Ford Mundaneo, 2 litre TDCi. A while ago, the reversing lights stopped working. I traced the fault to the switch on top of the gearbox. Getting at it necessitates removal of the air cleaner and associated gubbins. I removed enough stuff to determine what tools I would need (yup, got 'em) and then put it all back. As it was summer, I then forgot about it. Recently, the reversing lights have started working again, just in time for the dark mornings and evenings. Thank you, whoever you are.
At around the same time (impossible to say for sure), I started getting issues with the car. One was the 'engine malfunction' light, which came on at start-up and stayed on permanently. The other was poor cold starting - the car would start OK, but for the first 10 seconds would run very rough and pour smoke out of the exhaust. After that, it seemed to clear and ran fine thereafter. Performance up to maximum speed was completely normal, fuel consumption normal too. I took these two together and came up with a faulty glow-plug or two - I've had exactly the same symptoms as before on a Land Rover diesel where a glow-plug went bad. As the car was running fine otherwise, I wasn't too concerned. It passed an MoT (with max revs emissions test) in this condition.
When the nice man at Enfield Auto Recovery in St Neots drained the nasty old petrol I had mistakenly put in the car at the weekend, he told me that the air-flow sensor had been disconnected when he looked at the car. Impossible, said I, as the car is running fine: easy cruising at 100 mph and averaging 50 mpg (not at the same time, obviously). Also, the connector for the AFS is on top of the engine, easily visible, and I see it every time I check the oil. The connector is about 12" from the oil filler.
Can I really have missed it every week for six months? What he said makes sense, as I can remember disconnecting it to remove the air cleaner, but a) he was convinced the car would barely run with it in that condition and it was fine, and b) it was replaced for the return journey and the EML stayed on, with no change in performance. Oh, and c) I am pretty rigorous about checking everything is in place after I have finished a job. Working on bikes makes you a bit particular like that.
Yesterday I started the car again for the first time since I returned. It started perfectly, with no rough 10 seconds of throat-clearance. And the EML light is off. I've just tried it again now. Perfect. I am wondering if the garage really have cured the problem and it has taken a couple of heat cycles for the fault to clear in the ECU. I am delighted, of course. But I have a couple of nagging questions:
- Did I forget such an obvious thing when I took the air cleaner off in the summer?
- Can I really have missed such an obvious thing for six months?
- Would the car really have run this well with the AFM disconnected, and even passed an MoT?
I think it will remain a mystery, but this will not spoil my enjoyment of having a car which starts well and runs without error codes again.
Mind you, passenger and load-carrying duties are over for a while now, so it probably won't be used again for a week or three. Back to two wheels, thank Heavens.