So I found myself in a bit of a dilemma recently when I took my beloved Thelma camper for its MOT.
I was very shocked to have failed the smoke emissions test, which has never happened before. All of a sudden I found myself without transport, without my camper and I felt like a huge part of my freedom had been taken away.
For all these years I have been so fortunate to have the choice of driving away in my van, exploring and sleeping where I choose and wake up to a new view each day. I haven't been away in my van for a few months, more because of the cold winter months and the vast amount of rain we have been having but just knowing Thelma is there, allows my sense of freedom to remain just bubbling in the background.
So when my van was suddenly not allowed on the road and she was a failure, I actually burst into tears. Thelma is so much more than just a vehicle, she has been to places with me, seen so many things and I built the camper conversion all by myself with so much thought and hard work. She was never just a load carrier or a transporter, she was my travel buddy.
The saying "You don't know what you've got until it's gone" suddenly came into my head as I realised just how important my van is. Emissions are a real hot issue at the moment and the government are cracking down on anything affecting our climate, especially diesel vehicles.
So immediately I knew a few things to get working on to bring my emissions down but the process became quite the obsession as I did these things but the next emissions test failed as well and the reading actually went up a fraction. With more research, tears and frustration, I went on a mission to understand what was going on inside my van and to know the process enough to do what ever was necessary to bring Thelma back into action. I needed to learn the engine, the parts, what I could do myself to save money but also when I was out of my depth. I needed to also share this with others and have driven many a person mad with my dull talk about injectors and diesel additives!
The most frustrating part of all this is Thelma is low mileage, I have cared for her the day I bought her and always done full services and fixed and issues immediately. She is a perfectly good vehicle with a lot of life left in her, I haven't even touched the surface of what the engine can do, it's just whether the rest of the parts can keep up!