News

COVID-19 Update w/c 25-05-2020

The workshop will be closed on Monday for the bank holiday but will be open again on Tuesday 26th May. I am already 80% booked up for the week but there is room to accommodate emergency jobs if required.

The workshop remains closed to visitors and all work is carried out by appointment only. Initial contact is by telephone, email or social media messaging. I will be staggering drop-off and pick-up times to ensure only one customer is present at the workshop at a time.

I will continue to sanitise all vehicles when they arrive and before they leave with a suitable anti-microbial disinfectant.

Our Safe Workshop Practice Charter

  • We try to minimise contact with customers and suppliers.
    • The workshop is closed to visitors and all work is carried out by appointment only.
    • Initial customer contact is by telephone, email or social media messaging only.
    • Drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to ensure there is only one customer present at the workshop at any time.
    • We are not providing a while-you-wait service and there will be no waiting at or in the vicinity of the workshop.
  • We keep customers safe by using new disposable seat covers, floor mats and gloves for every job.
  • We will turn off vehicle Air Con/Climate Control to avoid spreading germs.
  • We wipe down all vehicle contact points as we work with Smartsan-V (passes BS EN1276:1997 & BS EN 1650:1998 disinfection standards), a non-staining broad spectrum sanitiser that is effective against a wide range of pathogenic virus, bacteria, yeast and fungi. A sanitation checklist will be left in all vehicles after the final treatment.
  • Items in the workshop which come into contact with customers such as the card machine will be sanitised after each use with Smartsan-V.
  • Our workshop follows all current government social distancing guidelines.
    • New signage and barriers have been installed at the workshop complying with the government’s latest ‘COVID-19 Secure‘ guidelines.
    • A clear plastic cough/sneeze guard is now installed at the reception counter.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel (≥70% alcohol content, passes BS EN 1276 & BS EN 1500 disinfection standards) is available on the reception counter. I would ask all visitors to use it on arrival at reception and before they leave.
  • We respect high risk customers by maintaining an external drop-off and collection point.
    • When necessary and for high-risk customers we will increase our level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to include a 3M FFP3 respirator and disposable nitrile examination gloves.
  • We will offer you value-added services; e.g. Air Con disinfection, cabin filter replacement (HEPA) etc. for your added protection.
  • To keep your vehicle legally roadworthy we will carry out a free visual safety check of the following:
    • Brake Discs
    • Brake Pads
    • Horn
    • Lights
    • Wipers & Washers
    • Tyres
    • MOT Due Date
  • We will notify you of any defects found during this check.
  • We will ensure all contact points and keys are wiped down before collection.

COVID-19 Update

The workshop will reopen at 9.00am on Monday 18th May to deal with breakdowns and a few jobs which have accumulated over the past few weeks. The workshop will remain open all week and I’ll decide at the end of the week whether to stay open or close again depending on demand.

The workshop is closed to visitors and all work is carried out by appointment only. Please phone the workshop on 01482 521201 or the workshop mobile and leave a voicemail message. Alternatively send a text message to the workshop mobile, a WhatsApp message to 441482521201 or use the message function on the company Facebook page. Please don’t send work-related messages to my personal Facebook account as I won’t see these on the workshop computer.

I’ll advise customers of the new procedures in place at the time of booking. As has been the case since the 13th March all vehicles are sanitised on arrival and before they leave with an appropriate anti-microbial disinfectant.

