Fun in the Land Rover!

Monday morning, 200kms from home, I decide to get some diesel at a nearby supermarket. As I turned the roundabout, there was one of those cardiac arrest moments, when there was a "blip" on the power steering. Visions of a previous trip, in Spain, in January when the power steering pump on another Discovery packed in! There's more! As I turned into the gas station, I got the "kerchunk-kerchunk-kerchunk" out of fuel noise, but no warning light!!! Aaaarrrrggghhh!!! Coasted up to the pump, looked back only to see a trail of liquid on the floor behind me! Aaaaarrrgggghhhh! Opened the bonnet --- "steam" and smoke!! Oh s**t!!! It now took me about 5 minutes to locate the problem .... the plastic pipe from the fuel pump to the injectors was dangling down, peeing diesel all over the engine! The "blip" turned out to be due to diesel having been squirted all over the power steering pump and belt, producing a lack of grip! "kerchunk-kerchunk-kerchunk" was due to the lack of fuel in the injectors. As luck would have it I was also stopped next to a DIY shop. Repair #1 -- smallest jubilee clip they had and a screw driver. 7 euros. Too big. (rude words) Repair #2 -- length of 1.5 wire and a pair of pliers. 8 euros. The wire bit into the pipe and cut the end off!! (more rude words) It now transpired that the whole pipe was mangled. The previous owner had even wrapped some insulating tape around some of the holes in it!! I walked across the road to a Citroen dealers. Spares man has gone to lunch -- come back at 2!!! Should have know better -- France at 12:01! Back to the DIY shop. Repair #3 -- 5 metres of Hozelock garden irrigation pipe! 8 euros. Same size. A length of this slipped on nicely and off we go (remembering to get diesel first!). Stop-to-check 3 times in the next 5 kms. All seemed well. 180kms later ..... "why has the back window suddenly misted up?" Wash it .... mists up again!! Then, BLIP again, and "kerchunk-kerchunk-kerchunk" out of fuel noise!!! Warning light suddenly comes on. Stop. (LOTS of rude words) Back window covered in diesel! Under the bonnet .... the pipe had come off. Repeat exercise twice more, until eventually I get the pipe on with wire holding it in place ..... but now I HAD run out of fuel!! My remaining litres had been squirted all over the D40. AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH! After five minutes fiddling with the sat-nav, trying to figure out if there was anything near that wasn't fields, I got out and stuck out my thumb. To my amazement, the first car pulled up and offered me a lift 2kms down the road to the next petrol station. And it was a (brave?) woman! Isn't rural France wonderful?! The third car that passed me on my walk back was a guy in a van. He drove me (out of his way) back to the car, with my nice shiny new fuel can. 7 euros. And away!!! The fix then got me to Land-Rover in Pau, where they had the part in stock (!) and home again. Great laugh, these Land Rovers!!

I had a Disco and did 400k kilometres in it! I did blow up the engine once though and another time I absentmindedly put petrol in the tank (I was rushing home to see my fatally ill wife) and that cost me 700 euros including a night time taxi. I sold that Disco and bought a Saab which I still have and as a sign of utter weakness have just bought a Freelander for Madame. This we can justify by being in the high (for the area) hills of Briitany surrounded by roads covered in sundry detritus according to the season. Vehicles here are usually washed twice a year- after the maize cutting and after the winter. One has to pay the Amicale Laique to do it and the wahers are the farmers who didn't remove the mud they left on the road which then attached to the vehicle. A clean vehicle is a true sign of a visitor.

Although I am embarrassed to admit it; it does help to hear that someone else's day was worse than mine. I hope your week improves :-)