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Is your vehicle ready for your holiday?

There are a number of car checks you can perform both around the car and under the bonnet to help keep it in good running order and prevent a breakdown.

Getting your hands dirty under the bonnet might sound like something you should leave to the professionals, but there’s no reason why you can’t maintain some things yourself. 

Spending five minutes carrying out these simple checks every few weeks – and certainly before a long journey or an MOT – can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, not to mention help keep you safe on the roads.

To keep things simple, here are 12 simple car checks you can carry out today to keep your car safely on the road and on the right side of the law. We also have a quick video from RAC patrol Matt Woodbridge demonstrating four simple under-the-bonnet checks:

When it comes to preventing a breakdown, remember the acronym FORCES, which stands for Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics, Screen wash.

1. Fuel

car-maintenance-checks-fuel-aarons-autos
Use the correct fuel.

Check you have plenty of fuel in your tank for your journey. It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised just how many people run out of fuel, particularly in harsh winter weather.

2. Oil

car-maintenance-checks-oil-aarons-autos
Use the correct Oil.

Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick and top up if necessary.

If you don’t know which type of oil you need to use, refer to your owner’s handbook or speak to your local dealer.

3. Rubber

car-maintenance-checks-rubber-wipers-aarons-autos
Use good quality wiper blades.

When it comes to rubber, check both your tyres and wiper blades on a regular basis.

Check your tyres for general wear and tear, splits or bulges, and crucially tread depths (remember to check the inner tread too). Minimum tread level is 1.6mm, although in winter it’s advisable to have 3mm of tyre tread to help with traction and grip.

Also ensure you’ve got the correct pressure in your tyres, checking your owner’s handbook if you don’t know the correct inflation.

Examine your wiper blades and make sure they clear your screen effectively as these won’t last forever and need replacing from time to time due to splits and cracks.

In winter, you can prevent your wiper blades freezing to the windscreen by placing a thin sheet of plastic or cloth, between the wiper blades and the windscreen. Or you can try using de-icer or warm water to free them up before starting your engine.

4. Coolant

car-maintenance-checks-coolant-antifreeze-aarons-autos
Use the correct coolant.

Check your car’s coolant level. The last thing you need is a frozen engine or for your car to overheat.

Although it’s a sealed system and shouldn’t need to be topped up, you should always double check, especially before a long journey.

Check your coolant levels when the engine is cold and look in your handbook for the location of the filler cap and for the correct coolant and mix to use should you need to top it up.

5. Electrics

car-maintenance-checks-lights-aarons-autos
Make sure bulbs are fitted correctly.

There are plenty of electrics in your car – from headlights and fog lights to your battery – and they all need to be checked regularly to keep you safe.

Walk around the car and make sure your lights are all working, even the number plate lights, as you can be fined for having a registration that can’t be seen.

You should also check your battery, making sure the terminals are clean and tight (cleaning off any corrosion with hot water and applying petroleum jelly) and that the engine starts correctly.

If your engine struggles to start when you turn the key, get the battery checked out at a garage. If your battery is over four years old it may be getting to the end of its life and could let you down.

When you’re having your battery tested, ask them to check the starting & charging system and whether anything is draining your battery – this will give a better picture of your car’s overall electrical health.

If you are having your battery test ask them to check the charging system and the drain on your battery – this will give a better picture of your car’s overall electrical health.

6. Screen wash

car-maintenance-checks-screen-wash-aarons-autos
Use proper screen wash.

Check your screen wash level in the tank under the bonnet (check your manual for its location), topping up if necessary with a quality screen wash additive or pre-mix, which you can pick up in most petrol stations.

Screen wash is important all year round. In winter snow and grit cause dirty windscreens, while in summer bugs and pollen can easily smear your view – so never put off checking your levels

Make sure you’re prepared for a breakdown and are kept safe at the roadside.

Aside from the vital FORCES checks and if you feel confident enough it’s also worth carrying out a few additional car maintenance checks on other parts of your vehicle to extend its life and avoid a breakdown.

7. Engine air filter

car-maintenance-checks-air-filter-aarons-autos
Use good quality air filters.

A faulty or clogged-up air filter could reduce your fuel efficiency and lead to reduced engine power, which is why mechanics recommend getting it replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

If you think your filter needs checking or replacing, simply locate the filter (usually in a black box under the bonnet) and remove it, making note of how it fits before you insert the replacement and fasten the box back shut.

