It gets worse! Computer says no…

So you know all about my car accident yeah? Well, the New Year got off to a crackin start for me. Just a week ago I was bumping off a tree, slamming into a lampost and blowing airbags. A week later and I have an Astra with a mind of it’s own.

There I was, pootling up the M6 when the low-fuel light came on. “Hmmm..”, I think, “not much to worry about, should still have loads of miles left, but I’ll fill up at the services just in case”.

No sooner had I said that than the “car fault” light came on (I dunno what you call it in Vauxhalls) and it turns off the engine, just as I’m in the third lane. I managed to get over to the slip road (check out the frame-by-frame fun with my photo blog here) and then I tried to get the thing started again. But no, it wouldn’t budge. I checked the fuel gauge – the fuel light had even gone OFF now, but it still wouldn’t go.


After throwing all the “hire car stuff” out of the glove box I found the AA Recovery number and they were with me in minutes. The guy thought I’d just run out of fuel – I even began to question myself. However, after he’d poured in a good few litres of Diesel it still wouldn’t go. It was well and truely frigged. It wouldn’t start, and the guy even got his laptop out, plugged it into the car (to see why it had shown me the fault light) and then the car took great pleasure in saying, “No faults found. System OK.”. Great. Really great. A smart-arse computer….

The guy suggested he tow me to the services, which I was on the way to anyway, and we put even more Diesel in. I’d given up on the lump of sh** by this stage anyway, so I couldn’t have cared if a truck ran into the thing.

So we set off up to the services – 40mph up lane 1 of the M6 to Stafford services, where I put even more Diesel in. Guess what? Yep, it still wouldn’t start. Top quality German bloomin engineering ! :) Gimme back my Japanese motor! :) The AA guy was lost, and so he suggested we arrange another car. He towed it off the petrol station and said..

“Let’s give it one more try.” ….

I couldn’t see why, but strangely … for no good reason, it suddenly burst into life. A full 1 hour after packing up …I asked him what the hell happened……

“Well, these new Diesels now have so much bloody computer involvement that if they think it’s gonna run out of fuel it’ll just shut down, ‘cus it’s a self-preservation thing. Then it takes a while to realise there’s fuel in there again I guess.”

My god, I’ve heard it all now. The computer in the car truely had said, “No”. He went on to explain that although the gauge read plenty of fuel, the engine management system probably either mis-read it or used a different system of measuring it. It decided that there wasn’t enough, and shut off. Now I think I know what Jeremy Clarkson was on about when he said that there was too much reliance on computers in cars these days…

A car that shuts itself down even though there’s plenty of fuel, then laughs at you as you sit there with a full tank of fuel, trying desperately to get going again! Not only that, but it told us there was “nothing wrong” and it even started going mental when I was being towed off the petrol station at 20mph because my seat belt wasn’t on. AGGGGGGHHH!!! Sod off!!! Where’s the off button on this thing?!?!

Update – Oh, and I went to the off-licence the other day and put a few cans of lager on the passenger seat (only 4) .. guess what it did? It went mental.. it thought that there was a passenger sitting there with no belt on.. BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP!!! .. I know which car I SHOULD have smashed up!!