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Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Our Focus II is just over 3 years old with 29K and through its 1st MOT. Being sad and doing a full spring clean inside and out I thought I'd whip the front alloys off and clean the insides.
Wheel nuts off and oh dear wheels stuck well on. No amount of banging with a lump hammer and block of wood would shift them.
Nuts back on loose and driven backwards and forwards did the trick.
Now my beef is - should not the wheels be taken off during one of its 3 main dealer services for brake component inspection?? They clearly haven't been off since the car was manufactured!
It seems as though if the brakes are working then thats a service item pass.

And whilst I'm on a roll. Wheel nut torque settings. I have the Focus and a Sorento. Neither has the wheel nut torque settings in the owners handbook. Full of fictitious fuel consumption figures, lubricant specs etc, but no wheel nut torque settings. Surely this figure is a basic setting an owner should have. Why is it not there?

Anyway, set them to 70ft lb which I think is about right for an alloy.

This post is more of a cathartic release than a question!

PS - Anyone know the alloy wheel torque setting for a Focus II 1.6 Climate in metallic blue with charcoal interior?
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - MikeTorque
The servicing should have taken off the wheels to examine & clean the brakes etc. if not then the car hasn't been serviced properly which begs the question what else has been missed that you've paid for ? Has the MOT been done properly ?

If the car is serviced at a Ford main dealer then Ford has in place a customer satisfaction system, and if you are not completely satisfied with the service you have received then tell the servicing department why not and provide them with full details. If they fob you off then contact Ford servicing directly who will be a lot more interested.

Concerning the MOT, there are inspectors who suddenly drop in unannounced and check that garages are carrying out MOTs according to spec. If you have proof your car has not been MOT'd properly then contact the inspectors.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Number_Cruncher
>>should not the wheels be taken off during one of its 3 main dealer services

Not necessarily - it depends if the brakes can be inspected without removing the wheel.

Check out the precise wording of the official Ford service schedule - if it states remove wheels, then they should be taken off, if it only says inspect the brakes, then it's not strictly necessary to remove the wheels.

Pad wear and disc wear can easily be assessed through the gaps in the alloy wheel [or holes in a steel wheel], and any binding is obvious. If fitted, rear drum brakes can be checked for wear via a rubber bung in the back plate.

I don't think you are a million miles out with your wheel bolt torque, but I don't know the precise figure. What's much more important than the ultimate precision in torque figure is to ensure that you re-check them after a short while - say 50 miles or so.

The MOT tester is not allowed to remove *anything*, not even a wheel trim, not even to pull up the corner of some carpetting or interior trim - the car must be inspected as presented.



Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Screwloose

I recall a comment many years ago from a Ford Service manager, that the wheels on an Escort don't come off until 36,000.

With changed service intervals; I can't see that it's likely to have got shorter. Pads and linings can be checked visually.

Alloys want coming off on all cars before their first winter and the hubs Copasliping.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Thanks for replies. As I say it was more of a release. I've been on the spanners on a DIY basis for years. Rally car builds and so on.
Its just my expectations of a service are that the wheels come off, hubs and calipers stripped, cleaned, inspected and coppersliped as necessary - all preventative maintenance.
I think my expectations are too high.
Only go to main dealer for that magical stamp in the book. Plus last time for some warranty work - those leaking jets filling the spark plug holes with water and a faulty bonnet catch.
MOT done at local independent, and they are on the ball! Well they are with me anyway, must know about my day job.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Dynamic Dave
Re: torque settings. I can't guarantee the accuracy of the information, other than when I looked up the values for my Vectra-C and my Dad's Astra-G, they were correct.

www.etyres.co.uk/car-makers

Just click on your make of car and off you go.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Happy Blue!
If you look at my thread about tyres for my Outback, you can see the effect of applying copper grease or not!
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Carse
Fullchat,

I have just looked at the service schedules for the Focus 11 and for a standard 1.8 petrol version the wheels should have been removed to check disk health on its 2year / 25,000 mile service

If you give me your exact vehicle spec I can check your specific model

Carse
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Mapmaker
You don't actually KNOW whether or not they've been off.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Carse

The vehicle is a 2005 1.6 petrol Focus II Climate saloon.


Mapmaker

The 2 year service was just over a year ago so I cannot comment as to whether the wheels were removed then. The last service was 4 weeks ago and judging by the amount of force required to remove them they were not taken off at that time.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - jc2
Go to www.etis.ford.com and you can find out for yourself what should be done on any Ford service and print out a check sheet.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - daveyjp
A friend has jts has his Golf serviced at a main dealer - 45,000 miles covered. He had an advisory about the rear pads. Rather than pay silly main dealer rates he took it to his local guy for new rear pads.

