Join Date: Aug 2005
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Following your advice I tinkered with the rear lock mech. Finally I decided to remove it completely and investigate. I found that the switch is connected directly to the lock mech. Separating and removing the two I looked at each in turn. I found that the mech was full of grit and its lubrication was having no effect. Next I looked at the switch which is a CHERRY micro roller switch. This had one broken contact. There were signs that water ingress was playing a part in the deterioration of the mech and switch. I found that the number plate is mounted on a black plastic panel. This is held in place by a number of screws an two plastic raw plug type clips. It appears that in wet conditions water flows down the outside of the rear door and enters into the rear door panel through these plugs. You can see the staining on the inside of the door. It then accumulates at the bottom of the door panel around the lock mech and slowly corrodes any weak metal.
I flushed the mech thoroughly with WD40 and it now works a dream. The switch however was a little more complicated. It is a tiny thing about half the size of a penny. I opened it with a scalpel only to find that the thin copper spring loaded central plate had all but disappeared due to corrosion. Assuming that I would not be able to replace such a small item especially here, I took an old metal tin and fashioned a sliver of metal into a spring loaded leaf and replaced it in the switch and closed the housing. I fabricated a bridge and soldered the arm together. I reinserted it into the wiring and it works a treat. The light comes on and off at the press of a (micro) switch, much to my delight and surprise!!
I will seal the plugs with some silicone sealer before I reinstall the switch as I do not want history repeating itself.
I wonder if the water ingress and pooling are common problems on all Laguna estate rear doors?