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category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles
Car MechanicsCar Mechanics

Car Mechanics April 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!

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
H BAUER PUBLISHING LIMITED
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time3 min.
beemer joins fleet

▶ Following on from the Alfa Romeo GT project introduced in the March issue of CM, this month we’ve bought a 14-year-old BMW 5-Series Touring as an additional project car sponsored by GSF Car Parts. Looking for cars on BCA’s website is easy, but finding the right car for a CM project can be tricky, especially with deadlines looming. Initially, we were looking for a saloon in M Sport spec, but instead we bought a rather nice SE Touring with the 218bhp 3.0-litre six-pot engine and 132,000 miles. It drives well, with smooth auto-changes and huge torque levels. This BMW E61 was sold at BCA Belle Vue Manchester, so I drove to the Bauer offices in Peterborough in a Hyundai Coupé (the car being serviced on pages 64-68) and swapped it for…

access_time15 min.
become a gearbox guru

In an age of increasing automation, it is reassuring that most motorists in Britain prefer to change gear themselves. Yet, despite the manual gearbox being almost purely mechanical, even confident DIY mechanics treat it with a degree of trepidation. “This is unsurprising”, says Tony Perkin of Geartech Midlands, based in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, a company with 45 years’ experience in gearbox repair and reconditioning, and our technical partner for this feature. “While the theory of how the gearbox works is fairly straightforward, the practical challenges of replacing components require specialist tools that tend not to be the preserve of a domestic garage, such as a decent hydraulic press, bearing extractors/clamps, surface grinders and accurate measuring instruments. Practical issues of removing a gearbox from a modern car, where a four-post ramp and engine/gearbox…

access_time2 min.
how gearboxes work – the basics

Very early vehicle engines had such a narrow power band that the gearbox was necessary to increase road speed. This is why we still refer to gearboxes as having a number of ‘speeds’, as opposed to the more accurate technical term of ‘ratios’. Varying the torque at the wheels for the same power output dictates altering the speed at which they turn, for which gearing is essential. The July 2017 issue of CM addressed how the gearbox has evolved, but modern units still share the same basic principles. An input shaft delivers engine torque to the gearbox via the clutch. The output shaft drives the road wheels via a differential gear, which accounts for the different speeds that each tyre on opposing sides of the same axle will encounter as the…

access_time1 min.
making your gearbox last longer

▶ Always check and top-up the fluid level. ▶ Use the appropriate grade and quality of gear oil. ▶ Observe oil drain intervals, changing the oil even on gearboxes that are claimed to be ‘sealed for life’. ▶ Dual mass flywheels dampen shocks and vibrations. Solid flywheel conversion kits are likely to increase these stresses in the gearbox. ▶ Research if tuning your engine will put your gearbox through excessive strain. ▶ Faulty clutches can result in clutch drag, where the clutch does not release fully. This places the synchromesh under greater strain as you change gear. ▶ Worn, maladjusted, or bent gear rods/cables may mean that a gear is not selected properly within the gearbox.…

access_time1 min.
how poor driving habits reduce gearbox life

▶ Fast ‘racing’ changes and dropping the clutch violently stresses gear linkages, synchromesh and bearings. ▶ Keeping your hand on the gear lever could place pressure on the selector fork, hastening wear. ▶ While block shifting/skipping gears is an accepted advanced driving practice, it places the synchromesh under additional strain at high road speeds, especially if you adopt ‘racing’ shifts. ▶ Clutchless gearchanges are possible, but they put the synchromesh under excessive stress unless you rev-match accurately. ▶ Never engage reverse gear until the vehicle is stationary. If fitted without synchromesh, depress the clutch for several seconds before engaging reverse, to give the gears time to slow, or stop.…

access_time1 min.
gear oil types

The majority of manual gearboxes rely on gear oil, which is an additive-laden extreme-pressure (EP) lubricant that is intended to protect the gears and bearings. Some of these additives, however, can attack the soft metals employed by certain synchromesh designs. Not only should the correct oil viscosity be noted, but also whether GL-4 or GL-5 is required. GL-5 contains a higher concentration of additives, which may not be compatible with gearboxes requiring a GL-4 lubricant, meaning that GL-5 is not necessarily backward-compatible. Always follow the advice given in your car’s handbook.…

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