Honest John Technical Q&As Part 14

Jan 21, 2020

Honest John Technical Q&As Part 14

Q) Poor paint finish after an accident repair

My Mazda 6 was damaged by another vehicle in late-2017. This required a respray. Recently I was jet washing my car and noticed that a circular section of an inch or so of top paintwork was loose. Am I entitled to have this looked at and repaired?

A) Contact the insurer and advise them of the defective repairs. Advise you are rejecting goods and services under the 2015 Consumer Right Act, and that you are allowing them (they acted as the agent of repair) this opportunity to rectify the vehicle. Your contract is between you and the insurer.

Q) Soft brake pedal on Ford Focus - what's the cause?

Any ideas please on a soft brake pedal feel on my 2014 Ford Focus 1.6 diesel? I have bled the brakes and the pedal is better but then gets softer over the course of the next two weeks. I have checked the rear wheel cylinders for leaks and they seem ok. There is no loss of fluid either.

A) You say you have checked the rear wheel cylinders, did you check the front as well? In addition, have you checked all the associated brake hoses to ensure they are in good condition? Have you also had a brake fluid change at any time? If all of the above is good then we would suspect that the brake master cylinder may be the problem and as such would suggest that you get it checked at a local garage.

Q) Are carmakers swapping paper service histories for digital alternatives?

I bought a Nissan Qashqai from an approved dealership and the first annual service is due next month. There was no service history book with the car and the dealership is unable/unwilling to provide one despite several requests. Are these books for sale or are all of the details now online?

A) Most manufacturers are now moving to keep service histories separately online to combat the EC ruling that cars may be serviced anywhere within warranty as long as the services are to the prescribed manufacturer standards. More vital than ever to keep a folder of receipted service invoices.

Q) What could be causing clutch judder first thing in the morning?

I have a 2014 Suzuki Swift 1.2 DualJet with 40k on the clock. The car has recently developed a clutch judder when pulling away in first gear after the car has stood all night. The dealership has tested the car and bled the hydraulic clutch but the judder is still there.

A) We would suspect that some form of fluid (either coolant/oil) is getting on the clutch plates and would go back to the dealership and request a gearbox removal and inspection of the clutch.

Q) Are all oil brands of 5W/30 equal?

The manufacturer of my car advises fully synthetic 5W/30 engine oil. Are all oil brands of 5W/30 equal?

A) There are many brands of oil on the market, some well-known (Castrol/Mobil/Shell) and there are others such as Halfords that will also meet the specification that your manufacturer recommends. However, some car manufacturers do specify the make of the oil but although you should keep with the actual specification( i.e 5W/30 ) the actual choice of the make of oil is down to you. Your requirement is 5W/30 Fully synthetic with an ACEA C2 grading.

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