My dreams are haunted by the baleful blinking of an amber light… but more on that later.
The end of May turned out to be a torrid time. We were finishing up our trip in Europe when I caught a virus. Evelyn got it too and had a fever on the flight home. I got worse after we got home, eventually getting fever, sore throat, and headaches. All this time I was also trying to get the car safetied and licensed. Not a lot of fun.
The car passed safety easily, but I did need to get a little work done, including new brake pads and calipers, and once I had the safety sorted, I was able to get the car licensed which is always a bit of a chore given the long queues at the Ministry of Truth… er, Transport. What has been plaguing me though, was an amber light, on the centre console above and between the fuel gauge and the oil pressure gauge. This amber light is to indicate “low fuel pressure”. It came on when I was driving the car home from purchasing it, and within a kilometre or two of coming on, the car was hesitating and lurching. I discovered that pulling over and giving the car a rest and a cool down would sort this, at least temporarily. Still, no fun. During the safety, my Mechanic looked into this and found that one of the fuel filters was ancient and falling apart, so it was replaced, he took it out for a long drive and the problem seemed solved.
I picked the car up, drove it home, and it ran much longer without the FP light coming on – but come on it did. Once on, it ran longer without lurching – but lurch it did. I resorted to my old trick of letting it cool and it was fine – but now the generator light had come on, and my fuel and oil pressure gauges had failed. I drove the car back to the Garage the next day to get the alternator replaced, and it ran perfectly all the way up without the light coming on (though this could have had something to do with the same thing that was effecting the other gauges – but it didn’t hesitate or lurch at all). It turns out I didn’t need a new alternator, there was simply a bad relay that was burning a fuse and causing the lights to bugger up. So – fixed. Yay!
I drove the car down to the MTO to sort the licensing, and even took it on the highway – no sign of the amber light. Sadly, when I took the car out later in the afternoon the light was back on and the car was beginning to hesitate again. The mechanic has told me that there is nothing wrong and suggests that this may be the gas (the gas smells a little odd) and says I should just burn the tank off, fill it afterward and see what happens. I don’t really see what else to do at this point, because I can’t think of anything else that would be causing this that hasn’t been checked.
The odd thing about this is that it has been completely inconsistent, sometimes coming on shortly after start up, sometimes taking about 40 km before winking coyly on. I’m being careful with this as I understand it’s easy to bugger the engine if you ignore this as the Spider uses the fuel delivery as an aid to engine coolant – so lack of pressure can cause other problems than the obvious. Anyway – fingers crossed that a new tank of gas will see the unpleasant amber light off.