Another Richard

Budding Enthusiast
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About Another Richard

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  • Ford Model
    Fiesta Mk6
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  1. I usually upgrade to Osram Nightbreakers. Noticeably better light, and no need to upgrade wiring etc. as they draw the same current as standard. The downside is reckoned to be shorter bulb life, but I haven't had one fail on me yet. I've only had the Fiesta since the summer and haven't felt the need to change yet, but with the darker mornings I am thinking of getting some. Incidentally, if bulbs are marked 'off-road use only', it is likely that they are much higher wattage than standard, typically 90-100W and beyond, compared with the standard 60W. This will risk overheating the wiring, switches etc, and to use them safely you would probably want to look at beefing up the wiring and fitting relays if you didn't want things melting and/or burning out. Some people fit them and get away with it, but it's a risk. The Nightbreakers (and the Philips +150% and so on) work by using the same current as standard but burning the filament hotter (= more light, shorter life).
  2. Many manufacturers seem to quote 1 ltr per 1000 miles as 'reasonable', which I think is ridiculously high. For comparison, I had a diesel Mondeo which I bought at 13K miles and sold at 75K+, and during that time I don't think the oil level on the dipstick dropped by even a mm between changes. In fact, I can't remember any car I have owned in the last 20 years which has used oil to any significant degree.
  3. To put it simply, good tyres on the back and poor ones on the front will mean a car tends to understeer (try to go straight on when you turn the wheel). Good tyres on the front and poor on the back will lead to oversteer, where you turn a corner and the back of the car starts to swing out. For 99% of drivers, it is much easier to cope with understeer (ease off and turn the wheel more) than oversteer. All modern mass-market cars are designed to understeer slightly for safety reasons. For normal driving, I doubt if the placing of the good and bad tyres makes a lot of difference (I have done both and I am still accident-free), but on a wet road, in an emergency, you might just be glad that you followed the best advice. The Continental tyres have had great reviews in recent magazine tests. As we are entering the cold, rainy season, have you considered winter or all-season tyres? You have a mix of tyres on the rear axle, which is not recommended. Mine (owned three months) has a horrible mis-match of good and bad, new and old, so I will soon be fitting a full set of All-Season Contacts. I'm a bit obsessive about my tyres, and I don't like mixing makes and types on a single axle, and prefer the same tyre all round if I can manage it.
  4. I had the l/h headlight unit out to investigate a poor beam pattern (bulb was visibly drooping in the mounting as seen from outside). I found that the little spring clip that holds the bulb into the circular mount was missing, and the bulb had been held in position by bits of cardboard and sticky tape, which had started to fall apart. I have fabricated a new clip out of galv wire which seems to be working OK for the time being, but I would like to have the correct clip if possible. Can these be bought separately, or are they part of the light unit, meaning I would have to get a whole new unit? (In that case, I probably wouldn't as my solution seems to be 'good enough'.) Just wondering.
  5. Just done this myself. I went the cheap route and got this item: for £4.99. It works fine. The only thing is I have to crank the volume up further than normal on the head unit compared with playing a CD/radio. One small point: people above talk about the socket for the lead being on the bottom right hand corner of the radio as you look at it. It's the bottom right corner of the plastic block of connectors, where the power and speaker cables are. If it had been the bottom right of the unit, it would be an easy job with good access through the glove compartment. But the connector block is on the other side and the head unit has to come out. I wasted an hour or two trying to reach it from both sides - not possible with normal hands IMO.
  6. OK, just a final update as I think it is now sorted. I had the HT leads off and the CTS disconnected before I realised I had the wrong part. All went back together to wait for the correct part. (For anyone else doing this, there are two types of CTS, one clip-in and one screw-in, and they are not interchangeable. However, you can see which type you have without removing it.) I started using the car again without really thinking about it, and then a few days later I was walking back to it with the engine running and realised the fan wasn't going. Sure enough, the fan does not now run with the engine running and the AC on. However, I ran it on the drive this morning after a trip out, and after 15 minutes or so the fan came on. Temperature of the top hose when this happened was 92-93 degrees, whereas at the start of the test it was 73. The fan ran for a short while and cut out again. As far as I can see, that's exactly as it should be, so I am calling it cured. The only thing I disturbed was the multipin connector for the CTS (pulled off and pushed firmly back on again) so my guess is that there was a dodgy connection giving false temp readings to the ECU. Interestingly, without the fan running constantly, the mpg seems to have improved from an average of 37.6 mpg to 41.1. The new figure is only over one tankful, so not a reliable result, but interesting all the same. Thanks to everyone who commented for thoughts and ideas.
  7. Right, put the kit away and go and do something else. You'll have no headlights left at this rate :)
  8. Damn, waited a week and they sent the wrong sensor. Try again ...
  9. I have to say that doesn't match my experience. No car I have ever owned with aircon has run the fan constantly. The Mondeo was owned from 12 months to 8 years/80k miles and didn't do it. The only time the cooling fan kicked in was on long fast runs in hot weather, exactly as you would expect. I don't believe it was faulty all that time. I have checked again on the Fiesta. From cold, the fan runs as soon as the engine starts. Switching the aircon on and off makes no difference to the fan, although you can hear the compressor switching in and out and the engine revs compensating. I'm going with a faulty sensor for the moment.
  10. No, it's only when the engine is running. There's no sign of any damage to wiring (all looks v good) so I am looking at the temp sensor as the obvious culprit at the moment. This did occur to me, in fact. I've been watching the temp gauge closely and it gets to just below half then never moves, however long the journey or the outside temp. My guess is that an overheating engine would show some variation in temperature, even with the fan running. No sign of wiring bodges, so I am hoping you're wrong! Yes, I have. I tend to leave aircon (when I have it) switched on full-time. I had a Mondeo for 7 years where the aircon was never turned off, and it didn't make the cooling fan run. Are you saying that having the aircon on will trigger the cooling fan to run constantly? Seems bizarre, but I will switch the aircon off and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the info - a new one on me. (Edit: just tried it out. Aircon on or off makes no difference. Thanks for the suggestion anyway. Hadn't thought of that.) Thanks for the input, guys. Will report back. I have a coolant temp sensor on order and I intend to fit that next week. Cheers.
  11. Autoglym advise you to do this. I didn't, and got away with it, although I was very careful and I have used polishers etc before so I knew what to expect. But good advice indeed.