Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Of Lights and Men

So, fit clip A to grommet 3, while keeping clips B and C in your right hand. At the same time, take lamp 1 from holder Q, taking care not to knock holder S into the engine sump. Then remove clip A from grommet 3, re-attach it to retaining hook 8a, and kiss your Boxing Day goodbye. Repeat until suicidal.

Merry grazed knuckles to both my readers and a happy MG-Rover-executive ear-Boxing Day. I had a marvellous Christmas back in the family bosom, with lots of "Oh God even my Mum thinks I'm middle aged" presents, and after 3 days of Waltons-type bliss I had planned to drive the 60 miles home from my parents' house yesterday evening (after restorative canapes at my parents' neighbours' house) . Unfortunately, my nearside dipped beam headlight lamp (or "bulb" to you non-pedants out there!) had blown the day before, so it needed replacing before I drove home at night. Being a rejected-but-adherent-to-the-principles Boy Scout, I had purchased a replacement lamp the same day from a local branch of surly-spotty-youth-employment-industries Halfords.

"How difficult can this be?", I thought to myself, so merrily started, at 2.30pm yesterday, on the Owner's-Manual-recommended technique of changing the lamp. So, after swotting up on what I had to do, I removed the access hatch in the wheel arch, reached up inside the engine bay (it can't be done from under the bonnet), removed the rubber headlight unit protector and unclipped the wire lamp-retaining clip. So far, so good (although it was 2.45pm and starting to drizzle).

Unfortunately, just as I removed the duff lamp, the said wire retaining clip sprung off it's hinge and onto the tarmac. "No problem", thought I, and after putting the shiny new lamp in the holder tried to fit the clip back on. And tried. And tried and tried and tried. For 2 hours, as it became pitch black, I tried to get 4 poxy metal prongs into 4 poxy metal prong holders. I went online (to the excellent MG-Rover Enthusiasts Website- as I have a very sexy MG ZT - the last decent British Car ever made) and threw my problem at the merciful hands of the Forum users. The only reply I had said "Quick answer to headlamp clips........ Dont let them fall off ! If they do its a lot lot quicker to remove the front bumper and headlamp assy to refit it, beats scratching your arms to bits and struggling in a place you can't see." Hmmmm.

This was knowledgeable, but not exactly helpful, so I explored further in the interweb. I found (from the same site) an excellent Technical Data Sheet that explained how to do it as long as the clip doesn't fall off. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh. So, in desperation, at about 6pm and with my knees in agony, my hands scratched to pieces and my patience exhausted, I admitted defeat and (slightly guiltily) called the RAC. Two hours later, the super efficient and very nice patrolman arrived, immediately grasped the situation and removed the entire nearside front wheel, fusebox, intake hose and everything in his way, all to get an uninterrupted view and access to the headlight unit in question.

After an hour, he said "It's impossible. Sorry mate, have a good Christmas anyway", fitted all the bits back together (except the f@*%ing headlight lamp, of course) and drove off, reminding me it was illegal to drive on the road with faulty headlights at any time of the day, but I was unlikely to get caught if I did so in daylight. So he disappeared, I went next door, ate my neighbours' canapes, returned to my parents' house, remade the bed and played Yahtzee with the family until 2am. While getting drunk.

No wonder they went bust. Bastards.

8 Rants & Replies:

Blogger Mister Whiskers said...

I have a Megane.

2:36 am, December 28, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

Sometimes I wish I did. Just got it fixed this afternoon - it took the garage 2 and a half hours (including removing the front bumper, radiator, grille, fusebox and washer bottle) and they only charged me £15 because that was what they quoted me on the phone. What nice people Sewards of Havant are!

6:25 pm, December 30, 2005

Blogger Mister Whiskers said...

Get a Megane.

12:43 am, December 31, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

French = evil.

1:13 am, December 31, 2005

Blogger Palace Fan thats a NEW Dad said...

Result with the garage !!!

I have a 206 and the earth strap went and they charged me just under £100 to fix it. The part was £10 the rest labour. They did want to charge me £140 but I complained very loud in the shop that they were trying it to pull a fast one because I know that computers tells them the fault in under 30 secs.

11:29 pm, January 01, 2006

Blogger Merkin said...

As I said to Mr W, French = evil!

1:29 pm, January 02, 2006

Blogger Aginoth said...

bloody rovers, I have never driven one I liked, and always advise anyone not to buy them if they say they are car hunting, unreliable rust buckets that are a pig to work on.

8:42 pm, January 04, 2006

Blogger Merkin said...

Repeat after me, Aginoth.
"MGs are not the same as Rovers"
"MGs are not the same as Rovers".
"MGs are not the same as Rovers".
"MGs are not the same as Rovers".
"MGs are not the same as Rovers".
"MGs are not the same as Rovers".

3:00 pm, January 05, 2006


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