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.

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

Fibreglass Coil Springs

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

The Ford KA showing the broken steel coil spring

So, Coil springs have always been one of the most likely components to fail the British MOT test. Because, they are stuck beneath our cars. Subsequently, are 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. Of course, 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
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 . 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. So, 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 . So, 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 ! Happily, 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. Hence or 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.

Suzuki Servicing neglected-Owner Misses out on Servicing causes a Bigger Problem

No Suzuki Servicing could end up costing you a fortune?

This is not just one of my rants about car servicing but I think that it is important to give a few sad cases of what can happen, when the car owner neglects to have their Suzuki Servicing.

Dip-stick showing the oil level

carried out at regular intervals.

We all should be having our Engine Oil checked at regular intervals, if your car’s engine is in good condition and operating correctly, then you should not have to use any oil to top up the engine. In my opinion there are a few variations to this theory and one of them is if you are traveling long distances at high speed. Then it would be possible that your car may need to have an oil check when you arrive at your destination.

Modern cars will have an Oil Level Warning Light but older cars may not, so it is best to check the level just to be on the safe side. In fact I had an experience myself on a recent trip to France. I drove my two year old Peugeot Partner van 700 miles to a Rufec in the Charente area of South West France. The following morning I went to the local supermarket for some odds and ends, when my oil level warning light came on, much to my horror.

I know that my staff had serviced the van before my journey

and I too checked the level before I set off on my journey. I stopped the van and turned off the engine so that the oil level is allowed to settle down, to get a correct oil level reading. Some dip-sticks are impossible to see, but mine was just below the minimum mark on the dip-stick. I was still in the supermarket car park and so I bought a two litre can of 10w-40 diesel oil (this is what the van used).

As I topped the engine up I kept checking the level, but found that the engine did not need much oil at all. I think some of the oil sensors are very sensitive, but your engine oil level is

Lack of Suzuki servicing was probably to blame for the engine failure? new and old engine together

very important, just as the young guy with the Suzuki Swift was about to find out. Another important piece of advice is, when you are topping the engine oil up again, then put the oil in a small amount at a time, it is just as important not to Overfill the engine with too much oil, this could cause too much pressure building up in the engine, causing all sorts of expensive repair work.

The Suzuki did not have any servicing for two years at least.

The only warning that he had, was when the car engine started to make very loud noises. Unfortunately, this was on the M62 motorway. Doing 70mph in the third lane. This was followed by a cloud of black smoke. Frighteningly,  followed by a complete loss of power. Luckily, the guy managed to manoeuvre the Suzuki across the carriageway and onto the hard shoulder.

He suspected the worse and called for recovery from a roadside assistance phone box on the motorway. The guy was either lucky or a very skillful driver! As I am convinced that this sudden loss of power is the cause of many motorway accidents.

The recovery truck brought the car into our garage in Halifax, Yorkshire . Urgently, we started the postmortem on the lifeless Suzuki. We checked on the history of the car on our computer system. Finding out that although the car had a few MOT tests over the past few years. We did not have any record of Servicing a Car. We asked the guy if he took the car to any other garage for his Suzuki Servicing. Frighteningly, he told us that we were the only place that the car had come to?.

The previous owner also brought the car into us

So, to be looked after it was at the Suzuki Dealers. Indeed the last service had been three years ago. The car was a Suzuki Swift 1.6 petrol 2007 model and looked in good condition! Apart from the engine.

Suzuki engine

It became obvious to Ryan Linton that the engine was completely gone. So, caused by a lack of engine oil starving the Big End Bearings due to lack of Servicing. That is to say also damaging the crank and much more.

The owner of the car was a 26 year old man. Consequently, who led a busy life and did not have time for his car. Hence a thing that is most common these days. As for the car we found that it would be more economical to fit a re-conditioned engine. With the whole job costing around £2500 to the customer.

The lesson to be learned is to have your servicing carried out at some sort of regular intervals. Finally, this guy is not the first and will not be the last. But look at the price that he had to pay in the end?.

EXHAUST SYSTEM-Do They Last Longer Than They Did?

 EXHAUST SYSTEM Last Longer Than They Did? Now drivers Benefit

So, thinking about this, I suppose that there are many reasons that an exhaust system fitted to a modern car will last longer. Than say a car exhaust would 15 to 20 years ago. The cars of yesteryear were not subjected to the emission laws that today’s modern cars are. The big change when all cars were fitted with catalytic convertors.

