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New (to me) 1980 Volvo 244

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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 14:52   #1571
Clifford Pope
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Thank you for that Clifford, I trust the combination of metallic green paint/dark green vinyl roof worked well?

Not really. It was a rather drab dark green/bronze.
It just made the whole car look as if it had once meant to have been a nice light green with a contrasting dark green roof, but had accidentally received a sort of sooty/brown wash.
Yours looks much more promising.
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 16:53   #1572
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A sidecar?? J.
Wallace & Grommet ride again!
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 17:35   #1573
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A sidecar?? J.

EeeeeeeeeeK!

Like Wallace and Grommit!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 16:00   #1574
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Let me just run this past you chaps:

I had the Skoda serviced + a MoT about 10 days ago. I've used the garage for some years and they have always done a good job in the past. The car passed the MoT with no problems, as a result of the service checks the garage recommended that the brake fluid be changed as it was heavily contaminated.

I was somewhat surprised as I knew I'd had the fluid changed only 18 months ago (October 2018); the garage said they could change it for 70, but I declined - it is an easy enough job so I thought I'd do it myself.

When I got home from the MoT and service I tested the fluid myself and found the stuff in the master cylinder had >4% water contamination - which amazed me, I'd never seen such contamination in either a bike or a car previously. I vacuumed the fluid out of just the master cylinder and re-filled it with fresh until I had time to change the fluid myself - which was today.

I tested the fluid in the master cylinder again before I started today and found it <1% contaminated. Having just vacuumed and re-filled the system I tested the stuff from the lines, and I'm perplexed to find that also was less then 1% contaminated.

Something strange is going on here: somehow only the fluid in the master cylinder was contaminated, that in the lines and slaves seemed to be good. Unless someone can think of another explanation I can only conclude either:

a. The garage (Halfords) that changed the fluid in Oct 2018 didn't actually do it, and just filled the master cylinder (perhaps accidentally) with some contaminated fluid.

... or:

b. The reputable local garage that carried out the major service and MoT a week or so again contaminated the master cylinder fluid to drum up a bit more business.

I can think of no other explanation than the two above: I've owned the car from new so I can vouch for everything that has been done to it, I keep it really well serviced, it has covered less than 70,000 miles (and only about 7,000 in the last 12 months) and it has no faults. The bleed nipples were all a bit difficult to undo, it is hard to say, but they didn't look as if they had been undone only 18 months or so ago (the time before that was in 2015 - by the Skoda dealer, the car still being in warranty at that time).

Can anyone offer another explanation? Otherwise I'll have to conclude that one of the two garages is up to something suspicious. I have no way of knowing now whether or which of the garages might be responsible, in that I didn't test the fluid myself in the period between having it changed and the recent service.

Unless I've missed something blindingly obvious the moral of this story is: if you want something doing properly, do it yourself.

:-(

Last edited by Othen; Aug 2nd, 2020 at 16:11. Reason: Grammar.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 16:40   #1575
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Let me just run this past you chaps:

I had the Skoda serviced + a MoT about 10 days ago. I've used the garage for some years and they have always done a good job in the past. The car passed the MoT with no problems, as a result of the service checks the garage recommended that the brake fluid be changed as it was heavily contaminated.

I was somewhat surprised as I knew I'd had the fluid changed only 18 months ago (October 2018); the garage said they could change it for 70, but I declined - it is an easy enough job so I thought I'd do it myself.

When I got home from the MoT and service I tested the fluid myself and found the stuff in the master cylinder had >4% water contamination - which amazed me, I'd never seen such contamination in either a bike or a car previously. I vacuumed the fluid out of just the master cylinder and re-filled it with fresh until I had time to change the fluid myself - which was today.

I tested the fluid in the master cylinder again before I started today and found it <1% contaminated. Having just vacuumed and re-filled the system I tested the stuff from the lines, and I'm perplexed to find that also was less then 1% contaminated.

Something strange is going on here: somehow only the fluid in the master cylinder was contaminated, that in the lines and slaves seemed to be good. Unless someone can think of another explanation I can only conclude either:

a. The garage (Halfords) that changed the fluid in Oct 2018 didn't actually do it, and just filled the master cylinder (perhaps accidentally) with some contaminated fluid.

... or:

b. The reputable local garage that carried out the major service and MoT a week or so again contaminated the master cylinder fluid to drum up a bit more business.

