It’s good to see that our 1993 Merc E280 has fired up so much debate in the forums, most of it favourable, but unfortunately the car itself has been faring less well.

Merc1 So where to start? It was all going so well: the E-class got its oil changed, had four new tyres and went along to Autoglym in Hertfordshire for a full cosmetic makeover. By the time it emerged it looked factory fresh – and worth at least three times the £1000 we paid for it.

Then the gremlins attacked. First the aftermarket alarm system, which had always had issues, threw a proper wobbly and immobilized the car in a busy supermarket carpark.

Then the central locking failed. And then – worst of all – the heater fan decided to pack up.

The last point being something of an issue as the autumn turned into an early winter – without the fan it was impossible to defrost the car and the journey to work might as well be conducted through the Siberian Tundra.

At which point I called in a professional auto electrician to work his magic. Fixing the central locking took a couple of hours to track down a broken connector – but digging the old heater fan out required the disassembly of the entire wiper mechanism.