\'Trade Secrets\' from HJ\'s Back Room II - Mark (RLBS)
This is volume 2 of an excellent thread. Please continue it from here. The previous thread will not be deleted, and is here:-


For posterity, here is posted one of Volvoman\'s better ideas which started the thread.

In the short time I\'ve been using and contributing to this great site I\'ve been amazed at the tremendous expertise which is offered by all you technical buffs in response to virtually any motoring/car related problem. Not so long ago there was a very good TV series called Trade Secrets in which professionals in various fields gave their Top Tips for making life easier and doing things better/quicker/cheaper etc. If it hasn\'t been done already and I\'ve just missed it, couldn\'t all you technical buffs and enthusiasts do the same on this site so that we can build a Top Tips section for people to refer to on all aspects of car repairs, maintenance etc. The tips could be categorised in various ways and would I feel be a very valuable resource which all back-roomers could access. What do you think lads ? What about it HJ, Mark ?.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
Thanks Mark.

Just a reminder that often the best tips are very simple. What may be routine or common sense to some people is not necessarily obvious to others (especially those who have little mechanical knowledge about cars - like ME).

So please, if you have a tip - simple or not - please share it with the BackRoom.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - A Dent{P}
If you are working on the front suspension, and your car has an anti-roll bar, jack the opposite road wheel clear of the ground to take the leveling force out of the bar. Most jobs will be difficult until you do that (and why didn't the manual tell you that:- because in a workshop the lifting kit did it automatically and it's taken for granted.)
Also use axial stands- never rely on jacks, and chock a rear wheel on both sides

Change oil an filters.
Buy some surgical type rubber gloves from Focus DIY or the like, £2 for 10 pairs and you will finish the job with clean hands.

Some filters are murder to reach let alone undo. Use a length of cord. Thread it between all the obstacles and take a turn around the filter, thread it back up the hold one side taught and pull on the other to produce an anticlockwise torque.
I've removed filters I could barely see with this.

Use an empty 6 pint plastic milk bottle to collect the old oil and recycle it at your amenity tip, who will have a oil bank.

Tools, spanners sockets etc. Buy tools marked as Chrome Vanadium, anything else is likely to break just when you need it most (a false economy) and if you are starting out, you don't really need that £90 flashy set in a box because the imperial ones and the 16, 18, 21 mm tools will be redundant (unless you own a pu 309 or a yank tank).
I often buy a couple of tools a month, you can aquire a good quality kit that way.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
If, like me, you're too tight to fork out for latex gloves (!) just stick your hand inside a couple of supermarket carrier bags to undo the (loosened) sump plug and oil filter. One carrier bag is no good, they all have ventilation holes punched in them, also the hot oil [1] (engine warmed up before oil change, makes it flow easier) doesn't hurt quite so much through 2 bags as it does through one.

[1] No, HF, that's nothing to do with your hair!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Peter D
When draining you oil always tie a length of srting around the sump plug whenis is undone a couple of turns ( slip knot ) then undo it and you retain the plug rather than dropping it and having to search around in the bottom of the oil container. Peter
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - A Dent{P}
I have used bags before, and it's still a bit messy. SHMBO works at a nursing home now so I get the gloves free Tee Hee!
They are also good for The Most Hated Job Of Them All- CV boots aarrgg.

Just remembered about door inside panels: I use a wide plaster's knife? blade? whatever..to prise the plastic retaining plugs out. It stops the panel being bent or tearing the hole out and so it pushes back flush when you have finished.

Hands up anyone who ever got stuck on a job. Oh everyone, ok, walk away fom it and make a cup of tea , before you get that hammer out(they did not need one to put it together).
A bit of lateral thought often solves a problem.
If you do need to beat the thing, use a piece of wood to take the damage.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dudley
I always use a chopped off plastic 1 litre lemonade or 3 litre water bottle round the oil filter and once loosened with a filter tool, squeeze the bottle to unscrew the filter 'till it drops into the bottle. Nice easy way to remove it.
But yes, agree, box of 100 latex gloves for a couple of quid is a sound bit of advice, especially for dirty diesel oil!

