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The Story of the Ute

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

The ute is probably one of Australia's iconic symbols. You just chuck a load of stuff in the tray, dogs and livestock even, and drive it around. Up to about 2009 I managed to not even own a car, getting by with public transport and a personal shopping trolley (not called a granny trolley anymore because I was using it). That was, until I moved to Port Hedland, where public transport was virtually non-existent. There, I bought a second hand Holden Commodore Ute for $8000. It has been incredibly useful, if a bit of a petrol user because of the engine designed for moving heavy loads.

Holden Commodore Ute 2004
My ute covered in leaves from Cyclone Rusty

The person I bought it from once told me I only needed to service it when a warning light came on. The 'Check Engine' light came on and I can't remember why but for some reason I thought 'all good I'll check it later'. That was, until all of the lights came on at the same time and the engine stopped. I used the inertia of the car to move to the side of the road; fortunately, the road linking Port and South Hedland was not busy at the time. The mechanic found several things wrong with the car that needed replacing. After that, I got it serviced at the intervals recommended in the log book.

Holden Commodore Ute 2004 Mandurah Greenwaste Tip Pass
Me extracting usefulness from the ute (doesn't look like extraction though)

Today I got it serviced at one of those intervals. The list of things that needed fixing before the next service was long, daunting and pricey and I began to question whether it was worth retaining the car. We shall see.

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