I’m off to Skye tomorrow night and wouldn’t you know it, a last minute problem threw a spanner into the works!
I’ve been hyper-cautious for the past two or three weeks in the car – I’ve been driving like an old lady if the true be told and I think my car is getting it’s own back. It’s used to being driven at the red line – every traffic light is normally a countdown for me – well not quite, but my cars have always been given a hard life. But as I’m reliant on the car for this walk, more so than I ever have in the past, I’ve been taking it really easy. The last thing I need is a prang that takes it off the road or an engine problem that means it’s grounded. I’ve been pootling around at low revs, sticking mostly to the speed limit and I think the car has had enough.
This morning when I switched it on I got an orange warning indicator light on the dash board. Now that wouldn’t usually bother me, there was no error message or warning to say “DON’T DRIVE ME”, but with the prospect of 2500 miles over the next two weeks I thought I’d better have it checked out.
I rang the local VW dealer and asked if they could look at it before Friday night. The lady didn’t quite laugh, but I’m sure I heard her catch herself before a chortle slipped out. They weren’t taking bookings until early May! I explained the situation to her and she sounded concerned and promised to ring me back. Joy of joys she did! 10 minutes later I got a call to say bring the car in – they’d find some time to diagnose the problem at least and tell me if it was a serious problem or one that could wait until I got back from Skye.
I waited about 30 minutes in the dealership, which wasn’t a hardship – they have a comfortable waiting area, with soft drinks and coffee available and as they are also a Lotus dealership they have one or two cars for you to wander around and gawp at, like this one….
This Lotus 211 looks like a toy, but I’ve just photographed it from above.
Anyhoo, the long and short of it was that I have an inlet manifold problem and it needs working on. I explained to the mechanic that I needed the car and in the end he relented and showed me a quick fix for the problem. Basically a contact lead breaks off somewhere in the engine and that switches the warning light on. All I have to do is pop the contact back on and it should be OK.
So we’re still good to go! All we have to do now is pack 2 big fat lads, one big fat labrador and two weeks worth of gear into the tiny Golf. I think I feel a Krypton Factor task coming on!