Let there be light!
In my previous post you might remember I mentioned that Lucy and I went on a road trip up to Shildon to pick up a welded diff. What I didn’t mention was what happened when we set off to head home. As we hopped back in the Discovery to come home, I turned on the headlights, first click everything was working normally, the dash lit up and the sidelights came on but when I moved the switch to the second position the headlights came on but the dash lights went out so did the rear lights!
At this point you’re probably thinking “Big deal! just get it home and look at it in the daylight!” This was the plan however not only could I not see what speed I was travelling at, but anyone coming up behind me couldn’t see me until it was too late. Eventually I decided to drive anyway using the rear fog light to illuminate the rear and occasionally using the interior light to check my speed.
This was working fine until we got out into the back end of nowhere and I went to put on the full beams… Everything went black! I couldn’t even see 2 inches in front of my face, whats more I had cars behind me that probably couldn’t see me and were more than likely wondering what the hell I was playing at!
After a bit of fiddling and hoping I was still on the road and not in a field I managed to get the headlights back on long enough to find somewhere to pull over and start investigating. Low and behold after much swearing, checking fuses (none were blown!), and fiddling with the switch I finally managed to get all lights (including the dash) working and we finished our journey home. After a bit more investigating and thinking about the problem, I decided it must be the switch that was the issue, since I managed to get all lights working again eventually just by fiddling with it. So I found a new replacement online and the following weekend I set about fitting it.
The process was relatively straight forward:
First disconnect the battery and leave everything for about 5 minutes. This is to ensure theres no charge still going to the airbag, you don’t want that going off in your face!
Next Remove the trim around the steering column, this can be done by first turning the two plastic screws in the bottom dash panel 1/4 of a turn, folding it down and then unscrewing the three cross head screws in the bottom of the steering column cowling.
Next you will need to turn the steering wheel 90 degrees this is so that you can access the first of the two T30 Torx bolts holding the airbag in place by going in underneath the steering wheel, Once you have unfastened this bolt then rotate the wheel through 180 degrees and do the same for the second bolt. Now put the steering wheel straight again.
Carefully remove the airbag unit and set it down somewhere safe, you don’t want this going off!
Next unfasten the 19mm bolt holding the steering wheel on, trying to make sure your steering wheel stays straight. Then you can unfasten the plastic connector for the wiring in the steering wheel you will need to pop this from its holding bracket first.
Once you’ve done this wind the nut back on a couple of turns and start to pull on the steering wheel. Having the nut in place will stop you from smashing yourself in the face with the wheel (unless you like the broken nose look!) Now you can start to pull on the steering wheel until it comes free, once it gets up to the nut you can then unfasten it completely and move the steering wheel out of the way.
The Switch is held in with two screws and a plastic tang, Remove the screws first then pop the tang with a small, flat screw driver the switch will then pull free and you can unfasten the two electrical connectors on the back.
To fit the new switch simply follow these steps in reverse and you are done. Now you can test your lights.
(The rear wiper will be fixed soon!)