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DavyTee

Advice on going DIY maintenance

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I've had enough of dodgy garages and mechanics and trust no one now so have decided to do oil and brake changes my self. 

I have never done any car maintenance before but feel I will be able to manage these basic maintenance tasks. 

I have a mk7. 5 Fiesta 1l titanium will it drive onto car ramps OK with it having quite a low front spoiler or do I need the ramp extensions as well? 

Can anyone recommend good quality car ramps? 

I've watched YouTube vids on brake pad change on the fiesta and looks pretty straight forward would you agree it is? 

Any advice welcome on DIY Fiesta maintenance welcome 

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I’d say go for it. 

To asnwer your question regarding ramps, the ones I use are from machine mart. I don’t use them very often, but I always use the extensions with them as it makes them a little less abrupt go drive up. 

 

Regardless of what anyone says or thinks, there is a wealth of knowledge out there which is free to anyone who cares. Even torque and tightening specs.

There are a number of folk on the forum here who undertake diy work on their cars, ranging from simple servicing tasks to clutch changes and so on so you would be welcome to ask any questions or share anything you find with the community.

As I’ve already said above there is a great deal of information available to you online but here is where I think most diy’ers fail. I guess most will see fixing their own car as a means of saving money and fair play, perhaps you just like the satisfaction of being able to do the work. But I think the biggest mistake most diy’ers will make is a lack of investment. You need some good basic tools to be able to carry out basic tasks and yes this might seem like an expensive outlay at first but you will save yourself so much hassle being well equipped. 

 

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The only downside to DIY services is lack of service history which does effect sell on value unless you keep the vehicle until end of life.

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Thanks for replies lads 

I was looking at the Machine Mart ramps and extensions as it happens and I have a very good socket and spanner set. 

Just lost trust in professionals after a few dodgy dealings. 

I'll be keeping the car for five years and it's a 13 plate so will probably be till the end of its life so service record not that important really. 

Guess I'll give an oil and filter change a go and see what happens from there 😂

 

 

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I personally prefer using a trolley jack + axle stands, but that is just my opinion.

If you are going to do your own maintenance I would advise getting one of these:

https://haynes.com/en-gb/ford-fiesta-petrol-diesel-13-17-62-17-haynes-repair-manual

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I would have a Ford dealer "Value Service" for £150 then if they recommend anything brakes etc you can go off and do those, that way you get any software updates all the safety checks and a main dealer stamp.

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I'm a diy'er n would say there's nothing you can't do as long as you think about it first @DavyTee I've done all sorts from basic oil n filter changes to parts including recently drive shaft which has turned out to be the gearbox differential so gearbox change is my next job which will be another first time job, as to the self repairs affect price l don't believe in that as 1 car repaired buy a garage isn't going to breakdown any sooner than 1 that's been self repaired.

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13 minutes ago, dansallis said:

I personally prefer using a trolley jack + axle stands, but that is just my opinion.

If you are going to do your own maintenance I would advise getting one of these:

https://haynes.com/en-gb/ford-fiesta-petrol-diesel-13-17-62-17-haynes-repair-manual

Already ordered 👍

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Just to point out within 2yrs lve learned a lot about my 1.6 96 escort n our 1.8 00 focus learning self teaching is the best thing anyone can do, as to your comment about dodgey garage @DavyTee we wouldn't have our focus now if l listened to them when they said the bearings in a wheel had gone after they where replaced a week later motd at another place no advisory's l scrapped 4 vehicles due to the garage saying there not worth it, then to be asked later buy my tyre place did they offer you a van from outside l had mk5 transit's at that point 😠 so now l self repair n go to an MOT only place outside my town 😀

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You'll struggle to change brakes on ramps lol...  I found ramps were pretty useless tbh, most of the cars I did wouldn't get on them without a scuff at the least, and half the jobs you'll do need the wheels off.  Trolley jack and axle stands are more useful, but I would recommend getting a light jack, probably aluminium.  I've got a steel one and it's a pain to carry, though I must admit it's the most reliable jack I've had, impossible to bend lol.

I came to the same conclusion as you within my first year of driving, garages were all crap that I went to, paid a lot for things to never be done right or more things broken when it came back.  So with a little mechanical knowledge (had done work experience at a main dealer) I started doing as much of my own maintenance as possible and still now am never happy when I'm forced to use garages for things (most recently an AC gas refill that all came out within an hour!).

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10 hours ago, stef123 said:

I’d say go for it. 

To asnwer your question regarding ramps, the ones I use are from machine mart. I don’t use them very often, but I always use the extensions with them as it makes them a little less abrupt go drive up. 

