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The Hack Mechanic’s Guide to Electrical Systems

One thing is for sure, if you mess with cars on any level, you will be bumping into electrical problems sooner rather than later. Having some kind of knowledge of the subject pays dividends, not only in the health of your particular car of interest, but also in your own ability to understand the world we live in.

picture of book

The Hack Mechanic Guide to European Automotive Electrical Systems

There seem to be 2 kinds of car people, ones that embrace their machine and want to know more, and those that don’t. I met this guy in Ireland, had a little coffee shop on the edge of the cliff, with 4 cars behind his shop. He was an enthusiast (one was an old Rolls Royce), but the only running car was this old Saab. The others were down because he hasn’t been able to find someone to look at them for a price he was willing to pay. One thing he wasn’t willing to do was figure them out himself.

picture of Irish guy's cars...
At least the Saab still runs…

Well, if you are human, you can figure this stuff out. This book, The Hack Mechanic’s Guide to Electrical Systems, will help you figure this stuff out. It’s better if you have an older car (and possibly European) to get the most out of this guide, but it does introduce you to concepts used on the latest machines. Of course, the newest cars will neccessarily get more expensive to fix, due to the scan tools and equipment and software needed, and this book may not help in this case. But it will help you understand what’s going on, and enable you to make better decisions about what to do about it.

The book is only 40 bucks, and is published by Bentley Pulishers, who have been making car repair books forever. You can get it on Amazon along with everything else in the universe, and would make a good addition to your toolbox.

Euro vans in Ireland

I’ve always been a fan of vans.  And what’s not to like, even the little ones have room for lot’s of stuff, and you don’t have to worry about it if it starts raining, like you would with a pickup truck, for instance.

Vans in Ireland come in all sizes, from big to small, but the vast majority are the small ones.  They make handy little worker guy vans and they are everywhere.  One cool little thing you don’t see in the US  is the Citroen Berlingo.

picture of Citroen Berlingo van
Citroen Berlingo

The Berlingo comes in panel vans and a multispace suv type thing, but they are identical except for the extra seats and creature comforts of the suv version.  They have been built since the 90’s, and have tiny little diesel and petrol engines, but lately the engines have grown to 2.0 liters.

picture of Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo

The newest Berlingo’s have grown slightly larger than this one, but cost considerably more…. I guess that’s progress.

Spotted this VW Caddy van in downtown Dublin…

picture of VW Caddy
VW Caddy

They also have little peanut motors as compared to cars in the states, and are almost all diesels.

This Ford Transit Connect, made in Spain, was spied on the M3 highway.  They are advertised to have advanced diesel engines that can get 70mpg, although I think they meant liters.

picture of Ford Transit Connect
Ford Transit Connect

This last van is a Peugeot Parner, a Peugeot branded Berlingo van.

picture of Peugeot Partner
Peugeot Partner