Tag Archives: car garage near me

New MOT Laws Coming In May!!

Many of you may not know but MOT laws change all the time! What would PASS an MOT last month could FAIL an MOT this month.

The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) are the ruling body when it comes to what is classed as safe and what is un-safe or even dangerous on your vehicle when carrying out an MOT at any test station.

In May 2018 we will see some of the biggest changes in MOT law in a long time, these could effect everybody who drives a vehicle on our UK roads.

One of the biggest changes will be the fact that it will no longer be PASS or FAIL for items on the MOT, the tester will have several options to choose from depending on how bad the fault is.

New Rules.

  • Dangerous  Items that the MOT tester deems to be dangerous at the time of test and should be repaired immediately before the vehicle can be driven on the road.
  • Major – Items that will cause the vehicle to fail the MOT test but will not stop you from driving the vehicle to get it repaired.
  • Minor – ‘Minor Fails’ are basically replacing the existing ‘Advisories’ and will mean your vehicle will still PASS its MOT but these will be recorded on the DVSA database for the following year.

Driving a vehicle that has a Dangerous failure will be breaking the law and would make you liable for three points on your driving license and up to a £2500 fine, and according to the latest information if you are caught twice within a three year period you could get a driving ban of six months.

There are other changes coming to, some relating to lighting, some to emissions and dashboard warning lamps.

So when it comes to MOT time make sure you and your car are ready, for more information or to make a booking give us a call on 01332 205070 or drop us an email to info@aaronsautos.co.uk

Business Award 2017 – Best Garage

It is with great delight that as 2017 comes to a close we find out that we have won an award from Wealth and Finance Magazine for ‘Best Automotive Services and Repair – Derby’.

This has come as a wonderful surprise as we didn’t even know we had been nominated, apparently we made it down to the final seven Garages and then won.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers as without their comments and reviews awards like these would be impossible for a small garage in Derby to achieve.

Wealth & Finance Business Awards

Success in business is a challenge in today’s fast paced global market, as companies compete for customers with competitors from around the world thanks to the increased prevalence of technology in the international corporate landscape.

Despite this, many firms are flourishing and constantly seeking to offer clients the very highest standards of service and  innovative products that will meet their exact needs. As such, the 2017 Wealth & Finance Business Awards aims to recognise these companies,
and the individuals driving them, showcasing their achievements and successes from the past 12 months.

As with all of our awards, every one of our winners can truly rest assured that their recognition was genuinely deserved, as we carefully scrutinised everything from a
nominee’s region to their performance over the past 12 months, their commitment to innovation, their methods and even their competition to ensure that only the most deserving names walk away with one of our prestigious titles.

Winter Servicing – Fact or Fiction?

 

The practice of servicing vehicles specifically for the winter months using lower viscosity oils, along with the use of summer and winter coolants, has been outdated for many years.

Today, enhancements to engine components, lubricants, and coolants have generated more efficient engine operation for a wider temperature range. Low viscosity synthetic oils have been developed to cope with low temperature pump ability, which is directly associated with less engine wear, increased fuel economy, and longer engine life.

Modern day engine coolants last longer than ever before, with a possible life span of 150,000 miles or 10 years. Manufacturers have also increased service intervals to drive down the cost of motoring – however, with intervals being longer, essential checks in preparation for the winter are being overlooked. In theory, a well-maintained vehicle should not require any additional checks to get it through the winter. We all know how problems develop over time and if regular checks are not carried out, unnoticed issues could result in a component failure or breakdown.

Statistics show that there are more breakdowns during winter than in any other season; carrying out regular vehicle checks throughout the year is one way of preventing this. According to roadside recovery companies, over 10% of drivers worry that their vehicles are unable to make it through winter without breaking down. Carrying out ‘winter checklists’ before it gets cold is another course of preventative action, allowing workshops to inform customers of any potential vehicle issues that could result in a vehicle failure.

The Winter Checklist

Although most items on the checklist are obvious, their importance is not always as clear to drivers.