I write the radio code with a thick felt tip pen on my bodywork, usually on the side of the spare wheel well or under some trim.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - P.Mason {P}
A spare key in a magnetic box has got me out of trouble on many occasions, but modern cars don't have much metal under valances, bumpers etc. to stick it to.
I use a small piece of steel plate,(painted against rust)stuck to the inside of the bumper in a secret location using silicone rubber bath sealer.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - HF
lol Taxi Driver, how DID you read my mind? Have you contributed to the 'Premonitions' thread yet? ;)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Armitage Shanks{P}
I have heard people at work talking about "A two bag job" - is this what they meant. I think we should be told!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Philter
When using plastic containers to hold something they didn't originally contain don't forget to label them with their new contents, e.g. with a solvent-based felt tip or OHP pen. If you then change the contents again change the label! Only yesterday I got caught by this - I went to refill an engine cooling system from a 5 litre can labelled "coolant diluted ready for use". Sadly the contents were now old gear oil...........
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
This is a good time of year for people to pass on their tips for dealing with the conditions were are 'enjoying' and associated driving problems so please post away !!

My mum-in-law's Punto suffers very badly from doors which won't open in frosty weather (and is so flimsily built that I wouldn't fancy pulling hard on the door handles) so I was interested to pick up a tip from an other thread which suggested using vaseline on the door rubbers to prevent this.

Any other snowy/icy tips folks ??
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dynamic Dave
Any other snowy/icy tips folks ??

Always carry a box of matches/gas lighter in your pocket. Could come in handy to warm the car key should the door lock be frozen.

If it's snowing when you start your journey, put a shovel, blanket, & extra coat in the boot. Shovel obviously is for digging out the car should you get stuck. Coat and blanket if all else fails and you have to kip in the car.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - budu
Vaseline will pick up dirt and the mess may be transferred to clothing. I use glycerine for the same job.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Chas{P}
Sluggish Seatbelts

To cure inertia seatbelts not retracting quickly enough, a light spray with silicon spray will restore them to as new.

Does not mark clothing or, more importantly, harm the webbing.

This done each service stops belts hanging out of doors or buckles being slammed against door shuts.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
Charles - I've got this problem due to several years of child car seat use.

Which bit of the belt do you spray, where do you get the stuff and what's it called. Thanks in anticipation :-)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - 659FBE
My tip for the day: Many readers report difficulty setting the square-holed timing belt tensioner pulley on PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) engines; some people resorting to levers and screwdrivers etc. We are all sitting a few feet away from the perfect tool.

The square bar used in UK domestic door handles is an excellent fit in the tensioner wheel hole, and if you have thinnish interior doors, is also the right length. Turn the free end with a suitable spanner, anticlock to tension the belt. Original equipment belts sold by PSA are made by Dayco - buy this make from a motor factor and save money.

Finally, with the TUD5 and probably some others, don't fill the engine to max with oil (2/3 full only), otherwise oil mist is forced out into the cambelt box. It condenses back to oil on the cooler belt box covers, and oils the belt on the OUTSIDE edge. If you examine an oily belt carefully, you can tell whether this is the cause, or if the seals have gone, in which case the belt will be oiliest on the engine side. Change oil every 5k to compensate for reduced volume - PSA raised the oil level in these engines in the quest for their suicidal servicing intervals. Bon voyage.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Chas{P}

1. Just go to any decent motor factor and ask for plain silicon spray in an aerosol. Don't go for anything else in with it.
2. Pull the seatbelts fully out and lightly spray the underside of the belts as you let them retract so that the runners/guides are lubricated.


