The Motoring Expert
MicksGarage.com answers your motoring questions
Once again, the lads over at MicksGarage.com have been kind enough to answer your motoring related quires which you submitted to JOE's Facebook page. Check out the answers to your questions below.
Getting your car fixed by a mechanic can be an expensive job, but it doesn't have to cost so much if you do the labour yourself. Thankfully, the lads at MicksGarage.com are here to answer your motoring questions, so listen up because you might be able to save a few quid by following their advice.
1) Is it hard to tell that your car’s miles have been clocked?
This is a difficult question to answer, and in general it is a very hard thing to detect. In order to get it 100 per cent right, the only way to check is through a diagnostics (plugging the car into a computer). The majority of cars store the mileage in the engine control unit as opposed to just the clocks you can see with a diagnostics. On certain cars you can simply bring your cars keys into a dealer and the dealer can read the real mileage from the key.
There are many tell-tale signs that your car may be clocked, however, things like abnormal wear on the steering wheel, armrests, door card, pedals, floor mats or the carpet underneath the floor mats should be an indication. Additionally, premature mechanical failures which one wouldn’t expect, (i.e. bushings / ball joints) at 30-40,000km or even higher would be further indication the car may be clocked. Although the car could just be driven predominantly on poor road surfaces of which there is unfortunately many in Ireland.
2) I’ve managed to scratch my rims off the side of a curb. Is there anything I can do to fix them?
We sell a DIY repair kit here in MicksGarage.com, which is a top seller for us. You can check it out here. With a little bit of time and patience you can have your rims looking like new again.
The alternative is to go down the professional route and bring the wheels to a specialist refurbisher. We feel though that for the price of the kit, its worth having a go yourself. If you’re not happy with the results you can always bring the rims into the specialist.
3) My 03 Ford Focus splutters black smoke whenever I put the foot down. Why is this?
Is it a diesel? Seeing great plumes of black smoke when you gave it a load of welly was pretty much par for the course - until emission regulations were tightened up and Diesel Particulate Filters were introduced, that is. Look into the tailpipe of a modern diesel and it will be perfectly clean - no diesel soot at all!
What’s basically happening is the car is over-fuelling or burning oil. In both cases a proper mechanical or computer diagnostic needs to be done as it could be a number of things ranging from perished valve stem seals, faulty lambda sensor, etc.
Of course it could be a dirty fuel system, for which we have a number of treatments that you simply pour into the fuel. It’s worth a shot as if the car is driving well and just has a bit more smoke than it should, the treatments will definitely help.
4) One of the tyres on my car takes about week to deflate. Is there a cheaper alternative than buying a new tyre?
Your cheapest and easiest option is to use our Holts tyre weld solution, which can repair the problem quickly. The other option is to take your car into any tyre seller and if the leak is from the main tread section of the tyre they will probably be able to put a plug in it. If the leak is coming from the side wall or from around the rim area there’s not much they’ll be able to do with that tyre and a new one will be needed. Last time we got a plug done it cost about a fiver!
5) Someone stole the badge off my 01 Mercedes. Is there anywhere I can get another?
Scrap yard or a main Mercedes dealer is your best bet. I’m sure there are plenty lying around in scrap yards, so that’s your cheapest option. You can’t (legally) sell logos or emblems unless they are genuine parts, in this case, from Mercedes.
For all your car part queries, visit www.micksgarage.com. We’ll find the solution to more of your motoring issues next week!