FOR THOSE just tuning in, let’s recap. During the last few months I’ve become friends with the 3008. It’s a good car. We’ve bonded over almost 3000km of day-to-day toil and had some fun on the side, but since last update things have taken a turn for the French.
In August I mentioned an overdue service I was planning to book. The 2500km check is a dealership’s way of building customer relationships by transitioning buyers from the salesperson they connected with initially to the technicians who will maintain their vehicle. It’s sometimes referred to as a run-in service or a second handover, and allows owners to voice any early concerns and get help with functions they’re struggling to master (typically adaptive cruise control and self-parking features). It’s also a good opportunity to check for software and sat-nav map updates. In an effort to properly emulate a normal customer experience, I wanted in.
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But on the day I was to make those arrangements, the 3008 clutched at its shins and took a dive. An amber ‘check engine’ warning lit up the digital dash display less than two kilometres from home. It was a weird one, with no sign beforehand that something was awry, but at that moment the throttle went long and the idle turned rough and there was barely enough drive to move out of traffic and pull over. Sacrebleu!
I called for roadside assistance, which is part of Peugeot’s warranty program, and was offered a tow rather than actual help at the roadside, but that was more inconvenient than trying to limp the rest of the way to work in the ailing SUV and hope the amber warning didn’t turn red.
A man from the dealership came to pick it up later that day. He swapped me for a 5008 I could use in the interim and told me I’d hear something soon. Sure enough, a day or so later the techs had found a fault with a one-way valve in the fuel tank breather set-up near the filler neck that had allowed fuel to dribble back down into somewhere it shouldn’t and caused the engine management to throw an error code. I had given the car a full tank near home in the evening before the issue started, and it was that fill that had set it off.
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Of the 70-odd 3008s delivered by the salesman I spoke to, only one other had suffered the same plight. Peugeot told me a revised part was now available, but it needed to come from France along with a whole new fuel tank. The inevitable transport delays meant the car was out of action for almost three weeks before coming back to me, but the process of getting it fixed under warranty was relatively painless.
Fuel systems are particularly sensitive in modern cars as manufacturers hunt for ultimate efficiency. For example, there are reports of ‘check engine’ lights in Mazda vehicles that haven’t had their fuel filler caps tightened properly. Otherwise insignificant components can have large repercussions, and though I’m yet to do any meaningful distance in this 3008 since its repair, the remedy seems to have it solved. Time will tell.