February 6th, 2011

Hypercar autopsy

We all know that supercars are expensive toys. Apart from the initial cost of buying a piece of automotive excellence, there is also the scary prospect of keeping it on the road. Servicing a normal car is one thing but servicing a supercar is something completely different. With all the cutting edge technology which is stuffed into these cars, there is quite a lot to check when it comes round to a service.

This is what is involved in a Porsche Carrera GT’s four year service. As you can see it is more of an autopsy than a service and no wonder it comes with such a big bill at the end – but it kind of seems worth it. With such a detailed service you get to see the mechanical beauty of what lies beneath the Porsche’s finest road car. We have Jason Tang to thank for taking these fantastic and you can check out his awesome Flickr here.

So I bet you are wondering what the hell goes on at this service to basically take the car apart, leave it in a pile of parts and then reassemble it. Actually, quite a lot happens and here is a full list.

  • Diagnosis system: Read out fault memory
  • Change engine oil and oil filter
  • Change manual transmission oil and oil filter
  • Replace drive belt
  • Check valve clearance
  • Replace coolant regulator
  • Power-assisted steering: Check fluid level
  • Underside of vehicle and engine compartment: Visual inspection for leaks (oils and fluids and chafing (lines and hoses)
  • Underbody covers: Visual inspection for completeness, fastening and signs of damage
    • Coolant hoses: Check condition
    • Radiators and air inlets: Visual inspection for external debris and blockage
    • Coolant: Check level and antifreeze
    • Air cleaner housing: Visual inspection for contamination
    • Combination filter: Replace filter element
    • Fuel lines and connections: Visual inspection for damage and leaks
    • Wheel securing device: Check function
    • Wheel nuts: Visual inspection for wear
    • Parking brake: Check free play of the parking brake lever
    • Brake system: Visual inspection of the brake pads and brake discs for signs of wear

    • Brake hoses and lines: Visual inspection for damage, correct routing and corrosion
    • Brake fluid: Check level
    • Clutch: Check play or final position of pedal
    • Clutch plates: Check for signs of wear
    • Throttle actuation: Check smoothness of operation, full-throttle position with the tester
    • Steering gear: Visual inspection of the bellows for signs of damage
    • Tie rod ends: Check play and dust bellows
    • Axle joints: Check play; visual inspection of the dust bellows for signs of damage; check tightness of ball joints at the front axle and screw connections on the suspensions at the front and rear
    • Drive shafts: Visual inspection of the boots for leaks and signs of damage
    • Exhaust system: Visual inspection for leaks and signs of damage, check mounts and heat shields

    • Vacuum units for exhaust flaps: Check function
    • Magnesium wheels: Visual inspection for damage
    • Tires: Check condition and tire pressure
    • Check door locks, lid locks and safety hook of the front lid to ensure that they are seated firmly and function properly
    • Roof panels: Check function
    • Rear wing drive: Check fluid level, operation and end position
    • Vehicle lights: Check operation
    • All headlights: Check setting
    • Horn: Check operation
    • Windshield wiper/washer, headlight washer: Check fluid level and nozzle settings, make sure to check the antifreeze during winter months

    • Safety belts: Check operation and condition
    • Electrical equipment as well as indicator and warning lights: Check operation
    • During road or dynamometer test: Radio remote control, seats, brake pedal and parking brake (also operating travel), engine, clutch, steering system, transmission, TC switch, rear wing, heating, air-conditioning system and instruments: Check operation
    • Oils, fluids: Visual inspection for leaks
    • Replace tire sealant
    • Check batteries for tire pressure control system
    • Check airbag system
    • Mounts for assemblies: Visual inspection of all hydraulic mounts for damage

    Words: Rowan Horncastle
    Photo Credit: Jason Tang