You’ll be delighted to know that today I’m not going to go on and on about politics. Not that there are many of you left reading this for me to apologise to. Certainly any Brexiteers have long gone … and, indeed, any Trumpsters have left with them. Sorry about that. But, hey, you can’t win them all.
The ‘just as bad news’ is that today I’m going to be a bit techy. Doris-style techy, if you like. So, if that doesn’t interest you then the three of you should look at the photographs and come back on Sunday.
We’re off to Scotland next week for four weeks (hurrah!). And whilst Doris has had all her filters and oil changed, we have a problem with her rear lights. They’re intermittent, with, every so often, the indicators flashing unnecessarily quickly and the rear right light not working at all. For those of you with some experience of cars, you’ll be thinking that there might be an earthing problem … with a wiring loom about the size of a tennis court.
Anyhow, I dismantled the rear light clusters, cleaned the points and replaced the rear light bulb, which didn’t look like it was broken. Ehh … nothing. So I looked for obvious earthing points, and those I did find looked absolutely fine.
Ahh, what about the tow bar which was so expertly fitted by #LNBTowbars a couple of months ago? That seems likely. So I phone them up (they’re just across the road in Aztec West) and they tell me to bring her round. Which I do. They unplug the electrics – which is a much more complicated system than just splicing the towbar onto the rear light cluster as they used to in the old days – but still no joy. Oh well.
Now, you know what the next move is? Take it to either Hymer and/or Fiat and spend a mortgage’s worth of cash on getting them to find a needle in a haystack … because that’s what intermittent electrical problems are. They flummox everyone, even garages with machines that go ping.
But first. Let me check on the internet. Surely someone has had the same problem. Well, of course, they have in a similar way. And, wait, hang on. Why is the front side light not working now? Oh, bother. Maybe the front right light is blown and that’s affecting the rear?
Can I get the front right out? Nope. These sharp-fronted Hymers with tight engine bays. I could reach the bulb’s casing, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t get traction. Bother (or similar) again. Ahh, but maybe there’s a fuse for just the right hand set of side lights, and it’s blown? (Unlikely I know, but I’m clutching at any straws I can get my hands on.)
Where is the fuse for the side lights? According to the Fiat owners book, there’s meant to be a third, ‘special box’ in a Fiat Ducato … but it doesn’t exist in a Hymer. Double-bother. More internet research. I find the other two, but not the third.
And then. Hey presto. A motorhome thread somewhere deep in the ether.
There is no fuse (and no fuse box) for the side lights. The Ducato’s side lights run on a CANBUS and the ECU controls them – which might not be good news, if the ECU is broken it’s a big bill. And, importantly, the CANBUS is very sensitive and if you put a non-standard bulb in the system, it throws a track and won’t work (interestingly the rear light was flashing briefly, before it goes out). So, I take out the Halfords rubbish bulb, replace it with the old – but seemingly unbroken – bulb and, tee-dah, we have lights. I clean up (again) all the lights, put it back together and we have a full suite. Phew.
I’m wondering if any garage would have had the patience to sort this out before they phoned up Fiat and ordered an ECU? We’ll never know.
Now you’re bored witless, just an update on what else we’ve been doing. Well, nothing much really. We popped up and saw Jen. And today, in the rain, I started working on rewriting Unsuspecting Hero and preparing a short management course for a school in Farnham.
And … as a couple who don’t work, or who work when we want to, can we pass on our sympathies to anyone who chose this week as one of their summer holiday weeks to go and head off somewhere in the UK. After some lovely weather, it’s rubbish now. So, sorry.