If your car starts making weird engine noises and they are sounds which you are not accustomed to, it can be (more…)

1. get your serial number simply turn on the radio, hold down button 6 and press 2, the serial will then be shown.

2. ring your local Ford Dealer with the Registration and Serial number.

If your vehicle is a write off/total Loss

Firstly there are 2 types of vehicle write off/total loss:

(1) Beyond Economic Repair (BER) This means repairing your vehicle does not make economic sense. The cost of repairing the vehicle is so high that is deemed a beyond economic repair write off/total loss. Should you decide to repair the vehicle anyway (at your own additional expense) and put it back on the road, you will require a Certificate of Roadworthiness. This certificate must be obtained from an independent engineer at your own expense. If this certificate is not obtained, we will not be in a position to cover this vehicle. (more…)

There’s not a standard change interval for cambelts.

  • Depending on the model and the manufacturer, the recommended interval can be anywhere between 30,000 kilometers and 100,000 miles. There will often be a time-based interval specified too e.g. 60,000 kilometers or five years, whichever is the sooner.
  • Sometimes the manufacturer will revise the recommended interval during the life of the vehicle so it’s best to check with a franchise dealer as they will have the most up-to-date information. They will need to know the make, model, engine number and model year.
  • In most cases cambelt failure results in serious damage to many other components in the engine – a major rebuild or even replacement engine will be required!

It does no harm to renew the belt early. If you buy a used car it’s wise to get the belt renewed if you are in any doubt that it has been renewed at the appropriate time.

Vehicles are complex with multiple sensors and electronic control units to keep exhaust emissions to a minimum, improve stability/braking and to operate safety systems.

  • Technicians at franchised garages need to be highly trained and must attend many manufacturers’ training courses. Not only are the courses expensive, but the technicians demand salaries to match their skills.
  • Garage hourly rates vary by location, the nature of the facilities and whether or not they hold a manufacturer franchise.
  • Independent garages are not under the same pressure from vehicle manufacturers to maintain prestigious premises with lots of customer facilities and may be able to charge less than half the labour rate of their franchised counterparts.

Get a quote from several garages in your area and compare their hourly labour rates.

When cars were first fitted with airbags there was a lack of knowledge and confidence about the long term reliabiilty of the systems . Car manufacturers and manufacturers of airbag systems agreed to validate (or test) them for a 10 year life span.

A sodium azide tablet produces the gas which inflates the airbag, and this tablet and the explosive device are sealed. Although some moisture ingress is possible it should not affect performance. There will also be some natural chemical decay, but again this shouldn’t stop the airbag from working.

There was also some concern in the early days that the airbag cover could become brittle through aging and a flying fragment cause eye damage.

Manufacturers increased the validation period to 15 years on later cars without making major changes to design and we are not aware of any airbag failures atttributed to ageing.

Clutch life can be seriously affected by poor driving style:

  • Resting a foot on the pedal (riding the clutch)
  • Holding the car on the clutch on hills rather than using the handbrake, or
  • Letting the clutch slip excessively

If the garage has repaired the car, but say the failure has been caused by driver abuse, then ask them for the old components and get a second opinion from another garage or mechanic. The garage is entitled to ask you to pay for the work before allowing you to take your car.

If one of the components has broken and caused the failure, then you may be able to claim under the warranty. Regrettably, if there is no evidence of manufacturing or material defect, you will have to pay for the new clutch and cost of fitting.

Synthetics and semi-synthetics give improved performance at high temperatures and support extended standard drain intervals. They are the preferred choice for high perfomance cars or for drivers who value long life/durability.

  • Your vehicle handbook will specify the grade/type of oil to be used based on durability/extreme environment testing by the manufacturer.
  • If synthetic oils are recommended then that is what you should use.
  • Mixing mineral and synthetics is not recommended, nor is switching to synthetic oils unless the vehicle handbook specifies that you may do so.

If the manufacturer has confirmed that synthetic oil is suitable for your vehicle and you intend to switch then you must make sure that the engine is drained fully of mineral oil first.

Regular servicing is important for health and to maintain the system working effectively. Up to 15% of the refrigerant gas will be lost annually.

  • Run your air conditioning at least once a week throughout the year.
  • Have the refrigerant gas checked regularly and topped up to manufacturers’ recommended levels.
  • Help improve hygiene and air quality with a regular cabin filter change, as it can become blocked with pollen.
  • A regular air duct clean helps remove the bacteria and fungi that can cause unpleasant odours.
  • Service air-conditioning units every 50,000 Kilometers or two years to avoid costly repairs.

On average, catalytic converters should last up to ten years, but this can vary according to mileage driven and engine tune. You may prefer to go by an average of 80,000 miles before you should expect to be replacing your catalytic converter. Many people can expect to replace the catalytic converter at least once during the lifetime of the vehicle if you intended to keep it for a good few years.

Failure can some times happen early, and if this occurs to you, it would be sensible to to locate and fix the cause of the root problem before paying out for a replacement CAT just in case the same should happen to you again.

Most mechanics will tell you that there are three possible ways for a catalytic converter to fail:

Melt down: This happens when unburned fuel ignites on contact when entering the catalyst. The heat generated is so intense that it literally melts the component. There are a number reasons why this could occur, including ignition/fuel injection faults, poor ignition timing, defective or worn out spark plugs, faulty oxygen sensor, and incorrect fuel mixture.

Carbon deposits: Deposits can build up on the matrix through antifreeze or oil entering the combustion chamber. This can lead to increased back pressure causing poor performance and overheating.

Catalyst fracture: Excessive vibration or external impact can cause the fragile ceramic matrix to break apart. This causes overheating and back-pressure to build up as a result.