Friday 28 December 2012

Down to London ... or rather, not.

Ladysolly and I set off yesterday to visit daughter.1 in London. We came the usual way; along the M40, along the A40 ... and then into a horrendous traffic jam.

So we were inching forward with the rest of the traffic, and phoning ahead to say we'd be late, and then I noticed that the engine temperature was climbing. My Freelander 2 (and maybe others like it?) does that; in hot weather I get very nervous in traffic jams, but I thought it would be OK in winter. It wasn't. So the temperature was climbing, and I decided to stop the engine while the traffic jam was stopped, and start it again each time we needed to move a few feet.

You can probably guess what happened next.

Flat battery.

I've been hearing symptoms of weak battery for a while now - in the morning, it seems to have difficulty turnng the engine enough to start it - but I thought it would be OK for a bit.

So there I was, in a traffic jam on the A40, in the middle lane, unable to start the car. It is of such stuff as nightmares are made.

Ladysolly got out and held up the traffic in the inside lane, so I could pull over - except that a Freelander is too heavy to push. So a guy got out of his car and helped me; that got it over to the side of the road, but we were still blocking one of the three lanes. Not that it mattered; there was a much worse blockage up ahead ... somewhere.

And then I had an idea. I have a Halfords battery with jump leads; I got it after I got stuck in the Volvo in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and I've been carrying it in the Freelander ever since, because what's the point of having one of these if you don't carry it? I opened the bonnet, connected it to the Freelander battery, waited a minute, then got in ... and the Freelander started! So I was able to get it off the A40 onto a side road.

Then we drove around for a while, looking to see if there was any other way into London that wasn't totally clogged up, and of course there wasn't. So eventually, we found Harrow-on-the-Hill tube station, I dropped ladysolly off there so she could continue on to London by rail.

And I drove home.

Also, I couldn't open the rear tailgate.

So, today, looking at the car, I found that I could open the tailgate with the fob, just not with the manual method on the back. It looks like the little switch in the back isn't working. So I ordered on on Ebay, £27.
And I now have a new Varta battery, £90.

And the car is telling me that the terrain features aren't working, but I'm going to hope that that just goes away before I start messing with it; that's got to be connected with the battery replacement, it would be too much of a coincidence for it to be a real problem.

1 comment:

  1. Same battery I bought for the car, they only last about 5 years but the old battery could be used for a pi project ;)