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Car Mechanics

Car Mechanics September 2019

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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3
cherished plates

I don’t have a personalised numberplate, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t like one if a suitable plate came up for sale. I mention this because the DVLA announced recently that, over the past 30 years, it has sold close to six million personalised registrations to the general public, generating about £2 billion for the Treasury. Great to hear, but where is all the money going? The popularity of a personalised plate isn’t diminishing either. At the DVLA’s 30th Anniversary Personalised Registration auction in July, it set a new record with a 100% sale success rate. Shortly before close of play on the Friday evening, just one numberplate (registration ‘34 Y0L’) of the 1250 lots on offer remained unsold. However, that was bought for its £1200 reserve over the weekend. During this…

1
ask a silly question

Two years ago, the DVLA launched a service where motorists, with the help of Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, could ‘ask’ the DVLA when their vehicle’s tax was due by providing the registration number and passing various security checks. Apparently this service has been used more than 47,000 times by over 20,000 unique users. While most questions relate to vehicle tax, the DVLA says some users have asked slightly more unusual questions, including: > How do you get chewing gum off a leather settee? > How do I apply for Love Island? > Do you know a good vegan recipe for chicken? > Are red cars the fastest? > What time is lunch? > Is it going to rain in Ellesmere Port today? > What did you think of the Bumblebee movie? > How can I stop my flatmate…

16
diy brake maintenance

While basic friction brake design has not changed significantly in half-a-century, it remains one of the most common areas requiring routine repairs. This was proven, when all three cars that were bought for CM’s Budget Motoring feature in the July 2019 issue needed attention to their braking systems. While brakes undergo quick visual and performance tests during a typical MOT, a ‘pass’ is no guarantee that they are in peak condition. Closer inspection is needed at service time, with the wheels removed. If you do not have your car serviced at a garage, the responsibility falls upon you. What goes wrong? Traditional brakes are wasteful: they turn motion energy into heat, which is shed into the surrounding air. The resulting friction from specially-developed heat-resistant compounds being forced against a steel/cast-iron surface causes…

1
disc brake caliper & drum brake designs

When the brake pedal is depressed, the force is transmitted from the pedal to the appropriate brake calipers by the brake fluid. This causes one, or more, of the pistons within each caliper to be pushed outwards, thus exerting pressure on a pair of brake pads, sandwiched between which is a rotating brake disc (sometimes called a ‘rotor’). The resulting clamping force slows the brake disc and generates heat. Two main designs are used. With fixed calipers, each brake pad has one, or more, pistons mounted behind it. Floating/sliding calipers have a piston(s) on one side only – typically, the side closer to the engine. As the under spring pressure, into contact with the rotating drum/hub, can leak over time, contaminating the friction linings. Renewing the cylinder linings is the only…

2
should you use copper grease?

While many mechanics and DIYers have used copper grease/copper slip for years, it seems to be falling out of favour. Were we all misguided? DRiV told CM that its use is subjective and there are alternative greases available that are preferable for use on modern cars with ABS and traction control systems. Delphi and TMD Friction (Mintex) agree, warning that using copper slip, on newer vehicles especially, can prevent the anti-noise shim from working correctly – noise levels can increase, which are amplified by the surrounding brake and suspension components. As copper grease is mineral-based, it can damage rubber components, such as caliper piston gaiters. It is also not a lubricant but an anti-seize compound, meaning that it is unsuitable for applying to pad and caliper mounting areas. Surprisingly, it cannot…

1
rob’s top tip

Never blow dust away from the work area, or use compressed air. Replace axle sets of brake pads and discs together. Check that the metal shields are in good order – they protect the brakes and suspension from debris. Consider rebuilding the caliper, if its pistons have seized or the rubber gaiters are torn. Before retracting caliper pistons, flush out the old brake fluid to avoid pushing particles through the expensive ABS/ESP block. If reusing brake caliper bolts, apply some thread lock to the threads before refitting.…