GRR Garage: VW Passat Alltrack ‑ running on fumes?
No matter how perfect a car is, how much you enjoy your time with it. At some point something will happen that will make you curse its very existence to the end of the earth.
For us that happened this week with our long-term Volkswagen Passat Alltrack – a car that we adore, but which cannot escape the law of averages when it comes to cars: something inside it will malfunction at some point.
We aimed for a quick splash and dash at a local petrol station before heading somewhere slightly cheaper for the remainder. So without a care in the world, we slung 10 litres of oil in the tank, paid and slid off into the Sussex night.
Only then did it hit us. The gauge still red 10 miles to go. First thought is that it’s faulty, but the miles continued to tick down, which brings thoughts that maybe something had gone wrong with the pump rather than the car. The more that goes on the more you panic, the more you look for avenues of escape. The speedo slows and the car begins to creep its way around the curves of the A286.
There is nothing quite so exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure as trying to get your car to a petrol station as it reads five miles to go, when you know the station is three miles away. What if it’s over reading and I conk out on this hill? What if this hill destroys the rest of that mileage? What if the road is closed ahead?
Fortunately, and despite running every possible scenario through our heads (a giant rabbit on the road anyone?) we made it to a second pump. In went another £10 of diesel, in we get and there it is: zero miles left. It’s a fault on the gauge.
We did a full 40 miles with the Passat claiming it was completely empty. On filling the rest of the tank up everything was back to normal. Glitch be gone.