Monthly Archives: April 2015

MOT Failures

Time for your MOT? Here are a few things you can check before you take your car to the garage for a MOT. All external vehicle road lights must be in working order, even the number plate bulbs will fail if not working! If your tyres are below 1.6 mm on the tread this is a MOT fail, the spare tyre is not checked. Check your screen wash level & your wiper blades, they must clean your windows properly, if you’ve got the bonnet open, then it closes & locks that’s another check done as these are MOT failures too! There are certain dash lights that will fail the MOT, these are Airbag Light, Amber Brake Light, ABS & ESP Light. Are all of the seat belts working? Pull them out & plug them in, if they do not click in & stay then this will fail the MOT. Check all doors open and close as this is an important safety issue & will fail the MOT! Honk your horn, if it’s working great, if not that’s a failure! The emission test is to check the gasses coming out of the exhaust these can be affected by poor vehicle maintenance, sensor malfunction or a hole in the exhaust, all of which can be repaired at our garage AE Services in Sutton. A few things you can’t check on your vehicle that can fail during a MOT: Steering arm, track rod ends, wishbones, tie rods, CV gaiters, CV joints, shocks, road springs, drop links, D rubbers, ball joints fueling system, brakes, chassis corrosion, head light aim, severe dangerous oil leak. If you MOT fails we can carry out the repairs need to pass your MOT and this can be done on the same day. Don’t worry, If you feel you are not confident in checking these yourself you can get them checked with our garage if requested before your MOT is due. At our garage in Sutton we offer a FREE text or email MOT reminder service.

Why is Brake Fluid Important?

 

Brake fluid is what’s known in the auto industry as hydraulic fluid. You may have heard the term ‘hydraulic’ but not know exactly what it means. Hydraulic is simply moved or powered by fluids. That’s exactly what brake fluid does; it moves components in your vehicle’s braking system. Brake fluid has to work under high pressures and temperatures. That’s why it’s so important to maintain your brake fluid, because as it ages it doesn’t work as effectively resulting in inefficient braking. It’s necessary to flush and replace your brake fluid according to manufactures guidelines, when your vehicle is serviced here at AE Services in Sutton the brake fluid will be checked and if needed changed. Brake fluid readily absorbs moisture and over time becomes too saturated with excess moisture, which causes it to degrade. Once moisture content reaches a certain level the brake fluid is no longer able to function properly in the brake hydraulic systems. For reliable, consistent brake system operation, brake fluid must maintain a constant viscosity under a wide range of temperatures, including extreme cold. This is especially important in systems with an anti locking braking system (ABS), traction control, and stability control (ESP), as these systems may use a valve with a time-based approach, rather than measuring pressure or volume to control the amount of fluid transferred. Brake fluid is subjected to very high temperatures, especially in the wheel cylinder of drum brakes and disk brake callipers. It must have a high boiling point to avoid vaporizing in the lines.  A small drop in brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir can be ‘topped up’ but if the level is dropping too often, the cause should be investigated and repaired. Brake fluid level in the master cylinder will drop as the brake pads or shoes wear and the callipers or wheel cylinders extend further to compensate. If you are in any doubt as to the effectiveness of the brakes on your vehicle then call us now to book an appointment. For further information, go to www.autoexpressservices.com.

Service and MOT Special Offer

If you are in need of a service and MOT then here at AE Services in Sutton we are offering an ongoing deal which includes a full service and MOT for £156.99+vat. This package includes a full vehicle inspection, all fluid levels checked and topped up if needed, oil change, oil filter, fuel filter, pollen filter, air filter, spark plugs if the vehicle is petrol and the all-important MOT for a steel at £30.00!! Here at AE Services in Sutton we pride ourselves in offering the very best customer and vehicle care ensuring our customers come back to us time and time again. What better way to do this than to offer a service and MOT deal that does not increase in price year after year. With regular maintenance here at AE Services in Sutton you can be sure that your vehicle will be road safe for you and your family giving you peace of mind when driving. AE Services is a family run business and our customers are treated like an extended family that is why all work carried out is done with care and precision. Not everyone services their vehicle regularly so this offer is a great way of remembering to have that all important vehicle inspection and service giving you peace of mind for the rest of the year.

