There was, however, one little concern which became more worrisome in the warm temperatures of late August and early September. While running at speed, all was fine, but after a long run, if the car was then sitting in traffic, the indicated temperature started to climb, and despite the rad fan kicking in when it should, once the engine was at a certain temperature, it just couldn’t keep cool. On a couple of occasions over this period I saw indicated water temperatures of 115 degrees (I’m pretty confident that the gauge reads a bit high, but these are worry levels). And, of course, turning the car off only made things worse in the short term, as the coolant isn’t then circulating, and the fan’s not running.
This all came to a head in early September when, after a day of meetings in the West Country (including a very soggy drive from Hereford to Worcester), I was skirting Cheltenham on the way home and was forced to stop for fuel. At that point the temps were showing a bit high, but not worryingly so. However, as had happened a few times, the car then wouldn’t start. “Ah”, I thought, “it’s just a bit hot”, so once it’s cooled a little all will be fine. I jiggled a few fuses (as that had helped before) and sat on the forecourt with the bonnet open to let it cool a bit. However, no joy. For 3 hours. The breakdown van was also delayed and delayed, and after waiting for ages, and sitting on a now darkened forecourt (the Petrol station had closed), it finally started. Having cancelled the breakdown truck, the run home was straightforward.
With other things going on, the car sat in the garage for a few weeks after that before I finally managed to investigate, and get the guys at Spy Motorsport in Berinsfield (who came highly recommended) lined up to take a look. However, the car wouldn’t start. The starter was not turning the engine at all – just silence. It reminded me distinctly of the symptoms of k-click on my old Seven, just without the click …. So Spy came out with their trailer and took the car away, eventually diagnosing a battery issue (very odd, since the battery that was in the car was brand new in April – warranty claim to come on that, I feel). They then set about trying to replicate the overheating issue – and failing. (It’s a bit trickier to do in ambient temperatures in single figures!).
So, it’s not clear what the issue might be, or even whether it is a real issue. At least I have the car back now, and I have a much more local garage. Roll on the winter mods …..