MicksGarage.com answers your motoring questions
The lads over in MicksGarage.com have been working away over the past few weeks to answer your motoring questions, so here’s the latest batch to come in from you out there.
There’s nothing worse than having to fork over a wade of cash just to fix your car, so why bother when you can fix it yourself with just a few words of advice and encouragement. This week the lads at MicksGarage.com take a look at fixing some strange noises and what to do with flaking paint.
I have an ’04 Ford Fiesta with a strange ‘whirring’ noise coming from the engine. The car works fine and it’s been like that for a year. What’s going on?
Noises like this, especially with no symptoms, are very hard to diagnose. We can just offer a couple of ideas really. If the noise increases in pitch/volume with engine speed then It could be the alternator. It could be a small vacuum/air leak in the engine air pipes and hoses or it could be any of the drive belts. It really could be any of a number of things so it’s probably better to get it checked out.
My BMW 320d ingested a swirl flap, I was going to rebuild the engine myself but was told that it may not be the same after a rebuild, is that true? Will the crankcase have to be opened to check for damage after the flap rivets and bar have been swallowed? I thought I’d make it a bit difficult for you guys…
Very sorry to hear this. When you do get the engine sorted get some swirl flap blanking plates to prevent this from happening again! If it’s done properly the engine should be better after the rebuild (if you make a hames of it then yes it will be worse!). You will need to remove the head to check for damage to the top end. Ideally, remove the sump and inspect the bottom end, but if you can trace all the parts of the swirl flaps (pins, screws, etc.) then, in theory, you should be ok.
After replacing damaged parts and new gaskets the engine should be the same if not better than before! I’d recommend checking out www.bmw-driver.net or www.bmwowners.net, both are Irish BMW forums with plenty of mechanics/DIYers who will offer help or advise on the swirl flap/rebuild issue.
It’s an incredibly common problem and there’s loads of good info out there.
On my Volvo S80, the passenger wing mirror whistles loudly at speed. Do I need to replace the cover?
Only the passenger side? That’s very unusual. Are there any cracks or gaps in the plastics on the mirror? Like a gap between the cover and the housing perhaps? A good place to start is to get some insulating tape and cover all the gaps and see if the wind noise goes away. This will help you get to the bottom of the problem and then you can go about fixing it in the long term.
I have an ’02 Nissan Almera hatchback and a flake of paint came off under the back window. Now it’s starting to flake off bit by bit. What causes this and what’s the most economical way to fix it?
Paint cracks for a variety of different reasons; the weather, surface rust/water build up, damage, etc. In this case it sounds like water is getting trapped around the rubber glass seal and has gotten underneath the paint which is causing it to flake. Fixing it properly and for the long term will involve sanding the area down (to metal if its cracking past the primer) and then re-spraying it. Unless you’ve done it before and are sure of your abilities it’s not a job we’d recommend you try yourself. Ask the pros instead.
I have an ’02 Ford Focus. The heating or cold air will only work when turned up to highest setting number 4? Could this be a fuse?
If fan settings 1, 2 and 3 don’t work then the problem is most likely the fan speed resistor which will need to be replaced. You can pick this up cheaply from a main dealer. On the Ford Focus, the resistor is located behind the glovebox on the right hand side. It has a 4-pin connector and is bolted to the heater box with a single torque screw.
For all your car part queries, visit www.micksgarage.com. We’ll find the solution to more of your motoring issues next week!