Collecting the car

Purchasing the car all seemed to happen quite fast, I found myself over Uxbridge direction to check it out having seen it on AutoTrader. It was a trade seller, offering (as I heard them tell a family) “a collection of cheap cars for first timers”. Although this wasn’t strictly the case as a fairly ‘business-looking’ guy turned up and left in a pretty decent BMW 5 series. When I initially set out to go there, I didn’t really expect it would result in me collecting the car too!

Initial Inspection

Heater resistor
Heater blower resistor

On close inspection, aside from a few hairline scratches that will polish out – the only obvious exterior issues were some stone chips on the bonnet which need filling, and the alloys have seen better days. Inside, the front seats look fairly well worn but no tears/burns, etc. Electrically it looked to all be working, there was one issue however, which became apparent on the drive home. I probably should have paid more attention to the mysterious component hanging down in the passenger’s foot-well, whilst it wasn’t the issue – it did point to evidence of a past repair job, probably quite recently done as I found the old, removed cable block in the rear foot-well. Otherwise, the car seemed to start and run well, so the deal was done.

Formalities

With a fast-dying phone, having taken much longer to get there then intended, I had to sort out insurance, tax etc before I could leave with it. The tax was easy, and luckily I’d already decided I’d use temporary short-term insurance having realised the otherwise expensive cost of it, was nothing compared to what I’d pay over the course of a year had I started the main policy that very same day. The process was very easy using Cuvva, the entire process can be done using their app, and whilst I think they have long-term insurance coming soon, their temporary insurance was just what I needed, within a few minutes you can have insurance set-up for 1 hour, up to 28 days.

The First Problem

I then had the half-hour or so drive home, made trickier by my phone having enough battery to get me 5-10 mins down the road, so I was winging it to Slough which I know well from driving lessons.
Trickier still, it began to chuck it down, so I went for the air con and demister controls to find nothing, it didn’t work on any setting! In my subsequent research to diagnose and fix the issue, I was led to fiatforum.com, where the heater blower resistor (pictured above), is listed as a common cause of the AC failing.

The issue with mine however though seemed to not be restricted to just that, if that at all. If it was solely the resistor failing/melting, I’d have seen the evidence, and the AC should’ve still worked on full-power as that bypasses the resistor entirely to provide the full 12 volts. Work and lack of tools prevented me from testing much more so I lived for a week or two with no air-con, which made the week with 30+ celcius temperatures a bit hot!

Follow this project…

This is my first post on the car, and I intend on doing a lot more in the way of videos, tutorials, etc as I learn more about it and start making it more to my liking. To stay updated, check out the dedicated car page which contains a contents list of related posts.

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