Saturday, March 03, 2007

My car is broken...

Doh !

For several weeks now my Nissan has been showing an engine fault symbol on the dashboard and the vdu display has explained that while it wasn't a breakdown problem then it should be looked at by a main dealer as soon as possible.

So on Thursday I took the car to Leeds's main Nissan dealer for a full service and to have the engine management thing looked at.

Went to pick the car up on Thursday evening and having paid a bill of £680 (gulp) I mentioned the engine management light and was told that they couldn't find any problem as the light wasn't on any more - its true that its been intermittant and it had picked Thursday to go AWOL.

Went to start the car in their car park and Bingo! the light came on again, went back to the sevice desk and they took it into the workshop, hooked it up to a computer and found a fault with a gas return valve in the exhaust system.

Now my understanding of car engines is zilch, I even drove the car for a week prior to the service with another warning light telling me that there was no water in the windscreen washer bottle and the car has never been washed since its last service six months ago - the nice people at Nissan valeted it for me this time :)

But I've been told by someone who does know that my particular model has one of the cleanest deisel exhaust systems on the road, it almost pumps out pure air and water after cleaning and filtering all of the nasty carbons out of the exhaust fumes so when the Nissan service manager went into a long explanation of how this faulty valve is the bit that analysis the exhaust and returns it back for more cleaning if it contains too many carbons then my brain went to sleep but I nodded in the traditional manner as if I hung on his every word - basically they kept the car in on Thursday to see if they could clean the valve out on Friday.

Rang them ysterday afternoon and they told me that a new valve had been ordered but that I could take the car away and bring it back Tuesday, so I did.

Reached the stretch of the Leeds ring road where because of traffic light controls if you are at the front of the queue you usually get a free mile stretch to test the manufacturers acceleration stats, put my foot down and the car took off, for a twin turbo 2.4 deisel engine its very fast when it wants to be and I didn't get it out of fourth let alone into sixth before we were braking again for the large roundabout where I turn right for home.

Spotted a gap on the roundabout, went for it, engine died, car crawled, ever-so-embarrassed across the roundabout pumping clouds of black smoke out of the exhaust, it was poorly, very poorly.

We limped home with the engine picking up sometimes then failing again in a fault that is strangely reminiscent of the current petrol problem that is causing thousands of cars to fail in spectacular manner in the south of England - I don't think that this is the problem with mine however, not least because mine is deisel, I'm hoping that its the exhaust valve that is stuck and backing up the catalyser with gas to be cleaned - thats my theory anyway, bollax as it may be.

All I have to do now is get the poorly car back into Leeds on Tuesday, 20mph all the way with a thick black smokescreen behind me, that will be fun, in the meantime I am relegated to the bright yellow Peugeot 107 shoebox sized car that I barely fit into.

1 comment:

Clint Moore said...

Recurring car trouble can be a big inconvenience. However, with safety in mind, it is best to have your vehicle thoroughly checked before taking it to the streets. One aspect of being a responsible driver is making sure your automobile is street-worthy.