General FAQ's

  • When does my car need an MOT?

    Cars within the UK need to adhere to the 3-1-1 system: all vehicles 3 years old or more are required to have a valid MOT test certificate which needs to be renewed annually. It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is tested every 12 months.

    You can find the expiry date of your MOT on your existing MOT test certificate, or using the MOT Checker website (https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status), and your vehicle can be MOT tested up to 28 days in advance.

    As long as your MOT falls within the 28 day window the expiry date on your new MOT is 12 months from the expiry of your old one rather than 12 months from the day your MOT test was carried out. So you won’t lose any days for having your vehicle tested early.

    Without a current MOT certificate, you will be unable to drive your vehicle lawfully or renew your road tax. The police can fine you for not having an up to date MOT certificate. Also if the vehicle is involved in an accident an insurance claim could be affected by the absence of your MOT, especially in the case of injury.

    Recent computerisation of the MOT testing system by DVSA means police and mobile camera units can now check remotely to see if your vehicle has a current MOT.

  • What do I need to take with me for an MOT?

    Only the vehicle being tested! The MOT system is now operated electronically, and our MOT tester can look your vehicle up on the DVSA system to find the existing MOT details and the computer system will automatically update the new MOT certificate 12 months from the vehicles current MOT due date.

  • What do I need to take with me for an MOT?

    Only the vehicle being tested! The MOT system is now operated electronically, and our MOT tester can look your vehicle up on the DVSA system to find the existing MOT details and the cumputer system will automaically update the new MOT certificate 12 months from the vehicles current MOT due date.

  • When do I need to change my engine oil?

    We recommend that you change it yearly. However, it will depend on the car make and model, some manufacturers recommend every 5,000 miles. However, today there are cars which have been built to run for anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 miles before the engine oil needs replacing. The precise figure is usually supplied in manufacturers’ maintenance manuals or searching online.

  • When do I need to change my engine oil?

    We recommend that you change it yearly. However, it will depends on the car make and model, some manufacturers recommend every 5,000 miles. However, today there are cars which have been built to run for anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 miles before the engine oil needs replacing. The precise figure is usually supplied in manufacturers’ maintenance manuals or searching online.

  • What PSI should my tyres be inflated to?

    The PSI figure on the tyre wall is the maximum pressure the tyre can hold, not actually the figure to fill it to. The recommended PSI figures (depending on the car’s load) will be found on a sticker on the inside of the fuel-filler door, inside the car’s glove box or on one of the door-jambs (where the child-lock is).

  • Do cars steadily lose fuel efficiency as they age?

    Not if you take good care of them, have them serviced regularly and drive sensibly, with the recommended tyre pressure for the load you are carrying. Yes, wear on the engine is a factor; valves and pistons will weaken with age, but regular maintenance will lessen that effect. If you are slapdash with the care of your vehicle or decide to miss giving it a service this year to save some cash, then the chances are the fuel efficiency will decrease, due to the extra wear and tear you will inevitably put it through. Take care of your car and it’ll take care of you.

  • Do I have to get the dealership I bought my car from to do all repairs while under warranty?

    Before 2003, car owners risked voiding their warranty if they did not take their car to a dealership-approved (or owned) garage for repairs and servicing.
    Since 2003, European Union ordered Block Exemption Regulations mean that drivers with vehicles that are under warranty can have work done at any regulated garage or workshop without the fear of affecting their warranty.

  • Do I have to get the dealership I bought my car from to do all repairs while under warranty?

    Before 2003, car owners risked voiding their warranty if they did not take their car to a dealership-approved (or owned) garage for repairs and servicing.
    Since 2003, European Union ordered Block Exemption Regulations mean that drivers with vehicles that are under warranty can have work done at any regulated garage or workshop without the fear of affecting their warranty.

Servicing & Servicing Misconceptions

  • It is a common misconception that if your vehicle has an MOT certificate, it has been comprehensively checked and is in peak condition.

