Monday, January 29, 2007

Mini dies on me just before departure!

The Mini needs it APK check in Feb 2007, so last weekend I arranged for time in a friends garage to see what the damp conditions of our winter here so far had done to the poor thing. I spent most of the day with sandpaper and a small screwdriver, opening and sanding contact for a multitude of lamps, switches and such that were not working correctly. Hell, I had mildew growing on the steering wheel if you can believe that!

I have removed all carpets to dry and will leave them out of the car until the winter is over. I have removed the door panels too, no need to watch the MDF panels rot away. I jacked up the car and removed each wheel to inspect the various components under the car, nothing to note. I started the car at the end of the day and all was well.

Sunday I dropped in to pick up the Mini for my trip to Rijswijk for teaching job at the European Patent Office (one week course), but the Mini will not start… sigh. As I only had a few hours and then needed to go, I called the Auto Club (I paid for it, so why not use it) which resulted in telling me that the spool (bobine in Dutch) was broken. I had no electrical for spark generation at the spark plugs. I let them tow it off for delivery to my garage on Monday and had to take the train to my hotel.

Just picked it up this morning and the costs were around 240 euros for a new spool, new spark plugs (somebody broke one… I think the auto club during trouble shooting) and a new rubber around the steering column (protects for dirt and such, old one was split). New APK and off I go. Bummer I could not get this done myself due to the time constraints, but it rides great.

Only point of interest is now that my emergency lights are not working (apparently not part of the APK checks), quick check shows no power to the switch at all… have to troubleshoot this some more soon.