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Saturday 16 April 2016

Leaking screen

The new screen in the Discovery has not gone to plan.

Today we had to have a man come out to fix a leak.
Auto Windscreens customer service has been very good and they were a little too prompt sending someone out the rectify the problem.

I called them late Thursday evening and they sent someone out the day after. Unfortunately, they had not booked that with me and I was at work. They did better when they called back and booked someone in for the next day, Saturday morning.

A very nice man, Eugene, with a great beard came out. After his own investigation, he very carefully filled the gap, I had already found, with their sealant and explained that if that did not do it then they would replace the screen again.

Back a few days. We noticed the first time we drove the car with the new screen, how noisy it was.  It creaked loudly, especially when we went over bumps and their was a lot of wind noise.

I could not track down the source of the noises so resorted to the Internet. According to the information I found, it was likely to be caused by a seal that perishes over time and tends not to be replaced with the screen, however, I now know, in our case that was not it.

The wind noise came from the big gap where the sealant did not touch the glass.  I could put my fingers above the roof trim and feel the smooth uncompressed sealant more than 5mm away from the glass for most of the length across the top of the screen. As far as I could tell the bottom edge was sealed.

I only found this gap after it rained and I had a small puddle of water form in the centre of the dash, under the interior mirror!

Before the leak appeared the screen had stopped creaking, I guess it just needed to settle and cure fully. Now it has been sealed, along the top edge, the wind noise has gone. My temporary solution of putting duct tape across the top on the outside, stopped further water dripping under the mirror but not the noise!

It did not start there and the duct tape did not fix the more worrying problem. Two days before the obvious leak the key fob would not unlock the doors.

The behaviour was odd, as the fob worked to disable the alarm but I had to unlock the door with the key! The LCD odometer display flashed a large crossed out B. I believe this means a fault with the Body Control Unit (BCU.)

After some fiddling about with the Nanocom on the Tuesday evening the central locking started working and the flashing B disappeared. Unfortunately by Thursday afternoon the central locking had stopped again and by Friday the flashing B was back.

This time the electrical problems were worse, the central locking switch inside the car also failed, making getting in or out of any door other than the driver's, very awkward! I told Auto Windscreens this on the phone.

By Friday I had noticed more problems and they continued on Saturday even after the screen had been re-sealed. The electrical problems included that the indicators and hazard warning lights only worked with the headlights on. Sidelights were not enough it had to be headlights. This extended to the other switches in the cluster with the hazard switch in the middle of the car!

I am pretty sure that this information might be enough to narrow down where the water was affecting the electrics. Again, I think the information I found on the Internet is misleading. Most reported the symptoms I had as a BCU failure but I don't think it is the BCU getting wet. The BCU sits slightly inset from the body and is not where I would expect water to congregate. I'm guessing but I think it is more likely, in my case, that water was running down the wiring loom and collecting at the first connector it gets to. If I could narrow it down, I might be able to seal it to avoid future similar problems.

The good news is that now the screen is sealed I only had to drive the car with the heater at 22C for a 30 minute round trip with a stop for an all day breakfast and when I got out back at home the central locking worked. I'll be checking the workings properly tomorrow.

I think this is fairly conclusive that it was water causing the electrical faults. Probably draining down the sides and getting in somehow.

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