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Page 4 | Do you have questions about car maintenance or opinions on your previous experiences when sorting out an MOT or service? Ask Quick Lane - £200 voucher to be won

(118 Posts)
LucyBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Dec-20 11:55:32

Quick Lane CEO David Alexander and Centre Manager Vicky Oakes have answered Mumsnet users questions on car maintenance and MOTs. Click here to read what they had to say.

Your car’s MOT may have you worrying about the amount of work that will need doing, how long your car could be out of action for and how much you’ll be out of pocket, but it’s crucial that your vehicle can get you from A to B safely. However, lots of people find the world of car maintenance and servicing confusing, and aren’t sure about what they should expect.

With this in mind, Quick Lane is here to help answer your questions about the car servicing industry and what you should expect when you’re getting an MOT or your car serviced. They’d like to hear about the experiences you’ve had in the past, and whether there’s anything putting you off of engaging more heavily with car maintenance, so that they can help you understand how to have a less stressful experience in the future. Quick Lane CEO David Alexander and Centre Manager Vicky Oakes will be answering your questions.

Do you have questions about whether your experience of car servicing or getting an MOT was what it should be? Perhaps you have questions about the car servicing industry and your perceptions of it? If you’re distrustful of the car servicing industry, perhaps you have questions about what you should look out for?

Here’s what Quick Lane has to say: “Quick Lane is a movement to change previously disappointing, intimidating or surprising interactions when looking to get your car serviced or worse, in a disruptive situation like a punctured tyre or an MOT failure. At Quick Lane our ambition is to build a business whereby a community of vehicle owners can be confident that any question regarding their vehicle will be addressed in the right way by experts – we’re supporting this with our Quality Assurance Check. It doesn’t cost Quick Laner Customers anything and we complete them on all the vehicles we see to provide our customers with all the information they need to keep them and their families safe and mobile.”

Want to know who will be responding to your questions and comments? Find some information on David and Vicky from Quick Lane below:

David Alexander, Quick Lane CEO
David has been the CEO of Quick Lane for just over a year, after working for likes of British Gas and Europcar. He was brought into Quick Lane for his experience within customer services and his non-automotive background to try and bring new energy to the sector rather than the tried and tested.

Vicky Oakes, Quick Lane Centre Manager
Vicky started her time with Quick Lane as a Service Advisor receiving high volumes of 5-star customer reviews. Because of her dedication to customer satisfaction and continuing the brand mission detailed earlier by CEO David Alexander, Vicky has been promoted to Centre Manager.

Whether you’ve got a burning question or an experience to share, let Quick Lane know by posting on this thread and their experts will join the conversation and address some of the queries raised.

All who post on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


Insight Terms and Conditions apply

OP’s posts: |
mophia Sun 17-Jan-21 19:13:57

For some reason my local garage always says they've fixed something and they charge x amount. A few weeks later, the same problem is there and yet they still have the audacity to charge again. I wish there was a list of reputable garages.

saffysabir Mon 18-Jan-21 15:14:26

I see the car servicing industry as a quick buck for most people, and hence I don't trust them as much as others. Sometimes you can tell who would do a good job because they actually enjoy what they do. It's a shame times have changed.

salemaxo Mon 18-Jan-21 15:20:30

I'm about to get a new car and usually I leave all the servicing stuff to my husband. We've always gone to the same garage but now we want to switch. Are there credentials we should be checking to see who we should be going for?

alshareif Mon 18-Jan-21 15:27:25

Where are you bound to get top quality service? And I don't just mean customer service.

MParke Mon 18-Jan-21 19:21:26

Will there ever be a standard price for MOT that is consistent everywhere?

zindeggeh Mon 18-Jan-21 19:36:34

Why are repairs so expensive these days?

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:30:27

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all your questions - we're looking forward to answering them over the next few days. We hope that you find the information useful!

- Vicky and David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:34:22


My v old car currently has a fault in the coolant warning system but no fault in the coolant system. It doesn’t beep all the time, only 3 times since last MOT, I check coolant, wiggle the wire connection and all good to go.

