Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A swiss challenge

Time came to leave Interlaken after 5 days, the last 3 being very wet and revealing a leak in the roof.
Roof vent leak
In addition there was the loose battery terminal to sort out before we left. Being completely relaxed I left the battery terminal to the morning we were leaving. BAD CHOICE!

First off I didn't have a socket to fit the terminal bolts and the adjustable wrench didn't have enough clearance. Being a little concerned about working on the the positive terminal and shorting the battery out via the socket handle I decided to remove the negative cable first. As soon as I touched the negative terminal it broke in half!! Ah HA, thought I I have found out why the engine was cutting out.

I grabbed the vice grips and clamped them over the two halves of the broken terminal. That got us going and within 1/2 a mile of the campground we found a small garage. The owner/mechanic came out and started talking English straight away. He had it fixed in no time and $25 lighter we set off for the Lucerne.

Happiness turned to despair after we climbed the first mountain and the engine died at the top. This time it didn't start up again.

We had purchased RAC European vehicle coverage (RAC is like AAA in the US but much, much more customer oriented). I called their number in UK, told them where we were, what I thought the problem might be (Fuel) and within 45 minutes a huge flat bed tow truck showed up. He found a bad fuel pump plug/socket in seconds and we were hoisted up onto the truck and take BACK DOWN the mountain! The mechanics were at lunch so we went to a local restaurant and had lunch too.
The mechanics are out to lunch! We'll have to wait for them to get back
By the time we got back the mechanic had the fuel pump fixed. We mentioned that the serpentine belt was slipping and asked if they could adjust it. Oh boy did that turn into a performance! The adjuster thread was stripped so they had to remove it completely from the engine. Instead of ordering one and waiting for it to arrive they welded a nut on to give the adjuster bolt something to work against. It took a couple of hours.
Just getting to the belt tensioner was a major headache
Happily the RAC covered most of the cost and we were only $50 out of pocket when we left. We LOVE the RAC.

A couple of hours turned into 3 after we took several wrong turns and realized I'd set the GPS for "Shortest distance" not "Fastest time" when I was last playing with it. Eventually we arrived in Vaduz in Lichtenstein. Never heard of Lichtenstein? Well it's a little Principality between Switzerland and Austria. It's only about 10 miles long so you could be forgiven for missing it.
Sitting on the balcony of our roof planning our next stop.
As a treat for our patience we treated ourselves to a night in a 3 star hotel and dinner in their restaurant,

Life is good!

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