Car Mechanics February 2021

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!

United Kingdom
Kelsey Publishing Group


4 分鐘
mini clubman cooper s

Email Follow us on Facebook @Car Mechanics Our latest project, for a smallish car, has a rather long name – MINI Clubman Estate Cooper S R55. As you will see on pages 32-37 we have bought a 2009 model from British Car Auctions in Enfield (London). This one appeared on my BCA app and was going into the Hall the very next morning, so lucky to spot it. Personally, I like the red/black arrangement of the bodywork and liked the fact it was a 3-owner car with service history and MOT to August 2021. It sold for about £450 under CAP clean price too, so I was pleased with that. It’s a rather bizarre situation buying cars at auction during Covid restrictions as you are generally bidding blind – OK you can see…

20 分鐘
instant expert cylinder-heads

Cylinder-head gasket failure (HGF), marks the death knell for many used cars, especially those of low value. While the significant cost of stripping the engine, carrying-out the machining operations and putting everything back together again can be reduced by a savvy DIYer performing much of the work, it remains a daunting proposition. Machining operations aside, even the latest non-high voltage vehicle can be dismantled fairly easily. HGF: a continuing problem HGF tended to be less of an issue, when the engine block and cylinder-head were made from the same materials, which tended to be cast iron. Neglect of the cooling system was the main root of issues, especially when a loss of coolant resulted in severe overheating. Enhanced design brought about better efficiency and bolting an aluminium cylinder-head to a cast-iron engine…

1 分鐘
the evolution of the cylinder-head gasket

As mass-production passenger cars dictated cheaper materials, the copper cylinder-head gaskets of early horseless carriages gave-way to two layers of asbestos, with a perforated steel core sandwiched in the middle. Once the negative health issues were discovered, more expensive composite alternatives replaced asbestos. As an aside, graphite cylinder-head gaskets became popular among Japanese car manufacturers during the early 1980s, which were extremely effective, thanks to their soft composition. High cost and vulnerability to damage were the downsides. As composite gaskets suffer from different expansion rates between the fire rings, steel core and its fibrous material surrounding; gasket life could be threatened. A solution was the multi-layered steel cylinder-head gasket (MLS), which reduces the expansion rates considerably, because the cast iron engine block and steel cylinder-head gaskets expand at around the same…

2 分鐘
ensuring cylinder-head gasket quality

► As with many parts, you get what you pay for. Considering the arduous tasks that the cylinder-head gasket faces, avoid unknown suppliers, especially those peddling spurious brands. Non-OE quality suppliers can shave costs by using inferior materials, such as low- grade stainless steel in MLS gaskets. Additionally, the bore eyelets (or ‘fire rings’) that surround each ‘bore’ in the gasket must be assembled accurately at the factory. As the fire ring is the first line in defence to protect the gasket from the combustion heat and pressures, as well as keeping oil and coolant in their respective chambers, poorly-made/assembled fire rings fail in normal use. The combustion gases then track along the gasket, causing rapid failure. Dominic Moxon, FAI Automotive PLC’s technical director, explains that cylinder-head gasket tooling is…

7 分鐘
cm insider

UK car market falls by almost a third in 2020 ► Enforced showroom closures have driven overall demand in the UK new car market down by 29.4% in 2020, equivalent to £20.4billion in lost turnover. In addition, annual new car registrations are down 1.63 million in what has been the most difficult year for the market since 1992. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for manufacturers, as last year was also the best on record for electric cars, with battery and plug-in hybrid models gaining up to 10.7% of market share. The success in the electric sector is set to continue through 2021, with DriveElectric reporting that at least 200,000 new battery electric vehicles are set to be registered in the UK over the coming months. Volkswagen Group has also reported record market…

2 分鐘
news in brief

New year, new gear ► Sealey has launched its 2021 New Year Sale promotion, with 48 pages of savings up to a massive 85% off list price. The sale is running until 28 February, giving you plenty of time to bag a bargain. The promotion also features Sealey’s latest competition – the chance to win a 101-piece toolkit with a cordless drill, worth £214.95. Visit for more info. No bother over Brexit thanks to manufacturer support ► As Europe’s largest independent manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes, BM Catalysts has launched a Brexit resource via its website providing answers to frequently asked questions and practical help in times of potential uncertainty. For more information visit New name announced in automotive mega-merger ► The European Union has approved a deal…