Anybody who’s lived in Dubai for longer than 20 minutes will know that it’s the emirate that won’t stop growing, with a building being erected here or there on pretty much an hourly basis. Rather bizarrely, as well as potentially blocking our view of the Middle East sunset, this growth recently took its toll on our long term Cadillac CTS.[Not a valid template]
You may remember that, as well as a wallowy rear left, last month an error message popped up on the Cadillac’s driver’s information panel: ‘left front tire low, add air to tire’. Since all seemed well with the front left (after several pit stops for air at our local petrol station), we figured we might also have a sensor issue too. Time to head to GM’s Liberty Service Centre in Rashidiya, Dubai, for a 20,000km service – well, it was due – and to have the errant wheels checked out.
Albert, with five year’s worth of experience under his belt, would be the Caddy’s surgeon during the two-hour procedure at Liberty Services. With the wheels off, the problem was immediately clear: there was not one, but two nails in the rear left Continental and yet another in the front left. After a couple of deep breaths through gritted teeth, I followed our dutiful mechanic to the road force testing machine to see the extent of the damage: a slow puncture in both tyres was one thing, but if we’d inadvertently knackered both alloys this could prove a costly afternoon.
This time we had been lucky. Had any of the nails hit the sidewall, we’d be forking over the best part of $800 for two new tyres (plus labour). However, since the holes themselves were not that big and in between the threads, a quick dollop of Dura-Seal and precision use of a stanley knife to remove the excess resin would have both tyres as good as new in no time. While the tyres were being attended to and rotated, Albert ducked his head back under the bonnet to check fluid levels, oil and air conditioning filters, spark plugs, and the various other items on his 20k to-do list.
Since my only contribution to said task would involve getting in the way, I stepped out of Liberty’s mammoth service area and back into the rather plush waiting room, where service manager Syed Suhail Ahmed and area technical and warranty manager Ahmed Abudaya walked me through the centre’s year in business over a cup or two of coffee. All seems to be going well, with customers of GM’s ‘premium brand’ vehicles increasing in number on a weekly basis. crankandpiston was even offered temporary loan of a Hummer H3 through the centre’s courtesy car program (a service provided for all its customers), but Alfred’s speed with the spanners meant this wasn’t necessary.
The drive home revealed nary a trace of oversteer that had blighted journeys for the past week or so, and the engine is now running sweet as a nut. Now it’s just a case of avoiding building sites and errant nails. That could prove tricky in Dubai.