CAR SERVICING-Do You Have to Have Your Servicing Done By the Main Dealer ?

Your car servicing can be carried out when the car is  under the manufactures warranty

EU- car servicing

European Union EU flag

As a garage owner of long standing, this is a question that I am always asked, albeit too late to benefit my garage. When customers come to us for say a tyre fitting, then they sometimes ask us what the price of a service would be for their car. Some customers then say that we can’t do the car  servicing because the car is under the manufacturer’s warranty and they must take their cars to the main dealer (franchise garage).

This ruling was brought out in the European Union (EU) in 2010 as an update to previous legislation, and is similar to the American version of “Right to repair act”. It was brought up to date to prevent the car manufacturers from protectionism and diverting the cars that they made to their franchise dealers, thus not allowing any work to be passed onto the independent garage sector while the vehicle was still under warranty. This also would have included Prestige Car Servicing and would have given the main dealer garages the monopoly for all the work whilst the car was still in the warranty period.

This was not acceptable to the EU, as car repair bills were then accounting for 40% of running and owning a family auto, and the costs were going to rise in future years. In my opinion this legislation was not very well publicised, because the general public do not know much about the fact that you can take your vehicle to a reputable independent garage even if the car is still under the makers warranty scheme.

More reading…http://ec.europa.eu/competition/sectors/motor_vehicles/legislation/legislation.html 

Car owners are still told that they must return their cars to the franchise dealers for servicing and out of warranty repair work, such as brake pad replacements and other wear and tear items, or else if they don’t it will affect their cars warranty. This is simply NOT TRUE?

A couple of my customers have told me recently that this is what the salesman had told them, when they had bought their new vehicle. One was a guy with a BMW, who told him that the carcar servicing under warranty

had to be serviced by the BMW garage to keep the cars warranty. Another woman customer had bought an Audi TT from the local Audi franchise and they told her the same. I am not sure if it is a lack of knowledge by the car salesman, but I suspect that they must be trained to say these things.

The EU legislation states that all car makers, have to offer the least, a two year unlimited mileage warranty on all their cars, this starts from the day the car is first registered. These car sales people should know the law and I am sure the same thing is applicable in the USA, as I stated under their “right to repair laws”. The two year minimum warranty ruling also applies if the car changes ownership within the warranty period.

The 2010 EU ruling along with previous legislation has been around for quite a while now and all franchise garages know that you cannot force a new car buyer to return the car for all its car servicing work, to enable the car to retain its warranty. The only stipulation is that the independent garage that is carrying out the service should carry out the work according to the cars manufacturing service manual and also use service parts of the same quality as the original equipment fitted the vehicle.

car servicing

Car servicing Halifax can also be carried out by other local garages if the car is still under warranty

In my opinion it is good practice to have your car servicing done at a reputable garage

One that may be recommended by your family or friends. If possible look out for a garage that is one of the “good garage schemes” or one that is vetted by the Motor codes organisation or by the Independent Garage Association. My garage is a member of one of these schemes and you may think that I am blowing my own trumpet, but in my opinion standards are high and customer care is a priority at most of these regulated garages. I must stress though, that if a part is found to be faulty then the franchise dealer has the right to repair the van under the terms of the car warranty. In my opinion this entirely fair and reasonable, because it will the manufacturer who will be paying for the faulty parts being repaired and they need to have proper procedures in place and a correct paper chase

This post does not cover warranties that are sold by a third party or even extended warranties offered by the garage that have sold the car, so my advice is to be careful with that situation. Some of these other types of warranties that are not under the regulations covering the manufacturer’s warranties may require you to have your car serviced at the dealership where the van was bought.

We recently had this type of problem with a car that had a worn out clutch. The lady customer brought the car to us for a new clutch fitting, and did not tell us that the car was still under warranty. She genuinely thought that she did not have to pay for the clutch fitting and that we could claim the money back from the car manufacturers. After a long argument and many phone calls to the main dealer she finally paid us for her clutch fitting and went away a very confused and disgruntled lady, never to be seen again.

This was a perfect case of the car owners, not knowing about their cars warranty procedures.

“Under EU law, you may invoke your guarantee at any dealer in the manufacturer’s network, regardless of the EU country in which you bought the car. So if you buy your car in Germany and take it back with you to France, you go to a car dealership for that make of car close to your home to ask for a manufacturing fault to be remedied (within the guarantee period), rather than travelling back to Germany”…http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/cars/faq/index_en.htm 

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

Deaf Drivers-Burn out their Clutch because they cant hear the engine revs?

