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A few MOT Issues to sort out

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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] A few MOT Issues to sort out

    Hello everyone, I'm a fresh Corsa C owner and this is my first post here.

    I bought my car from a Lady, who apparently did not invest very much in it aparet from what was absolutely required, but I think it can serve me well upon some repairs, as despite its age, it has low mileage (48000) and the engine luckily works well.

    There is some advisory from the last MOT:

    Play in steering rack inner joint(s) ()
    Exhaust has a minor leak of exhaust gases (7.1.2)
    brake pipes have been greased

    Also, the brakes need to be looked at, as the car brakes okay in normal drive, I would doubt it would manage an emergency stop effectively.

    Have you got any brief idea how much (roughly) would it be to fix the advisory and how much it usually cost to fix brakes? I know the pads have been replaced a couple of years ago, but I suspect it may be something to do with the brake fluid?

  • #2
    No way to guess without seeing why the brakes are less effective than they ought to be. Corsa brakes are not as 'over-servoed' as many modern cars so they can feel a bit heavy. But they ought to stop you if you press them firmly.

    If the car has done low miles in Scotland where they use a lot of salt during the winter it's possible the calipers are sticking a bit. It's not uncommon to see that the pads are only making partial contact on the discs due to not moving in the sliders properly.

    Look at the front discs, they should have a shiny section that extends from the hub to the rim without any signs of a section which is rusty indicating the pads aren't making contact across the full area. Check the depth of the lip at the outer edge which will give you an idea how worn the discs are. The good news is that pads and discs for them are cheap so if in doubt replace both.

    The rear drums may just need cleaning out. If the previous owner was less than meticulous then the drums may be full of brake dust. Again, look at the braking surface to get an idea of how well the shoes are contacting.

    Any signs of scoring or ridges on discs or drums means replacing them, along with the pads & shoes.

    If the fluid has never been replaced then get it done. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, ie it absorbs water. This leads to both internal corrosion and can lead to brake fade. Water in the fluid will boil when the brakes get hot, this creates steam in the pipes - you cannot compress a fluid but you can compress a gas - hence the brake fluid doesn't transmit the full braking force. It usually shows if the brakes are used hard repeatedly or down a long hill.

    The amount of play in the steering rack joints is a matter of judgement how much is too much. Minor play is acceptable but it will get worse with time. A new rack is fiddly to fit and pretty costly if done professionally due to the work involved.

    Greased brake pipes are fine. I do mine. They have to record it as it would mask any leaks in a corroded pipe. That alone points to the possibility of the brake suffering from salt corrosion. Corsa C brake pipes are usually pretty rust resistant.
    1972 Viva restoration thread -


    • #3
      Thank you! The car has spent its last four years (and half its mileage) in Scotland, previously being driven in Gloucestershire. Pads have been replaced 6 months ago, but the discs appear to be worn indeed, as the outer edge is ca 1mm above the disc surface (although pads appear to be aligned okay, as there's no rust on them). Interesting is, the brake pedal doesn't have to hit the floor. Apparently our local garages offer free brake and exhaust checks and I made a booking for tomorrow My bet is the fluid.

      Hopefully the steering rack doesn't need to be replaced, as it would cost more than I paid for the entire car.


      • #4
        I have never done the job on a c , so bow to greater experience, but I thought you could replace inner tie rod ends separately, without needing to replace the whole rack. Still a fair amount of work . If there are multiple issues it may save some duplication of labour if they are all done at the same time. Thats assuming the savings benefit you, not the garage.

        Rusty brakes can be a problem on low mileage cars, especially if the driver is naturally gentle with the brakes. They benefit from a bit of hard braking every so often to free them up. Even if you have to do it deliberately.


        • #5
          I visited Farmers Garage and thier mechanic has examined the issues and said that front brakes and the steering rack are fine and if he was to do the MOT today, he would have passed with no advisories in either. Rear brakes cannot be checked that quickly and I would have to leave the car one day. He also said that exhaust looks okay (I'm suspecting there's more detailed examination at MOT?) and the entire car is in a fairly fine condition for its age, no rust, etc.

          The only issue is a broken rear coil spring. I've noticed there is a selection of brands available, shall I stick to something specific, or anything from ebay that fits would be good enough?

          Quite nice service by the way, as I was shown everything, not just told afterwards.
          Thank you for your help.


          • #6
            To be fair the items were advisories and MOT guys have to cover themselves by noting anything they spot. Most cars will have some minor issues to report. A minor exhaust leak is just that - minor. If it was a problem it would have failed.

            Re. springs - the OEM spec ones are probably as bad as you'll ever get which is why they fail so regularly. When I've fitted replacements I've never had a replacement snap - even after doing two or three times the mileage that the originals lasted for. So I'd just ask at a local factors and see what they've got in stock.
            1972 Viva restoration thread -


            • #7
              Last edited by radekone; 12-07-2017, 02:06 PM.


              • #8
                Aren't the rears just on bumpstops? so you should be able to fit that yourself in under 20 minutes save a bit more money
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                • #9
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                  • #10
                    That's my plan to fit them by myself Would any of aforementioned brands be okay, as they're reasonably priced from the local suppliers?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by radekone View Post
                      That's my plan to fit them by myself Would any of aforementioned brands be okay, as they're reasonably priced from the local suppliers?
                      Sachs, Bilstein, both reputable
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                      • #12
                        For rear springs on a standard car I would probably just go for the cheapest available at the local factors.

                        If there is only a quid or two difference in price then indeed Sachs and Bilstein are reputable makes. With after market parts ,I tend to check out their own web sites, as many once famous brand names are now owned by far eastern manufacturers who simply put their normal stuff in branded boxes at a higher price. And beware of on line sellers who's prices seem amazingly cheap. Some even less reputable manufacturers dont even bother buying a once famous brand name, they simply print boxes and labels.

                        Less easy to check out is the possibility that some well known and reputable brands may indeed make their high end and expensive sports stuff, but might have a marketing deal with another manufacturer to sell more mundane parts under their brand name.

                        And of course some brands ,unknown to most members of the public in a particular country may be highly regarded in other countries, or used as OE by car manufacturers.

                        IIRC (I checked yesterday) Sachs and Bilstein are still original, Lesjofors are made in Sweden but do not claim to be anything but 'after market' manufacturers ,KYB are japanese.

                        Kilens web site emphasises that they have distribution departments in Sweden,Germany,uk (and Russia) Typical tactics to deceive you into thinking they are made there, when its almost certainly elsewhere. Anschler is a nice germanic sounding name but I cant find a web site on them, other than retailers. They may have been a well known german brand at one time ,maybe they still are, but who knows?

                        Being made in sweden does not necessarily guarantee a better quality than one made somewhere less certain.
                        Last edited by Bugman; 13-07-2017, 06:10 AM.


                        • #13