Check your vehicle handbook for instructions.

8. Spark plug (petrol engines only)

car-maintenance-checks-spark-plug-aarons-autos
Use good quality spark pugs

More of a replacement than a check, but spark plugs are integral to the running of your engine – one or more faulty plugs will cause an engine misfire so it’s worth knowing how to replace them.

Generally, spark plugs need replacing every 30,000 miles or so and you’ll need the right tools if you want to replace them yourself. Also check your handbook or consult a dealer to check that a DIY replacement is possible.

9. Brakes

car-maintenance-checks-brakes-aarons-autos
Don’t fit cheap brakes.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of properly-functioning brakes, so keeping them maintained is essential.

Start off by checking the brake fluid level and if low, top it up – check your vehicle handbook for the correct fluid specification Be careful as brake fluid is corrosive, and if you feel unsure then get a professional to take a look at it.

Brake fluid should be changed at certain mileage intervals – again, check your handbook for service details.

10. Air conditioning

car-maintenance-checks-air-conditioning-aarons-autos

Whether it’s 35 degrees outside or barely breaking freezing, it’s essential your aircon unit is fully functioning. However, apart from visual checks of the pipework, there is not a lot for you to check yourself.

Air conditioning system servicing should be carried out by a competent person with the correct equipment. A typical complaint is when the air conditioning does not feel cool enough on hot summer days, this may indicate that the system requires re-gassing – specialist equipment is required and so should be entrusted to an authorised service centre.

11. Interiors

car-maintenance-checks-interior-aarons-autos

No-one wants their car to be known as a “skip-on-wheels”, so keep things clean with a regular interior clean, clearing out your footwells, wiping down your dashboard and keeping only the essentials in your boot.

It’s not just about being a neat freak, a clean interior also keeps you safe on the roads – you don’t want any discarded bottles dangerously rolling underneath your pedals.

12. Exteriors

car-maintenance-checks-exterior-aarons-autos

Keep the outside of your car clean with a regular wash. If you’re doing it by hand, focus on the headlights, brake lights and number plates as these help you see and be seen on the roads.

Keep all windows clean and clear at all times. As well as being unsafe, an unclean windscreen that limits your view of the road could see you fined for driving a car in a “dangerous condition.”

Should I take my car to a garage?

If you carry out these simple car checks, your car should stay on the road without seeing a mechanic for longer, but if a more serious problem arises you should always seek professional help.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Power Flex Suspension Bushes For This BMW Z4.

Suspension bushes on all cars go through tremendous stress on a daily basis, some manufactures have got the design right and the bushes can last the life of the car whilst other manufactures just didn’t quite get there!

One of the problems with BMW’s in general is the front suspension bushes. Most of the BMW range suffer with the front suspension arm bushes either failing or being so worn that it causes the car to wander on the road whilst driving and can feel unstable when braking.

Replacing the bushes with either after market bushes or genuine bushes does sort out the problem, but with the condition of the UK roads and the fact that most BMW’s come with low profile run flat tyres the new bushes can be worn out within a couple of years.

The solution on this BMW Z4 was to fit some Power Flex nylon bushes, these bushes are mainly used in Motorsport but can be fitted to road cars.

Watch this video to see just how much movement was in the old worn bushes compared to the new Power Flex nylon bushes.

On the Z4 replacing just the lower suspension arm rear bushes was enough to transform the steering from a loose discouraging feel to a nice tight direct feel that a sports car should have.

For more information on whether Power Flex bushes would suit your car or just for more information give us a call on 01332 205070

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Citroen Berlingo with ABS Wiring Fault.

A 2014 Citroen Berlingo came in to us with an ABS fault to be looked at.

First thing to do was carry out a diagnostic code read to see why the ABS light was on, the particular code for this Citroen Berlingo van related to an open circuit on the rear left wheel speed sensor.

We checked the actual wheel speed sensor for a fault but it checked out ok, next job was to check the wiring from the sensor back to the ABS pump.

Most of the wiring for the rear ABS sensors is hard to access as it runs inside the van. once we had determined that there was in fact a break in the wiring from the left rear sensor and the ABS pump (by checking continuity of the wires) it was time to start stripping the interior and physically check the wiring for a break.

After removing the passenger seats and lifting the carpets to access the wiring we noticed part of the raised carpet flooring had been trapping the ABS wiring loom between a raiser and the body and over time had rubbed through the wiring and caused it to short out against the body.

