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Monthly MiTo check and parking lights discovery [Sunday 4th January 2015 at 8:51 pm]

[Feeling |accomplishedaccomplished]

Another month, another check of pressures and levels in the MiTo. Only done 317.4 miles since the last check on the 6th December - a bit less than the 1133 miles I did from mid-October through November!

Tyre pressures all good, including the spare (well... all down around 0.1bar, or more likely I manage to lose 0.05bar each time I wrestle the hose on or off), brake fluid check, coolant check. Oil on the other hand is now down to somewhere around half-way on the dipstick, so I ought to top it up a bit. The internets suggest that between full and "not showing" is about a litre, and given that the book says 400g/1000km is the expected consumption I'm doing quite well.

So, Halfords shopping list: another bottle of screenwash, and a bottle of oil. Actually finding the right type of oil is tricky and not at all helped by the Halfords website recommending the wrong type! In theory any modern 5W-40 fully synthetic should work, but the garage I bought the car from recommends Castrol Edge and that turns out to be about the only one that actually lists the relevant Fiat specification.

I also ought to have a look at what batteries they have, as I had another instance of the power steering tripping out when driving to Horsham (fortunately right near the end of my journey, as I was turning into Ryecroft Drive). The internets suggest two possible culprits: either a sensor in the steering column packs up, or the bus voltage sags too low. Given that its still got the original battery I'm hoping it's the latter (also I've not had the other symptoms of sensor failure - apparently if the sensor goes, the dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree as everything from ABS to VDC switches off!).

Oh, and I finally worked out how to turn the parking lights on. Turns out that despite the manual making no mention of it whatsoever, switching on parking lights in my MiTo is ridiculously simple:

1. Turn the key to STOP.
2. Make sure the lights are switched off.
3. Switch the lights on.

And now you'll have just the sidelights on (despite the switch being in the side+main position), and they'll stay on when you lock the car. Simples!

The gotcha is step 2 - you have to switch the lights on with the engine stopped. If the lights were already on then you won't get parking lights and when you turn the key to STOP all the lights will go out (which does stop you flattening the battery by leaving the lights on!).
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