All Car Repair Articles

All Car Repair Articles

of course car repairs are what we call a “bread and butter” job. Hence, i thought that i would show a video to demonstrate the things that our technicians have to do when repairing a car.
We often have our customers ringing us. Significantly, they ask the question, “how can i tell if my car needs repairing”. Therefore, I usually answer with the same explanation. You’ll know when the vehicle requires attention! So, when a car eventually arrives in the workshop. We treat it with extreme care and attention.

7 Tips to Save Fuel While Driving

Nissan Navara-Blocked EGR Valve

Nissan Navara-Blocked EGR Valve

Nissan Navara-Blocked EGR Valve

So, we are now starting to increase our work-power after the drop in business due to the “Corona Virus” pandemic. Importantly cars are now been driven after the long lockdown. Because vehicles of many shapes and technologies have been stood about unused then different problems are occurring. The other day was no exception with various cars turning up. Including a Nissan Navara with engine running problems.

The Navara was suffering from a few problems! Mainly suffering  from a reduction in power. Hence the car was struggling to accelerate without much power. Immediately, we suspected a problem with the EGR valve. Importantly, EGR valves play a vital role in controlling your vehicles exhaust emissions. Introduced to aid vehicles that are controlled by strict emissions regulations in place.So, our laws governing this come from the European Union at the moment.

However like most mechanical and electrical parts can eventually go wrong! Including this Nissan Navara. So here at Pellon-Autocentre, Halifax, then we make sure that we have all the latest electronic diagnostic tools and associated equipment. Of course all my regular customer know that we have a team of highly trained technicians. Categorically, enabling our staff to diagnose and treat any EGR valve problems.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve (EGR)

There is no doubt that the EGR valve is an important part when it comes to the smooth flow and running operations of the modern car engine.  Failure of this valve can lead to a reduction in power as in the Nisan presented to us. Other problems ensuing will include a reduction in fuel efficiency, the vehicle will start using more fuel. This problem is often picked up on the MOT emissions test. Causing the vehicle to fail the test due to emissions failure.

The EGR valves eventually get sooted up. Especially when the vehicle is only used locally. Of course, motorway driving increase the heat of the engine and therefore keeps the soot level down by burning the soot off.

So, this Nissan was found to have a very heavily sooted up EGR valve as seen in the image. After cleaning with a special fluid the EGR valve worked fine and the Nissan was back to normal running, including fuel efficiency.

Eric Roberts

eric roberts

 

 

 

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks-Standard shocks not good enough for vans and light trucks, experts warn

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks

So, to be honest then this is nothing new to me. Monroe shock absorbers have an online lookup system that tells which shocks go onto which van. So I really dont know what the problem could be. Perhaps the smaller parts chain are supplying spurious makes of shockers that are cheap and should only fit lighter vehicles. Hence, I am not realy sure. Here at pellon Autocentre in Halifax we only use honest and reliable parts companies for our replacement parts including new shockers!

Of course if they are cheap then the probably will be cheap and not suitable for the customers van. Like everything else in this world then you pay for what you get! Surprisingly, shock absorbers appear to last longer than they used to do back in the day. Better manufacturing techniques seam to have made them last longer and they are not much of an MOT Test failure any more.

The explosion of eCommerce and consumers’ increased demand for convenient delivery and on-site service is also seeing demand rise for the repair and maintenance of these vehicles, experts at Monroe say. As one example, shock

Source: Standard shocks not good enough for vans and light trucks, experts warn – Garagewire

Garage Owners- Beware of the “Could You Just” Customers!

Garage Owners

Garage Owners

Garage Owners

So, I suppose this lesson that I am about to teach you could be a lesson for all types of business and not just garages! This type of customer has always been a laughing point when the garage guys meet over a pint of beer! Subsequently, we vey often get onto the customer who calls into the garage a says ” could you just fit a set of front brake pads, or could you just fit me a “head light bulb”. Yes these are could you just customers you have to avoid!

The sign in the car window that I have used as the image for this post. Unquestionably, this says it all. Admitably, not all small jobs go wrong! However, your staff must be made of the customer who just pops in and they are tempted to fit the “small job” between customers that are already booked in.

So the number of times that these so called “small jobs” have backed fired would amaze you. Of course the latest and most common one is the “can you just fit a light bulb“. This is one that you need to watch out for! Some a relatively easy to fit. However many are also a nightmare requiring half the cars front end to be stripped down before the bulb can be fitted.

Another similar problem is the “can you fit my own brake pads “customer.

