Monday, 29 August 2016

Giulietta sees the light

We'd just walked back the mile or so across the field to pick up the car. Blip the alarm.

"That's funny? only one light has come on."

It was daylight, so no problem to drive away, but later it was off to a local filling station to pickup an H7 bulb. It's not my car, but I knew I'd better make an attempt to replace the bulb. It was the round one in the middle of the lighting cluster that needed fixing.

The venerable H7 car bulb has been around since the days when cars still had recognisable engines although the way the bulb is designed to be attached is by something resembling an intriguingly bent paperclip.

The red car is Italian, modern and has one of those don't touch me type engines, filled with computers and cleverness.

The bulb is still held in with that mid 20th century pipe smoker paperclip design, although 21st century Italian stylists have created a special black plastic tunnel leading to the area where the bulb lives. With contortions, it's just about big enough to get a hand into.

The cleverness of the design means it is impossible to actually look into the plastic tunnel to see what is in there, so it requires a vivid imagination as well as some muscle memory from changing prior car lightbulbs to (a) detach the wires from the bulb and (b) unclip the spring clip.

I can remember that cars have the notch for the clip such that the spring clip has to be slightly pushed towards the outside of the car and then flipped backwards. Too much exuberance and the little spring clip completely detaches requiring a different skill to reattach it blind to the two small holes before replacing the bulb.

I did manage to do everything, but it took about 45 minutes. It seems like an embarrassingly long time for such a simple fix. It's not something they mention in new car reviews or on those car programmes. Still, I'm told some cars require the whole front section to be removed for the bulb to be replaced. Or a wheel.

"Sia la luce," as they say in Milan.

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