'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - jc
Note:WD40 now states there is no silicon or ever has been any silicon in it.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Andrew-T
Pedant speaking - you are all talking about Silicone (which itself contains silicon). Silicon is what computer chips are made of.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
Thanks so much Charles - I owe you a pint ;-)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - timp
There's a lot of space around the spare wheel in the well in the bottom of my boot, so I keep essentials for emergencies around the spare wheel, rather than loose in the boot: warning triangle, bright yellow waterproof jacket, cable ties, hand wipes. (can't quite fit a tyre pump in there!)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - jc
Ford used to make a toolbox that fitted the spare wheel well.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Ford used to make a toolbox that fitted the spare wheel

Where did the spare wheel go? ;-)
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - jc
Try inside the hollow in the back of the wheel!!!!!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
My Skoda has a block of polystyrene in exactly that place! Houses the jack, wheelbrace, screwdriver and spanners, all strapped together to the wheel. Only trouble is, it takes 10 minutes to remove it all to check the spare tyre pressure...
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - wemyss
Having to take out the spare wheel everytime to check the spare wheel pressure is a bit of a nuisance.
Has anyone seen a flexible extension you can leave in place to enable the spare wheel to be left in place.
Lorries with twin wheels have a similar device for the inside wheel but it's not flexible.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
That would be a good idea, but I suppose it's good practice to remove the spare from time to time and clean out all the cack that seems to accumulate under it, I have taken spares out of cars before now to find the sidewall facing down is pitted or even rotten from damp and muck over a year or two.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Keith S
Many cars have wiring in place for extras not fitted to that model, for example trip computers, electric windows and mirrors.

My Mondeo has partial wiring for electric mirrors. It also has all the wiring and bulb holders for illuminating the footwells. Ford just didnt bother fitting bulbs to the lower models.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Claude
DON'T use grease on battery terminals, use only petroleum jelly (Vaseline). The reason is that almost all grease contains silicon and the plastic polymer used to make the case of a battery can break down over time from silicon based greases. If the grease has been smeared around the lead battery post it will initate fisures in the plastic will then allow rapid corrosion
to develop around the post from the escape of battery gasses. In due course the battery post will become slightly loose which adds to the problem and is half way to a mechanical failure.

(I realise someone will now tell me they have been using an old tub of grandfathers grease quite happily since 1966 or 1927).
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Mark (RLBS)
I don't think this is already here.....

When trying to find an engine noise, use a screwdriver as a type of stethoscope.

Put the handle against your ear and the blade against various parts of the engine. It is much easier to get an idea of where the noise is coming from as you move the screwdriver around.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - PB
>>Put the handle against your ear and the blade against various parts of the engine. It is much easier to get an idea of where the noise is coming from as you move the screwdriver around.<<

An associated tip... if you do this, take your tie off first.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Andrew-T
Surely no-one wears a tie for servicing a car these days? Or maybe for the Rolls .. ..
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Maz
Would a bow-tie be alright?
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - joe
Here's a tip!

If you have a conlog alarm/immobiliser (seat/vw) and its gets a flat battery, co not buy a replacement from a franchised garage. They will quote £22, and tell you you cannot get them anywhere else. Suffice to say, you can order them from the web for £6, post free.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - A Dent{P}
Whey-hey that's an old one..(When trying to find an engine noise, use a screwdriver as a type of stethoscope.)
It must be said that you will always hear some mechanical noise and some might think the worst of a good engine. If you can compare another good engine back to back with yours.

