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Member Since 12 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Jun 25 2014 10:08 PM

Topics I've Started

This Is Why You Should Get Your Alignment Checked!

12 June 2014 - 10:15 PM

A couple of weeks ago I decided to finally get rid of that old tyre I had in the spare tyre well of the Focus as it was in no condition to be used (it had previously been fitted to the front N/S before being removed as it failed the MOT because of tread wear), and decided to take some pictures of it to show as an extreme example of what happens when your alignment is out!


Please see below - it is a miracle that the tyre didn't blow out and also that the MOT expired when it did as I would never have looked closely enough to see that wear otherwise (I know, that was my negligence).


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Emotional Attachment To A Vehicle

10 June 2014 - 08:31 PM

I was just wondering how many people out there get as emotionally attached to vehicles as I do?


Don't get me wrong, if a car is wholly unreliable and all-in-all a terrible purchase I will have no regrets in getting rid of it, but if a car starts every morning and requires minimal repairs for a long period of time, it will gain my respect and I will become emotionally attached to it. 


This happened with our old Ford Fiesta (as seen in my avatar and signature - I cannot bring myself to remove it and doubt I ever will) and when push came to shove and we had no choice but to sell it last year when the MOT failed on over £400 worth of repairs, I felt a great sense of loss for a long time.  Even to this day I still have fond memories of that car and swear that I will buy it back someday when I am in a financial situation to do so and, of course, if I can track it down.


I hope I am not alone here, but fear I may be!! 



Speedometer Dropping To Zero

10 June 2014 - 08:12 PM

For the past couple of weeks the Focus (2000 1.8 LX petrol with 174,000 miles) has had an occasional (once every few trips) fault whereby the speedometer will drop to zero (all other guages and the odometer remain functional however) and the car will lose acceleration, accompanied by a slight loss in radio sound. 


When it is in one of these "episodes" it is still driveable however if you disengage the clutch to come to a stop et cetera, the engine will attempt to idle for less than a second then cut out.  Fortunately the only time this scenario has happened was when approaching a roundabout, and coming to a complete stop was not necessary so simply letting the clutch out restarted the engine.


Usually the speedometer will stay at zero for 30-50 seconds and once it picks up again the engine will get a resurgence of power and the radio will regain its full sound.


I am almost certain this is the speed sensor on the gearbox (despite reading that when that is at fault the odo blanks out - which isn't happening) and it will need replaced, probably by a mechanic rather than myself, but will the problem get worse quickly (if at all)?


Secondly, if it isn't the above, what could it be?



Replacing O/s Headlamp Unit

10 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

The Focus is now ready to pass an MOT with the exception of the O/S headlamp unit which as it turns out is actually broken internally which caused it to fail (I assumed it was an incorrectly seated bulb or alignment). 


After checking myself, the bulb housing is indeed moving around all over the place so obviously some part of the housing has broken apart.


I've managed to source a replacement unit from a scrap yard for £25 but money is very tight and I was wondering how difficult it is to replace (and how to do it), as if I can do it myself instead of spending £50 on labour for a garage to do it that would be much better.


I did look on YouTube and on the American versions of the MK1 Focus it is really easy, just two bolts and a screw - but after taking a look under the bonnet of our car it seems that not all of the bolts are accessable without removing the front bumper. 


It is a 2000 (W Reg) Ford Focus 1.8 LX. 



Well, She Failed...

31 May 2014 - 03:06 PM

Anybody who read my thread regarding a worn tyre (which was replaced this morning, for the record) will know the MOT on our 2000 Focus 1.8 is up very soon and I decided not to wait until it expires (on the 5th) and just to get it into National Tyres & Autocare today.


Well, it failed - which is no big surprise, and it is repairable but not great nonetheless.


It came back with the following refusals:


Offside Front Headlamp aim beam image obviously incorrect (1.8.A.2)

Offside Front Mechanical brake component has restricted free movement (3.5.1k)

Rear center Seat belt locking mechanism does not secure or release (5.2.5a)

Nearside Rear passengers seat cannot be secured in the upright position. (6.2.A.2)


And the following advisories:


Nearside Rear Anti-roll bar rubber bush deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)

Offside Rear Anti-roll bar rubber bush deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement (2.4.G.2)

Nearside Front brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)

Offside Front brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (3.5.1i)

Nail in offside rear tyre

Oil leak


Apparently the rather vague refusal for the front brake was a binding O/S/F calliper which is strange as the car was in the very same garage less than a month ago for rear brakes and he admitted himself it was not binding then (however he did say the O/S/R wheel bearing was getting rough but this didn't appear on the advisories - very odd!).


Anyway, the long and the short of it is that regarding the rear seat and seatbelt issues (which are true and I knew about them, just not that they would necessarily fail) they couldn't do that as it would likely require some replacement second hand parts and maybe some welding. 


One good thing is that because they physically could not do the work required to pass it, he said that if I paid the £27 test fee it can be brought back in within 10 days and passed without any further charges.


From National Tyres & Autocare we took the Focus to a smaller garage which also does welding and he said that he would do the front brake callipers and resolve the seat & seatbelt issues for £200.  That is a good price if you ask me (National Tyres & Autocare were going to charge £160 just for the brake callipers) so it has now been booked in there this coming Wednesday. 


That only leaves the headlamp issue outstanding which I could have National Tyres & Autocare resolve (for a charge, of course) but I wanted to ask you lot if it is likely I could easily fix it myself. 


The mechanic said that it likely failed on that because the bulb had been incorrectly fitted and, as luck would have it, I fitted that bulb!  Thing is though, when I was fitting that bulb I noticed that the entire internal housing of the headlamp was moving around freely and as such putting the alignment out.  Therefore, if he had said the alignment was incorrect I would have understood, but I'm not too sure about the fail it got - unless that is a roundabout way of saying the alignment is bad.  Who knows.


On a lighter note, I was rather amused that he mentioned the oil leak.  What he means by that (I can only assume) is the slight leak from the power steering pump which isn't causing a "drip drip" leak (the reservoir level slowly decreased from the MAX mark to halfway over the space of 4-5 months).  I suppose they just look for everything these days. 


Anyway, I have rambled on and the majority of it has absolutely no meaning other than to document today's events regarding the Focus, however I would like to know your thoughts on the headlamp issue.