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How to service your car

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  • Onto the brakes next,

    Measure the disks and pads against manufaturer minimum tolerances.

    Front disks were worn slightly below minumim, mimimum for this car is 23mm,
    DSCF1448.jpg

    The pads were still above the minimum(2mm) so in this case the customer is advised that they will need replacing before the bext service and given the option to have them done now.
    DSCF1449.jpg

    On the rear, drum brakes fitted to this car so remove the drums and check the brake shoes for uneven wear, cracked friction material and remaining thickness,
    DSCF1450.jpg

    Check cylinders for leaks, early leakage is often contained within the seals so always check the seals as in the pic,
    DSCF1451.jpg

    Finally check the drum condition, wear, scoring etc,
    DSCF1452.jpg

    Then check the brake lines for damage, cracks, corrosion on the fittings and steel pipes, Bend the brake line where it joins the steel fitting to check for cracks,
    DSCF1453.jpg
    DSCF1454.jpg

    A visual check of the shocks and springs for damage, leaks and torn bumpstops/dust shields,
    DSCF1456.jpg
    DSCF1457.jpg




  • Now the engine service itself,

    The air filter, as on most cars, is straight forward enough, 6 torx head screws,
    DSCF1459.jpg

    Spark plug recess showing the very common corrosion problem that focus's(foci?) suffer from,
    DSCF1458.jpg

    One of the reasons for the focus often suffering misfires, Rusted/damaged plugs due to the water ingress above,
    DSCF1460.jpg

    Checking and setting the spark plug gap before fitting,
    DSCF1461.jpg

    Draining the oil, it can be a good tip to run the engine for a few moments(not up to full temperature) as this will make the oil flow easier,
    DSCF1464.jpg

    Remove the oil filter, made much easier with the correct tool, they are cheap from Halfords,
    DSCF1465.jpg

    Fit the new filter, always put new oil on the seal and check that the old seal has come off with the old filter,
    DSCF1466.jpg

    Clean off the excess oil, customers don't like oil drops on their drive!
    DSCF1467.jpg




  • The final items, admittadly most of which can't be carried out at home,

    Diagnostic check of all systems,
    DSCF1469.jpg

    Wheel alignment check, confirms the evidence seen earlier on the tyre,
    DSCF1471.jpg
    DSCF1472.jpg


    And to finish, stamp the service book....This car has no history aside from its first service so its stamped at year 6(service 6).
    DSCF1470.jpg


    :D




  • Nice few additions to my original post. A two post lift certainly takes the hardship of crawling under cars on the ground!




  • Focus looks very rusty for a 6 year old car. UK import?


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  • Excellent - love the pics.

    Pity about the rust indeed - my MX5 (Belfast-bound most of the time) suffers rotten sills and rear wheel arches.

    Interesting about the brake fluid needing changed every two years - I am betting it doesn't get done on most cars, which is a pity as it's such an easy job. Have just done it on the MX5 and the girlfriend's A4 - it makes quite a difference, and that's with fluid that's only two and a bit years old. Funnily enough,

    I have never managed to get the various 'one man brake bleeding kits' ever to work properly. They either induce bubbles (the pressurised versions) or else the rubber pipe always pops off the bleed-nipple. Never had any issues doing it the 'two people' way




  • unkel wrote: »
    Focus looks very rusty for a 6 year old car. UK import?

    The corrosion in the spark plug recess is a common problem with the focus, they suffer both leaking freeze plugs in the head and water ingress from the top as there is no plug cover fitted.

    The surface corrosion on the suspension arms etc is normal TBH..




  • I'd like to point out that Although I have never met Nissan Doctor, he is obviously a mechanic that takes pride in his work.

    The attention to detail by checking and tapping the plugs backs this up. This almost never happens by mechanics. They just fire the recommended plug in. What most people don't know. That model number plug could be used in ten different cars and every one should be gapped to th manufacturers specs especially with a ford focus because they have soft coil packs and this causes them to be damaged.

    Well done.




  • cronin_j wrote: »
    I'd like to point out that Although I have never met Nissan Doctor, he is obviously a mechanic that takes pride in his work.

    The attention to detail by checking and tapping the plugs backs this up. This almost never happens by mechanics. They just fire the recommended plug in. What most people don't know. That model number plug could be used in ten different cars and every one should be gapped to th manufacturers specs especially with a ford focus because they have soft coil packs and this causes them to be damaged.

    Well done.


    Many thanks,:)

    TBH gapping plugs is alot more important then most realise. The gap effects the strength of the spark and the temperature it burns at, if this is wrong, you will have less efficient fuel combustion, higher emmissions, more deposit build up which will further reduce economy as well as foul the plugs themselves and effect the cat performance too.

    Its something that takes about 10 seconds before you fit the plugs and yet, as you say, almost no-one does it.




  • Hi everyone, dont know if this has been asked before, im looking to service my fiesta for the first time. How do I get under the car safely while also having some room to see what im doing? I do have the cars jack.


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  • Doylers wrote: »
    Hi everyone, dont know if this has been asked before, im looking to service my fiesta for the first time. How do I get under the car safely while also having some room to see what im doing? I do have the cars jack.

    The cars jack is really just for emergencies.


    You really need a trolly jack and axle stands to work under a car.




  • The cars jack is really just for emergencies.


    You really need a trolly jack and axle stands to work under a car.

    Is there anyone that rents them out for a day that you know?? I'm in Waterford. Thanks:D




  • Doylers wrote: »
    Is there anyone that rents them out for a day that you know?? I'm in Waterford. Thanks:D

    There wouldn't really be a market to rent out something so cheap and basic.

