Help! Urgently need mechanic in Provence

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by mpc13, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. mpc13

    mpc13 Read Only Funster

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    Hi,
    We've found ourselves in a situation in France...on a 4 month tour of Europe and our motorhome broke down in spectacular fashion on the autoroute last week - overheated, smoke, engine cut out. It's still running but sounding like a tractor. It's a 1998 Fiat Ducato 1.9 Turbo diesel engine with around 50,000 miles. We were towed to a local Fiat garage but they aren't interested in repairing the engine (or even diagnosing the problem properly), all they can/want to do is replace the engine with a brand new one. Which would of course solve the problem, only trouble is this would cost 6000 euros... I've spoken to a mechanic in the UK who assures me that it should be fixable.

    We are now stranded in Arles (there are worse places to be...) and our breakdown cover is putting us up in a hotel but we are really struggling to find another mechanic nearby who will give us a second opinion. Have looked through the yellow pages and rung all the local garages but they are either not able to fix motorhomes, booked solid, affiliated with a brand other than fiat or off on holiday. Does anyone know of a mechanic in the Arles/Nimes/Avignon area who we could try? We have packed up our lives in the UK and are 1 month into our trip so really need to get it fixed out here rather than coming back to the UK.

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. breeks

    breeks Read Only Funster

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    engine

    hi you should get a list of breakers yards ect. its a common engine you have and i am sure they would fit one for you. if they have it. it would be 100 times quicker than repairing it if its what i think it is. what a rip off 6 grand for new engine. best of luck.
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    you could PM Frankie,
    she's no mechanic but is French, if she was to speak the lingo to a couple of garages/mechanics she may get a better response. Why a new engine? whats the mechanics diagnosis?

    I know you dont want too, but something tells me it might be safer to get returned to the uk and get someone independant to look at it at say Dover or somewhere...
    good luck and please keep us informed
     
  4. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    you beat me paul, frankies forum name is yodeli she is very helpful to all funsters visiting france and at this moment in time is entertaining a couple of funsters who are visitng her. She is from Toulouse about 200 mile from yourselves so not exactly local but she is french and sometimes that does help.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi sorry to hear of your misfortune, but if it was me I would get your recovery people to get you back to the uk where at least you speak the lingo :thumb: Or perhaps they may find a friendly garage to help you ? 6,000 e is a very expensive engine.£1500 would easy buy a recon one.
    terry
    just done a quick search and £1800 gets a supply and fitted recon one
    it may be worth buying the French auto trader and buying a full van to get the engine out of - maybe fit a 2.5 or 2.8 engine -- plenty in UK AT for under £1500- starting at 500
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  6. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Im so sorry for you it must be heart breaking. Frankie is a good bet. I know when our bike broke down last summer the biggest issue was the language barrier. Maybe a Funster with some mechanical experience already out there will come to your rescue. Your a long way from home so I understand why you might want to get it sorted there.

    I personally would concentrate on finding someone to help who speaks both French and English (Im assuming of course that you are not fluent!)

    Best of luck
     
  7. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Hi mpc13!!!


    Just read your post , it's a bit late today to do anything but do send me the phone number of the garage you've got your motorhome in , and as well the address of it.

    Give me as many details as you can about your breakdown (i'm not a mechanic that's for sure but at least Roger (Wildman) will give me the best translation) so i can have a talk with the "garagiste". i'll see what i can do to find a way to help you!
    it would be good as well if you could tell me what your insurance is taking in charge if you know it already.
    Meanwhile enjoy the area!

    Amicalement


    Frankie:Smile::Wink:
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Amazing :Smile: How can anyone flounce off objecting, "on principle", to contributing £12 to the cost of this place when they see threads like this ? Beats me.

    As always, you are a star Frankie.
     
  9. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Wish you all the best Guys for getting it sorted Swiftly.

    You say it overheated...I assume this was just prior to it giving up...:Sad:

    Sounding like a tractor suggests maybe a piston has let go....Any oil from the bottom or side or the engine?

    It Really needs a cylinder compression test.

    Any water in the rad...? Might be a head gasket.....Smoke ? White or Black.....White suggests head gasket.....Black suggests possible holed piston or thrown Con Rod/piston...

    You really need a compression test to prove and possible check via Engine "endoscope" in the cylinders to take a look prior disassembly. Is the engine oil a whitish colour or fine?

    Again Good Luck and I hope you get it sorted soon.:thumb:
     
  10. staging lady

    staging lady Funster

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    Quite agree,Brian!
    Vous etes incroyable, Frankie! Merci beaucoup.
    Lucille
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    translated, You are incredible Frankie,than you, (just in case you dont know Frankie :Rofl1:
     
  12. mick noe

    mick noe Funster

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    well said..hilldweller..... thank you frankie you are amazing and hope everything gets sorted mpc13 good luck
     
  13. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Hi mpc13


    Had a few phone calls and you could very quickly taken in charge with a FIAT or a few others which have a "motorhome aproval"

    I need urgently to know what chassis you've got and your registration plate as well with your full name , insurance name and whether your motorhome is still under warranty or not. They opened a file under my name and are waiting for your details to take you in charge and know where you are precisely to toad your motorhome to a proper garage which won't change the engine if not required.


    Now i can give you straight away different numbers of motorhome aproval garages


    Nîmes automobile:
    km delta
    phone: 04 66 04 70 70

    In Arles
    Phone:04 90 18 44 50

    In Montfavet (not far from Arles but in the 84 department)
    phone: 04 90 13 87 20

    In Aix en provence
    Phone: 04 42 39 03 90

    Now this is FIAT assistance which can take you in charge in your own language ,just wait for the vocal server to ask you if you're english (this is where there's a file under my name GUILAIN françoise)
    Phone: 0080034281111 tape number 1 when asked for assistance


    Hope that helps and please let me know what 's going on !


    Amicalement


    Frankie:Smile::Wink:
     
  14. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    Just out of interest Frankie, do you also have a cape and a T-shirt with a big "S" on the front?

    As has been previously mentioned - possibly the best 12 quid someone ever spent!

    David
     
  15. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    He thought 6000 Euro was expensive:RollEyes:
    Wait till he gets Frankies Invoice:Doh::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Frankie
    Two American RVs landing France Sunday
    Please arrange Tyres, Service, full resprays, and mechanic on standby:thumb:
    Geo
     
  16. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    hmmmmm:RollEyes: not an "S" but a "FFFFF" which is "Frankie French Female Frog Funster"... and very proud to be so :Laughing::Laughing::Laughing:


    Amicalement


    Frankie:BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
  17. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    :thumb:
    WOW!!!!!!

    Whoooooo Hoooooo!!!!!:thumb: Lets hear if for Frankie :clap::clap:.

    What a lovely person :thumb: :BigGrin:
     
  18. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Now you could add an "S" just before the FFFFF:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  19. 656

    656 Read Only Funster

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    Well, if this is what Frankies service is like, then look out for a Caioca 656 towing a red and cream smartcar landing at Dunkerque on Saturday morning :thumb:
     
  20. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Those of us that know Frankie, Know she will pull out all the stops in order to help if you have problems when in france.
    she needs to add another F to her sig for Fantastic
    FFFFFF = fantastic frankie french female frog funster

    :thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
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