Category Archives: workshop

Land Rover Discovery 4 Front & Rear Wishbone Replacement.

The owner of this Land Rover Discovery 4 decided he wanted to replace all four of the lower suspension arms as they had excessive wear in most of the bushes (common problem).

After a bit of research he booked it in with us to carry out the work for him.

Anyone who has tackled this job before will know its not a five minute job, especially when the bolts seize inside the bushes!

First thing we always do on jobs like these is to wire brush all the bolts and spray them with freeing oil in the hope to make life easier for us.

This did work on 50% of the bolts but there were several that no matter what we tried they needed to be cut out.

After replacing all the arms it was time for a full geometry setup as the arms had adjustments for Camber, Castor and Toe.

I must admit once all the work had been carried out the Discovery 4 drove perfectly, there was no more wandering at speed the steering was precise and not loose, it felt like it should do.

We did advise the customer to bring the Discovery 4 back after a few hundred miles so we could re-check the geometry once all the suspension components had settled in.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Vauxhall Corsa D 1.2 (A12XER) Timing Chain Rattle.

We had this little Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 booked in with us for a ‘really bad engine noise’.

Once the car was in the workshop it became apparent very quickly what the noise was, the Timing Chain was rattling so bad we were surprised it hadn’t jumped a tooth and caused engine damage!

When we were stripping the engine down to put the Timing Tools in place we could see just how badly stretched the chain had become, the crank locking pin went straight in but both cam shafts were out by quite a lot.

There are several variants of the Vauxhall timing chain engines most of which requiring different timing tools which we have, 1.0 – A10XEP, 1.0 – A10XER, 1.2 – A12XER, 1.2 – A12XEL, 1.4 – A14XEL, 1.4 – A14XER, 1.4 – A14NET to name just a few.

Timing Tool A is for the Camshaft Position Rings, Tool F is for the Camshafts.

After removing the timing chain cover we could start to see what had caused the problem, the oil was very black and there was a lot of burnt carbon oil inside all the covers.

All engines require regular servicing to keep them in tip top condition but especially modern engines that run a timing chains rather than a timing belt, we are seeing more and more engines requiring timing chain kits prematurely due to a lack of servicing, poor quality oil or the wrong spec oil.

Once we had replaced the timing chain kit and re-aligned all timing marks it was time to clean all off the engine casings and refit, replace the oil and filter and refill the coolant.

When we removed the oil filter this gave us another indication of what had caused the problem, the middle of the oil filter had been sucked in, caused by the paper element of the filter being completely full of oil carbon and struggling to allow fresh oil through it, which in turn starves crucial parts of the engine of oil (timing chain) allowing them to wear, over heat and stretch.

On this particular car we advised the customer that over the next 20,000 miles they should have several oil and filter changes to help remove carbon deposits that we couldn’t see or get to whilst doing the job and this will help increase the life of their engine.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

2019 Ford Ranger 3.2 Low Oil Pressure Light On After Service!

We recently came across a problem in the Garage which we have not come across before, which was the ‘Low Oil Pressure’ warning light coming on after replacing the Oil and Filter on a 2019 Ford Ranger 3.2.

After searching on a couple of the Motor Trade platforms we use it seemed that we were not the first to come across this problem, but we spoke to our local Ford Dealer and they said they knew nothing about it.

There was apparently a technical bulletin which had gone out to dealers saying that if the oil and filter change was not completed within fifteen minutes this problem would occur due to the oil pump draining and not being able to re-bleed itself.

Personally we believe this is a poor design, when we drain the old oil from your car we want to remove as much of the old oil as possible (obviously some oil will stay in certain places of the engine) allowing the new oil not to be diluted with it.

In this particular case the only way we could bleed the oil pump was to flood it, we added five litres more oil than specified to bring the level inside the sump up to the bottom of the oil pump meaning it didn’t have to pull the oil up but just push it.

Once we had got the oil pressure up we drained off the extra five litres of oil, road tested the car and then re-checked the level.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Broken Catalytic Converter On This Vauxhall Mokka.

A Vauxhall Mokka came into the garage today with its engine management light on in need of some diagnostic work to find out the reason why.

After speaking to the customer we soon found out that we were not the first Garage to look at the Mokka.

