Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 12 February 2011


That’s the noise it made.

“It” being the brand new Hyundai Santa Fe that I was supposed to be driving to St George and points west next week.

The agency has leased three more of these things this year. Generally, they’re a good vehicle, basic, but built like a brick dunny and very capable on the roads I drive.

This one is obviously the exception that proves the rule. When I picked it up late yesterday (after the office closed and the fleet manager had knocked off for the weekend) my plan was an early start Monday morning. By early I mean first light.

It is almost new, having covered about 1500 km since delivery to the fleet, but it is marking pretty horrendous noises. It sounded like there was a whole platoon of little men with hammers hitting the transmission housing from the inside.

I dragged out the “Instructions to the driver” pamphlet in the glove box which told me that I should phone the RACQ.

I did, the techie turned up and I took him for a drive so he could diagnose (and perhaps fix) the problem..

He looked a bit startled when he heard the noises it was making, and suggested – strongly – that I stop.

He jacked up both ends of the vehicle (one end at a time – you understand), wiggled each road wheel in turn, checked under the bonnet and under the chassis.

He emerged, scratching his head and muttering something about “no oil in the trannie”.

You can’t actually check the transmission oil in these things – they’re sealed for life.

I was told in no uncertain terms not to drive it, and it is being towed off to a holding yard for the weekend. On Monday it will be dropped off at the Hyundai dealer, when the workshop opens.

Wish me luck in getting another vehicle at short notice on Monday morning. Maybe I'll have to use the MX5.

I wonder whether it was worked on by an apprentice who was distracted by the weekend at its 1000 km service on Friday. Perhaps the minor detail of refilling the trannie was overlooked.

Update: -

Turns out that the previous driver had a puncture in a rear tyre, changed the wheel, but didn't tighten the wheel nuts properly. For some reason he returned the vehicle in this state. The noise was the wheel oscillating on the studs. The RACQ bloke and I both overlooked this.

Wouldn't have been pretty if the wheel had departed at 110km somewhere west of Roma.


Boy on a bike said...

The drive trains of half the taxis in Sydney sound much like that. How they manage to continue is one of the mysteries of life.

1735099 said...

Same in Brisbane, but if you break down in Brisbane the consequences are not as uncomfortable as being stranded 50 km west of Wherethefuckarewe. I'm an old bugger and I like my home comforts.
I can remember being asked "what suburb?" on the RFDS radio in a Landcruiser when it conked out 70 km Southeast of Boulia many years ago.
I ended up getting a lift back on a Boulia Shire council truck after I asked the RACQ operator to phone them for me. The five hour wait in the heat wasn't fun.

cav said...

I can beat that.

When I was working for the NSW Education Dept, I was between Deniliquin and Wakool when there was a shudder, then silence and a wisp of smoke out the back.

The 4 cylinder Commodore had just died. This road is pretty deserted and no mobile phones back then.

After a while a semi appeared on the horizon. I stood in the middle of the road and waved him down.

I organised the car to be picked up and phoned my boss in Sydney. He was worried about me, he was only worried about the car. I was told to get home the cheapest way possible.

Well transport from Deniliquin to Wagga doesn't happen every day you understand. I could go by train via Melbourne, or get a bus in two days.

I wandered up to the Forstry Commission, an earlier employer of mine, and as luck would have it, there were guys visiting from Wagga, by plane. So I hitched a ride on the Forestry aircraft and got home that night.

Next morning I rang the boss. He couldn't believe I flew home for nothing.

Oh, back to your story, the oil for the transmission would not be touched at the first service, so it was probably sold with the transmission dry

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