They were changed today, but the fitter commented how difficult it was to get the wheels off and it was obvious the dealer never removed them during the service, something he thought should be done.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Optimist
Don't people rotate wheels from front to back any more to even up on tyre wear caused by FWD and power steering?


Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - gordonbennet
Don't mind me asking, but doesn't anyone whip the wheels off themselves, and put a bit of coppaslip around, i did withina week of getting our new motor, couldn't bear the thought of clean alloy corroding onto hub.

Apart from anything else, i like to know how tight my wheel nuts are, don't like finding out on a wet and dark motorway.

Suppose i'll be chastised, but i also remove the rear brake drum to give a little wipe of coppaslip where the hub always corrodes to the drum.

If the maker cannot be bothered to put some grease or stuff about, why does anyone think a main dealer would bother.

Incidentally, shouldn't a brake inspection include removing pads and drums to properly inspect and clean the parts, i know my merc indy does this, how are you supposed to see round the corner of the wheel and check for loose or corroded brake backing plates.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Number_Cruncher
>>Incidentally, shouldn't a brake inspection include removing pads and drums

It depends.

As part of a small service (in a dealer) the inspection will be made with a small mirror and through the holes in the wheel, and will not be charged extra to the service.

In general, if you want a dealer to take the wheels and drums off, you'll be paying for an extra item on the invoice. While I worked in a Vauxhall garage, this was 0.5 hours for strip, clean, lube and adjust the rear drum brakes.

If I understand you correctly, if by backing plates you mean the anti-squeal shims these are just an NVH issue, not safety critical - if there's a problem here, you'll hear it on the thrash round the block, oops, sorry, road test!

Independents will tend to take the wheels and drums off for at least two reasons;

1) the cars they work on are older, and are much more likely to be faulty. I wouldn't dream of taking the rear drums off a modern Vauxhall with less than 50k on the clock - it's a pointless excercise, because there's generally nothing to see.

2) independent garages tend to be set up by those who are more enthusiastic and keen, and are much more likely to be of the school of thought that doing more work is providing a better service (not always true IMO!)

There's only one danger of copperslipping every interface, and that's that the grease is more likely to attract and retain particles of general environmental carp, dust, and debris which will compress and embed. As there's only a few handfuls of microns (elastic) stretch in the wheel bolts, if this carp does compress or embed, then you'll lose lots of wheel nut tensile load. This means that re-torquing after disturbing any of these interfaces is even more important than ever. BTW, I do use copperslip in a similar way, because I think the benefits do outweigh the problems, and a few minutes with a torque wrench mitigates the risk.



Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - gordonbennet

If I understand you correctly if by backing plates you mean the anti-squeal shims



No, sorry NC i meant the steel backing of the pad itself, i've bought cars in the past (one merc 124 had this) where the backing plate was so corroded it had actually parted company with the pad material.

As we've discussed before, very few people wash salt off the underside, and supposing a fleet/rental car gets stood down in March and sits in compound until November, and thats very normal, i can just imagine the state of the braking system when its had 6 months of high alkaline corrosion.

Glad you're a coppaslipper, well worth it when you remove a back wheel and just pull the drum by finger pressure to remove.

My merc indy services many new cars as well, and i know they get a strip and check, he's very old school, and nowt wrong with that.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - henry k
>>Suppose I'll be chastised, but I also remove the rear brake drum to give a little wipe of coppaslip where the hub always corrodes to the drum.
>>
While I am doing the Coppaslip task I also rub down the drums and give them a couple of coats of Black Hammerite.
I do not indulge in polishing bodywork ( a bucket of soapy water every few weeks is fine) but seeing rusty drums through nice alloy wheels is a no no in my household. :-)
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Tackled the back wheels tonight. Again welded on. Some serious persuasion with a block of wood and a lump hammer did the trick. Cleaned and copperslipped. Job done.
Had the car sustained a puncture there is no way it could have been sorted at the side of the road. It would have been an expensive callout or AA / RAC intervention, to which I do not suscribe.
All for the sake of lack of expected basic servicing. In future I may well go down the preventative route if I push the boat out with a new vehicle.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - jeremy99
I can see some sense in the wheels not coming off in the first year or two but after that I would hope the inspection is more thorough.

I recently bought a Mondeo 2000 with 75,000 miles and main dealer service history. The rear drum pistons and shoes had been replaced when a leak was spotted during an MOT.

I decided to check the front calipers myself and had the same issues getting the alloys off and it looked like they were only taken off to replace the discs at 60,000 miles.

