Front suspension and steering check
1 Chock the rear wheels then jack up the front of the car and support it on axle stands (see Jacking and Vehicle Support).
2 Visually inspect the balljoint dust covers and the steering gear gaiters for splits, chafing or deterioration. Any wear of these components will cause loss of lubricant, together with dirt and water entry, resulting in rapid deterioration of the balljoints or steering gear.
3 Check the power-assisted steering fluid hoses (where fitted) for chafing or deterioration, and the pipe and hose unions for fluid leaks. Also check for signs of fluid leakage under pressure from the steering gear rubber gaiters, which would indicate failed fluid seals within the steering gear.
4 Grasp the roadwheel at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions, and try to rock it. Very slight free play may be felt, but if the movement is appreciable, further investigation is necessary to determine the source. Continue rocking the wheel while an assistant depresses the footbrake. If the movement is now eliminated or significantly reduced, it is likely that the hub bearings are at fault. If the free play is still evident with the footbrake depressed, then there is wear in the suspension joints or mountings.
5 Now grasp the wheel at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions, and try to rock it as before. Any movement felt now may again be caused
by wear in the hub bearings or the steering track rod balljoints. If the outer track rod end balljoint is worn, the visual movement will be obvious. If the inner joint is suspect, it can be felt by placing a hand over the rack-and-pinion rubber gaiter, and gripping the track rod. If the wheel is now rocked, movement will be felt at the inner joint if wear has taken place.
6 Using a large screwdriver or flat bar, check for wear in the suspension mounting bushes by levering between the relevant suspension component and its attachment point. Some movement is to be expected, as the mountings are made of rubber, but excessive wear should be obvious. Also check the condition of any visible rubber bushes, looking for splits, cracks or contamination of the rubber.
7 With the vehicle standing on its wheels, have an assistant turn the steering wheel back-and-forth, about an eighth of a turn each way. There should be very little, if any, lost movement between the steering wheel and roadwheels. If this is not the case, closely observe the joints and mountings previously described, but in addition, check the steering column universal joints for wear, and also check the rack-and-pinion steering gear itself.
8 Chock the front wheels then jack up the rear of the car and support it on axle stands (see Jacking and Vehicle Support). Remove the rear roadwheels.
9 Check the rear hub bearings for wear, using the method described for the front hub bearings (paragraph 4).
10 Using a large screwdriver or flat bar, check for wear in the suspension mounting bushes by levering between the relevant suspension component and its attachment point. Some movement is to be expected, as the mountings are made of rubber, but excessive wear should be obvious. Check the condition of the shock absorbers and their bushes/mountings.
11 Periodically remove the roadwheels, and clean any dirt or mud from the inside and outside surfaces. Examine the wheel rims for signs of rusting, corrosion or other damage. Light alloy wheels are easily damaged by kerbing whilst parking, and similarly, steel wheels may become dented or buckled. Renewal of the wheel is very often the only course of remedial action possible.
12 The balance of each wheel and tyre assembly should be maintained, not only to avoid excessive tyre wear, but also to avoid wear in the steering and suspension components. Wheel imbalance is normally signified by vibration through the vehicle's bodyshell, although in many cases it is particularly noticeable through the steering wheel. Conversely, it should be noted that wear or damage in suspension or steering components may cause excessive tyre wear. Out-of-round or out-of-true tyres, damaged wheels and wheel bearing wear/maladjustment also fall into this category. Balancing will not usually cure vibration caused by such wear.
13 Wheel balancing may be carried out with the wheel either on or off the vehicle. If balanced on the vehicle, ensure that the wheel-to-hub relationship is marked in some way prior to subsequent wheel removal, so that it may be refitted in its original position.
20 Driveshaft rubber gaiter and constant velocity (CV) joint || check ^
1 With the vehicle raised and securely supported on stands, turn the steering onto full lock, then slowly rotate the roadwheel. Inspect the condition of the outer constant velocity (CV) joint rubber gaiters, squeezing the gaiters to open out the folds (see illustration). Check for signs of cracking, splits or deterioration of the rubber, which may allow the grease to escape, and lead to water and grit entry into the joint. Also check the security and condition of the retaining clips. Repeat these checks on the inner CV joints. If any damage or deterioration is found, the gaiters should be renewed (see Chapter 8).
2 At the same time, check the general condition of the CV joints themselves by first holding the driveshaft and attempting to rotate the wheel. Repeat this check by holding the inner joint and attempting to rotate the driveshaft. Any appreciable movement indicates wear in the joints, wear in the driveshaft splines, or a loose driveshaft retaining nut.
21 Battery and electrolyte level % check
1 The battery is located on the left-hand side of the engine compartment.
2 On batteries with removable cell covers, the electrolyte level in the battery should be checked (and if necessary topped up) at the interval given at the beginning of this Chapter; the check should be made more often if the car is operated in high ambient temperature conditions. Maintenance-free batteries (usually identifiable by a label on the battery top) do not require topping-up and the cell covers are not removable.
20.1 Checking the driveshaft gaiters for damage
3 On some batteries, the case is translucent and incorporates minimum (or lower) and maximum (or upper) level marks; with the vehicle parked on level ground, the electrolyte level in each cell must be maintained between these marks (see illustration). On batteries without a translucent case and level marks, the electrolyte level must be maintained just above the top of the cell plates.
4 If topping up is necessary, proceed as described in the following paragraph.
5 Remove the cell covers from the top of the battery then carefully add distilled or de-ionized water to raise the electrolyte level in each cell but do not overfill. With the electrolyte level replenished, refit the cell covers.
6 The exterior of the battery should be inspected periodically for damage such as a cracked case or cover.
7 Check the tightness of the battery cable terminal clamps to ensure good electrical connections, and check the entire length of each cable for cracks and frayed conductors.
8 If corrosion (visible as white, fluffy deposits) is evident, remove the cable terminal clamps from the battery terminals, clean them with a small wire brush then refit them. Corrosion can be kept to a minimum by applying a layer of petroleum jelly to the clamps and terminals after they are reconnected.
9 Make sure that the battery tray is in good condition and the retaining clamp is tight.
10 Corrosion or deposits on the tray, retaining clamp and the battery itself can be removed with a solution of water and baking soda. Thoroughly rinse all cleaned areas with cold water.
11 Any metal parts of the vehicle damaged by such corrosion should be covered with a zinc-based primer then painted.
12 Further information on the battery, charging and jump starting can be found in Chapter 5A and in the preliminary sections of this Manual.
22 Roadwheel nut tightness check ||
Using a torque wrench, check that the roadwheel nuts are tightened to the torque wrench setting given in the Specifications.
1-16 Every 9000 miles or 6 months
23 Wheel alignment check
Refer to the procedure in Chapter 10.
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You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.