Once again the Duster has been pounding up and down the highways and byways of Britain and for the most part, the journeys have passed without incident. That was until while travelling to Birmingham a few weeks back, the Dacia’s service warning light blinked on, indicating the car’s first service was due. Or rather it wasn’t, since the Duster had its first service a good 1,000 miles ago. Hopefully the light is just in need of a reset and nothing more.
Then, a few days later, while heading down the M5, I absently flicked over to see how much fuel I had left. I was only 20 miles from home and ten from my junction, but curiosity got the better of me. The gauge showed 96 miles, so I pressed on. As I neared the motorway exit, the Duster’s fuel warning light came on, and as there’s a filling station at the junction, I decided to fill up. As I neared the pump, I thought I felt the car cough, as if it had run out of fuel – I chalked it up to my imagination and promptly put £30 of diesel into the Duster. Climbing back into the car and turning the key, it refused to start. Sometimes it can be a little hesitant, so I tried again. And again. Popping the bonnet, it was immediately obvious – the Duster had run out of fuel. After a few pumps of the priming bulb, the engine was up to pressure and started happily. But worryingly, it had gone from showing 96 miles to totally empty in no more than 15 miles.
They say bad luck comes in threes and it duly did while when loaded with my wife Sarah and the children, when it suffered a puncture with a screw skewering the tyre. Sarah was in the process of dropping the children off when my father-in-law noticed the rapidly deflating tyre. The tyre was quickly changed for the full size spare, but not before he enlisted the help of a watching truck driver, who assisted with some tools and a jack, since they had struggled with the Duster’s standard tool kit. The damage to the tyre isn’t too severe thankfully, so I’m hopeful that it can be repaired, avoiding the expense of a replacement Continental tyre.
Thankfully the Duster’s load-lugging abilities remain as good as ever and this month I’ve pressed it into service as a tyre transporter, with the Dacia swallowing up two complete sets of Falken tyres for two of my MGs. The eight tyres easily fitted in the back of the car once the seats were dropped, yet again underlining the Duster’s versatility.
So the Dacia’s had a rough old time of it this month. I only hope that in my next report I might be able to bring some good news!
|Whats Hot:||Impressive amount of loading space with the seats folded down.|
|Whats Not:||Fuel range has shown itself to be inaccurate on one occasion.|
|Date arrived:||5th August 2013|
|Mileage to date:||13,907 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||53.3mpg (official combined)
41.4mpg (on test)