For instance:

GE_Graphics_Refractometer_2017.pngCoolants – Long-life coolants still need to be regularly checked to ensure that the vehicle is fully protected from corrosion and freezing. Using a refractometer is one of the simplest and most accurate ways of testing the strength of long-life coolants.

 

Batteries – Vehicle batteries have come a long way in recent years to deal with the ever-increasing number of ‘lifestyle’ electronics within modern vehicles. However, short journeys with reduced charging time and the increased electrical load during the winter will still reduce the battery’s performance and could ultimately result in battery failure – with nearly 20% of winter breakdowns due to battery faults.

Filters – When it comes to general maintenance on the vehicle, replacing the cabin filter isn’t at the top of the owner’s priority, but this is still an important filter to check.  When the filter becomes full of dust, pollen, and other foreign particles, the fresh air output into the cabin is heavily reduced and condensation will take longer to clear.

Air conditioning – During winter, air conditioning is often used as an effective method of demisting windows, as it draws out the moisture from within the vehicle.  So, a check on its efficiency is an excellent pre-check for the winter, not just for the summer.

Screen wash – Maintaining the correct concentration of screen wash additive is something that is often overlooked. It will help prevent the washer fluid from freezing in the jets, pipe work, and even the reservoir in extremely low temperatures.

A winter checklist could contain other safety-related items including brakes, lubricants, lights, tyres, wiper blades, and much more. So, whilst winter servicing may be a thing of the past, winter checks are still a valid offer to customers who cannot carry out the regular checks that all vehicles needs to remain in a safe and serviceable condition.

Inspiration.

If Pop was a cartoon 🙂

Aarons Autos was established in 2004 and has continued to grow year on year into a very successful small business, and with our very friendly and welcoming team we hope to carry on for many more.

Non of the above would have been possible without the help, inspiration and confidence in me from friends, family and colleagues. One of the main people who gave inspiration and financial input to help get the business up and running was my Grandfather (known as ‘Pop’) who unfortunately died on the 6th November 2017.

Our Pop would have been 98 years old on the 27th November 2017 and in his own words “Had a good innings” he had seen the world change in so many different ways through his life, and had plenty of stories to tell.

There is no such word as “Can’t”

One of his favourite sayings was “There is no such word as can’t!” and this was drilled into us all from a young age and has stuck with me ever since, things can and do get hard in business and life and sometimes seem impossible, but inevitably there is a solution whether it be looking at something in another way or trying a completely different way to find a solution to the problem.

I still try and use this in the day to day running of the garage, for every problem there is a solution and everything that is broken can be fixed, whether it is practical to do so is another question.

I was taught to always tell the truth!

Another saying he used which he got from his father was “I was taught to always tell the truth” and from a young age I remember this to be true, If he had a problem with you or what you were doing he would tell you, and also he would want the same in return (although not many dared).

Again this a good practice, if we have a problem with a job or something goes wrong tell somebody, nobody is perfect! But as said before, every problem has a solution.

So it is time to say goodbye to a great man who had a big influence on my life and has helped get me where I am today, George Kenneth Brown, born 1919 died 2017

Independents better than Main Dealers?

Independent garages like ‘Aarons Autos’ come out on top in latest customer satisfaction survey.

What Car findings reveal that:

‘Consumers are more satisfied with independent garages over main dealers and fast fit centres’!

The findings follow a What Car survey which asked more than 8,300 motorists how impressed they were with their most recent service.

Respondents were asked to consider politeness of staff, quality of work and value for money.

While owners of newer cars are most likely to go to a franchised workshop, awarding them a customer satisfaction score of 80.9 per cent for value, they have awarded 84.1 per cent and 91.4 for brand specialist and non-brand specialist independents respectively.

“Better customer experience at our independent garage”

Independents were also recognised for providing a better customer experience, scoring 94.2

per cent on average for attitude and politeness of staff compared to 91.1 per cent for franchises.

All vehicle owners associated main dealers with higher pricing and scored less for quality of work, with 88.5 per cent satisfied compared to 92.7 per cent of those that used independents.

