MOT

News Letter – Dec 2019 – Issue 2

Electric Vehicles – Are they about to take over?

Maintenance and repair

Without the need for a diesel or petrol engine, or even a gearbox, a large proportion of the work needed to service a vehicle will no longer apply. There will be no oil or filter to change, no engine, gearbox, or clutch work to conduct, and very little in the way of any routine maintenance. It could be looking bleak for the future of the garage industry. There will be no fuel lines, fuel pumps, fuel injection systems, to repair or replace. The only things that a garage will be able to repair will be steering, suspension, brakes, lights, wheels, tyres and of course the engine management systems and the diagnostics that this entails.

New transmission systems will emerge – Vehicles will be powered even more by a computer and the repairs to engine management systems will be more complex. This new computer technology will probably have re-generative braking, wherein the vehicle’s moving energy is turned into electricity to charge the battery. The motor or motors will become dynamos both braking the vehicle and re-charging the battery at the same time. It has already been mooted that each wheel will have its own controlled electric motor, eliminating altogether the need for transmission shafts.

With electric vehicles things should be easier, electric motors are more easily controlled than internal combustion engines. No fuel injection systems, or air control valves and so on – but there will need to be sophisticated software to monitor and regulate power to the electric motor(s), with inevitable regular software updates – which may not be provided free of charge.

Where does that leave the small independent garage like us?

We have already experienced the situation of a faulty sensor that not only needed replacing but required a software upgrade that can only be carried out by the main dealer.

On that occasion the main dealer involved eventually carried out the software upgrade ‘Free of Charge’ because it was established that this sensor fault was a recognised fault. But it took a lot of convincing to our customer and the main dealer that this was what had to be done.

Its likely that the main dealers will love the fact that the independents are unable to fully repair their vehicles. The current unfair trading rules that we have will insist that the independent garages needs will be catered for, this will probably entail us having to pay for website access so that any software updates can be carried out.

To read the full report on Electric Vehicles go to:- www.motester.co.uk

Does an EV require MOTing?

So, you’ve made the choice to switch to an electric vehicle, you can now enjoy the benefits of not paying for road tax but unfortunately you can’t escape the MOT contrary to popular belief.

EVs have to pass an MOT after they are three years old as with any other vehicle. The main difference between EVs and petrol or diesel vehicles is that an EVs MOT test, has no emissions test.

So, what does an Electric Vehicle MOT look like?

Step 1: The chassis number and registration number will be checked and logged onto the official MOT test website. A check of the windscreen for damage which includes chips and cracks will be carried out. Whilst the tester is in that vicinity he would carry out a visual check on the condition of the wiper blades.

Step 2: Next the seat belts operation (both front and rear) will be checked. These checks will also include looking for signs of any damage including fraying.

Step 3: The tester will check that all the lights and that the horn is working correctly. Any dashboard warning lights that may be present will also be noted down at this stage.

Step 4: Whilst in the driver’s seat the windscreen wiper operation and their ability to clear the screen by using the washers will be tested.

Step 5: The vehicle will then be raised into the air on an MOT test lift and the steering and suspension will be checked to ensure that it is all in good working order. This part of the MOT will include spinning each wheel freely to check the condition of the tyres and the correct bearing operation.

Step 6: The Tester will also check that there is no sign of any corrosion within 30cm of any key structural suspension or seat belt mounting/anchorage points. MOT testers are not permitted to remove anything from a vehicle to help check for rust, so any parts of the body that is hidden by underbody panelling will stay put.

Step 7: The vehicle’s braking system will be checked. This includes handbrake and signs of brake fluid leakage around the master cylinder, from callipers or rear wheel cylinders.

Step 8: Finally, the brakes will be tested in the brake rollers to check their efficiency, this also includes the handbrake operation.

‘Winter is Coming’ and this is not a ‘Game of Thrones’ slogan

What needs to be checked?

  • Oil level
  • Coolant level and Antifreeze strength
  • Screen wash level
  • Wipers
  • Lights
  • Battery
  • Tyre Pressures

If you cannot carry out those basic checks yourself then book your car in to us 01634 851451 to ensure that your vehicle is indeed ready. Auto Experts will have your vehicle on a ramp and carry out a ‘winter service’ which will include all 15 checks including the following:-

  • Suspension checks
  • Steering checks
  • Wheel bearing checks
  • Oil leak checks
  • Tyre condition checks
  • Exhaust checks
  • Visual check of brakes (without wheels removed)
  • Checking the general vehicle condition

Book in today, 01634 851451 this will only cost £39 plus any parts or fluid top ups used and will give you peace of mind for the cold months ahead. Click this Full Service tab for more information on what we offer.

Trivia

The Vehicle Battery – The battery is at the heart of the electrical system. It supplies the starter motor with the power required to start the engine.

A battery is the method used to store power that runs all the electrics required in a vehicle. The majority of batteries used in vehicles have a total capacity of 12 volts.

Familiarise yourself with the different parts that make a battery.

A battery is divided into 6 equal sections called cells and is separated by a cell divider. Each cell has its own amount of power which collectively gives the total power for the battery.

These are general voltage ranges per cell:

  • Fully charged: 2.13V
  • Fully discharged: 1.95V

A fully charged battery should read approximately 2.13V x 6 cells = 12.78 Volts

There are three types of Lead Acid batteries, they are known as Flooded (Wet). Gel-Cells and AGM (Absorbed Glass-Mat) and are collectively known as VRLA (valve regulated lead-acid) batteries.

Tesla to build first European Gigafactory in Berlin

The electric car company’s fourth ‘gigafactory’ will be built on the outskirts of the German capital, Mr Elon Musk confirmed at an awards ceremony in November. He made the announcement speaking to Herbert Diess, chief executive of Volkswagen, onstage at the automotive awards event organised by German newspaper Bild. Mr Musk was there receiving the ‘Golden Steering Wheel Award’ for the company’s Model 3.

Ford reveal a new Mustang

Ford has used its legendary Mustang name on another car for the first time – and its an all-electric family SUV.

Priced from £40,000 and with a range of 370 miles, the new battery-powered Mustang Mach-E will come in a variety of versions when deliveries begin next year.

It is the firm’s first all-electric performance car and will be one of 14 electrified vehicles by the end of 2020

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