Saturday, 5 January 2013

Fixing things

First, the car, it's a Freelander, and with a modern car, there's nothing that the home repairer can fix. Or so I'm told. So when the tailgate wouldn't open, I guessed it would be a trip to a Landrover dealer (on the web sites, I've noticed they're called stealers, not dealers), a bill somewhere north of £200, and a new fault that I'd notice when it got back that they'd be claiming was there when it came in.

I did a bit of Googling, and it looks like there's a switch in the back that opens the lock so you can lift the tailgate. And I guessed that the switch had stopped working. Then I found that I could open the tailgate if I used the fob; that made it pretty certain that the switch was the problem.

Jason and I did a bit of dismantling, opened the switch, and it looked good inside. And when I put a meter on it, it seemed to work. But I was convinced that the problem was the switch, so I went on Ebay, and bought a replacement, £25 or so. Today it arrived.

So I opened the tailgate (using the fob) and took the switch assembly out. It still looked OK, but I put the new assembly in, closed the tailgate, pressed the switch, and was absolutely delighted when the tailgate opened. So I put everything back properly (except a couple of the bolts securing the switch to the tailgate are broken, and I don't think supergluing them worked, but that means it's held on with four instead of six bolts, so I'm happy).

And now I have a tailgate that works!

The new battery was a good idea, too. Previously in the morning, it sounded a bit sluggish in turning over the engine, and I had the impression that it was on the verge of not starting. Now, the engine turns briskly and catches immediately. That's important these days; in the past, I had a starting handle I could use, but that's no longer an option.

Next, on to the bike. A couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to a new back wheel (the old one had grinding bearings) and a new back brake. I got the bike shop to do it, because I knew that moving the gear assembly to the new wheel was a job that I couldn't do with out the specialised tools; they did it, but then the back brake wasn't working properly, it was binding on the wheel. They diagnosed that the spring that's supposed to keep it open unless you're braking, had gone, and I needed a new back caliper. I kew they were right, because I'd discovered that for myself a few weeks ago, but I managed to jimmy it so it still worked, just about. So I got them to do that too while the bike was there. When I left the bike shop, I was about £80 poorer, but then I thought, that's just one fill-up of petrol.

So yesterday, while I was biking around Didcot, I had a back brake that wasn't working. Today, I had a look - the back brake was fouling the luggage carrier, and couldn't be closed. So I adjusted the rods and bolts of the carrier, and now the back brake works. It's always nice to have two brakes! And I'd rather use the back brake than the front, because it's less likely to induce a skid and crash.

I also pumped up the tyres; the front one had felt a bit soft, and indeed, it was down to about 15 psi (I like to have them both at 45 psi).

So now I've got a working car, a working bike, and I'm ready to go out tomorrow, hopefully with ladysolly.