Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well you know the problem, the weathers crap and you have just been told by a caring motorist that your offside brake lights blown. You do a quick check and sure enough, it is. So, on the way home you pick up a new bulb. You don’t do it that night but, decide next day on the way home, that as the sun is shining and its probably the last warm day of the year that tonight’s the night.

Armed with my trusty toolkit and new bulb, I carefully open the inspection hatch and peer in to the back of the dark hole revealed. Wires, plastic and bayonet fittings, behind which, presumably, lies a burnt out brake light. A swift attempt to turn the bayonet fixing anti-clockwise, reveals my first problem. It’s stuck!

I remembered Jon Wellingham’s post (at least I think it was he) about a screw driver to release it…god that Multi forums good, and using my back door key as a screwdriver quickly released the offending bulb.

Yep, black as the ace of spades, I had never changed it in nearly five years of ownership so, presumably, it’s the original and due a change which, as we all know, is only a matter of seconds.

Yeah right!

The bulb fitted in its sprung loaded bayonet fixing holder really easily, but, getting the plastic housing to marry up and turn to lock it in place (clockwise) was another thing. All I can assume is that Italian’s have very small double jointed fingers…my fat things just wouldn’t go into the available space. Of all the cars I have owned, and there has been a few, I have never, ever, had a problem changing any bulb. (Other than a badly corroded light fitting on my old Cortina which fell out off the body work whilst changing a sidelight…but that’s another story!)

Then…it happened! Remember the spring loaded bulb? It un-sprung and like a missile, the bulb projected itself into the lens cluster….bum!

Taken aback, I quickly recovered my composure and formulated a cunning plan.

No, I didn’t go up the pub!

In a matter of seconds I had a screwdriver and a can of grease and deftly putting a blob of the aforementioned on the end of the driver tried to fish out the bulb!

Bugger…I couldn’t get the screwdriver in because of the angle of the dangle. I lowered the backseat….I tilted the back seat….I gave up! There was nothing for it; the side panel trim had to come out!

I don’t want to bore you anymore…but do you remember the song, “your left legs connected to your ankle bone…your…ankle bone…” etc?

Yeah, you guessed it…all the various bits of trim are neatly clipped over each other and before you know it…half the interiors spread across the garden!

However, I now had ample access and in seconds, my blob of grease was deftly sticking itself to the offending bulb and carefully I removed it from the cluster.

Well…the rest was easy. Fit the bulb in the housing, fit the bayonet end of the housing into its socket, try the bulb out…it worked… and then put it all back together again!

Easy peasy lemon squeazy….so I took some pictures showing the way to do it so that if you too own a Fiat (Fix It Again Tomorrow) Multipla you may just save your self a bit of fun. Presumably, the nearside brake light will require the same sort of effort?

All done in 35 mins so not too bad.

Till next time....