This is a temptation to a new garage owner. So a customer walks in with new set of usually cheap brake pads and asks you if you can just fit these! Tempting  as it may be we never fit customers own parts. Consequently, you will always find that its not just the pads thats gone. So, then you are in a dilemma. Probably one that you never needed. Garages and similar industries cant do “right for wrong”!

So we all know the other problems associated with the simple job of just fitting a set of brake pads. Anything can go wrong and believe me often will. My advice is to stay clear of these customers. Established garages will know all their good customers and will generally be too busy to accommodate the “can you just” brigade. My advice is to stay clear of these people and politely say that you are fully booked and in any case dont fit customers own parts.

After all as I say the image says it all.

Peugeot 406 Lights

Peugeot 406 Lights-This car was left with us for a flashing lights problem? Going Mad ?

Peugeot 406 Lights

Driver of the Peugeot 406 could not switch off the engine

Peugeot 406 Lights
water damaged connectors from Peugeot 406

Subsequently, the first time that we saw this particular car was when it was in for an MOT test. Gloomily, the owner said that the car would probably fail the test. Because some of the lights were not working as they should! However the owners disappointment came to an end when the car passed the test.

Surprisingly, contrary to what we thought all the lights were indeed fine. In good working condition. The weather at the beginning of the year.Indeed, was warm and sunny. The customer picked up his car ! and we heard nothing from the customer or his Peugeot 406 (with the suspected Lights problem).

Peugeot turns back up with a central locking problem

So, we did not see the car again until later on in the year. Turning up again with an unrelated problem. Hence, the central locking was not working as it should ?  We checked out all the likely things and found nothing a miss. When the car was in our hands then the central locking was working fine. Subsequently, we could not find any problems.

The customer collected his Peugeot 406 back home and sure enough he returned with yet another problem ! The cars side lights were staying on in a permanent position. In other words they were switched off but remained on,(if you get what I mean) .So,once again we checked all the likely culprits. Including the fuses and switches and everything was just fine. Significantly, the car was having a number of “Lights and other electrical problems” at differing times,(very strange). When investigating we found this a clip from another Peugeot owner with similar problems from the forum of the Peugeot 406 web-site…

Then, with the car locked, the brake lights came on. Then went off, then glowed dimly then stayed on. At this point I pulled the fuses for the brake lights and nothing at all happened. The lights stayed on. Disconnected the battery and then reconnected. Lights stayed off until I tried the brakes with the ignition on.
“I removed the BSI (with the battery disconnected) and (with battery back on) turned on the ignition to find all the lights still lit up.
Must be the dash board. Out with the dash on with the soldering iron.

Every pin and connection to the dials.
Put back in, no joy. Brake lights on with or without the dash board.
Removed brake light switch. (what a swine that is to remove)-lights still on!
Looked for all the earth points round the car. Got to the drivers foot well and I could hear a buzzing noise. Could it be a relay?”…

Of course, this was a problem that we had not come across before. Surprisingly, the whole thing came to a head ,when the car engine would not switch off ! To stop the engine running then we had to stall the cars engine. Amazingly, we just could not find a problem.

peugoet 406 lights
Peugeot 406 lights problems

Had to call in an a Citroen/Peugeot expert !

As a last resort, I had to call for help and enlisted the help of a mechanic friend called Richard. Richard had heard about this problem before and went straight to the foot well of the drivers side.

The weather was terrible for a couple of weeks prior to the cars problems occurring ! Torrential rain and wide spread flooding was a national problem ! Because of all the heavy rain here in the UK ,the foot-well had become flooded. Consequently, when we lifted the carpet at the drivers side we found a wet soggy mess.

Peugeot 406 wiring was rotten with the wet ?

Specifically,the Peugeot 406 lighting and engine  problem was found . Subsequently, the plugs that connected the wiring together were perished and rotten. Of course,causing all the short outs, and strange electrical things to happen. Firstly, we drilled a hole to release the water . Secondly we  re-wired the damaged wires together. So, it was very time consuming but  a good job done. We still do not where the water is getting in but I have added some advice from the Honest John website…

“Dry the interior out, remove all mats. Stay inside car whilst a friend gently sprays a hose a one section at a time for several minutes, wait a few minutes, then inspect. Make sure you train the water on the sunroof, side windows, light clusters, rear hatch, doors and main windscreen – these are the common areas that could leak.
IF after a thorough dowsing, gentle bounce rear and front of car to dislodge any water that maybe sitting somewhere inside. Also covering the the dry car interior carpets with newspaper will show presence of water and possibly direction of leak , if you have a dark trim”…http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=48178

Water can cause many electrical problems in your car ?

