We have seen quite a lot of Timing Chain faults recently across different manufacturers from Nissan and Renault to Audi and Volkswagen.
The faults range from chains stretching and causing the Engine Management Light (EML) to come on to chains slipping and causing poor running and in some cases non start.
There is a lot of speculation as to why the chains in modern cars don’t seem to last as long as their predecessors such as poor oil quality, poor design, poor materials etc…..
What we can say is this problem is becoming more and more common and it is something you cannot ignore, if your engine starts to get a rattle that was not there before or your EML comes on and you have codes for‘Incoherence between Cam and Crank Sensors’ make sure to get it into the garage to be checked out before it does any serious damage.
Here we have a picture of the timing chain cover from a 2016 Nissan Pulsar that had recently started to rattle, as you can see the chain was so loose it was starting to catch the top of the chain cover and wear it away.
The Renault TWIZY is a 100% electric vehicle, consisting of a battery power source, electric motor and gearbox. It is an urban electric two-seater that is super fun to drive on warm sunny days.
This particular TWIZY came in for a few service items to be carried out to keep it in tiptop condition ready for our UK summer.
First job was the ‘Gearbox oil change’ but as the TWIZY is to small to fit on our ramps we had to carry this out on the floor using jacks and axel stands.
The Renault TWIZY’s gear box can get noisy over time due to the additives in the oil failing due to age and heat so it is advised as a service item to have it changed.
Once the TWIZY is safely up on the axel stands remove the under tray which will allow you ta see the gearbox.
Remove the 6mm allen key drain bung from the bottom of the gearbox and allow the oil to drain into a catch bowl, the drain bung has a small magnet on it which is designed to catch any small metallic filings from inside the gearbox, make sure you check for this and clean it before replacement.
Once the oil has completely drained refit the drain bung making sure to use a new sealing washer.
To refill the gearbox remove the 6mm allen key fill bung located above the drain bung (looks more like a bolt).
Fill the gearbox using either a fluid pump or gravity bottle, as the fill hole is very small it can take a while to get the oil in.
Refit the under tray, remove axel stands and carry out a road test.
Brake Fluid Change.
The second job on this little TWIZY was to carry out a full brake fluid flush, which consists of sucking the brake fluid through all four brake callipers until all the old fluid in the system is replaced with new fluid.
The reason for brake fluid changes is that brake fluid has hygroscopic properties which basically means it absorbs moisture from the air.
Brake fluid can reach some very high temperatures under heavy braking but it has a boiling point of around 250 degrees Celsius. As the Brake fluid starts to absorb moisture from the air this boiling point starts to get lower until eventually it becomes so low that even under normal braking the fluid will start to boil and cause brake fade.
This being said a lot of garages use ‘Brake Fluid Changes’ as a regular add on to a Service. We however carry out a moisture content test as part of our Service and only replace it when it is required, unless it is stated for warranty purposes of course.