Smartfit Auto Centres pride themselves on top quality repairs giving you complete peice of mind when you drive away your fully repaired vehicle. All of our mechanics are trained to the highest quality and have a huge understanding of all the makes of vehicles on todays roads.
As with any other part of your car the air conditioning system needs regular maintenance. We would recommend that the gas and lubricant needs to be recharged at least every 2 years according to use.
The benefit of recharging the air conditioning system is to reduce harmful bacteria and unpleasant smell that may be omitted into the car. When the air conditioning is not maintained it will not work properly, this will in turn put an additional strain on the engine which will then use more fuel.
Free Air Conditioning Performance Test
If you simply want to us to check the performance of your air-conditioning, we will happily do this for free. The test will include:
- A check on system pressures and vent temperature
- Comparison to recommended levels
- Full visual inspection
- Full Air Conditioning Service – price of £49.99 (only £39.99 with MOT or Service)
A full service of your air conditioning unit will include:
- System pressure and vent temperature checks
- Comparisons to recommended levels
- Full visual inspection
- Recovery of refrigerant
- Evacuation of air and moisture from the system
- Leak test
- Recharging to recommended levels, adding fresh system oil as necessary
- Air-conditioning cleaner to clear bacterial build up and remove any unpleasant smells
Your car battery is the only power source used for getting your car started and faulty batteries are one of the main reasons for breakdown calls in the UK. Industry sources say that 1/10 vehicle batteries are poised to fail. So it is important that you maintain a good healthy battery if you are to avoid becoming a roadside ‘breakdown’ statistic.
Checking the condition of your car battery and battery charging system is a service available at Smartfit and takes around 5 minutes to complete. This simple but effective test, which includes checking the charging system, voltage output and the charging rate of the battery will indicate whether a battery failure is imminent or not by comparing the test result against the manufacturer’s specification.
Using a simple red, amber, green traffic light system your battery check will provide a clear indication as to the condition of the battery in a digital display.
So, if you have any concerns regarding the condition or health of your car battery then we recommend you have the battery and charging system checked as soon as possible.
Brakes are a critical safety item and to provide maximum stopping power, your brakes must be at optimum braking efficiency. Regular brake checks and maintenance are of great importance for the safety of your vehicle and help reduce the possibility of more costly bills in the future. It is therefore important that you can spot the most common tell-tale signs of when your brake pads are in need of changing or repair:
Grinding noise – this suggests that the brake pads have reached the minimum thickness, therefore, requiring replacement brake pads.
Pull to the left or right when braking – this suggests that there could be sticking on the brake discs or issues with the hydraulic elements of the brakes.
Free Brake Checks
Our free brake check facility gives a clear picture of the condition of your vehicle’s brakes, and whether you need new brake pads, brake discs or if the braking system itself is in need of repair. All elements are inspected against the manufacturer’s specification to help you get your brakes back to the most efficient standards set.
Smartfit will deal with any make or model of vehicle.
Cambelts are an essential part of your vehicle and not replacing them at the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines can result in serious damage to your car’s engine. Smartfit are keen to help you avoid huge repair bills caused by cambelt failure.
Unlike gearboxes and clutches where problems can be diagnosed, Cambelts will naturally wear and require replacement after a set time or mileage interval. However each car manufacturer will recommend different intervals for different models. Failure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines can lead to costly damage. Finding out when your cambelt should be changed is easier than having your brakes checked, but can be far more expensive if you overlook it.
Try to diarise your cambelt replacement and do not exceed the recommended replacement times. Ask Smartfit for a quote and budget for this in your maintenance for the year. The costs of cambelt replacements are incomparable to that of failure repair work. If you have any other concerns about cambelts, do not hesitate to contact us at Smartfit.
We can offer a range of high quality new clutches for all leading manufacturers. All parts fitted carry a 2 year unlimited mileage guarantee (excluding taxis, driving schools and commercial vehicles).
It is important to get specialist advice before fitting a new clutch as many symptoms could indicate a problem with the clutch, whilst the real fault may be something completely different such as engine revving, slipping fan belt or minor adjustment. Common Clutch faults are:
- SLIP – Caused by oil on the friction plate or worn friction plate, the symptoms of clutch slip would be partial or total loss of drive, vehicle speed lower than normal compared with engine speed.
- DRAG – Clutch cable not at correct adjustment or centre plate sticking on splines. The symptoms of this would be difficulty in obtaining gear, particularly first and reverse gears.
- JUDDER – Caused by warped friction plate or engine / gearbox mounts broken. The symptoms of this would be a shudder and vibration as vehicle moves off from rest.
All modern vehicles have a computer or ECU (Electronic Control Unit) that controls engine operation. The main purpose of this is to keep the engine running at top efficiency with the lowest possible emissions. With today’s strictest emission regulations it’s not very easy to achieve.
The engine needs to be constantly and precisely adjusted according to various conditions such as speed, load, engine temperature, fuel quality, ambient air temperature, road conditions, etc. There are a number of sensors that provide the ECU with all necessary inputs such as the engine temperature, ambient temperature, vehicle speed, load, etc. According to these inputs, the ECU makes initial adjustments adding or subtracting fuel, advancing or retarding the ignition timing, increasing or decreasing idle speed, etc.