Other old stuff
If your engine mis-fires from cold it's probably the HT leads breaking down, if it happens when hot it may be the coil, or possibly fuel overheating in the pipes (too near a heat source).
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - bertj
If you have a German car have you ever looked to see how many working rear fog lamps you have? VW's, Mercs, Skoda, etc. (I know they're not German but are part of VAG group!) usually have two fog lamps but only the one on the offside functions (except for some Golfs and Polos that DO only have one fog light). You are only allowed to have one rear fog lamp in Germany to avoid confusion with brake lamps.
It's usually very simple on VW's to wire the unused one. A Passat I had just needed an extra bulb.
Mind you, the above might only encourage idiots to leave their rear fogs on when they don't need them (just like 'look at me' front fog lights!)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
My skoda estate only has one rear fog lamp, when I looked at the other light cluster there isn't even a hole for a bulb, the back part of the light cluster is actually cast with a blank across where the bulb would go in! The circuit board is the mirror image of the o/s one though, and there appears to be a reflector behind the red lens, presumably so it looks symmetrical in the daylight with no lights on.
But if they have a regulation in Germany to avoid confusion with brake lamps, why do you feel the need to reinstate that confusion? IMO 95% of rear foglight use is unnecessary in this country. See threads anon.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - bertj
To Dave Taxi Driver
If you want to "reinstate that confusion" on an Octavia Estate I had I 'cut' the blanking plastic out with a soldering iron tip (v.hot of course). Found an old bulb holder from somewhere,pushed it in so it was a 'snug' fit and wired back to the lamp on the other side (can't remember colours but I think black is earth)
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
Yep, cheers, I can see how that would work. But what I can't understand is why you'd want two foglights instead of one? I can't think of a single instance where I've been driving in fog and NOT seen a car with its foglight switch on because it only had one foglight and not two. I would certainly be surprised if any car with a single standard-fit rear foglight has been rear-ended because the car following did not see it in fog.
Maybe it was a good idea when foglights were bolted on below the back bumper, ie Mk I Fiesta, all imported MX5's, etc, but that was more because hanging down there they were in a vulnerable position and more likely to suffer damage or water ingress. These days a lot of mainstream cars don't even offer you the opportunity to wire up the opposite number, ie Focus, Pug 206 etc.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - pastyman
Having to take out the spare wheel everytime to check the
spare wheel pressure is a bit of a nuisance.
Has anyone seen a flexible extension you can leave in place
to enable the spare wheel to be left in place.
Lorries with twin wheels have a similar device for the inside
wheel but it's not flexible.

Hi Alvin,
Speaking as a HGV driver, you can get flexible valve extensions for schrader valves. They are normally used when the valve on the inner wheel doesn't quite line up with the slot in the rim of the outer wheel. Try the Thompson local or Yellow pages for commercial tyre fitters/suppliers, they should be able to help you. Expect to pay about £5/£6.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - wemyss
Thanks for that advice pasty, have only just seen your post!.
Will try your suggestion.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - steve paterson
No matter what engine work you are doing, at some time the bonnet stay is going to get in the way. A broom handle can be used to prop the bonnet open from a handy place near the bulkhead to a strong bit of bonnet nearer it's back edge.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - drbe
Yes and a handy length of string can be useful for keeping a door closed should the door catch/lock fail. Don't worry if it breaks, you can hold the door closed with a spare hand until you get back to the hospital.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Shigg
Once saw a good tip for cleaning out spark plug threads although I suppose it's well known. Take an old plug that's for that engine, cut off the bottom earth electrode (this should mean you don't mix it up with working ones) then using a junior hacksaw make a cut vertically down through the threads at the side of the central electrode. If you cut it this way you'll end up with 2 cuts set off-centre. Be careful making the cut as you need the plugs thread in top condition. Now when changing your plugs, carefully screw this 'special' plug in (don't force it) and when you take it out all the crud from the engines threads will be in the cuts in the 'special' plug. Clean out and repeat for other cylinders.
Note that the plugs can be easy or hard cut depending on their size, I wouldn't recommend off set cutting the thread on a really skinny plug.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Chris TD

Unbelievable! - so simple yet so effective! I've puzzled for years how to get the cr@p out of my plug holes (especially bike plugs buried deep between twin overhead cams and under a frame spar).
Shame I've now got a diesel Astra - but it'll be handy for the rest of the fleet...