My question is if it went off during the MOT would it be a fail? My mechanic says it is a waste of money to repair ‘in case’ it goes off during that 30mins & needless to say I agree 😂

But my MOT is due in spring (if they are not locked down) and as it approaches I’m a bit more nervous! Are sporadic warning light faults an automatic fail?

Hi @BarefootInTheMoonlitSnow, and thanks for your question.

That definitely sounds like a simple faulty connection, but nevertheless if the warning light were to appear during the test, it would indeed be an automatic fail.

Best of luck with the MOT test!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:41:24


What's actually involved in a car service? Is it worth paying for with an older car? (10+ years old)

Hi @BristolMum96 – that's a very good question!

We'd recommend keeping your car running as efficiently and safely as possible, regardless of its age – you can do that by having the car regularly serviced. But, it’s up to you to choose from different options based on your budget and requirements.

So, just to break it down for you, there are three different types of service, with the most basic being an oil and filter change. Clean engine oil is vital to keep your vehicle running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

A higher level of servicing would be an annual service which, as the name suggests, should be carried out on a yearly basis. This level of service would include an oil change (including filter) and a new air filter. Making sure your air filter is clean will help the correct ratio of air and oil moving around the engine, which will in turn help to reduce emissions and prevent other problems.

Then the highest level of servicing would include all the previously mentioned, plus a spark plug replacement if you have a petrol car – spark plugs provide the spark needed to start the car. If these aren't replaced, you may experience problems with the vehicle starting. If you have a diesel car, a fuel filter is replaced – this is important to keep the fuel pump running efficiently.

Regular servicing will help to reduce the chance of other costly repairs due to lack of maintenance. If your vehicle is running at its best, it will also save you money at the pump.

I hope that helps you decide what your best option is!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:44:32


Is a service now much more computerised than it used to be? Do certain car manufacturers try to stop independent car service companies from being able to do a service?

Hi @ItsCovidOutThereThisChristmas – many thanks for your question.

Don't worry, the basics of a service remain the same as they've always been. You're not obliged to get your car serviced by the manufacturer, either during the warranty period or otherwise. However, it must be completed to the manufacturer's specification and using approved parts.

I hope that helps!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:49:05


I always feel unsure about what to ask after a failed MOT, just kind of accept what they say and agree the cost to fix it blush I would love to be more assertive in these situations, any tips?

Hi @Cliffdonville – thanks for your question, and don't worry, as lots of people can feel unsure in this situation.

As the customer, please know that you have the right to ask questions and to know what your money's being spent on! Ask to see the vehicle while it's in the workshop and whether the technician can explain what the failed component is and how that affects your vehicle's safety.

Quick Lane offer transparency to help customers with this, and will always welcome any enquiries. We often find that it's so much easier to show a customer the problem rather than bombarding them with technical jargon!

I hope this reassures you that it's absolutely no problem to ask any questions!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:55:07


There are lots of different levels of service and I never have any idea which ones I need. How do I know?

Hi @Ashhead24, and thanks for this great question that many people wonder about too.

There are generally three different levels of service:
1) An oil and filter change, which you may hear referred to as a Service 6 or an interim service – this type of service is generally for high-mileage users who need to maintain the oil level and quality more frequently than average-mileage users. This service will be done in addition to other scheduled services.
2) What is known as a Service 12 or an annual service or main service. This, as the name suggests, should be done once a year.
3) Finally there's a Service 24, which is the largest of services and is often referred to as a major service – this should be done every other year.

Generally, a one-year-old car would have Service 12 then 24 and so on. So, for example, a four-year-old car would require a Service 24.

If you're unsure, you can always refer to your handbook. If this is unavailable, please check with the manufacturer.

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 13:59:28


Is it true (as I've read online) that some garages/car maintenance chains fail you at MOT on small points that shouldn't be a fail, so that they make money on the repair or replacement part?