Thinking back the cars owner could relate the problems after we had had heavy rain fall. So, when the water leaked into the car then it shorted out some of the cars electrics . Of course if any water enters the car then much damage can occur. It even happened recently to a nearly new Ford transit delivery van that I bought from the local Ford dealer.

Apparently, unknown to me the van had a new windscreen fitted before we bought the van. On a recent delivery to a customer in Lancashire I experienced a very heavy period of rainfall. Surprisingly, the van came to a sudden stop ! Fortunately, I had just pulled off the M56 motorway. So, the engine was completely dead , refusing to start !

After a couple of hours waiting the RAC guy turned up and recommended that I be towed to our base in Halifax, UK. To our horror we found that the windscreen had been incorrectly fitted and water had entered the cab onto the ECU (Vans computer). So, after the shock and a couple of thousand pounds lighter, the van is now back on its delivery runs !

All caused by water entering the vans cab ?

Exhausts Changed-to meet new European Union Emission Laws

Exhausts Changed

 

Exhausts systems also cost much more than 10 years ago

I can honestly say that I have lived during the most radical changes ever made to cars, due to the new rules about “global warming” and emissions from cars. Back in time when we had Vauxhall Vivas Cavaliers, Chrysler Horizons old type Minis and Ford Cortinas life in the garage was much easier and certainly more stable.

The exhaust systems on those cars would stay the same year after year. So much so that we could order systems in the hundreds at a time and kept a large stock, that we would always sell. In fact we could order exhausts systems by the container load and they would all be sold, (happy days).

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Then the computer came along and car manufacturers could very quickly change car models, they became very flexible changing parts on different models at will.

This included systems. We were finding that Exhausts.  Like other parts would be left on the shelf unsold. Hence, we were becoming very reluctant at keeping exhaust systems on the shelves. Without, getting stuck with them. Consequently, at this time exhaust wholesalers began to spring up. As a result, and in a short period of time. We decided not to keep an exhaust stock at all. So, and leave it to the wholesalers. In fact. The last stock that we kept in was from Bosal Exhausts. Probably, (the best Exhausts in the World) and that was in the late nineties.

Exhausts Changed

The next thing to affect Exhausts were Vehicle Emissions controls. These were introduced by the British Government. Thus, requiring that cars had to be fitted with “Catalytic Converters.” These cats as we know them. Therefore, are fitted between the car’s engine onto the exhaust pipe system. The gas from the engine is filtered through the cat. Into a very fine filter system. Made from ceramics to withstand the high temperature. The cat has also some precious metals to help filter out the particulates. (this is why the cats are so expensive).

Some car models have a direct fitting cat to the engine. Thus, the engine sends out waste gasses. That are filtered by the cat. As a result, then the cleaner gases pass through the rest of the system. The Exhausts Changed boxes contain a fiberglass type material. Naturally,  that has an extra filter effect but will also muffle the sound that the gases make when leaving the engine. We all know how noisy a car is when the exhaust breaks.

Exhausts systems are better made these days

exhausts
BMW mini back box a modern type exhaust

Some cars have two or even three boxes depending on the size of the engine and car. Here in the UK we do not change the exhaust until it actually breaks, and the we have it replaced and in my opinion this is the best thing to do. Even the worst looking rusty old Car Exhausts  can last for years and it is no use changing your exhaust just because it looks rusty and old, replace it when it breaks, unless it fails the MOT test. The main part to fail on the test will be the cat, if it fails the test the cat will need replacing.

To summarise Cheap Exhaust systems are far better made these and certainly last much longer, cats are also well made and will only fail if the ceramic cone gets damaged or if you go through flooded water, this usually affects the engine management system and your engine light could be illuminated on your dash, triggered off by your cars computer and a replacement will be needed.

Kia Clutch Failure-After examining the car needed a Duel-Mass Flywheel

Kia Clutch Failure

Kia Clutch Failure ;These days a clutch is not that simple

During any normal working week. We may get price inquiries for customers. Especially, with a Clutch Repair Estimates for their car. Some of our customers are just wanting a price from us so that they know

Kia Clutch Failure
Kia Clutch Failure;Duel mass flywheel

what to budget for. Hence, and other people are shopping around for the best price.

As a business we find it difficult to pitch the correct price. Because a Kia Clutch Failure is much different to say pricing up a tyre. The prices can vary a great deal. Between say the different qualities that garages use. We know that we could get reconditioned clutches for most car models.

