Over time my washing machine has been developing a fault. I thought I had spilled water down the back of it because when I switched it on, every light on the front panel would flash continuously. Sometimes it would stop, and others it would just keep going and going.
This causes an issue when I’m trying to do my washing up, did some research because I got sick of it and discovered it’s actually a really common fault with washing machines (usually by Hotpoint / Creda / Ariston). The main capacitor on the electronics board (usually C17 Capacitor) has failed.
To fix the issue it’s a case of replacing the capacitors. Reading horror stories on the internet suggests calling out a washing machine engineer, they would simply replace the board and reprogram it. Costing the end user around £150
The article that follows shows how I fixed my washing machine for £15
- Solder Wick (2.8mm x 1.5m)
- Soldering Iron, Tip Cleaner & Solder
- Replacement Capacitor(s) – They need to be ELECTROLYTIC
- You will need to double check, but most likely it will be…
- 25V / 100uF
- 10V / 680uF
- 10v / 470uF
- You will need to double check, but most likely it will be…
Once you have verified the correct capacitors for your board you will need to remove them from the board. I’m not the best at soldering, so everyone has their own technique, not to mention the soldering iron I had was a really cheap one that didn’t heat up well. This is the technique I used
- Cleaned the tip of the iron after heating
- Apply a small amount of solder to the iron
- Put the solder wick over the board around the capacitor leg and wick it up
- Keep repeating the procedure until the leg is free, clean iron each time
It’s hard to describe the wicking process, but basically having the extra solder on the iron seems to increase the heat and make it easier to wick the hold solder off. Don’t bother with those plunger removers, they’re just annoying. Use the reel and it will be all off really quickly. In terms of cleaning the tip I used one of those metallic pan scrubbers you get from Asda (the balls of metal) what you use for cleaning stainless steel. The true kits use brass balls, but for cheap soldering irons I don’t really care. It worked well
Once you have removed the solder from all the pins, remove the capacitors. Insert the replacement capacitors inside the holes you made which should be clean, making sure you align (+ to +) and (- to -). You should find that there is a small white circle for the negative side and a + mark on the board for positive. Also on the capacitor the negative side there will be lines down the side. If there are no lines, the “shorter” leg of the capacitor is the negative side
After you have inserted a capacitor, tip the board upside down. Clean the tip of the iron, and let the end hit up (to the point where solder melts on touch), clean the tip again so it’s shiny. Then hold the hot point of the iron to the metal leg of the capacitor and touch the solder onto it, you should find the solder melts. Apply a small amount of solder so it covers the peg and then remove the solder, then remove the iron (this entire process should only take 2 or 3 seconds).
Clean the iron tip each time, and reapply solder to all the board points. Once you have resoldered all the connectors onto the board, snip off the end metal pieces with scissors / pliers. Your work should then be complete
Now you just need to test the board, personally, I was paranoid of doing anything during first install so I hooked up all of the cables into the board and switched on the machine without the water connected so I had acccess to switch off the power if there was any problems.
