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

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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.

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.

Covid 19 Aarons Autos

Emergency Work For ‘Key Workers’ Only.

Unfortunately as of the 1st April 2020 we will be closing our doors to the general public due to the Corona Virus (Covid-19) outbreak but will still be offering emergency work for all ‘Key Workers’ so if you are a ‘Key Worker’ and have an issue with your car which is affecting you working or getting to work please contact me directly by email at aaron@aaronsautos.co.uk or through our Facebook page messaging service and I will endeavour to do my best to help.

As for the governments six month extension on MOTs please keep in mind that in six months time when you need an MOT garage’s will already be dealing with MOTs that are due at that point so we are advising customers not to wait the full six months but to plan on getting their’s done as soon as we are out of this lock down, giving garages time to deal with the back log.

18 months from your last MOT is a long time, consider the condition of your car, is it road worthy? Is it safe? When was it last Serviced? The police are checking cars regularly and if your car is found to have any serious defects they are seizing your car!

As a Garage we are allowed to work through the lock down but are choosing to close due to the lack of work at this strange and worrying time, but if you wish to email or Facebook message me through Aaron’s Autos with your details I can get in touch with you the week before we come out of lock down to book in your MOT or any other work required so as to limit any disruption to YOU getting back to work.

Please remember to stay safe and do as much as you can to limit the spread of this Corona Virus (Covid-19). We will get through this.

aarons autos healthy car

Keeping Your Car Healthy During Covid-19.

During the strange and worrying time of the Corona Virus it is not only ourselves and our loved ones that we need to consider but also our cars and vans.

Leaving vehicles standing for long periods of time is not good for them, doing just a couple of simple things once or twice a week will help keep your car or van fit and healthy so that when you do need to use it it will be ready and not let you down.

Firstly, start the car or van and allow the engine to run until it starts blowing warm air from the heaters inside the car (make sure to turn the temp to hot so you know when this happens) this will allow the alternator to put charge into the battery and help keep it healthy. This will take around five to ten minutes.

Secondly, when your car or van has warmed up sufficiently, release the hand brake and roll the vehicle backwards and forwards gently applying the brakes to slow you in each direction. This will stop your brakes from seizing on and also move the weight around the wheels reducing the chance of deforming the tyre carcass whilst it is being left standing.

Also it would be beneficial to visually check the tyre pressures by making sure they all look similar, if one looks flatter at the bottom than the others you may need to physically check the pressures with a gauge.

If you are feeling really brave you could check your under bonnet levels such as Oil, Coolant and Screen Wash, but only do this if you feel confident.

For any more information or if you find a problem feel free to contact us on 01332 205070 or by email on info@aaronsautos.co.uk or through our Facebook page.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.

Keeping You Moving During Covid 19.

Covid 19 Aarons Autos

Aarons Autos will still be open for business over this strange and worrying time and we are doing our very best to make sure when you visit the garage that we limit contact between ourselves and customers.

We are regularly cleaning the office work top, door handles and card machine to limit the chance of spreading this Corona virus and are advising customers to leave their cars with us rather than waiting.

Our technicians are using latex gloves where possible when driving customers cars to reduce contact between steering wheels and gear sticks.

We are offering a collection and delivery service to our elderly and high risk customers where they can leave their car keys in a pre arranged place (that they can see from inside their house) and making payment over the phone allowing us to collect and return cars with zero contact with the customer.

One of the main reasons we are staying open and not taking advantage of the Governments generous offer to pay 80% of our wages is for you, our customers. A lot of our customers are elderly, work for the NHS or other first line services and we understand the importance of having their cars safe and legal to enable them to carry on working and help us beat this Corona virus.

If you have any worries about your booking please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Aarons Autos car service garage.

Your friendly car garage in Derby

Give us a call at Aarons Autos for more info.