Last thing before I went to the MOT test I did the rounds, checking horn, wipers, washers and all lights, even though there was no indication of any bulb failures.
Parked at the MOT test centre with no problem. The MOT tester went to bring the car into the MOT bay and told me that I had a bulb failure warning regarding the numberplate lights. How unlucky is that? The gods surely are capricious.
Everything else passed with no problems and the tester thought it would be a simple bulb changing exercise. However, the fact that both bulbs were out lead me to believe otherwise.
Anyway, after half an hour of tinkering, he gave up, told me to contact an auto electrician and issued a fail notice I said that the numberplate light fitting was a particular Achilles heel on our cars and (with bravado) added that I could have it fixed within the hour.
I got the car home and got the boot plinth off very rapidly but then was completely at a loss as to how to remove the numberplate light fitting.
Here I acknowledge, with grateful thanks, the illustrated "How-To" produced by T-Cut on the Club forum, which enabled me to go from a slight case of panic to having the problem fixed in half an hour.
I don't think T-Cut has anything to do with the Community forum and I'd take it as a favour if one of you who has "dual citizenship" could post a thread over there to publicly thank him for a timely and comprehensive explanation which, I have to say, saved the day.
Good grief though, what a load of old crap that numberplate light fitting is. Stuck on as it is with gooey double-sided tape which actually assists water to collect and corrode the dreadful, flimsy flexible PCB (Printed Circuit Board), which suffers even further damage during the task of un-sticking the fitting from the car and removing the sticky from the fitting.
In common, it seems, with many owners, not one, but two of the PCB tracks had been eaten away, causing a complete open circuit.
Following the instructions as outlined it was the work of a few minutes to clean it up, bridge the track breaks and solder the bulb holders to the tracks.
I think this needs a re-design and, in the apparent absence of any other contemporaneous investigation, I'll think on it myself.
In fact, if anybody has a numberplate light fitting they don't want, I'd be grateful for the chance to experiment with it.
Anyway, VeeKay now has another 12 month lease of life, so I'm chuffed