The washing machine switched on straight away with no flashing lights. Plumbed in the hose after switching it off again and set away two loads. It is now repaired and this is how I fixed my washing machine for £15
Views – 16
- This article contains my affiliate link to the product I’m discussing. I’d appreciate if you’d use it if you decide to carry out this investment option as it earns me money and it doesn’t affect you when you invest
- The website(s) given work on a principle of Investments, and is similar to a Pyramid Scheme. You are also investing in a Cryptocurrency which while stable, they are considered to be volatile. If something crashes over night you could lose everything you have invested. This is why I recommend you invest the most minimal stake that you are willing to lose if it all fails
SHORT GUIDE HOW TO TURN £10 INTO £10,000
- Sign up to control-finance.com preferably with my affiliate link included 🙂
- Register with a Cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase
- Purchase Bitcoin after verifying your details on the exchange
- Install a Cryptocurrency wallet capable of receiving funds
- Send money from the exchange to the wallet
- Click on deposit option, enter the amount and choose Bitcoin
- EXCHANGE RATES APPLY, SO $50 won’t pay $50
- The website will tell you the address, and amount to pay to
- Launch your wallet, click on send
- Enter the address, and the amount
- If you have enough click send
- You will then need to wait for the website to verify the transactions
- This can take between 15 mins – 1 hour depending on how much
- Once deposited go to your deposits click on the “pencil”
- Change the auto reinvestment option to “ON”
- Click on “withdraw funds” – go to Bitcoin option in wallet
- Click “receive”, copy the address, paste into the field for Bitcoin wallet
- Wait 1 year for your investment to grow
- When 1 year has passed, cancel auto investment, and withdraw daily
HOW IT WORKS
Much like stocks and shares you are investing in the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. If you choose the traditional method, you break even and ROI is within approximately 3 months
Traditional interest pays you a fixed return based on your investment
- If you invested £100 @ 1% interest, you make £1 per day
Compounded interest works the same way, but because you are reinvesting what you get out the total “invested” actually increases
Day 1 – You invest £25, after 1 day you gain 1% interest = 25p
Day 2 – Rather than withdraw this amount. You reinvest.New total investment £25.25
Day 3 – The cycle repeats, you now gained another 25p, total now £25.50 and so forth, so the more you balance increases, the faster you earn more money via interest
This goes on and on everyday, attached is a snippet of the calculation in the sheet for the first 1-3 days, and then at days 360-365. As you can see from a £25 stake, on Day 1 you’re only getting 25p per day. On day 365 you are earning £17.80 per day. If the market crashes, you’ve lost £25. Plus if you want some extra money, there’s nothing stopping you cancelling the auto investment (say 6 months in), all that happens is it then reverts to a fixed interest return and you gain X.XX amount per day until you reinvest again. The reason why you do this should become clear.
Think long term, if you invest £10 (minimum) after 365 days if the market hasn’t crashed you earn £36.50 (365 days x 1 % of £10) per day
If you invest £10 (minimum) and compound it 365 days, if the market hasn’t crashed. On day 365 you cancel the auto investment option. You’re now earning £5 per day interest (£150 per month)
Views – 36
In relation to my article I wrote on identifying the steering rack version in a Volkswagen Golf. One thing I mentioned was that I argue whether or not the Volkswagen steering racks should be covered under warranty or that they should be serviceable items.
After all there are a stream of articles all over the web relating to the steering rack failure with Volkswagen Electromechanical Power Steering.
What is the Electromechanical Power Steering system?
Basically the VAG group (Volkswagen Auto Group) decided in their wisdom to replace the traditional power steering system fitted to most cars. The traditional system being a pump which is driven by engine belts and topped up with fluid in the engine bay. They replaced it with an ALL electronic system, a power steering rack which links into the steering wheel and the power steering assistance is provided by an Electric Motor.
Whilst this does give benefits to the driver…. (examples below)
- Increased fuel economy
- Better steering control & input with self-centering steering
- Speed dependant driving assistance
In practical terms, it’s only so good until it fails. Steering racks on cars do fail from time to time, and they’re easy (AND CHEAP!) to replace. However the Electronic Power Steering on the VAG cars is a problem. The sensors that control everything are built into the racks themselves. Volkswagen don’t repair these they replace them when they go faulty. To replace a steering rack on a VW Golf MK5 you’re looking at around £2000 from Volkswagen, this takes the piss! Most people can’t afford to pay £2k to fix their cars when they’re realistically only going to be worth around £2k anyway
BUT – Here’s the big BUT…. when Volkswagen (or the VAG) replace the racks, it’s done on a surcharge basis they actually KEEP your old one and REBUILD it. This means the units are serviceable, if you look at the steering rack design themselves, the units which holds the motor, the sensor and the controller are all replaceable components, it’s just VW won’t do this. So when they remove your old unit, they rebuild it sell it on for another £2k job and it could fail 70k miles later and cost another £2k, a really bad con. This is why as far as I’m concerned this part should be a serviceable component that should be replaced every 70k miles on the car regardless or covered when the timing belt is replaced. It’s especially prone to failures on the MK1 steering racks. Plus a lot of customers would find a bill easier to chew if it was a £200 sensor than a £2000 rack job but then dealerships aren’t like that
I’ll be posting more photos as when I remove my old rack I’ll be removing the sensor. A common problem is the magnetic poles on them.
