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.

MOT Test Safer Roads

Independent Garages Favored-70 per cent of motorists prefer independent garages, survey shows – Garagewire

Independent Garages Favored

Independent Garages Favored

Alex working on the Insignia brake job

Independent Garages Favored

There is no doubt that this report only strengthens my personnel views regarding the popularity of Independent garages. Of course , it makes good sense?

In fact most garage owners at a local level were once employees of these giant chains of “motorist centres”. Therefore all we had to do was the opposite of what they were doing. The public car owners are our “bread and Butter” Consequently, this was one of first things that I learned when dealing with our customers cars. So, was to be as honest as possible with them, tell them how it is and be fair with the pricing.

Not all Independent garages are the same but I think the majority are. Otherwise they would not have lasted for so long. As a result i just keep on bumping into the same old faces when I attend a conference or an organised event by a manufacturer.

I dont want to rant on about how a garage should be run, but above all else the customer should be our priority. Not all customers are agreeable. In fact we have one or two horrible people that just keep on coming in and causing us trouble.

Independent Garages Favored

I suppose the good thing is that we know who they are and can treat them accordingly. Before I let my garage be run by a manager, then I used to actually ban troublesome customers. It did not matter how hard we tried we could not please them.

These trouble makers are going to spread the bad word round about you. So, my recommendation is to be as polite as possible and ask them not to come back to your garage. The world is full of trouble makers and you just do not want them in your god reputable garage . Let Kwik-fit or Halfords have them.

In other words work hard with your existing customer base. Your customers will spread the good word on social media and good old fashioned “word of mouth” praises. Large garage chains just have not got the know how and quality staff. Hence, to compete with the way that customers and staff are lovingly cared for by many of the UK’s Independent garages.

Eric Roberts

Toyota Yaris Clutch Problem 70 per cent of drivers say they prefer independent garages over the main dealers, survey findings suggest. The survey, which was conducted by Servicing Stop, asked motorists to voice the benefits of each garage type and praise

Source: 70 per cent of motorists prefer independent garages, survey shows – Garagewire

Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft-Not much of a common problem here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK.

Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft

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Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft

I must admit that this is not a common problem for my mechanics here at pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK. Of course like any other mechanical part, then the problem starts in a small way. This lady driver thought that her wheels needed balancing. Of course that was her first assumption? Hence, a vibration from the front of her car could have been a wheel balance problem. However this was not to be the case?

As a result a month ago then we balanced the cars wheels and also checked out the tyres at the same time. All looked well with the tyres, just the perennial problem of the wheel alignment requiring some adjustment. But the balancing proved to be fine and off she drove into the sunset?

However the vibrating did not stop and a strange low pitch grinding noises could be heard? The lady carried on driving the car and visited her local supermarket. When she started the car and tried to move off then a much louder cranking banging noise came from the drivers side front.

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The lady quickly realised that she had a major problem. Consequently, the car would not drive and so she contacted us for advice. As a result we knew that the drive had gone and she was thought to have had wheel balancing problems. These things tied up too be the driveshaft. Because the car is a front wheel drive then the car has two driveshafts, more commonly known as “half shafts“.

Fiat Leon Failing (half shaft)

The half shafts so takes the power from the engine and sends this power to drive the wheels. In this case a front wheel drive car has a drive shaft at each side of the engine. On a rear wheel drive car the drive shaft transmits the engines power to the “differential” which in turn transmits the power to the rear wheels. Of course,there are many different variants to this. But in general the outcome is very much the same.

As a result that the car was un-drivable, we recovered the car back to our garage. So on arrival we drove the car onto a vacant ramp and proceeded to remove the front wheels. So, the half-shaft connects to the brake and wheel assembly via the “constant velocity joint” This is a system of small bearings that allows the wheels to turn when the car has been driven along. This assembly is protected from the elements by a rubber boot. The rubber boot is filled with “high heat resistance” grease.

