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  Other aspects of servicing

 

Below you'll find a selection of useful hints and tips while working on your car. There are also details of safety instructions you must carry out while working on a vehicle.

 

Jacking up

 

Below you'll find a selection of useful hints and tips while working on your car. There are also details of safety instructions you must carry out while working on a vehicle. Always chock a wheel on the opposite side in front as well as behind. The car's own jack has to be able to work when the car is very low with a flat tyre so it locates under the sill. Always ensure it is correctly positioned so the sill is not damaged.

 

Wheel nuts

 

These should be cleaned and lightly smeared with grease as necessary during work, to keep them moving easily. If the nuts are stubborn to undo due to dirt and over tightening, it may be necessary to hold them by lowering the jack till the wheel rests on the ground. Normally if the wheel brace is used across the hub centre a foot or knee held against the tyre will prevent the wheel from turning, and so save the wheels and nuts from wear if the nuts are slackened with weight on the wheel. After replacing a wheel make a point later of rechecking the nuts again for tightness.

 

Safety

 

Whenever working, even partially, under the car, put an extra strong box or piece of timber underneath onto which the car will fall rather than onto you. Better still axle stands can be placed on the strongest part of the cars body so if the worst did happen.

 

Cleanliness

 

Whenever you do any work allow time for cleaning. When something is in pieces or components removed to improve access to other areas, give an opportunity for a thorough clean. This cleanliness will allow you to cope with a crisis on the road without getting yourself dirty. During bigger jobs when you expect a bit of dirt it is less extreme and can be tolerated at least whilst removing a component. When an item is being taken to pieces there is less risk of ruinous grit finding its way inside. The act of cleaning focuses your attention onto parts and you are more likely to spot trouble. Dirt on the ignition parts is a common cause of poor starting. Large areas such as the engine compartment inner wings or bulkhead should be brushed thoroughly with a solvent like Gunk, allowed to soak and then very carefully hosed down. Water in the wrong places, particularly the carburettor or electrical components will do more harm than dirt. Use petrol or paraffin and a small paintbrush to clean the more in accessible places.

 

Waste disposal

 

Old oil and cleaning paraffin must be destroyed. Although it makes a good base for a bonfire the practice is dangerous. It is also illegal to dispose of oil and paraffin down domestic drains. By buying your new engine oil in one gallon cans you can refill with old oil and take back to the local garage who have facilities for disposal.

 

Long journeys

 

Before taking the car on long journeys, particularly such trips as continental holidays, make sure that the car is given a thorough check in the form of the next service due, plus a full visual inspection well in advance so that any faults found can be rectified in time. Carry out the checks in the weekly service items.

 

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