This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2016 Travels July

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Bus went to local Toyota for a service. Last time we had one of those, they could not check the brake condition, because they couldn’t get the wheel nuts undone. Since then John had bought the nut cracker – torque multiplier. That went with Bus, and he gave the mechanic a demonstration on how to use same. So brakes got checked, along with all else. The only thing found to be wrong was a blown front light bulb. Since we never drove it at night, that was not something we’d noticed. They had to remove the bull bar, though, to replace it!

Bus came home all checked over, and with lots of lovely clean new fluids.

For a while now, I had been looking in pet shops, for a replacement portable dog bed. The one we had been using, that came with dog, was already broken back then – guess that’s why it was given to us? It was quite wobbly. Over time, the mat part had just about worn through.

Once again, the internet to the rescue, and I found exactly the sort of thing wanted, and bought it online. When the parcel was delivered John unpacked it – and Couey jumped on the bed before he even had it fully on the floor. Definitely got the dog seal of approval.

So when are we going?

For quite a while, I had been toying with the idea of getting “something extra” to monitor for loss of coolant from the radiator. A couple of past incidents had made us very aware of the catastrophic consequences this can have on a diesel engine.

Years ago, when we were still working and had a Hilux, the mobile mechanic we used then to service it, didn’t tighten – or left off altogether – the lower radiator plug. Next day, John set off for work, but didn’t get there. That was when we found out what many people still don’t know – the normal temperature gauge does not show the engine cooking itself, if there is no coolant! It only shows the coolant temperature. On that occasion, a very expensive engine re-build was covered by the mechanic’s insurance.

More recently. friend M wrecked her Troopy’s engine, in northern NSW. For an unknown reason, the coolant was lost. As with the Hilux, nothing untoward showed on her temp gauge. Only the engine’s dying alerted her to a problem. She took a chance and had a re-conditioned engine installed, as the quickest option available. Still a costly exercise, and not all that satisfactory. It was that engine that died last year, stranding her on the Tanami Track.

After yet more research, I decided to get a Watch Dog. (Not a furry friend for Couey.) This device was, basically, attached under a screw that was already part of the engine, and monitors the engine temperature. I received prompt and excellent service from the company that makes them – literally next  day delivery. We had a mobile mechanic install the device and were pleased with his work.

So, yet another gauge/alarm on the gadget central that is our dashboard – fortunately, a large one! It was direct wired, though; we already had enough cigarette lighter plug-in type things using the little power board.

I just hoped it was a more successful innovation than the tyre pressure monitors had been. The alarm signal was certainly loud enough. It came on when the ignition was turned off and went for what seemed ages because it was so piercing.

One thought on “2016 Travels July

  1. Ah, the old cooked engine caper. Being a grey nomad certainly keeps one’s mind active.

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