But we prefer to use the best quality clutches available. Because many of the original equipment clutches are made LUK clutches . Therefore, we prefer to use them, As it happens, if we cannot get LUK then we go for original equipment clutches. We find that in the long run. We never get any come backs with the better products. Therefore, we certainly do not want to be having to do a clutch job twice. Because of a faulty product. Lifes to hard as it is.

Kia Clutch Failure
new Kia clutch installed by Andrew

Also we are finding that a lot of modern cars are now fitted with duel-mass flywheels, these were invented by LUK in coordination with BMW in Germany, because the diesel cars were very jumpy when changing gear and BMW wanted a smoother gear change.

Kia Clutch Failure

So this system of different springs on a separate flywheel that fitted between the original flywheel and the clutch plate was invented. Many of the other leading car makers have now taken this option up, but it means much higher repair bills for consumers when their Kia Clutch Failure happens, because usually the duel-mass flywheel goes as well, but we dont know until we have stripped the car down to the clutch. A case in point is a job that we have just done on a Kia. The total job timed at seven hours came to well over a thousand pounds, where an older conventional clutch would have been about £280.

This is the reason why it is difficult to give an exact figure when pricing up a clutch for a customer.

Please click on to the link bellow for more clutch information

Exhaust Systems Explained-What does your Car Exhaust System (Muffler) DO ?

 Exhaust Systems Explained

To most of our customers, the exhaust system is just something that hangs underneath their car and when it breaks it makes a loud noise and costs a lot of money to replace. Well the

Exhaust Systems Explained
Exhaust Systems Explained; A van having a new exhaust system fitted in Halifax West Yorkshire

second part is true they do now cost a lot of money to replace, especially if you include the catalytic converter in with the price.

The first thing that your exhaust does is to transfer the gases produced by your engine from the front of the car (the engine) to the rear of the car, expelling the gases into the atmosphere. In the olden days pre-emission testing days, the gases were a high pollutant, but now because of the new car technology, cars produce far less toxic gases than they used to.

The exhaust system usually comprises of three or four different parts depending on the model and engine size of the car.

They start at the front of the car with the catalytic converter, which is connected via a normal piece of pipe to one or two silencer boxes and sometimes a piece of chrome pipe to add a finish as the exhaust system leaves the underneath of your car. The catalytic converter reduces the amount of CO2 gases that leave the engine, by filtering the gases through micro porous ceramic honey comb type structures, the emissions are monitored through lambda sensors that are screwed into the cat and send messages to the on board computer that all modern cars have.

The rest of the exhaust is pretty simple in comparison to the cat. The exhaust system boxes are filled with a fibreglass type material that quietens the sound made by the engine. In the USA, these are called “mufflers” because put simply they muffle or quieten the sound as it enters the box. Exhaust systems are probably one of the few things that differ in quality, a cheap exhaust system will probably only last for about 18 months, but a much better system say one that is made by a company called “Bosal” will last up to four times, because of the superior quality of the metals used in the making of the parts.

What can go wrong with your exhaust system? 

Exhaust Systems Explained
Exhaust Systems Explained; Bosal exhausts are one of the best

 

Well starting at the front. So ,a big problem is from the gasket that bolts your exhaust system to the engine. This gasket can become worn and deteriorate. Because of the high temperature omitted by the engine. When this happens the noise will be deafening! But they are not usually difficult to fix. The next problem is just common old rust.

The complete Car Exhaust system is attacked by rust. Hence, from the day that the car hits the road. Also to add to this is salt. Especially here in the UK where we use in Winter in great quantities. Eventually, the rust will attack the most vulnerable parts of the exhaust and a piece will fall off. Stainless steel exhaust system is the only cure for this problem. However, they cost two or three times the price of mild steel systems in the first place. So they are not always a viable alternative. For a free no obligation quote on a catalytic converter or exhaust system checks  out our web site if you have Catalytic Converter Problems.

Exhaust Systems Explained

Exhaust Systems Explained; A modern diesel exhaust system come s with a diesel particulate filter DPF 

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out-Tyre wear-Toe in and Toe out cause irregular tyre wear

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out; settings that are crucial to your tyre wear

When having your wheels aligned. (usually after having new tyres fitted). It is important to remember. That the most critical setting is called the “Toe”. If your wheel alignment is out from the correct setting. Thus, by as little as 1/32 of an inch. As a result,  then each tyre on the axle will scrub 3 1/2 feet sideways for every mile driven on. Hence, causing your tyres to wear out prematurely. This makes Laser Wheel Alignment paramount and a money saver.