Hard of hearing and Deaf Drivers Burnout their Clutch

Deaf Drivers-I realise that this is a sweeping statement and that people have varying levels of deafness, in fact, I am a little deaf, probably due to my disco days, when they used to blast your ears out

deaf drivers

Peugeot’s burned out clutch after only a year of use

every weekend. According to the following website…http://qef.org.uk/our-services/qef-mobility-services/driving-school/driving-deaf-people deaf or hard of hearing as some like to be called can learn how to change gear by the feel of the engine’s vibration. The different vibrations coming from the different engine speeds can teach the driver when to change gear.

This advice is given to hard of hearing drivers who are just learning how to drive, but I think that the problem is when the elderly driver becomes deafer with age. We have one customer in particular who is profoundly deaf but refuses to accept it.

He first came to us with a clutch problem about five years ago, since he fell out with his old garage, about the fact that they would not change his worn out clutch under warranty. He had the clutch fitted about a year earlier and he had burned it out. Although most quality clutches come with a 2 year guarantee, this does not cover wear and tear due to bad clutch control, but the guy did not think that he was doing anything wrong, deafness had crept up on him and he could not hear the engine noises to tell him when he should change gear, he had become one of the millions of deaf drivers on our roads.

The first time that he came to us we fitted an LUK Clutch, which incidentally we usually use, as we think that they are one of the best products on the market and cover a great range of cars. The clutch was fitted and the customer paid his account and went on his way.

We could not believe the noise that his engine made when he set off. It was a miracle that his Peugeot 206 didn’t blow the engine up. He could not hear the engine noise and the engine were revved up twice as much as it should have been, very similar to a learner driver who tries to drive for the very first time. To our surprise, he forced the gear into first and the car took a

deaf drivers

Peugeot 206 ready for its new clutch fitting

jump before setting off, we knew it would not be long before we saw him again.

True enough about a year later, the Peugeot 206 CC turned up on our doorstep with guess what? A burnt out clutch. We were not surprised and stripped down the old clutch to take a look. Sure enough, the thing was completely burned out and we had to tell the guy that the problem was due to him being one of the  profoundly deaf drivers, now on our roads. Unfortunately, we had to bite the bullet and explain to him that the Clutch Replacement was not covered by the warranty and he would have to pay for a new one fitting.

He went on to tell us that “that was why he fell out with his old garage”, but we knew all of that and stuck to our side of the story. He finally agreed and began to realise that this was going to be the price to pay for him to keep on driving his car.

We have now fitted yet another clutch to this Peugeot 206

Another three clutches later, he has now accepted the fact that the way he drives will burn out a clutch every year, and yesterday we fitted a new clutch bang on time about a year from his last one. The guy is a lot happier now and accepted that being one of the millions of deaf drivers, it was to be part of life, he lives on his own and says that he never really talks to anybody other than himself (a bit sad) I think. Deaf drivers will have Clutch Problems.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry

deaf drivers

New and old clutch together

out checks for a high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Eric Roberts

 

 

 

Coil Springs-Made from Fibreglass could they Replace Steel Coil Springs?

Wow I could not believe it when I first heard about the new development in automotive coil springs.

coil springs

The Ford KA showing the broken steel coil spring

Coil springs have always been one of the main components to fail the British MOT test. They are stuck beneath our cars open to everything that the elements and the roads have to throw at them. After all that they are expected to help take the strain off the car when going over bad bumpy roads and also cornering and generally helping our cars give the owners a comfortable ride.

The springs are open to rusting and at the same time cope with the horrendous roads, full of potholes and generally in bad condition. The coil springs usually meet their end when the car does drive over a pothole and one of the coil springs breaks. Some rattle and bang but some break off at the top or bottom and are not detected until the dreaded MOT test or they are sometimes spotted on a service.

Coil springs have been around ever since I can remember and much longer, but now there is a new kid on the block, a coil spring made out of glass fibre and epoxy resin (FRP). These new springs are everything that the old steel versions are not. They are weather proof, this means that they will not rust and they are chemical proof and almost unbreakable. The other added bonus is that they weigh a lot less than the conventional steel counterparts. The FRP springs also consume much less energy than their steel cousins.

