Engine and Transmission

Cat-napper warning for hybrid owners


  1. Posted on July 2nd, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. Thieves are profiting handsomely from the high prices of precious metals, employed within catalytic converters to cleanse exhaust gases. As used catalytic converters can have a scrap value of hundreds of pounds, it is easy money for a thief, who can jack up your car, cut up the exhaust system and escape within minutes.   […]

    Read more »

Call for stricter diesel emissions MOT Tests for illegally tampered diesels


  1. Posted on June 24th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. The Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality (WCRAQ) is calling for the MOT to include a diesel particulate filter (DPF) efficiency test, in a bid to rid UK highways of cars that have had their anti-pollution systems tampered with illegally.   DPF trap carbon particulates, which are known carcinogens, hindering them from being expelled into […]

    Read more »

Be wary of the killer modifications


  1. Posted on May 19th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. A recent inquest that concluded the accidental deaths of a young couple has highlighted the dangers of adapting (or deactivating) car anti-pollution systems, in a bid to either increase vehicle performance, or reduce repair costs. Last December, the bodies of Tom Putt (20) and Nikki Willis (23) were found inside a Ford Fiesta ST that […]

    Read more »

Fake car parts situation is getting worse


  1. Posted on May 16th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. It appears as though the fake car parts scandal is worsening, since our last blog on the topic. In a worrying recent development, we have come across an honest motor trader getting caught-out, by receiving counterfeit shock absorbers through his well-established, trusted and reliable parts supplier. Thankfully, the technician noticed that there was a problem […]

    Read more »

What is my timing belt interval?


  1. Posted on May 15th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. This is one of the most popular technical questions that our members ask. The answer is both mileage and time dependent. Here are our top five tips on timing belt intervals: 1. Over-egging Some car manufacturers state an over-long replacement interval, mainly to appease fleet customers, when the cars are new. Premature timing belt failures […]

    Read more »

Be wary of DPF additive overdosing


  1. Posted on May 2nd, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. We have heard recently of problems occurring, when drivers dose additives into their diesel cars to help clear a partially-blocked diesel particulate filter (DPF), as pictured. Subsequent problems occur not due to the additive itself but because the operator does not follow the instructions.   DPF additive problems The additives work by promoting higher temperatures […]

    Read more »

Automatic gearboxes – preventative maintenance


  1. Posted on April 26th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. While modern automatic gearboxes have evolved considerably since the 1980s, they still require to be looked after. Following this general advice will help your automatic transmission last for as long as possible. Getting your definitions right The advice given applies to the ‘traditional’ format automatic gearbox, with an epicyclic drivetrain and torque converter clutch. It […]

    Read more »

DSG gearbox tips


  1. Posted on April 11th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2.   Made popular by the Volkswagen group, the compact DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox, or Direktschaltgetriebe) was the first twin-clutch transmission to be released on mainstream sale from 2003. Other carmakers have developed their own versions, in collaboration with transmission specialists, so we shall call ‘DSG’ “Twin Clutch Transmissions”. Pictured is Ford/Volvo’s version, called Powershift – […]

    Read more »

Why your car needs a spring break – Part 4  


  1. Posted on April 9th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. In our fourth instalment, looking at how cars suffer from infrequent use and what can be done at service time, Rob Marshall focuses on exhaust emissions that can hit your wallet hard, if they cause a post-lockdown MOT Test failure.   The topic of exhaust emissions is immensely complex. While you can read much on […]

    Read more »

6 tips to protect your car’s Turbo


  1. Posted on March 27th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. A few decades ago, any car with the word ‘TURBO’ emblazoned upon its rump signified something rather special. The eclectic mix of performance and prestige translated into instant envy, especially within the cut-and-thrust world of a typical 1980’s corporate car park. These days, almost every diesel car is fitted with at least one turbocharger and […]

    Read more »