Forum Chat #29 – Hard times: Keeping your Aston on the road on a budget

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Welcome to Bamford Rose and another forum chat. This week, it’s a little bit timely. It’s keeping your car on the road under hard times, keeping your car on a road to a budget. I don’t think it matters what Aston you’ve got, it’s not specific to a V8 Vantage or DB9 really. First off, servicing. These cars do not need to be serviced every 12 months, depending what mileage you do. If you go above 10,000 miles, then I’d say you need to service at that threshold. The annual service was sort of a factory stipulated thing and it was well before your normal mileages were understood. If your mileage is two or three thousand a year, then the 12-month annual service is a bit OTT.

So, it’s pragmatic to spread it out of it. But then come to sell the car and that’s always going to be used as a lever to drive the price down. Because it didn’t have annual service. So, I’d play especially with our customers where we’ve serviced the cars to death. And they come in and they just need the odd few consumables, and year-on-year we’ve gotten on top of all the minor jobs that needed doing. When you’ve got your car evolved to that level of tip-top care and the mileage is 3,000, then you might as well service a start one season so spring. And then service at the back end or the next season, winter before hibernating. So, you reach stretching your service out to a year and a half.

So, that’s one measure that I’d take on servicing. That tires you can buy myself a number sent to a garage as opposed to paying for the garage to supply tires. Obviously, they’re trying to look a markup because they’ve had to buy the tire in. You know in this garage, I prefer customers just as ordered from either Black Circles or Scam Skill. They’re gonna be the two cheapest places and I’m sent directly here, cuts out the middleman and drives the price down for everyone. I wouldn’t skimp on oil, Mobil 040 for V12, Kestrel 1060 for V8. Brakes, I think all of the aftermarket options out there are no good. They’ve got some error state to them any better off just sticking factory pads in, and other mileage rates that most people do are done with it.

I won’t sell anything other than after my factory breaks, I’ll never buy aftermarket. If a customer wants to bring them here to fit them, I suppose we deal we will do. Just comes a big disclaimer on the invoice that we’ve only fitted them, no liability going on would whatsoever. Looks of the car, detailing. Well, go and check out detailing to buy yourself your own detailing kit. Take pride and satisfaction in how you did the job yourself. Because detail is very easy. Just needs to be OCD about it and have the right products. Check out detailing too and links in the bio, and care for the car yourself.

There are some repairs on all of the Aston’s from a Vanquish, classic Vanquish that uses some jag parts, DB7 master rear lights. The new V8 DB9, there’s a lot of common parts out there with other manufacturers and work with the garage that is proactive about supplying these parts. Where they are in all intents and purposes a carbon copy of the factory part. Just not in a factory bag and not coming with a factory price tag. What with a garage that will implement these parts and offer you the saving? Big savings you can make, never ever take your car for service for a franchise dealer.

They are going to offer you a fantastic drive in price, but that’s just a cash you. You drive out price isn’t going to be that unless you just never had any of the work that they said to do. Franchise dealers are great for purchasing the car and the first three years of servicing. That way gets the dealer to service the car and come with any warranty claim they just can’t wriggle out of it. After three years, franchise dealers have less places you want to go with these cars. They box fix, take the silencer for example. It’s very common that the exhaust bypass valves break. The spindles crack or the actuator arm fails and this is very easy to remove the silencer. And remake the spindle if you can, or if the spindle is beyond saving.

So, if the bypass valve is beyond saving, cut out the bypass valve on the welded joints and buy the bypass valve directly from the people that made it and weld that into the silencer. You won’t get a bypass valve fix or a new bypass valve from a franchise dealer. Because they just want to sell you the new silencer. Remembering that these valve failures occur, because the part was cost down. The failures to the valve don’t happen on the earlier, pre-cost down bells. So, you know it’s a bit like having a cake and eating it here. The factory’s cost the component down. It’s now susceptible to some premature failures and the fix to that is to sell you a new silencer.

What was someone, especially an independent world, that doesn’t box fix and actually does apply some engineering to fix stuff instead of just renewing stuff. V8 Vantage clutch repair and coming to the age that most cars are knocking on 30, 40, 50K. If they haven’t had a clutch before, they certainly will do. And in the past two or three months of this year, 2020, I’ve done quite a few coaches where the cars have driven in here slipping and they literally struggled to be driven into the workshop and they were slipping that bad.

The aftermarket world the independent world is can offer the twin plate clutch. Something like 3,600 quid including V8. Dealer network is gonna be charging more than that for a standard clutch. So, get your clutch repair done outside the dealer network. A common thing I get asked for a second opinion, is a leaky front cover. Again, dealers are gonna want to repair that as quickly as they can. Charge you lots of money for it. What you need to do is understand the leak rate, understand your mileage and see if this is manageable within the annual service schedule. You know clean off every service, because the leak rate was low enough the mileage was low enough. That the volume of oil on the underside of the car didn’t saturate the exhaust system and starts smelling of burnt oil and didn’t saturate the engine auxiliary drive belt.

So again, this is another thing that can be maintained rather than fixed. Flashing TPMS error light, well okay the sensors probably depleted all of its battery and dealers are gonna want to charge you under the 50 quid for each sensor. And then another exorbitant fee for fitting and code in. Places like us, which can do clever things on diagnostic systems. We can reconfigure the TPMS inactive, so you don’t have to buy one of those silly TPMS defeat things that you plug in. You can just reconfigure the body control module TPMS inactive and then you won’t get the error message on the dash.

Reality is that, if you suffer a puncture when you’re driving along, you’re gonna feel the puncture before the TPMS system allows you to do it anyway. Really the TPMS system is only good when you start the car up for the first drive in the day and overnight or whatever you’ve had a puncture. The tires deflated and it tells you about it before you drive off. But if you go around and just check each tire anyway, then you can sort of do the checks to not need the TPMS at all. I don’t modules another common problem. Either the window won’t drop when you open the door handle, it won’t lock properly. Well, you can still get around this. You could disconnect the door module feature for window dropping and just set the window height. So, it clears the count rail, but it provides an adequate enough seal. You can always lock your door with the key.

I mean these measures will get you around all modules if you don’t want to undertake the repair which for a pair of them can be quite costly. Finally, give someone like us a call. We are going to give a pragmatic second opinion to everything. And it’s not always dooms and gloom and distress. There could be some trade ways out of it if the proper fix was not an option due to budget constraints at this moment.

As always, I hope that helps you. And if you give us a like, subscribe, comment below, hit the bell for notifications, it really helps us out.

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