I’ve probably been very lucky over the years, shifting cars before they become an expensive liability. Well, a few months ago I set up a part-exchange of the old family Land Rover Discovery against a newer one, but ultimately it wasn’t my call. Wish I had pulled rank, because over the past few weeks getting to the bottom of just why there have been so many warning lights has been a nightmare.

Not that I’ve been getting my hands dirty, of course. My local Bangernomics mechanics have been banging their heads against the bonnet. According to the Land Rover community, what I had was ‘The Three Amigos’: ABS, traction control and hill descent control warning lights. According to the first diagnostic tool, it needed an ABS sensor. With that replaced, I collected the old girl and on my way home vigorously applied the brakes. Hola Amigos.

So if it wasn’t the sensor, it had to be the hub, which works with the sensor to do its clever stuff. New hub. Same problem. It’s starting to get expensive now. Last throw of the desperate dice is a brand new ABS ECU.

I am told that it is no guarantee of success and the bill is skidding towards a grand. Luckily, it works. For now.

I’m sure you’ve all been down this ECU circle of hell to a much more expensive degree. A mate with a Sprinter van got solidly into four figures recently.

Is this, then, the expensive price we are paying for all these toys? Or is it a glimpse into an unsustainable automotive future that I have been moaning about for 20 years? Maybe I’m just upset because I had to spend some money on my car…