It rung true today, that’s for sure! I was driving down to Bolton in one of Rikku’s Volvos, that I’d just fixed an electrical problem on, down the M62, at about 10pm, taking it to a lockup in Heywood. Suddenly, I lost all lights on the bus. Headlights, dash lights, rear lights, top tail lights, and destination board. The passenger cabin lights didn’t work, either.

I pulled over on the hard shoulder, and used my electric warning triangle to warn of the hazard, as I had no hazard lights. Connecting the diagnostic laptop and ECU reader up to the ECU, the engine stalled. Checking the fusebox, a relay had tripped, and a fuse for the alternators. I got the engine running again, using the under bonnet starter panel, after changing the fuse when suddenly a police car pulled up behind me. I heard a familiar voice as the officer came close. It was my half sister Tammy, who has worked as a CID officer and traffic cop for 6 years.

I told her what was wrong. I needed to get the bus back to the depot, (obviously I couldn’t carry on to Bolton in it) but Recovery weren’t available, they’d gone home, and my radio wasn’t working. She radioed through to her station, while I borrowed her phone to call Riksy, to open the depot for me.

5 minutes later her backup arrived, and they escorted me back to our depot, me driving the bus with no lights in between their cars. It must have been a funny sight! Rikky was quite surprised, and joked, “You’ve not got yourself into more trouble for speeding, have you!”, with a wink! It is very scary in the hard shoulder with no signal equipment on your vehicle. I don’t yet know what caused the issue, nor have I had time to even fix it, but the original fault was a dodgy earth, which was causing the diagnostics to issue the Check Light Control Unit error, which I’d fixed.

I got down to Bolton OK, just a bit later, by borrowing another bus, our fun little 1997 Dennis Dart, which has never had any problems since we got it, except a squeaky accessory belt. Shows how finicky new computer controlled vehicles can be, sometimes! I love machinery, and wouldn’t stop doing this for Rikku even if you paid me! I’m good with vehicles, and engines, but all this computer controlled vehicle stuff is quite new to me, and I’m still learning myself!

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