The modern exhaust system  is now aluminum and are longer lasting

In fact it was about 22 years ago that the new cars that were produced. Hence, had to be fitted with a petrol and Diesel Catalytic Converter. Cars registered after 1st August 1992 (i.e. K prefixes onwards) For more reading… http://www.kgbanswers.co.uk/what-year-did-it-become-compulsory-for-car-manufacturers-to-fit-catalytic-converters-in-the-uk/2247704#ixzz33Z3y8XsB.

This is about the same time that exhaust systems. Thus, appeared to last longer than their predecessors. In the good old days we used to buy car exhausts from the manufacturers direct in containers. We knew which cars were fitted with exhausts that would only last about 2 years. Certain cars such as Vauxhall Vivas and Cavaliers. Were very vulnerable for their back box’s rotting; because they used to collect the dilute acid from the engine in the tail boxes and this would rot them from the inside.

Also there was many more of one model of car produced by the manufacturers.

I would buy say 100x VW Beetle exhausts. Simply because there were so many of them out on the roads. Today because of computers the car makers can alter and change a model, within minutes on a computer. I believe that it is the same with exhaust systems. The designs are much better and are made of better materials than they used to be.

We in the trade do not stock the same number of systems anymore. Because of the large amount of variations within one model of car. Of course, where there was one exhaust to fit one model whatever the engine size. Staggeringly, there will now be ten different systems and shapes for the different engine sizes. So, this could be to do with the different catalytic converter sizes that a different engine size may have to have, there for the rest of the exhaust will be a different shape or size.

The exhaust system has now become part of the emissions service.

We have now had to become qualified in car emissions, using sophisticated hand held computers to diagnose any faults in the system. Also the addition to the catalytic converter onto the front of the exhaust system added the need for a better quality exhaust pipe product, the catalytic converter is made of  a core of ceramic or stainless steel honeycomb, a silica and aluminum wash-coat, and a precious metal for the catalyst (platinum). The car makers then started to use aluminised exhaust systems to match the quality of the catalytic converters and enable the guarantee to extend to two years, on a replacement system.

Your exhaust system lasts longer because they are now aluminised

Previously most exhausts were made from mild steel, which would only last about eighteen months, if that. These were produced by small niche companies who made replacement exhaust pipes from mild steel. Because of the demand for Cheap Exhaust Prices  from the growing fast-fit centres,  such companies as Pioneer exhausts did a roaring trade.

Companies like Bosal Exhaust system made aluminised system for the car manufacturers and gradually started to sell their products to motor factors and specialised Exhaust system wholesalers, who would in turn supply garages and fast-fit centres. The only problem was that they were more expensive and would only be bought by customers with up-market cars; the regular guys still wanted the best price exhaust for their cars.

This all began to change with the advent of the changing car market, when fewer models of a certain car were made and they were fitted original equipment on these models. This made it more difficult for the cheap steel exhaust makers to compete as they did not have the flexibility to adapt their equipment to changing market.

The larger companies were streets ahead with the equipment they used to make the catalytic converters and exhaust systems with; in fact most of the Exhaust system parts were built very accurately with “robots”. The robots also made a better Exhaust system because they are more precise when welding the parts together. Bosal Exhausts also added a small hole in their back boxes to allow the excess acid to drain away.

The simple fact is that YES exhausts are made from far better quality products and built to a much higher standard,(no dodgy welding) therefore they last much longer than they used to, hence a two year warranty given to the replacement parts fitted.   

Catalytic Converter Theft-Watch where you park your car !

Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic Converter Theft

So, here we are still in the grip of this terrible pandemic. Millions of businesses are now struggling due to Government restrictions. Especially the pubs and catering establishments. Of course, as business man then I really do feel for the people who are pulling their hair out trying to survive. Fortunately, as a garage and MOT Testing station then we are able to open.

So, earlier we did have to close for a while! Because, the government decided to suspend MOT testing for six months. Of course this killed our business over night and we kept one fitter to fit and repair tyres. Unfortunately, the rest of the garage staff had to be furloughed. Anyhow we are back to almost normal trading at the present time and are thankful for all our loyal customers.

Our customers are supporting us and we are keeping prices as low as we can to help support them in this terrible period of time. On the other side we are also trying our best to support local businesses in the Halifax area!

