We decided not to take to Great Central Road because of the lack of an air filter and the fact that due to a public holiday on Monday the first possible delivery of an air filter (worth 40 AUD) would be on Wednesday. Five more days in Alice was not very appealing to us.
Despite this set back we were surprised by the effort everyone put in to help us to get back onto the Great Cental Road. For example:
- the Mitsibishi dealer investigated the issue free of charge, but unfortunately had no air filter and no time to give a definitive answer. At that time (on Saturday morning) they could remove the symptom (a sqeaking noice) with a bit of spray on a V-belt**** and assure us the water pump would not break very quickly.
- a customer at one of the shops directed us to a specialist shop and gave us very insightful information about the road conditions on the Great Central Road as he happened to work for a company performing maintenance
- each shop referred us to competitor shops
As we still want to go to Western Australia next, we drove to Port Augusta in the past two days. This morning the sqeaking noice was back, so I think the water pump needs to be replaced. The decision to take a major route was probably the best as breaking down in the middle of the middle of nowhere is an experience that I consider optional… We will go a Mitsubishi dealer first thing tomorrow morning*****. Hopefully they have time to diagnose definitively the water pump’s condition.
*) for the non-car enthousiasts, this means that the car uses much more diesel than normal and accelarates less fast**
**) not that our car is fast even with a clean air filter. It takes probably 5 minutes to get to 100 km / hour. However timing this would be too boring
***) Erik: you were right about trying to get a Toyota because of the spare parts. Hind sight is a great thing 😉
****) one of those things in the engine compartment that you cannot do without
*****) no public holiday in South Australia 🙂