I’d love to know VW input on this as it’s clearly a fault, and they haven’t bothered rectifying other they’re just rectifying the problem at the customers expense
Views – 31
Unfortunately with all the im.going problems with my car I’ve now come across a major stand point.
Volkswagen Group alongside a lot of other car manufacturers have switched to what is known as an Electro Mechanical Power Steering system
Some of you may ask what this is. Basically it replaces the standard power steering design on a car where you have a fluid filled pump driven by a belt running off the alternator. Instead you get an electric motor which runs from the battery through relays and provides torque assistance to the steering system based on the speed and demand via a torque characteristic curve that’s preloaded at the factory. You also benefit from better fuel economy because there isn’t any load on the engine from the pulleys
Now. This all sounds hunky dory. Easier power steering. Better fuel economy. What’s so bad about that?
One VERY VERY big bad. Volkswagen and I’m guessing other manufacturers decides to build the sensor into the rack itself. The sensor is prone to failure. When it fails you get a red steering light on the dash which usually means buying a new rack from VW because it can’t be serviced
Now. I’d expect a steering system to last the life span of a car personally so if I want to fix my car. I either DIY it. Or take to Volkswagen to fix.
For reference here are the prices (from VW)
- Steering Rack (£1032)
- Wiring Harness (£110)
- Labour (£108 p/hr + VAT)
The job time is around 4 hours which means if you took this to Volkswagen you’d be looking at around a £2000 repair bill.
If that wasn’t enough. The part is only given a 1/2 year warranty. How about no Volkswagen. The steering system lasts the lifespan of the car. If you are saying this part only has a 12/24 month warranty it should be classed as a serviceable component if it fails again in which case it should be repaired FOC.
I’m left with a broken car to fix myself or sell. I love the car but things like this bug me. I’m going to end up repairing myself as £2000 is way too much to spend.
I’ll be updating this post with more information as I go
Views – 63
Yet again I’m writing another article about myhermes. I purchased an item from eBay 12th April for the upcoming bank holiday period when I was off work on holiday.
It got to the end of the week and still no parcel delivery. I asked the eBay seller for the tracking information as I thought it was them taking their time. Sure enough it wasnt. It was myhermes
Now. Complaining about Myhermes isn’t just enough because all couriers get slow periods, but this isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem and quite frankly the way their courier handled delivery of my product annoyed me
I was at work when the courier attempted delivery. The courier but a failed delivery note through the door. Fair enough I left them a note on the door window reporting I was at work and to leave a number to contact them
Next day. Another delivery note. No number. After the 3rd attempt the courier returns the item
So. What was the end result. After two weeks of waiting my item was returned back to the supplier and I had to get a refund
What could Myhermes have done to improve the service…
- Handle the product better and stop taking so long to sort it. Slow gits
- Make sure the couriers actually follow protocol and leave a number . You know it would help !
- Offer an inpost option for failed deliveries such as Argos click and collect or inpost lockers. This is more convenient for people who aren’t at home often
This doesn’t make me feel any comfortable using Myhermes as a courier. This is now the second time I have been let down by them.
I’ll be adding screenshots of the slips as proof that the standard procedure wasn’t followed and proof of my online tracking of the product to see just how long it took
Views – 54
One of the problems with Brexit is that it’s never happened before. No one knows what will happen, nor will they be able to predict correctly what will happen. They can only assume.
I myself have never been one to worry over things like this, although I do still have my own concerns because living in the North East of UK there’s one main employer here and I’m directly connected to them. So if the proverbial shit hits the fan, and they go under. How do I plan on Brexit survival if I lose my job?
Well. I can’t see I’m stacking myself for a zombie apocalypse, but the main priority is saving money and thinking long term solutions. Americans are known for their zombie apocalypse planning and end of the world scenarios for hoarding etc but everyone thinks that it’s a load of shit.