Chris TD
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - steve paterson
Very helpful. Just the sort of tip thats needed. I suppose all minicab drivers have a spare hand for dispensing tips.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Shigg

I own a diesel now but still keep hold of the plugs. On my bikes the plugs are a bit skinny for cutting but you never know. Some engines seem particular bad for grunge in the threads, mini's and metro's.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Dave_TD
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
A tip 'borrowed' from the current broken windscreen thread - when refitting a rear view mirror to the windscreen make sure you use the correct glue. It appears that too strong a glue can cause stress in the screen which can make it crack.

"Not many people know that!"
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - SjB {P}
Can I post a bike tip?

Always carry a plastic carrier bag in the pocket of your waterproofs, so you have it when you need it. When the wonderful British weather then changes at the drop of a hat, and it's pouring down, you will be able to get togged up much more quickly.

Remove the bag from the pocket, and slip it over each riding boot in turn, You will then find that instead of a five minute struggle, getting wetter by the second, whilst you try and force your boots through the waterproof trouser legs, they will just gliiiiiiiide through in a nanosecond. This method also stops the dirt from the sole of the boot wiping off inside the trousers, too.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Nsar
Midsummer tip - two heavy duty fertiliser sack style plastic bags with a good length of strong string through the corners for when you get stuck in snow. Bags under wheels and tie to your mirrors. Drive off smoothly and stop when you're on safe ground to recover the bags flapping at your side in case you get stuck again. Bags also v handy year-round for changing a wheel on wet ground when you're suited and booted.

A sheet of Bounce tumble dryer freshener under your seat is a very cheap air freshener that makes your car smell of fresh laundry than nuclear pine.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - AR-CoolC
And put a small drop of grease on the ball socket of the mirror to take the pressure off the area stuck to the screen when altering the mirror.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Aretas
When you think you have finished a job, do a formal visual check that everything is where it should be.

I once left a radiator cap on top of the radiator. When I started the engine it fell between the radiator and the fan, which whirled it around and destroyed the radiator.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - BobbyG
To owners of digital cameras, or even video cameras, before tackling a job which involves dismantling a few bolts etc, take a picture of it or even video yourself!
Then if you have difficulty at any point, just review your fotos / tape to check.
When job is finished just scrub your tape / card!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Robin the Technician
Here's a handy tip when going out on a frosty night. Take a bendy straw with you. When you go to the car and find the lock frozen, just simply squeeze the end of the straw and insert it into the lock. Blow gently to 'de-ice' the lock and..... hey presto!!!
Also if you are trying to fit a screw into a very awkward place and you don't have a magnetic screwdriver, just apply some bluetack to the end and the screw will stay in place.

If you have an extremely tight spark plug, simply run the engine for 10 mins and then pour some cold tap water onto the plug and this will considerably aid its removable.

These are the views of Robin the Technician with 35 years in the trade. I fix, therefore I am...
'Trade Secrets' II - a reminder! - volvoman
Just reminding everyone that this thread exists for the purpose of listing all those wonderful 'tips' you guys keep coming up with. I
know it may be a pain posting the answer to a question somewhere and then copying it here but surely it's worth it.

For all those new people here, pease feel free to post any tips you have to make our motoring easier, safer etc.

Thanks all.
'Trade Secrets' II - a reminder! - Roger Jones
Further to the suggestion about keeping a couple of sacks in the boot, I keep flattened permanently in the boot a heavy-duty large cardboard box. Covering most of the floor, it protects the upholstery and provides a surface even better than sacks do for changing wheels, etc., because the thickness allows you to kneel on an effective cushion. Curiously, the best boxes I have found are the ones for packing packets of crisps, kindly donated by my regular pub landlord; computer boxes are also fine for the purpose.

[If this post shows twice, it's because I've had a problem sending it.]
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Chas{P}
Replacing door mirror glasses.

(Volvoman read this, your 940 has these mirrors!)

When you are trying to work out how to release the old glass and securing in the new one look underneath the outer housing. If there is a little hole it means that there’s a lock ring on the back of the mirror glass that you can turn by gently levering with a small pointed flat head screwdriver.

