Anyway, on to the story (shoot me if I begin to sound too much like Ronnie Corbet). Mid-afternoon I receive a call from the garage, telling me there is "a problem" with my car.
Now I know the EPC and traction control lights have been coming on like it's Christmas, they have done this for months. When this behaviour began I took the car in and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. But now they believe they have found the problem: my cam belt has been on the edge of falling off for eight months. You will not believe how happy I am to hear this news. (Realistically, though, it does explain most of the oddities I have observed with the car's intermittent power surges and more general underpoweredness).
They have observed a similar problem on a few other Fabias recently, so they jumped straight to the diagnosis this time. Despite the fact that one might almost be tempted, on the basis of the preceding sentence, to describe this as a "common" problem, they are out of stock on the necessary parts and will need to keep my car until Friday. At least I have a brand new Fabia as a courtesy car (this morning it had 20 miles on the clock; now it's 60 and counting).
Tentatively, I enquire how many arms and legs this is going to cost me.
"Oh, it's on the warranty".
I just hope it's still on the warranty on Friday ...