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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 18th December 2009 Thread Starter
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Motoring diary of a pauper - Scenic I

Hi there,

I think I'd like to take this opportunity to share with everyone my experience of owning and maintaining a mk1 Scenic.
Hopefully I can build this post into a repository of practical advice to be shared and maybe entice some other people into assisting me with thier own advice.

First off let me explain my situation...
I have myself a woman and 2 kids. We needed a decent sized family car and being somewhat finacially challenged the only thing I could find cheap enough at the time was a 99 Scenic (she liked the look of it... I never should have listened to her)
So I have myself a 1.6RT.

What a pain in the it has been but they drive nice and touch wood I've never had anything catastrophic go wrong yet... however...

1st problem... Water in the footwells
The car I bought had been stored in a garage and was dry as a bone when I drove it away.
Left in on my driveway in the rain and I experienced indoor flooding.

After doing some reading I found out about the drainage tubes that run down the winscreen struts.
What a poor peice of design they are... The caps at the end have but a small slit to let the water out of and they are located behind the plastic wheelarch covers around the front wheels.
If you undo the 3 screws holding the covers in place behind the wheel and just pull it away you will discover a sandbox behind them. Embedded in the sandbox you will find the drainage tubes.
Scrape out the muck and squeeze the caps on the end of the tubes and the drainage problem is magically fixed... 5 minute job.
Getting the excess water out of the footwells is tricky. I resorted to drilling holes through the caps located in the storage compartments underneath the rear passengers feet. I figured holes there would always allow water to drain and the problems of rusting would be minimised by putting the holes in the drain caps.

Starter motor was jiggered too...
When I bought it it had been stood for ages so I figured the labouring starter motor was a result of flat battery.
Quickly became apparent I was wrong when it got progressivly worse over time and I resorted to bump starting. ... I love this place

Atleast the starter motor is no problem to replace... fiddly as there's litte room behind the engine but simple nonetheless, 3 bolts

Copper Grease!

You can never have too much copper grease.

This peice of advice was given to me by my mechanic friend.

Whenever you pull out a thread give it a little grease before you put it back in, saves so much hassle in the future.

Also when loosening a stubborn bolt, after you've cracked it undo for 1 turn then screw it back in. Undo it some more then screw it back in, then remove it.
This helps not to foul up the threads

Last edited by Lagdti; 18th December 2009 at 09:31 PM.
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Motoring diary of a pauper - Scenic I Cars & motoring Fat455Monk3h 6 1167 18th December 2009 02:17 PM
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd December 2009 Thread Starter
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Re: Motoring diary of a porper - Scenic I

A rear suspension strut (shock absorber) broke on a trip to Scotland, that was a scary nightmare... limping along making alsorts of noise on the back-end.
They're a doddle to fix if you have a 12 point socket the right size and a trolley jack with enought lift on it.
50 for a brand new unit, jobs a good un.

I had this scenic for nearly a year when as the MOT due I noticed a whirring noise getting worse... Wheel bearing I thought. Alas no the drive shafts were getting worn. The CV boots had both split and I'd never noticed.
This was going to get expensive... When adding up all the little things - new shoes, an exhaust that badly needed replacing, wheel bearings, the rear brace strut was rusted, CV boots and now the half shafts. I cannot afford to fix this POS >.<


So I go looking for another car to see us by...
Why is it that the only half decently sized cars I can ever find under 1k that are not too old or have too many miles on the clock are mk1 Scenics.
While I was looking around I found myself another Scenic for 500, nearly half the price it would cost to fix my old one. I took a good look at it and it had plenty of problems but luckily everything that was wrong with this one was okay on the old one so I hatched myself a plan...
I'll get a second one and use the old for spares, can't go wrong

What a pit of hassle i've landed myself in again there.

This new one was from an auction house... No warranty whatsoever, sold as seen. LOL... In for a penny in for a pound this will be a project.