Reporting for What Car, Claire Evans said:

“Almost 90 per cent of motorists get their cars serviced at franchised dealerships in the first year, but a growing number switch to independents as the cars age“.

In fact, according to our research, by the time cars reach seven years old, nearly half are serviced outside the franchised network“.

“Value for money”

The main reason is cost because independents are rated more highly for value for money”.

But other factors are also at play. For example, the distance needed to reach a franchised dealer is one deterrent for owners who don’t live close to cities”.

Those opting for independent agents are more likely to choose a non-specialist, and only a small percentage pick fast-fit or car spares chains”.

Ford Transit Leaking Rotten Sump.

Naughty Oil Drip

A Ford Transit came into us this week and its owner asked us to have a look at it as it was leaking oil BADLY!

New V’s Old

After putting it on our ramp we could see that the engine sump had rotted that badly it was leaking like a sieve, luckily we had caught it before it had leaked to much oil and starved the engine.

We ordered a new sump from our suppliers and got on with fitting it, once fitted we gave the engine a quick wash off and road tested it to make sure there were no issues.

 

Seat Ibiza 1.2 Timing Chain Failure.

This little Seat Ibiza came into the garage with a very noisy and poor running engine, the customer told us that the engine had been noisy for a while but the poor running just happened all of a sudden!

After an inspection of the engine and a full Diagnostic Code Read we came to the conclusion that the timing chain had slipped and we would need to partially strip the engine and check for damage.

Timing Tools Don’t Align

On stripping the engine we found that the timing chain had slipped one tooth on the crank gear, the reason for this was the chain tensioner was unable to keep its tension due to the amount the timing chain had stretched.

 

Timing Chain Replaced

We replaced the timing chain, guides and gear set, and using manufacturer specific timing tools to correctly align the crank and cam shafts we were then able to check compressions to see if any other internal damage had been caused.

Once we were happy there was no internal damage it was time for the rebuild which included an oil and filter change and anti freeze flush.

The little Ibiza was fired up and ran like a dream, after a good road test and some diagnostic tests it was time to hand it back to its owner.

 

Peugeot RCZ Timing Chain Stretched.

 

We are starting to see more and more vehicles coming into the garage with engine timing faults caused by stretched timing chains.

The first thing customers complain of is that their Engine Management Light (EML) comes on and the vehicle goes into limp mode, sometimes they may complain of the chain being noisy or rattling.

Once the car comes into the garage we plug it into a suitable diagnostic computer and carry out an ‘engine code read’ looking for codes relating to timing faults for example – Incoherence between crank and cam sensors, then check the cars ‘live data’ to check the sensors are working correctly.

Next we have to partially strip the engine to be able to physically check the timing using manufacturer specific timing tools.

In this instance when we came to fit the timing tools it became very obvious that the timing was indeed out, when we checked the old chain against the replacement chain we could see it had stretched by about 10mm.

Once we had fitted the new timing chain kit and timed the engine correctly it was just a matter of rebuilding the engine, changing the oil and filter and then testing.

After clearing all the stored codes from the cars ECU it was time to road test the car and carry out a few final checks, once we were completely happy it was time to hand the car back to the customer.

Cambelt Replacement on Mileage or Age?

Aarons Autos Cambelt ReplacementOne 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.

Renault Megane Sport R26 handling problems.

Megane R26 lowering springs

We had a call from a Megane R26 owner saying that his handling was poor and he suspected that the lower swivel bearings were at fault.

As he was from Hertfordshire it was hard to diagnose it over the phone so we recommended that he come up and we would do a full suspension check.

After he arrived we checked the car over to find the O/S/F road spring had broken and this was the cause of the handling problems he had been having.

Renault’s spring prices are ridiculous so it was quickly decided that the customer would source a new set of lowering springs from Eibach and would return to have them fitted.

A week later the customer returned and the springs were fitted and all the handling problems
were eradicated leaving a happy customer.