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Checking for oil leaks

If an engine needs topping up with fresh oil more than usual, or if you see a pool of oil under the engine where the car has stood, there is an oil leak. Trace the source immediately. Read more

Adjusting a camshaft timing belt

The tension of the toothed belt that drives an overhead camshaft must be checked at the intervals set by the servicing routine laid down in the car handbook. Check it also whenever you remove and refit the belt or the cylinder head. Read more

Adjusting the static timing

The timing mechanism in the ignition system causes the sparkplug to fire in each cylinder just before the piston reaches top dead centre (TDC) on its compression stroke. Read more

Stroboscopic timing

A static timing check with the engine stationary is never fully accurate. It does not allow for wear or backlash - working clearance - in the distributor drive. Read more

How engine timing works

For an engine to work at its best, the fuel/air mixture in each cylinder must fire just as the piston reaches top dead centre (TDC). Read more

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