How to keep your Carver in tip-top condition and ready for action – and help avoid expensive service bills in the future.
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Checking the DVC fluid level
- There is an eyeglass in the side of the DVC tank which allows the fluid level to be checked, but there is a specific procedure to ensure it is observed correctly. This is because if the level is right, it will not show in the eyeglass whilst the car is upright.
- Go to McDonalds and get a few (clean, unused) wooden coffee stirring sticks, then go to a hardware store and buy a turkey basting pipette or similar.
- If possible, remove the left side cover of the engine, as this allows clear observation of the eyeglass and the maintenance handle is much more accessible.
- As the fluid is fairly clear, it is sometimes worth having someone to help, because they can observe the eyeglass at all times whilst the level checking procedure is performed.
- Before starting, ensure the key is in the ignition and the windows are down.
- Turn on the ignition (but not the engine) and then wait about ten seconds. If the electric backup pump operates, wait until it switches off.
- Turn off the ignition, but leave the key in, to prevent the steering wheel locking up.
- Turn the maintenance handle down and tilt the car fully over to the right, observing the eyeglass as the car tilts over.
- Sometimes no change or level can be seen in the eyeglass, which can mean one of two things – too little or too much fluid.
- Unscrew the DVC filler plug and see if you can gauge the level using a (clean) coffee stirring stick, inserted down the filler plug hole.
- Add or remove DVC fluid to bring the level so that it’s between 1/2 and ¾ of the way up the eyeglass. Use the shiny new pipette to suck out any excess fluid.
- Bring the car upright with the maintenance handle, switch on the ignition and wait for the backup pump to finish running.
- Switch the ignition off, tilt the car over and check the level again. Adjust as necessary, then return the car to upright.
- Job done, screw in the filler plug, but do not over tighten as its plastic. Replace the engine side cover. Put the pipette in the bin, because any DVC fluid residue will become contaminated and it should not be used again.
- Go to McDonalds and enjoy a coffee to repay the favour!
Storing your Carver in WinterAs many of us leave our Carvers in (damp) garages over the winter months, we recommend the following:
Tilt CylindersWhen the car is being used, the tilt cylinder’s rods are naturally lubricated with DVC oil as they move in and out of the cylinder housing. Storing the car for long periods exposes the rods to the elements, but without any lubrication. It is recommend that once a month the Carver should be tilted fully over to both sides, to re-lubricate the rods and seals in the tilt cylinders. Always switch the ignition on (but not the engine) to re-charge the backup unit before doing this, to ensure the Carver returns to upright after tilting with the maintenance handle. And leave the key in the ignition and the windows open, to prevent the steering wheel locking up and to allow the backup unit to be re-charged again, just in case this is necessary.
BatteryKeep the battery on maintenance charge – there are some excellent maintenance chargers (e.g. Ctek) which properly maintain the battery condition whilst the car is not been used. These chargers come with direct connection cable accessories which are easily fitted to the battery and allow for simple plug-in connection to the charger. Direct connection to the battery offers much improved charging compared with the original Carver solution, which connected via the cigar lighter socket. These chargers also ‘recycle’ the battery and are far better at determining the true battery condition. There are various models available and CCPS can assist with choice and also supply if required.
Heater Temperature controlsThe heater temperature valve can often become stiff and should always be well greased as part of the service. The temperature control knob in the car should be ‘exercised’ regularly to ensure the valve continues to move freely. Do not apply too much force as this can damage the control cable and would indicate that the valve has already seized.
Start the engineAlthough not essential, it is worth starting the engine occasionally just to keep the oil moving around – running the engine for 5 minutes is all that is required.
Avoid Rusty Rear discsAs the braking force on the Carver is mainly directed to the front brakes, the rear discs can suffer corrosion through light use, especially on the inside faces of the disc. This can eventually affect braking performance under heaving breaking. To keep the rear disc faces clean and to improve braking performance, we would recommend that from time to time the handbrake is applied firmly for 5 seconds, whilst travelling at around 60-70mph. This will obviously slow the Carver down without illuminating the brake lights – so pick a quiet time on a straight road or motorway to do this. Repeat the process 3-4 times and this should keep the rear discs nicely polished.
Front TyresThe Carver One seems very sensitive to the make and type of front tyre and we have come across a few variants on the cars we have serviced. Some of which are very good - and others that are not at all suitable for the Carver.
The following tyres we think you should avoid, because they cause a severe droning noise and/or vibration through the car, or have poor levels of grip.
✘ Bridgestone Battleaxe B45
✘ Michelin – Pilot Street Radial
✘ Avon Road Rider
The tyres we recommended are:
✔ Dunlop Sportmax D208
✔ Dunlop GPR 300
The D208’s give the ultimate grip but do wear very quickly as the compound is very soft. The GPR300’s have good grip, better wear characteristics and are more economically priced.
Front Mud FlapIt is essential to inspect and check the condition of the front rubber mud flap, mounted on the body just behind the front wheel. This not only protects the underside of the car, but also prevents water ingress to the exposed tilt rod bearing behind it. If there is any evidence of damage or cuts/splits in the rubber, then the mud flap should be replaced at your next service.