Wednesday 15 February 2012

139,000 Miles

Had an incident with the car last week. Set off early one cold morning and about 5 minutes into my journey I had a sudden loss of power. Not complete loss of power just a sudden reduction. It felt just like the traction control kicking in, which is what I assumed it was, but then the power did not return. In fact I had very little power and a new message on the dash "Engine System Service Required" (or was it Urgent?).

This didn't bode well, and I was obviously in some sort of 'Limp Mode' where the ECU prevents you from using too much torque in case of engine damage due to whatever has been flagged up as faulty. So I pulled over and turned the engine/ignition off, waiting a bit then back on. The message had cleared and it appeared to be normal again, but pretty much straight away it went back into limp mode and I was limited to about 2,000 RPM. So at this point I decided to go back home.

On the way home, I had some odd jerky moments and it even cut out a few times. Made it back home and resolved to look up a local Volvo specialist and see what they could do. There would be no point me having a look as there will be nothing visibly wrong and what could take me ages to trouble shoot, can be done in seconds with the right fault reader.

Found a local Volvo specialist (in my town, Watford) called Darryl Motors, gave them a ring first thing and they said bring it in ASAP and we will have a look. They even offered to give me a lift home! So I set off dreading the drive as it was rush hour and I was praying not to break down and cause a traffic jam. I drove slowly and luckily the weather was quite snowy so I could get away with it. I cut out a few times, once whilst just sitting idling and another when attempting a hill start. Got to the garage and they gave me a lift home. I could see them taking my car into the work bay as I was leaving, which was nice.

Didn't take long for them to diagnose the problem. The computer read the error messages and it had been a Low Fuel Pressure warning that had been putting it into limp mode. They tried changing the fuel filter and that solved the problem straight away! Bingo! Easy fix. Was very pleased at such an easy fix.

Whilst it was in I also got them to find out what the other Engine Service Required message was complaining about. I pointed out that the Cruise Control did not work and I suspected the brake pedal sensor was faulty (a common thing to go). It turns out this was the case so they changed the sensor as well and now I have working Cruise Control.

Next job, which is becoming more and more urgent is to replace the front strut upper mounts and spring seats as they are getting more and more squeaky and noisey by the day. Handling it starting to suffer.

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