ABS wiring trapped under the carpet.

We repaired the wiring and and rechecked for continuity through the loom which we now had. Time to clear the stored fault codes and check for a wheel speed signal using the live data on our diagnostic scanner, perfect, the signal was good and the same as the rear right wheel, time to rebuild and road test.

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.

Re-opening on 1st June 2020 to the General Public.

We hope everyone is taking care and doing their best in this strange and worrying time. Trying to fight this Corona Virus is a bigger job than most of us initially thought but we do seem to be getting there and some of those business’s that were affected by Covid19 are starting to re-open.

Aarons Autos will be re-opening its doors as of the 1st June 2020 and once again be offering its excellent ‘Services’ to the general public and local business’s.

We are putting several measures in place to keep our customers and staff safe from the Corona Virus;

  • We are fitting a Perspex screen across the whole office counter which will have a small cut out for customers to pass keys through and for them to make payments (card payments are preferred but we will accept cash)
  • We will be enforcing a one customer in reception at a time rule and customers will not be able to wait in the reception area whilst large repairs are being carried out.
  • All customers vehicles will be wiped down with anti bacterial wipes pre and post work being carried out, technicians will wear gloves whenever possible.
  • We will be supplying small hand sanitiser bottles for customers and technicians to use after any transactions.
  • We ask that customers will leave out their ‘Locking Wheel Nut Keys‘ and ‘Service Books‘ where required so we do not have to search around the car trying to find them (reducing contact inside the car).

If you have any other worries or queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

MOT’s have been extended, but we are urging customers to have their MOT’s carried out as soon as they possibly can (or feel safe enough to do so).

There are several reasons we are suggesting getting your MOT done sooner rather than later;

  • 18 months is a long time for your car to go un-checked, if you had not had your car Serviced just before the ‘Lock Down’ and your MOT was due how do you know if your tyres, brakes or suspension are safe!
  • Garages are going to be inundated with MOT’s that are actually due on the date you want yours doing (12 month MOT’s) so imagine the difficulty for the garage to deal with double the amount of MOT’s, this is why we suggest contacting us early so we can spread out the work load.
  • Think of your local Garage. If NO MOT’s are carried out in April or May what will happen next year? Garages will have less work in those months and possibly struggle.

If you would like to book in for the first week of June please contact us by email info@aaronsautos.co.uk or our Facebook page ‘Aarons Autos Derby Ltd‘ if you would like to contact us after the 1st June just call us as normal between 8.30 – 5.00 and we will be happy to help.

Finally, stay safe and take care.

Top Again for Aarons Autos by Three Best Rated.

Best Car garages in Derby

Dear Aarons Autos,

Congratulations!  You are now listed as one of the Top 3 Car garages in Derby. We would like to Thank You for providing consistent high-quality service in your area of business. Our review team either approved or updated your business listing using our rigorous 50-Point Inspection which includes everything from checking reputation, history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, nearness, trust, cost, and general excellence.

Three Best Rated® was created with a simple goal to find you the top 3 local businesses, professionals, restaurants, health care providers, etc., in your city. We display only businesses that are verified by our team since customers deserve only the best.

That’s not all… Businesses do not pay us to list them ever. You do not pay us for the listing at any time. We believe that local businesses provide better and personal services locally. Local businesses know your city better since they live there too. Our policy is free to list because if you can pay to list, then is it really the best business?

It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with you. Share this exciting news!

Cheers,
Melinda Crawford,
ThreeBestRated®

These are the emails we love to receive, and the best bit is we have no input what so ever, all the information comes from YOU! our customers. Click the Award to see the results.

We would like to say a massive thank you to all our customers new and old without your trust, feedback and reviews we would not be able to get the ratings we have.

“Thank You”

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Car Servicing

Scared Drivers Avoiding Annual Servicing.

Number of misguided motorists that avoid servicing over cost fears is “alarming”

Half of UK drivers worry about unexpected car bills, survey finds

Number of misguided motorists that avoid servicing over cost fears is “alarming”
Don’t Miss Your Service !

Millions of motorists are avoiding car maintenance over fears of unexpected problems, with many admitting that they avoid getting their car serviced in case vehicle faults are found.

Around half of UK drivers (47 per cent) worry about having to pay for unexpected car repairs.

The survey of 2,000 motorists also found that a quarter (24 per cent) of those who worry about unexpected problems say this uncertainty is putting them off getting their car serviced.