Same water drainage problem the old one had... the footwells are puddles again. No matter that's easiliy fixed as before

First Problem up... Misfiring.
Dammit I thought i'd got away with that, it ran so well when I was checking it out but when I'd bought the thing and driven it away the next time I go to start it runs like a bag-o-****
So I investigate... The last one had this problem too, I change all the usual bits, air filter, plugs, fuel filter. Stick a load of redex through it. Change the lamda sensor... nothing works.
But when I change the lamda I see the results of the problem... The exhaust is choked up with carbon.
Whoever owned this car beforehand was an absolute mechanical moron. They've had the exhaust manifold off at some point (shearing a bolt while they were at it) and putting it back on using a peice of corrugated cardboard and some exhaust putty as the gasket.
I see the ash and stuff that has squeezed out of the seal all burnt up... That must mean that all the stuff that squeezed it's way into the manifold has burnt up and ended up in the Cat. The resulting loss of airflow has caused the engine to choke on its gasses and the build-up of carbon has accumulated making the problem progressivly worse.
So I swap the good Cat off the old car and make myself one decent working exhaust out of the combined bits.
This still didn't solve the problem but it has alliviated it greatly

Last edited by Fat455Monk3h; 22nd December 2009 at 11:01 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd December 2009 Thread Starter
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Re: Motoring diary of a porper - Scenic I

Heater problems...
The heater was pretty poor in the old car but this one is atrocious so ruling out a airlock problem by bleeding the radiator a bit... the heater matrix must be blocked... I'll get around to that, that's a nightmare job.

But this cold snap we're experiencing has forced my hand on that... turns out there was no anti-freeze in the water and the radiator froze. I got away with that lightly as it has caused no damage but as the engine overheated I gently released the pressure and saw a whole world of brown rusty e water spew forth. Several hours spent pouring water and anti-freeze into it and the water seems to getting a bit clearer but this is a sign of a more serious problem. Without the anti-freeze there was no corrosion inhibitor in the water and I can guarantee that they did not use distilled water (neither do I) The resulting build-up of stuff must be the reason the matrix is blocked and the corrosion problem may be a little more serious than I'd hoped.
I need to replace that matrix it must be knackered
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd December 2009
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Re: Motoring diary of a porper - Scenic I

you can get some nice corrosive acid stuff to flush the cooling system, just make sure its really flushed out afterwards, or it will corrode something expensive.
high pressure water jets in the pipes feeding into the heater matrix works as well.
should clear most of the algae farm you have been breeding in the cooling system. dont forget to take off the thermostat housing and wash the crud growing in there out as well.
then chuck in loads of anti-freeze, pre-mixed stuff is best, else get it mixed to at least -10'C
or if your feeling brave -25'C if your going to europe soon.
Currently in mord's garage:
The CreditCard Holes sooo DEEEEP NASA have put up warning signs about a black hole on the Driveway: update, the driveway and home have fallen in...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd December 2009 Thread Starter
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Re: Motoring diary of a pauper - Scenic I

cool beans, yeah I thought there was some kind of flush stuff you can get for that.... was meaning to check that out.
Also flushing the matrix with a hosepipe or something... Is it possible to connect the hoses round the wrong way to run the water backwards through the matrix?

It's the hose clips that worry me... they don't seem like a very effective solution, if i squeeze the tabs to release the clip will they fasten back up tightly enough?
or should I find myself some jubilee clips to do a proper job on them. I was hesitant to touch them until I was sure I could fasten them back up properly.

And another thing that has been annoying me... I can't undo the thermostats for the life of me. I'm using really basic crude tools to do this and all I have that fits the stats is an adjustable wrench... it just doesn't cut it. I need to find myself a long reach socket but I can't quite be sure wether it's a 22 or a 23mm

Despite trying to do this on the cheap there are so many little things you need to shell out the $$$ for... filters, clips, tools oil , anti-freeze
I've been trying to leave these things until after christmas when i'll be able to afford the odd part here and there but I hate putting them off, I just want to look after the poor neglegted engine. Aside from these numerous little problems the car is sound and it drives much better than my old one.
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