Increase in cat thefts

Sadly we are now seeing an increase in the theft of catalytic converters. Especially here in the Halifax area. This week October 2020 we have had two Honda cars submitted with the catalytic converters cut off. These cats are manufactured using some precious metals. So, this is to filter the engines emissions to give us cleaner air.

Vehicle owners do not realise the value of  this part hanging underneath and connected to their exhaust pipe. Incredibly, then most catalytic converts contain many different types of  precious metals! Including rare and precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. So, other valuable metals such as copper, magnesium, cerium, iron and nickel are also in the mix.

This makes these cats worth while stealing and thefts are increasing. The worst case of this has come from a tyre wholesaler in Elland. All their vans were left out over the weekend. Consequently, thieves stole the catalytic converters from all the vans! Incredible!

Police advice to motorists

After looking at this problem, then I have discovered that the problem is nation wide. In fact, the police have given out some advice about preventing this from happening. The advice is given on the “West Yorkshire Police” web site.

The images are from one of the Honda Jazz cars showing where the catalytic converter was cut off.

CAR OIL LEVELS- Check Them Regularly or your could find yourself in trouble?

 Check Your CAR OIL LEVELS it makes sense?

This is one piece of good advice that I failed to carry out myself. So. I had driven to France on a short trip recently, in my Peugeot Partner Van, when the “Low Oil Level” light came on. Oh I thought this must be wrong?

It is important that Ladies should learn how to check their car oil levels

I am always preaching to other people to check their car oil levels. Sure enough the vans oil level was below the minimum level on the dip-stick and I had two buy a two litre plastic tub of 5w-30 engine oil for diesel driven vehicles.

I also recommend car owners to take a small container of oil with them. Just in case that it is needed in some remote spot. Luckily I was near a supermarket. We usually recommend that you should change your oil about every three thousand miles. But this does not apply to all makes and models of car. Just remember it is better to be safe than sorry and a regular oil change is a safe option. Especially if you are a high mileage driver and perhaps use your car for your job.

Most good garages now use servicing guides that are computerised

We use a system that tells us all the service intervals, including car oil levels, oil changes and other important things such as the times to change your cars timing belt. We also refer to the owner’s service manuals, which gives us the correct intervals for changing your cars oil.

So, most of our customers that have servicing. Thus, will leave their car with us for the day. So, either take public transport back home or to work. Also, we have a small fleet of courtesy cars that are available for their use. If they live in fairly close proximity to the garage. Then we very often give them a lift. For instance we have a local college nearby and we are always giving the college tutors. Including, some of the older students a lift to work. Whilst they leave their cars for the work to be carried out.

There is doubt that it is also a good idea to learn how to check your own car oil levels in the car’s engine. You should learn to open the bonnet catch, it would surprise you how many of our customers cannot find the catch that will help them open their Old Cars bonnet (hood).

Check your own oil levels with the dip-stick

The second good thing to learn is; which is the “dip-stick” that tells you what your car oil levels is at the time of the checking. Your car manual will show you where it is on your car, but you can also ask your local garage to show you where it is located, I am sure that they will only be too pleased to help.

Once you have located the dip-stick you must take it out and give it a wipe with a clean cloth or tissue paper. Pop the stick back into its housing until you have pushed the stick right in, and then pull it back out slowly, so that you do not smudge the reading. On the stick there are two markings a minimum marking and a maximum marking. This is self-explanatory; just top the car oil levels up until you reach the maximum level. Do not exceed the max level, because this is as bad as having a low oil level. Having too much oil can cause extra pressure inside the engine and cause your engine to be damaged or even explode.

So keep an eye on your oil level and check it at regular intervals. Have your oil changed at regular intervals. When you are checking your own oil levels be careful to check it slowly and carefully and do not overfill the engine with excess oil. Also I would advise the driver to keep a small amount of the exact same oil that the garage filled your car with on a car  service, this can then be used for topping up purposes.

Dip-stick showing the correct engine car oil levels

Most garages keep small containers of oil in stock especially for this purpose. Also make sure that the oil that you are topping up with is the

Topping up your engine oil to get the correct car oil levels

exact same viscosity as the oil in your engine and it is for either petrol or diesel. And finally always have your Car Oil  checked after a long or speedy journey.

 

Good Garage-What Women Should Look for Good car servicing?