The “toe” in or outAccordingly, determines the way that the tyres will operate. As a result,  in relationship to the centre line of the vehicle. When the toe is not straight and is pointing in or out determines the way your tyre will wear. For example, if your wheels were “toeing out” then your tyres would wear on the inside if they were “toeing in ”then your tyres would wear on the outside. As the car drives along the road, a rear wheel drive car pushes the front tyres and the fact that the toe is out caused resistance in a rearward movement of the suspension arms against the bearings.

Front wheel drive cars pull the vehicle along resulting in a forward movement of the of the suspension arm against the bearings, for rear wheel drive cars a positive toe is used to correct the suspension movement, and for front wheel drive cars a negative toe is used.

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out can  alter the vehicle’s handling, increasing the toe-in will reduce oversteer and adjusting the cars Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out will reduce understeer, by doing this it will cause adverse tyre wear, although the vehicle will have better steering and handling. It is always better to adjust the settings as recommended by the car manufacturers handbook.

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out

Before you adjust the toe outside of the manufacturers” recommended specs” to give the vehicle better handling beware that the toe settings affect the tyre wear. The toe out on our wheel alignment machine is measured on the turn plates. The wheel alignment machines take the readings, and they are measured by a laser beam and reflected onto the display screen. Our wheel alignment machine will give a reading for inside and outside wheel this reading is in degrees. When the wheels are straight ahead, the readings should be at zero.

The steering wheel should be in a straight position and locked into place before the wheel alignment adjustment is made.

Toe out angles are registered by the angle of the Power Steering this allows the inside wheel to turn at a sharper angle compared to the outside wheel. Steering arms are part of the steering knuckle or the ball joints and are not adjustable. Problems with toe out are often due to a damaged steering arm and must be replaced. Of course out of alignment means that you will have premature tyre wear!

An excellent website that explains Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out and associated different parts is…http://www.anewtoronto.com/wheel%20alignment.html

Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out
Wheel Alignment-Toeing Out; a wheel alignment being carried out on a Spitfire

Garage Charges Stable-Average independent garage labour rates revealed

Garage Charges Stable

Garage Charges Stable

Garage Charges Stable

So, looking into article then the independent garage prices have remained pretty stable. Importantly, one thing that has come to mind is the involvement of the menu servicing system. Menu servicing gives the car owner a set price for their vehicles service. According to which one that the car servicing manual recommends.

MOT Testing prices have also become very stable in recent years. Mainly due to the competition !so as it should be. Accordingly, the hourly rates have remained very stable. In my opinion this due to customer satisfaction with the particular garage that they use for their car repairs and servicing. Garages hitting the right formula will indeed be very busy.

Although service is still very important then price is something that our customers. Especially these days when the majority of customers are females. Female customers are usually in charge of the “purse strings” and price is very important to female drivers.

The cost of labour at UK independent garages is falling behind inflation and owners are seeing diminishing returns year on year, the Independent Garage Association has said after it published the findings of its latest

Source: Average independent garage labour rates revealed – Garagewire

How a clutch works

How a clutch works – internals of transmission and clutch assembly

How a clutch works

How a clutch works

How a clutch works

This is a video showing how a slave cylinder, clutch and transmission work together to engage power from the engine and disengage power from the engine to the transmission. Filmed at the Toyota Commemorative museum of Industry and Technology near Nagoya, Japan. Clutches are what we call a “bread and butter” job. Hence, i thought that i would show a video to demonstrate the things that our technicians have to do when replacing the clutch.
We often have our customers ringing us. Consequently, they ask the question, “how can i tell if my clutch is going”. Therefore, I usually answer with the same explanation. You’ll know when the clutch is going. Because the biting point will happen with less pedal push, and the clutch will slip when the drive is under heavy load.

How a clutch works

When I car eventually arrives in the workshop. We start the car and dip the clutch pedal. Next step is to place the car into third gear. With the handbrake of, we then very slowly release the clutch. A good clutch will stall the engine.
if you carry out the same procedure with a slipping clutch. Then, the engine will probably judder, try to pull away and then the engine will stall. Sometimes, you will hear a rattle when you release the clutch pedal. This is a sign that the clutch plate will be broken up and needs replacing.
Another sign that your clutch is on the way out, is that there will be terrible smell, when the clutch pedal is released. This is a problem with death drivers. because, they cannot hear very well then they do not know that their clutch is slipping. The tell tale sign is the smell that the burning clutch plate gives off. We have one customer, who goes through a clutch a year,(good for business?).