Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting ready to go...

We arrived here in Galetta, Ontario on Monday evening. So that gave us only about six full days to see all of our friends and relatives in the area as well as prepare the little blue car for the long journey into Mexico. We head out of here this coming Monday morning, October 22.

The first thing I had to do was to get our little car out of storage. It had been parked in September of 2011, so it had been sitting for 13 months. It was a kind of a last minute decision at the time, and I hadn't done very much in the way of preparation. Hadn't even given the interior a clean up! Nope, no fuel stabilizer, nothing! That's not like me at all, but if I remember back to the time, I had been in panic mode getting the new flooring and a few other things done to Sherman in order to get him ready for the drive down to Mexico. So, all I did was to take the battery out and park it.

So before we left to go pick it up I charged the battery and brought it up to the top of the steps. Packed up some tools and put them in Ruth's dad's car and Ruth and I headed out. It was about 40 kms (25 miles) to the garage where it was stored. Made it there and opened to the back door to get the battery out.

But there was no battery.

Dammit! The battery was still at the top of the stairs! Can anybody say "STUPID"??!! That's one of those things where you just shake your head and get back in the car and do the whole trip all over again. Oh well.

So, an hour later we arrive back at the little blue car, but this time with the battery. I noticed that one tire was a little low but the tires are just about done so I figured I would just drive it like that until we got back to Galetta. So I put the battery in and turned the key. It fired up like it had only been sitting a day! Just like that, the little blue car was raring to go! He wants to go south too!

I had a few minor repairs to do, so I worked on that yesterday. The horn wasn't working and the alarm system was on the fritz too. And there was a turn signal bulb burnt out as well as the interior light. Turns out the horn was just a fuse, but that always makes you wonder why the fuse blew. And the alarm system had a corroded switch that signals to the system that the hood is closed. So I just bypassed that switch and now the alarm system works fine.

I put some air in that one low tire and inspected it. Sure enough, there's a tiny screw puncturing the tire. It's obviously just a very slow leak so the screw will remain where it is. If I removed it, I would have to have the tire repaired. We're going to get new tires when we get into the U.S. where things are still cheaper than in Canada despite the value of the dollars being approximately the same.

I had arranged the insurance, but the license plate sticker had expired in February. So yesterday I went to the licence bureau. These guys can never make anything simple! I had wanted to buy a sticker that wouldn't expire until February 2014, just like the motorhome has, but the car will then be 7 years old. Currently, the system says you don't need an emissions test until the car is seven years old, so no test required just now. But to extend the sticker, they want me to get a test done. Then, they said they weren't even sure that I would be able to renew. This is the same circus they put us through last year with the motorhome. So I bought the sticker ($82) that expires in February 2013. No credit for the fact that it hasn't been on the road for the last eight months. Or the fact that it won't even be in Ontario for the next four. Oh well, you have to play by their rules. At least they spend the money wisely! Ha!

Ruth has been busy helping her Dad with the meals and the house. Our timing was perfect actually because he had a fairly detailed operation last week and was only released from the hospital on Tuesday of this week. He's seems like he's doing fine though and that was the only thing that would have held up our departure.

Visiting with our son for the next two days, and then looking forward to a get together with my mother and my sisters on Sunday, followed by a visit with some old friends.

We are sooooo looking forward to our roadtrip and getting back into Mexico!


21 comments:

  1. Glad you got the car going without any mishaps, I think I would have the tire repaired just for peace of mind, never know when that screw will come out and you will have a flat on the road. Just bought two tires for Andy's Gran Cherokee, You can't beat Walmart for price and they will guarantee it anywhere, even Mexico and Canada.Waiting to see you guys. Have a safe journey and fun with family. Sam & Donna..

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    1. I would get it repaired, but I have a hard time spending $25 on a tire that's going in the dumpster next week! Besides, I have a spare and it only takes 10 minutes to change a tire on that car.

