Car Mechanics

Car Mechanics October 2018

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Car Mechanics is the UK's only car magazine with essential advice on maintaining and repairing popular makes and models. It’s an invaluable motoring resource that appeals to both the DIY car enthusiast and the more experienced motor trade professional. Car Mechanics has helped save money for our readers every month since 1958. Each issue includes a wide range of in-depth features written in a clear, straightforward manner: • Readers’ motoring-related problems answered for FREE • Real-life motoring dilemmas from our man in the garage trade • Electronic diagnostics delves inside a different modern vehicle each month to explain its management system • Survival Guide looks at new and used component prices for a particular vehicle • Used Car Focus is an in-depth buying guide on a specific make and model • Service Bay covers a full service with close-up images and comprehensive descriptions • Project cars are a major part of the structure of the magazine as we buy, fix and sell different vehicles over a period of months So if you're into saving money and being a home technician, Car Mechanics will help you out - guaranteed!

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United Kingdom
Kelsey Publishing Group
4,16 €(Inkl. MwSt.)

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min.
use your head

Up until recently, buying a used car with an illuminated engine management light was fine for many of us, as it meant we could haggle for a better deal on the asking price. That’s all changed since the MOT revisions from May this year, where there is now a little line in the MOT manual, under Section 8 Nuisance, that stipulates that an ‘Engine MIL inoperative or indicating a malfunction’ is a MAJOR fault. In other words, an instant MOT failure, regardless of the reason for it. This has made buying cars with an illuminated malfunction indicator light (MIL) a whole different ball game – if the MOT is looming. The seller may have to drop the value substantially or else the vehicle may well be unsellable until the fault –…

1 Min.
plane, train and an automobile

Our ex-project Toyota Prius was one car we kept for a long period after it appeared in the magazine. We had bought it from BCA auctions in 2016 and I took it to the Isle of Man in September that year, before delivering it to Rob Hawkins in Leeds on my way back. When Rob returned it, I noticed an odd noise when driving above 50mph and tried to silence it by fitting four new tyres. That didn’t change the pitch of the noise, so I checked the wheel bearings and they got a clean bill of health. I could only assume the noise was coming from the transmission. That didn’t put off Roger Gordon (above) from Northern Ireland, who bought the car. He caught a flight to East Midlands airport, then…

1 Min.
ramping up

Following on from my Editorial in the last issue, I asked CM readers for their opinions on plastic ramps. With many readers offering suggestions, I eventually went with Andy Powis’s recommendation of these Rhino Ramps, which are made in the US. They cost £50 plus £10 delivery from a UK supplier. So far, I’ve used them for two cars with 16in tyres and there seems to be room to comfortably fit 18in tyres, given that the width of the ramps is 270mm in the tyre-seating area. My Skoda Octavia 1U, having been lowered by 35mm, did have trouble getting on the ramps, because the front valance has drooped on the offside. I used two chucks of wood to get it onto the first stage of the ramps and this did…

14 Min.
turn that light out...

One of the most frequent comments we hear from CM readers is that modern cars have become so reliant on electronics that it’s becoming virtually impossible for home mechanics to work on them without spending a small fortune on diagnostics equipment. However, a suitable diagnostics device needn’t cost the earth and a basic ability to read – and, more importantly, interpret – fault codes can be learned by anyone. It’s a skill that’s essential for every 21st century motorist to understand how their car is performing, as well as what is going wrong. Thinking outside the box While much of this feature focuses on diagnostic equipment, a good home mechanic must never make the mistake of thinking that identifying faults and making repairs to modern vehicles can be performed solely using an…

2 Min.
on-board diagnostics

On-board diagnostics (OBD) is the terminology given to very early engine management systems in the US, which evolved into OBDII for cars sold in America from 1996. European on-board diagnostics (EOBD) applies to petrol cars sold here from 2001 and diesels from 2003. Gendan reports that some OBDII-compliant diagnostic tools will not work with pre-2001 European cars – certain Ford, Jaguar and Volvo models are fine, but the company admits that it has had very limited success with older Vauxhalls, Peugeot/Citroëns, Fiats and Rovers. Confusingly, EOBDII means ‘enhanced on-board diagnostics – second-generation’, meaning that additional manufacturer-specific information can be gleaned from an OBD port if an EOBDII diagnostic tool is used. Required by European Type Approval, a standardised EOBD port (shown at right) consists of a connector with 16 different pins, with…

2 Min.
pre-eobd diagnostics

In the absence of the standardised 16-pin EOBD socket, you will have to research your particular vehicle’s requirements. Sometimes, manufacturer-specific tools that you need are now obsolete. However, in some cases, aftermarket software may have been developed, through which you can access live data, such as the packages for Rover Group MEMS systems (see CM, May 2016). Otherwise, enthusiasts of a specific model of car may be able to help. Some pre-2001 vehicles had their own non-standardised ‘blink codes’, which relied on a flashing LED that had to be translated by a technician. Even so, some of them were fairly sophisticated and you may be able to activate certain components to check that they operate. Should you need live data on such pre-EOBD vehicles, a multimeter and/or oscilloscope are the preferred…