My VW Virtus 1.5 manual’s weird behaviour: Rat bites are not fun

I asked the service centre to do a full diagnosis. Better to get everything checked and fixed, than be stranded on the road later.

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A quick update on my Virtus 1.5 MT

EPC Warning, Engine shaking and RPM restriction – Essentially switched over to limp mode as I was taking the car out a couple of days back. Drove it back and parked, and checked a few more times later in the day. Each time, the car started with a rough engine behaviour with an excessive smell of fuel.

Called the dealer, they suggested a tow to the service center, called RSA and arranged for a tow. The towing vendor didn’t turn up in two days – I was very busy with work during that period, so I am not sure if someone called and I didn’t pick up.

On Day 3, I went down, opened the hood and generally pressed some of the connectors (just to ensure that there was no loose contact or anything), and when I started the car, it was working perfectly. Absolutely no way of knowing whether there was a correlation between what I did and the engine getting back to normal.

Drove it to the service station – everything was fine during the drive, and I asked them to do a full diagnosis.

They opened the bonnet and immediately spotted rat paw prints (which I had missed as our parking area is a bit darker). So now the task was to find out what was damaged and also locate the source of the error codes.

They have got onto the job, the car has been in the service station for two days now. Checked with the SA today, he tells me that they were able to find one damaged cable, but they have still not been able to clear the error codes fully. Probably there is some damage still to be discovered.

Apparently, the error codes came out once in a while when they tested the car through yesterday. They are apparently working with inputs from the VW technical team to go through a systematic process of checking everything and getting the errors fixed. I don’t have an ETA yet, and I have told them I am in no hurry to get the car back. Better get everything checked and fixed, than be stranded on the road later.

I must say the engine bay is a couple of levels more complex and packed than any of my earlier cars. I guess this makes maintenance jobs like this tougher. And nowadays with sensors everywhere and complex electronic systems taking over almost all aspects of driving the car, it takes just one nibble from a rat to create havoc.

This is still a developing story, will update once it finally gets resolved (hopefully soon).

Lesson learnt : Rat bites are not fun, time for some good rat repellents!

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