3 Wednesday’s ago, I drove my very lovely, very expensive, very luxurious Mercedes Benz down a 10km dirt road, rather fast. There was a major traffic jam on the freeway due to an accident, and I didn’t want to be late for M-L, so I took an alternate route. Fair enough, there was another route that I could have taken, but the dirt road was closest. I managed the road fine, and the car seemed to manage it just fine too. We got home, everything was peachy.
The next day was a Public Holiday, May 1. We were going out in the Merc, and L was driving. I went to open the gate, and noticed that L was taking quite some time to drive down. When I got in the car, he was fuming. The Merc was showing an ABS & ESP error. ABS is the braking system, and ESP is the traction control system. I then contacted the branch manager of the dealership that we had bought the car from, basically just repeating what L was shouting. He was pissed off, and understandably so. We have had minor electrical faults with the vehicle pretty much from day 1, but they had all been sorted out over the course of 3-4 months by the dealership, and then this happened. I then owned up and told him that I had driven on the dirt road the night before, to which he wasn’t impressed as you’re apparently not supposed to do that with an automatic car. Oops?
Anyway, I took Lizzy (that’s the Merc’s name, due to an inconspicuous lizard sticker that L placed on her 🙂 ) down to the dealership on the Friday (I had taken a day’s leave to make it a long weekend) for diagnostics, and after the brake discs and pads had been inspected and were deemed to be in 100% working order, the diagnostic was run and it was determined that there was indeed a fault on the left rear ABS and ESP sensor. We then arranged for the car to go in last Wednesday the 14th, as we had to wait for authorisation on our vehicle warranty policy to go ahead and replace the sensors. I took a day’s leave last Wednesday, as the dealership had changed their car loan policy and no longer loan out vehicles. No problem for me; I had my iPad and my study books and I was set. After 5 hours sitting at the dealership, I was told that even though the new sensors had been installed, they were battling to clear the error from the computer, and that they were sending the car to the Mercedes Benz workshop down the road. But then even Merc themselves couldn’t clear the error, as they said that the left rear wheel bearing had to now be replaced, because new sensors = new bearing. The branch manager then said that he would loan me a car, to save me having to come back with the car again. For that, I’m very grateful.
Today is day 8 that Lizzy has been sitting in the workshop. When I phoned on Monday I was told that the new bearing had been fitted, but that the error was still there. The mechanics were now doing a ‘process of elimination’ to try and figure out what was wrong with her. I phoned this morning for another update and was then given the good and bad news… The good news? I didn’t break Lizzy. The bad news? All of the wiring on the left rear of the vehicle has to now be replaced, because RATS had eaten through it all, resulting in the ABS & ESP errors. So the sensors and bearing were 100% and actually didn’t need to be replaced. So on one hand I’m ecstatic because I am not responsible, but on the other hand I’m kakking in my broeks (for the non-South African – shitting in my pants) because ‘rat damage’ isn’t exactly covered by our warranty. Electrical faults ARE covered, so the dealership is trying to see what they can do. They’ve basically told me not to worry; they’re dealing with it, but it is still a worry. But at the end of the day, if there is a cost involved, we won’t be able to take Lizzy back until we’ve paid for it, and I do have to give the loan car back (with petrol in it) because this is a ‘self-induced’ fault. This isn’t a wear and tear issue at all. Damn rats!
But we’ll figure it out, we always do. But you have NO idea how good it feels to know that…
I DIDN’T BREAK MY CAR!