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another car vocabulary question, please


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If the timing belt is the courroie de distribution, what is the "timing" called?

Got the car back from the garage and it just isn't right; sluggish to start and doesn't sound right either.  He's changed the spark plugs and now I shall have to take it back.

I feel completely overwhelmed at the moment as I seem to have to do everything twice because NOTHING is right the first time.  Made a virement at the bank, sorry virement not been done.  Arrange car insurance, giving precise details, but OH has been named the principal driver.  Does it matter who is the principal driver?  I shall be the one driving as he has his own car but, for example, does it cost more if the person is older the way it is for a mutuelle?

Exhausted and depressed so, please help!  I am now not functioning properly, can't spin all the plates at once and keep them from falling[:(]

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Chill Minty...chill

Deal with one problem at a time.

What is the type of car that is having problems ? Audi, BMW, VW, Skoda,....French Car...eek. Ford ??? What car is it and what is the problem ?

There are enough people on this forum that can help with the mechanics. Dave knows his stuff and others.

The insurance and bank transfer are easy to deal with after a good nights sleep.

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Thank you for your responses. 

Erns, I don't KNOW it's the timing but OH TELLS me that's what it is..............though he only knows a very little more than I do.

It's sluggish to start and sluggish to change up (it's an automatic).

When I have the garagiste's answer, I will come back and tell you.

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Timing doesnt change on a modern vehicle, what you describe sounds like one of two things.


Engine running on LOS (limited operating strategy, mode degradé) following a sensor failure or an abnormal reading - get the fault codes checked.


Blocked catalytic convertor, usually following an O2 sensor fault which will also have caused LOS

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Remember mint that there are also beaucoup french people who do not know these terms either........... will hazard a guess at the necessary term....... or not[Www]......

.......... or use machintruc and bruit as terms that have to have some meaning for the mechanic, even mimic the sound.......... yes, I have heard that too...... and why not?[:)]

And lets face it, we do know our cars running  'sound' and if it is off, then we are more than aware.

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Dear kind people, all now resolved.  There was a problem with one of the leads and thus one cylindre was not firing properly.

The garagiste said he was flummoxed because he said that as he'd changed the bougies and done other stuff, it was not possible for the engine to be pire than it was.

Anyway, he went off with OH for a drive and it was fine until they came to a hill, when the engine laboured and nearly cut out.

Apparently, what had happened was that one of the leads had become displaced, though he didn't know how that could taken place because he said they were a certain profondeur and that it wasn't possible for a lead to jump up

Anyway, there she goes again, smooth and sweet and the garagiste only charged me 10 euros and we took nearly an hour of his time plus a new lead.

Special note to ALBF:  cher ALBF, I want to say thank you to you.  When you said I needed to chill and take one problem at a time, I knew you were talking sense.  I'd got to a stage when I felt very lonely and beset with problems.  Everything seemed too time-consuming.  I have had disturbed nights for weeks because of having to get up for our dog and I have been under the weather for weeks after a cold that keeps recurring and a persistent cough that debilitated me.  I have not been able to exercise as normal and also lost my appetite.

No excuses, just one of those episodes that get you down despite there being no major challenges.  Once you said what you did, I took your advice on board.  I shut off all worries, I went to sleep and I woke up ready to tackle everything.  And so I have!  I haven't mentioned everything here because that would bore you all off to sleep but I did have a fair few worries.  Still do but now I am on top of things again.

So, ALBF, I hope you realise that you have done me a very good turn[:)]

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[quote user="mint"]Apparently, what had happened was that one of the leads had become displaced, though he didn't know how that could taken place because he said they were a certain profondeur and that it wasn't possible for a lead to jump up[/quote]Is that some Frangalise way of saying that one lead was on the wrong plug (= wrong firing order) which BTW can't happen anyway because you can't have just one wrong, it would have to be a pair at least.

If so then with two leads swapped most engines will barely start and then fart, bang, and backfire if they do and you certainly won't be driving a car anywhere like that !

I'm assuming it's not a V8, with that you might be able to drive it but it would still run like a pig and you'd be turning straight back to the garage within yards.

Sound like bullsh1tting rank amateurs to me, are they going to refund you for all the unnecessary work they did previously ?

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Sounds like one HT lead not pushed fully home on the plug, at best the contact just resting on the plug but probably with a small gap, half the HT current was lost jumping that gap leaving only enough spark for light throttle combustion, try to accelerate and/or go up a hill and it misfires.


Par for the course when you have to rely on garagistes, when I make (and learn from) the same mistake the only casualty is my pride.

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Seems to be as you have explained, Chancer.

Erns, I don't know enough to start giving him a thick ear and I might have to go back for something else.  BTW, have yet to find a garage that will do a proper service UK-style;  Nobody even tightens your hand brake[:'(]

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