New Rover: The issues

It’s been a while since I had a weekend to just spend at home, but thankfully, I had one just when I needed it. The Rover needs some fettling before our foreign holiday, starting with trying to reclaim that sodding indicator bulb!

I decided to attempt this job before breakfast to add a bit of time pressure. How was I going to get it out? I tried a magnet on a stick, as recommended by several people. This rather ignored the almost complete lack of steel in bulb production. I got the hint after a while…

So, I stuck a bit of high-tack aluminium tape to the end of a screwdriver and went fishing. At about the third attempt, success!

Rover 600 indicator bulb

Hoorah! Managed to reclaim the lost indicator bulb.

Now I had to test the bulb to see whether it had failed, and I’d simply dislodged it when trying to remove the bulb holder, or if the bulb had just somehow fallen out of its own accord. Here’s the answer.

Huzzah! The bulb does work.

Huzzah! The bulb does work.

It must have somehow fallen out of the holder then. Very odd. And yes, it is stupid to rest spanners on a battery with exposed terminals. I accept your point.

There was one more job to attend to before I departed on a milk run – refitting the side indicator. I used blutack for this, but I doubt it’s going to last long.

Side indicator bodge. A common fault it seems.

Side indicator bodge. A common fault it seems.

I was now ready to go and fetch some milk. Quite why I ignored the three fully-functioning vehicles I had on my driveway, I’m not really sure. I guess new-car-excitement is alive and well. Encouraging.

Once my fast had been broken, I set about trying to fix the non-working heater fan blower. Now, there are a few common faults here. One is the resistor pack, though failure of this usually means one or more speeds don’t work, but the fastest speed still will. Relays are another potential failure, or it could be a simple fuse. Fuses were ruled out quite swiftly, and I didn’t reckon the resistor pack was likely. So, I decided to remove the fan assembly, having read that it was quite easy to do.

600 fan blower

Easy! Fan motor assembly removed.

Removing the glovebox requires you do undo two screws, a few more remove a reinforcing bar and then a few nuts and bolts hold the assembly in place. You’ll notice the multimeter, though I was testing in the wrong places, so assumed power wasn’t getting to the fan.

I tried spinning the fan by hand, but it felt reluctant. It would turn, but very swiftly stopped. Could this be my problem? I turned on the ignition, switched the fan to the high setting, and used a screwdriver to turn the fan. It kept turning, slowly getting quicker and quicker. By heck can it move some air once it’s up to speed! I wasn’t happy with this ‘fix’ though, so I turned the ignition back off again, disconnected the wiring and pulled the assembly apart. I couldn’t see how to get the motor fully apart, but could remove one end. That revealed a gloopy mess inside, carbon dust from worn brushes being the main problem. I used my high-pressure penetrating oil to blast out the muck, and then applied spray grease to the bearings. The oil may have been a mistake. I’m pretty sure it contains fish oil, and the car now whiffs of it. I plugged the wires in, and the fan speed now seemed much quicker.

Speedy fan! It just needed a clean out and lube.

Speedy fan! It just needed a clean out and lube.

Then it was a ‘simple’ job of refitting everything, while listening to Jonathan Agnew interviewing Ade Edmondson on Test Match Special. Getting the fan assembly to engage with the air con unit was a bit of a struggle, but I got there in the end, with only two screws left over at the end!

Sadly, it seems the air conditioning is not working. It could be that it is simply in need of a regas. I can hear it kicking in, but the vent temperature is not very low. Given that there’s a heatwave coming next week, I think air conditioning might be nice to have!

Mind you, another priority has revealed itself ahead of this trip. I’m very annoyed with myself for not checking the car more thoroughly before I left the seller’s home, because it turns out that one of the tyres is horribly worn and aged.

Sheesh! This is a very dangerous tyre.

Sheesh! This is a very dangerous tyre.

I did check the front tyres, even getting the pressure checked in one of them before I left. The front have decent treat, as does the offside rear. The nearside rear, not so much! Look at the state of that. It’s appalling. It gives me the shivers to think that I was driving at motorway speeds on this. At the very least, I was risking a sizeable fine and points on my driving licence. But, that tyre is clearly beginning to perish. The results of a blow out at motorway speed, or when cornering, do not bear thinking about. I’m very annoyed with myself, as I take tyre safety very seriously. Or I thought I did. Let this be a lesson to all of you! Check your tyres.

So, pre-trip prep is going to include getting some beam benders, a GB sticker, a spare bulb kit and at least one new tyre. Hopefully, I can get the air con looked at too. We’ll see…

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