Below is a small list of those sensors and the role they play. There is a primary oxygen sensor installed in the exhaust before the catalytic converter that monitors the quality of combustion in the cylinders. Based on the feedback from this oxygen sensor the ECU makes fine adjustment to the air-fuel mixture to further reduce emissions.
On some vehicles there can be another secondary oxygen sensor installed after the catalytic converter in the exhaust that monitors the catalytic converter’s efficiency.
Besides that there are few additional emission control related vehicle systems. For example, there is an Evaporative system (EVAP), designed to prevent fuel vapours from the fuel tank from being released into the atmosphere. It also contains a number of sensors and actuators controlled by the ECU.
The ECU has self-diagnostic capability and constantly tests the operation of sensors and other components. When any of the sensor signals is missing or out of normal range, the ECU sets a fault and illuminates the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light also called MIL (Malfunction Indication Light) storing the corresponding Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the ECU memory.
The same will happen if a mechanical component of the controlled system fails. For example, if the EGR valve fails, this will also cause the “check engine” light to come on.
The stored trouble code can be retrieved with a special diagnostic tool. The code itself does not tell exactly which part to replace, it only gives a direction where to look for. It is then up to the mechanic to use his experience to correctly identify the faulty item.
We can also reprogramme certain ECU’s when replacement is necessary. For instance Body Control Units such as Airbag control units require replacement on certain vehicles after the airbag has been deployed. The control module will need configuring to the actual vehicle itself.
The gearbox is a complex part a vehicle and its maintenance is an important part of the car’s servicing needs.
Gearbox Repairs and Replacement
Smartfit can repair gearboxes in all types of manual vehicles, and where possible will repair your existing gearbox or use a reconditioned gearbox to lower the expense to you, it’s your choice. Gearbox oil changes are a standard part of the service.
Free Gearbox Check
If you feel that your gearbox is not functioning properly call into your nearest Smartfit. Before any work is undertaken on your gearbox our skilled technicians will always carry out a free check using state-of-the-art electronic diagnostic equipment. This will help to clarify whether any gearbox faults are apparent and will determine the nature of the work that may need to be carried out.
The steering system on every car is very important and requires regular maintenance to keep it at an optimum standard. The steering rack can be easily knocked out of alignment by all the speed humps and potholes in the road. When the wheel alignment becomes out of tolerance the tyres will also wear unevenly on either edge of the side walls.
Noticeable signs of wheel imbalance to look out for are:
- Steering wheel is off-set when the vehicle is travelling in a straight line
- The vehicle may drift/pull to the left or right
- The front tyres will wear bald or show signs of uneven wear on either edge
If any of these faults are present on your vehicle we strongly recommend you have your wheel alignment checked and adjusted if necessary, as soon as possible.
Smartfit we can prolong the life of your tyres with a wheel alignment check and regular servicing.
A suspension system there are many moving parts, the main component of which is rubber that can dry out over a period of time and can crack and perish. In the worst situation the rubber components can split.
Some defectives and effects could be:
- When pulling away from standstill a knocking noise may occur from the front of the vehicle.
- When travelling along uneven surfaces a knocking noise may be heard from either end of the vehicle and the ride in the vehicle may be an uncomfortable one.
- On straight roads, i.e. a motorway, if on side at the front of the vehicle there is a defective component, the vehicle will drift or pull to the defective side.
- An important part of the suspension is the shock absorbers, these are usually hydraulic or gas filled. They are essential to control the bounce on the vehicle and to ensure the tyres are kept firmly on the road.
- Damaged and worn shock absorbers can reduce the braking efficiency, cause poor cornering and tyre wear.
It is very important to have regular checks on your vehicle, whether it be every 6 or 12 months, to ensure that the ride comfort and suspension system are kept at an optimum level. At Smartfit the suspension system is fully checked over as part of our routine servicing to make sure that you remain as safe and comfortable as possible.
In line with our commitment to our customers, we offer the highest quality tyres to suit every budget and can offer a lifetime guarantee on a selected range. We keep a majority of tyre types, sizes and tyre brands in-stock, so if you find yourself with a puncture don’t worry. If a tyre can be repaired, we will correct the problem.
Tyre maintenance is an important part of keeping your car functioning and road worthy. It is also legal requirements to have at least a 1.6mm tread across the central ¾ of the tyre, or your car won’t pass its MOT. You should therefore take the necessary steps to make sure you keep your tyres well maintained:
Check the tyre pressure – tyres should have the correct pressure for the load of the vehicle, expected road conditions and the distance you plan to travel at a minimum. Your car manual will have the necessary tyre pressures.
Look for tyre wear and tear – the location of excessive wear and tear on a tyre often tells you whether your tyres are under/over inflated, if the alignment of the wheels are correct, if the tyre has been damaged or reached the end of its life
Exhaust systems copy to go here…
DO YOU NEED PARTS FOR YOUR VEHICLE BUT NOT WILLING TO PAY MAIN DEALER PRICES?
One of the great advantages of having a network of garages like Smartfit is that we have the ability to locate virtually any part for any make of car.
We have links to over 100 operations that range from manufactures to recondition centres to breakers yards who can all supply us with parts at a greatly reduced price from those supplied by main dealers.
It was like brand new
My car was in a pretty bad way after my collision but a few days in Smartfit and it was like brand new, it drives a dream…
HAVING CAR PROBLEMS? If so, book your car in with Smartfit Automotive today!