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

Spreading the Work

Anyone who carries out the work at home will quickly discover the shortcomings of any conventional system of maintenance when he finds, for example, that at the official 6,000-mile service there are twenty-nine jobs to be done and that the work may well take up the better part of a weekend.

There is a lot to be said, therefore, for spreading the load by making a list of all the items that require attention and incorporating these on a chart in such a manner that two or three jobs can be done comfortably once a week say, during the course of an hour or so on a Saturday. The manner in which this is arranged will, of course, depend on the average weekly mileage but it is not difficult to devise a programme which will ensure that every item will recur at the appropriate period say, once in every 5, 10 or 20 weeks, as the case may be.

A further advantage of such a system is that it is flexible: if mileage should accumulate unexpectedly, it is a simple matter to bring the series of jobs forward by the appropriate amount. In practice, too, an enthusi¬astic owner usually spends a good deal of time at week-ends or in the evenings on tuning and adjustments so that a number of items receive more frequent attention than was anticipated by the manufacturer when drawing up the servicing schedule.

A final point: only experience can show, of course, whether or not it is necessary to vary the inspection periods on a given car. For example, worn steering swivels, which are still serviceable, will allow grease to escape more quickly than closely-fitting bearings and will require more frequent lubrication. The same applies to a greater or lesser extent to other aspects of maintenance.

The points at which lubrication and other routine attentions are required are shown in Fig. 8, but the more specialized aspects of servicing are dealt with in chapters devoted to the individual components. The routine checks that cannot be tied down to a strict schedule should not be forgotten; i.e. the engine oil and water levels and tyre pressures, which should be checked at frequent intervals, and always before starting out on a long run.