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Member postings for RMA

Here is a list of all the postings RMA has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: What the he**
24/09/2019 13:57:21
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 24/09/2019 13:13:34:

Depends what's meant by 'common'! I've never broken a spring nor do I know anyone who's ever broken a spring. But like Clive I've seen bits in the gutter and once heard one break as a car traversed a roundabout.

As there are about 31,000,000 cars on the road in the UK, that's 124,000,000 springs available for breaking. This American website gives the probability of a suspension spring breaking as 1 in 1000 per year. My maths is awful and ignores mileage and other factors, but I reckon that means the average individual has a 20% chance of suffering a spring break in 50 years of motoring. Not exactly 'common' but frequent enough to be noticeable.

While it's tempting to blame value engineering, recycled steel, speed bumps, bad roads, weak shock absorbers and curved compression etc, the chief cause is RUST. The pits caused by rusting act as stress concentrators. Being a spring the metal is hard which encourages fatigue cracking anywhere stress is concentrated. As springs are also brittle it doesn't take much for a crack to propagate catastrophically. More likely to break on a speed hump than a flat road, but as happened to Roger, damaged springs can fail whilst parked up. Cold weather increases the risk too. Sharp corners and steel going brittle in cold weather caused at least 7 Liberty ships to break in half during WW2. The Schenectady was in harbour when she broke with a bang.

Suspension springs are exposed to the weather and - in the UK - to salt on the roads. It seems suspension springs are more likely to break than valve springs even though the latter are thrashed hard and hot: I think that's because corrosion is far less likely inside a well-protected oily engine.


Sorry you're wrong. Rust isn't the problem, my own spring looked brand new, as did my son's which failed two weeks later. The one's I see in my local MOT garage are somewhat dirty but in the main totally rust free!

I think the problem is value engineering, and the worsening road surfaces accelerate breakages.

Thread: Water in fuel
24/09/2019 13:31:53

Thanks for your response Robert. Yes, we check for water in the aircraft tanks with Avgas, easy to do on a 172, but not so easy on a car. Like the aircraft I always leave my car with a full tank to minimise condensation, and I run it regularly even if only in the garage, but without stripping it down, it's impossible to know if there is water/corrosion in my tank.

This problem was highlighted recently when a member started to investigate his 'fuel' problems and lack of power (normally around 310 BHP) . He'd already recently changed the fuel pumps and filters, but when he stripped it again and put the photos on the forum, the amount of corrosion was alarming. He has now changed the tank, plus the pumps and filters again. His investigations found that ethanol attracted water. Apparently the government will be increasing the mandatory limit of ethanol and many engines will not be able to use it if it goes too high. Maybe you can enlighten me on that.

I know it's a good idea to put an additive in the tank if it's to be left say, over the winter without any use, but once you start to use up the fuel and refill, the additive becomes weaker and loses it's benefit.

I'll look into the IPA (not the beer) and forward the information.

Thanks, Rodney

24/09/2019 12:37:02

Good afternoon. Are there any professional chemists on this forum?

I'm not a chemist but I fear this thread may develop into a long winded set of opinions and ideas, when I'm really searching for a quick definitive answer.

We have a current thread going on my car club forum regarding the damage caused to fuel tanks, pumps and fuel lines due to the ethanol content in modern fuel. This apparently encourages water which settles at the bottom of the tank and consequently rusts these components.

I would really appreciate an answer from a chemist who might have a method of dispelling the water or stop it happening in the first place. We know of several additives on the market, but are these any good or just another way of throwing money away?

Thanks in advance

Thread: What the he**
23/09/2019 22:03:07
Posted by Mike Poole on 23/09/2019 20:36:03:

I have had a few break but never in such a dramatic fashion, usually the car just adopts a bit of a list.


Yes, I was talking to my MOT inspector a couple of year's back. He had quite a modern Merc come in for an MOT, and that had a bit of a list. When up on the hoist, not only had the spring broken, it had completely disappeared!

23/09/2019 20:22:59

I'm afraid coil spring breakage is very common these days, value engineering I think they call it. I had one go a few year's back, the paint on the spring was perfect and so was the paper label wrapped round it with the part number on. There was a pile of broken coils in the corner of the garage!

Thread: Caravan Insurance
23/09/2019 15:02:14

Yes it's/was a very large bond secured by the government, and the GPO etc paid very little for their vehicles because of the economy of scale. Judging by the dents on Royal Mail vehicles, I don't think they bother that much even today. I don't know, but I don't think shareholders in private companies would agree to that amount set aside. I suspect they would get a much better deal with premiums than the likes of us.

23/09/2019 14:14:14
Posted by Tim Stevens on 23/09/2019 14:06:25:

We are surrounded in all our doings by people who will take our money and offer nothing in return. In reality, the only motor insurance you need to pay for is to cover the risk of serious injury or death you cause to a 'third party'. This is because the financial burden of such a claim is very likely to be beyond your means. I am sure that Peter Shaw has already worked this out. UK car insurance law does not require even this level of insurance - as long as you deposit a serious bundle of notes with the authorities.

