Our Adventure Defender on show … May 11th 2013

The Adventure Defender has again been invited back to Overland 4X4. Several months ago the Adventure Defender appeared along with other off-road vehicles of various makes to demonstrate some of the many accessories that help make an enjoyable experience.

This fantastic opportunity to talk to the many owners will be held on the 11th May at Overland 4X4 HQ. Visitors are invited to ask as many questions and seek as much information about the real-life practical issues we have discovered. Seeing is believing – talking about the practical issues with owners is by far better than looking at a brochure!

We look forward to meeting and discussing all the accessories on the Adventure Defender. Naturally you can discuss the commercial topics with all of the experienced and friendly people at Overland 4X4..we did!! And I will personally guarantee the quality of their practical experience and service.

These guys care.

Living the Adventure

Ignition Barrel or Immobilser Remote!

For ages now we’ve had intermittent issues with the ignition key in our Defender. Namely the fact that It has been very difficult to turn or just not turning at all. The first time this happened was a couple of years ago … when still under warranty but hey … back then we were always able to get it going after a few attempts. At the time we put it down to the quirky nature of our defender! It occurred several more times over the years until recently it became a lot more frequent … to the stage where by I had to walk home from the shops … heaven forbid I get some exercise! I was reluctant to venture far in case I got stuck out in the bush somewhere!

We went to the locksmith on the advice of the mechanics but no they sent us back to land rover & yep we discover it is yet another known issue … the barrel becomes warn & needs to be replaced … seems it’s quite common with other models as well … namely the older discos … not so frequent in later models.

With this barrel issue we had another quirky behaviour … the car would turn over but then cut out hummmm? When this had happened before we put it down to the something to do with what was happening with the barrel. But no it happened again the day after we had that replaced … what now is it the battery? Well I had the RACQ guy come out & I learnt something new. He tested the battery that was OK … not 100% but not the issue here. I tried to start the car & it died. He then had a go with the same result. He then got me to get the remote & lock & unlock the car … well what do you know it turned over first go hummm … it seems the immobiliser remote device is playing up. The RACQ guy explained to me that when the car is unlocked if the immobiliser is not deactivated the little red light on the dash will stay solid.Now … TIC … I don’t have the colour hair often associated with a certain adjective I’m also not car savvy but when things are explained to me I can generally get a grasp. I had no real understanding of the little flashing red light … I did know it flashes when the car is locked so the car is immobilised but payed no particular attention to it beyond that. It seems that each time we have been unable to get the car started the light must have been solid – something to take note of next time … as I said I learnt something new. This makes us  wonder if that was the issue all the time & not the barrel? The car was simply immobilised & we wore the barrel down by our constant attempts at turning the key! The guys at Land Rover did say that the barrel was quite warn & it was difficult to remove the key sometimes so it probably was up for a replacement. Maybe our remote device needs a new battery … I then went searching for our spare one just in case! Will pay more attention to the little flashing light in the future.

The RACQ guy also pointed out a whole lot of other facts regarding the immobiliser that, when I think about it are very obvious, but I won’t go into those that’ll show that sometimes I am that hair colour : )

Live & learn all the time! Things seen so simply when you know how they work!

EGR valve fitted …

The EGR valve is finally fitted our beast is whole again – just waiting for the seals to the doors of the van to arrive from Moruya – snail mail. The silicon fix round the light fitting has done the trick – no water in the rear compartment – so far!! Great. Now we just need to get away & work out the fridge issue once & for all!

Water issues with our Ultimate trailer …

Took the van in to have the ‘leaks’ sourced. We are having issues with water in the van which is supposed to be sealed & waterproof!!! We have never been 100% happy with the seals around the boot but just couldn’t put our finger on the possible issue … the doors rub on the seals when closing & squash the seal so to our eyes not sealing completely … we thought this ‘normal’!! However over time … naturally … this rubbing has caused wearing on the seals to the extent that there is now a great hole so again naturally water comes in!!! Water also runs into the rear right storage compartment! We have tried to find the source but no luck so far. So with some luck we should have some solutions from the specialists! Talking of leaks our other major issue was water seeping inside … from our investigation we concluded water appeared to seep through the screws in the roof bar. It appears too much muscle was used attaching these screws as a couple protrude to the inside & there are cracks around some screw heads … consequently water seeped inside the tent in a couple of areas!! We put silicon around all screws to ward off the water this seems to be holding so far. At the time we phoned Ultimate but did not come away with any satisfactory solution … at this time we also thought we would have to drive down to Moruya to have it checked out … unfortunately not time we had … they didn’t mention any agents … but then we didn’t ask. It wasn’t till we caught up with Ultimate at the caravan show this year that whilst discussing our woes we were told of their agent in Brisbane!

Still just inside our warranty we booked in to have all seals checked & the boot ones replaced. They couldn’t fit us in till after the warranty period but as we had mentioned it inside the warranty period we would be covered.

Our thoughts were that it may be difficult to source the leaks if not raining. As it turned out it did rain a little on the way down so when we opened the storage hole at Capalaba we saw water! This should make it easier for the guy to suss the source … we thought! First up he checked out the door seals & noted no silicon under the seals & also could see where the door rubbed to cause the wear. He commented they themselves put a fill of silicon under all seals. It took a little more investigation to source the leak in the rear storage compartment but with persistence peering into all the nooks & crannies with torch he could see & feel water running down the wires. Upon opening the rear light fitting & the 12volt fitting we could again see no silicon or any rubber seal anywhere … & a screw going nowhere!!!! Lots of black wet gunky residual evidence. As this is to be done under warranty he took some pics. He also filled the areas with silicon for us. Ummmm when you pay over $60K for a vehicle one would expect it to be finished professionally especially one that is made here in Oz!!!! Will follow through with an email to Ultimate.

We’ve left the van with them … hopefully it will rain tonight & he will see if his silicon fix on the light fitting works!

We also talked to them regarding the fridge issues as they are Dometic agents as well … we think we have worked that out for next time … there is not enough in the batteries to drive the fridge so when we stop for any length of time we must switch it over to gas. Our photography stops can be for anytime from ½ hour – 3 hrs & we’ve not been doing this hence we have been caught out a couple of times with no charge!!! Hopefully that is the issue & we can manage that in future … so many tricks to learn!

Engine warning light:

Went to go for a drive a few weeks ago only to be turned back half way up the drive after seeing the engine warning light glaring at me. Looked it up & of course said don’t drive at speed & go see a mechanic asap!!!

A week or so later we finally got to our local Land Rover mechanic … they put on their diagnostic gismo & were told the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) Valve needed replacing … only a mere $500 urgggg!!  This is yet another ‘known’ issue with the new Defender110 & hopefully shouldn’t re-occur!

Not entirely convinced it is any less polluting than without but regulations state it must be fitted!!! Someone whispered in our ear saying removing the valve & fitting a blanking plate would be more efficient!!!  None the less we dutifully had a new one fitted only to have the engine light appear again … seems like the replacement valve is faulty so it needs to be replaced!!!

Summer trip 2011:

RockyPointFor our summer holidays this year – 2011 – we travelled through 4 states of Oz. Tasmania, where we attended a workshop with Christian Fletcher & Nick Rains … simply awesome then went on to see more of Tassy, Victoria – along the Great Ocean Rd, NSW then home. A great trip lots of country covered. Must go back & spend more time along the Great Ocean Rd – so much to see & do heaps of walks into the National Park. I had no idea there were so many beautiful accessible beaches & towns down along that part of our coastline – the visions I had in my mind were of high rugged cliffs. A very pleasant surprise!