Hello CR-V forums!
I am from the southern part of Africa, called South Africa wel duh hahahaha. Anyways I am quite happy to be on these forums as I recently got my first CR-V and I am among some of the happiest car owners ever! I can't reiterate enough how much I love the CR-V! Astounding vehicles! I use to drive a Kia Picanto, also a great car but doesn't stand a chance vs the CR-V.
So there's quite a story behind my CR-V called Leela:
I bought my CR-V on the 6th of August 2018 with 165k kms (102k miles) on the clock, it's a 2.2 Ctdi, glacier blue metallic. I initially wanted a white CR-V but couldn't find one since the pickings were slim at my budget and low mileage CR-V's were quite hard to come by since the diesel model usually doesn't stand for too long until they are sold. The biggest reason I got mine with such low mileage and trust me when I say at, at least half of what they would cost, is because I bought an insurance write off vehicle. It was the biggest leap of faith I have ever done, going from a Picanto I had since new to a car I haven't even seen with an eye was quite a canyon to jump.
I bought the car on an auction similar to what the Americans know as Copart, in SA our "Copart" is SMD which I believe is ironically short for Scrap Metal Dealers
The morning I bid on the car I didn't even know I would win the bidding war, I just bid for ****s and giggles really. I ended up winning the bidding war and I had 24 hours to collect a car that is in Durban, about 650km(403 miles) from me whilst at the same time having to sell my Kia to fund buying the CR-V.
Having sold of the Kia due to a contact and booked a flight to Durban I called in a favor with a friend to stay with him until I get the car in a state to drive home 600km(372 mile)+
Most nerve wrecking flight of my life, I kept thinking if I made a mistake or not. I landed in Durban just past 9pm. My buddy picked me up and we went to a local restaurant so I could blow of some steam and catch up with him again. That night I couldn't sleep, I was a nervous wreck in anticipation of whether or not this car would lead me to financial ruin or be an amazing deal. The next morning before I could go to the car I had to buy clothes since I literally only had my phone, wallet and clothes on my back due to not having been able to pack before I left.
Anticipation growing eagerly as we near the old Durban international airport which is now industrial area and home to SMD Durban. We arrive, I head into the office and show the proof of payment. I had to get a copy of my brother's ID first since the account was on his name. He emailed them the ID copy and they gave me the release form and the vehicle's papers(Ownership document), they couldn't find the keys.
We head over to dispatch and give the release form to the guard... By now the butterflies are in my stomach as well as the sheer anticipation of this new vehicle be it a write off I didn't care, still don't care.
Finally a forklift came with a dusty CR-V teetering on the forks, the moment was so big I got tears in my eyes knowing that, that car was mine and all this I went through so far was to get that car. Childish excitement filled me when the CR-V was put down in front of the gates, I rushed to see the vehicle for the first time cellphone in one hand with my father on the line I skipped to the car, around and around. I saw hardly any other body damage, inspecting with a keen eye the paint on every panel still seems factory.
To some this might seem like a wrecked junker car, to me I saw potential and a opportunity
Finally the keys came, I tried to open it but no battery. So we used the blade. As I got in, the reality of this car being a complete bargain struck me I looked at my friend and smiled. We immediately hooked up his jumper cables to the car to see if the instruments and everything else comes on. It didn't want to swing, since there was no battery there was no load. I bargained a deal with the security guard and he gave me back the original battery that came out of the car. We installed the battery and tried again. Still no luck only clicking, we left it to charge for a few seconds and I tried again. Having checked the dipstick and general condition of the engine I was satisfied that it was safe and we tried again. She swung for a good 5-10 seconds and finally she turned over. At this point I was ecstatic. I checked the engine as she was running and saw that the radiator pipe was severed and that from the impact the radiator had a gash in it.
We drove to a car store and purchased a few tools to disassemble the car. I was planning on driving her back to my friend's place. After a little working on the car I realised the job was a bit bigger than what I was let on to at first. I phoned my father and asked him if he could source me some parts, i.e the radiator, the headlight and such. Daylight growing dim we had to make a plan to get out of the area fast with the car before SMD closes since the car would be left to the mercy of the public and the next day was a public holiday. We arranged for a tow truck to tow the car back to my friend's place. His parents were only aware of me buying a car in Durban and not that it was an accident damaged car. Quite funny when we got back to his place and his folks laid eyes on the car. They thought I just totaled my brand new car :Hahaha:
My friend's parents allowed me to pull the car into their garage and work on her inside. I told them what my plans are, first they thought I was crazy. Later even they got involved with fixing Leela up! They also said they considered the CR-V to buy for themselves as it really is an amazing good value for money car. They ended up going with a CX-5 because they struck a deal with Mazda, they aren't too happy with it though.
We ordered a radiator, we rushed to the supplier and we made it in time. Unfortunately the bank was having a spazz attack and the card kept declining. I eventually asked them to hold on for a few seconds and got on the phone with my father to hear if he's having troubles too. He couldn't even log onto the web browser of the bank. I asked them to try a final time but they already cashed up for the day. They put my radiator and fender to the side and told me I can come get it first thing in the morning.
We got the radiator and fender and jumped to work as fast as we could. I had a fight with the radiator hoses (Darn those clamps!) after draining it we took the old radiator out. By then it was far past lunch, we took a break and head into Umhlanga (Oomshlanga) Rocks for a bite to eat. We went to a Bunny chow places to grab us some bunnies and beers. (No a bunny chow has nothing to do with a rabbit)
We had the radiator installed, after some snags around 6ish pm we had won the battle with the radiator! We had a couple of beers to celebrate! We decided that night to hit the hay early, we were quite exhausted from everything so far. Trust me I left out quite a lot here of everything that has happened.
Bright and early we headed into town to solve the severed radiator hose issue, I went to Honda and they told me that the hose is very scarce to come by and they would have to import it at a cost of R2000 ($140). So I resorted to cutting the hose open, put a plastic garden hose link in there and the leak was sorted. Obviously it has two clamps on either side. 10000 km (6213.712 miles) later and no issues.
Finally! After reassembling the essentials and bleeding the coolant system. I was ready to hit the road. Using cable ties to tie down the belly plate and some of the wires that were flopping on the ground I started her up and nervously pulled away. THIS WAS IT! She was going to hit the streets for the first time in my hands after the accident! Nervous at first, I decided to take it slow and take her to the Caltex garage right down the road!
I must say, the CR-V looks absolutely bad ass without the front bumper. We took to the streets for a bit, not one single issue except if I turned too sharply left the tire would scrape on the bent in apron, but she was in a driveable condition. Later that night we loosely fitted the bumper and headed down to the pub to enjoy a pint of Guinness to celebrate our hard work and the great success the V turned out to be so far. On the way home I decided to punch her a bit for the first time and feel what kind of power lurked under the hood. I was decently surprised! I have test driven the Petrol CR-V before it doesn't have nearly the pull or speed of the Diesel V
She was getting ready to go home, I needed to assemble the last bits and give her a good scrubbing before I hit the road.
She was clean and ready to go to her new home in Gauteng. I thanked my hosts for being so gracious toward me. This journey wasn't just about me getting a new car. It was about overcoming a fear, stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people, making friends for life and having one hell of a story to tell about how I got my first Honda.