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Subsequently, the problems occur when the rubber boot splits for some reason. This is more common in areas where there are problems with “pot holes“. The damage can be seen in my images. A complete replacement half shaft was the best solution for this model of car and the customer gave permission for the job doing.

It turned out well for us, because that Saturday, then we had a snow fall. This has the effect of keeping our customers tucked up in bed. However we did get busier with tyres sales later on in the morning. All in all a good days work ?

Eric Roberts

 

 

Local garages -You CAN trust them for your Car Servicing and Repairs?

Local garages

Local garages make a huge effort to make sure that your servicing is carried out in the correct manner.

local garages,servicing

We carry out car servicing and MOT Testing

Most independent local garages service a mix of car makes. Includes my own garage here in Halifax West Yorkshire in the UK. I must admit that we do not service too many Rolls-Royce’s or Ferrari’s. But we do get one or two from local businesses that are not tied up with servicing contracts.

As the owner of one of Halifax’s local garages. So,  we have always tried to keep our car servicing prices at a reasonable prices Hence, to our local customers. Of course, this has helped us to keep a regular and steady clientele. Naturally, that uses us to have their cars repaired and Serviced. Including  Vauxhall Servicing, Hyundai Servicing, and Smart Car Servicing.

We are also an MOT testing centre and are in the green lane in the VOSA testing station recommendations. This is a risk assessment from VOSA called the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS). Meaning that we run our test centre “squeaky clean” and honest. Thus, the way that local garages should and in most cases do?

Local garages

local garages

car in for servicing keeps

This is how I run all my businesses. So that I can promise all my customers that all the work that we carry out will be carried out.Consequently, in an honest way and will also be priced up in an honest way. We are not infallible and if a dispute arises we can go into arbitration through an organisation called Motorcodes.

Motorcodes is a government backed organisation to insure that participating local garages serve their customers in a fair and honest manner. Motorcodes are also now connected to the office of fair trading and we are proud to be members. We are also vetted each year by the AA to examine the state of our garage and reception area.

We also became members of Unipart car Care Centres to help cement our relationship with our garage customers by making sure that the parts that we fit are of the best quality and of the same standard as the original equipment parts would have been fitted at a franchised garage. I find that this is one of the things that to a potential new customer may be worried about.

Local garages Servicing-“add-ons” do you really need them

Add-ons are something that I never used to consider when a customer asks for the price of a service. However I have started to think on different lines due to the ever increasing pressure to make our cars comply with emission controls and a greener environment.

When a car is new there is no contamination in the engine, but as the car increases its mileage, then contamination deposits begin to build up inside the engine and a gradual drop off occurs in the cars fuel consumption. In my opinion just an oil change will not be enough and so we have decided to offer our customers the choice of using an engine treatment from a company called Tec-4. This is what the company have to say, an extract from their website…www.tec-4.co.uk

“Petrol is an organic matter. When it is burnt or left to naturally degrade contamination is created. This contamination builds up on key components within the engine, most notably fuel injectors, inlet and exhaust valves and EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valves. This contamination has a detrimental effect on the efficiency of the engine resulting in lost performance and increased fuel consumption”

After treatment the harmful contamination is removed, giving the car an improvement of between 10% and 15% in fuel efficiency, and with the price of petrol heading for £7 per gallon, it could mean a saving of between £200 and £300 in a year.(Fuel is now significantly lower since this article was published)

There are also treatment for diesel cars and also treatments for car cooling systems. It is a decision that I have already made and we are going to offer our service customers the choice to have the treatment on their cars or not and see what happens.

Eric Roberts

 

Car Brake Warning Lights

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.

Eric Roberts

Locking Wheel Nuts-Drivers can never find them? Love them or Hate them ?

Locking Wheel Nuts

Locking wheel nuts are an every day problem.

