Today was the sort of day that is practically inevitable when you spend so much time on rough roads: car problems.
Throughout this Baja trip, Premium Gasoline, the kind preferred by Eunice’s Landcruiser, has been in short supply. This gave rise to the occasional cough and splutter but nothing worse. We had given the car fuel additives that seemed to slightly improve the condition. We had just filled up, ironically with Premium Gasoline, when, still in view of the monument that marks the border between Baja California Norte and Sur, the car coughed, spluttered and then died. We were still in phone reach of Guerrero Negro so Eunice called the hotel who promised to send someone out to collect us and look at the car.
Although my knowledge of cars that go wrong can be written on the back of a postage stamp we did take the cursory look under the hood. Yep, the engine was still there! I confirmed that leads attached to the distributor were still in place and suggested that we’d try staring one more time. LC (pronounced Elsie, short for Land Cruiser) immediately kicked back into action. We called the hotel and cancelled their rescue mission, but decided to head back to town, especially as coughing etc was still a feature of the ride back.
Our would be saviour was there to meet us and suggested that he would take us to a near by garage, experts in fuel injection, for a quick diagnosis. Bad fuel was the general consensus, especially as we had to take some fuel from an unofficial seller at Catavina – Elsie guzzles fuel.
The filter was located, cleaned and re-fitted. We were on our way, but returned even before we had left the town – same problem. Again, Elsie was put on the diagnostics computer. Distributer cap? Rotor arm? Another test drive and back for more tests as none of these seemed to be the cause. In the end a caple connecting the battery to the on board computer had shaken loose and was sending confused messages to the ignition system. Bolt tightened – and all was fine. Phew!!!
Inconvenient, but this could have happened hundreds of km away from civilisation! A lucky escape.
With less time than planned, we decided to stick to MEX1 for now and drive north to near Miller’s Landing. We made three stops and found Dudleya acuminata. Elsie behaved fine so that tomorrow we will be brave (foolish?) and attempt the drive via San Borja to Bahia de los Angeles. Wifi there might be iffy, so anticipate delayed Diaries!