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So, I had a free Sunday.....

gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
edited June 2011 in Commuting chat
Finally, a free day. No kids and no dog, just a few "minor" jobs to do around the house and around the car....

So, firstly, lets do the messy job and change the thermostat on the car;

Researched in Haynes Manual: Check
Researched in Official Workshop Instructions: Check
Researched in online forum: Check
Correct part ordered and delivered: Check

Put on the overalls and head out to the car armed with tools......So, after I doused the fire, the investigation started.

Turns out that one of the diesel fuel lines from the common rail (the feedback loop) had completely split, in fact I think it had been partially split for a while as the engine always smelt a little bit of diesel. In trying to remove the thermostat housing I must have knocked the fuel line and fuel wee'd out everywhere. Mixed with coolant and a hot engine = small fire.

So, a 2 pence part and a 1 hour task has turned into a £500 reapir job and a tow from Reading to Home....

censored .......

Posts

  • Nik CubeNik Cube Posts: 311
    oh dear as a partner in a garage with a reasonable level of expirence I would have got our main tech to do the job - nothing worse than fecking up your own car with no one to blame, maybe doing it to the wife's car i suppose
    Fcn 5
    Cube attempt 2010
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    Put. On. The. Overalls. ????? :shock:

    You get changed to work on the car?

    You own an MG don't you?

    and an inspection pit.

    and have them tweed backed gloves for driving.

    I bet you've NEVER used a hammer to loosen a seized nut - either soak it in penetrating ooi, or got the old oxy-acetylene torch out.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    yikes! ive never done anything as bad as that but ive had my fair share

    split the sump on my Astra in wales in literally the middle of nowhere. and after about 7 phone calls from the AA asking me to explain what had happened and me telling them a roadside mechanic wont be able to fix it, it needs recovering i was close to suicidal, 4 hours later we were recovered on a truck - cost - a fortune to cheer my Mrs up

    changing the diff oil on my Samurai after i had just driven for 40 odd miles = very hot diff oil, straight down my sleeve (EP90 stinks of cat wee) cost - pride and skin

    changing the oil filter element on Astra an sheering off the whole thing - cost - about £300
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Getting the house ship shape for going on the market and I thought I'd fix that annoying little leak in the shower room.

    The shower is now jammed against the wall with a large piece of wood in order to stop water spraying everywhere and the plumber is coming round tomorrow night.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Repainting the bathroom as the weather was wet and windy - cleaned the dust of the top of the shaver light with Flash - light now no longer works - fuse is OK, bulb is OK - Bu**er
  • navtnavt Posts: 374
    Should have gone cycling instead.
  • SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
    Whoo, bit of a nightmare mate.

    Want to know the scary thing? I'm a petrol head confirmed - performed all my own maintenance since day one, built bikes, built and tuned A series engines from scratch, own a car pit (in all houses since 1993), have welding kit (and know how to use it), have such an arcane set of auto-specific tooling that a good proportion of them are labelled so I know what they are by specific vehicle.....

    Current car? 11 plate Golf GTDi

    Opened the bonnet yet?

    No.

    Modern engine bays are nasty places to fool around in!

    Friend swapped out the turbo on an '04 Skoda TDi - damn black box noted the substitution and immobilised the car until the correct codes were entered via laptop...
    FCN 5 belt driven fixie for city bits
    CAADX 105 beastie for bumpy bits
    Litespeed L3 for Strava bits

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • optimisticbikeroptimisticbiker Posts: 1,657
    redvee wrote:
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.
    Not so, it all depends on the owner :)

    On my Audi TT (Mk1 ) I have personally:
    uprated brakes
    uprated suspension
    uprated anti-rollbars
    uprated & tuned DV (turbo diverter valve)
    replaced water pump, cambelt, oilpump
    chipped the engine (and have a full set of engine mapping/diagnostic software with different settings for road & track use)

    .... it depends on how much research and effort you are prepared to go to.... but then I always have done my own maintenance ever since my first car, a Triumph TR4A

    Used to tune/race minis, so know all about A-class engines. Once swapped a head-gasket on a 1275 Clubman (tho it wasnt a 1275 anymore ;) ) in the rain at Newport Pagnell Services on the M1 in under 30min after an overheat and blow.
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    I have always maintained our "older cars" Audi, BMW and suchlike, but the Mercedes is a whole different ball game. It will notice if anything is swapped, STAR analysis laptop is required to reset the codes - I have the WIS and EPC stuff on the laptop for research, but, to be honest, I am leaving it well alone now - the local independant Merc dealer can sort it.

    As for the changing of the thermostat - it could not be easier, I was just unfortunate enough to break a fuel line this time around.

    We had the car remapped for more outright power last year - from 163 BHP to 220BHP. The difference is incredible, but in recent weeks the mpg has decreased significantly. Diagnosed this to a dirty EGR, Thermostat gone and MAF gone. next job will be to clean the intake manifold.......will leave this to a pro!

    Thermostat was the last bit I was doing - the mpg was creeping back up!
  • motopattermotopatter Posts: 179
    you were really lucky not to have burned yourself on the hot engine when trying to remove the thermostat..... or you'd have had to wait until the engine cooled down a bit before proceeding to set it alight with the spilled fluids :roll:
    wave your willy here !!!! :)
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    redvee wrote:
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.

    How modern are we talking?

