Only a few days after the car went to Racing Red (mainly to get the suspension checked), I get a call that is car is good to go and there are no issues. Yippee. Only problem is that I have to pick it up a little earlier (on the cusp of the morning peak hour) and the weather was wet (not my favourite weather for driving the car).
Prior to departing I checked the traffic information and discovered there was a major ‘incident’ on the M5. Luckily, it was heading west and I planned to return with the car east bound so figured I should be ok. Right?
After picking up the car, traffic onto the Princes Highway was quit heavy and the lights where still phased for peak hour so the car spent a fair amount of time just still in a queue. It was starting to get ‘warm’ as I finally released from the confines of the side street onto the Princes Highway.
Phew, I thought, all smooth sailing from here. As I turned onto the approach to the M5 I was greeted with traffic banked a distance from where I would have expected it to be at this time of the morning. This doesn’t look good, I thought.
After crawling along a bit further, it turned out a truck had broken down in the left lane. Surely, after negotiating this thing would get better. Nope, wrong again.
Even though the east bound traffic could flow onto the M5 the west bound traffic, diverted off the M5, was now blocking just about every intersection. This meant that even when the lights where green I went nowhere, the car got hotter and hotter and my stress levels were approaching boiling point.
It is important to remember that the engine in the F355 is in the rear. This means the radiators are just little behind where you sit, so when the fans come on to push air across them you hear it more than you would a normal car.
The car was coping but I wasn’t. Luckily it was wet and cool but still I could see the dial temperatures continuing to rise. I debated whether to try and turn around but figured that would be too difficult and didn’t want to risk conking out across a major road. So I continued to sit and stew.
Finally, I could make the left turn and get onto the M5 approach but that too was also heavily congested with diverted west bound traffic. Finally, a gap materialized in the intersection and the turning light went green. I was away onto the motorway. I was free now. Surely? Nope, spoke too soon again!
That brief taste of freedom lasted a few hundred metres before I was once again enveloped in traffic. I crawled off the M5 and onto General Holmes Drive. I crawled along General Holmes Drive to the airport fly over. I crawled from the airport flyover up South Dowling street. Mind you this is about 10.30am and this is as bad as I have seen it here. Did I pick the wrong day to pick up the car or what?
I crawled along South Downing street an onto the Eastern Distributor. Surely, this can’t go on for ever? Surely? Please God, let it end.It wasn’t until I hit the Harbour Tunnel heading north that the car was finally in constant motion! Even though I was pretty stressed by the circumstances, I have to say the car took it all in its stride. Sure it got hot, which is expected, but it didn’t overheat. It didn’t miss a beat. I’m not keen to subject the car to the same treatment ever again, but it is comforting to know it can cope with some really poor traffic and weather conditions with ease. I just can’t!
The other big positive was I no longer had any lights on when I looked at my dash as you can see.
It’s been quite a while since it has been red free.
With the car finally back safe and sound the only other downside to my return trip from the shop is that because of the rain it is all dirty again and need a waste. Like I said, I chose the wrong day to pick the car up. D’Oh. Ah well, things could be far worse!
With a fine weekend on the cards I was looking forward to my first casual drive without the irritation of an airbag warning light on the dash. My choice of route? Maraylya. Here’s a video of the trip.
I’m keen to try the trip out to Lithgow and then back along the Bell’s Line of Road. Won’t be next week but it will be soon and I post the details here so stay tuned. Unlike the car, I need a bit longer to cool down.