Can anyone explain what happened to my Berlingo?

There I was one day happily tootering along in my lovely Berlingo Multispace 1.9D. When all of a sudden the engine started sounding like a large piece of
old rusty farm machinery. I mean...eeeuch! The acceleration dropped but it kept going. I stopped. But as I was in the middle of nowhere I decided to keep going to the nearest garage. At the garage I cut the engine and went to speak to a mechanic. He came out. Started the engine and lo and behold it was fine!! And it has been fine ever since.
He suggested that the engine management system had crashed knocking out the timing. And turning off and restarting and "rebooted" the computer.
Anyone any thoughts? What he said maked sense I suppose but it kind of bothers me. I`d like to know what happened.
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