Technical Queries

Rustproofing – a stitch in time…


  1. Posted on August 10th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2.   Cars do not rust like they used to, so many people claim. In the main, they are right; rust holes are not common on five-year-old vehicles any more. Improved metal, galvanising, sealing and painting have improved matters immeasurably but rust has not been stopped in its tracks entirely, especially as many car manufacturers do […]

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Faults: Keep calm but don’t carry on


  1. Posted on August 3rd, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2.   Many people are at a loss when a dashboard warning light appears suddenly. To an extent, this is understandable, because the meaning of many symbols can be far from obvious. Even owner handbooks tend not to be very helpful. Yet, any dashboard warning should not be ignored and, should one appear, it is a […]

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More on ‘pongy’ air conditioning


  1. Posted on July 14th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. Especially relevant during the pandemic, anything we can do to prevent illness has to be a good thing. One common complaint is ‘smelly air conditioning’, where activating the air conditioning produces an unpleasant temporary stench.   The odour originates mainly from the evaporator, which is the coldest part of the air conditioning circuit  – think […]

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E10 – unless you drive diesel, or fully electric, you will be affected


  1. Posted on July 6th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2.     As you may have heard from the mainstream media, E10 petrol is due to hit UK forecourts in September. This will see up 10% ethanol added to regular 95 RON, instead of the present <5% content (E5). In this introductory blog, GEM shall tackle some of the most common questions that our members have […]

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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 […]

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New Tyre labels – two for one?


  1. Posted on June 10th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. Should you plan an imminent tyre purchase, you may notice that the tyre label has changed. Following concerns that tyre purchasers are unaware of the differences between the highest and lowest wet grip and fuel efficiency ratings, the fuel label was revised. Retailers are also obliged to provide this information, so ensure that you have […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Is your antifreeze eating your engine?


  1. Posted on March 12th, 2021 by Rob Marshall
  2. As we start to look forward to spring, you may think that antifreeze does not matter any more. Indeed, the coolant within your engine has many properties. Yes, it cools the engine but it also possesses an anti-corrosion property. These additives diminish gradually over time, until either corrosion, or decomposing coolant, causes a blockage and […]

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Bad roads and corrosion ‘fuel’ sump replacements


  1. Posted on December 12th, 2020 by GEM Motoring Assist
  2. Regular readers of GEM blogs will know that poor road surfaces are not only bad for safety but also for your car. While tyres, steering and suspension components are the most obvious casualties, the humble engine lubrication sump is also suffering.   The sump’s main purpose is to retain the oil that protects the engine […]

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