This new technology has been developed by the Sogefi Group who are very well known for their innovations and new developments in the Auto industry and have now come out with this excellent coil spring product that I am sure will sweep the world and replace the steel counterparts. The Sogefi group have specifically set out to create a replacement product of  the steel coil spring and come out with something that is half the weight, which along with other lighter materials will help cars to become more Eco-friendly, with less fuel  consumption than when fitted with the conventional steel coil springs. Another plus point for the FRP coil springs will be the fact that they can be mass produced.

I am not sure that it will be a good thing for our garage businesses, as replacing the coil springs one of the main Suspension Parts, is part of our bread and butter income, but if this helps the consumer, which I am sure it will then I am all for progress and moving forward . I must admit I have noticed that the steel made coil

coil spring

Image shows a fiberglass coil spring next to a steel coil spring

coil spring

Job done with a new spring fitted and good to go.

springs seem to have being getting thinner in stature and not as robust as the ones that we have been replacing and so it might be time for a change and who knows if they do break on impact then because they made of glass fibre and epoxy resin, then they may just be repairable, this material has been around for some time now and is very flexible and repairable. I was also wondering if we would still have to use our Coil Spring Compressors, to remove and fit a replacement spring? probably. I also wonder if our replacement spring suppliers will have to keep both types of  Springs Manufacturer products in stock and will one replace the other?

Ford KA in for suspected broken coil springs.

This leads me onto my next little snippet about a car that was left with us the other day with a knocking noise coming from the front of his car. The car was an old style Ford KA 1.3, 2006 with a petrol engine. The noise wasn’t easy to find as we found that a broken spring was the culprit. When I have read about the new style FRP Replacement Coil Springs, I cannot find where it tells us about their strength and whether or not they will outperform the steel ones, but changing the steel spring has certainly become good business for us, so only time will tell.

We got permission to change the broken spring from our customer and the job was done, the KA was picked up later that day and our customer went home a happy man.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

 

Mazda 5 crawls in with Brakes Problem making a bad Grinding noise?

Mazda 5 brakes make grinding noise

One of the benefits of been an independent garage is the huge diversity of cars that pass through our doors, and our ability to service and fix most of them. I say most of them, because we do have some problems with electrical faults, that can’t be detected without specialists equipment and so in that case we have a couple of different guys who are mobile electrical

Mazda 5

Mazda 5 people carrier

specialists, otherwise we can cope with most car problems.

One popular car to run about Halifax UK, is the Mazda 5. The most popular ones being the different Mazda sports cars, that in my opinion were throwbacks from our own beloved MGB sport cars, they all look very similar.

Mazda’s have come a long way since the 1960’s, when they were inspired by the development of the NSU and the Wankel engine. I remember this little car very well; a mechanic friend bought one and showed me the strange engine that was belt driven. The car was also very fast once it got going and the guy used to frighten me to death: eventually the engine blew up and the car was scrapped.

Mazda were very interested in the German technology and the Japanese car company formed a business alliance with the German car company NSU. In 1967 Mazda started to make a limited production model called the Cosmo Sport and eventually became the sole makers of the Wankel engine, this was only because all the other car companies had given up making the rotary engine.

The Mazda car company was beginning to get a good reputation and started exporting their cars from Japan, both the rotary engine and the standard type piston engine layout, all over the World. These cars were primarily the rotary engine cars, especially the RX models, the RX2, 3 and 4, were the biggest sellers.

In recent years many other very reputable models were introduced to the UK car market and this brings me onto the Mazda 5 that came into us with brake problems. The customer

Mazda 5

Disc and pads worn out. You can see that one on the pads the right hand one,has completely worn away due to the seized brake caliper.

originally rang us up for a Brake Replacement Cost, but we explained that we could not tell what the problem was until we removed all the wheels and inspected the Car Brakes including the Car Brake Pads, to see what the problem was.

The customer was a lady with a couple of children and we promised to do the best price for her. This Mazda 5 is a very fuel efficient car with great style and with the performance is a very desirable people carrier and so is very popular as a family car.

The Mazda was left with us for the day with a promise to call the lady with a Brake Repair Cost, as soon as the problem was assessed.

