This blog, in addition to the usual maintenance details for classic mini cars, an attempt is made to explain the "whys" and "wherefores" of the various jobs.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Maintenance in the home garage

It is understandable that a practical owner should wish to carry out as much of the routine maintenance on his car as possible but how much of the work would it be wise for him to tackle ? The answer depends on his experience and the facilities at his disposal (appropriate tools and equipment will be discussed later in this chapter).

It may be preferred to leave routine lubrication and sump drainage (at best a somewhat messy job) to the nearest garage, if the use of a ramp or pit is not available. Even a novice, on the other hand, should be able to tackle with confidence any of the simpler routine adjustments and servicing described in Chapter 4, while the more experienced owner will go on to the jobs dealt with in subsequent chapters. No great degree of skill is required; if the work is done by a garage it is the man-hours that cost money. Labour charges, in fact, form the major part of most service and repair bills nowadays.

There is every incentive, therefore, to tackle as much of the work as possible, preferably including routine lubrication. Even if it is necessary to purchase a pair of wheel ramps and a grease gun, the moderate outlay will quickly be recovered and one has the satisfaction of knowing that the work has been done conscientiously, that no greasing points or adjustments have been overlooked or scamped and also that any signs of impending trouble have been detected in good time. Apart from a saving of upwards of £20 during a year (more, perhaps, if a large mileage is covered) the do-it-yourself owner is also freed from the need for making an appointment to have his car serviced (sometimes weeks in advance) and being deprived of its use for the better part of a day while it awaits its turn for attention in a busy service station.