One now owns an automobile!

This is a discussion on One now owns an automobile! within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Yup, it's official, I bought a car yesterday. Ford Mondeo Verona 1.8 Zetec 16V, alloys, pretty decent radio. All in ...

  1. #1
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    One now owns an automobile!

    Yup, it's official, I bought a car yesterday. Ford Mondeo Verona 1.8 Zetec 16V, alloys, pretty decent radio. All in pretty good shape except for a couple of scratches and a small crack in the front bumper.

    Oh, and a minor oil leak that we (me and dad) hope a new oil switch thing (I have no clue when it comes to cars) will fix it. Anyone else have any ideas what it could be if this doesn't work? After examining it yesterday, we found that oil leaks out (seemingly) from around the oil switch while the engine's running and then for about 5 minutes when you turn it off. It's getting flicked all over the exhaust by a wheel-type belt thingy (drive belt?) and gets burnt, which doesn't smell too pleasant.

    The rear wiper needed replacing - thankfully we had a spare.

    That's about it. It's way more comfortable than the Corsa I learnt to drive in, but it'll take a while to get used to the extra size when it comes to some manouvers I think.

    I can't believe I have a car! I can't drive it yet (no tax until that bloody insurance certificate comes through in a week-ish) - well I could drive it backwards and forwards out the back...

    I might take some pictures of it today.

    The best thing is, it was a bloody good deal. The woman was so eager to get rid of it (she's moving to England) that she dropped the price to £500 (from £625). According to all the service history there's nothing wrong with it (apart from the aformentioned).

    Ciao. Gone tinkerin'.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  2. #2
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    So does KITT come with it?

  3. #3
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Anyone else have any ideas what it could be if this doesn't work?

    It could be a hundred things. Worst case you'd replace the engine.

  4. #4
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    The leak is fixed! It seems it was the oil switch; we also changed the oil (which was RGB(0,0,0) black) and the oil filter. Cleaned out the rear window washer since it was spraying everywhere but the window, and checked the front break pads since we had it up in the air, they're almost brand new.

    Still we're going to keep a close eye on it, especially on a small tear we found in the front offside tire. It's not on the tread, on the side and fairly deep, so I'm (that's right, me) contemplating changing it for the spare tomorrow. It'll look odd though since the spare isn't an alloy.

    Already waving goodbye to the 3rd and final payment of my student loan which I haven't even got yet

    EDIT: Oh and while we were in town (don't worry, I didn't take my car) we, on the off-chance, took what details we have of the insurance into the post office to see if we could tax it without the certificate. Nope.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  5. #5
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > (that's right, me) contemplating changing it for the spare tomorrow

    This is really easy to do, but good for you for doing it anyways.

    You're going to need to get that replaced though - spares (assuming it's a donut) are not meant to be driven on for very long or very fast

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    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Rear windshields wipers! I love those! They are so useful...it's too bad they don't make them for cars more often....you really only find a few cars that have them, but they come in handy during a downpour and you can't see out your rear window.
    My Website

    "Circular logic is good because it is."

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    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Generally only hatchbacks have them

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I dunno... I see them on most cars, still... they're nessasary in the rain sometimes if you have to back up.
    Sent from my iPad®

  9. #9
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez View Post
    > (that's right, me) contemplating changing it for the spare tomorrow

    This is really easy to do, but good for you for doing it anyways.

    You're going to need to get that replaced though - spares (assuming it's a donut) are not meant to be driven on for very long or very fast
    Yeah I'll hopefully be getting a new tire on Monday, well, I'll start searching for the best deal on Monday. Or possibly Tuesday (sometimes the loan dudes take a day or two).
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Now you'll get all the chicks

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    Registered User Queatrix's Avatar
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    Now your talkin'.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Oil switch? That's new to me. Are you sure it was an oil switch or was it more like an oil sending unit. This device sends the signal back to the oil gauge and the gauge turns the signal into something readable for the driver. These normally screw in and normally have a rubber o-ring that seals them so oil does not leak out around the threads.

    Normally oil leaks from:

    • The dipstick - the o-ring in the head of the dipstick often fails after many years
    • PCV valve - if the PCV valve is clogged on a modern engine it will cause oil to shoot out the front and or out of the valve
    • Valve cover gasket - around 35k to 50k the valve cover can either loosen a bit and/or the seal around it wears out causing a very small oil seepage at first and gradually worsens to a major leak. This creates a big mess, coats the engine in oil, produces a burnt smell when the engine is hot, and due to the increase in dirt contamination affects the overall cooling...and thus the overall performance of the engine. A clean engine cools better than a dirty one.
    • Rear main seal - this is the main seal between the engine and the transmission and keeps oil that lubricates the engine and crankshaft from escaping. If this thing leaks it is a major repair and often coats the entire underbody of the car in oil. The transmission must be removed to replace this seal. Rear main's fail on US cars at around 85 to 100k and on foreign cars they can last anywhere from 100k to about 200k.
    • Oil pan gasket - this is the seal that is between the oil pan at the bottom of the engine and the engine block. When the engine is shutoff, the oil drains down from the block into the oil pan. If this seal has failed there will be a lot of oil where the engine block meets the oil pan. This is a simple repair and is usually done every 50k on most cars.
    • Oil filter - sometimes the oil filter is crossthreaded and/or works it's way loose due to improper torque. This causes an oil leak which is normally not a huge leak, but it will be eventually noticed and can worsen to create a big leak. Simple repair if not too much damage has been done to the threads - just get a new filter.
    • Oil drain plug - this is the plug that is used to drain the oil from the oil pan during an oil change. Many, many, many places incorrectly use an impact gun on this which causes major problems. Most of these plugs and pans are cheaply made (aluminum) and are NOT designed for high torque or for impact guns. Impact guns are so taboo that most of our entire factory has banned their use in nearly every assembly spur. If your oil plug has been crossthreaded it will leak. Most have a small o-ring as well which if missing or damaged will cause a leak. The number one cause for leaks in our factory is incorrect tightening which results in an o-ring being cut by the threads of the fastener. If an impact has been used, it can and will damage the oil pan and the pan itself may have to be replaced.