The research suggests that drivers are paying hundreds of pounds to pass an MOT, with five per cent paying £1,000 or more to get their vehicle through the test.

Further MOT analysis reveals that around 40 per cent of cars fail their MOT at the first attempt.

Lauren French, product manager at RAC MOT Assist, the company behind the research, said: “Clearly, taking a car in for a service or MOT can be a nerve-wracking experience with many drivers concerned about what might be uncovered, and the unpleasant financial consequences that can result.

“But it’s even more alarming that this experience is enough to put some people off getting their car serviced in the future.

“Just how many people are driving vehicles on the UK’s roads that they know have problems?

“The best advice to any driver is to keep on top of servicing and maintenance work – the quicker problems are identified, often the cheaper they are to remedy.”

“Spread your Servicing and MOT costs.”

Here at Aarons Autos we advise our customers to spread their servicing and MOT if cost is an issue, this way they can plan for the up-coming months.

If the car has any advisories on the MOT they can save money and have those carried out with a ‘Service’ six months later, and also if we find anything on the service they can save and have the work done when there MOT is due.

Aarons Autos is the best car servicing garage in the world

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

RANGE ROVER VOGUE REPAIRS

Range Rover Hub Bushes.

Range Rover Vogue Rear Hub Spherical Bushes.

This Range Rover came into us after failing its MOT on the rear hub lower spherical bushes having excessive movement.

Once we had removed the wheels and disconnected the lower suspension arms we could get a good look at the bushes and what we had to deal with.

The cir-clip that holds the bushes in place had completely rotted into the hub not allowing us to remove it in the conventional way, which meant we had to improvise!

range rover hub bearing
Cir-Clip rusted into the bush and hub.

As you can see from the above picture we had to grind into the bush until we reached what was left of the Cir-Clip to be able to remove it.

range rover swivel joint
Weaken the bush.

After grinding enough of the bush away to access and remove the Cir-Clip we cut into the side wall of the bush to make pressing it out easier.

range rover hub repair
Bush removed.

Voila, bush pressed out using our bearing and bush pulling tool, hole cleaned up and greased ready for the new bush to be pressed into place.

range rover hub tool
Bush tool.

Here you can see the bearing and bush pulling tool being used to press in the new bush, once the new bush is pressed in we just need to fit the new Cir-Clip and then begin the rebuild.

RANGE ROVER BUSH FITTED
New bush and Cir-Clip fitted.

New bush fitted and a new Cir-Clip fitted, after a quick rebuild the car was ready to go back to the customer for its MOT retest.

At Aarons Autos no job is to big or to small, we will en-devour to repair any car that comes through our doors.

Aarons Autos is the best car servicing garage in the world

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info

Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP 2011 stretched timing chain P0016.

Peugeot RCZ engine management light on Fault code P0016 and engine rattle.

We see quite a few Peugeot RCZ’s with engine management lights on and when diagnosed the fault code is P0016 Synchronization lack of coherence between engine speed sensor (crank sensor) and inlet camshaft sensor. This means that the engine is sensing that the timing of the vehicle engine is incorrect when running. The reason for this is that on this engine model (that is also fitted in the BMW MINI and other vehicles) the timing chain stretches due to either a mechanical component being worn, not being serviced regularly or low oil levels.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

Peugeot RCZ 2012 fault code P0016

With the Diagnostic code read taken place we first remove the rocker cover and fit the engine timing pins to see how stretched the chain is but on this one we could see even with fitting the engine timing pins how far the chain had stretched.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

Rocker cover removed with no timing pins fitted.

Having timed the crank and inserted the timing pin we went to time the cams and as you can see they were many teeth out. The two cam timing plates should meet together in the middle and both together.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

Timing tool fitted showing how incorrect the timing was.

We removed the Chain and corrected the timing so that the new timing chain kit could be fitted.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016
peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

Timing chain kit removed.

We always fit a brand new full timing chain kit that includes tensioner, chain, rocker cover gasket, guides, sprocket and VVT pulley.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016
peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016
peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

All new parts fitted and timed up correctly.

With the new timing chain kit fitted and a oil and filter change completed the ecu was reset and the car ran allot quieter with no engine management light or code coming back on.

peugeot rcz timing chain aarons autos derby P0016

https://youtu.be/AkQTHUgsOSM Aarons Autos is the best car servicing garage in the world

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info

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