Technicians Top Tips

Throughout my career as a vehicle technician in Killingworth at Westmoor MOT centre, I have seen my fair share of problems with various brands of vehicles. The vast majority of issues are in fairness generally due to “wear and tear” BUT a lot of issues could and can be prevented.
This is where I want to help, I want to share my knowledge with you, I want to use my knowledge to help prevent future issues and unnecessary repair bills.
I am going to discuss what I refer to as “technicians top tips”. Each section I will highlight the issues I see, explain why it is important and what effect it will have on the vehicle.
Let’s walk through each tip and then we will look at an example as to what we will be potentially preventing.

Check your oil on a regular basis:

There is nothing more important to your engine than the oil that lubricates it. Depending on the vehicle you have, you may have anywhere from 3litres-7litres of oil within your engine. Many issues I see are due to the vehicle being run with no or very little oil. It is extremely important that the correct amount of oil is in the engine and has registered on the oil dipstick(manual dipstick or electric) the potential for engine damage due to lack of oil is extremely high. I can not stress this enough, the oil must be checked on a regular basis.


Costly Engine damage/Turbo damage: both engine and turbo rely on oil lubrication and the use the oil to dissipate the heat.

Warning signs:

The image below shows the warning light you may see if your oil level is low.

Keep screen wash level topped up:

Keeping your windscreen clean can be done by just having water in the washer bottle, BUT by adding the screen wash it will help break down the small particles that have made their way into the system thus reducing the likelihood of your washer jets becoming blocked. I understand it can be the last thing you wish to do, lift your bonnet and top your washer fluid up at the end of a working day. A lot of vehicles I see have a weak screen wash concentration or infact don’t have any fluid in the system as a result, the washer jets clog up or create a restriction making the washer pump work harder and over time this burns the washer pump out.


Likelihood of washer jets/pipes becoming blocked.

Warning sign:

On many vehicles you will get this warning light and you will also get a “washer level low”


The main issue I see here is In particular vehicles that have not been serviced in accordance with the recommended service schedule, as a vehicle Diagnostic technician it’s frustrating to see vehicles with performance issues that could have been avoided if only the vehicle was serviced correctly, servicing the vehicle allows your vehicle to operate correctly and efficiently. Imagine how small the tolerances are when your vehicle’s engine is spinning at 2000 revolutions per minute(rpm) even less when it is 3000rpm. It’s super important to maintain the vehicle correctly.


Decreasing fuel efficiency
Potential for engine damage
Can reduce DPF issues and prevent the need for DPF cleaning

Try to keep on top of repairs

Keeping on top of the repairs not only stops you having an escalation of issues but most importantly it gives you that piece of mind that your vehicle is safe. Whenever you receive a vehicle service or an MOT test you will get essentially a vehicle health check carried out on the vehicle. This vehicle health check will advise you of defects and it’s the job of the technician to alert you firstly of the issue and secondly try and advise when the repair needs carrying out.


Essentially it reduces the potential for danger any defect that is a service advisory or MOT advisory needs to be resolved.

Check tyre pressures

Often overlooked but one of the most important aspects of vehicle maintenance. Maintaining your tyre pressures and ensuring they are correct is essential to the life of the tyre, it also plays a huge part on vehicle stability/control and it also decreases fuel efficiency if your tyre pressures are too low.
A little tip and it seems so obvious I get that but you must physically check your tyre pressures and not just look at the tyre and presume it is ok. I do say this with the greatest respect but looking at tyres on a daily basis you could quite easily say that a tyre looks fine and ok but upon checking it is down often more than 10psi.


Decreasing fuel efficiency
Vehicle control is maintained
Prolongs the life of the tyre when the tyre pressures are correct

Don’t Ignore that warning light

Am pretty sure at some stage we would have all witnessed a warning light come up on our instrument cluster, they can range from DPF faults, Engine management faults, ABS faults even tyre pressure warning lights. It is very important that we get the fault checked out by a trained professional. Something that starts out as a minor issue could soon turn into a serious issue posing a real risk to your safety.
One important point I must add, yes we can search google for a picture of our warning lights even search the forums as to what the fault could mean, but I can’t stress how Important it is to have your vehicle looked at by a professional. I always say it is better to test not guess.
If you have a warning light on your dashboard get it checked out.

Air conditioning system:

What only seems like a system we use for one week of the year we must ensure we maintain it like any other system. Maintaining your Air Conditioning system is done by renewing the air conditioning gas we recommend every two years, what you don’t see is when I carry out the aircon service recharge we inject an oil in with the compressed gas. This oil is absolutely vital to lubricating the compressor, over time the oil becomes less effective at doing its job for various reasons. Once the oil becomes degraded due to age and contamination your compressor is now suffering and causing internal damage. Over time this damage eventually causes the compressor to fail. Which can often be extremely costly.
The image below is of a live case study from our workshop where we are assessing the R1234YF system.
Finally I am here to help, seriously if you have any questions, anything you are unsure of send a direct message and I will answer your question as best I can.
Thank you for reading my blog
Kind Regards,
Martyn Hetherington