If you had not noticed we work on a lot of Renault Sports here at Aarons Autos, one of the those models is the lovely Clio 197 Sport which in our opinion is a great little car straight out of the box, whether you just use it to commute to work or it is your track day toy it always leaves you with a smile on your face.
This particular 197 came into us after it had failed its MOT on two broken front coil springs, we priced up some new springs from Renault and told the customer he had a couple of options.
Option 1, fit the Renault springs and pay the extortionate price for the springs.
Option 2, Fit a full set of Spax lowering springs for just over half the price of fitting two Renault springs!
After fitting the new Spax springs and showing the customer the difference it made to the look of his car he was delighted, and he had saved a few pounds as well.
A few weeks later we had a phone call from the customer to firstly say thank you for helping him save money and to tell us how well the car drove on its new springs.
One of the biggest problems we have with customers when talking about cambelts is that they always say “My cambelt isn’t due till 60,000 miles!” even though the car is ten years old and the dealer recommends 60,000 OR five years!!
The main component of a cambelt is rubber which deteriorates over time, this is one of the main reasons that dealers specify a time interval as well as a mileage interval.
On his way to work this customers Toyota Hilux Surf started to overheat so he pulled over to check his coolant to find it had all gone.
He topped up the coolant but as soon as he started the car it disappeared and when he looked underneath there was a puddle of pink creamy liquid coming from half way down the vehicle.
He had it recovered to the garage and it was our challenge to find out what had gone wrong.
First we removed all the under trays and found the pink creamy liquid was coming from the top automatic gearbox breather!
We drained the gearbox to find it was full of gearbox/coolant mix indicating a major failure in the gearbox cooling system.
The next port of call was to check the gearbox oil cooler which is situated in the bottom of the radiator and straight away we found that this was the cause of the problems.
As the vehicle was a import the customer was able to source a radiator cheaper than the main
dealer, the next day it arrived and we fitted it as required, next was the clean out operation of the cooling system and gearbox which we did with a coolant flush and gearbox flush.
The customer was informed that as we couldn’t get all the oil and coolant out of the cooling system and gearbox he would have to return the car for future flushes.
Once all of the work was completed we needed to test drive the car to make sure it selected all of its gears as it should and that there was no more mixing of the gear oil and coolant.
A very worried customer rang saying his car was hissing and the suspension had dropped on the N/S/R, We of course told him to bring it in straight away to find the fault and a solution.
On inspection it was apparent that the N/S/R suspension air bag wasn’t lifting the vehicle as it should.
We connected the BMW to our diagnostic computer and tried to re-inflate the air bag but the hissing returned and a hole was found in the suspension airbag.
We sourced a new air bag at half the price of the dealer part, fitted it to the car and programmed it through the diagnostic computer. Once the vehicle started the suspension system re-inflated the car was ready for the customer to take away the same day leaving a happy customer.
This Ford Galaxy came into us after the owner had tried several other garages who kept telling him that he would need to replace the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) on the exhaust system to be able to turn off the EML (Engine Management Light).
The first thing we did was to carry out a full diagnostic of the cars control modules to see what faults were causing the EML to come on, the main faults related to excessive soot accumulation inside the DPF which was stopping the car carrying out its own Regen (Regeneration of the DPF is carried out by the engine ECU which cleans out the DPF).
We removed the DPF to examine the soot content, and decided to try cleaning it out with a hot pressure washer.
Once the DPF was clean and dry of water we refitted it to the car and carried out a ‘Forced Regen’ (telling the ECU to carry out a regen whilst it is stationary).
Once the ‘Forced Regen’ was complete and all the codes were cleared and it was time for a road test, straight away on the road test it was apparent that the car felt smoother and had improved power.
The customer brought the car back a week later for us to check for any codes, all the modules were clear and the customer was very happy.