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Old 04-25-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
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Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

We were heading up to South Lake Tahoe yesterday for some kayaking, snowshoeing and relaxation. We were about 5 miles up the CA 89 (Monitor Pass) off of 395 when I heard a pop and the engine temp (FWT) started skyrocketing. I pulled over at the first turnout I could get to about a 1/2 mile later to find radiator fluid dripping everywhere. I couldn't find the source of the issue, but then again it is almost impossible to see anything without dismantling half of the engine components.

Luckily we were able to get flat towed to our rental place in S. Lake Tahoe (about a 50 mile tow)...I'm never going to cancel my AAA membership. At least the views were outstanding and we didn't have to wait that long for a tow truck.

So now I need to figure out what the problem is and more than likely a good diesel mechanic in S. Lake Tahoe. Any suggestions on a mechanic? Or something I can easily look for myself?

Thanks as always.
Geoff



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Old 04-25-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

I've got relatives in S Lake and they have used:
Tahoe Four Wheel Drive (530) 544-8100 1012 Industrial Ave South Lake Tahoe, CA
Good shop "not the cheapest" but work on big trucks all the time.

I bought my van from someone who lived in south lake who used:
Struve Automotive * (530) 544-2638
927 Eloise Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 9615
No real experience with them but he did work on my van.

Good luck, on the bright side, plenty of worse places to be stuck than S Lake Tahoe.

Shawn
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

Thanks Shawn, I really appreciate the information. I also agree, if we had to break down, it really couldn't have been any better than this. It's a beautiful day, we'll be kayaking in a couple of hours.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

when mine did that...it was the heater line from the side of the block...but thats the 1985 flavor diesel...

turned out that ALL the rubber hoses on the entire truck were dry-rotten and old..

good luck...hate to see a rig on a flatbed..
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

The van is currently at Tahoe Four Wheel Drive (thanks yet again Shawn). They finally got the problem. There is a hole in the radiator core. They are guessing it was caused by a rock or something shooting up into it (must've been an incredibly "lucky" shot). They need to pull it out and see if it can be repaired or replaced.

At least the weather was incredible yesterday and the kayaking was fantastic.



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Old 04-28-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

Glad the shop worked out, sorry I think the weather did not hold out for you. I just saw the pictures of the 7 inches of snow at lake level. Hope the repairs are quick and painless as can be.

Shawn
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:25 AM   #7
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Re: Broken Down in S. Lake Tahoe - Radiator Issue

I was able to pickup the van yesterday. They were able to repair instead of replace the radiator. I was extremely pleased and impressed by Tahoe Four Wheel Drive / Tahoe Diesel and would recommend them to anyone who needs work done in the area. As a bonus it didn't hurt my wallet nearly as much as I expected.

The weather has been interesting and beautiful. I love the snow and don't get to see it enough living in San Diego. Monday night the winds were incredible, 45+ mph gusts that were shaking the house. Both of our kayaks blew off the dock. One was wedged in some rocks right next to the dock. The other was about 100 yards down the canal trapped behind a dock. These are 50lb kayaks that were upside down and in the middle of the dock. I was impressed.

Looks like the weather is clearing up now and we'll be kayaking again tomorrow.
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