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    2. be careful Kev is the spare is the donut one...they are not rated for highway travel..and must always (from what I understand) be on the back and never on the front due to steering issues...they say if you have to use one of those spares to take a back wheel off put it on the front...and put the donut spare on the back...travel safe guys..your whole life is one big adventure :).....love it

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    3. Not too worry Elaine, Kevin has been in the car industry for most of his working life so he is well aware of what he can do safely with the car. It's funny actually beacause many years ago we once drove a mini van all the way back from Newfoundland with a donut spare on with no problems, Kevin took it easy and kept his eyes on it. We never drive fast so we aren't worried that we will have a problem with the tire.

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  2. That tire situation was one of the reasons why I bought a little kit a few years ago to do any repair that's similar to the one you mention. Usually a nail or screw is in the tread, and I've watched too many times when the "tire guy" uses one of those needle and thread type of plugs, and then turns around and wants $25 for essentially 10 minutes work. I've plugged quite a few tires over the years rather than pay that.
    It's more like a "darning needle", but I think you know what I mean.
    You never know, if it took over a year just to go down, that tire might stay up until you get the new ones. I wouldn't change it either.
    Oh, and I'm surprised the car started.
    I guess some of the hype the gas retailers spew about "additives" must have at least some basis in fact.

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    1. Bob, we have one of those kits too but it's down in Mexico! Kevin is keeping his eye on the air pressure and it is hardly lossing any air so there should be no problems, anyway the US border really is less than a 2 hour drive so anytime it looks like it is getting bad than we will stop and get the new tires.

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  3. So what route to Mexico? You are welcome here if you head through Denver!

    Kent

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    1. Thanks Kent! We would love to visit Colorado, but maybe in the spring on our way north! I had posted our route a couple of weeks ago, but I'll do it again over the next few days.

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  4. Good to hear that Blue is eager to head South. I am really happy that this is all working out especially Ruth's Dad's recovery. That is amazing and each day he will get stonger.

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    1. He is doing really well and is already getting around better than he was before the operation and it's only been a week and a half, so I will have no worries when we leave on Monday that he won't be able to look after himself again. He will just be missing the company.

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  5. I forgot you guys were in Mexico at the beginning

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  6. With your good luck having the car start right up, hopefully that luck will extend to the tire and last long enough to get new ones.

    With my luck, I wouldn't make it around the block... :c(

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    1. We don't have a very far drive to the US border, it's less than a 2 hour drive away.

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  7. Ahhhhhhh, Sherman looks as if to say "hurry up you two, I missed you!" Prayers to Ruth's dad - hope he has a speedy recovery.

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    1. We were thinking the same when we saw the picture of Sherman sitting there waiting for us. My Dad's recovery is speedy!

      My Dad is managing the stairs with no problem, he is still a little uncomfortable from the surgery but yesterday he mentioned that it was about the best he has felt in a long time. His balance is definitely improved since the operation and that was his biggest worry.

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  8. I think those DMV guys get their kicks doing that stuff, you know, one thing after another until most people just give up. Too bad, think of all the vehicles out there waiting to be licensed and driven, like no one wants the revenue.

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  9. I currently have a screw in a tire. It has been there for about 6 months. I watch the air pressure, but don't worry. If the tires were over 6 years, I wouldn't trust them, and have them replaced. Old tires can blow out at high speeds. Tires with a nail in the tread area are not dangerous, if they are not too old. I think you are fine, just check the pressure regularly.

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    1. Actually the way Kevin is thinking and yes he is checking the air pressure regularly.

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  10. So how will you drive the car after Feb 2013 in Mexico without a valid sticker, or how will you get the emissions test next Feb?

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    1. I'm calling the ministry of transportation this afternoon to see what they suggest. Apparently you can do a one time extension of six months or something like that.

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  11. The red tape with that licensing thing is a nuisance. Hope you get your extension, and new tires once across the border. We replaced a tire in Arizona year and half ago, large nail thru the tread and out the sidewall. Was cheaper (from China) but belts shifted a year later had to replace it here in Ontario. But we get a lot of Canadian tire money so it was free as are most of our car tires.
    Travel safe and enjoy the trip.

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