Another oddity is the fact that county councils do not need such insurance either. This is because in legal terms a CC cannot become bankrupt - so even the biggest claim would be paid out. And backed by Her Brittanic Majesty's Government. In other words, by you and me, Peter.

Cheers, Tim

Yes, the GPO and PO Telephones had that arrangement. I'm not sure what they do now since privatisation came along.

23/09/2019 11:38:43
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 23/09/2019 09:15:37:
Posted by RMA on 23/09/2019 06:22:49:

[ ... ] Same with my BMW, it has an 8 speed sport auto box with paddle shift, so why does it come up as a manual on every insurance form? [ ... ]


Presumably the paddles are there to facilitate rapid manual selection of a gear ...

Why are you surprised ?


Quite simply because all cars with these gearboxes are classed as automatics, even though BMW give two methods to override it. Even my Jaguar which is now 22 year's old is classed as an automatic, even though it has the famous Jaguar J gate for manual override!

It's the DVLA that gets thing wrong and insurance companies take their word for it, hence my warning to anyone taking insurance to get all the facts right, otherwise you can create a loophole.

23/09/2019 06:22:49

I get fed up with insurance companies insisting on this that and the other. Are trackers really necessary in a caravan? It's been year's since I had a caravan, long before trackers were available, and if my caravan had been stolen, I wouldn't have wanted it back anyway, chances are it would have been abused and trashed, and it was a new van.

I do an annual search for all my insurance policies and I always have problems with alarms. I have two cars with top of the range factory fitted alarms, I don't know if they're Thatcham this or Thatcham that, the insurers should know that when I put the reg number in! Same with my BMW, it has an 8 speed sport auto box with paddle shift, so why does it come up as a manual on every insurance form?

What I have learned over the year's is to actually talk to someone when searching for a policy and ensure they have ALL the correct details, and get the insurance you actually need and want. If not they will wriggle out of paying up, that's for sure.

I think Peter's idea is well thought through. Don't let these companies rip you off!

Off subject a bit, but worth mentioning. My car was parked legally on the highway and unattended. Some young clown drove into the side and did a runner! I was very fortunate to have had two witnesses who left the number of the other vehicle for my return. In the end the other parties insurance paid for the whole claim, but I had to declare it to my insurance company and it was recorded as a no fault claim, even though it hadn't cost them a penny. Result no. My renewal premiums were loaded because of the claim.....for the next 5 year's on both of my cars! When I challenged them I was told that although I wasn't in the car at the time of the crash, the insurance algorithm tells them I'm now more likely to have crash in the future!

So beware of these sharks, they play silly games!

Edited By RMA on 23/09/2019 06:23:44

21/09/2019 17:31:59

Peter, I used to belong to the Caravan Club, and I wouldn't touch anything they sold with a barge pole! I imagine the Camping and Caravanning Club to be very similar, although probably not so snobbish!

As I said before, a good broker is your best bet, and I can thoroughly recommend A-Plan which is a national outfit and there should be one near you. Obviously it depends on the personnel in the branch, but mine will go the extra mile to help, and having a local office you can sort it out personally over a cup of coffee. Much better than trying to explain what you want to a call centre, where anything that's off their script is a problem to them. You can get anything these days if you throw money at it, insurance is no exception, but I don't like getting ripped off.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll get it sorted.

21/09/2019 12:18:47

Surely it would be best to talk to a good insurance broker and see exactly what options are available?

Thread: sink fitting help
19/09/2019 21:50:17

You bought the items from Plumbworld and they are usually very good. I think there should be more parts than you have, I would phone them and check, I'm sure they'll help. All the sinks I've fitted come with a complete waste system, which you usually have to adjust to the layout you want, and it's not uncommon to have bits left over that you don't actually need. Seems daft to go and buy bits on a trial and error basis.

I should have added that the two tap tails, I usually fit direct to isolator valves. Dead easy as they just screw together. Makes life easier for future maintenance and they are really cheap from Toolstation etc.

Edited By RMA on 19/09/2019 21:54:53

Thread: Ebay site changes for the worst
18/09/2019 10:55:12
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 18/09/2019 08:56:17:

Slight digression:

I have started receiving quite a lot of 'Special Offer' prices from ebay ... where the Seller has apparently chosen to offer a discounted price to a group of watchers.

But ... the link doesn't take me to to a discounted price !!

Is this an 'undocumented feature' of ebay functionality on the iPad ?


I get these all the time, apparently based on what I've been looking at. I've only used it once and got 15% off an item I wanted to buy anyway. I use a laptop, not an iPad if that makes any difference?

