• Citroen C5: BSI Reset

    The Body control unit (BSI) on Citroens (and Peugeots) sometimes goes batshit-insane and switches things off for no other apparent reason than it felt like it.

    A reset is usually enough to resolve, but the steps need to be followed almost exactly, and the car should be thoroughly checked afterwards to make sure everything is working. 

    This documentation details how to perform the reset

  • Honda Civic EGR Valve Replacement

    This documentation details how to remove and replace the EGR Valve on a 2004 Honda Civic 1.6 with a Petrol engine.

    You may need to do this if you're getting an engine management light (MIL) with diagnostic code P0401 (EGR Flow Insufficient). Some people prefer to start by cleaning the valve rather than replacing it - the process is exactly the same as detailed here, just that you'll put the old one back on after cleaning it (remember to order a new EGR gasket though).

    Honda used a variety of engines in different models of the civic though, so your EGR may be different. Before starting, pay close attention to the first picture in this document to check that your EGR location is the same (the EGR valve is the thing within the blue sticker on it in the photo).

  • Republished: Battery Not Charging on SV650

    Originally published on Benscomputer.no-ip.org Feb 2009.

     

    This page is here as a reference for others experiencing the issues I have been having on my 2002 SV650-S lately.

    SYMPTOM: Battery not charging, so bike refuses to start every so often. Misfire in Idle range but not always on the same cylinder.

     

  • Saab 9-3 Door Lock Unit Repair

    The central locking door lock mechanisms on Saab 9-3s (and 9-5s) are known to occasionally malfunction/stop working. When you hit the central locking button on the remote, the affected door often won't lock (or won't unlock if it was already locked). The issue tends to start out intermittent and then worsen with time.

    A new unit is currently around £140 (without labour), but they can be obtained second hand on ebay for around £30. Replacing them is incredibly easy.

    It is also possible to strip the unit down to repair it, however, it's not without it's risks. While the door lock unit is removed the door won't latch closed (and certainly won't lock), so if you damage the unit trying to repair it, you're going to be in a tricky position. The route I took was to buy a second hand unit from ebay, fit that and then look at repairing the original (so I've got it on the shelf if the replacement starts exhibiting the same symptoms).

    This documentation details how to dismantle and repair the locking unit mechanism

  • Saab 9-3 Front Fusebox Layout

    Below is the ordering and rating of fuses for the Passenger side fusebox (located in the end of the Dashboard) for the Saab 9-3

  • Saab 9-3 Rear Fusebox layout

    The rear fusebox is located in the boot, behind the right hand side panel. The panel should just pull outwards and then you'll see the fusebox and rear electrical centre (also the stock amp if it was fitted at the factory).

    This documentation details what each of those fuses are. The image is clicky so you can view a larger version if required.

  • Saab 9-3: Installing a Dashcam Hardwire Kit

    I drive a lot of miles, so statistically it's likely that at some point I'll be involved in a collision. In all my earlier cars, I've fitted a dashcam so that I can show whether or not (hopefully the latter) I was at fault when that day arrives.

    Having recently changed car, I once again need to install the dashcam. The cam itself is a Nextbase 412G and simply clips to it's mount (stuck to the windscreen, with one of these adhesive mounts).

    This documentation details how to install the Nextbase Dashcam Hardwire kit into a 2010 Saab 9-3 Saloon. It should also apply to most other years and variants of the 9-3 (and, to some extent, things like the Vauxhall Vectra).

  • The Importance of Checking Amplifier Cables Regularly

    I have a couple of aftermarket amplifiers in my car. I spend a lot of time in it, so felt it was worth the effort needed to improve the audio system.

    Both amps have a dedicated lead running to the battery (each with an appropriately rated fuse just after the battery), though they share a ground point (to minimise the potential between them and avoid ground loop noises).

    From that description, all should be good and safe right? Wrong. Luckily I caught it before it developed into anything more serious, but this post is to demonstrate why it's important not to let yourself get complacent. Check your wiring regularly.

  • Using The Volvo 440 Diagnostic System

     

    The Volvo 440 dates back to an era where Car manufacturers were actually helpful (or at least some of them were), and as a result has a built in Diagnostic system. No going to the Garage to have fault codes read, so long as you know how to use the system.

    This article tells you exactly how to do just that!

  • Vauxhall Corsa D Headlight Bulb Replacement

    The Vauxhall/Opel Corsa D was designed and manufactured whilst GM was firmly in control of production. As a result, the simple task of replacing a headlight bulb has been made needlessly complicated (and frankly, shouldn't be legal).

    If you're stuck on the side of the road reading this, then the bad news is this isn't something you're going to want to try.

    In order to replace headlight bulbs (particularly the dipped beam) on a Vauxhall Corsa D it's necessary to remove the front bumper. It is, at least, relatively straightforward to do, just a little involved.

    This documentation details the procedure to follow.

  • Volvo 440: Voltage Decreases as Engine Speed Rises

    Having resolved the issue, it's a fairly garden variety fault, but I thought I'd document it in that the symptoms are almost exactly the opposite of what we expect to see when there's a fault with the charging system.

