News

TPMS Diagnostic Health Check

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) have been fitted to cars for many years but recently TPMS has become mandatory for all new vehicles and has become a testable item for the annual MOT inspection.

Two main technologies exist; indirect and direct TPMS. Indirect systems detect wheel speed rotation differences resulting from a deflated tyre by using inputs from the ABS wheel speed sensors. This technology was unreliable and could not detect tyre deflation in more than one wheel. All modern vehicles are fitted with direct TPMS which includes a pressure sensor in each wheel which transmits readings to a control unit using radio signals. The driver’s information display can then, in most cases display the tyre pressures for each wheel and warn the driver if a tyre suffers an unexpected pressure loss.

Like with all complex electronic systems, faults can occur with TPMS components resulting in the TPMS warning lamp illuminating. We have designed our TPMS Diagnostic Health Check to help identify the most common causes of unexplained TPMS warnings both quickly and cost effectively.

Our TPMS Diagnostic Health Check uses the latest dedicated TPMS diagnostic equipment and covers the following tests:

  • Checking and adjusting the tyre pressures in accordance with the tyre pressure placard.
  • Carrying out a scan of all TPMS sensors to check they are responding and reporting the correct tyre pressure.
  • Checking the sensor battery level*.
  • Carrying out a TPMS module fault code scan.
  • Carrying out a TPMS sensor ID comparison with the TPMS module*.
  • Carry out a TPMS sensor relearn procedure if required*.

* When vehicle is equipped with this function.

Our TPMS Diagnostic Health Check is suitable for vehicles equipped with direct TPMS. We can also carry out diagnostic work on indirect TPMS systems, please contact us for details. Further chargeable diagnostic and/or mechanical work may be required to resolve some TPMS faults.

New Telephone System

Sangoma PBXThere is only one of me! No service receptionist, no coworkers, no back office staff.

When the phone rings, and it rings pretty much constantly all day, I am unable to answer it if I’m repairing vehicles (which is most of the day), driving them (picking them up/taking them for MOT test/road testing them/collecting parts etc), dealing with customers and suppliers in the workshop or out of earshot of the phone.

Phone calls still need dealing with even if I’m unable to physically answer the phone. If I can’t do it myself then an injection of automation through modern technology is required to deal with calls on my behalf.

So, from Monday 2nd July 2018 the new PBX telephone system will be fully operational. It has been programmed to deal with every scenario and will handle calls when I can’t.  Some of the features enabled on the system are as follows:

Time/Calendar Routing
During normal business hours the system will transfer all incoming calls through to the workshop. Outside of normal hours, on bank holidays and whilst I’m away on holiday the system will play an announcement followed by diverting the caller to voicemail.

Follow Me/Find Me
When incoming calls are sent through to the workshop, the internal phones will ring for 10 seconds and if not answered then my work mobile phone will also ring for a further 20 seconds. If I haven’t answered it by then the system will send the caller to voicemail.

Mobile Phones
Both my work and personal mobile phones are now extensions on the system. Additionally, when I dial into the system the mobile phones are recognised by it allowing the full functionality of the system to be used even when there is no mobile data or WiFi available.

Priority Routing
Sometimes I may need a customer to be able to reach me outside of normal business hours. The customer’s phone number can be entered into the system overriding any out of hours routing and pushing the call straight through to my mobile phone.

Please note: From the 1st June 2018 my work mobile phone remains at the workshop outside of normal business hours. Any calls or texts received outside of normal working hours will be replied to the next working day.

Digital Service Records

Service BookDo you remember the service book in your glove box which the garage stamped after every service? If your car still has one you are lucky because many vehicle manufacturers are phasing out the issuing of a paper service book and instead are moving over to digital service records.

Digital service records are stored online on the vehicle manufacturer’s servers and can be accessed via their web sites. The advantage is that they can be checked at any time by the vehicle’s owner, the repairers or even by someone interested in buying the vehicle. The disadvantage for the repairers is the need to both register for and then be accepted onto each vehicle manufacturer’s system, a process which can be very time-consuming. Once accepted, the repairer needs to log into the system to update these records after each service is carried out, again another time consuming process. Ultimately this will increase the time it takes to complete a service and therefore the cost to the customer.

Not all vehicle manufacturers have adopted digital service records yet but are expected to do so.  Of the ones which have we have registered with them and are able to update digital service records for the following vehicle manufacturers. We’ll keep this list updated as more come online.

  • Audi
  • Bentley
  • Ford
  • Lamborghini
  • Mazda
  • Seat
  • Skoda
  • Volkswagen

Buying a Car? Get it Inspected!


One of my brother-in-laws passed his driving test last Thursday and promptly went out and put a deposit down on a ten year old Ford Fiesta from a local used car dealer.

He picked the car up at 6.00pm last night and no doubt being extremely excited went to collect his wife from work where the car then broke down. He’d had the car less than one hour.

I was called out and found the battery not just discharged but dangerous. The state-of-charge indicator in the top of the battery was showing red. I was told the car dealer had serviced the car prior to collection. As you can see from the photo above the oil filter hadn’t been replaced so it hadn’t been serviced at all. The bonnet wouldn’t lock down properly leaving it at risk of flying open when driving. The car also had a full MOT but the passenger side windscreen wiper blade was split. If they’ve missed a wiper blade what else have they missed?

This all could have been avoided if the car had been inspected prior to purchase and any repairs subsequently carried out by the car dealer checked before handing over any money. It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending £500, £5000 or £50,000 on a used car, it’s cheaper to get it inspected than to find yourself stranded miles away from home.

Which? The second-hand car I bought has a problem, what are my rights?

Exploding Battery Post

I arrived at work this morning to find a gentleman waiting outside for me. His car was at a garage in a West Hull village and whilst there an explosion had occurred at one of the two batteries which power this large four wheel drive vehicle. The garage wasn’t sure what had caused it to happen and didn’t want to get involved.

The only option was to have the vehicle recovered to my workshop so I could carry out a detailed inspection and my preferred recovery company was then contacted and transported the car during the afternoon.

It was quickly apparent that the damage was limited to the positive battery post of the main starting battery. The battery post had become so hot as to cause molten lead to be ejected from it onto the top of the battery. The battery terminal was now badly damaged too.

On inspecting the battery terminals on the other battery it was clear that they hadn’t been tightened up properly and were insecure. This causes a high electrical resistance which in turn produces a lot of heat. It’s this heat which caused the explosion and subsequent damage.

The repair was straightforward. A new battery and new Durite battery terminals which are far superior to the original ones.

And a word of warning. Car batteries are dangerous. Incorrect installation can cause the battery to explode. If your car needs a battery fitting leave it to a competent mechanic!

Snap-on Diagnostic Thermal Imager

** New Equipment Update **

Snap-on Diagnostic Thermal Imager

Imagine a tool that lets you “see” heat. The Snap-on Diagnostic Thermal Imager uses infrared technology to reveal heat, friction, electrical resistance, pressure changes. It is specifically designed for automotive applications and includes an exclusive database of guided tests, showing dozens of valuable applications. Just point it at any area of a vehicle and see detailed images of an object’s heat signature.