Van Problems - Part 2: A leaky fuel line

So we had envisaged that Altai would be our last Russian adventure before Kazakhstan. Well this wasn't quite to be just yet. On leaving Aktash we were greeted with an orange ‘check engine’ light on the dashboard.

my new best mates!

A bit worried we went to a little roadside garage and asked (using a lot of google translate) if he could help us diagnose the problem. He plugged in his little bluetooth dongle and connected his phone and soon told us that the diesel particulate filter was responsible for the warning.

He reset it but told us that it would probably come back on. I did some googling and found out that if you drive slowly like we do then this can cause the filter to work below its optimum level causing a build up of soot. To solve it one should drive at about 100kph in fourth gear keeping the revs above 3000rpm. Sounds crazy, but we gave it a go coming down from Altai back towards Barnaul. And would you believe it, the light went out. Fingers crossed it stays off.

that means the Diesel Particulate Filter is ^&%*ed
But, we are leaving Russia next week and, as far as we know, there are no Fiat / Peugeot dealers or repairs in Kazakhstan. So we set about trying to give the van a full check up. Our first port of call was a Fiat Ducato specialist based near the city centre.
We were greeted again with an amazing welcome from Kosta and, through the power of Google Translate, we were able to tell them our problem, and after a bit of diagnostic they told us we had a problem with ‘injector number three’.

We popped the bonnet for further investigation and to mine and Sylvie’s horror, Kosta showed us a leak in one of the tiny fuel lines. He said it was a common problem in Russia due to the crazy potholes. He told us they didn't have the parts in stock but thankfully, he knew where to get them on a Saturday afternoon, so he drove off in his car and came back with them about 30 minutes later. He then fitted them in about five minutes and the problem was solved. What a guy!

these lads were swimming in a foundtain that smelt pretty funky
Our only concern now is our fuel filter. And as it was late on a Saturday afternoon and everything closes on a Sunday, we decided to find somewhere to stay for two nights. On Monday morning, we will endeavour to find a replacement fuel filter and maybe a spare to take with us on our travels.

With the trusty ‘iOverlander’ app we found a hostel that allows campers to camp outside their hostel and use their showers, toilets, kitchen and wifi. What a cool place! On Sunday night we watched the world cup with a young lad from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, a South Korean motorbiker on his way to Tajikistan, a Mongolian bloke and the Russian family who own the hostel, plus me and Sylvie of course. Although for some strange reason Sylvie was cheering for Croatia.

Our camping spot for the weekend
Well, after almost two months we will be very sad to leave Russia. It’s a crazy country but we have only experienced lovely and friendly people. It’s left its mark on us, and one day we will hopefully return and we will make it to Lake Baikal.

Next stop Kazakhstan, hopefully.