For almost 36 years old Toots is a pretty reliable van. We have the occasional, 'perfectly' timed hiccup like not wanting to start after stalling, her 'favourite' is at traffic lights in the middle lane on a busy road at peak time. Though on the ramp to the ferry was a good one. And there are quirks like having to keep the petrol above 50% on the gauge because the gauge is unreliable, and not having fully functioning windscreen washers.
But mostly we've had a stress free two and a half years of ownership.
Last weekend we planned a hardware shop run and to get Toots out of the carpark as it had been a couple of weeks since her last run.
But Toots had other plans...she didn't start the first go, which is unusual but not anything alarming.
She started second time and we inched our way out of the car space. We park in a commercial carpark so it's generous but it's underground so there are lots of columns and cars in a compact space and with the long wheel base it's easy (too easy) to catch a column (or post or another vehicle) part-way down the side (and always on two panels).
We hadn't made it more than 15 metres when Toots stalled but it was unclear whether it was a user error or an engine problem. She started back up fine but then wouldn't go, no power on the accelerator and then stalled, again. Another start and confirmation that it wasn't user error, she wasn't a happy camper, literally.
We made it to the ramp to leave the carpark with care on the clutch but chug, chug, shudder, stutter and stall. There's no backing out from the ramp so we were going up. Slowly and with a few stalls and restarts.
We limped back into the carpark and tried a few laps, nope, still no better. Tried letting the engine run for a while, still no better. A few more laps for luck...negative.
- Back to the car space
- Popped the boot (the engine is in the back of these old vans)
- Checked the coolant, bit low but fine
- Checked the oil, fine
- Check the belt, looks fine
- Called the mechanic, no answer
- Made a video for research purposes
- Walked home