To service your Metro, you will need to renew and check the following items. A stitch in time saves nine! Don't be caught out.
Print out and fill in the original Austin \ Rover service record below to help keep track of scheduled maintenance on your car
Timing belt/Cam belt (1)
The timing belt keeps all the moving parts in time so they don't collide with each other. If not renewed the belt can snap causing major damage to the engine which depending on how bad it snaps can be terminal to the engine. If you have service history, find out when it was last replaced, if in doubt or unknown it is advised to replace it. The alternator belt will also need to be checked for cracks and wear. If wear is evident replace it to save it snapping while in use causing a breakdown.
Check the oil and if its black and dirty, renew. its also good practice to change the oil filter which is below the alternator. A good practice is to regularly check the oil level dipstick
Air filter (3)
The air filter is easily replaced, the picture shows a Carburetor model. Carburettor and SPi will need the screws removed and clips undone to replace the paper element. The MPi Metro's have a rectangular box next to the battery which has quick-release clips.
Engine Coolant (4)
Dirty coolant will reduce the efficiency of the cooling system, replace it with new. This will need to be properly bled to remove all air from the system and will require antifreeze.
Screen washer reservoir (5)
Simple top up with water or screen wash liquid
Distributor cap and rotor arm (6)
Moving parts so ware with use and electrical contacts inside can corrode with time giving poor transmittance of sparks which can result in poor performance.
Spark plugs (7)
Simple replacement. Again, with use and age efficiency will be reduced. When refitting, replace them (x4) finger tight first to avoid incorrectly threading the alloy cylinder head which is easily done and can cause major problems.
Brake fluid level (8)
Good practice to check levels. if necessary top-up.
The leads connect the spark plugs to the distributor cap and then another HT from the coil unit. These can deteriorate with age and become loose and faulty giving intermittent problems. Check condition, if lose or cracking, renew.
Often forgot, worth checking in case of an unsuspected leak which if low-level will seriously increase wear. There's a black cap on top of the gearbox near the reverse lamp switch to do this but it can be tricky. Avoid overfill. Automatic Metros have their own gearbox dipstick.
Do you have one? Is it legal and does it have the correct pressure so you can use it if the time ever crops up? Do you have a jack and wheel brace? Is your metro fitted with locking wheel nuts? If so do you have the key in the car in case of a puncture? Rover locking wheel nuts have chrome caps. Do you have the plastic removal tool? If not a flat blade screwdriver can prise the caps off the locking nut. They are on very well if they haven't been removed for a few years. The locking nut key also has a code stamped on it eg 'T1' It's worth writing this down as you can order replacement locking wheel nut keys from Xpart.
Do you have a spare? This crops up quite often on the forums that the only key for the car has been lost. Do you know where your spare key is if you have one? How far away is your spare key. No good if its at home and you live at Uni miles away. They cost around £4 to £5 to have a duplicate cut in any key shop. You can even purchase a new Rover blank key and get cut from Xpart if you're making a mint Metro project.
(V5) insurance and MOT certificates. Often lost and questions arise on how to get duplicates when you need to Tax or prove legalness. Buy a cheap A4 ring binder folder from a supermarket and label it. Much harder to lose than a few loose sheets of A4 paper!