One the biggest problems we encounter almost every day is the dreaded “locking wheel nuts”. These are the little blighter’s that fit onto your alloy wheels. So to prevent the wheels from being stolen. The problem only becomes a problem when the customer forgets. Hence, where he last put the nut.  That is the part that fits onto your locking wheel nut. So, to remove it from your wheel, (if you get what I mean).

locking wheel nuts

types of locking wheel nuts

This is the little beast that our customers forget about. Until it comes to wanting some new tyres fitted. We have to search high and low to find the little ******. But some times it can not be found. So we have to remove it by force. We have now purchased a small Locking Wheel Nut Removal Tool. Which does help us remove the locking wheel nuts, but it can still be a difficult job to do. Some wheels have a very narrow hole where the nut or stud fits, that makes it almost impossible to fit a tool onto the locking nut to help remove it.

In general we can remove one in about ten to fifteen minutes but some take much longer to remove. For this service we charge the customer £29.90 a set to remove and a similar price for a new set of locking wheel nuts. This is for the average car and some of the bigger cars cost much more.

It pays to look after your locking wheel nuts

In general it pays to look after your lockers. One of the commonest scenarios is when a customer buys a second hand car, make sure you know where the lockers are kept and even if there is one at all ?. Do not forget that you could be without a locker in say a motorway tyre blowout , then you would really be stuck, it happens on many occasions ask the AA or the RAC.

The cost if a special tool that we have to buy to remove the locking wheel nuts. The tool is made by a Yorkshire company called “Dynomec Ltd” and is designed specially for removing the nuts when the tool part is lost or broken, other types of nuts are removed by a socket or another nut is welded to the nut on the wheel to give extra leverage and the broken or lost nut can then be removed. Some can take over an hour to remove but we never give in.

locking-wheel-nuts-love-them-or-hate-them

new locking wheel nuts  ready to be fitted

Article written by Eric Roberts member of   Point S  

Diesel Cars-Do they Need More Engine Servicing-VW now in the limelight?

Do Diesel Cars Need More Engine Servicing

Of course since this article was first written then things have changed. Certain car companies were illegally falsifying the diesel emission figures coming out of their diesel cars. After billions of dollars in fines ! So, the car makers had to radically change the make up of the diesel cars. Consequently we now have diesel cars and vans with very efficient and low emission engines.

In my opinion the scandal has brought forward what could have been years of technology. Importantly, we now have much cleaner and efficient vehicles that perhaps we probably would have. However I do feel that the rest of this article does still apply to diesel cars and vans.,

Here in the UK ! As part of the European Union ! (Not soon I hope ).  So we now see that Diesel Cars make up about half of the new cars that are sold. Over the past years diesel cars have become far more popular.Because of their lower running costs. Due to better fuel consumption and therefore lower running costs. Especially in mainland Europe ! So in France for example diesel fuel (gazoil) is much cheaper than petrol (essence). However, here in the UK it is the other way round. Of course the diesel engines will give you more miles to the gallon. So it is still more economical to run Diesel Cars.

A slight drawback to me though ! Subsequently, is that the diesel cars should have a couple of services a year. Apart from a main service I think that they also need a second engine service. Lack of servicing can cause several problems for you diesel cars, especially if you only do low mileages and at lower speeds.

Change oil and filter regularly ?

Diesel Cars

A diesel particulate filter used on many Diesel Cars

If the oil and filters are not change at regular periods then the fuel filter could get blocked causing blocked diesel injectors and the car will not run properly. This is now becoming more common for garages to deal with. Also the filter will eventually clog up . Thus starving the engine of fuel. When the fuel is not correctly burned on firing then excess fuel will enter the engine. Of course mixing with the engine oil. So, causing the engine parts to wear prematurely. So drivers who do not have their Diesel Cars serviced . Consequently, are really stacking up problems for the future.

