That sinking feeling was in my stomach as a couple of litres of petrol splashed on to forecourt.
Never before have I had a filler pipe disintegrate on a car. Some have leaked, but none have gone in such style. In a previous post, I described buying the Vitara. Now I wondered if I had made a mistake. After apologizing to the attendant I drove back to assess the problem.
Parked on the pavement outside my flat it was time to investigate. In the fading light and rain coming down I got my spanners out. After struggling with three bolts the inner mudguard came out along with 2 kilos of mud. The pipe, well the slither of metal that remained meant that there was no chance to repair it…
A call to a friend confirmed my two choices, either replace or fabricate. It was time for a Scottish coffee and a little research. If the worse came to the worse it would be possible to make a new pipe using perhaps an offcut from an exhaust. The coffee now was not Scottish enough by a long way. Not having a workshop means that recreating the pipe would be a problem, but not impossible. The best option was to find a replacement, this is when living in Cornwall becomes a good and bad thing. The good is that I have ongoing relationships with local scrapyards. The bad is that if they do not have a part the rest of the country is long away from here.
‘One in the yard, £15 if you take it off.’
The sense of relief was immense, yes they had one. Now compared to what I would have paid from another local yard it was more expensive. But then they did not have one, and that yard did. An hour later I found myself in the sunshine removing the pipe. Clearly, in the past, this Vitara had suffered the same problem. The pipe was held on by jubilee clips and was in far better condition than the rest of the vehicle. So at £15, it was a bargain.
After popping into another parts supplier to say hello on the way home it was time fit the pipe. This only took a few minutes and it was time to get the Vitara earning its living.
Is the Vitara a pup?
At the moment the jury is still out, but I’m erring on no.