    Essentially, as the engine speed rises, the voltage (measured across the battery, or from anywhere else in the car) drops - and not just a little.

  • Volvo S60: Alternator Replacement

    A few days ago, I started bearing noise (like air being released) from the general area of the auxillary belt. As it's freezing outside, I booked it into the garage and hoped it could make it the few days until the garage could see it.

    Inevitably, it didn't. After starting the battery warning light came on, and as the belt was still on I checked the battery voltage - 11v and dropping, goodbye alternator bearing...

    This documentation details the steps necessary to swap out the alternator on a 2003 Volvo S60 with a Diesel engine. The steps differ slightly for later years (you need to remove the radiator cooling fan to make space to get the alternator out, but can simply move the P/S pump out of the way rather than disconnecting it), but should be applicable for vehicles <= 2003. From what I've seen, it should also apply to V70's of the same age.

    Some of the images are a little blurry because the weather was getting ready to snow on me, so there was quite a bit of shivering involved.

    The whole process shouldn't take you more than a couple of hours, unless you have to wait for replacement parts to arrive. 

  • Volvo S60: Headlight Unit Replacement

    My 2003 S60 had a chip in the headlight lens, which over time, expectedly, developed into a crack.

    This documentation details how to replace a headlight unit on Volvo S60's up to 2003 (there are some slightly different mountings on models from 2004 onwards). The procedure is more or less the same for both sides

    The entire process doesn't take long, at most it should take a couple of hours

  • Volvo S60: Intercooler Replacement

    My intercooler got damaged by some road debris, though they apparently have a habit of blowing anyway due to the high boost pressure used (particularly on diesel models).

    This documentation details the process of removing and replacing the intercooler. No part of it is particularly difficult, but it's an involved process and takes some time (especially the first time). As a guide, it took me just short of 4 hours to do (fag breaks included).

    I performed this process without lifting the car, however at times it was a little tight, so if I even repeat the process I'll probably put the car on ramps or stands.

     

  • Volvo S60: Lower Control arm and Balljoint Replacement

    After nearly 240,000 miles the rubbers on my lower control arm (or wishbone) were perished, and the lower balljoint (LBJ) was starting to feel questionable too.

    This procedure is to replace both on the left hand side (i.e. Gearbox end of the engine). The procedure for the right hand side (i.e. Cambelt end) is almost exactly the same, but with one (fairly large caveat) - to access the front-mount bolts on the right hand side, you will need to raise that end of the engine by about 25mm. You can get away without this if you're very lucky (or have extremely shallow sockets) but for that side of the car, plan as if you're going to have to raise the engine slightly so that your ratchet doesn't foul on the sump.

    Also, if you're doing the right hand side (offside), be very careful of the driveshaft - it's incredibly easy to accidentally pull the shaft out of the inner CV joint - if you do this you'll need to replace the driveshaft. It's a common occurrence when changing the offside control arm on the S60 and V70 apparently

    I was in a bit of a hurry doing this job, and unfortunately forgot to take pictures. The pictures below were all taken after the fact.

  • Volvo S60: Offside Driveshaft Replacement

    This documentation details how to replace the offside (drivers side/Right hand side) driveshaft on a 2003 right hand drive Volvo S60.

    As far as I know, the process for Volvo V70's is exactly the same.

    The offside driveshaft on the S60 is commonly damaged when replacing the Lower Control Arm - the shaft can easily be pulled out of the inner CV joint by accident. In order to resolve that, you need to remove the driveshaft and either rebuild the CV joint or put a new driveshaft.

    I'm neither delicate nor patient enough to rebuild a CV joint, so I decided just to put a new driveshaft in.

    This documentation details the process I followed.

  • Volvo S60: Overrun Alternator Pulley

    I had an issue recently on my S60 - when the car was first started from cold, there'd be a rhythmic thumping noise from under the bonnet.

    Lifting the bonnet, the auxilary belt tensioner was jumping backwards and forwards as slack came into the belt and then was taken up.

    Further investigation showed that the Alternator Pulley had started to fail - modern alternator's no longer use a solid flywheel, instead using a clutch-based pulley called an Overrun Alternator Pulley (or OAP). The pulley manufacturer (INA) recommend that it be changed whenever the aux belt is changed.

    My aux belt had been changed at the result of an emergency cambelt change (following a water pump collapse). Unfortunately, in VIDA, Volvo list the pulley as a separate service item, rather than listing it as being part of an aux belt change, so the garage missed it.

    Because of the time it took to track down and obtain a suitable pulley, the belt was pretty badly chewed by the time I was able to swap the pulley, so I opted to change that as well.

    This documentation details the steps required to change the alternator belt and pulley on a Volvo S60 (D5 engine). All images should be clickable.

  • Volvo S60: Service Interval Reset

    This is one of those things where the procedure's easy, but I use it so infrequently that I always have to look it up.

    When a service is due, the S60 will display the message "Time for Regular Service". This documentation details the procedure to reset it once you've done the service.