This month has been all about breathing. Firstly, I could breathe a sigh of relief, as the car I recently spent loads of money on isn’t a total shed – in fact, it appears to be quite a decent, tidy motor. After racking up a few more miles (as many as I could afford with a thirsty 3.0-litre V6) my confidence, and dare I say it, love, for this car is getting stringer and stronger.
Secondly, you may remember I explained last month that when I did buy the car it was full of fag ash and stank like a dustcart. Well, despite having the interior cleaned this fowl stench kept coming back, especially if the car had been left for a few days. So rather than continue to fund Mr. Magic Tree’s third Caribbean home, I thought I’d invest in a more permanent fix. I ordered a new pollen filter from good old eBay for less than a tenner, and simply slotted it in place – Mk3 Mondeo owners take note; you don’t need to fully remove the scuttle panel which houses the pollen filter and spend hours trying to fiddle it back in top position again. Instead, undo the three retaining Torx screws and gently lift the scuttle until you can slide the old filter out and slot the new one in. If a ham-fisted oaf like me can do it, so can you.
With the new filter in place I also invested in some ‘air con cleaner’ – basically a de-odorising spray that kills all the bacteria and nastiness in the car’s interior and air con system. Ideal for getting rid of the smell of a bin wagon! It worked, although I have to admit at present the car does smell a bit like a recently disinfected dog kennel, but I’m hoping this will die down with time.
And thirdly, and perhaps most excitingly of all, the ST220 was treated to it’s first mod in the shape of a K&N 57i kit. We all know the benefits of allowing an engine to breathe better, and the K&N does just that. Fitting was more involved than I first expected but simple enough, and thankfully the kit comes with a full set of very detailed instructions (complete with pictures so even someone like me couldn’t get it wrong) and all the necessary fittings and hardware – even down to the cable ties to hold the cold air feed hose in position.
I thought the car was totally standard but clearly someone had been here before – when I removed the original airbox I discovered that someone had given it the holesaw treatment!
After routing the supplied cold air feed to prevent any heat soak issues I could fire up the V6 and see what difference the free-flowing filter made. Instantly you notice the sound – the induction noise of a three litre sucking through a K&N is exhilarating. Out on the road I can confirm things feel a lot crisper too. I’m sure it hasn’t made any great gains in the power stakes, but it certainly lays the foundations for future mods such as an exhaust and a remap. Plus that rorty growl coming from under the bonnet has definitely improved the driving experience – and least I can hear where some of that petrol money is going now!