Our Safe Workshop Practice Charter

  • We try to minimise contact with customers and suppliers.
    • The workshop is closed to visitors and all work is carried out by appointment only.
    • Initial customer contact is by telephone, email or social media messaging only.
    • Drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to ensure there is only one customer present at the workshop at any time.
    • We are not providing a while-you-wait service and there will be no waiting at or in the vicinity of the workshop.
  • We keep customers safe by using new disposable seat covers, floor mats and gloves for every job.
  • We will turn off vehicle Air Con/Climate Control to avoid spreading germs.
  • We wipe down all vehicle contact points as we work with Smartsan-V (passes BS EN1276:1997 & BS EN 1650:1998 disinfection standards), a non-staining broad spectrum sanitiser that is effective against a wide range of pathogenic virus, bacteria, yeast and fungi. A sanitation checklist will be left in all vehicles after the final treatment.
  • Items in the workshop which come into contact with customers such as the card machine will be sanitised after each use with Smartsan-V.
  • Our workshop follows all current government social distancing guidelines.
    • New signage and barriers have been installed at the workshop complying with the government’s latest ‘COVID-19 Secure‘ guidelines.
    • A clear plastic cough/sneeze guard is now installed at the reception counter.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel (≥70% alcohol content, passes BS EN 1276 & BS EN 1500 disinfection standards) is available on the reception counter. I would ask all visitors to use it on arrival at reception and before they leave.
  • We respect high risk customers by maintaining an external drop-off and collection point.
    • When necessary and for high-risk customers we will increase our level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to include a 3M FFP3 respirator and disposable nitrile examination gloves.
  • We will offer you value-added services; e.g. Air Con disinfection, cabin filter replacement (HEPA) etc. for your added protection.
  • To keep your vehicle legally roadworthy we will carry out a free visual safety check of the following:
    • Brake Discs
    • Brake Pads
    • Horn
    • Lights
    • Wipers & Washers
    • Tyres
    • MOT Due Date
  • We will notify you of any defects found during this check.
  • We will ensure all contact points and keys are wiped down before collection.

COVID-19 Precautions

Important COVID-19 Update:

From tomorrow I will be treating the controls and door handles of all vehicles on their arrival at the workshop and before they leave with Smartsan V anti-microbial disinfectant. Controls are items such as the steering wheel, gear lever, parking brake lever and commonly used switches. I will also extend that treatment to items in the workshop such as the credit card machine.

Smartsan V is a non-staining broad spectrum sanitiser that is effective against a wide range of pathogenic virus, bacteria, yeast and fungi. It passes BS EN1276:1997 & BS EN 1650:1998 disinfection standards.

You can read more about the product I will be using and download its datasheet at the link below.

I’m being proactive with this so I can help protect both myself and my customers.

https://autosmart.co.uk/products/csmv114c-smartsan-v

Our Safe Workshop Practice Charter

  • We try to minimise contact with customers and suppliers.
    • The workshop is closed to visitors and all work is carried out by appointment only.
    • Initial customer contact is by telephone, email or social media messaging only.
    • Drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to ensure there is only one customer present at the workshop at any time.
    • We are not providing a while-you-wait service and there will be no waiting at or in the vicinity of the workshop.
  • We keep customers safe by using new disposable seat covers, floor mats and gloves for every job.
  • We will turn off vehicle Air Con/Climate Control to avoid spreading germs.
  • We wipe down all vehicle contact points as we work with Smartsan-V (passes BS EN1276:1997 & BS EN 1650:1998 disinfection standards), a non-staining broad spectrum sanitiser that is effective against a wide range of pathogenic virus, bacteria, yeast and fungi. A sanitation checklist will be left in all vehicles after the final treatment.
  • Items in the workshop which come into contact with customers such as the card machine will be sanitised after each use with Smartsan-V.
  • Our workshop follows all current government social distancing guidelines.
    • New signage and barriers have been installed at the workshop complying with the government’s latest ‘COVID-19 Secure‘ guidelines.
    • A clear plastic cough/sneeze guard is now installed at the reception counter.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel (≥70% alcohol content, passes BS EN 1276 & BS EN 1500 disinfection standards) is available on the reception counter. I would ask all visitors to use it on arrival at reception and before they leave.
  • We respect high risk customers by maintaining an external drop-off and collection point.
    • When necessary and for high-risk customers we will increase our level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to include a 3M FFP3 respirator and disposable nitrile examination gloves.
  • We will offer you value-added services; e.g. Air Con disinfection, cabin filter replacement (HEPA) etc. for your added protection.
  • To keep your vehicle legally roadworthy we will carry out a free visual safety check of the following:
    • Brake Discs
    • Brake Pads
    • Horn
    • Lights
    • Wipers & Washers
    • Tyres
    • MOT Due Date
  • We will notify you of any defects found during this check.
  • We will ensure all contact points and keys are wiped down before collection.

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.

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?