    Whilst MOT test checks are stringent these simply confirm that your vehicle has met the minimum road safety and environmental standards required by VOSA.

    MOT test does not look into the condition of the engine, or allow the tester to dismantle any part of the vehicle. Therefore, it is no guarantee of the mechanical condition of your vehicle nor is it a guarantee that your vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate.

    A service, on the other hand, will not only probe deeper into the mechanics of your vehicle flagging up potential problems but it will ensure your vehicle is running efficiently and economically. By changing or topping up essential lubricants and fluids as well as replacing dirty filters, belts and pads, a service will help to prevent breakdowns and prolong the life of your vehicle.

    Here are some Common Servicing Misconceptions:

  • Services are designed to get more money from me

    It is another common misconception that the service schedules dictated by manufacturers are designed to line the pocket of dealerships. The recommended service schedule is there to maintain the efficiency and life of your vehicle and should be adhered to, not least because failure to do so could adversely affect your vehicle warranty.

    The new European (Block Exemption) legislation means the days of market exclusivity for dealerships no longer exist. Manufactures can advise customers to use their network of authorised garages, but are no longer able to insist on this. By law you can have your vehicle serviced independently at a reputable, less expensive garage without voiding any warranty.

  • My vehicle has low mileage (or) my vehicle isn’t very old so a service isn’t necessary

    Many drivers fail to appreciate that service schedules fall on both a mileage and time interval basis e.g. every twelve months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    It is therefore a common misconception that low mileage vehicles do not need servicing.
    On the contrary, vehicles with lower than average mileage may have been subjected to numerous short, start-stop journeys and as such will have endured significant wear on their brakes, clutch and engine. Equally a relatively new vehicle but with high mileage will be in need of fluid, filter and safety checks.
    In cars that are sat idle, condensation can lead to water collecting in the oil leading to emulsification. This can be identified by a milky appearance once you open the oil cap.
    By failing to properly maintain your vehicle it is unlikely to run efficiently and economically. Check your vehicle handbook for the recommended service intervals as these can differ from make to make and model to model. In a modern vehicle take note of any illuminated service light on the dash telling you that your vehicle is in need of some technical TLC.

  • Every service is standard so I always opt for the cheapest

    There is no such thing as a standard service. Not only can the type of service vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the different components in your vehicle have different service requirements depending on vehicle age and usage. These components, i.e. filters, fluids, belts, pads and spark plugs etc. are often changed at different intervals.

    To confuse matters further, special offer service packages may vary from garage to garage, from a basic interim service with a simple oil and filter change to a full service with comprehensive fluid, filter and safety checks.

    Making sense of it all can be a logistical nightmare and the only thing you can be clear about is that opting for the cheapest deal is unlikely to meet the specific service requirements of your vehicle. Often the recommended service schedule in your vehicle handbook will provide a breakdown of when different components need to be checked and changed.

  • My vehicle is outside its manufacturer’s warranty, so doesn’t need to be serviced anymore

    Even when your vehicle falls outside its warranty period and is free from the constraints of the manufacturers recommended service schedule, your vehicle’s filters, fluids, belts, pads and spark plugs together with many other components will still need to be checked and changed at regular intervals. It is a common misconception that servicing is only necessary during the currency of any vehicle warranty. By failing to maintain your vehicle after the expiry of this period could result in additional fuel costs, mechanical breakdowns and even reduce the value your vehicle.

    Vehicles with a full service history typically attract more buyers and higher prices. It is therefore standard industry advice from any garage to continue to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.

Air Conditioning FAQ's

  • What’s involved in an Air Con service?

    • Pressures in the system are measured, and the quality of refrigerant present is checked to make sure that it is not contaminated.
    • All components and functions are also checked.
    • The contents of the system are then recovered, separating the refrigerant and oil.
    • The process involves subjecting the entire system to a vacuum which causes any moisture in the system to actually boil away.
    • The system is then re-charged with the required weight of refrigerate (Re-Gas) and the lubricant is also replenished.
    • If necessary the system is also treated with a steriliser – an anti-bacterial which kills any bacteria in the system.

