I’ve been back to mountune HQ again a couple of times this month. The first was to test drive their fantastic m520 MRX demo car (see page 22), and while I was there I noticed that the workshops were full of Mk3 RSs – many of which were in for performance upgrades (including a couple for the m520!), but a couple of cars were fairly stock-looking. When I asked Service Manager, Fred Clack, what they were in for he explained that mountune also offers regular servicing and maintenance updates too. Not just for the Mk3 Focus RS, but all sorts of models – basically if they support it with tuning, they can also keep on top if the regular servicing too.
It was at that point the penny dropped. I must admit, I’ve been so engrossed with the performance packages mountune offer that I didn’t realise they catered for regular servicing too. But, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. So many fast Ford and RS owners (myself included) are always apprehensive when it comes to letting people loose on their car – the internet and social media is awash with horror stories of cars not being looked after properly when in for work, and owners are, quite rightly, very wary when it comes to trusting who to work on their cars.
But, I trust the guys at mountune probably more than I trust anyone else when it comes to working on my RS, so I’d have no concerns with them carrying out the regular service tasks. When I got chatting to Fred in more detail about it all, he went on to explain that mountune could not only carry out the third annual service on my RS (the due date for which was rapidly approaching!) but they could do it for the same price as my nearest main dealer. And you don’t have to worry about any warranty issues either; because the service uses genuine FoMoCo parts it won’t affect the base warranty, and mountune will stamp the service book in the same way as any main dealer would.
That in itself makes it a bit of a no-brainer for me; having people you know and trust working on your car, while paying the same as you would at a main dealer. So, while I was at HQ, I promptly booked the RS in for a return visit a couple of weeks later for the Year 3/37,500 mile service.
The reception was first class, as I’ve come to expect from these guys. For starters, they offer reduced rates on any additional maintenance work such as brake fluid flush and/or fuel filter replacement at the same time. I decided to have the fuel filter swapped (an extra £40, whereas my main dealer wanted an extra £80!) as I have plans for the brakes in the not-too-distant future which will require a fluid flush anyway. If those don’t pan out, I can always book the car in again for a quick fluid change in the future.
As with any good service, the job covers much more than just an oil and filter change. Yes, the oil and oil filter are replaced with genuine Ford parts, but the third year service also includes a cabin filter replacement and new spark plugs too. The latter could be upgraded to NGK LTR71X-11 items for an extra £25, which I can report back have made a distinct difference at idle and seem to have made the whole engine run smoother too. Then again, I suppose that’s not too surprising considering my car has been running a performance tune pretty much from new, and the stock plugs are said to be prone to wear in tuned EcoBoosts. The new Iridium plugs are one step colder than the OE items, and seem to have made a noticeable difference.
On top of all that, the car also undergoes a full 30-point health check too, as per main dealer servicing.
And that’s when I realised that, as with everything else they do, mountune like to go the extra mile with their servicing too. For example, the cabin filter is replaced at every service mountune carry out, not just at the Ford recommended intervals. Also, they remove the wheels at each service too so they can get full access to assess the car’s steering, braking and suspension components – rather than just poking around in there with a torch. It also means that they can grease up the hubs to ensure any oxidation between the wheel and hub is kept to a minimum – something my car was starting to show signs of.
But one of the neatest little touches I really like is the mountune service book. Yes, the car’s original service book receives a stamp to keep the history up to date, but I also now have a little yellow ‘mountune Performance Portfolio’ too. This keeps a record of not only any servicing mountune carries out, but also records details of any upgrades they’ve fitted too.
I’m suitably impressed, and despite the fact mountune HQ is 180 miles from my house, I’ll be bringing my car to Essex every year for its annual service from now on. The only problem – for my wallet, at least – is that it’s all too easy to combine the regular service intervals with fitting the latest performance upgrades too. For example, a simple brake fluid flush at £60 can quickly escalate into £2500’s worth of big brake kit! Or an oil and filter job can soon become a fully-forged engine build!
On that note, after sampling the m520 MRX demo car a couple of weeks ago, the wish-list for my own RS has grown quite significantly; I loved the KW coilovers on the demo car and need them on mine; the soon-to-be-released 6-pot brake kit is ferocious and something I’m desperate to add; and every day without that big turbo m520 MRX upgrade is agony! Anyone know the lottery numbers for next weekend? I need these upgrades in my life…
3rd Year service – £259
Fuel change – £39.99
Brake fluid flush – £60 (standalone), £35 (with service)
NGK LTR71X-11 – £59 (standalone), £25 (with service)