A little problem that is now a big problem

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Just when you thought this blog was getting boring! Unfortunately, the news isn’t positive so let me share with you what’s transpired.

After the recent annual service, a few months back, I started to notice a slight stutter in the car. It was most noticeable when the car was warm, travelling at low speeds 60 – 80 kms and under load (i.e. climbing). It was kind a like a ‘cough’ and a slight (hiccup) loss of power.

I also noticed the issue at high speed (110kms) and again under load but here it was a very slight loss but no major issue. However, it did happen recurringly.

I took the car out to the Bathurt 12 Hour last week, which is about a 5 hr return drive and back in a single day. The stutter was still there and seemed a little worse but again nothing major.

Today, after refueling I headed down south as part of a Club run to Kiama along the Ocean Road. As we travelled through the Royal National Park I could feel the stuttering was worse. This may have been because of the slow speeds along the twisty road but it certainly seemed worse.

As we emerged from the National Park into the normal coastal road, with its stops and start along with different speed zone there was definitely something wrong. I began to feel that I’d need to abandon the run and return. This was confirmed when I travelled up Bulli Pass were the car really lacked power and was becoming very rough at speed.

As I rounded Mount Bulli and headed down towards Wollongong I decided it was time to head home. I turned off onto the Appin Way to take the Hume Highway back north. Here along the largely flat road at high speed the engine performed smoothly but the cut out was definitely still there as it had been previously. As I did a slow turn onto the Hume Highway, the significant loss of power was still there.

It was still only mid morning but the day was heating up. The car was still spluttering a bit a high speed but nothing major until I was on the M2. Now, the 5-8 Slow Down light started to flash and the engine started to sound really ‘hollow’ and the power was right down.

I pulled over and turned the car off and on to reset it and then continued on. Unfortunately, the issue returned so I pulled over, opened the engine cover and called Sal. He suggested I let it cool and perhaps turn the battery off for five minutes to allow the engine management system to reset.

After five or so minutes, I turned the battery back on and the car fired up and I continued on. Unfortunately, once again the issue continued. I pulled over again, with idea that here would be a good spot for a tilt tray to come and pick me up.

Being only about 15 minutes from home I decided to be brave and continue on in normal suburban traffic. Luckily, the lights were with me and I managed to get with about 10 minutes of home when I hit a bank up. Rather than standing the stationery traffic I turned off and pulled over, once again thinking that this would be the location for the tilt tray to come.

I phoned the tilt tray contact that had been recommended but given in was a Sunday they unsurprisingly didn’t answer. I called Sal again and he offered to try them to see if they would at least respond to him.

Ten or so minutes later Sal called me back and said that he too had had no luck making contact. We discussed options and decided that the best was for me to try and nurse the car home. My main concern was if I parked in the underground carpark where I lived it may not have the power to get out if needed. Sal said that he’d arrange to come out and have a look and see what the issue was. Phew.

Now all I needed to do was get the car home. I fired it up and looped back onto the main road. Luckily, the lights were with me and I didn’t need to sit in traffic for too long for it was really starting to get hot now.

A few minutes later I had the car back in its parking spot in the shade of the underground car park.

So, now I just need to wait to arrange with Sal to come out and see what the issue is. I don’t think it will be too major and maybe something to do with the plugs (which were changed) last service but I won’t know until it gets the once over, which doesn’t have to be immediately now that it is home.

On a side note, I gotta say that I have never been jeered at more that the times I was standing on the side of the road with the engine cover up. I also copped  some verbal abuse as well from a passersby which is sad. You come to expect that when your drive a supercar. You also expect an extra dose if the car has a problem. But I really didn’t expect the volume I received today. Maybe it was because of the hot weather.

Like I said, I expect that sort of attitude but feel sad that it is so prevalent for others to take joy in the misfortune of others. Anyway, main thing is the car is home and is now awaiting an appointment with the ‘doctor’. More news when it comes to hand.

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