Result old glass comes out without damaging the adjustment motor and the new one goes in and doesn’t drop out.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Hugo {P}
No 1

If you cross thread a female thread (Fiat wheel bolt threads for example) and don't have a tap the right size, try attaching a mych smaller diameter tap of the right pitch (gap between the threads) to a reversable variable speed drill and clean the thread out using the forward, reverse action of the drill.

If the corresponding bolt is shot from being cross threaded, trim the worst part off then you can recut the thread using a hacksaw with the bolt in a vice.

This is assuming you don't have a small machine shop available.

This got me out of a spot of bother when I cross threaded the wheel bolt on my Regata. I replaced the wheel bolt as soon as I could and double checked the fit in the old thread.

No 2

Old engine oil is great for waterproofing the bottom couple of feet of garden fence posts before they are sunk into the ground. Stand them in the oil and apply several coats to this area (or all the post if the dark colour is to you taste) over a few days.

Water tends to be repelled very well by this.

No 3

Fairly obvious to a lot of people but, if you run an older car now is the best time to pick a similar up for spares, cheap or even free. You may be able to appease the family, neighbours etc if you quickly strip the car for all the mechanical bits and lights etc and store them neatly in the garage. Make sure you drain all fluids etc well and then removal of the remaining shell shouldn't be as expensive as per an untouched car, and the whole outlay will pay for itself several times over!

No 4

Keep old brakepads from your current car for levering those infernal calipers out when changing the pads. They save you marking the disk and spread the load applied to the disk. Also, they're a good reference when you go to the motor factor and find out that about 38 different ones are listed for your car, depending on whether it's a Lucas or girling system that's fitted.

No 5

When driving into a car wash, always make sure your aerial is retracted!

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Andy B
Hugo, your top tip no2 is spot on. Especially since the eurocrats have taken away our creosote. Ive used it recently but a word of warning when used above ground- its thicker consistency means that it can take days to be fully absorbed and I guarantee that your kiddie in his new Thomas the Tank Engine togs will find it. Much, much agro from Mrs B.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Hugo {P}
"Especially since the eurocrats have taken away our creosote"

I can still get creosote - I only bought some the other day

We sometimes mix old engine oil and creosote 50 50 to get a good colour and consistency.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Andy B
"I can still get creosote - I only bought some the other day"

Feeling slightly envious. In Stevenage, all the major chains have replaced it with "creosote alternative" - havent tried it but Im not optimistic. Its either that, engine oil or the expensive glop, for Joe Public anyway.
Presume you're in the trade, know someone in the trade, or have a back door route in.
Have a big sniff for me - you either love it or hate it.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - volvoman
Yes Charles - I discovered this tip by accident when I carelessly broke my nearside mirror. I replaced the glass OK but the 'plastic horizontal ratchet adjuster' (new technical term) was broken so I only have up/down movement via the switch now.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Chas{P}

I had a similar problem with the mirror motor on a Sierra. Found that Volvo's and Ford's shared the same motor. I bought from a scrappy an electric mirror off a Granada and gutted the motor out of it and swapped it over. Result fixed the problem for £15.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - MonkeyFunk
Rear View Mirror fallen off??

Glue wont stick when your trying to put it back

gently heat the windscreen with a hairdryer, now apply the Glue and hey presto the mirror should now stick!!!

old mini keeps spluttering in the wet - simply nick a marigold off the missus, cut the top off the fingers and stick over the dizzy cap to form a nice water tight seal!!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - NARU
Next time you're at the garage, put a couple of the plastic gloves in your car for when you're doing a dirty job - checking the oil, changing a wheel etc.

If you ride a motorbike and you're caught in a shower in summer gloves ... slip a pair of those plastic gloves underneath your biking gloves to stop the dye from the gloves staining your hands.

Make sure you leave a fiver (or these days a tenner!) in your car so you can still get home that day you forget your wallet!