 

Regardless of what anyone says or thinks, there is a wealth of knowledge out there which is free to anyone who cares. Even torque and tightening specs.

There are a number of folk on the forum here who undertake diy work on their cars, ranging from simple servicing tasks to clutch changes and so on so you would be welcome to ask any questions or share anything you find with the community.

As I’ve already said above there is a great deal of information available to you online but here is where I think most diy’ers fail. I guess most will see fixing their own car as a means of saving money and fair play, perhaps you just like the satisfaction of being able to do the work. But I think the biggest mistake most diy’ers will make is a lack of investment. You need some good basic tools to be able to carry out basic tasks and yes this might seem like an expensive outlay at first but you will save yourself so much hassle being well equipped. 

 

When you say 'good basic tools' could you give some examples please?

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@Martin-Fiesta-MK6-1.4 basic as in every day tools, Allen keys, torc/star bits socket set various sizes of spanners, bowl for liquids, funnels and a hammer sometimes is useful you find need impact drills or air tools as nearly all mechanic's say they help yes but not required l don't have them n have done quite well without them.

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Sorry you don't need impact drills or air tools.

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7 minutes ago, doggsbody said:

@Martin-Fiesta-MK6-1.4 basic as in every day tools, Allen keys, torc/star bits socket set various sizes of spanners, bowl for liquids, funnels and a hammer sometimes is useful you find need impact drills or air tools as nearly all mechanic's say they help yes but not required l don't have them n have done quite well without them.

Yeah i have all the socket sets, screwdrivers etc but what i found very recently when looking into changing my brake pads and discs that i needed a few extra things in order to complete the job, suppose they are just one off purchases and then you go them for life though

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@Martin-Fiesta-MK6-1.4 aahh you mean the resetting things personally I've just used clamps to push them back but then ours are oldish cars n don't require 1 off specific tools the most expensive tool l have was probably about £10-£15 a good tip for any thoe to speed up but/bolt removal 1'c loose cordless drill and an Aldi double sided ratchet ( having a reducer helps with the bigger side ) speeds up removal/re-fitting as it can't over tighten either the torque won't allow it on screwdriver setting 😀👍 

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My dad does the service on mine and his car. Buy the parts from euro car parts and keep the receipts for it as proof for when we sell the car. Garages can sometimes con people for example my neighbour got their car serviced and my dad later found the air filter was not changed. You probably will save your money if you do it yourself but the main thing is that as your doing it yourself you know you take care and that all things to be serviced have been changed

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Thanks for replies all. It's not really about saving money it's I've lost trust in garages including dealerships and independent. I was washing my car just now and noticed a huge scratch along the passenger door which wasn't there two days ago but hey guess what I got my brakes cleaned up yesterday at a independent garage and low and behold theres a scratch as if by magic. The car has been no where else other than the garage and back home. Just had enough of them and a few other incidents have left no trust in them all. As for ramps being no good for brakes I kinda know that 😂 that was more for oil changes.  

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If I get the chance tonight lads, I’ll show you in my basic ‘everyday’ toolkit that I carful to every job. You’ll need to bear with me as everything has been soaked lately working outside so everything is orange!

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Ok as promised, here is essentially what I call a 'basic' tool kit to suit most 'basic' jobs. There are several bits missing from my photos simply because I don't have everything out the car at the moment (I will list whats missing). I hope this gives an insight into what tools are used frequently.

The toolbox is in for a clean out tonight and to make sure there is nothing missing.

Some of the tools you will see here are beyond the needs of a basic diyer and as you might pick up there are a good few Mac/Snap on tools in there but there are also a good few Halfords professional too which are great value for money.
I'm a big Milwaukee fan, their power tools haven't let me down yet.

So missing from my pics are:
Axle stands
36" Angled pry bar
3/8" 450mm breaker bar
1/2" 450mm breaker bar 
3/8" impact sockets
Brake bleeding bottle
Test light
Multimeter
Spiral extractors
Drill bit set
Rethread tap and die set
Fluted bolt extractors
Brake cleaner pump sprayer
Various sundries such as cable ties, general purpose grease, silicone grease, odd nuts and bolts

So to pick out a few of the important tools in my box:
Various screwdrivers and picks
Various punches/chisels
1/4" torx bit sockets
1/4" Allen bit sockets
3/8" torx bit sockets
3/8" Allen bit sockets
3/8" Spline bit sockets
1/4", 3/8", 1/2" Female torx sockets
1/4", 3/8", 1/2" ratchet
1/4", 3/8" sockets - shallow and deep
1/4", 3/8" extension bars, universal joints and reducers/adaptors
Combination spanner set 6-24mm
Various pliers including extra long type and pump pliers
Oil filter and fuel filter pliers
Oil filter tool
Stanley knife
Magnetic pick up tool
Brake caliper hooks
Brake hose clamp
Dead blow hammer
Wire brush
Anti freeze tester
Copper grease/brush
Flat file
Thread file
Feeler gauges
Sump plug keys
Allen key set
Spark plugs tubes/sockets
Mole grips
Syringe
Stretch belt tool
Alloy wheel sockets
Tread depth gauge

