Honest John Technical Q&A Part 9

Jul 16, 2019

Honest John Technical Q&A Part 9

Q) How often does a timing belt need replacing?

My six-year-old Skoda Superb has done 34,000 miles. I have been told that I need to replace the timing belt and I presume the water pump, is this correct?

A) We recommend timing belts, tensioners, water pumps, and aux belts to be replaced every five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first unless the manufacturer recommends earlier replacement.

Q) The service history of my car is stored digitally - what proof do I show the buyer in the absence of a stamped service book?

Like most modern vehicles, my BMW 3 Series 3 the service history stored digitally. If I were to sell my car privately at a later date, what proof do I show the buyer in the absence of a stamped service book?

A) You should be able to get a print-out of the service history of the car from the BMW dealer. But, of course, a sheaf of detailed service bills are always the most genuinely reassuring 'history' a car can have.

Q) My seven-year-old BMW has covered 160,000 miles - should the gearbox oil be replaced?

My 2012 BMW 320d ED auto has now covered more than 160,000 miles of mainly motorway driving. Should the gearbox oil be replaced?

A) Find a member of Fedaudo who has a Liqui Moly Geartronic automatic transmission fluid transfusion machine that can change the fluid at precisely the correct temperature and pressure. An ordinary garage cannot do this.

Q) Why does my Ford Galaxy keep overheating?

I have a Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi which overheats when going uphill on all roads, including motorways. It has done 160,000 miles and I've had the belt and water pump done at 125,000 miles. The fan comes on and it isn't losing coolant. Any ideas?

A) Have you checked the coolant radiator core? It could be blocked with dead flies and all manner of debris, in which case air will not get to the tubes passing through the core and will not cool the coolant.

Q) Is it possible to convert a hybrid into a PHEV?

Is it possible/economical to convert a hybrid car into a plug-in hybrid? I am thinking along these lines as I drive across Europe to Sweden each spring and return each autumn and the ability to charge from the mains would be a significant advantage.

A) No - it wouldn't be economical. You'd be better buying a plug-in hybrid in the first instance. Consider a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

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