    There are other things that can cause an oil leak but these are the ones I could think of.

    The leak is fixed! It seems it was the oil switch; we also changed the oil (which was RGB(0,0,0) black) and the oil filter.
    Don't be fooled that black oil is necessarily bad oil. Modern oils have detergents in them which cause the coloration and/or clean the engine as it passes through the pathways in your engine. A lot of people believe that black oil is bad or old oil but this is simply not true. However people spend hundreds per year on un-needed oil changes simply because Jiffy Lube or some other crazy place told them so. They also will try to tell you to flush the engine oil. NEVER do this. Yes this will clean the engine but where does all the old goopy oil go? Yes - it stays in your engine and can and will clog the oil pathways thus creating a very big problem. There are several websites about this and about the places that attempt to scam you into this unnecessary treatment that is never recommended by the manufacturer of the car.

    It's not on the tread, on the side and fairly deep, so I'm (that's right, me) contemplating changing it for the spare tomorrow.
    From a tire standpoint this is the worst kind of defect you can have and is not repairable. Any type of tread defect is normally repairable and is not an issue that requires the tire to be replaced. Sidewall issues are extremely dangerous and the tire should be replaced immediately. As you go down the road your tire begins to heat up. On the highway your tires heat up substantially which also causes the air pressure to increase. Since air is always going to take the path of least resistance your little surface cut (it could be more than this under the surface) now becomes an easy path to take. Quite simply this can lead to a blowout. Also as well when you corner in a car the sidewalls really take a pounding as the car wants to plow straight ahead due to inertia. This translates into the tire being warped a bit and the sidewalls really get a workout. If your sidewall is in poor condition this is a blowout waiting to happen and/or a major separation could occur. Since you are in a turn, a blowout or separation becomes a very bad thing.

    If the sidewall of a tire is bulging, cut, warped, or has any type of defect other than minor abrasions replace it immediately. If the tire is bulging out this is a sure sign of a belt separation starting and is usually a result of the tire having been driven far beyond it's rated speed for periods longer than 30 min. The buildup of heat due to the excessive speed has begun to alter the shape of the rubber b/c the rubber is simply not rated for the amount of heat stress being applied to it. The speed rating of your tire should be on the sidewall. The rating indicates what speeds the tire can handle. What is considered a deviation from this spec is driving the tire over it's indicated speed rating for at least 30 min or more. This will damage the tire internally and may or may not show up externally (but usually does). Bulges in the sidewall can also happen due to heavy loads being placed on the tire or cornering at extremely high rates of speed. Most passenger tires simply won't hold up for long under stressful conditions and are only designed for normal all-weather driving conditions. The exceptions are Z-rated tires which are normally low-mileage high performance dry and/or wet (not snow) tires that can be driven up to 150+ mph w/o causing any damage to the tire. These are extremely expensive. My SRT-4 has these all around and they are not cheap to replace. The rating is derived from the type of rubber compound/mixture that is used to build the tire.


    Understanding how your car works at a basic level and what is and is not needed will save you thousands of dollars in repairs. This information is available on the internet. Jiffy Lube is gonna tell you to change the oil every 3500 miles for money, but 3500 is changing your oil too much. Look on the internet for more information. Just from my experience in the UAW and in building big machines many people just do not know how to take care of their car and/or equipment and as a result end up with very costly repairs.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 04-20-2007 at 12:22 AM.

  13. #13
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Since I'm totally dense about cars I'll take a picture of the thing that was causing the problem and post it on my blog later today (along with pics of the car, and me!).

    While I'm at the picture taking I'll change the tire too. I definately don't want a blowout - apart from the obvious danger to my driving when it happens, the jack that came with the car hasn't been used once (it seems) and the boot was swimming with water, so it's rusted solid. WD40'd it, but it's still quite stiff. Don't really want to be lifting the car with that, so I also need to buy another one of those, and possibly a warning triangle (as recommended by my instructor).

    The cost of owning a car is already mounting and I haven't even bloody driven it yet.

    Thanks for all the advice Bubba - by the way, Hayne's manuals are, well, alright, right? They bloody better be for the cost of 'em.

    EDIT: Well, I drove it home and round to the back of the house twice now.
    Last edited by cboard_member; 04-20-2007 at 07:17 AM.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

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    Registered Abuser
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahluka View Post
    Ford Mondeo Verona 1.8 Vtec 16V,...
    did someone say VTEC, yo?

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @nthony View Post
    did someone say VTEC, yo?
    Everybody knows that putting a VTEC decal on your hoopty will give you that extra 20 horse. Racing stripes are good for another 15 or so. Don't you know.

    I wasted some guy off the light in my Outback a few weeks ago. I wasn't even trying, really. It was freaking hilarious.

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