News & Blog

Can you see clearly in the rain?

Many cars today have the more modern looking flat wiper blade, these are known as aero blades. These can be retro fitted to most cars,they give a much cleaner sweep and are less likely to judder and be noisy. Here at GDK Garages we have a good stock of blades, just pop in and we can fit a set while you are waiting. While you are here ask us to do a tyre and light check too we won’t charge, only if you need a bulb or tyre, the check is free.

Why does my garage tell me my brake fluid needs changing?

This is something if often get asked as I recomend it as a service item myself when appropriate. The customer will more often than not say, “my brakes feel fine so what are you changing the fluid for?” The truth is that if we left the old fluid in the system a while longer, you would probably know no different, but there are certain things going on, that you the driver are not aware of ¬†within the braking system. As a service item we do routinely check brake fluid with a dedicated meter, this checks for water content, if this is outside acceptable parameters we strongly recomemend a fluid change. Brake fluids is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water from the atmosphere, and as such it takes on the water and it’s properties are compromised. When you brake immense heat is produced at the wheels, especially if you brake quickly from speed, some of this heat gets transferred into the fluid and if the water content is high enough and the brakes hot enough it can boil, but this wold only happen in extreme cases after repeated heavy braking, or whilst towing and using the brakes often. The main reason to keep brake fluid in tip top condition is because most¬†of today’s modern braking components, such as ABS pumps/units and traction control systems work in conjunction with the braking system and water content in the system can make these systems ineffective as water content forms corosion and there a intricate valves and switching units within the systems which slowly clog and if fluid is left unchanged for more than two years, severe damage can result in failure,costing in some cases four figure repair bills. So when your garage recommends a fluid change and it’s not been done for two years, and or the car sees little use,take their advice and have it done, it could save you more money than you realise.

Wheel alignment

Here at GDK Garages we have purchased a new alignment system, we are now able to check and accurately adjust your wheel alignment. This will now enable us to keep your tyres from wearing unevenly and stop that pull or drift to one side if caused by alignment that is off. Please contact us through the contact page and we will be happy to make an appointment.

How can we improve our customer feel good factor?

This blog is just about how I’d like to know from you my customer, about how I can improve things in my garage. What am I doing wrong, or what am I not doing enough of to make your experience a better one,or how can I do things better. Your feedback and or suggestions will be much appreciated. In fact if you make a suggestion which we put into action to improve our overall service to our clients we will reward the person making the suggestion with a complimentary car valet. So no time to lose then.

Wheel alignment now available in house

Here at GDK Garages we are always trying to be as self sufficient as possible and provide our customers with as many related services that are necessary to keep today’s modern car driving as it should.So at the end of last year we purchased the latest Supertracker wheel alignment system. Now we can carry out wheel alignment in house, whereas before we used to out source this service. It has made us more efficient and allowed us to be able to set up and adjust wheel alignment to manufacturers specifications. Typical reasons for having WA checked would be,to correct uneven tyre wear usually on either the inside edge (tow out) or the outside edge of the tyre wearing (tow in) or to correct a pull to one side,or after work has been carried out on suspension or steering or after damage by hitting a kerb or pothole. So now we can provide a first class service and get your car back driving as it should be. This compliments our sale of tyres very well as the two services go hand in hand with each other. We are looking forward to a busy and prosperous new year at GDK garages and want to buck the recession trend by being as good as we possibly can for our customers.

Running out of fuel

Its never a good idea to run out of fuel and we all lead busy lives so there are never enough hours in the day anyway and filling up with fuel is a pain and most modern cars and vans don’t like running out of fuel as air gets into the system and can be a real pain to bleed out and restart the vehicle. So manufacturers build in a safety measure whereby if you are really low on fuel but have not run out totally the system will allow you to complete the journey but on trying to restart it won’t allow the car’s system to restart untill you add fuel, and it will sometimes need more than just a small can. Last week we had an older Rover 400 that had the AA flummoxed. They misdiagnosed it as a sensor fault, one gallon of fuel was not enough to get it going but the second one had it purring again. This was all because the safety system had allowed the journey to be completed on really low fuel but would not restart as the car was so low it could have cut out any second at potentially somewhere dangerous. Bet you never knew that.

Keeping in contact with my customers

Recently I was looking for the phone number of a customer I had not seen for a while, so I looked back through my old diaries from a couple of years ago, because I knew that it had been a while since I had spoken to her. Whilst doing that I noticed quite a few people that I had not heard from for a while, and I began to think why have I not heard from these customers? I have not been keeping in contact with them properly and it’s really my fault, ok they may have bought newer cars or moved away but if I want my business to keep busy, I need to keep in touch with my customers both old and new. I know what I’ll be doing next week, making lots of phone calls and getting to renew old acquaintances and hopefully turn them back into customers.

The other way for me to do it is, of course, to make we take the email address of all our customers and keep in touch with them via our weekly newsletter. If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter just let me know.

Does my car need anti freeze?

The short answer is yes unless it is air cooled. Some older Porsche cars and VW Beetles were air cooled but the vast majority of cars are water cooled. Nowadays anti freeze needs to be checked to make sure it is strong enough annually and if it is the blue ethelyne glycol type changed every 3 years or so but the more modern “long life” OAT organic acid technology or red colour anti freeze last considerably longer but should still be checked for strength annually. Both types of anti freeze need to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, and not tipped down a drain. If you need to check your anti freeze just pop into my garage and we will check it for you for free,you only pay if it needs anti freeze. Keep warm this winter and take it easy on the roads,there are a lot if crazy people out there.

My car is using more oil than I expected it would for a modern engine

Modern engines have specific lubrication needs and engine oil is not just oil, the requirements of a modern engine are totally different from an engine 20 years ago, they are designed in some cases to “use” oil and adding a litre of oil every 600-1000 miles can be considered normal on some cars. Oils too are very specific and can be quite expensive, you have to make sure that the right oil is used otherwise you can cause a problem due to incorrect lubrication and many oils are low SAPS, which means their sulphated ash content is lower for emmission purposes and if not used can cause blockages in oil ways due to it not mixing with other lubricants. In short oil consumption can be considered normal, if there is no sign of exhaust smoke and no leaks,and make sure you use the correct oil to top up with.

Does leaving my fuel tank to get low cause a problem?

I often get asked this when people run out of fuel they think that all the rubbish will get sucked up from the bottom of their fuel tank. The short answer is it makes no difference if your fuel tank is full or empty the pick up point for the fuel pump is always at the bottom of the tank it does not move, and therefore it makes no difference if you run your car or van low on fuel it should have little or no effect on the way it runs.