Following a near miss by the wife I got a full set of ABS parts from a brakers and fitted them. I put on copperslip as I went. Brake balance now vastly better so I am not sure the drums were that good at all (I did not check as I had complete knuckles for the discs).
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - gordonbennet
While I am doing the Coppaslip task I also rub down the drums and give
them a couple of coats of Black Hammerite.



Me too, havent had to do the drums on the hilux yet, they were well painted at manfacture ( i do give them a lick with the sponge through the wheels when i wash the motor), but front and rear calipers on the merc are black hammerite too.

I dare say the hilux calipers will be going black when the warranty is out.

We are an eccentric bunch in the BR
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - L'escargot
Wheel nuts off and oh dear wheels stuck well on.


One of the first things I do when I get a car with alloy wheels is to remove the wheels and grease the mounting face and spigot diameter.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Marc
Check out this link to establish what SHOULD have been done at each individual service :

www.etis.ford.com/fordservice/serviceScheduleForm....o

Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Well that answers it.

1 year 12,500 - wheels on brake inspection.
2 year 25,000 - wheels OFF brake inspection.
3 year 37,500 - wheels on brake inspection.

As the mileage on my car is not hitting 12.500 per year I am hitting the yearly inspection before attaining the mileage.

Took the back wheels off the other night. They were well stuck on and needed a big hammer and block of wood to shift them!

The wheel off service should have been over a year ago so difficult to point the finger. Certainly no form of preventative lube applied.

Enquiries have revealed a torque equivalent of 67 ft lbs.

And just to finish. Had two new front tyres fitted. As the fitter was torqueing them up I asked him what setting he applied "90 ft lbs mate". I despair!!. Bet they dont have customers wheels falling off 2 days later.

Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Optimist
I posted quite a few back to ask about wheel rotation to reduce tyre wear at the front and so prolong tyre life.

It can't be just me who still does that.

Can it?
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - gordonbennet
You are not alone Optimist, still a few of us eccentric ones around, i do swap them about, but its not always easy with directional tyres and sometimes unequal front and rear sizes.

Two sets for the hilux, winters are directional, so unless i get them swapped over on the wheels, i can only go front to rear same side. Summer set are normal though so they will have a swap round, including the spare, which i'll probably have to grind the motorcycle lock and chain off when i want it., that reminds me HJ shoud have got around to organizing those spare wheel locks from Thailand? by now, must send him a note.

Go on Fullchat, get that wire brush and coppaslip out, we'll have you as barmy as us soon enough, extra oil change between services? Gear oil change? Pressure wash, followed by full waxoyle???
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
Oh I'm just as barmy GB.

Re swapping tyres front to back. I'll do it on my 4X4 Sorento to keep diameters similar and due to premature wear on the fronts last time I can even things up a bit. But on my 2 wheel drive cars have never bothered as it only means forking out for 2 at a time rather than all 4.
having said that on FWD it will be about 1 front set to 2 rear sets so its going to get me every other time.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - gordonbennet
it only means forking out for 2 at a time rather than all 4.
having said that on FWD it will be about 1 front set to 2 rear
sets so its going to get me every other time.


I wouldn't answer this if i were you, but are you having new tyres fitted to the front of your FWD car?
I know i shouldn't have but you know those times when you just can't resist opening up the can of worms.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - doctorchris
In the case of my original style Ford Maverick, the wheels didn't need to have been off long before they corroded back on big style, even if I'd used a bit of Copaslip, so don't presume they've not been removed on your car.
The days of services including cleaning up the disc pads are long gone as it just takes too long to be economical.
I think your wheel torque may not quite be enough as my Panda needs 90lb.ft for alloys and my daughter's Corsa needs 110lb.ft, again for alloys.
Website given later in this thread is very useful.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - doctorchris
Sorry,mixing up my units. The above torque settings are in Nm not lb.ft. Looks like your car should have wheels torqued up to 90Nm so tyre fitter was probably rght, just talking in different units to you.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Dynamic Dave
Looks like your car should have wheels torqued up to 90Nm


The link I posted earlier in this thread was correct then.
Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - Fullchat
DD - link spot on!
Dr Chris. The fitter talked Nm which was about 120 and converted it to 90 ft lbs. All the alloys ( including the caravan ) I have had have been around 70 ft lb ish.
GB I wondered whether the 'new rubber on front or rear ?' debate would spark up. However I like the new rubber on the front and our company tyre fitters also fit to the front as it complements the Police style of driving. Que another debate :-)


Servicing - Should the wheels come off? - doctorchris
Fullchat, always rotate the tyres on a 4x4, as you do, cos they don't like significantly different diameters betwen front and back, it wears out the 4x4 transmission.
as for 2wd, well I rotate so that have to visit tyre fitter less often and have not noticed handling problems when front and rear tyres are more or less similarly worn.
 

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