As Jamie prepares the Focus for summer action, a trip to FJRS was in order for a full service and health-check

It’s been a funny 12 months or so, hasn’t it? A lot has changed during the last year or so, perhaps none more so than at Mountune in Essex – in the last year the company has had to deal with all the coronavirus restrictions, David Mountain has returned at the helm, and two of their lead technicians (Fred Clack and Jonny Steele) have set up their own business FJRS (Frederick Jonathan Road Sport). And it’s the latter I’ve been off to see this month with my Mk3 Focus RS.

I’ve known Fred and Jonny for a number of years, and they are two of only a handful of people in the world I would trust to work on my own car. In fact, it was them who last serviced the car while working for Mountune back at the end of 2019.

Their professionalism in unrivalled, but what I particularly like is the way they treat the cars they work – showing them the same care and love that we lavish on them. I know many fast Ford owners that dread taking their car in for a service for fear of what they will be faced with when they collect the car. Not me. I know full well that Fred and Jonny will take every care with my car. And I also know that if they say something needs replacing or renewing, it does – they’re not the kind to whack something extra on the job sheet just to make a quick buck.

So, I had no qualms about driving 200 miles cross-country from the West Country to the FJRS workshops in Essex (in the old Mountune workshop) for a full service and general health-check prior to what I hope will be a summer of regular use.

As mentioned, I completely missed the service in 2020, so it was long overdue. To be fair, the car has only covered 1400 miles since the last time it was serviced, but sitting idle throughout 2020 won’t have helped things. As such, I decided to get the full lot done; oil change, new oil filter, new fuel filter, new cabin filter (which was sanitised before fitting to ensure a fresh smelling drive home), and even a full brake fluid flush too.

But while working on the car I ask Fred and Jonny to keep their eyes open for anything untoward, and one thing they did spot was a small oil leak coming from the turbo oil feel pipe. This is a very common problem with the Mk3 RS; the little copper washers that go either side of the banjo bolt don’t seal correctly and allow oil to drip out. I’ve never noticed the oil level drop, so the leak is more of an inconvenience than anything to really worry about, but while the car was on the ramp the guys at FJRS duly replaced the copper washers so now my RS is leak-free.

Other little jobs, and perfect examples of FJRS going the extra mile, including removing all four wheels and greasing the hub faces. It’s a little detail, but Fred told me it’s not uncommon – especially after lockdown – for the wheels to become stuck to the hub faces and require ‘persuading’ to come off; not something you’d want to discover at the side of the road in an emergency.

New spark plugs were listed on the service schedule, but I replaced these with iridium upgrades at the last service. After removing, inspecting, and checking the plug gaps, my spark plugs were deemed fit enough to continue so went back in.

The final treat was a re-gas of the air-con system. Although the air-con seemed to be working fine some loss of gas is inevitable over time; and when Jonny said the machine added nearly 100g more gas than it took out, it clearly proved the point.

So, after a few hours of much-needed TLC, the RS was given a clean bill of health. The only things FJRS highlighted were that my wheel nuts looked nasty (not a safety issue, but they do look a bit tatty and rusty) and my tyre sealant is out of date. I’ve asked FJRS to price me some suitable replacements, as I’m sure I’ll be back again – hopefully to have some performance parts fitted.

Until then, I’m just happy to have the RS back on the road. The 400-mile round-trip to Brentwood and back has done the car (and my confidence in it) the world of good. Now, safe in the knowledge FJRS have gone through everything and given it the thumbs up, I’m looking forward to some spring and summer blasts out, and maybe this year I’ll do that track day I keep promising myself too.



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