Help, I’ve Put Petrol in My Diesel Car! Fuel Contamination

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare putting the wrong fuel into their vehicle and its only diesel fuelled cars that this can be done to (putting petrol into a diesel vehicle) as the diesel fuel nozzle is bigger than the petrol fuel nozzle which means it will not fit into a petrol tank filling hole. Don’t panic if you find yourself in this situation as it is something that can be sorted out here at AE Services in Sutton. Do not drive your vehicle!! The process for correcting Fuel Contamination is not as straight forward as you might think. It can take around three to four hours and unfortunately can be quite costly. The fuel needs to be drained from the tank first, then providing the vehicle has not been driven the fuelling system is then cleaned out with various additives to ensure that no other fuelling components are contaminated. The engineer will then put fuel into the vehicle and turn the car on to make sure it is running correctly. If you have started your vehicle and driven it (the car will not run smoothly with the incorrect fuel) then it could mean that other fuelling components might be contaminated. If this is the case then the fuel filter will need to be replaced. Other contaminated components which will need cleaning or replacing are the fuel injectors, fuel pump, fuel lines and the fuel tank. Here at AE Services in Sutton we strive on keeping costs as low as possible and our engineers will try where possible to clean and save parts rather than replace them.

Why Is It Important To Service My Vehicle Regularly?

All vehicles come with a recommended service and maintenance schedule which will be carried out yearly or every 6 months depending on vehicle usage. We know that it is easily overlooked but it is vital that you keep this service record up to date to maintain the continued running of your vehicle and to prevent damage being  caused by lack of maintenance. During a service the following items will be replaced: engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, pollen filter, if your vehicle runs on petrol then spark plugs will also be replaced. The vehicle will get a full body and engine inspection this includes a brake inspection which is a very important safety issue. Top ups on the screen wash, anti-freeze, gearbox oil and greasing of door hinges, locks and bonnet catches are also done during the service. Another important inspection carried out during the service is on the tyres to make sure the condition, tread and tyre pressure is correct. Here at AE Services we strive to offer the very best service not only on your vehicle but to you as a customer, so call us at AE Services in Sutton to book your vehicle in now.

When should I Change My Timing Belt

The timing belt is a loosely used term and involves more than a belt replacement. It is a complete kit including the timing belt, pulleys and guides which without you cannot start your car. No two vehicles are the same and some vehicles don’t even have a timing belt, they have a timing chain. Timing chains tend to be stronger and more durable than timing belts and will need replacing less often, eventually both will need to be replaced at some point. While there may be some indications that your timing belt or timing chain is in need of replacement, it is not something that you will be warned in advance about. All vehicles will have a manufacturer’s recommended time in years or mileage in which the timing belt should be replaced, you should have your vehicle serviced and the timing belt checked regularly. Unfortunately the damage caused by lack of maintenance on the timing belt can cause serious cylinder head damage which can be costly to repair. Here at AE Services in Sutton all of our customers’ vehicles are regularly maintained and all checks done by a fully qualified engineer to ensure that their vehicle is in perfect working order. If you are unsure as to when your timing belt needs replacing why not book it in now and we can check it for you.

MOT

Originally called the ‘Ministry of Transport’ test, it’s now just an MOT. Either way, it’s a safety and legal requirement for cars, motorbikes or any other vehicle.The test information is held on a central database as well as on a paper certificate. It’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle’s certificate is valid. You need a test when the car’s three years old (four years in NI), then yearly after that. It is advisable not to wait until the day before the MOT expires to get the vehicle tested, get a test in the month before the current certificate ends and the new one will expire exactly a year from the original’s end date (the earliest date you can do this is printed on your test certificate). But get it tested more than a month before the MOT‘s due and it’ll expire exactly a year later, meaning you lose out. Here at AE Services we will send you an email or text reminder for free. If your car’s out of certification, you can drive it to the test centre provided the test’s been booked. If it’s failed the test, then to get the problems fixed you’re allowed to go from the test station to a repair centre. Here at AE Services in Sutton we can carry out all repair work on site so you don’t have the added hassle of trying to find another garage to carry out any work if needed. MOT stations can only charge up to the official maximum for an MOT. The maximum test costs are £54.85 for class 4 vehicles up to 3000 kg and £58.60 for class 7 vehicles from 3000 kg to 3500 kg, AE Services charge £40.00 for class 4 MOT’s and £45.00 for class 7 MOT’s.

