“Irina” our little Dacia Logan is about to log in 10,000 km on The Mongol Rally and I wanted to make sure that she is okay before I start down the hardest part of rally and the toughest roads. I pull into a mechanic’s shop in Kazakhstan wanting a general check up, breaks, clutch, and maybe even an oil change.

That doesn’t seem too ridiculous does it?

I pull into a mechanic’s shop in Kazakhstan and I quickly learn that I need to supply them with the filter and the oil in order to have an oil change. This is much different than how it works at home.

“What is wrong with the car?”

“Nothing. I just want to have it checked to make sure that everything is okay.”

Confused look befalls him.

With the help of a local Kazakhstan businessman who speaks English, a reluctant mechanic drives “Irina” in a circle in the shop yard and then pulls her into a stall to have a more detailed “inspection.”

This detailed “inspection” involves a few mechanics jumping on the car to see if the suspension is still holding up and visual check on the undercarriage of the car. There is a part (name unknown to me) that is slightly damaged but it is still holding up okay.

“Can we replace it?”

“No. You have a Romanian car and it’s hard to get that part here.”

“Will it get me to Mongolia?”

“Sure. Just don’t drive too hard.”

The mechanic then concludes the “inspection,” asks me for a couple of cigarettes and sends me on my way.

Apparently the thing to do in this part of the world is to drive your car until it stops moving. At that point, someone will be able to jerry-rig something to replace the part that has quit on you so that you can keep on going. But until then, there really is no reason for maintenance or replace what is still working okay.

Lesson learned.

Silly me for wanting to make sure the car is okay and preemptively solve any potential problems.

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