It had gone into another garage who had replaced the ignition coil pack due to diagnostic trouble codes relating to cylinder miss fires, the coil pack cured the problem and the customer left happy.

After a couple of days the engine management light came on again so back to the Garage she went.

This time the diagnostic codes related to Oxygen sensor (lambda) faults? But rather than checking live data on the scan tool or checking the sensors with an oscilloscope they proceeded to change the sensors and clearing the fault codes to turn off the engine management light.

After another couple of days the light came on again but rather than take the car back to the same garage the customer looked on Google and found us, gave us a call and got herself booked in.

Once the car was in our workshop we plugged in our Diagnostic scanner and carried out a full code scan of the vehicle, all modules were clear of codes except for the Engine Control Module (ECM) which had codes relating to ‘Oxygen sensor faults’.

We then carried out some live data testing on the Oxygen sensors to see what was happening, straight away we could see a problem, both Oxygen sensors were reading the same, this is not good!

Both Oxygen sensors showing the same pattern.

The basics of Oxygen sensors are that they read the gases which are being produced by the engine before and after the Catalytic Converter, and if the Catalytic Converter is working correctly the first sensor should be switching and the second sensor should be pretty static (on idle), if this is happening then the gases coming out of the Cat are cleaner than the gases going in to the Cat meaning lower carbon emissions.

Basics of the Oxygen Sensor.

Once we had checked the Oxygen sensors were working properly (not giving false readings) we needed to check the Cat’s internals to see why it wasn’t working.

With the Cat removed it was obvious why we were getting the same readings on our live data, the honey comb centre of the Catalytic Converter which catches and burns off the carbon from the engine had broken up and was allowing the gasses to pass by.

The Catalytic Converter had broken inside.

A new Cat was fitted and we ran another scan, this time no codes returned and the Oxygen sensors were working as they should.

Both Oxygen Sensors now reading as they should.

The customer now has a car which is working as it should, more economical and with a lower carbon output.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

MOT Extension ends 1st August 2020 as lockdown lifts.

The government has confirmed that it will reintroduce mandatory MOT testing from 1st August 2020 in line with gradually easing lockdown restrictions and rising traffic levels.

Drivers had been given a six month extension of their vehicles MOT certificate to discourage non-essential travel and free up garages for repair work to essential workers’ vehicles. The scheme was set to run until March 2021 but will now end in a month’s time.

The extension still applies to all MOT certificates due to expire before 1st August, but from that date onwards, drivers must have their car’s roadworthiness tested within a year of their last test. Irrespective of whether the extension applies, penalties still apply to vehicles found to be in an unsafe condition.

Book your MOT at Aarons Autos here.

Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that the UK’s service sector has ramped up as restrictions on travel have eased, with more than 90% of UK garages now operating and testing capacity now at 70% of normal levels. 

Baroness Vere, roads minister, said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1st August 2020 MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Any vulnerable or self-isolation drivers are advised to contact their local garage, as many are offering vehicle collection and drop-off services to aid social distancing. 

The majority of UK garages are still conducting MOT tests, and drivers are able to have their car tested voluntarily. Any MOT certificate issued after the original date of expiry will only be valid until that date the following year. 

Stuart James, chief executive of the Independent Garages Association (IGA) – which has campaigned for the government to lift the extension – welcomed the announcement but expressed concern about the safety of many cars on UK roads. “This is a welcome retraction of a policy doubtless designed to provide relief to motorists”, he said. “However, this additional month will allow at least 1 million unroadworthy cars to remain on the road for an additional six months, as well as the 1.6 million dangerous vehicles that have already had their MOT extended.

“With road traffic increasing, people being encouraged to use their cars rather than public transport, and further lockdown measures easing on 4 July, we believe this additional month will leave a number of motorists with an accumulation of faults and repair costs when they are least able to afford them. Even though this scheme has only been in place for four months, it has detrimented the roadworthiness of many cars, taken away the bread and butter of the independent garage sector and left a great number of consumers confused.”

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Audi S1 Quattro Water Pump and Thermostat Housing Replaced.

Audi’s little S1 Quattro rocket ship has had a few problems when it comes to its cooling system, this water pump – thermostat housing has had seven re-designs since its original design due to failing water pumps and leaking joints.

Water pump – thermostat housing buried under everything!