A more serious problem that may occur with the diesel car is the advent of the “diesel particulate filter” or the DPF as it is known, which is in effect a catalytic converter for the diesel engine. The job of the DPF is to burn off at high temperature all the soot and carbon chemicals that are omitted from the diesel engine. These carbon particles are burned off at very high temperatures and the cleaner air is then released into the atmosphere.

Diesel cars need good runs out.

This is another reason why if you only drive short distances then you perhaps should buy a petrol (gasoline) car, because when you only drive a short distance, then the DPF does not complete a full cycle and the DPF then has to go through a process called “regeneration”. This is all part of drive for lower emissions technology and cleaner Diesel Cars .

The gist of this post is to have your  car serviced ! Or at least an oil change ? So, at regular intervals and if you only drive local, then do not buy  diesels. Problems with this type of  engine performance are now becoming more common, and things regarding emissions are going to get tougher with even lower emission targets coming in shortly.

To update this article , it is now thought that Diesel Cars engines give off far more harmful gases than originally thought, and the older models will be phased out quicker. In fact cities like Paris in France will ban older diesel vehicles in the near future and they are now putting the price of derv up to above the price of petrol.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

Britains Motorists-forking out hundreds on unexpected car repair costs – Easier (press release)

Britains Motorists

Britains Motorists motorists forking out hundreds on unexpected car repair costs Easier (press release) British motorists forked out hundreds of pounds last year repairing whining engines, wonky wheels and patching up scrapes and dents, according to a recent…

 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Car Servicing has been put on the back burner by Britains Motorists?

So, in this good article. Hence, by the” countrywide independent garage scheme” . They carried out a straw poll of 100 UK motorists. Consequently they found that many of them had car repair bills of up to £500! In fact 64% of them, to be precise. Of course, this is no surprise to me . As I believe that many UK motorists have failed to have their cars serviced, in the past two years.

This neglect will lead to all kinds of problems affecting  their cars and the cars performance. We see the effects of this all the time, but I think that the most common problem is the brakes. If the cars brakes are checked on a service, then the usual things that need replacing are the pads, this together with a good brake cleaning is usually all that is required.The problem then is that if the car is not serviced, then the Brake pads wear even further down before getting down to the metal plate. This then affects the brakes especially the Disc Brakes.

New Brake Discs and Car Brake Pads fitted

 

then becomes metal on metal then the discs get damaged and they may need replacing. Other problems include the brake cylinders overheating and leaking and the problems can go on and on, always leading to a bigger repair bill for the UK motorists.

This is also a problem with the modern engines. The engines these days are controlled by a computer system in the car and if the filters and oil are not changed then the parts that are part of the engine management system can start to fail and the engine light will illuminate in the cars dashboard, often causing panic amongst the drivers who come into us garages to have the problem checked out. Sometimes the problem is a simple one and the car only requires an oil and filter change and other times it could be more complicated, but in the main most of the causes are due to the car not having a service and general neglect.

Although we are not members of the country wide garage scheme, we are a member of the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC), but we all share the same thoughts and know what the problems are likely to be if the car is not serviced.

Mot will find any mechanical problems

 

Another slightly worrying trend amongst car drivers is the concept of using the annual MOT Test as a gauge for the condition of their car. The MOT test is not the same as having a regular service, and although the test is fairly strict it is not the same as having a good service say once a year. The UK motorists  can then keep an eye out on such things as your oil levels and tyre pressures and check your own light bulbs.

We all understand that money is tight but in my opinion the failure to service your car will lead to the UK motorists having bigger problems and bigger repair bills.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

See on www.easier.com

Driving in floods is something that you should avoid (or not)

Driving in floods,Car Tips

Car Tips-With the UK set for a deluge, here’s how to drive safely with floods around

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Car Tips-Stay away from driving your car in the floods

Because of the increasing rainfall, then this is a very topical article by MSN cars. Importantly, due to the bad weather and Driving in floods. So, that have occurred in the South of England and Wales. Fortunately we have missed the worse of the storms here in Yorkshire. Of course, where I live and work.

