Warning of impending car breakdown - philipb
My VW Touran is 5 years old. Every couple of months it requires an engine coolant top up. When the coolant level falls just below MIN, the Multi-Function Display shows a dramatic "STOP - replace engine coolant" warning sign, which makes it difficult to forget to put in the requisite fluid.

On Friday morning, my wife noticed that the Battery symbol remained illuminated as she was driving around. There was no other helpful info from the MFD. She drove around all day long until, 1/2 a mile from home, the battery voltage finally proved too low to power the car and it came to a stop. Needless to say, the battery had not been charging all day long. The alternator belt had come off the pulley - hopefully the VW garage will have worked out why when they get around to looking at on Monday.

Now, I feel peeved that a system which provides a nice clear warning about a drop in engine coolant level cannot similarly warn the user that the car is failing to charge its battery and is in imminent danger of coming to a complete halt. Luckily, my wife and 3 children were near our house when it happened but they could have been in the middle of nowhere.

Obviously, my wife should have understood the importance of a red battery warning light but I am sure she is like many millions of other motorists in not understanding what happens under the bonnet of her car and would benefit from similar guidance in words of one syllable.
Warning of impending car breakdown - boxsterboy
I doubt you'll get much sympathy here. Any warning light is at least worth a trip to the handbook, where further advice should be sought. To drive around 'all day long' with a warning light on is asking for trouble. They are not just to light up the dashboard, you know!
Warning of impending car breakdown - philipb
You try telling that to SWMBO!
I doubt you'll get much sympathy here. Any warning light is at least worth a
trip to the handbook where further advice should be sought. To drive around 'all day
long' with a warning light on is asking for trouble. They are not just to
light up the dashboard you know!
Warning of impending car breakdown - Alby Back
I'd tell her. The opportunity to occupy the moral high ground for a while is rare indeed for 21st century man. Grasp it.......

You might even get the chance to be seen as masterful, that can work wonders on a Saturday night..........

;-))
Warning of impending car breakdown - b308
I doubt she's alone in that respect... but she can hardly blame VW, they did their bit by providing her with a warning light, it was her that took no notice of it!!

TBH we have it very good in respect of warnings of things that may (or may not!) be wrong with our cars these days, I'm sure many of us can remember owing cars which only had a red ignition light and a yellow one alongside it and that was it!!

Edited by b308 on 28/11/2009 at 18:39

Warning of impending car breakdown - henry k
I doubt she's alone in that respect... but she can hardly blame VW

>>They did their bit by providing her with a warning light it was her that took no notice of it!!

She is not alone.
Recently I set off in my daughters car and a few yards down the road I said to her " The battery symbol has lit up so back we go".
This is in a Yaris which has the basic approach of " I will show the absolute minimum to the driver and only light symbols when things fail so you do not ignore / miss them."
She just did not get it - RED = warning so proceed no further til is is fixed. ( The battery had just died.)
This is from a highly highly intelligent PC savvy etc. etc woman.

Another bright guy of 30 that I know cooked his engine because he ignored a coolant problem.

I once did a 200 mile round trip in an Allegro with a very sick alternator.
I swopped the battery at the half way point both out and back and it was not all in daylight so it surprised me how far a battery can last.i
Warning of impending car breakdown - Altea Ego
Loss of coolant = 6k bill for new engine
loss of battery = inconvenient
women? = priceless
Warning of impending car breakdown - Simon
>>On Friday morning, my wife noticed that the Battery symbol remained illuminated as she was driving around.

Well the red warning light did exactly what it should - It warned the driver that there was a problem with the vehicle. I would say that the fault lay entirely with her as she chose to ignore it and carried on regardless.
Warning of impending car breakdown - perro
Why didn't she phone you or the little man at the garage? I think its crrrazy she drove around all day with a RED WARNING LIGHT showing.
Warning of impending car breakdown - Old Navy
>>I think its
crrrazy she drove around all day with a RED WARNING LIGHT showing.

Don't be too hard on the lady, a red light on anything else just means it is "on". She oviously thinks a car is a domestic appliance.
Warning of impending car breakdown - bell boy
they are called idiot lights for a reason
no offence
but its true
Warning of impending car breakdown - Brit_in_Germany
> hopefully the VW garage will have worked out why when they get around to looking at on Monday.

Could the two problems be related? I had a water pump failure with a VW Passat, the first sign of which to me was the battery warning light coming on - the pump failure caused the drive belt to come off the alternator. A worrying few miles drive to the nearest VW dealer. One small consolation was the use of an Audi TT as a courtesy car.
Warning of impending car breakdown - ifithelps
A fan belt failure on an early Golf would routinely take the cambelt with it, leading to predictably expensive results.

Warning of impending car breakdown - barney100
Ladies do not swem to regard warning lights as anything to bother about as a generalisation. Swmbo merrily says 'oh its been on for a little while' so far cost one engine and a few £s.
Warning of impending car breakdown - perro
I said to swmbo "what would you do if a red dashboard light came on whilst you were driving?"
She said "pull over & phone you" :)
Warning of impending car breakdown - Old Navy
She said "pull over & phone you" :)

>>

Mine did just that, beeping alarm and light on dashboard. She described the light as a head and shoulders with a diagonal stripe. After a "that's the seatbelt alarm / I've got it on" conversation it turned out to be a box on the passenger seat, the car thought someone was using the seat without a belt on!

Edited by Old Navy on 29/11/2009 at 14:35

Warning of impending car breakdown - Dynamic Dave
She described the light as a head and shoulders with a diagonal stripe.


If the phone had a camera, could she have not sent you a photo of the warning light via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)?
Warning of impending car breakdown - Old Navy
>>MS (Multimedia Messaging Service)?
>>

No chance, she believes mobile phones are for making calls in emergency, and it was only because she was out late in the evening that she had it with her, and it only worked because I keep it charged.

Edited by Old Navy on 29/11/2009 at 14:42

Warning of impending car breakdown - perro
>>> it turned out to be a box on the passenger seat, the car thought someone was using the seat without a belt on! <<<

(hehe!) Ya couldn't make that up!
Warning of impending car breakdown - henry k
it turned out to be a box on the passenger seat the car thought someone was using the seat without a belt on!

Same risk with a heavy handbag.
It didn't happen in days of old when cars had a proper manual choke.
Warning of impending car breakdown - SpamCan61 {P}
Same risk with a heavy handbag.
It didn't happen in days of old when cars had a proper manual choke.


:-)) top comment
Warning of impending car breakdown - Plunder
Warnings are useful. It is the actual break downs with NO warning that make me jump.

If you have a Touran with a 1.9TDi engine be very careful about low oil warnings. I am now suspicious of the long life (fully synthetic oil) regime; several mechanics warned me that this system is not safe. I intend to change my oil and filter at 10000 miles or less.
 

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