    If your anywhere near a halfords you could get youself a jack and stands for easily less then €100 I'd say.




  • Doylers wrote: »
    Is there anyone that rents them out for a day that you know?? I'm in Waterford. Thanks:D

    Halfords do a kit with trolley jack, axle stands, chocks and creeper for €65. One DIY service will cover the cost!




  • Halfords do a kit with trolley jack, axle stands, chocks and creeper for €65. One DIY service will cover the cost!

    While in there id also recommend getting this: http://www.halfords.ie/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_11101_catalogId_15551_productId_173083_langId_-1_categoryId_212410cm_cr=No+Campaign-_-Web+Activity-_-07-MAR11-WORKSHOP-M-1-_-PRODCAT_ESPOTMAIN_212375-_-07-MAR11-WORKSHOP-M-1

    Comes with their lifetime warranty, you break even one and they'll replace it. I have a couple of their tools after being recommended them, they have stood up to awful punishment. Remember its only their "Advanced" tools are the ones to buy. That kit linked above is well worth the price.




  • Halfords do a kit with trolley jack, axle stands, chocks and creeper for €65. One DIY service will cover the cost!

    Was just about to post the exact same link:D Thats a really nice kit for the job. All i need to do now is save up to buy the kit because im broke as **** hence why I want to service the car myself :p




  • LIGHTNING wrote: »
    Nissan Doctor, can you do emissions and electrical timing? Its the two things I cant really do at home to my 924. Its about a simple anengine as you can get but I dont have the gear?


    Unfortunatly we don't have the emmissions testing gear in my garage although its on my list of equipment I want to get in. Cost versus usage etc etc:rolleyes:

    If by electrical timing you mean setting the timing with timing light etc then yes I can do that no problem.




  • Halfords do a kit with trolley jack, axle stands, chocks and creeper for €65. One DIY service will cover the cost!

    Got myself that kit a few weeks ago. Very good value for money. The car on the axle stands (under the jackpoints in the sills) was rock solid.




  • Doylers wrote: »
    How do I get under the car safely while also having some room to see what im doing? I do have the cars jack.

    Never go under the car with the cars jack. EVER!!! Don't even do it with a big jack trolley. A man was killed in this country a few days ago doing that :(

    Use axle stands and other precautions too if you have them (trolley jack as backup, wheels, wood, etc.)




  • unkel wrote: »
    Never go under the car with the cars jack. EVER!!! Don't even do it with a big jack trolley. A man was killed in this country a few days ago doing that :(

    Use axle stands and other precautions too if you have them (trolley jack as backup, wheels, wood, etc.)

    I can't understand why anyone would do it. You'd want to be off yer rocker in this day and age to get under a car without axle stands, and yet a wally over the road from me does it every week.:eek:

    NissanDoctor, do you just set the distance on the plugs with the tip of a hammer, down to the feeler gauge?


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  • NissanDoctor, do you just set the distance on the plugs with the tip of a hammer, down to the feeler gauge?

    :eek:You can't hit spark plugs with a hammer! The tips would be very easily damaged.

    A small pliers does the trick, adjust them gently untill you get the right clearance.




  • Exactly why I was asking. :D thanks for that




  • I wouldnt recommend putting a screwdriver through an oil filter, its messy anyway.
    As for the people asking about bleeding brakes, its not too difficult but if you are really unsure then dont chance it. As for which corner to do, depends on the design/layout of the piping at the master cylinder.

    Also I hope to god people are disposing of their oil properly, it will be taken for free by local authorities, dont do what my neighbour has done which is water the local trees with it???:eek: or pour it down the drain, anyone that does that should be given hell.




  • That just saved me a lot of money Cheers




  • Thanks volvoboy. Just did this at the weekend myself.
    Just curious tho, how often should this be done?
    I got the spark plugs, oil & air filters and oil changed.




  • kiddums wrote: »
    Thanks volvoboy. Just did this at the weekend myself.
    Just curious tho, how often should this be done?
    I got the spark plugs, oil & air filters and oil changed.

    How often it should be done depends on what car and engine you have.




  • How often it should be done depends on what car and engine you have.
    I just thought there would be a general rule of thumb.
    It's on 02 Opel Agila 1L, with the Corsa B engine.




  • kiddums wrote: »
    I just thought there would be a general rule of thumb.
    It's on 02 Opel Agila 1L, with the Corsa B engine.

    It's usually in the manual for the car but as a rule of thumb I would change the oil and oil filter every 10k miles or once a year whichever is sooner. For the plugs I would change them every 30k or 3 years and the air filter I would change every 2nd year.




  • It's usually in the manual for the car but as a rule of thumb I would change the oil and oil filter every 10k miles or once a year whichever is sooner. For the plugs I would change them every 30k or 3 years and the air filter I would change every 2nd year.
    I figured it would probably be there but I dod not recieve a manual for the car and they are difficult to track down.

    Thanks for the info.
    So the air filter every 2nd year is regardless of miles?


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  • kiddums wrote: »
    I figured it would probably be there but I dod not recieve a manual for the car and they are difficult to track down.

    Thanks for the info.
    So the air filter every 2nd year is regardless of miles?

    Yes can depend if you are driving in very dusty environments as to how long it will last, I normally remove mine and clean it each time I service it but after a year it's usually close to new condition, you can tell by how dirty it looks if it needs replacing, they are only about €20 from a main dealer and less from independents so not a huge investment either way to replace.

    Here's a link to the 2009 Agila Owners Manual, might help http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/content/dam/Vauxhall/Europe/united_kingdom/nscwebsite/uk/00_Home/Owner_Services/Owners%20Owners%20Manuals/agila/AgilaOwnersManualSept2010.pdf


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