Hi @FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue. Thank you very much for your question!

There will always be untrustworthy people within every industry. However, MOT tests are governed by such strict guidelines that this shouldn't happen.

An MOT tester has to be a qualified technician for four years before they can take their MOT licence test, and most would not run the risk of failing a vehicle to make money on repairs and lose their tester's licence in the process.

At Quick Lane, we offer transparency to show the customer the failed components, and the customer is able to seek answers to any questions they may have. I hope that gives you peace of mind!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 14:05:51


What are the points that need to be covered in a comprehensive service and do all these flushes, bells and whistle expensive adding really make a difference to a card overall performance.

Hi @MrsFrTedCrilly – many thanks for your question.

Most annual services will offer the basic needs to keep your vehicle running at optimum level. All extras will make a difference that you can't necessarily see immediately.

If a fuel system treatment is added, for example, it will help the vehicle to run more efficiently. Brake fluid is another additional item – replacing this every two years will help to keep brakes working more efficiently.

- Vicky

WeAllHaveWings Mon 25-Jan-21 14:35:09

There will always be untrustworthy people within every industry. However, MOT tests are governed by such strict guidelines that this shouldn't happen.

An MOT tester has to be a qualified technician for four years before they can take their MOT licence test, and most would not run the risk of failing a vehicle to make money on repairs and lose their tester's licence in the process.

There are so many people I know, at work, or acquaintances, who openly say they know someone who takes an extra £20 and will give you a pass as long as there are no very serious safety problems. I personally know of 3 garages that have staff that do this. I have never taken them up on it 😇 as I'd rather my car was safe, and we have had the same trusted mechanic we have used for years, but I know some who have. If it is so easy to get a less strict pass, I suspect it is just as easy for a tester to go the other way now cars are so complex.

The guidelines may be strict on paper but do they actually do blind checks on garages to make sure they are following them?

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:05:44


Would NOT servicing a vehicle have detrimental effect on the vehicle and or its value

Hi @Riddyfedup, and thanks for your question.

Yes, it would, because a vehicle that has no service history is worth less, as there's no evidence that it's been well maintained, which I hope you agree makes sense.

Not having a service at all can lead to a range of different problems, and it's actually false economy to not service your vehicle, as a lesser maintained vehicle will cost you more at the pump!

- David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:12:11


I recently purchased a car from a car dealer and it came with a new MOT with no advisories. It failed the original MOT on a number of issues but these were dealt with and it passed 2nd time.
After about 3 weeks I took my car to my local garage to get it serviced and asked them to look it over for me.
When I collected the car they said it must have had a special MOT because the front and rear brake pipes had rusted through and needed replacing immediately.
I contacted the car dealership I purchased the car from and they apologised and said there must have been a miscommunication with their mechanic and themselves and they would have the car back to do the work on it.
Looking back on previous MOTs the brake pipes were noted as advisories in 2018 and 2019.
On the 2020 MOT they were not mentioned at all.
My question is - what action should I take ? I’m worried that there is a dodgy MOT company / person out there who is putting lives at risk.

Hi @AngelwingsPetlamb – thank you for your question, and I'm very sorry to hear you're in this situation through no fault of your own.

Quite understandably, you're worried about this, and so I think the first thing I would do would be to contact VOSA, the governing body for MOT tests. I'd explain the situation and they'll be able to arrange to have the vehicle inspected at another independent site.

They'll invite the original tester to be present while this happens and, depending on the outcome, can instruct the tester to re-train in a certain area or revoke the tester's testing licence – whichever they see fit.

If you've already had the work carried out or are due to do so, I'd ask the garage to save the old parts, so that you have them for inspection.

I really hope that helps, and I wish you the best of luck in getting everything sorted!

- David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:16:29


Do you give customers who have been told that their car has failed its MOT the option to see the failed part (where possible) or at least give a detailed explanation?