What Women Want- 

The unfortunate reputation women, in general have when it comes to all things that have to do with cars is they are supposed not to know anything?. People tend to think that women buy a car on account of whether the colour looks good on her or if the upholstery is nice. The truth is, while there are a few who may be that way, many

happy woman customer browsing through the tyre stock

women are more mechanically inclined than you think.  Here are a few things that women want- in a Good Garage.

1.      Positive Feedback about the garage concerned

Women are born shoppers for the most part. And while a few know exactly what they want and buy it at first sight, most prefer to window shop. Asking around and getting feedback from people who have used the Car Garage is one of the most reliable ways to gauge how good (or bad) the services are. You don’t expect the manager or sales person who works for the Good Garage to say anything negative, do you? So getting recommendations or cautionary tales is the best way to weed out the good from the bad.

 

2.      Professionalism as soon as you enter the Garage

If a woman’s reputation is she knows nothing about cars, the reputation of mechanics leans towards the seedy and lecherous who think a woman’s face is below her neck. By doing an inquiry in person and getting a sense of the people she will be dealing with, a woman will know that the garage is not meant for her if they make her uncomfortable with their behavior or comments. There is a place and time to be flirty. A Good Garage is not one of them.

 

3.      Handling Complaints

While this may come together with the feedback, it is important for women to find out how complaints are handled. Women are meticulous in general, so if something is not up to snuff and she wants it repaired or redone, will the garage be reasonable or bully her until she gives up. Ask around about how the garage you are looking into handles complaints. The after service response can be a very telling sign if the garage gives good service because this is where you find out how they handle back jobs and complaints. Check also how many complaints they get on the average. Too many complaints is a signal of poor service.   

Pellon tyres garage reception area popular with women customers

 

4.      Affiliations (is the garage a member of an association)

A woman wants to know that a Good Garage is backed by more than word of mouth. If she knows that a garage has affiliations with companies that provide support and training for them, she will rest easier in choosing them.

 

5.      Guarantees(ask the  Garage about their guarantee scheme)

While there are no guarantees in life, a garage should have a guarantee on their parts and/or services. If they are as good as they make themselves out to be, they should not hesitate to give a guarantee on the work.

So if a woman finds all of this in one garage, she will most likely choose that one. Lucky for her,  can help her find these kinds of Good Garage from among their 700 independent and vetted garages nationwide. 

·         An open and honest approach with the customers

·         A high standard of work and excellent value for money

·         12 month guarantee on parts and labour

·         An open invitation to inspect, review and rate the garages of your choice to make the best informed decision for your needs  

Happy woman customer in a Good Garage

Should you even be looking anywhere else? Finally, it is recommended that these jobs should also be carries out when thinking about selling your car.

emissions tool

Steering Wheel Not Straight ?-Why do you have to to check your Wheel Alignment?

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Steering Wheel Not Straight ?

Steering Wheel Not Straight ?

This article reminded me of the number of customers that come to my garage here in Halifax with the same problem. Hence, their steering wheel is not straight.

or many of them say that when the steering wheel is straight then their car pulls to the left or the right. It really does make driving uncomfortable when this is the problem.

Modern cars now have much more refined steering and suspension systems. This makes wheel alignment even more important than ever.

Correct alignment also ensures that your tyres do not wear out prematurely. Another problem after this long wet and snowy winter is the large amount of potholes that are appearing everywhere.

As a result many cars steering has been knocked out of alignment. many cars will show this by pulling to one side. Thus making driving more difficult and not a pleasurable experience.

This also wears your tyres out prematurely.

You would be surprised at the number of cars that come to us for new tyres with one of the sidewalls worn out. As a result sometimes down to the steel cords of the sidewalls. Of course this is the best time to set your alignment up correctly. So, when you buy some new tyres. many of our customers do actually do this. Enabling your tyres to get off to a good start. many tyres now, especially on SUV’s  are very expensive.

Therefore the tyres really do need looking after correctly. We do balance your wheels when we fit new tyres but wheel alignment is a separate job altogether. When we fit a customers tyres we do inform them if we suspect the alignment is out. We do a free check and charge from £34.90 upwards for the alignment to be corrected.

Eric Roberts

If you have a car then this is very important thing which you should do. So the thing is to check the Wheel Alignment.  Because this can save your many important things.

So, many steering wheel problems are generally caused by your car been out of alignment!

Source: Why to check Wheel Alignment?