I must say, though it does remind me of a trip that I made to deliver a 629 Numax 12 Volt Battery to a remote farm in North Yorkshire. I had to go because our carriers at the time would not deliver this type of tractor to this area. The sat/nav was switched on and off I went in my Peugeot partner van .

Car Tips,driving in floods

Check your brakes after driving through floods

Fortunately, the day was a nice bright winters day.

But the day before we had a massive storm. Similar to  the floods . Simultaneously, hitting the South of England at that particular time ! So as I started to get nearer to my destination ,The roads were getting steeper and narrower, similar to a roller coaster ride. I went down a steep hill that went through a forest and round a steep end, where to my shock horror; there was a ford across a river. The river was flowing very fast and at first I did not know what to do ! As I had not noticed any Flood Warnings.

It would have been very difficult to turn round as the road was very narrow, so I decided to go for it. I revved my diesel van and shot across as fast as I could. To my horror the river started to push my van sideways but I just managed to make it to the other side driving as fast i dared. My first thoughts were to try out my brake and luckily everything worked OK.

Increasingly, I became very scared ! Thinking that I could become one of  those poor drivers. So, that do not make it to the other side. Thus, making me cringe.

I will never attempt to cross another flooded river or road again and when I read the comments in this article I noticed that most of the comments say that the best way is not to try and cross any flooded roads at all, which would also be my advice. I also noticed that some drivers were getting stuck in the larger 4×4 vehicles, please stay away and do not attempt to Driving in floods at any cost.

 

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre. See on cars.uk.msn.com

Peugeot 206 Estate Clutch

Clutch Vibration Problem-TOYOTA AURIS TD comes in with a Clutch Vibration Problem

Clutch Vibration Problem

TOYOTA AURIS TD comes in for a Clutch Vibration Problem

For some unknown reason.  Christmas time brings in a few cars that are having Clutch Vibration problems. Hence, these are the normal problems. So, such as the driver cannot get the gears. Or the gears grind. Thus, when trying to drive the car and so on.

The Toyota Auris was a slightly different problem. As a result, the car was sort of vibrating and rattling. Consequently, as it was been driven along. When speaking to the customer. Ryan Linton my workshop manager. Discovered that the car had only had a new clutch fitted about two years ago. So the customer found it highly unlikely. Hence, that the clutch could be causing the vibrations. Especially, when driving the car along.

Ryan explained that the only way to tell is to check the clutch for the Clutch Vibration , by stripping the housing off and taking a look. The customer agreed and he took one of our courtesy cars while we explored his car to see what the problem was.

The other clutches that were done this week were standard sort of jobs, taking two or three hours to do, but we always check with our Auto-data computer system, for the times it takes to do these jobs and this Toyota was shown to take seven hours, this included the Duel mass Flywheel having to be changed, but at this stage we did not exactly know what was wrong with the car.

Clutch Vibration Problem

Ryan  stripped down the Auris clutch housing and assembly and found that the system was a Duel Mass Flywheel  for short and that the car had only had the clutch fitted two years ago and nothing had been done to the Dual Mass Flywheel. This action had

Clutch Vibration

Old worn out clutch and Duel Mass Flywheel

Clutch Vibration

Old Clutch system still in place

caused the pressure plate and the Dual Mass Flywheel to wear prematurely and caused the DMF to have more play in it and therefore cause the Clutch Vibration.

We did not fit the other clutch, but the customer said that he would not go back there again. The cost was estimated at about the £1000.00 mark and the customer gave us the go ahead to do the job. The time given by Auto-Data was pretty accurate and it took Ryan near enough six hours to complete the job. We always fit LUK clutches and DMFs because they were the company who originally developed the products along with BMW in Germany and to date we have never had any warranty problems with the LUK products in the past.

The Toyota Auris clutch and DMF was finished, tested and returned to a happy customer another job well done by my excellent staff.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.