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Pursuits | By Alan Judd

Safety Checks

The Land Rover began making an unfamiliar noise on start-up, a mixture of groan and whine. I put it down to belts slipping after it had been standing, and resolved to check them - some time. When the noise appeared during any low-speed manoeuvring, I concluded it was the power-steering belt and determined to have a look – some time. It got worse. Eventually, I lifted the bonnet and, before feeling the belts, checked the power-steering fluid. The reservoir was empty. I filled it, the whining groans disappeared, and I’m waiting to see whether my delay in diagnosis has damaged the pump. I’m ashamed of myself. For one thing, I should have overcome ingrained inertia and looked for a cause immediately; for another, I know that slipping belts squeal or shriek rather than groan. Also, I should have become aware of fluid loss through regular liftings of the bonnet rather...

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