French Autoroute Filling Station Problems

Published: 05 July 2008

Having just returned from our annual pilgrimage into Europe, I thought that I should share a problem that we encountered.

We pulled into a petrol station on the French autoroute, the alarms on our bikes set as usual, but on returning to the bikes two of the five bikes in our party refused to respond to their alarms (one Datatool and one Meta) consequently rendering them immobilised. Fortunately we noticed a large aerial mast adjacent to the station and moved the bikes some 50 yards or so and they then started!

This happened a second time on the way back, once again in the shadow of a large aerial mast, much pushing around the car park to find a place that the bikes would respond to the alarms followed, luckily they did and we were on our way.

The unfortunate Italian on his Harley was not so lucky and the recovery truck arrived as we were departing. In no instances are there any notices displayed or do the staff on the sites offer any assistance, but I cannot believe that they are not aware of the problems.

So beware of any filling stations on the French auto route with large aerial masts, switch the ignition off, unlock the fuel cap and switch the ignition back on before the alarm has set itself, repeat the procedure to lock the filler cap and do not stay too long or you will have a flat battery! Be warned!