This happened on Monday evening, 8th Jan 2007.
Coming up a steep incline (plenty of them in Berko), I suddenly was overcome by heavy (I mean very heavy) petrol fumes. I tried to turn off the engine but it went on turning for a few seconds. I scrambled outside because I thought there was petrol in the cabin and thought it might ignite. Anyway, doors open very quickly then windows down and doors shut. Engine had stalled by now and I got back in and it started again. Travelled about one car length and the same thing happened again. This went on and on (because I never give up easily) as I tried to limp home about a mile away. Eventually it just wouldn't go anymore. Managed to find a torch so I could look under the bonnnet. Took the front cover off and couldn't see anything but could hear hissing. Looked from the nearside into the V and I could see liquid (petrol) bubbling and sizzling like a chinese platter. I thought "$hit..., one spark and this will go up like Challenger in 1986". So I backed off and took the card out of the reader. Started looking again to see where this fuel flood might be coming from but no luck. No Torx drivers so I phoned SWMBO to bring me some tools and of course she brings the wrong ones (but not her fault, I have to add). She drove me back home (she usually only drives me to drink), I got tools and took the left cover off (2 Torx screws) and checking the fuel line I found one high-pressure section just floating about because when they put it together last week (when they did the
), they had not pushed it home so it locked and it was only a quarter of the way in. Pushed it in all the way, it clicked in place and problem solved.
It had been misfiring slightly when idling since I got it back (and the fuel guage was going down too quickly) and I was preparing to take it back to my dealers anyway to have it checked. Monday morning a friend asked me to run an errand for him about 14 miles away. On the way back it was running lumpy so I made a mental note to take it in. Then this afternoon, I had a quick errand to run only about 1 1/2 miles away, and this all happened on the way back.
It emptied my tank in that short space of time. My guage was 1/2 full and now it was in the red; I reckon 30/40 quids' worth. Naturally, I took it back to them on Tuesday and told them what had happened and asked could they please take a look to see if there were any more time-bombs in store. I was quite shaken, and couldn't help visualising the panic if I'd had my step-daughter's child with me in her car-seat. You can't exactly just lift them out of those things can you?
Well, REA couldn't have been more apologetic. They immediately brought a technician over, offered to restore my lost petrol and, after they replaced the engine covers that I hadn't put back, they took the car away and brimmed it (must have taken at least £60) . They also changed the pollen filter, and tried to deodorise the cabin with spray because it still stinks of petrol. I had to wait while this was being done, and they came back to me with a shiny clean car (it was covered in road tish when they drove it away). I thought that was quite decent so thumbs up on this occasion. I didn't even have to ask them to do any of this.
I had a little chat with their manager suggesting that, from time to time, their operatives should be assembled together over a cup of tea and refreshed on the importance of safety matters like petrol, hydraulics, or any other leaks that might effect occupants within a vehicle. He told me that they do this every morning and I accept, of course, that this can happen to anyone; just a minor distraction (like a mobile phone call for example) is enough to make one forget what he was in the process of finishing.
I think REA did the right thing and I just thought you'd like to know, that's all folks.
I'm not called "a fair vassent" for nothing you know (OMG effervescent???? Where are you SB? Boom Boom)