Another day in the garage

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Our adventure is going to be a very long journey if bad things to our car keep happening. We arrived in Beijing tonight after another long day of driving but above all waiting in the garage. Our day started pretty okay with a breakfast in the biggest building we ever had breakfast in. The Hai Dai Garden hotel in Cangzhou is a typical Chinese government hotel. Huge, new, but empty on the outskirts of a third tier wanna be Chinese city. Apart from Mirian and me there were maybe one or two other rooms occupied. We were probably the first guests in our room, since everything smelled rather new. Why then is water from the shower going in every direction but down? It’s so typical for these kind of so called Chinese 4 and 5 star hotels. They really don’t give a shit about details or… well… about anything….

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Anyway, after breakfast we set out for Beijing, but about halfway, we encountered the same problem as yesterday. The temperature of the engine increased rapidly to boiling point so we stopped again on the highway, opened the motor hood and saw a huge fountain of boiling hot coolant coming out of the radiator. This time we had to wait quite some time for a mechanic to arrive, but when he did we were very pleased to see he was a Toyota-specialist. This guy was very friendly and helpful, filled up the radiator with coolant again, left his car on the highway and drove us to his garage.

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There about five mechanics immediately assembled around our car and ran all kind of tests, replaced the oil, coolant and cleaned the radiator. It all took about three hours, but they only wanted to be paid for the materials. No service fee was charged, so the bill was only about 95 euros. Now that’s service! Especially since one of the mechanis drove us to a nearby new shopping district where we had lunch, while he waited in the car. I don’t think we will ever experience this kind of service in Holland.

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Still, we do have a problem. The radiator needs to be replaced as well as part of the airconditioning system. But here comes the thing: the mechanics in China think our car is too old. They don’t dare replacing stuff, because they think the car will die after putting everything back. They just don’t have any experience with these kind of cars since in China everyone drives a new car.

In Holland though people told us our car is too new for this kind of adventure, since older models have less computerized parts. A different kind of perspective I guess… Tomorrow we’re gonna try our luck in Beijing since we don’t want to cross the Gobi-desert with a faulty car. Because of all the car trouble we probably will stay in Beijing one day longer.

That’s about the limit, since we’re running out of time. Our temporary Chinese license plate expires on Friday the 13th so we’re under a litte time pressure here. Despite all the problems, we still think we’ll soon be on our way car pain free!  And hey, we now already traveled for almost 10% of our entire trip! We WILL bring the Blue Beast home!

3 Responses to Another day in the garage

  1. Bjorn

    Good luck guys! I am rooting for you guys and the blue beast.

  2. Herman Troost

    Tja, je kunt natuurlijk niet altijd de Chinezen verantwoordelijk maken voor alle auto problemen, als ” de oude Schicht “in Nederland gekocht is ( waarschijnlijk op het Waterloo Plein ) als een tweede handsje met advies van de “classic car” auto specialist, de zeergewaardeerde oude heer W.K. te A.a/d R, K, A, en aanverwandte gebiedsdelen !!.
    Goede reis gewenst van de Canadese zijde van de vriendenkring !
    Herman Troost

  3. Rients Abma

    Alle pech in het begin; de rest van de rit zal vast goed gaan. Succes!
    Mooi slotstuk in het FD afgelopen zaterdag. Hoop jullie snel te zien in Nederland.

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