Well, the difference is in the UK, we are in an era where bad times have a very real possibility of coming. Brexit isn’t just a rumour, it’s already taken place. If everything goes to shit, there will be a lot of people unemployed, job competition will be fierce and the market will be saturated with desperate people who will do anything to survive. I probably shouldn’t post this article, but I don’t really give a fuck either since I like to prepare myself should the worst come to the worst. There’s always a bit of a mad streak hidden away in me anyway and I have plenty of frying pans around me 🙂
If nothing happens in a couple of years, you’ve got extra money to spend and a plentiful supply of food built up and some new skills. These are a couple of the things I’m planning
- Food storage
One of the main expenditures with a household budget is Food. A normal average households spends on average £200 per month from their salary… I live alone but usually average around £100 for everything (food, washing, etc) – I’m fairly simple anyway. So given that since the whole “Brexit” debate, nothing will really start showing up in the next 2 years or so that gives me 24 months of being able to overspend on tins. Doesn’t have to be excessive, but even adding another £10 per month onto my shopping gives me enough shopping to last at least 3 months and not worry about food supplies
If I had a chest freezer I’d focus on meats, I simply don’t have one yet. Although it might be something for long term solutions since meats are where you get most of your Proteins from.
Now, there’s no point going excessive. I have quite a large house though living by myself, so at the very least, I can afford to stash away a decent hoard of food in cupboards to take up some space. Make more room for food and keep a good supply going.
The food cupboard isn’t entirely because of Brexit. I’ve always wanted one in general, it’s just made me think a lot because of Brexit. There’s no harm in having a large food pantry where you can walk in and collect food when the weather has gone to shit and everyone is snowed under. You can calmly collect and keep going with everything.
I’ll be building up the essentials, tinned veggies, tinned meats, pasta, flours and oils. They all have a decent shelf life anyway. I figure an extra £4-500 worth of food over 2 years will be a decent 6 months to keep me going if the shit hits the fan and if there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve got extra food for a while without worrying or when I hit a bad payday with no overtime at work
Now, again the 2nd part of my theory is gardening. Gardening itself, is stress reduction and sustainable. For a rather cheap expense you get a long term solutions. You get free food just for a small amount of work and it helps calm you
Those are two things I’ll be taking up and blogging about long term when I start working on it
As of 27/10 a post was made that Nissan have confirmed they will be building the new X-Trail and next model of Qashqai at Sunderland plant. This means for the immediate future jobs are safe.
As for this post, I’m still going to do my pantry and gardening, simply because I’ve always wanted one to start with. So keep an eye out for future posts 🙂
Views – 248
Decided to post a recipe for one of the beef burgers I like to cook that I made up which I call my 100% Beef – Belly Buster Burger. Nothing but a few simple ingredients and 100% Beef Mince. These are about 1″ thick, because I like wholesome burgers and don’t have a proper burger press, although they would do nice inside of a meatball for spaghetti bolognese too
- 2 Eggs (Normal supermarket sizes)
- 750G of Low-Fat Beef Mince (I use Asda’s less than 20% fat version)
- 2 TBSP Oregano
- 1 TBSP Sesame Seeds
- 1 TBSP Tomato Sauce (Heinz)
- 1 TBSP Worcester Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
- 1 Garlic Clove (Finely chopped)
- 1 Onion (Finely chopped)
- 2 Leek Stalks (Finely chopped)
- 1/2 – 1 Cup of Breadcrumbs (I used Paxo Golden)
- Empty the Beef Mince packet into the bowl remove the thin paper
- Add the finely chopped onion and leeks
- Add all the other ingredients
- Mix everything together with your hands insuring it’s evenly mixed
- If you find the mixture is a little “wet”, add a few more breadcrumbs
- The mixture should be moist, but shouldn’t leave residue on hands
- Add to a Grill (Medium Temp) or BBQ and cook for desired time until desired consistency reached. I like mine brown all the way through, and it takes about 15 mins. Normally I just cut them with a knife and check before I serve them
- Serve in a white bun, add whatever garnish. Normally I use a few pieces of lettuce, and some grated or sliced red Leicester cheese as it brings out the flavouring. I then add some tomato sauce
These burgers are about 1″ thick. You can make them thinner if desired.The recipe will make approx 6 x 1″ thick burgers. If you’d like to make the burgers a bit more juicier, you can add in a mixture of pork mince. This makes them juicier
Views – 251
I recently decided to go back to the gym again, one of the things I wanted to do was get another iPod Nano 4th Generation music player. I can use my phone, but personally I always liked the nano that I had, I found them comfortable to use and they seemed to suit me for the gym
Problem was I sold my previous one, I didn’t want to spend the money to buy a brand new one or second hand one. I like repairs so thought why not carry out a repair on one.So off I went on eBay and found 3 broken iPod Nano 4th Generation 8GB models for £9.99 – can’t complain at that, should be able to salvage the components
The iPods I purchased for repair had 3 issues (from left to right)
- The first one the click wheel wouldn’t respond. The device worked, but nothing happened after power up. Click wheel wouldn’t respond to any input.
