I always feel so sorry for people stranded on the side of the motorway; broken down, desperate child pee-stop, whatever. It doesn’t look like a nice place to be. So when it happened to me last weekend, it took me from empathizing with people to being thrown full on into the situation myself!
I was taking the 30 minute trip from Solihull to Rugby to see my Mum with the gremlin and leaving hubby behind to spend some time with his brother, who was up from London. This involves a short stretch on the lovely M6. Before I joined I noticed something didn’t feel right with my acceleration and my gut instinct was something was up with my car’s turbo diesel (yes I impress myself with my car knowledge sometimes…*snorts*), but I wasn’t sure. I checked my brakes and all was fine so continued to join the motorway. There’s a bit of a hill so I reckon I coasted all the way down, as once I hit the bottom I could not go faster than 60mph. Foot to the floor: nothing. I was half worrying I may have cruise control on by accident but when I saw black smoke coming from the back of my car, I knew I would have to pull over to call my hubby.
Hazards on I dived out of the car, woke the poor gremlin and went as far back from the M6 as I could. When you are stationary watching vehicles zoom by at 70mph plus, it is very scary, noisy and a bit overwhelming.
Hubby came as fast as he could, whilst I stop holding my gremlin and telling her she had to stay close. I probably had to wait around 15 minutes. Hubby decided it would be best to see if we could get to a service station and he took my car and I took the gremlin in his, No chance. He could hardly pull away, which was a brown trousers moment for him on the the motorway and the thick black smoke continued to pour out of the exhaust. I slightly panicked at this point and I pulled back over, waving at him to do the same.
A swift call to the RAC and we were prioritised due to having a toddler with us. She was as good as gold and sat up on a metal box on the side of the motorway. We actually had quite a giggle and lots of cuddles. It was very sunny and we were completely sun cream free so we hid best we could under trees. We waited around 30 minutes and a guy came. He immediately confirmed my suspicions that it was my car’s turbo diesel and he could fix it at the side of the road. What was very frustrating was my recent MOT was likely to blame; they will have left something loose.
So it was sorted and after a quick test drive to the local services, off we drove home!
It was a crappy situation to be in but I have learnt I need to have the RAC’s number in my phone as I had to get it off my step-dad, frantically on the side of the M6. I need more than road side assistance as there was the very real possibility I may have needed to be towed. I will definitely be making a complaint to where I got my MOT done and definitely not be going back!
Toddlers and the M6 do not mix!!