We pulled the car onto the car-ramp and removed all the wheels for a brake inspection

The original problem on the Mazda 5 was that the car brakes were making a terrible grinding noise and we soon found out why? The front brake caliper’s was half seized up. This means that only one of the front Brake Pads were actually working. The one pad that was doing the work wore out quicker than the other pad until it went down to the bare metal and this is what had made the terrible grinding noise from the front of the car.

The other front Disc Brakes were also in need of replacing and so we gave the lady an estimate and we were given the go ahead to do the work on the Mazda 5. Luckily the brake caliper could be freed off, using a little heat and did not need replacing. All the other parts, the discs and pads were replaced. The rear brakes were in good condition and only required a clean-up and the drums replacing.

This type of problem is a common fault with brake discs and is one of the reasons that you should have your car and your brakes serviced, here in the PellonAutocentre Halifax area we service car brakes on most car makes and models. In a service one of the things that we do is to clean and grease the caliper’s, so that they do not seize up and frighten the customer to death when they hear the dreaded grinding noise of metal on metal, when their brake pads wear out.

The job was completed and the customer picked up her car in the evening a happy bunny.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer Mazda 5 car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists

Mazda 5

Measuring the thickness of the disc from the other side, this also needed replacing

who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Eric Roberts

Air Con Problems for the owner of this VW Golf ?

4-year-old VW Golf has Air Con Problems

As I have said many times this is the time of year that we can be busy rectifying air con problems on our customer’s cars. This year we are enjoying a nice warm sunny summer and because many of the new model cars have been fitted with air con as standard then the need for the air con to work and cool the car interior has never been more important. Many of our customers also travel to continental Europe for their holidays and so a good cold air con system is imperative for a good and comfortable journey.

air con

VW Golf with the old damaged condenser still fitted in place

There are many reasons why your cars air con can fail you, the commonest being that the customer switches it off in the winter time and when summer comes expects their  air con to work normally, but in over half the cases their system will need a re-gas. After the re-gas is when other problems occur. The main problem is that if the air con system is not used then the system does not get lubricated and consequently will dry out causing common problems such as failed “O” rings and rubber hoses, due to the drying out process.

Sometimes we may get a customer in who says that the car is blowing cool air into the cab, but not cold air. This is usually when the air con is set at high with the fans on high but the car is still only blowing in the cool air, we have all been there, you just can’t get the car cold enough? What we do in this case is first to check that the cooling fans are running on the Refrigeration Condenser (the thing that looks like a radiator usually at the front of the car’s engine) when the air con system is switched on. We also check out the condenser for any debris such as dead leaves, dust or insects that may be clogging the condenser up, you would be surprised what we find clogging the Air Conditioning Condenser Unit up?

We also check out the Pollen Filter or cabin filter as it is sometimes known as, if it clogged up then we will replace it. We then check the pressures of the air con system to see if they confirm what they should be set at in the user’s manual. The condenser is a very important part of the air con system.

It works the opposite way to the radiator (evaporator), it sits at the front of the car and air is blown over the condenser, but the air soaks up the heat and then cools the refrigerant inside the air con system. All this is done under high pressure, the air carries the heat out of your car and the refrigerant converts it back to a liquid. The liquid is then sent back to the evaporator (a low-pressure area) and the taking place of the system moving from a high-pressure area to low-pressure area forces the refrigerants temperature to perform a rapid drop and the cycle starts all over again, super cooling the cab of your vehicle (simple?).

VW Golf had an air con cooling problem

On a day last week, we had a car presented to us with this exact problem, we carry out all repairs and other work on car  air con systems here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK.the air was coming out in the cab cool but not super cool. The car was a 2010 VW Golf (only 4 years old). The

air con

VW Golf with a brand new condenser fitted ready for a re-gas

the customer left the car with us and we proceeded to connect up our air con machine and re-gas the cars cooling system. The problem was spotted straight away because the car started to leak out the liquid from the condenser at the front of the car. After an examination of the condenser, we found out that car had recently had a minor bump at the front end, and consequently damaged the air con condenser. In earlier times this is what happened to car radiators nowadays this is where the air con condenser sits and so takes the brunt of any damage from stones or small accidents.

However this was one of our easier jobs to do and we replaced the condenser with a new one, re-gassed the system and the customer and his VW Golf went on their way, with a nice cold cabin their car.

Eric Roberts

Hi, I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and I am MD for online battery company www.batteriesontheweb.co.uk. I have worked for a couple of national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and, of course, Tyre-safe.