Thread: Stuck oil filter
12/09/2019 13:23:18
Posted by 34046 on 12/09/2019 11:56:32:

It was nice and simple in the old days with a central bolt to hold them on.


Simple yes, but not without it's problems. I know of many ( me included) who didn't fit the loose rubber seal correctly, or it misplaced when offering up the filter. Result, oil everywhere on start up. They also had a small seal at the top of the bolt, and you didn't have to over tighten the thing. The modern canister is far better........if you can get to it!

12/09/2019 13:14:09
Posted by larry phelan 1 on 12/09/2019 11:17:12:

I often wonder do the people who position these things ever try to remove them later ?

In order to get at the fuel filter in my van,one would need to be deformed.

And the oil filter is not much better placed, and yes, you would need a hand like a gorilla.

The problem these day's is the necessity to get the car assembled as quickly as possible. Engines have their own assembly track, sometimes in another part of the world and arrive at the car build track complete with filters and all! Thay are dropped in within seconds and they don't care about removing it! I always have my doubts when taking my car to the main agent for a service, that the filter is ever changed, as you can't see much from under the bonnet! For what I can't do myself, I use an independent garage which specializes in the make of car I own.

I expect the OP has removed it by now and is running again. If he hasn't, don't do the new one up very tight. Just a nip by hand will suffice after putting a thin film of oil on the seal, however it's always prudent to check for leaks at first start up.

12/09/2019 10:20:52

Yes, I always use a chain wrench but they will distort the filter if it's on tight, newer filters seem to have thinner cases these days as well . Can you get a grip with something on the front of the filter where it meets the engine? This is the strongest part of the filter. Without seeing the location, it's difficult to comment further, but it's the rubber seal that's the problem. Break that at some point, lubricate with penetrating oil and it should come free.

12/09/2019 09:58:09

It might have been put on without oiling the seal first, and as you say, tightened by a Gorilla! Whatever you do, don't start the engine if the distortion is bad. I would spray liberally around the seal with a good penetrating oil and give it time. I would then try and nip it a bit tighter and see if the seal can be broken, and then try and unscrew it. In the long distant past I've even drilled into the filter near the engine and put a bar in to get it to turn. These days though you have a job to get your hand anywhere near, let alone any tools.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

Thread: Help what is a fair price
05/09/2019 20:25:55

I have no idea as to value, but some on here have given you a good indication and it's clearly worth a bob or two!

I don't know what your experience with ebay is, but I've had a good success rate with ebay so I'll throw in my two penn'orth. I always wait for the £1 max fees, they are very frequent. I always put the starting price to what I would be satisfied to achieve, and if there are bids above that....good news. I would never start with 99P without reserve, and if you put a reserve you'll be inundated with people asking what it is. I don't end an auction early either, I hate it when someone does it to me. Don't be put off by stating your payment requirements and avoid the rip off fee Paypal, you don't have to accept it.

With engineering stuff and models you will get hundreds of views and large numbers of watchers, but sometimes no buyer. Never mind, just list again when the offer comes round, unless you're in a hurry.

Thread: Dumb question from a none driver
31/08/2019 10:21:52
Posted by mark smith 20 on 31/08/2019 00:25:12:


I just bought a used car for my son. Paid for locally with cash.Being a none driver all my life i know virtually nothing about cars. What i want to know is that the car needs to have me as the registered owner (for reasons i dont want to get into) but my son will be the registered keeper of the vehicle,responsible for driving it insurance etc..

Ive looked online but it keeps going on about registered keepers mainly.

We were given the logbook V5C, etc..

What do i do to register as the owner???

Thanks Mark

Edited By mark smith 20 on 31/08/2019 00:25:39

Edited By mark smith 20 on 31/08/2019 00:26:33

Edited By mark smith 20 on 31/08/2019 00:27:37

This seems to have caused a great deal of confusion on here.

You say you bought the car for your presumably he accepted it as gift and by law he is the owner. Did you put this on paper or was it just verbal?

He has put his name as the registered keeper on the V5 which is normal whether you own the car or not.

Insurance proposal forms will ask who the actual owner is ( this could be you, your son, finance company, bank or leasing company) and who is the registered keeper. To my knowledge that's the only time you're asked for this information. But as you gave the car to your son, he is the owner and keeper. Unless there is something you haven't disclosed in your question.

Thread: Home built trailer
14/08/2019 20:32:19

It may not apply to many (or any) on here, but I know some who take their heavy loco's to rallies and clubs on the Continent with trailers they have made or bought. The law in Spain, and it may well apply in France, is to register your trailer with it's own number plate and have it tested! The fines now are horrendous, but I still see Brits chancing it.

I would suspect that this will eventually happen in the UK, Brexit or not. I've followed trailers being towed at 70 mph or more on two tiddly thin wheels carrying loads that are probably never weighed! I for one would welcome a standardised test for all vehicles.

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