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!

Aero Flat Wiper Blades

We now have in stock a comprehensive range of flat/aero style wiper blades compatible with most modern vehicles originally equipped with this type of blade.

These wiper blades are OEM fit, provide excellent screen coverage, are graphite coated for extended life and are smooth and silent in operation.

We provide free fitting while you wait with every blade purchased.

MOT Test Changes May 2018

The government has announced changes to the way MOT Tests are carried out which will come into affect on the 20th May 2018. These changes are required to implement the EU Roadworthiness Directive.

The first major change is to the way information is shown on the pass and failure certificates. Defects will now be categorised as dangerous, major or minor. Vehicles with dangerous or major faults will automatically fail the test and those flagged as dangerous will see the vehicle’s presenter advised not to drive their vehicle away from the garage until these defects are repaired. Minor defects will be handled in much the same was as advisories are today, providing information to the owner of what repairs may be required in the near future.

For diesel-engined vehicles in the Euro5 and Euro6 emissions categories the exhaust emissions smoke limit will be halved and additionally any vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) which emits any colour of visible smoke from the tailpipe during emissions testing will also fail. The visual inspection for the DPF will be improved and now vehicles will fail the test if there’s evidence it has not just been removed as is currently the case but also whether it has been tampered with, with the onus being on the owner to prove any tampering has been done for legitimate reasons.

Some tweaks have been made to other areas of the test. Brake components such as brake discs will fail if there’s evidence they are worn. Checking the operations of reverse lamps has been added to the lighting section. The engine management light (check engine light) must illuminate when the ignition is switched on and must go out when the engine starts.

Cars 40 years old and older will be exempt from MOT testing from May so any car manufactured before 1978 this year, 1979 next year and so on. These vehicles must still be roadworthy but as most are owned by enthusiasts the government believe they will be well maintained and not used often.