We have a much loved Ducato based camper van – a Trigano Tribute 670 – and today I was determined to make sure everything was ready for our next outing with friends at the end of the week. So while my wife was busy making the inside look sparkly, I started by pumping up the tyres.
The 2015 Ducato comes equipped with ts own tyre pump which doubles as a puncture repair kit. I plugged it in to the cigarette lighter, switched on the engine and connected the pump to my first tyre. The pressure was near the front tyre specifaction of 5.0 bar so I flicked the pump power switch to give it a little boost and….
Pop! the pump went dead. I suspected a blown fuse and so consulted the handbook to find which fuse and where it might be found. The Fiat Ducato has three fuse boxes, two handily situated in the cab and the third tucked away in the engine compartment. Guess where the fuse for the cigarette lighter might be. Spot on! In the engine compartment.
Actually, there is a wrinkle here because there are two cigar lighter sockets, one of which is interestingly called the ‘Power Socket’. As I was to realise later, this is the socket which currently (sic) held the plug to my dead tyre pump.
So, I lift the bonnet (hood) lid and search for the fuse box. It’s not a big engine bay so the fuse box was easy to locate, protected with a smart black cover which the manual told me was secured by spring loaded screws which could be released with a ‘special screwdriver’.
Here’s handy tip #1:
- Remove fuse box cover without removing headlight assembly – 2 hours
(fail to use ‘special screwdriver’ – add one hour)
- Remove fuse box cover after removing headlight assembly – 5 minutes
Can you guess how I found this out dear Reader?
Here’s handy tip #2
Get to know your toolkit… well!
The Ducato has a toolkit hidden under the cab passenger seat. To get to this you need to pull off the grille at the front of this cavity, turn a locking key half a turn and pull the whole thing out. You can’t get it out without removing the grille, I tried, and the grille needs some brute strength to pull it free of its hinges.
Now inside this toolkit in addition to a hefty jack is a ‘special screwdriver’. It looks like and ordinary crosshead screwdriver but be warned dear Reader, it has special powers.
After some struggling it became apparent that the only way to remove this cover was to remove the entire headlamp assembly first. Now I’ve had to do this on a variety of vehicles, often to replace a blown side light, and the process usually requires the services of a child with a steely grip to reach in and around the engine bay and forcibly unscrew rusty bolts which have not moved since the dawn of time.
In this case, however, Fiat had the wonderful idea of making the whole thing incredibly simple providing you have access to the ‘special screwdriver’. Simply undo two bolts at either end of the assembly and slide the whole thing off its bottom bracket and there you are.
Now both these screws require the attention of the ‘special screwdriver’ one end of which is a star shaped bit. Undo both screws, place carefully to one side and then slide the whole assembly inwards towards the other headlight and “Bingo” the great lump comes away into your arms exposing the fuse box in its beautiful simplicity.
Note: the assembly is still attached by its umbilical cable and so I recommend using some string or stiff wire to support the headlight for a crash to the floor is an expensive error. I threaded wire through the front bolt hole and secured it to the bonnet (hood) stay.
Now we have the fuse box at our mercy and it takes moments to release the cover and expose the offending fuse(s).
Our blown fuse could either be F15 or F14 (which, in Fiat’s twisted logic, are not next to each other.
All that needs to be done is to pull on the exposed plastic cover and withdraw the twin-bladed fuse. I recommend a fuse puller which for a few pence you can get from almost any motor trader shop or store. Here’s mine.
And here’s what it did when I tried to pull out the fuse…
Oops! Now it is safe to work on these fuses without disconnecting the battery so long as you make sure the van keys are in your pocket and not in the ignition. My only option now was to try to pull the individual blades out of the fierce grip of their socket using a variety of thin pliers and a handy pair of arterial forceps I keep in the house. Eventually the fuse box gave up its hold and I rescued the broken bits.
From then on it’s simply a matter of reversing the procedure, replacing the fuses (I always carry spares) replacing the cover, replacing the headlight and testing to make sure everything still works.
The cover is secured by three plastic yellow clips which are required first to be pushed in and then turned clockwise to lock into place.
Overall time taken – nearly two hours.
Sense of satisfaction – priceless