Car advice Central Asia

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Re: Car advice Central Asia

Post by steven »

Well yes, petrol is sold in bottles, but at least it is available here and there. Diesel is gold dust.
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Re: Car advice Central Asia

Post by jornk »

Hi There!

Me and a friend a driving a 20 y/o Mercedes (Petrol, automatic transmission) from Rotterdam to Tashkent (and hopefully back home). Offcourse we did some research as well. The main thing is to have your car in a good condition. I prefer an automatic transmission in good condition, instead a worn out manual gearbox.

The second thing is, hope for good luck:). There are many reasons why something could go wrong. But even more reason to enjoy your trip and have the travel of a lifetime!
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Re: Car advice Central Asia

Post by Toekan »

Thanks for the extensive answer, didn't expect this anymore! Unfortunately it's too late for this time, as I already bought the car, but very useful to know during our trip.
Not a good choice, make sure it is in excellent condition when leaving. There are plenty of used cars in Central Asia, but mostly Japanese. Cheap European marques are not popular.
I looked for Toyota and other Japanese brands, but the Belgian car market is unfortunately rather the opposite of Central Asia.
Automatics are great until they go wrong, then you will find that nobody can fix your transmission.

There are also a few more reasons why automatics are not good for remote or rugged travel:
-If you get a dead battery, you cannot push start them.
-If you break down, you cannot tow them for any distance (e.g. more than 50 km) without risking damaging the transmission, unless you have the driven wheels (i.e. front on a Mondeo) off the ground.
I wasn't aware of this, not really a car expert as you can see. The battery is brand new, so this hopefully minimises that problem. I can only hope long towing won't be necessary. :)
-You have no engine braking, so on long descents (and Central Asia is full of them), you are much more likely to overheat your brakes.
It has a 1 and 2 stand, which is used for engine braking. Not recommended due to wear of the engine, but rather a more worn engine than failing brakes in the Pamir.

Anyhow, hope we'll make it. Wasn't aware of the extra challenges heat can have for an automatic transmission. Car is fully checked and should be in good state, but it's always a gamble with budget cars.
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Re: Car advice Central Asia

Post by eurasiaoverland »

Well, I'm sure you can still make the trip, but there is just more of a risk of being stuck somewhere waiting for parts while you holiday time ticks.

At the very least I would get the automatic transmission fluid changed to give the gearbox the best chance.

In 1 and 2 on the transmission you'll find that eventually the engine will change up, just keep an eye (or nose) on the brakes and stop to let them cool if you can smell them getting hot.

Good luck!
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Almost six years and a quarter of a million kilometres by road in Eurasia:

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