Owning a van 2 years older than me has taught me many things. Mostly, how to be my own mechanic, but also, how to take portraits of mechanics.
Just after I bought it, my fanbelt popped, and me – not knowing anything about cars, drove it till something gave. That thing was my head gasket cylinder and is cause for an engine overhaul. Being partly pretty controlling, I was not going to hand over my new baby to someone I didn’t know.
Luckily, I was inbetween jobs, so I went and sat in Melkom’s workshop for two weeks and watched him. He subsequently became my head-mechanic. Still not being very trusting, I constantly whatsapped my brother in germany, who did all the necessary research online. I then bothered poor Melkom about everything – was he replacing all the right seals and gaskets? If he was doing X, was he doing Y in the process? Melkom must have thought I knew a lot about cars and engine overhauls. And he must have thought I was the most annoying small, blond girl that has ever sat in his garage.
Many moons and many years later, I had solved a myriad of mechanical problems, most of them being minor. So minor in fact, that it sometimes took 10 mechanics to find one problem. Each referring me to the next.
I visited all of the mechanics in these pictures in one weekend (yes, without appointments, and yes, they work on weekends).
Finally, Mannie-the-Mechanic, who rightly calls me Jessica-love-hate, found the problem: someone had done a quick-fix and had tightened the return petrol pipe from the engine back to the tank a tad too well, sending 7 bars of petrol to my engine with nowhere else to go but through.
Easy to fix – super hard to find!
Many Thanks to Douw Steyn for assisting me on this project.