Having covered around 400kms since we left Tom Price earlier that day we pulled into the caravan park and switched off the engine while we went inside to check in. When we returned to the car it wouldn’t start.
We tried several times before calling roadside assistance. The roadside assistance mechanic arrived quickly, turning up in about 15 minutes. He checked the battery, which was all OK, before taking covers off and proding and poking around in the engine. About half an hour later he told us we’d have to call a tow truck.
Several phone calls later with RAC-WA having to verify everything we were entitled to with RAC-Victoria we eventually had a tow truck to collect the car. The management at the caravan park very kindly towed our trailer in to site so that we had somewhere to stay as the tow truck was not long enough to collect the car and trailer. It was now on five o’clock so no mechanic would take the car, as it was blocking the caravan park driveway it was towed into the park for the night.
The next morning Craig made a dozen phone calls and found a mechanic who could look at it that day. All of the other garages were saying 5-10 days just to take a look, so we jumped at the chance to have it looked at same day. More phone calls to RAC and the tow truck was finally organized an hour later.
We then called RAC two more times but the person assigned ot our case never called back. Evntually Penny called us and we requested a hire car to be arranged. The hire car wouldn’t be ready for collection until 2pm, so we spent a few more hours in the caravan park until the taxi could take us to pick up the hire car.
Thre was a slight misunderstanding with the taxi booking made by RAC, but we eventually got out to the Karratha airport to pick up our car. With only a few hours of the afternoon left we headed into town to check out the visitor centre and do a bit of shopping.
Late that afternoon Craig received the call from the mechanic. Do you have a spare key? ‘Yes’ Craig replies and we head over to the mechanic. Before we could reach them, we receive another call, the have cleaned the key and it is working again. The car can be picked up whenever we’re ready.
It turned out once the Paj had been plugged into the computer, the computer showed that the issue was with the immobilizer. When they checked the key they found it had corroded and this was the problem.
So all along there was no problem with the car at all. The immobiliser was doing it’s job and preventing the car from starting without the correct key. Why didn’t the immobiliser recognise the key you ask. The answer is because somebody went swimming with the keys in his pockets in Karijini. The water had caused the key to corrode which meant that the car’s immobiliser didn’t recognise the key and allow the engine to start.
We were so glad to have our car back within 24 hours.
Considering some of the other mechanics couln’t even look at it for a week we had been expecting worst case scenario of parts needed to be ordered in etc. In the end it was a relatively easy and cheap fix and we were rolling again.