  • How often should my vehicle’s Air Con systems be serviced?

    Unlike domestic Air Con systems, automotive Air Con systems operate under harsh conditions where they are subjected to moisture, vibration, extremes of temperature and mechanical shock. Service intervals can vary depending on the conditions of use and the annual mileage of the vehicle;
    • For average use with approx. 12,000 miles a year intervals of every 18 months to 2 years should be sufficient to ensure the air-conditioning and all components operate at maximum efficiency.
    • Vehicles that are used off-road or have annual mileages of over 24,000 miles should be serviced every 12 months.

  • How long does an Air Con service take?

    A straightforward service where there are no faults to rectify will take about one hour, anything less means that the service is not being performed correctly.

  • My car is regularly serviced, surely the Air Con system is part of the service?

    Most garages and many main dealers do not service Air Con systems as part of any of their services. They may check and advise it as part of a Major/Full Service but otherwise it is a stand alone service. This is because it requires specialist Air Con engineers, with the appropriate equipment and trained personnel, like ourselves to conduct a service on your Air Con.

  • My car is regularly serviced, surely the Air Con system is part of the service?

    Most garages and many main dealers do not service Air Con systems as part of any of their services. They make check and advise it as part of a Major/Full Service but otherwise it is a stand alone service. This is because it requires specialist Air Con engineers, with the appropriate equipment and trained personnel, like ourselves to conduct a service on your Air Con.

  • How can I tell if my auto Air Con system is low on refrigerant?

    There is no easy way to identify refrigerant levels in your Air Con system. The pressure gauge readings provide a pressure, not the amount of refrigerant in the system. The only way to make sure you have the correct amount of refrigerant in your system is to vacate the system with use of a vacuum pump and refill with the correct weight of refrigerant specified by the manufacturer i.e. perform an Air Con service.

  • Why does my car Air Con system run low on refrigerant?

    Air Con systems will tend to lose refrigerant over time as refrigerant permeates through the physical joints between components. In normal working conditions all automotive Air Con systems will lose about 10% to 15% of refrigerant each year which is considered natural leakage. Within an Air Con system the compressor lubricating oil is suspended within the refrigerant gas. Letting the system run low on refrigerant can lead to extensive wear and even serious component failure.

  • How much refrigerant (gas) does an average car’s Air Con system take?

    It varies with make and model. The amount of refrigerant required is specified by the manufacturer and is metered by weight and not pressure, which is a common misconception.

  • How often should I run the Air Con in my car?

    Ideally, it should be run all the time. It is false economy to turn the system off in the winter. This can lead to deterioration of the seals and gaskets in your system and, even more rapid refrigerant loss. Air Con should be used during winter as it is the most effective way to ensure that the windows are demisted and the interior of the car is comfortable.
    Contrary to popular belief this does not greatly reduce your mpg. It is only on the hottest of days when the system is working the hardest does the Air Con noticeably effect fuel consumption.

  • When I switch my Air Con on I get an unpleasant damp smell, what causes it and how do I get rid of it?

    The smell is the result of bacteria/algae breeding in the condensation that collects in the system. The by-products produced by the bacteria cause the unpleasant odours. These can cause allergic reactions, coughs, sneezes and sore throats. As part of our service we offer and recommend treatment with a steriliser, it is an anti-bacterial spray which will kill any bacteria present in your system.

  • Can I service the Air Con system myself?

    Specialist equipment and training is required to do this, as it is a high pressure system and the process involves recovery of refrigerant. It is ILLEGAL to vent the refrigerant into the environment. Refrigerants are very dangerous to handle, and can easily cause freeze burns if they come into contact with skin. To ensure removal of all moisture the system needs to be pulled down to a near total vacuum, which cannot be achieved without specialist equipment.

