Saturday, November 1, 2014

Transportation - Bugs In The System

Cruising back from the range in the pretentious not-quite-a-sports-car, I stopped for a light, and when I stepped on the gas, the dashboard lit up like a Las Vegas slot machine informing me that:
1. Stability control failure! (red light) and
2. Engine on failsafe mode! (yellow light)
3. OMG! We're all gonna die!

Well maybe not number 3 but halfway through a notoriously busy intersection is NOT where you want your get-up-and-go to suddenly disappear.

Failsafe mode is an odd one as it sets the engine to a fast idle and nothing you do will change this. It also means that if you're on level ground, the car will eventually get up to 35mph. Better than hitch hiking, but not so hot on a 55mph roadway. Stability control is the annoying (normally) yellow light that tells you that you've gotten too enthusiastic with the loud pedal on a slippery surface and turns your V-8 into a V-4 or something until all your tires are turning at the same rate.

 Got off onto a secondary road and limped 3 miles to my mechanic. Told him the story and noted the look of amazement on his face as he admitted he had never heard of such a thing happening. I have to wonder about that as with British cars, anything is possible.

He plugged in his code reader, stared at the numbers in amazement, erased the codes, and the car now runs fine. Still no clue as to the cause. From conversations on the Pretentious British Car site, an OBD reader/eraser seems like a good thing to have along with you so I bought one. That and keeping fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

I expect nothing less in a vehicle wherein the computer actually runs everything and you only have the illusion of control.

why none of my vehicles are less than 8 years old (two of them turn 15 next year) and I'll do my darnedest to keep them running as-is until I'm dead and gone.

Firehand said...

I know on a lot of cars if you disconnect the battery for 20-30 minutes it clears all errors; if happens again, might try that

Billll said...

The drawback to that trick is that it also clears any ownership you thought you had of the radio unless you happen to have the original owners manual with the original codes for the stereo.

I got a code box from Harbor Freight that was endorsed by a Jaguar owners group in case I need it. So far, no problems.