- The second iPod had a problem with connecting to the computer, it just wouldn’t switch on
- The third iPod worked fine, it just had a problem with the screen being very dim and wouldn’t increase in brightness
Reading this I thought I may be able to at least salvage one of them, the cases on them were all scratched, but as it was for the gym I wasn’t particularly bothered. One of them had a good case, but this was also a problem with the screen.
My first train of thought was the following repairs;
- iPod 1 – Faulty click wheel, cable, dirty click wheel, or O/S restore
- iPod 2 – Possible port damage, O/S damage or physical damage
- iPod 3 – Damaged LCD, damaged digitizer, damaged logic board
Now that I had decided what I was going to do, I set about a plan of action. The 3rd iPod was hopefully the one I was going to use, merely because it was in the best condition, but I still wanted to try and repair at least one of them to have a go and see what I’ve got to work with
Broken iPod 1 Repair
I first powered up the iPod to confirm the fault, indeed, it powers up. Screen was fine, seemed to load the operating system fine, but no luck nothing else. I tried cleaning up the click wheel to make sure no grease had got under it. Carried out a system restore but none of this worked still the same problem. Issue now is either hardware related, or cable related. Kept it for spares, since I knew the iPod had a working screen
Broken iPod 2 Repair
I first needed to find out what was busted on this. I tried to connect to the computer as initially I thought it was a USB issue, I received no connection. I couldn’t go any further to test with this because the battery had no charge, so decided to dismantle it. Turns out the battery was damaged as it had swelled in size, so it’s possible this can be repaired. I couldn’t go any further with this because the lower data cable connecting the battery to the board snapped on removal as the battery made it a tight fit and I ended up cracking the screen on removal…..bugger… 1 down two to go.
I had spares from the first iPod, I swapped the logic board and battery over to the iPod which wouldn’t charge up or switch on. It came to life, but had the same issues as the first. The problem followed me so it meant the logic board was damaged as I was using a different clicker wheel this time. This may be a possible repair in future, but I wanted to see what I could do with the 3rd one.
Broken iPod 3 Repair
OK, first iPod knackered needs a new board. Second iPod, busted battery, cracked LCD (now no longer working) and connector cable. I have a 3rd one that’s working, great. Swap the screen over, still dim…. well that’s a problem. If you have a dim screen on an LCD, normally you replace the digitizer. All the power controls and assemblies are built into the screens and the logic board circuitry.
I had swapped the screen over, and had the same problem. That means the battery was OK, but the board was gone…. board from iPod 1 was a nono, board from iPod 2 required repair with soldering iron so what was my options
I ended up having to fork out some money, and kept an eye out on eBay because I needed either a good battery and board, or a good board. As this was all pot luck I kept my eyes open
iPod Nano 4th Generation, successfully repaired
Success, I found an eBay seller who was selling what was listed as a working board and battery. After some back and forth emails I took the risk and purchased them with the spares they came with for £16.99
I received them a couple of days later, swapped over the units working screen and replaced the logic board. Then came the moment of truth….
I powered it up, it worked! It connected to iTunes and said it needed a restore but then I received a low battery warning message. Damn it, usually low battery means it’s knackered. I figured it was working, so went to bed and left it on charge.
Lady luck was shining down on me, the battery really was just low, once connected to iTunes I restored it and now have a working iPod for the gym again.
OK I could have probably found one for the same price, but as I will also be repairing iPods for my business it makes good practice for me to understand how they work and the problems that you can encounter when working on them. Plus I like to tinker about with electronics.
