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There are a few common questions that keep cropping up among all the vehicle or customer specific queries concerning car faults, repair prices, MOT and service/warranty concerns.

Since October 2003, you are not required to get your car serviced by a franchise dealer throughout the warranty term.

You must, however, get it maintained according to the manufacturer's suggested schedule and criteria, using only OEM components.

The law only applies to the manufacturer's guarantee; insurance-backed extended warranties sold by dealers are not protected and may have alternative terms.

If you get your car serviced outside of the dealer network and take your car to your local car garage in Reading, be sure it's done according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule and criteria with approved components. You must also preserve documents so that you can show the manufacturer that the service was completed according to their specifications.

Because it is easier for them to deal directly with the manufacturer, you should still have warranty repair done by the franchised dealer.

What is a fair price for garage labour?

To keep exhaust emissions to a low, increase stability/braking, and run safety systems, vehicles are complicated, with several sensors and electronic control units. An emissions test is completed in a MOT, so it is vital to check MOT status of your vehicle and book your car with a trained technician if repair work is required.

Franchised garage technicians must be well-trained and attend a variety of manufacturer-sponsored training courses. Not only are the courses costly, but the technicians also want wages commensurate with their abilities.

Hourly prices for garages vary depending on where they are located, the kind of the facilities, and whether or not they have a manufacturer franchise.

Independent garages in Reading are not under the same obligation from car manufacturers to maintain prominent premises with a variety of client amenities, therefore they may be able to charge less than half the labour cost of franchised garages.



What is the expected lifespan of a catalytic converter?

Catalysts can live up to ten years, depending on mileage and engine tuning. A fairer benchmark is 50,000 miles, and you should anticipate replacing the catalytic converter once over the vehicle's lifetime.

If a CAT fails early, it's critical to identify and correct the reason before replacing it; otherwise, the replacement is likely to fail prematurely as well. Check MOT history of your car to confirm if it did fail an emissions test in the past and what repair work was completed to fix this issue.

They can fail in one of three ways:

  • Melt down – Unburned fuel enters the catalyst and ignites when it comes into contact with it. The ceramic matrix is physically melted by the intense heat. This failure might be caused by poor ignition timing, a faulty oxygen sensor, old or damaged spark plugs, an improper fuel mixture or other ignition/fuel injection related defects.
  • Carbon deposits – Oil or antifreeze entering the combustion chamber/exhaust system can cause a build-up of carbon on the matrix, causing back pressure to rise, causing overheating and poor performance.
  • Catalyst fracture – Excessive vibration or external force can cause catalyst fracture since the ceramic matrix is brittle. Back pressure rises when the matrix breaks down, and overheating might occur.



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