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Your repairs: Abarth 595 Competizione

Haynes Your repairs

Since day one, Haynes has been all about helping you, the home mechanic, to carry out your own repairs on your vehicles. Here, we celebrate those who use their spare time and Haynes Manuals to repair and improve their pride and joy.

DIY champion: Henry Smith, London, England

Vehicle: Abarth 595 Competizione

Henry Smith Abarth 595

Henry Smith is a graphic designer by trade, so naturally he’s a fan of things with a little bit of extra style. He also wants his motoring life to be filled with more than a little effervescenza, which is why he made a bit of a spur-of-the-moment car choice, and bought himself an Abarth 595 Competizione.

A fine choice, Henry thought after a 30-minute test drive in which the car performed faultlessly. That choice seemed slightly less fine on the way home, when the poltergeist started to make its presence known.

Yup, with no warning, the windows began to go up and down of their own accord, even when the key was out of the ignition. The hazard lights gained a mind of their own, and would flash on an off at random, and the windscreen washers would switch on without being commanded, and would continue to run until the reservoir was empty.

And that was just for starters. Door warning lights would appear on the dashboard, and disappear just as quickly, and the central locking decided enough was enough, and downed tools altogether.

Just as well, then, that Henry also knows his way from one end of a screwdriver to the other, and has no fear of taking things apart.

Henry Smith working on Abarth 595
Haynes Fiat 500 cover

Abarth 595: Haynes to the rescue

Henry may have felt like he made an unwise choice of car, but he did also make the sensible decision to buy the Haynes manual for the Fiat 500. So the investigations began.

Henry used his Haynes manual to identify that all of the issues were electrical, and that it was unlikely each of the components would have failed individually. This tended to point the finger at the car’s Body Control Module (BCM), which resides behind the glovebox.

As Henry commenced the removal of the glovebox, he came across something unexpected in the passenger footwell – fluid. And this fluid smelled somewhat familiar. Yes, it was windscreen washer fluid – and it was everywhere.

Henry then removed the seats and carpet, and found a puddle of the stuff. Not good.

The culprit was found to be a split windscreen washer hose, which was squirting cleaning fluid over the BCM. Over time, this fluid and attendant dampness had caused connections inside the BCM to become corroded, hence the sudden appearance of an electronic poltergeist.

Abarth interior removed
Abarth split washer hose

Repair or replace – that was the question

At first, Henry tried to repair the split hose, but none of his efforts worked, so he ended up replacing it. The same went for the BCM, which was too corroded to clean up or repair. Thankfully, it wasn’t quite as expensive as he’d feared. Henry also documented his travails on YouTube.

The good news is that Henry can now enjoy his Abarth 500 fully, on the twisty country roads around where he lives.

Corroded Abarth BCM

We want your repair stories

Henry’s tale of frustration and eventual joy is precisely why we want to hear your stories about the satisfaction that comes from carrying out successful work on your vehicles. Your job doesn’t have to be as significant as Henry’s, because we’re equally happy to hear from those who simply fettle their vehicles to keep them running beautifully. That’s why we’d love you to show us what you’re working on and how you’re using Haynes to help you out.

Just send us a few details about yourself and your vehicle to yourrepairs@haynes.co.uk

Tell us about any issues you’ve encountered or any problems you foresee, plus a few pictures, and we’ll feature you on our website and social channels.

Abarth 595 running