 

What is a DPF?

A Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF is a device designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gases of a diesel engine. The DPF is designed to burn off the accumulated soot by active means such as a fuel burner which heats the filter to combustion temperatures. This is accomplished by the engine programming to run when the filter is full, in a manner that raises exhaust temperature. This is known as ‘filter regeneration’. For a filter regeneration to be carried out successfully the vehicle must have a minimum of ¼ of a tank of fuel at all times as the process will take place without warning and uses fuel to aid in the regeneration. The regeneration process occurs at road speeds higher than can generally be reached by driving around town, vehicles driven exclusively at low speeds in urban traffic can require the odd trip at higher speeds (motorway speeds) to clean out the DPF. If the driver ignores the DPF warning light and waits too long to operate the vehicle above 40 mph, the DPF may not regenerate properly, you will notice a reduced performance with your vehicle and continued use of the vehicle past that point may result in the DPF needing a clean out treatment or replacement. It is important to understand why the DPF has blocked or failed possible reasons for DPF failure are: poor fuel quality, poorly operating or blocked injectors, faulty EGR valve (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), incorrect engine oil, service intervals exceeded and split or damaged hoses. The vehicle will need to be filled to maximum with fuel to and an oil filter and oil change will need to be carried out. Multiple additives will be used for the cleaning process to make sure all of the built up soot is removed. A DPF clean out can take up to 4 hours and the process is quite complex but once complete your vehicle performance will be back to normal! Here at AE Services we can clean out the DPF so that you do not need to have a new DPF as these filters are very expensive.

 

Top Ten Vital Car Checks

Other than having your car maintained regularly at a garage, here are our top ten checks that you can do yourself.

Lights: Check all lights weekly including indicators fog and brake lights. During bad weather clean off any dirt with a damp cloth.

Steering: If you have power steering check the fluid reservoir once a month, if a top up is needed then make sure you check your hand book for the correct hydraulic fluid needed.

Screen Wash: Check the  screen wash at least once a week and if needed top up with an additive as well as water to help with cleaning and also to prevent the water from freezing during the colder months.

Wipers: Wiper blades will wear down over time so will need replacing about once a year.

Engine Oil: Check the engine oil level via the dipstick at least once every two weeks before long journeys and top up if necessary with the recommended engine oil for your car. It is recommended to follow manufacturers servicing schedule.

Tyres: It’s a good idea to know the correct tyre pressure for you tyres, over or under inflation can cause uneven wear and could result in replacement tyres being needed sooner. Check them every couple of weeks also check the condition of your tyres– don’t forget to check the spare as well.

Water: Check the level of the coolant regularly and top up if needed but only when the engine is cold. Antifreeze is used to help prevent the build-up of corrosion in the cooling system and helps to prevent the coolant freezing during the winter months.

Windscreen: Stone damage on the windscreen can impair road vision and can lead to a more serious crack which will mean windscreen replacement.

Bodywork: If dealt with quickly damaged bodywork can be repaired before rust sets in and this can spread quickly becoming expensive to repair.

Tool kit: Check you have a basic tool kit in your car this will contain a jack, wheel removal tools and locking wheel nut key if needed. Familiarise yourself with the jacking points on your car.

No Job Too Big or Too Small for AE Services Sutton!

We’ve all heard the expression ‘No job too big or too small’ but here at AE Services in Sutton it couldn’t be truer! Looking after your vehicle is essential if you want to keep it running for as long as is repairable possible. AE Services engineers undertake various jobs on a daily basis ranging from a simple light bulb change to a full engine exchange, gearbox reconditioning and cylinder head damage. Our engineers are trained, qualified and work to a very high professional standard. AE Services have all the up-to-date diagnostic equipment you could need when it comes to finding and fixing any problem you have with your vehicle. No matter what problem is you are experiencing with your vehicle our engineers will diagnose the problem and carry out the repairs to get you back on the road safely and efficiently. AE Services takes pride in their work and every job any engineer is assigned to is treated with the utter most care, as we all know our cars are our pride and joys.  So if you are having any problems with your vehicle no matter what it is, call AE Services now to make an appointment. You can be confident knowing your vehicle is in safe hands here at AE Services in Sutton.