I brought Penny to the vet yesterday.
The visit itself was fine. Penny reluctantly behaved herself, the vet said she was in very good health and when we were leaving, Penny presented them with a little lake in the reception area. As you do.
On the way home I noticed a light on my dashboard.
At this point I should mention that my car is very badly designed with regard to simple little things. The speedometer is useless as it is impossible to see the black needle against a black background unless the lights are on. Also – and here is the introduction to my little story – half the warning lights are obscured by the steering wheel.
Anyhows I realised there was a little light glowing constantly without any reason, but it looked a bit drastic.
Did this mean my engine had fallen out? Did it mean my car could now be used as a submarine? It wasn’t very helpful, but the car was behaving itself and driving normally. The were no flames or even smoke in evidence. There were no strange noises or vibrations. What the hell did it mean?
When I got home I read the manual. Apparently the symbol has something to do with toxic emissions. A very descriptive symbol? But this begs the question as to where the emissions were coming from.
A couple of days ago I cooked up one of my bean stew recipes and we have been enjoying it for the last couple of dinners. It does indeed produce emissions that are extremely toxic and loud, not to mention frequent. I can’t help but wonder what the neighbours make of the constant eruptions.
So did this warning light refer to me or the car? I had more than likely let one or two rip while driving [much to Penny’s disgust] so was this the cause of the warning? Is Big Brother alive and well in my car?
Anyhows I phoned Spanner for his advice. He suggested a trip to the car hospital but I could carry on as normal until then.
I had better lay off the beans before he collects it?
The “Engine Management Light” coming on might just be because the car is due for a service. My Vauxhall does this annually, but I found a method of resetting it on the ‘net. You could try looking for a Dacia specific sequence? If that doesn’t clear it you may need to get a garage to plug in a diagnostic scanner and see what’s wrong. You can buy cheap OBD scanners to have a look yourself, but unless you have the ability to do your own repairs they aren’t going to be much use. But if the car suddenly becomes extremely gutless it means the engine management has gone into “Limp Home” mode, and the problem is potentially more serious!
Oh, and by the way, in the UK you won’t get the car through an MOT test if the light is on – this might also apply in your part of the world.
Dacia’s ‘service due’ is shown by a spanner image at the bottom of the fuel gauge – it’s bugger to turn off yourself. The ‘engine’ symbol is a generic ‘something’s not quite right’ message, probably trivial but worth getting a grease-monkey to check it just in case.
This is more or less the conclusion I came to. Something may be wrong somewhere so I had better check with Spanner just in case. It’s about due a service anyway though there no spanner image that I could see. How does it know who fixes my car?
Looking at the image again, it looks very much alternator-ish.
Check the drive-belt (fan-belt) for presence and tension, otherwise it could be the alternator or voltage regulator – any grease-monkey or auto-sparky should be able to check the output voltage and take it from there.
Ahead of that, avoid using high-load services like heated window, blowers, big lights etc. to save battery power – bump-start it on hills if possible too.
When it goes for a service, and the light is still on, just stick a small piece of black plastic insulation tape over the offending image – it won’t be noticed then!
As for toxic emissions, Bill Bryson was once surprised when he discovered that a certain madicine was supposed to suppress flatulence, not encourage this worthwhile and pleasurable atmospheric venture!
Who would want to suppress flatulence? We have musical evenings here after a feed of bean stew.