Frequently Asked Questions
Must I get air conditioning serviced?
Regular servicing is important for health and to maintain the system working effectively. Up to 15% of the refrigerant gas will be lost annually.
What are the advantages of synthetic oils?
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.
How long should a catalytic converter last?
Catalysts often last 10 years, but actual life depends on mileage and engine tune. 50,000 miles is a more reasonable benchmark, and you can generally expect to replace the catalytic converter once during the life of a vehicle.
If failure occurs early, it’s important to find and fix the cause of the problem before fitting a new CAT otherwise the replacement can be expected to fail prematurely too.
When should the cambelt be renewed?
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 miles and 100,000 miles. There will often be a time-based interval specified too e.g. 60,000 miles 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!
Do I have to get my car serviced by a main dealer?
- You are not obliged (since October 2003) to get the car serviced by a franchise dealer during the warranty period.
- You must though get it serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and criteria using only manufacturer approved parts.
What does that light mean and what should you do?
- As cars have become more complex, the number of different dashboard warning lights has grown significantly. Modern electronic systems like airbags or stability control are constantly self-testing and it’s important for you to know whether a warning light requires immediate attention or whether you can continue your journey and get a garage to investigate later.
- If a warning light comes on (or fails to extinguish after you’ve started the engine) you should stop as soon as possible in a safe place.
- Many warning lights are specific to the car make or even the model – the vehicle handbook should give you a detailed explanation of their meaning and the action to take.
What Causes Flat Batteries?
A flat battery is most commonly caused by;
- A lack of use or vehicle only used for short journeys
- Something has been left on (lights) or a faulty component is draining the battery
- A fault with the vehicle’s charging system
- A fault with the battery itself