To replace the water pump – thermostat housing on the Audi S1 Quattro is a fairly big job, we have to:

  • Drain the cooling system
  • Disconnect fuel lines and cooling hoses
  • Remove inlet manifold stabiliser bars
  • Remove the complete inlet manifold
  • Unbolt water pump drive cover
  • Remove the water pump and housing
  • Clean all surface faces and hose joints
  • Rebuild using genuine parts and all new seals
  • Refill with anti freeze and bleed cooling system
  • Road test and re-check
The leaking housing.

The water pump is driven off a small drive belt running from an internal engine shaft and should be replaced along with the water pump – thermostat housing.

New pump fitted, just got to rebuild now!

Once all the work was carried out and all final tests done the car was handed back to a very happy customer.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Citroen DS3 Cooling Fan module / Resistor Fault.

This little Citroen DS3 came into us to have a look at due to the engine cooling fan running at full speed.

Firstly we carried out a Diagnostic Code Read on the vehicle, this didn’t help as it had no codes for anything let alone for the cooling fan fault!

Secondly through our Diagnostic Scanner we can operate certain modules on the engine to help us fault find, one of the modules is the high and low speed cooling fans.

When we operated the cooling fans only the high speed fan would work, this gave us a place to start, we removed the cooling fan control module to find that the resistor for the low speed fan had burnt out and required replacing.

When we rang the dealer they had six on the shelf! Always a good sign as common problem parts are always well stocked at dealerships.

Heater resistor / module

Once we had replaced the cooling fan control module (resistor) we carried out another module test using our Diagnostic Scanner and it worked perfectly on low speed and high speed.

After a quick road test to make sure the fans worked with the air conditioning and when the DS3 was up to temperature it was time to hand it back to a very happy customer.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Renault TWIZY Gear Oil and Brake Fluid Change.

The Renault TWIZY is a 100% electric vehicle, consisting of a battery power source, electric motor and gearbox. It is an urban electric two-seater that is super fun to drive on warm sunny days.

This particular TWIZY came in for a few service items to be carried out to keep it in tiptop condition ready for our UK summer.

First job was the ‘Gearbox oil change’ but as the TWIZY is to small to fit on our ramps we had to carry this out on the floor using jacks and axel stands.

The Renault TWIZY’s gear box can get noisy over time due to the additives in the oil failing due to age and heat so it is advised as a service item to have it changed.

The little Renault TWIZY getting a gear oil change.
  • Once the TWIZY is safely up on the axel stands remove the under tray which will allow you ta see the gearbox.
  • Remove the 6mm allen key drain bung from the bottom of the gearbox and allow the oil to drain into a catch bowl, the drain bung has a small magnet on it which is designed to catch any small metallic filings from inside the gearbox, make sure you check for this and clean it before replacement.
  • Once the oil has completely drained refit the drain bung making sure to use a new sealing washer.
  • To refill the gearbox remove the 6mm allen key fill bung located above the drain bung (looks more like a bolt).
  • Fill the gearbox using either a fluid pump or gravity bottle, as the fill hole is very small it can take a while to get the oil in.
  • Refit the under tray, remove axel stands and carry out a road test.

Brake Fluid Change.

The second job on this little TWIZY was to carry out a full brake fluid flush, which consists of sucking the brake fluid through all four brake callipers until all the old fluid in the system is replaced with new fluid.

The reason for brake fluid changes is that brake fluid has hygroscopic properties which basically means it absorbs moisture from the air.

Brake fluid can reach some very high temperatures under heavy braking but it has a boiling point of around 250 degrees Celsius. As the Brake fluid starts to absorb moisture from the air this boiling point starts to get lower until eventually it becomes so low that even under normal braking the fluid will start to boil and cause brake fade.

This being said a lot of garages use ‘Brake Fluid Changes’ as a regular add on to a Service. We however carry out a moisture content test as part of our Service and only replace it when it is required, unless it is stated for warranty purposes of course.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Humbled by our customers response.

This was our first week back to work after having to close the business and furlough all the staff on the 31st March due to the Corona Virus and what a crazy week it has been.

In the middle of May I made the decision to re-open the garage on the 1st June and put this information on our website and social media platforms.

My initial plan was to only bring out a couple of members of the team from furlough until we had enough work to get everyone back at full pace.