I find that usually you're told it's failed on this and that and no explanation is give as to why. If for example it was down to driving style it's something the owner could look to change in the future

Hi @Burnthurst187. Thanks very much for your question!

Here at Quick Lane, we're happy to offer transparency to all customers who request to see old parts etc., so please feel reassured. This is never a problem for us, and we'd welcome you to inspect the vehicle while it's in the workshop. That way, you have complete peace of mind that the need for work is genuine.

I hope that helps!

- David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:20:24


Is it worth renewing a warranty on a five year old car? My warranty runs out soon but I’m not sure whether I should get another or not.

Hi @pongopig, and thank you for your question.

Personally, I'd thoroughly check what the warranty does and doesn't cover. A warranty will not cover wear and tear items, and a lot of repairs to older vehicles are generally down to wear and tear.

I'm sure you'll make the right decision!

- David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:25:24


Is there a way to compare prices of parts as I always pay more for a manufacturer to do my service as I trust them not to rip me off but their prices are effectively ripping me off anyway!

Hi @sarat1. Thanks very much for your question!

I understand your concern, and yes there is a way of comparing. You can use many online parts suppliers to check the average price that you should be paying for parts.

I hope this helps give you some peace of mind next time your car is due a service.

- David

QuickLaneExperts Mon 25-Jan-21 16:28:21


do you give quotes or estimates for the work that needs to be done and do you source all of the parts?

Hi @FrippEnos, and thanks for your question.

Absolutely – your local centre will happily give you a quote for parts and labour. Just give them a call, and it'll be quite straightforward!

- David

Bonkerz Mon 25-Jan-21 16:34:51

So my car battery has died. I haven't used the car so I did expect it. Have jump started it twice in last 4 weeks.
Yesterday I started it and sat for half hour to get car warmed up and charged a little.
Today there is nothing. No turning over just totally dead again.
What do I do now??

BarefootInTheMoonlitSnow Mon 25-Jan-21 21:38:08

Thanks Vicky, & thanks MN, interesting q&a!

QuickLaneExperts Tue 26-Jan-21 13:50:06


What's the best ways of treating tyres yourself?! It seems every time I take the car for a service I need at least two new tyres and to me they didn't look that bad! Is it worth shopping around for tyre prices too? I normally just say 'ok fix them'. And how often should brake pads be replaced?

Hi @emphasisofmatter, and thanks for your question.

You can easily check the tread depth of your tyre yourself, using a 20p coin – the internet can provide lots of links and how-to videos of how you can do this! However, I'd always advise to have your tyres checked by a professional. Tyre tread depth is not all we should be looking for – sometimes there could be inner side wall damage that, without being on a ramp, you wouldn't be able to see.

In terms of wear, all tyres have around 8mm when new, and change is recommended at 3mm, with the minimum legal requirement being 1.6mm. Whether you replace at 1.6mm, 2mm or 3mm, it's important to note that tyres that are near or on the legal limit can be more susceptible to aquaplaning, owing to the fact there's less tread depth to allow for water dispersion. For example, a tyre with 1.6mm of tread will not perform as well as one with 3mm when confronted with a road that may have 2mm of water on its surface.

There is also no 'rule' in terms of how often brake pads should be replaced. Generally speaking, brake pads are 12mm when new, and at around 3.5mm they become less efficient as the frictional material wears thin. Allowing brake pads to wear beyond this point will have an adverse effect on the brake discs, resulting in a need to also replace these, which is more costly. The time it takes for brakes to wear is also difficult to estimate as driving styles and environment can impact on this.

I hope that's helped to answer your question!

- Vicky

QuickLaneExperts Tue 26-Jan-21 13:58:29


What is more important - service annually or per 1,000's mileage ? - I have low mileage generally and service annually

Hi @lovemyflipflops. Thanks for your question!

Your vehicle should be serviced annually, regardless of mileage.

Over time, the quality of oil will reduce. While you may have the correct amount of oil for the vehicle to function effectively, the oil quality depreciates with age, not mileage.

I hope that helps!

- Vicky

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