I can think of no other explanation than the two above: I've owned the car from new so I can vouch for everything that has been done to it, I keep it really well serviced, it has covered less than 70,000 miles (and only about 7,000 in the last 12 months) and it has no faults. The bleed nipples were all a bit difficult to undo, it is hard to say, but they didn't look as if they had been undone only 18 months or so ago (the time before that was in 2015 - by the Skoda dealer, the car still being in warranty at that time).

Can anyone offer another explanation? Otherwise I'll have to conclude that one of the two garages is up to something suspicious. I have no way of knowing now whether or which of the garages might be responsible, in that I didn't test the fluid myself in the period between having it changed and the recent service.

Unless I've missed something blindingly obvious the moral of this story is: if you want something doing properly, do it yourself.

:-(
You know what the reading was today on the fluid in the reservoir Alan - give it another 10-14 days and retest it. If it's showing coontamination thenyou know there's somethign wrong on the car - possibly, i'll come back to this shortly. If it's still close to what it was today, you know one or other of the garbages hasn't done their job properly.

My guess would be Hellfrauds, wouldn't trust them with a wheelbarrow personally. That said, given lockdown i wouldn't put it past any garge, independent or otherwise to fudge some results by adding contaminants to brake fluid.

I mentioned the possibility of something wrong with the car. It could be a leaky breather valve in the resrvoir cap, alowing air in at all times except the odd times that it is needed to prevent a vacuum in the reservoir. Also given the fact we've had a lot of variable temperature, humidity and weather over the past 2-3 weeks, it could simply be that as the air in the reservoir heats up and releases the condensation present in it, that condensation forms overnight on the inside of the reservoir (think plastic sheet in the desert to collect water) and is contamination the reservoir fluid only.
As you can imagine, this would be extreme circumstances and for a 3% rise in contamiants in 10 days or even 18 months is, i would suggest, pretty high, especially as a localised thing.

I think monitor it over the next few weeks and see if that brings any clues as to what is going on.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 17:00   #1576
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That is indeed strange, Alan.

Ordinarily, I don't subscribe to 'drumming up trade' theories. If any business wishes to remain in business, it is prudent not to alienate customers, and there is also the small matter of Trading Standards to consider.

Brake fluid is naturally hygroscopic and a biennial change is generally recommended. Having said that, and given that it was (allegedly) changed only 18 months ago and your nipples appear to not have recently been undone, I am inclined to agree with your conclusion (a).

Given that you have used the local garage for some years and presumably therefore have some degree of confidence in both their integrity and technical ability, I feel that your conclusion (b) is much less likely to be the case.

It may, of course, be much less sinister, and your brake fluid has indeed absorbed an excess of moisture, but both the time scale and the fact that only the master cylinder was affected weigh against that. The only other thing that I can think of is condensation due to rapid and extreme changes in temperature, but that is unlikely in the extreme.

If you would like a second opinion, I can recommend Carnetix in Melton Mowbray, if it is of any assistance. No connection other than as that of a satisfied customer, but please do mention my name if you should contact them.

Regards, John.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 17:35   #1577
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That is indeed strange, Alan.

Ordinarily, I don't subscribe to 'drumming up trade' theories. If any business wishes to remain in business, it is prudent not to alienate customers, and there is also the small matter of Trading Standards to consider.

Brake fluid is naturally hygroscopic and a biennial change is generally recommended. Having said that, and given that it was (allegedly) changed only 18 months ago and your nipples appear to not have recently been undone, I am inclined to agree with your conclusion (a).

Given that you have used the local garage for some years and presumably therefore have some degree of confidence in both their integrity and technical ability, I feel that your conclusion (b) is much less likely to be the case.

It may, of course, be much less sinister, and your brake fluid has indeed absorbed an excess of moisture, but both the time scale and the fact that only the master cylinder was affected weigh against that. The only other thing that I can think of is condensation due to rapid and extreme changes in temperature, but that is unlikely in the extreme.

If you would like a second opinion, I can recommend Carnetix in Melton Mowbray, if it is of any assistance. No connection other than as that of a satisfied customer, but please do mention my name if you should contact them.

Regards, John.
Thank you Dave and John both,

It is good advice to monitor for a while to see if it could possibly be a fault (perhaps as Dave says, with the master cylinder breather). I'll keep an eye on it and see if there is any perceptible change.