Starting an Auto Repair Service

Starting an Auto Repair Service in the UK-A Brief Guide

Starting an Auto Repair Service

Starting an Auto Repair Service

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just someone who is looking for an evergreen business idea. So,  starting a car repair service can wind up being a very profitable endeavour. However, it’s not exactly an easy business model to become familiar with. Especially if you don’t know anything about cars and the complexities that come with fixing and maintaining them. While you don’t necessarily need to be a qualified mechanic to own a repair service. Of course, it certainly would help to be knowledgeable in the field before you set up shop. Regardless of your skill and expertise level! Here are some of the steps that will be involved in starting your own car repair service in the UK.

1. Incorporate and Insure the Company

Incorporating your repair service as a limited company is generally the best approach. As it will provide the most legal protection by separating the debts of the business from your personal debt obligations. Any business that is going to be operating in the vehicle repair industry. Naturally, should obtain some form of motor trade insurance. This kind of insurance will ensure that your company and staff are covered when working on customer vehicles. You can use Quotezone.co.uk to quickly fetch motor trade insurance quotes from the UK’s top providers. Quotezone provides a convenient, centralised interface where you can compare all sorts of insurance policies.

2. Know the Costs of Doing Business

It’s important to understand that car repair shops can come with a significant amount of overheads and operating expenses, including the cost of paying rent or mortgage for the shop itself, mechanic labour, waste disposal, electricity, equipment purchases, and advertising. You’ll most likely need to obtain a waste carrier license with the Environment Agency in order to dispose of hazardous materials like batteries, tyres, and oil. Mapping out a detailed budget will help you prepare for these expenses so that you’re not caught off-guard later on.

3. Establish Relationships with Suppliers

The suppliers you deal with will have a major impact on your bottom line because they will determine how much of your revenue goes towards purchase orders every month. A typical car repair shop in the UK can deal with as many as 30 suppliers or more on regular basis. The manager of the business should be prepared to deal with suppliers over the phone an average of 10-20 times per day. You may want to use a spreadsheet or contact management software to keep track of all your suppliers in one place.

4. Starting an Auto Repair Service-Assemble a Team of Mechanics

Of course, you can’t repair more than one vehicle at a time if you don’t have a small team of mechanics to help with the labour. Generally, it’s best to start with at least 2-4 mechanics on staff to ensure you won’t be left inundated with work during your first month in business. You should try to only employ experienced mechanics, especially during the initial momentum-building stage, as you can’t afford mishaps or dissatisfied customers in the early goings.

5. Keep Up with Accounting and Record Keeping

Most car repair shops in the UK perform accounting tasks at the end of every business day. So,  keeping a thorough record of outgoing invoices and purchase invoices. It’s also common to use lever arch files. Consequently, that simplify the process of sifting through the records for specific moths in retrospect. Due to the amount of parts and materials that car shops purchase and sell each month, staying on top of the accounting is definitely one of the most challenging aspects of running a business in this industry.

6. Starting an Auto Repair Service-Invest in Local Advertising

Once your repair service is in business, it’s time to start attracting your first customers with an aggressive and proactive local marketing campaign. This can include investing in regional search engine optimisation (SEO) or paying for TV, radio, and newspaper ads. The idea is to spread brand awareness so
that your prospective customers know how to contact you and where you’re located when they have problems with their vehicles.

7. Place Customer Service as the Highest Priority

Any skilled mechanic can repair a car, but not all shops are honest and courteous during the process. Take pride in offering top-notch customer care and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of repeat business. Since most vehicle owners in the UK currently own more than one car or will in the near future, doing a great job the first time is the key to getting them to come back and recommend their friends and family.

The UK Could Use More Auto Repair Services

You might think that there are already too many repair services in your area, but there actually aren’t enough to accommodate the demand. If you’ve ever had to wait weeks for your vehicle to be returned to you by a repair shop, then you know first-hand just how backed up many auto service providers are. You can help alleviate that demand by launching your own auto repair service via the steps listed above.

Timing Belt Needs Changing Sir? the dreaded words from your mechanic?

Timing Belt Needs Changing Sir? the dreaded words from your mechanic?

Change your  Timing Belt it’s imperative?

When our customers are having a service to their car, there are certain things that we will report to them. Thus, when their cars service is complete. What we do which is what most garages do!

So, nowadays, is to take a contact number of the person who’s car it is having a service. Before mobile phones this would have been more difficult to do. But now most of our customers have some sort of mobile phone or other.

