic spent ages looking for a screw cap that would fit, but with no luck. In the end he fashioned a cap out of the bottom of a brake fluid bottle, and fastened it with a Jubilee Clip.
That worked well the whole day, and after we dropped the clients back at the their hotel we returned to the garage. Susan walked up the street, looking to see if the cap (solid brass) had fallen off, while I scanned the garage forecourt. No luck. Then, for some reason, I opened the bonnet (hood) on the driver's side...
So that's 48 euros I saved on a new radiator cap (I know!!), and hopefully a lesson learned. I may not be so lucky next time.