Here we answer some of the most recurrent questions we hear from customers, in a more summarised format.
For a more expansive description, please don't hesitate to contact our team.
"I have been advised my brake fluid needs changing. Why?"
Braking responses will improve once existing brake fluid is changed. Providing there’s no underlying issues with a vehicle’s braking system. Both water and metal particles which comprise the make-up of the braking system will disperse over time, and subsequently contaminate the brake fluid. Changing brake fluid will prevent corrosion and potential failing of core components.
"Why and when does my timing belt and water pump need replacing, and is it really necessary to adhere to manufacturer interval recommendations?"
This largely depends on the make and model of the vehicle you drive. Yet as a broad rule of thumb any vehicle’s timing belt will need to be replaced over the course of its average lifecycle. Manufacturer’s tend to recommend replacing timing belts after a predetermined number of years or miles. Whichever eventuality is acknowledged first. Typically, this might be anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 or 4 years. Generally, idler pulleys, tensioners and water pumps should always look to be replaced at the same time. Not least because the timing belt drives the water pump.
"What’s AdBlue, and why’s it important?"
AdBlue is only important to owners of diesel vehicles manufactured post-2016. Essentially, it’s a biodegradable solution liquid engineered to ensure diesel vehicles comply with Euro 6 exhaust regulations. Manufactured from 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water, AdBlue is created from synthetic materials. Modern day diesel engines utilise a treatment system which blends the AdBlue mixture with the engine’s exhaust gasses, via a process called ‘Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)’. Which results in the conversion of nitrogen oxide into nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide. Thus, better for the environment.
"Why has a tyre symbol suddenly appeared illuminated on my car’s dashboard?"
This is an early warning sign alerting drivers to several potential tyre issues. Under-inflation being the underlying worry, caused by a number of things, including punctures. Whatever the reason, it’s imperative that you don’t ignore any warning signs which appear on your vehicle’s dashboard. Your first port of call would be to check the tyre pressures on a garage forecourt or a home system you may own. If it’s a simple question of re-inflating tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures, then the TPMS (Tyre Pressure Management System) light should then turn itself off. If it doesn’t, this indicates that there’s a likelihood you need to take your vehicle to an independent VW Audi Group specialist.
"Do I need to take my vehicle to a VW Audi main dealer to ensure that any warranty work is covered?"
No, not any more. Where once this was an unwavering fact of motoring life, this isn’t the case anymore. Although many car owners are still unjustly fearful of independents wrongly believing that taking their vehicles to one instead of a main dealer will void their existing warranty. Especially those who’ve arranged PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) deals. However, rest assured you can nowadays take your car to be serviced at any repair centre. It’s illegal for automotive manufacturers to invalidate your warranty should you choose to take your vehicle to a non-franchised dealership, under the European Block Exemption legislation. Providing that the specialist uses genuine manufacturer parts, and list the changes they’ve made (including grade of oil). And that they upload the details to the manufacturer’s online service records online portal.
"How often should I be changing the oil in my car?"
Again, there is no hard and fast rule here. Both Volkswagen and Audi suggest changing oil and filters every 10,000 miles (or 12 months) on average, whichever milestone is acknowledged first. As do Skoda and SEAT as a general pointer.
"Do manual and automatic transmissions require different servicing needs?"
Automatic vehicles are more complex and have more internal working parts than manual counterparts. So, in theory there’s more to potentially go wrong. They also tend to require a little more maintenance than manual transmissions on balance. However, a clutch assembly is a major component found within the constructs of a manual vehicle, which will eventually wear out and cause issues. Yet it’s fair to note that manual transmissions require less servicing to remain functional, and often have a longer lifespan when compared to automatics of the same age.
"Must I get my vehicle’s air condition unit serviced regularly?"
Ideally, yes. It’s generally advised to arrange an air-con service every two years to ensure that the functionality remains at its optimum. As part of an air-conditioning unit service, technicians will replenish liquids used by the system, to ensure that everything is in perfect working order ahead of more sustained summer use.
"What type of engine oil should I use in my vehicle? Synthetic or non-synthetic?"
It’s widely regarded that synthetic oil provides better engine performance than the non-synthetic alternative. Whilst non-synthetic oil (mineral oil, for example) does lubricate key engine components, the degree of effectiveness wanes in comparison to synthetic products. Both in terms of engine performance and protection from the turn of ignition onwards.
"How long do spark plugs last before they need replacing?"
Spark plugs tend to have a decent lifecycle under the bonnet of your car. Typically lasting an average of 80,000 miles before needing replacing. Tell-tale signs to look out for when worried that your spark plugs might require changing include; unexplained illumination of your engine management light, trouble starting your car, increase in fuel consumption, a more vocal engine idle than normal and lack of acceleration.