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If you can't fix it with a hammer and a roll of duck tape, it's not worth fixing at all, my old mate said minutes before that nasty business with the hammer and a roll of duck tape. Tell us of McGyver-like repairs and whether they were a brilliant success or a health and safety nightmare.

(, Thu 10 Mar 2011, 11:58)
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It only has to work until they're gone
I got a call from a mate, who was stuck because the key had snapped off in the ignition of his car. Because of the nature of this particular mate (a shambolic mess of clumsiness and weird coincidences), this wasn't at all surprising. Knowing that I was rather more technical than he was, he called me up to see if I could come and hot-wire the car to get him home.

It was an old mini, so pretty easy to get into the ignition and spark it up with a screwdriver. But there was another problem: the steering lock was on. Now a steering lock that can be unbolted would be rather pointless, so they use security bolts: strange shaped ones that can be tightened, but if you try to undo them the spanner just slips off.

Except that, as I gazed at these particular ones, I noticed that they had been filed so that they would take a spanner. Odd, I thought. So I had a look at the broken ignition key, and saw a strange residue on the broken edges.

It turns out that a couple of days before, he'd taken it to a garage for some work. At some point they'd managed to snap the key, but rather than replace it they'd dismantled the steering column (which required filing the bolts), extracted the broken key tip, then super-glued the two halves of the key together before returning the car...
(, Mon 14 Mar 2011, 13:21, 2 replies)
(, Mon 14 Mar 2011, 17:02, closed)

(, Tue 15 Mar 2011, 10:42, closed)

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