245/365

That  blumming car was at it again. Yesterday I spent an hour modifying the cheap plastic bulb inserts in the rear light clusters that over time had loosened, probably as a result of heat and vibration. Something no designer could foresee when designing the bulb holder for a car that travels over bumps with the lights on. The bulbs were so loose that the contacts had been arcing for a long time. Arcing is something no designer would account for when designing a bulb holder for a car, as it would only happen if the bulb worked loose. Arcing for those who cannot picture the phenomenon, Vauxhall designers for example, creates pitting on the contact surfaces which lessens the contact surface until contact is no longer made and then the bulb no longer illuminates.

Rather than spending a couple of  pounds, euros or dollars on a better bulb holder, they spent hundreds on a stupid information system that tells you to check your bulbs. After removing the bulb holder and inspecting it, which was done in the horizontal position , the bulbs reseated and illuminated, only to fail the second the car was put back together. I am not sure if I am conveying exactly how frustrating this is to the owner of an already less than reliable vehicle but just in case there is any doubt, I am well fecked off. To be clear, this isn’t an issue of bending the contacts as the metal will not retain the shape. To correct it, I had to clean the contacts and then loop copper wire around the bulb holder, then twist to close up the plastic holder. This isn’t hard to do, it is just simply unnecessary if the job had been done right in the first place.

Anyway, no sooner than I had fixed the lights I noticed a pool of brake fluid under the right rear wheel. It couldn’t be the brake pipes, I was charged a fortune for them to be changed a month ago. So this afternoon, when I could have been doing something interesting, I was under the car and would you believe it, the brake pipe was leaking. Now I recall blogging on the issues of shoddy mechanic-ing and the need to master the basics such as tightening the frigging flange nut up. There are very few things in a car that actually save your life. I consider brakes to be all of them. To not ensure you have correctly fitted a new brake pipe is pure incompetence. I cannot wait to find the next thing that is going to piss me off about the last Vauxhall I will ever buy.

Anyway, not enjoying performing work I had already paid for wasn’t the only thing I got up to today. For a completely unknown reason, I have decided to trace my family history. Linda has vast experience after doing her own and I thought it would be an interesting delve into history as I know little about either sides of my family. Already I have discovered my Father knows even less about family history than I do and my Mother’s side is based largely across the Irish Sea with one of the most common names in Ireland. The fact that being of good Catholic stock means every female is called Mary is going to make the journey an interesting one. My Grandfather was Scottish and it was really pretty easy to get back to the mid 19th Century before the story muddles somewhat with the introduction of another Irish connection. Hopefully I will be able to find some juicy stuff, to bolster my blog. With roots in the Glasgow Shipyards, there should at least be a murder or two.

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