Today was not the end of the holiday I really wanted it to be. Instead of driving back to England, I’ve only really made it half way.
I had a good breakfast in Boppard before getting on the road shortly after 9 – Earlier than planned but I wanted to leave sooner and get some miles covered early in the day.
I’d been on the road for a little under 3 hours when the car started playing up; The engine management light came on and it went in to its limp home mode – just as it had done in Greece. However this time I couldn’t clear it; Cue 2 hours of sitting on the hard shoulder of a Dutch motorway waiting for a breakdown truck. The truck came, he plugged his thing in to the car’s data port, said it was a faulty sensor, cleared the error, and sent me on my way.
All was fine until I got to about Brussels. I’d stopped at the Services just past Brussels for a drink and got on the road again – then the real problems started; The engine was misfiring. No warning light (probably because the guy who came out had cleared it), but something certainly wasn’t right.
I pulled in to one of the emergency breakdown lanes they have every few hundred metres on Belgian motorways…Played about with the car, stopped and started it a few more times, and decided I’d try and make it to the next services rather than sit on the motorway. Didn’t know how far ahead they were, maybe 20-30km away? I’d not long come out of one lot of services! But I didn’t make it that far. I drove off fine and for a couple of minutes it was normal again, before the misfiring began again. It was no good, I needed to stop.
Another 2 hours of sitting beside the motorway.
This time the driver managed to identify the real cause of the problem; A faulty valve was sending exhaust fumes back in to the engine. Definitely not right! When it became too much for the engine it would send out an error message and that’s when the light would come on, and when in this latest incident the engine would misfire.
So… Where now?
This late on a Sunday – and a bank holiday weekend (Pentecost) for most of Europe – there was now no chance of being towed back to Calais tonight.
So instead my car’s been towed to a garage and I’ve been sent to a nearby hotel for 2 nights. I’ve got the number of the garage and will have to call them on Tuesday morning.
The result of this is that tonight I’m in Aalst. My room has a good view of the motorway. I think there’s a park within 10 minutes walk, and about a 30 minute walk to the centre.
Might as well make the most of this… I’m here until Tuesday (at the earliest)…
But now I think I’m just going to stick the TV on.
Today’s Mileage: 214.9
Accumulative Mileage: 3505.8