Friday, 27 March 2015

How to wreck your plans with 500ml of DEF

Mexico - Take 2

Since I had my teeth cleaned in Mexico a few weeks ago, I’ve been having doubts. What I didn’t say in my previous post is that they told me I needed 5 fillings. Five! I only have one that I got in 1977, how could I possibly have gotten five in 12 months? My first reaction was that they were wrong, just trying to make money on unsuspecting tourists, so I did nothing. Then the more I thought about it, the more I started to worry. I know there is more sugar in food in the USA, you can really taste it in bread. Is this the price I’ve had to pay for wanting to travel? We had planned to come back in January but I didn’t want to spend the whole of next year worrying about it, so I made an appointment with the dentist we had been referred to by Bill and Michele, who hadn’t been available the first time we went. 220 miles back to Yuma we went. One of the assistants took 5-6 x-rays, then Erika came and checked my teeth. No cavities! And no bill, come again? no bill. Even though it wasn’t her practice that had told me the lie, I guess she felt she needed to restore faith in the Los Algodones dental business. I was very happy I didn’t have any cavities and so glad I went back instead of worrying about it. I was very happy with Erika and we will book ahead so that we can go back to her next year.

If you want to book Erika Medina, send an email to her girls and they will get back to you straight away.

For Eagles fans - Take it easy....

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything went to plan, nothing went wrong, plans never got disrupted? It would be nice but fairyland doesn’t exist! On our way to Canyon de Chelly, our truck informed us that it needed DEF – diesel exhaust fluid. If you don’t put it in, the engine will stop! This is what the new “I can’t believe it’s a diesel” trucks need – a small price to pay for having an extremely quiet diesel engine.

Having a blonde moment, Lindsay starting pouring the DEF into the diesel tank. You see for some stupid reason Ford has put both tank fill ports right next to each other, sure they have different caps and are different sizes but it would have been more sensible to put the DEF fill port under the bonnet. When he realised what he was doing, he stopped and put the rest in the correct tank. He added more diesel hoping that would dilute it a bit and off we went. Big mistake. 

A couple of hundred miles later when we were parking at the campground in Canyon de Chelly I noticed that the truck was making an odd sound. Then the engine warning light came on. So we rang our Ford dealer in Yucca Valley and all he said was "oh no" then silence. "Have you started it? Yes, Don’t drive it anymore, you need to have it towed". If we hadn’t started the engine and had drained the fuel tank straight away, we may have saved it. The DEF crystallises in the lines and ruins everything.

Cottonwood Campground
We knew that we couldn’t have it towed to California so we rang the nearest large town which was Flagstaff. He couldn’t fit us in for another three weeks, so try Holbrook. We hadn't thought of Holbrook, even though it was closer, we didn't think there was anything there. "Oh no", said Ford Holbrook, it will cost about $18,000 to fix! So we rang the insurance company and told them the bad news. Then Good Sam to get us towed, letting them know that we also needed our 5th Wheel towing. "But you’re in a campground, aren’t you". Yes, but there’s nothing here, no water, no power, no food. "But you’re in a campground, aren’t you". Yes you stupid woman, but you aren’t listening - there is nothing here! We finally managed to convince her that we needed our trailer towed too. The tow truck man brought his own F250 so that Lindsay could tow the trailer back the 106 miles to Holbrook, it was an older model which was very noisy and had difficulty getting up the hills; he felt like he had driven 300 miles. It made us appreciate our truck even more.

The Ford dealer had fixed the same thing in another brand a few weeks ago with the repair bill costing $22k. It turns out that Ford have put together a kit (it must be happening a lot) so that you don’t have to buy all the pieces individually, reducing the price by half of the original estimate.

Apparently we are entitled to a hire car but as the nearest one is 60 miles away and we have no way of getting there other than hitch hiking, we are making do without one and getting lots of exercise walking 4 miles return to Safeway every couple of days, not because we need to but because it's better to have a destination to go to.

The insurance company denied our claim, saying it was a mechanical breakdown. Ouch.

Holbrook is a sleepy little town that died after the Interstate by passed it. We never noticed the wall art when we drove through, sometimes you need to walk to notice the little things. I think they must have done the wall art to help revive the place. And our original thought of thinking there was nothing here was about right!

Holbrook street art

The historic Wigwam Motel 

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