It was only a half hour drive to the Moeraki boulders, but my car couldn’t handle it anymore. Suddenly the temperature gage went up high in the sky and when I left the state highway for the last few hundred meters to the boulders, the engine just stopped. I was stuck in between the highway and the traintracks, blocking all traffic, and I couldn’t move. After a few minutes of freaking out the car had cooled down enough to start again and I drove just around the corner to figure things out. My car was out of water.
So there I was, sitting behind the wheel with a defeated face, anxiously staring at the clock, knowing the tide was coming back in. The boulders around the corner would slowly be getting surrounded by water again. After nearly an hour I decided the motor had cooled down enough and I chucked liters and liters of water in it. After that it started again and the temperature looked normal. Unfortunately I saw I hadn’t put the cap on properly and after the little drive I’d done, the water had splashed all over everything under the hood. I refilled again, making sure to screw the cap on tight.
Nervously I kept driving to Dunedin. I just had to get there. I didn’t want to be stuck in some tiny place that couldn’t even be found on a map. I had to do my warranty of fitness anyway and went to the drive through WOF center. It was like a fast food restaurant, but then for a WOF service. I even passed it! But I asked about the temperature anyway. The mechanic redirected me to a radiator place. After a pressure test I was told it was probably just a blockage, because they couldn’t see any water leaking. I just nodded.
The next morning I came back and left my car in the dirty hands of a mechanic. I was convinced things would look better in a few hours, but then came the call. “It seems like there’s more going on then a simple blockage. Your radiator has three holes in it. I can fix it, but that wouldn’t be very good. It needs a new radiator.” So I agreed and wandered through the museum. It would be more expensive than I’d hoped for, but it would be worth it. Feeling safe again.
Around 3PM my phone went again. I answered with a smile in my voice, happy I could pick up my car and get on with my travels. However, this was not what the call was about. “It didn’t work. I think it might be the waterpump. Where are you?” “I’m on my way back.” “Ok. I’ll show you what I’ve done when you’re here.” And so he told me about what was happening and opened up my car even more. After another half hour, my waterpump turned out te be fine. It was worse than that. I was basically told my car could go to its grave.
I was shattered. My whole life was in that car. It was my home and now I had no clue what to do. The mechanic offered me a bed at his family’s house and I took it. After sleepling on it, I asked what I could do to rescue my car. Buying a new one would cost me three to fourthousand. My other option was putting a new engine in. And that is what I chose to do. There was an engine available and the mechanic started work asap. The new motor didn’t arrive until the end of the day though, so that night I stayed in the friendly mechanic’s house again.
It took two more days until it was done. The company that’d delivered the motor, hadn’t said it was a newer model, and the mechanic had to figure out how to make it work with my older car. That took more time, and more time is more money. Four hours after I’d left the garage with my car running again, I hit a nail on the road. At the side of the road I was dependent on the lovely people of Dunedin once again. I found out I didn’t have a jack or appropriate keys to swap the tyre over myself. After several offers of help, I found a lady who had the right size key.
As I am writing this, I am waiting for a tyre to come in. I got the first one fixed, but now I have a second flat tyre. This one is beyond fixing and since I am in a smaller town, it is not so easy to get a new one. Instead of travelling I am now looking for jobs again. I wasted my budget on my car. I feel like I can’t get a break. Somehow though, all of this must lead to something good.