Thank you for the quick replies. The car is a 2 litre petrol automatic, and is running fine in most mechanical respects (slight blow in exhaust, but otherwise running as normal). Only the dash is playing up.
I confess I'm totally baffled by the electro-speak, but at least I'll have something to refer to prior to letting the specialists have look at it. I suppose what I really am anxious about is a monster bill to put it all right. The car has already cost quite a bit to repair, and although excellent when working, I've had at best 2 trouble-free weeks out of it...
Thanks again. I'll post back once it's fixed, just in case other forum members come across something similar in the future.