    I serviced my 55 plate TDCi the other week, fairly simple job to do, no specialist tools or diagnostic code machines required.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    On modern cars there a "few" ways of resetting error codes etc

    i remember on vauxhall's there was the "paperclip" technique, where you shorted two contacts out on the diagnostic port an it would display the error....genius really

    i always wanted a redtop cavalier.......
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    bails87 wrote:
    redvee wrote:
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.

    How modern are we talking?

    I serviced my 55 plate TDCi the other week, fairly simple job to do, no specialist tools or diagnostic code machines required.

    TDCI suggests a Ford? Great cars and very easy to service - well built for the shrewd consumer. The only Issue I ever had with a Ford was on a Mondeo when the steering pump had an embollism at 11,000 miles - Ford sorted it out under warranty within 2 hours of being at the garage. The car went on to do 130,000 trouble free miles.

    I don't think it is just the "modernity" of the vehicle, I think it is the onboard systems and features than can screw the pooch. Hampering access to the serviceable parts.

    Essentially, my car is a Mercedes 4 x 4 that utilises an engine stolen from the sprinter vans - 2.7 CDI - simple strong 5 cyl engine. However, Once all of the "luxuries" have been added it turns into a different beast:

    For example: Climate control (which can be used without the engine running), this has a pump, pre-heater that ignites off diesel and 2 more radiators. So, I have more fuel lines and more gubbins in the way of the main engine to deal with and 2 radiators next to the main radiator + numerous electrical circuits. I also have an auto gear box - Add another radiator + ECU dipstick, filter and so on.

    Servicing the car would be fine, aside access to some component's: Fuel filter, Air filter and oil filter are all accessable, but you do need some special tools - all purchasable at a good motor retailer. As with all Mercs, any faults are picked up by one of the 5 ECU's (Engine ECU, Gearbox ECU, CC ECU, "Luxuries" ECU, Parking ECU and possibly more!). These are analysed by STAR system on a laptop. At the moment, we have the BAS/ESP light blinking on the dashboard. STAR analysis has showed that this is a faulty redundant brake light switch, so I have left it!!

    However, changing a thermostat requires draining the cooling system and moving the fuel lines - Unfortunately fuel lines get brittle with age and one has snapped on me......Removing and re-installing the intake manifold for cleaning is about a 6 hour job on a Merc, even though it is just undoing bolts - the amount of stuff you have to remove before you get to the manifold is surprising as they have had to cram the engine bay with stuff.

    So - yeah, servicing is a doddle, as long as you have the right equipment - my vehicle is 2.2 tons, so I have to be very careful about lifting the vehicle. However, component changing takes on a whole new ball game!
  • lardboylardboy Posts: 343
    mudcow007 wrote:
    i always wanted a redtop cavalier.......

    Really?

    5786095440_72493776f6.jpg

    Happy to help...
    Bike/Train commuter: Brompton S2L - "Machete"
    12mile each way commuter: '11 Boardman CX with guards and rack
    For fun: '11 Wilier La Triestina
    SS: '07 Kona Smoke with yellow bits
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    mudcow007 wrote:
    On modern cars there a "few" ways of resetting error codes etc

    i remember on vauxhall's there was the "paperclip" technique, where you shorted two contacts out on the diagnostic port an it would display the error....genius really

    i always wanted a redtop cavalier.......

    bit long winded waiting for the flashes on the ecu light though.... :wink:

    (ex Cally turbo owner.... 8) )
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    gtvlusso wrote:
    bails87 wrote:
    redvee wrote:
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.

    How modern are we talking?

    I serviced my 55 plate TDCi the other week, fairly simple job to do, no specialist tools or diagnostic code machines required.

    TDCI suggests a Ford? !

    Yep. i'm not doubting some things are difficult/impossible for the 'home mechanic' to do, just saying redvee's comment isn't really true. At the very least you can also top up washer bottles and change lightbulbs :wink:

    Also things like brake pads, oil filters, air filters, cabin filters, fuel filters, spark plugs on a petrol(?). But, for example, if I replace the fuel injectors I have to get the ECU reset/recailbrated so it's not a 'home' job.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    bails87 wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    bails87 wrote:
    redvee wrote:
    With modern cars the only things the owner is able to do is top up the oil and water. The Audi A2 had a bonnet that you couldn't lift and has an access panel for oil and water.

    How modern are we talking?

    I serviced my 55 plate TDCi the other week, fairly simple job to do, no specialist tools or diagnostic code machines required.

    TDCI suggests a Ford? !

    Yep. i'm not doubting some things are difficult/impossible for the 'home mechanic' to do, just saying redvee's comment isn't really true. At the very least you can also top up washer bottles and change lightbulbs :wink:

    Also things like brake pads, oil filters, air filters, cabin filters, fuel filters, spark plugs on a petrol(?). But, for example, if I replace the fuel injectors I have to get the ECU reset/recailbrated so it's not a 'home' job.

    Diesels can become more complex due to the use of a turbocharger and common rail fuel injection - You then need more sensors for the manifold pressure, air mass and boost pressures + a high pressure fuel system with associated sensors and feedback for over pressure. Also worth noting that common rail diesels run the fuel system at much higher pressure than petrol injection systems - hence a crank driven high pressure pump, my car specifically has 3 pumps, Tank to fuel filter and fuel cooler, then a draw pump from fuel cooler to the high pressure CDI pump. Even changing a glow plug can be a nightmare - glow plugs tend to last 100k miles, they also tend to weld themselves into the head, sometimes need a re-threading of the head after removal of said stuck plug! Spark plugs are changed every service, so this affect does not tend to occur.

    anyway, I am hanging up my overalls, the dealer can sort it out from now on.........
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