The things we report on are such things as tyres or worn steering parts. So, these can be changed later on in the day if the customer is contacted . Of course, and we will have time to carry out the repairs. One important thing though is the Timing or cam belt. The Timing Belt Kits come in two types. The chain type, which as the word say’s is very similar to a motor bike chain. More commonly, the rubber looking belt! Consequently, that looks very similar to a fan belt. Including looking like  the belt that drives your washing machine or spin dryer.

This is made out of very strong material similar to the materials that tyres are made from.

The importance of the timing belt cannot be overstressed. If the belt breaks in use then the engine can be damaged beyond repair. When we carry out a service we always check in the Autodata online manual. Naturally, for the exact time for the belt to be changed. Sometimes it will state a Timing Belt Intervals and other times it may state a time period. However, usually it will be between 60000miles and 100000 miles when the new belt should be fitted.

This is also important to know if you buy a second hand car. I have known customers who have had a car for a couple of months and their timing belt has snapped leaving them with a

blown up engine and no redress from the person that they bought the Old Cars from, so if you buy a second hand car you must only buy one with a history record and the knowledge of the timing belt, otherwise you could be caught out with a huge repair bill, always ask about the timing belt?

A simple explanation of what this important part does is as follows; the timing belt is used to turn the camshaft at exactly half the speed of the crankshaft. Your camshaft controls the opening and closing of the valves in time to the pistons going up and down the engines cylinders. The camshaft belt runs on pulleys at the end of each important part and very often also drives the water pump. Should the belt break; then all these other parts simply smash into each, other causing major damage to the car’s engine.

The timing belt is spinning at tremendous speed and generates much heat,

so the belt is subject to many pressures and eventually starts to break up and cracking starts to appear, once again very similar to tyres. Perhaps you can see now why it is so important to change the belt at the correct time. Importantly, we also recommend that you change the water pump at the same time. The water pump runs on a bearing and the bearings tend to wear out at the same time. If the water pump is not changed and goes at a later date then the garage will have all the same work to carry out all over again.

Many different companies makes of timing belt but we prefer to use leading brand belts. Because, our customers are covered under a warranty should anything go wrong with the part or the fitting of your new belt. You will be covered across the whole of the mainland UK, under the terms of the warranty a great protection to have.

So to finalise if your garage warns you that the timing belt is due for a change well get it done as soon as you can afford to, before the thing breaks and causes much more damage to the car and to your wallet or purse.

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel – Driver heard a noise when clutch pedal pressed?

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel, clicking noise?

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel
Alex splitting the gearbox to get to the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel

The driver of this Ford Focus presented his car to us. He explained that he could notice a slight change of noise in the sound of the engine followed by a sort of ticking noise?

When asked when the noise occurred he said that it was when started to press the clutch down, to about halfway. Then after the halfway point the noise clears up? The same happens when the clutch is released.

When the car engine is idling, or when you are just driving along, then there is no noise.

Then when your foot is off the clutch (either in neutral or driving in gear) there is no noise.

He said that he noticed for the first time, about a month ago. Ryan my service manager thought straight away that the problems pointed to the clutch and perhaps the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel.

The Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel is made of many small components and clicking or ticking sounds, point towards the DMF (duel mass flywheel). The sound was only slight and the noise was covered by the car radio.

Alex tackles Ford Focus clutch job !

At first we recommended that the guy should leave well alone and to see if anything else would develop. He agreed with us and went on his way.

We never saw the car again until a month later? This time the noise became a little louder.

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel
Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel

Ryan still suspected the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel as being the problem. We took the car in and split the gearbox from the Focus engine to inspect the DMF and clutch. The clutch release bearing and slave cylinder were examined and found to be OK.

Some reasons for the diagnosis of a problem with your Duel mass Flywheel are as follows:-

1) If you have a slipping clutch; if the cars revs become higher but cars speed does not increase, or it feels like you are riding the clutch when driving along or changing gear. Or sometimes you can smell the pungent smell of the overheated burning clutch.

2) Strange unfamiliar metallic noises (sounds like a rattling chain or bag of knife and forks being shook about). This noise will stop when the clutch is depressed then return of release.

3) If your dual mass flywheel has been wearing for a while then your starter motor may start to slip/spin, when you are starting the car.

The driver with the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel problems came to us in good time. The DMF had started to break up and was replaced, along with a new clutch plate. So if you do hear these noises take it along to your local garage to be examined.