The general response from our customers was amazing, we managed to fully book the first week of June within a couple of days by just using social media and e-mail, at this point I decided we would need the whole team back at work to cope with this work load so we started back on the 1st at 100%.

This was slightly worrying as in the back of my mind I thought we may just be busy for one week and then it would go quiet again and I would have to start furloughing staff again which I really didn’t want to do, how wrong was I.

A few jobs from this week.

Monday 1st June was our first day back and by the end of the day we had almost fully booked the following week! Once our customers had realised we were back they were booking in thick and fast, a few customers had been to other garages whilst we had been closed due to necessary repairs or break downs but then rebooked with us and wanted the work checking as they trusted our opinion implicitly.

I hope all businesses manage to return in the same way we have and start to get back to some kind of normality and hopefully get the economy rolling so we can start enjoying life again once this is all over

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our customers new and old for sticking with us through these very hard and testing times, without whom this Covid19 pandemic may of finished Aarons Autos.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

How has the Corona Virus affected your business?

Covid19 aka the Corona Virus has affected businesses worldwide from small self employed cleaners to large multi million pound corporate companies, but how has it affected you so far?

Well here at Aarons Autos it has affected us massively!

When the lock down was announced at the beginning of March we made the decision to stay open, firstly to offer our services to key workers to help them stay on the road and do their jobs and secondly to try and help Aarons Autos ride out the possible rough times ahead.

We managed to do this quite successfully till around the 25th March but once the government announced the MOT extension scheme we lost between 30-40 booking over night! Causing us to question whether it was feasible to stay open.

In the last week of March it became apparent that it would not be feasible to stay open as we struggled to make the business pay, understandably customers were very hesitant to leave their homes to come to the garage if they didn’t have to.

The decision was made that I would keep the garage open on my own to offer our services to those important key workers and Furlough the rest of our team, but unfortunately after only doing three jobs in the first week of April this too was an unsustainable choice and I decided to Furlough myself too.

This was weird! Aarons Autos was established in 2004 and had never closed its doors for more than a week since then, so to close them now not knowing when or even if they would open again was a very strange and slightly disturbing feeling.

Once off work my concerns seemed to grow as I had nothing to do! Being furloughed as a Director of a Limited company is not easy, I was not allowed to do any work which could be seen to be promoting my business, I could only carry out basic Directors roles for example paying wages and paying VAT, this felt strange.

I applied for the Government grant offered to help small businesses cover their running costs whilst they were closed which I was accepted for and received promptly into my business bank account, this gave me a glimmer of hope as it would allow me to keep the garage closed for up to two months before it would start affecting me personally.

Sat at home for two months.

Once I felt the business was as safe, as it could be, we start a life unlike anything we have ever known. I have always worked, yes I have had holidays but nothing like this, Lock Down – you can’t go out, you can’t see your family, you can’t see your friends, you have to queue two metres apart to get essential food – this was strange.

Have I had the virus?

In early February I was very ill, I had a fever, a cough, struggled to breath and food had no taste. When I went to the Doctors they told me I had a mild case of Pneumonia, they gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. Once I had finished my course of antibiotics I felt no better, in fact I felt worse! I couldn’t sleep, every time I moved I would cough until I felt sick.

I spoke to the Doctors again and they told me it could take six to eight weeks for this to clear if it was Pneumonia, so i waited and it did, after seven weeks all I had left was a slight cough.

My question is, was this the Corona Virus? At no point was I told too quarantine or get a test done? If I had those symptoms now what would happen?

Anyway back to how the Conona Virus has affected my business. After two months of painting, gardening and sun bathing (my favourite bit) it was time to plan when to re-open Aarons Autos, even though some garages re-opened mid way through May I decided to hold till the 1st June. I didn’t want to re-open, have a busy week and then it goes quiet, and then have to contemplate furloughing my team again.

After deciding when to re-open we shared it on our website and our social media platforms and the response was quite overwhelming, our customers started to rebook work instantly allowing us start filling our diary and plan our return.

We have taken all the necessary safety precautions including installing a perspex barrier between customers and staff, supplying hand sanitizer and latex gloves and will be operating a 2 metre distancing rule where possible.

I know not everyone has had an easy ride, this virus has taken loved ones from us and affected us mentally and financially but we have to look forward, look to the future control what you can control and we should all get through this, this next year is uncertain but I plan to get through it and I hope you do to.