This concludes my article on How I built a working iPod for £25 from spares
Views – 330
Apologies for any downtime caused on this site, I recently decided to change web hosts because quite frankly I’m sick of my old one. I had constant never ending problems and in the end I carried out a Server Migration to a different webhost
As you can tell by this post, the server migration was carried out. Eventually! I had so many problems to sort out and still do. Everything about my old configuration was completely muddled on with by my old host to get it working, as such the server migration wasn’t a straight forward process.
The account restore didn’t work, I had to manually download the databases because they had to be restored. Had to alter the database names, had to manually edit the server names in the configuration files and carry out a db restore. Also had an issue with the .htaccess
I’m happy now, I’ve found a new host, in the name of Tech-Hosts. I love them so much I migrated to them with my personal site as well, highly recommend you check them out
Views – 348
OK, one of the problems about being an owner of VW family cars, is you get lazy (or at least I did). I neglected to check my oil since the last change, because my cars have never used a drop of them. It always pays to do maintenance and regularly check your car fluids.
Today whilst driving to work I received the VW Golf Oil Warning Light (Yellow one), needless to say my arse was looser than someone who’d just been buggered by an elephant. I was crapping myself. If the light was flashing, it would mean sensor. Given that I don’t check my oil often, I was confident it was the level anyway
For information, here’s a quote directly from the above source:
Red warning lights mean you should stop the car as soon as it’s safe.
Yellow warning lights mean that action is required.
Green warning lights are for information only.
I knew I’d get to work and I’d just top it up at work, there are two warning lights on the VW Golf Oil and most other car systems. Generally speaking, the warning lights are:
- Yellow (low oil level, it’s at the absolute minimum) – Fill urgently, ideally stop
- Red (low oil pressure, this is dangerous) – Stop immediately, your engine will seize
Both situations are dangerous, I drove about 10 miles with the yellow light on, OK, I shouldn’t have, but I need to get to work, and knew I still had some oil in the car and driving that many miles wouldn’t cause it to fail.
I did however do some remedial actions, my car has never used oil. I do however drive my car really hard at times. I’ve always used the FULL rev range on my car so it gets the good old Italian tune up regularly to keep it healthy. The downside is it burns oil faster. That and I think I have a leaking intercooler which won’t help
Anyway, generally, the harder you drive your car, the faster the oil gets burnt. Basically hotter engine, faster spinning engine means more lubrication. So I took the safer option, I drove to work in 6th gear @ 50mph. Revs were around 1500rpm, which was really low, so didn’t put the engine under load much
Once I arrived at work, I went to top up Oil…… open boot, ermmm, hang on, didn’t I put the oil in the Garage at home one day?…. Oh, shit
I did check my oil when I got to work, and the dipstick wasn’t even reading at minimum…. by the way. Volkswagens dipsticks are REALLY badly designed on the VW Golf MK5. You get this crappy BLACK plastic with two balls on (for minimum and maximum). Yeah, it’s good in theory. You can read the oil level at any temp, however you have two problems here
- Oil is BLACK, dipstick is BLACK….. go figure
- Those little balls, yeah they stick out. Which means they SCRAP the oil tube coming up. So screws up your reading
If you are reading this VW, go back to the OLD style dipsticks. A metal based ones with little dotted ends, they’re SOOO much easier to read (I’m even thinking of modding my old Passat one). Even making the balls smaller would help
Anyway, long story short. I got my car home safely. Although I was expecting to receive the low oil warning light when coming home I didn’t… I didn’t want to chance it though. So repeated my driving conditions to keep the pressures low and reduce the chance of my engine committing a suicidial Harikari – if you’re reading this my little VW, I wubs you. Don’t break on me :O(
So, I filled up my car with about 3 litres of Mobil1 5w/30 ESP when I got home since it’s my preferred choice of Oil. Will do me until I buy some new drums, and chucked an old Castol Edge 5w/30 oil in the boot. I don’t like it, but it meets VW 505.00 standard (although the MK5 Golf is 505.01, or even 505.02 – I can’t remember) and end of the day, some oil is better than no oil. A car will still drive with shitty oil, it’s just not the optimum design for the engine
So as a future note, it always pays attention to those 2 mins. Avoid getting the VW Golf Oil Warning Light like I did, and save yourself some money in the long run from a potential rebuild
Views – 924