When we go on holiday we always seem to end up staying somewhere longer than intended for reasons beyond our control, usually car related, and this time was no exception.
We went to Broken Hill with the intent of staying about four or five days and ended up staying about a week and a half. One reason was that we kept finding things to do, another was that we were well into holiday mode, and, frankly, couldn’t be bothered moving on! The reason for an extra few days in the middle of our stay was attributed to the car.
Our Toyota 4wd is a dual fuel vehicle, meaning it runs on both unleaded fuel and gas. This is very convenient when we do long drives, but in more remote areas gas can be quite hard to get. Having two tanks also extends the distance between fuel stops which, again, is very helpful when the next servo can be quite a distance away.
The only problem we have found is that at random times, without notice, our car will refuse to run on petrol while running beautifully on gas. We have found that a small relay under the bonnet which controls the switching between the two will die and need to be replaced. It happens so often when we are away that we always take a spare relay, or two, so that over the time away we can replace it and then get another in the next big town without having to risk being stuck without one.
In Broken Hill, not unexpectedly, it blew and was immediately replaced by the Man. No problem, it happens every few months, no biggie. Then, a day later, it blew another one, our only spare. Bugger. Since Broken Hill is a large town we have no trouble refuelling with gas so continuing to drive was no problem. We had a look around town, and went to as many places we could think of that might sell relays, or be able to circumvent the gas system altogether, and not one of them knew anything about gas cars. Bugger 😦
We were starting to get worried. We were now capable of driving around Broken Hill every day for the rest of our lives, but until we worked out how to switch the car back to petrol we couldn’t go anywhere else, as the next servos who reliably supply gas are beyond the limits of our gas tank!
We wandered through the town and looked in the real estate office windows to find that if we sold our little house in the Yarra Valley we could buy quite a nice, and somewhat bigger, house in Broken Hill and have enough money left over to buy clothing and furniture. Although we were enjoying our time in Broken Hill we prefer our green little valley, so we continued to look for someone to fix the car.
Two days later we remembered that each year we pay for a Complete Care membership with the RACV but never use it… hmmmm…. you can tell our brains are on holiday too, can’t you?
The point of paying for that is to call them when the car goes wrong and they will fix it.
We called them, the guy took one look at it and said “I dunno”.
Fortunately, he was able to give us the name of the one guy in town who actually knew something about gas cars, phew!
The Man drove down there immediately in the hopes that he would, if not fix it, get us back on to petrol. An hour later the Man returned, triumphant, Yippee!! This bloke not only got the petrol working, he actually tracked back to the root of the problem (other gas guys over the years had not been able to do this) and changed another part further up the wiring to (hopefully) ensure it never happens again.
We are now travelling with our fingers crossed, hoping that he really did fix it and we won’t have to ever deal with that particular problem again. I suppose it doesn’t really matter though. The car will find something else to throw at us next time we go away I’m sure!