  • I have recently had my Air Con system topped up but it has stopped working again, what could it be?

    This indicates that there may be a small leak. Over time refrigerant will work its way out, this will happen in a healthy system let alone a system which has recently required filling or re-gassing for the first time. In these situations we place a UV tracker dye into the system. The UV dye shows up under a bright UV light source, allowing for identification of any current leaks present in the system or if future leaks were to develop.

  • The Air Con isn’t coming on. What could the problem be?

    It could be that the Air Con clutch isn’t engaging, there are several different reasons why this may occur. The most common cause is that the system is low on refrigerant. Low refrigerant prevents the cycling switch from engaging the compressor, as a safety mechanism. Bypassing this safety switch can cause serious damage to your system and vehicle.

    Due to constant and very wet weather we are seeing more cases of the clutch mechanism becoming seized with corrosion and/or debris, which has been picked up when fording flooded roads. The Air Con compressor is usually mounted low down in the engine bay, therefore by driving through floods it can be quite seriously damaged if not checked and maintained.

Standard Terms & Conditions

  1. A contract will be binding between Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd and the customer upon booking your vehicle in.
  2. If you book your vehicle in person, via the phone or internet you warrant that you are legally capable of entering into a contract of sale and you are at least 18 years old and reside in the UK.
  3. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will provide details of the cost of each car repair and the work required before the work is done. All work and costs, including additional work must be approved by the customer before any work is carried out.
  4. All work is subject to VAT as required by law.
  5. All parts used will adhere to the manufacturers’ service schedule and warranty, and will be of “original equipment” (OE) standard – ensuring all manufacturers’ warranties are validated.
  6. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd are able to support your vehicles service history through completing and stamping your Service Book, providing Service Documentation and updating where possible Digital Service Records.
  7. In addition to your Statutory Rights, a Parts & Labour Warranty is provided for a period of 12 months (or within 12,000 miles – whichever comes first) of work carried out by Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd. The Warranty covers replacement defective parts or related workmanship.
  8. The Warranty is dependent upon:
    1. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd being given an opportunity to investigate or rectify any faults within a reasonable timeframe
    2. The manufacturer’s vehicle operating instructions being followed.
    3. Having the vehicle serviced according to the manufacturers recommended schedule (at the time or distance specified).
    4. Full compliance with Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd advisories, warnings and information or any instructions provided by Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd.
    5. The parts or workmanship carried out not being subjected to abnormal conditions or unreasonable wear and tear.
  9. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd does not accept any liability for any damage or losses suffered by the Customer from the storage of its vehicle at Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd garage.
  10. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will not be responsible or liable for any unforeseeable losses; losses that were not caused by Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd.’s employees, agents or representatives’ negligence or for any business losses. This does not affect any claim that the customer may have for death or personal injury. Nothing in this condition will affect the customer’s statutory rights that the works are performed with due skill and care, that the goods supplied are of satisfactory quality and are fit for their purpose and that the products and services correspond with their description.
  11. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will not be responsible for any loss of valuable items left by the customer and are not connected to the vehicle or damage to such items.
  12. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will not be liable for any damage or delay in the services provided if the reasons are down to “an act of God”, “industrial action such as strikes”, “government disputes” or factors to be deemed out of control of Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd.
  13. Health & Safety laws will apply where applicable when each customer’s vehicle is serviced.
  14. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you are aware of what the service you are purchasing includes (this can be found in the detailed full/interim service schedule). We will also follow your manufacturers’ service schedule, and any additional items not included in our full / interim service may be charged at an extra cost, but will not be completed without prior authorisation.
  15. Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will endeavour to resolve all disputes amicably and professionally normally within 28 days. If the dispute should take longer, Albyn Garage Aberdeen Ltd will notify the customer accordingly. Where a dispute cannot be resolved within our internal complaints procedure we support the use of ADR with the Scottish Motor Trade Association Ltd

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