A huge thank you to the AA

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A huge thank you to the AA

Post  Mark411 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:46 am

Now i'm suitably recovered, I feel i can now report on my not so successfull drive lol.

Having had some issues with 'Babe' over recent months I thought it was about due to have some quality time together and get back some of the love for her thats been gradually eroding from our relationship.  So seeing there was a break in the weather I left home in North Kent on Monday 24th at 6:30am loaded with the usual road trip essesntials, sat nav, snooper, tools, DI, spare clothes plus some food&drink. I then brimed her with V Power at my local Shell and headed onto the M2 towards M25/Dartford Tunnel and then north onto M1 and M6.

My plan was to go all the way to the top again (see here for my last randomer) and then back down again (via another key national location).  Now being this is a weekday and during daytime the traffic was as you'd expect so aimed for a 1 stop fuel strategy.  I didn't get as far as i'd hoped as traffic was real bad around Birmingham, damn those specs lol.  I did however get north of Lockerbie before bottling it and diving to the next services, this was Annandale Services Jct16 A74/M74 it was a BP unfortunatly but it was either this or nothing.  
Back on the road north again and quickly worked out this pitstop had only cost me 10mins I relaxed abit. its now 1:10pm and wanted to be nearing Inverness for around 4:30 in order to get to the top with enough daylight for the return journey.

As the afternoon wore on and motorway's became single lane A9 the scenery gradually became more and more amazing and beautiful.  The only thing that spoilt things was being stuck in a 40mph convoy for over 25miles, at every 2 lane section everyone took the chance to try and overtake (imagine Harrods on Boxing day as they open the doors haha!).

But then at 3:20, 60 miles from Inverness just south of Dalwhinnie.....cough cough, stutter!!  I had lost all power and the engine wanted to stall. Managed to limp to the next layby (no.79) where I was only able to keep the engine from stalling by pumping the throttle. My 1st thoughts were the DI coilpack so wipped out my spare and swapped over.  No difference.  I knew the spark plugs were ok since I changed them a couple of weeks ago but was worth checking just incase, no they looked ok.  Started checking for obvious things like hoses loose or come apart, loose wires etc but nope everything looked ok.

Now i'm up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere and i've exhausted all my onboard fixes.

I grab a snickers bar from the center console and as I picked it up there was my phone.  Hmm, do I have signal?  It shows 4 out of 5 bars so grabbed my wallet and delved inside to find my AA membership card.  I explained my plight and was told a patrolman will be with my within the hour after having abit of bother finding my exact location.
But what had arrived was a patrolman from a small recovery firm.  He had a poke around but not really amounting to anything.  I asked to have recovery back home since I knew it was game over as far as my journey goes.  So he gets his A frame type trailer out from the back of his Vivaro, I said to him that my car wont go on those as its too low.  This was dismissed by him saying ''Nah it'll be ok, i've had VXR's on here before''.  
With that 'babe was winched onto the ramp and crrruuunnch! the lower part of my bumper fouled the hinge on his A frame.  He quickly gave up on further attempts and phoned his base for a proper low loader. ''I told you so'', I thought lol.

He left (thank god)  leaving me alone on the A9 again.  40mins later the low loader arrived, a nice ol boy jumped out and swiftly loaded Babe onto the truck.  I tell you, there was no more than a fag papers thickness between the bumper and the low bed as she was winched on!

We headed back south to Sterling services where I was to be handed over to AA themselves.  Arriving at bang on 9pm, no sooner had my car been offloaded the AA patrolman arrived.  He was the 1st guy throughout this that actually wanted to get his hands dirty and try to diagnose the fault.  After checking things over properly not revealing anything, the fuel line was disconected at the fuel rail, engine was cranked over but only a trickle came out....ahaaaa!  Its a fuel problem!  so either a blocked fuel filter or my Walbro 255 is goosed.
A quick call to his office to arrange recovery to home.  The guy says to me ''you have full cover dont you?'' I say yes, he gives me a wry smile and says ''I've an idea''.  
A couple of mins later I was given the options of either have the car recovered to a local garage and a stay in a hotel overnight, or a 2 day hire car while mine is recovered relay style back home.  Errm, i'll take the hire car please!  Smile

I was then taken to edinburgh aiport and got there at 10:50pm just in time as it turns out as enterprise closes at 11pm.  Paperwork signed and I was back on the road again.  Feeling pretty tired at this point and gagging for a cuppa I stopped at the very next services about 20mins away.
Now, i'm not really in the mood for cat knapping so decided to go for it.  468miles, no stopping, just get myself home!  Singing real bad to the 80's tunes on the radio kept me entertained in the diesel Ibiza till I hit a quiet M25.  I even managed to sneak over the dartford Bridge before the free toll period ends at 6am.  
Arrived home exhausted at 6:25am (24hrs after 1st leaving and 25hrs without any sleep) utterly glad I made it and thank full of AA.

Babe eventually made it home shortly after 11am the following day

So a huge thank you to the AA.  Not the cheapest but deliver the goods when it really matters  Very Happy

I've since replaced the fuel filter but no difference.  So have ordered a new fuel pump, fingers crossed eh lol.


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Re: A huge thank you to the AA

Post  Kim on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:44 am

Well that was certainly aeventfull little drive!
Glad you both got back ok!

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