Write your tyre pressures on a sticky label and stick it somewhere easy to read - mine is on my door pillar.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Hugo {P}
This has been discussed in a number of different areas here but:

Main Dealers are often a good source of information pertaining to individual used cars, especially Radio Codes.

When you buy a used car it is worth contacting the dealer who originally supplied it to help fill in gaps with the Service History and get other info for it.

Another tip.

Have you ever tried to jack up a car on a soft verge?

I have, and what I would not have given for a short length of 6 by 1 timber! A haynes manual had to suffice, was never quite the same though!

Always keep one by the jack!

Also, next time you're at the breakers, make sure you get a few spare wheel nuts. It's a real pain when you lose your nuts!

Yet another one!

When you have written your car off make sure it is nice and clean before it is valued. An extra 10% is quite achievable, after all you're selling the 'fact' that it has been cherished and well cared for. Also present the Service History, receipts etc for inspection at the time. I did this for my Pug 309 and I think it all got an extra £150 from the insurers. Make a list of extras fitted and let the assessor see it. Most people just make the car available for inspection 'as is' without taking the time to consider how to present it as you would do for selling it.

I'm on a roll!

A disposable camera in the glove box is a great way to capture accidents, no matter how small. This evidence will put you at a great advantage when your claim and liability are being disputed.

Make sure you photograph damage on all vehicles involved, get their locations etc, and get their number plates in some of the photos. The chances are that no one else will do this and your evidence will be very useful.

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Sooty Tailpipes
When rwmoving nuts or bolts with a socket and they are in a hard to reach area with high risk of dropping them once they're undone (such as engine manifold nuts) ...

Take a sheet of kitchen roll and rip off a peice about 4" in diameter and put it over the open end of the socket and push the centre right into the socket recess using your finger or a tool so that it looks like a dress, and fold the edges back as best you can, then when you push the socket over the nut, it will be a firm grip, and when you undo the nut, it will be securely retained by the tissue all around it. You can pop it out with a screwdriver or something similar.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - buzbee
Fitting screws in places hard to get at:

Whether the screw be slotted or of the Philips type, a small piece of BueTack on the end of the screwdriver will hold the screw so that screw and screwdriver can approach the hole. Make sure the screw is not greasy.

I find this very useful for such as putting the sidescrews in to hold disk drives in a computer but have also used it many times elsewhere.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - GIM
I have already tried to post this once with no luck so....if it a appears twice sorry.

If your dash 'engine management' fault light appears, your reaction is probably one of despair as you know that your hard earned dosh is going to disappear paying for a main dealer to plug in their diagnostic computer (and tell you which bit is playing up).

However, most cars have their own diagnostic system built in.

If you use a internet search engine (google, yahoo etc) and type in something like 'diagnostic codes BMW' (or toyota etc) you can download the diagnostic codes for your car and discover how to bring them up.

For example on certain BMW's turning the ignition on and pressing and releasing the accelerator pedal five times, starts the dash fault light flashing in a sequence that gives you the fault code. Look at the chart of fault codes you have downloaded from the net and hey presto you know which part to replace,(ie Coolant temp sensor 1223, Lambda control 1222 etc etc etc).

'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - A Dent{P}
Brilliant! :)
Hope I never need it though.
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - pinkbob
Very often you may not be able to get your hands on blue tack, just touch the tip of your screwdriver in a bar of soap, preferably one thats in use cos its softer, or(this may not seem very hygenic,but it works) for small screws, if your stuck and only got the one hand free, being very careful just touch the tip of the screwdriver up your nostril...presto job done!!!
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - jg39112
I magnatise all my sockets on a old speaker magnet and if im lucky nut's stay in place
'Trade Secrets' from HJ's Back Room II - Hugo {P}
I magnatise all my sockets on a old speaker magnet and
if im lucky nut's stay in place

Well, I've been lucky - I've only ever dropped a couple of nuts.



Value my car