 

A68D93A6-7A02-46D3-B3D5-AB79D026A1B2.jpeg

6745738C-0218-4485-9120-32405F80A0CF.jpeg

The other kit you can see includes:
Arcan trolley jack (From Costco)
Milwaukee impact tools and battery ratchet
1/2" drive impact sockets - shallow and deep
1/2" 600mm breaker bar, 400mm ratchet and 600mm flex head ratchet
MAP gas blowtorch
Various pliers, long reach pliers, snips etc
Plusgas spray
Nitrile gloves 

 

So here is my 'basic' tool kit after a little clean out and all parts accounted for.

 

48DEA67F-A456-432F-9D5F-FE4BA86896C8.jpeg

This next set is an absolute life saver on rounded bolts/nuts. Anyone who has had to use this set will probably know all too well.
Irwin make a set of these and there are cheaper alternatives on the market but I would seriously recommend these to anyone starting up a tool kit.

288FB20E-AF22-4D25-918A-F241300A7A4F.jpeg

2D94F5F7-7F98-439F-906F-BC392984415C.jpeg

 

45ED942F-A60E-4E39-BDB8-D5CF104A5D87.jpeg

Again, there are cheaper alternatives to this next set but I would also recommend a good set of pliers of various types. 

 

601EF991-D0F4-47E2-A824-A298D419D911.jpeg

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I'm with Tomsfocus.  ramps can be a problem eg. you try to drive on it and it slides along (more of a problem with the front of rear wheel drive cars) but I have known on a front wheel drive car for one front wheel to grip the ramp and pull it backwards up under the wheel whilst the other did not move.

or you rev a bit to get up it and almost go off the end and if you do go off the end it's going to make a mess.  also low front bumper in the way.  what I have done sometimes is trolley jacked car up under the suspension and then put the wheel ramp under the wheel if the jack goes high enough but your car will be leaning quite a bit and it can make it a bit tricky getting the trolley jack under the suspension on the other side it you want both sides up on the ramps. 

It was a bit easier doing the back of rear wheel drive cars where you could jack up centrally under the diff. (eg. cortina)

Driving onto ramps never seems to be quite as easy as it looks like it should be. 

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Totally agree @isetta going up ramps can be hairy 😂 l find having the door open  for rear or sticking my head out front end works best, I'm lucky to have a special old set of ramps ( there from a ford dealership ) salvaged by a guy who started as an apprentice before the day's of every where having the lifts 👌 there not ford stamped thoe 😔. @stef123 wow that is impressive I've seen many different tools but them pliers some of them I've never before, my tools are 90% old from the days when things where made to last even the cheapest so apart from my Parker cordless drill nothing of mine has a brand name 😱 but the beauty of it they were all free and collected over time from when I did scrap metal and actually must hast thrown god knows how many away due to over collecting 😂 my best tool l had then was a scaffolding bar as l got a flatty no jack, so l leant the bar on a metal box then reversed up it instant jack problem solved.

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I invested in a lift and tilt.Second hand on eBay.I always use the axle stands for belt and braces safety as well.When I change the oil every 6000 miles I swap the wheels over from front to rear and rear to front.Cool 😎

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You could always use the old towel trick if you find your ramps sliding away but when using them with extensions I’ve never had that issue.

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Ok folks another little update tonight. I would love to keep this thread alive as I’m all for people showing an interest in getting their hands dirty.

First picture is a selection of metric fine nyloc nuts I have put together which are very handy when working on suspension. I often used to spend so long trying to save nylocs if i didn't have another one to hand but not i just heat them up and whizz them off. And yes technically you should only use a nyloc once but come on this is the real world. Anyone serious about doing a fair bit of car work should consider something similar in my opinion. 

Second picture is a small rethread tap and die set i keep in my other box. Handy for situations where you have got a tight thread due to corrosion or a thread previously used with threadlock causing trouble. 

 

F098310A-2D64-46E9-97AB-FC2513B3AAF8.jpeg

5455A706-A9D8-4791-ACF6-C602C27A3A22.jpeg

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A mix of water and vinegar is meant to eat rust ? It's meant to eat away all the rust n leave the good metal in tackt but only over night if you have the time then removed the next day, I'm yet to try this myself 👍 I'll get a shot of my stuff later won't be individual thoe LOL

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