Car trouble

My car has been sat on the drive since Monday. During this current lockdown I am only going out twice a week at the moment. Usually Mondays and Fridays. On these days I do my Avon deliveries put out books and pick up those that I put out the time before. I am not doing a huge amount just a dozen or so books at a time. ( I am still building up my strength after my surgery). Any other errands like shopping or picking up prescriptions that sort of thing.

This morning I loaded up my car ready to carry out my missions for the day. I went through the usual routine of starting up the engine and putting the car into reverse. I park facing inwards on the drive. However my car didn’t want to go into reverse at all. It’s an automatic so that was something of a problem. It was going from Park to Drive. Going back through the gears it went from Drive to Neutral to Park. Still no reverse.

After several attempts it was telling me to Check ESP or Check Gear Box. Each time I tried it either missed Reverse or went from Park to blank and a big judder. I was beginning to panic by this time. I shut off the engine and went back inside the house. After studying my handbook I found out that ESP is Electronic Stability Program. I was sat on the drive so I obviously wasn’t skidding or driving erratically. About an hour had gone by and I decided to give it another go. Yipee I got it into reverse, I backed out of the drive and headed off. The warning light “check ESP” didn’t go out so rather than risk getting stuck, I headed back home.

Eventually I spoke to a local garage and arranged for my car to be booked in there for Monday morning so it can be looked at. They were not promising they could fix it. It might need to go to a specialist in automatic cars. Having had a rest and a bite to eat I decided that I really did need to go out if only to pick up my books. If I say I will pick them up on a certain day then I make damn sure that I do.

I got back out to my car, started the engine, no problem this time. I set off, did what I wanted to do, even stopping to pick up my mother’s prescription. The warning did flash up but only for a second. Almost home I stopped at the top of the road to drop off a couple of books ready to pick up on Monday. ( I had already done the ones nearer to home on foot this morning). I pulled into a space for two cars, not quite close enough to the side that anyone else could park next to me. I was only stopping for less than a minute after all.

It doesn’t always pay to be confident. Even though I hadn’t even turned the engine off trouble struck. Guess what! I couldn’t reverse. I shut off the engine and tried again. Just like this morning it was skipping Reverse. This time as well as telling me to check ESP or check gear box it was also telling me to check pollution output.

Several rounds of trying it and turning off, leaving it then trying again after several minutes I gave in and called RAC. (There are other recovery services but this is the one I use). They are very busy at this time and I could be waiting for up to 3 hours. In normal times I would walk home from there, I’m not sure that I would manage it at the moment. I could possibly just about manage to walk home but not carrying everything I had with me. I’m not certain I would be able to walk back very easily. Instead I was prepared to sit and wait it out. More than anything I was worried about the fact I was taking up two parking spaces in a place where each space is taken up most of the time. I could just imagine how upset the residents would be that I was taking up so much room.

I guess I had been waiting for a little over half an hour when I gave it one more go. It went from Park to Neutral to Drive. Going back from Drive to Neutral and oh my gosh! reverse! quick move! I slowly edged back then got myself and my car back home. The warning light still on. I phoned up to let the RAC know that I had got it home but still having problems. A short time later I had a call back. As it’s not now urgent and they are busy, I am now booked in for tomorrow morning. I shall have to be up earlier than usual but at least I know that even if it isn’t fixed I will have a better idea what the problem is.

Anyway, it was worth picking up my books, I only got three back today but that was £75 worth. This was from a road I hadn’t been to since I got ill last February. Its good to see that my customers are still there after such a long time.


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