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Monday 3 Nov 2003
Perth, Australia

Testing times...

Just got back from a tour of several mechanics to find out what exactly is wrong with my car and get a price-comparison for fixing the prob... I started off at the Auto-electric mechanic because I was told by the mechanic in Geraldton that the problem with my car was NOT inside my engine and something electrical. Predictably the electrical mechanic in Fremantle said the COMPLETE opposite (Ive experienced this throughout my trip to Oz... never have any two mechanics given the same diagnosis for problems Ive had with my car), but he didnt know what the problem was cuz he aint no "normal" mechanic see?

I went to two "expensive" mechanics on the basis that they "should" know what theyre talking about if theyre gonna rip people off. The answers I got back from both were not THAT different.. both said that the repairs were gonna be costly (no surprise there). The first said that the heads would need to be taken out and various parts replaced (not that I know what "heads" are.. cuz I aint no mechanic see?) with a total price of around 1500 dollars!!! CRIPEY!

I then went to the second mechanic who said that the aforementioned repairs would only be "a temporary fix" (resulting in more oil being burnt than was legal or something) and that since "a valve was completely burnt out" I would be better off getting AN ENTIRE NEW ENGINE (well rather a second hand import)!!! 2500 dollars including labour!!! SHEEEESH!

Right I then thought, as any sensible backpacker would, lets try to see if I can sell this car for scrap cuz there aint no way Im gonna make any money back on the car if I go around spending that kinda cash on getting it fixed!

300 dollars is what I was quoted from the wreckers!... for heavens sake that wouldnt even pay for one week accommodation in Sydney let alone stand up to the real value of this car and all its parts.

So I got chatting a bit further to the wrecker and he said he could get me a second-hand engine and fit it (over a 2-3 day period) for a more "reasonable" price of 1500 dollars or thereabouts. At least thats an improvement on 2500 bucks!

Here I am now faced with two choices: dump the van with the wrecker for a pitiful 300 dollars and make the rest of my way via Greyhound to Sydney, or get a new engine fitted for 1500 dollars?

I think the latter is the only real sensible choice at this stage... Im certainly not gonna make much money back on my van investment now.. but at least if I sell it for 5000 its somewhat an improvement on 300.

Im gonna discuss it over with the folks this avo before I commit to anything...

Unbelivable eh? Well at least Ive been living pretty cheap so 1500 dollars is probably what Ive saved in not staying at camping sites, etc..

I neglected to mention that I went to see "Kill Bill" in the cinema there two nights ago after the courageous-but-ultimately-lacking Ireland v Oz rugby match. Different. Not amazing. Super-bloody and .. well.. odd.

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