MOT

Getting your Peugeot through the MOT is easier said than done as it ages. Rust doesn’t tend to be an issue – The main culprits tend to be high emissions and worn suspension components. Catalytic converters, lambda sensors are prime culprits for high emissions, and having a cheap spare ready can save time and hassle. Suspension components such as wishbone bushes, shocks and rear beams can fail at higher mileages so it’s often worth looking out for cheap items to store in the garage and save expense later on.

MOT

Shortest posts ever? The Pug went in for it’s 2nd MOT in my ownership and am happy to say it sailed straight through MOT with no problems whatsoever. Not bad for a 14 year old French motor!

Airbag light revisited

Airbag warningSince I , the Airbag light has intermittently come on the dash console. As you may know the connectors under the seats are the prime culprit for this. I connected them up with bullet connectors which have obviously worked loose with the seat moving back and forward. Luckily I didn’t have to remove the seats again, but simply ensured the connections were sound by reaching underneath and securing them. Hey presto, no airbag light on the dash cluster. Another cheap and quick fix ready for the MOT

Blowing exhaust

ExhaustWith this year’s MOT drawing near I knew it was time to get the exhaust replaced. It was worn and rusty and I remember patching it up for the last MOT so it was overdue a replacement. Normally I’d choose a decent stainless steel replacement to free up a little power and stave off rust permanently, but I wanted to keep the car standard so didn’t look into performance exhaust options. I left the car with the local Wilco Motosave who put a new exhaust on from the catalytic convertor back for the reasonable sum of £150. These guys are reliable, friendly and cheap and had already patched it up for free a couple of weeks earlier. So thats another job that should help the car sail through the dreaded MOT next week.

MOT passed!

I put the 106 in for another MOT at a council MOT test centre conveniently located next to the office. Unfortunately it failed again. This time it failed on:

  • Rear brake efficiency
  • Ball joints too much play
  • Emissions over on CO.

The play in the ball joints was only evident on an MOT rig that shook the car, the tester said a crowbar wasn’t enough to budge them. I asked if he could test it with a crowbar then!
The emissions  issue was solved by swapping the Cat over which I had luckily bought months ago as a spare in the garage.
The rear brakes were doing about 25% of the effort they should have been, this turned out to be the rear brake compensator. This device alters how hard the rear brakes work  depending on the load of the car. E.g. if you fully load the boot with 70kg of kit, the compensator will ensure the rear brakes work harder. Unfortunately these often seize and regularly fail the MOT on older cars.

I decided to take it into the garage since the rear brake efficiency was definitely going to be the rear brake compensator not working as designed, and as it is tucked up behind the rear beam, it’s not a easy job when you don’t have a hydraulic ramp. Also, if the compensator needs removing and you round off one of the brake pipes, its a real pain to sort out.
I can recommend JP Auto Technics, in Swallownest as a fast, efficient garage. Theses boys have seen all sorts of motors from everyday cars to fire breathing high spec Rally cars. They sorted out the jobs in no time and got it MOT’d with no hassle.

Rear brake bleed and service

One of the MOT failures was “Nearside brake application uneven.” This suggested to me that the brakes needed thoroughly bleeding to remove any air, and the caliper checking to make sure it was moving correctly and applying brake pressure to the disc. Bleeding the brakes is easier if you have a friend to hand. You’ll need an 8mm brake spanner for the bleed nipple. Now these can be very fragile and often snap inside the caliper. Even though they often snap in the closed position it still means you now can’t bleed the brakes. Some people recommend soaking the nipple in WD40 overnight, or ‘shocking’ the nipple loose using a deep socket. Assuming you can free the bleed nipples on all calipers, you should start bleeding at the caliper furthest away from the Master cylinder, then proceed in order, ie. N/S/R, O/S/R, N/S/F, O/S/F. To bleed a caliper, attach a brake bleed kit to the nipple, loosen the nipple and ask an assistant to depress the brake pedal. At the bottom of the pedal’s travel, ask them to hold it there and close the nipple. Release the pedal and reopen the nipple. Repeat this process until only fluid comes out of the bleed nipple and no air bubbles are present. IMPORTANT: Make sure you keep the brake fluid reservoir topped up with fluid. If it drops too low, you’ll draw more air into the system, defeating the purpose of the exercise and you’ll have more work on your hands. You may need to go round all 4 calipers two or more times to remove all the air, depending on how much is present.

With this done, I removed the brake disc and carrier so I could check the movement of the piston. It was very stiff, so I greased the piston lightly and wound it back in. I got an assistant to press the brake so the piston was pushed out and wound it back in again. I did this 3 or 4 times and the piston loosened off nicely so it was moving more freely. To help pass the MOT, I added to new brake pads while I was there. A very easy job – simply remove the clips from the old pads and tap out the slider with a screwdriver. Grease up the slider and replace it together with the new pads. Press the clips back onto the pads and ensure the slider has its retaining pin fitted. Replace the disc and pad carrier and voila.

ABS sensor failure

ABS lightSince the ABS light was on the dash (an MOT failure) I set about trying to solve the issue. First up was the issue of trying to figure out which sensor was at fault. Usually a garage will use the diagnostic machine to find out which sensor is providing faulty or no reading. Obviously I don’t have the diagnostic machine on hand, but there is another (cheaper) way…
I signed up on 106owners.co.uk to become a full forum member for £5. This allows you to view the diy guides, one of which is diagnosing an ABS sensor failure. For full members the article is here. Using the guide I determined that the N/S/R sensor was at fault.

I logged onto the Eurocarparts website and ordered the correct ABS sensor for the car. Lo and behold it arrived, and turned out to be the wrong ABS sensor. So I sent it back and browsed ebay for the correct sensor. Having ordered the sensor, a nice Glaswegian guy called to check my registration and make sure it was the correct one. The sensor arrived and was thankfully the right one.

To change the sensor first get under the rear of the car and trace the ABS sensor back under the rear beam to the blue plastic plug. Remove this and work your way back to the hub, removing the
cable clips as you go. To get the old ABS sensor out requires patience and brute force!
Remove the rear disc protector by removing the 3 torx screws in the back of the hub. Next its helpful if you remove the brake pad carrier and brake disc. This allows you full access to the ABS Sensor. A set of Mole grips are very useful for grabbing the sensor and removing it. If it’s never been changed, you’ll need patience as it will almost certainly be near-seized in the hub. You will destroy the sensor on removing it, I managed to pull the electronics out of it metal casing! To removed the casing from the hub I had to hammer it with a screwdriver until finally, it came out. Clean the hole in the hub and gently work the ABS sensor in until it is in place. Once the ABS sensor is connected up, it will take time for the ABS ECU to recognise the sensor is now working and turn off the ABS sensor light on the dash, so take the car for a run for a few miles and job done.

MOT failure

MOT failSo I took the 106 in for it’s first MOT in my ownership. Having been stood for about 3 months, I wasn’t very optimistic, and remembered last minute that the ABS light was present on the dash, which is a guaranteed automatic MOT fail – Doh!.

It failed quite badly. The rap sheet goes:

  • Nearside brake application uneven
  • Offside rear brake caliper leaking
  • Anti-lock braking system warning lamp indicates an ABS fault.
  • Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content at idle excessive
  • Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content after 2nd fast idle excessive
  • Nearside front Windscreen washer provides insufficient washer liquid
  • Service brake efficiency below requirements

I took the car back, knewing I’d be doing the work myself. In a cold January. In the dark.

Why do I own a French car again?