I really don't want to believe in any drumming up trade theories, and I'm happy to give both garages the benefit of doubt. If I had to pick a more likely culprit it would be Halfords (if I remember correctly they were doing a promotion on fluid changes and were really busy with other jobs when I collected the car - cynically I wonder whether they just undid the cap, topped up the reservoir and told me they had done it). I want to believe the local, family run independent garage is innocent - but next year I will test the fluid on the morn I take the Skoda for its annual service.

I'm happier about the situation now I know there might be another plausible explanation - even if that isn't what happened I'm content in the knowledge that it could have. So thank you both for your comments.

:-)

Alan
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Old Aug 9th, 2020, 06:58   #1578
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Well chaps,

I'm really pleased to say there is nothing to report. This is really good news in that I'm using the RB as a regular car: I've got it to the stage where it is my regular daily driver around town. It starts straight away (electronic ignition adjusted properly), warms up quickly (proper thermostat, system flushed and electric fan), returns just under 25 MPG (Pierburg carburettor adjusted properly), doesn't leak any oil (20W50, fuel pump spacer and cam cover gasket fixed), gearbox shifts properly (4 partial ATF changes), is a nice car to drive (all the instruments work properly, lumbar support fixed, engine compartment loom replaced)... overall it has been a good 6 months project (it is just 6 months since I brought the RB home, it seems like I have owned the car much longer).

I'm really pleased with what has been the outcome, I was just thinking the other day that someone could use the RB as a commuter (if they could live with the 25 MPG fuel consumption). That is a good testament for a 40 year old car.

So... I'm just going to continue enjoying driving my motor car.


Alan :-)

PS. In the longer term (after the RB is safely registered as an historic car in April next year) I'm still planning the 4 speed transmission conversion and the Webasco roof... but that is for another day.

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Old Aug 9th, 2020, 11:48   #1579
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I'm really pleased with what has been the outcome, I was just thinking the other day that someone could use the RB as a commuter (if they could live with the 25 MPG fuel consumption). That is a good testament for a 40 year old car.

So... I'm just going to continue enjoying driving my motor car.


Alan :-)

PS. In the longer term (after the RB is safely registered as an historic car in April next year) I'm still planning the 4 speed transmission conversion and the Webasco roof... but that is for another day.

Even at 25mpg Alan, the lack of a PCP payment each month paying for a car that would never be owned would pay for a lot of petrol! To make the figures simple (but still reasonably realistic), a new car on PCP @ 400 pcm and 15000 miles pa @50mpg with fuel = 6/gall, total cost (excluding insurance, VED and anything else involved) is going to be in the region of 550 pcm. That's 25 galls/month @6 plus the PCP of 400.

Now work it out on the RB - you own it outright for what would probably have been the PCP deposit, nobody is going to take it off you in a year, 2 years or 3 years time or if you lose your job and can't pay the PCP each month. Same mileage is 12 galls/month @ 25mpg so the fuel costs double to 300 pcm but i reckon it's still a saving of 250 pcm over "owning" a soulless Euroblob.

Factor in the lack of huge carbon footprint to make a new car to be sold via PCP and the RB is definitely a much greener solution. It's even the right colour...........

I am a bit confused though - when did a Webasto roof come into the equation?
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Old Aug 9th, 2020, 12:38   #1580
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Even at 25mpg Alan, the lack of a PCP payment each month paying for a car that would never be owned would pay for a lot of petrol! To make the figures simple (but still reasonably realistic), a new car on PCP @ 400 pcm and 15000 miles pa @50mpg with fuel = 6/gall, total cost (excluding insurance, VED and anything else involved) is going to be in the region of 550 pcm. That's 25 galls/month @6 plus the PCP of 400.

Now work it out on the RB - you own it outright for what would probably have been the PCP deposit, nobody is going to take it off you in a year, 2 years or 3 years time or if you lose your job and can't pay the PCP each month. Same mileage is 12 galls/month @ 25mpg so the fuel costs double to 300 pcm but i reckon it's still a saving of 250 pcm over "owning" a soulless Euroblob.

Factor in the lack of huge carbon footprint to make a new car to be sold via PCP and the RB is definitely a much greener solution. It's even the right colour...........

I am a bit confused though - when did a Webasto roof come into the equation?
Good point Dave - plus one might factor in saving another 25/month road tax from next April. The RB might make quite a good commuter if the distance wasn't too much :-)

Forget Webasco - that was just a mental block on my part (Webasco were the folding sunroofs popular back in the day I think) - I meant a black vinyl roof, that is all.
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