My Day In The Workshop

At Just Audi VW we like to take care of our new starters, making sure they get the best training they need to feel confident in the role they do. I, Liz Warner, as some of you may know have just joined the service team and requested to go in the workshop to spend some time with the technicians to gain knowledge when it comes to servicing a car as my background hasn't been in the automotive industry. Before going in the workshop some of the words I've come across has got me wondering what part of the car it is and what it's used for such as a customer asking me to take a look at there bushes? Now the only bushes I know are what grows in your garden so I was a little confused at first if they were in the right place. I spent the day with Andrew who is one of our technicians to go through how to service a car.  Like some of us, we see a warning light come on the dash that it needs a service, we book it in, it takes a few hours, the job is done, we pay for it and leave but what really goes on? When it comes to servicing a car, it is surprising how many checks are required. Andrew starts off by doing the inspection, checking the mileage, seeing what the car has had done in the past before he gets down to the nitty-gritty such as checking tyre pressures, making sure seat belts are working, brakes are not worn, doors are closing and locking properly, checking oil, brake fluid, coolant levels, pollen filter, air filter etc the list goes on.

I was amazed by the different equipment and machinery that's involved when doing the inspection, for instance changing the oil, they use a suction oil drainer with chamber that goes underneath the car, to me this just looked like a big cake mixture machine you find in the bakery (good job I haven't tried it, don't think anyone would appreciate black cupcakes with a hint of sweet motor oil). They undo a sump plug to release the oil, this can release about 5 litres, I found out it's best if the engine is nice and warm so it flows out quicker. When the oil started to pour, it looked to me as if it was a thick black tube hanging out the car before realising the tube was getting thinner and it was just the oil, good job I didn't touch it.

When looking under the bonnet, I didn't realise until having to change the air filter, that it goes in all nice and white and comes out like a big grey fluff ball, all it needs is some eyes and you have gained a dust bunny with leaves, why scrap it? I'm sure the kids would love it. 

When looking underneath the car, it just looks like one big puzzle but hey I found my bushes, they didn't look like anything in my mind, they are actually rubber that is mounted on the cars suspension and steering joints to absorb road bumps, they help control the amount of movement in the joints and reduce noise and vibration. Now, if you hear any noise and feel any vibration it could well be those rubber bushes .?

Checking the tyre wear is important. Worn tyres are particularly dangerous in the wet weather conditions because a tyre's tread helps disperse water away from the contact patch between tyre and road. If there's less tread depth, less water can be shifted, increasing the risk of aquaplaning and losing grip. One of the cars we worked on had this issue, the legal limit of tyre tread is 1.6mm anything below 3mm we do advise to change the tyre for your safety. After taking the old tyre off, they use a machine to deflate it so the alloy in the middle can be released, this made a very loud pop when deflating. If your a jumpy person this probably wouldn't be the best machine for you to use. Andrew started using this white slime to put on the new tyre, it's soap which helps the tyre go on the wheel a lot easier when on the machine. Before everything is done, another machine is used which is for wheel balancing, this is to make sure your car doesn't judder when doing certain speeds. Feel judder, think tyre!

When thinking of brakes- what do think disc and pads look like? well to me the discs literally look like a big, thick CD but they are actually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon-carbon or ceramic matrix composites and pads well there not spongy, they're typically made of iron, copper, steel and graphite all mixed together and bonded to form the pad material. It interested me that something small could stop the wheels but no, there are more parts to it. When you push down on the brake there are what's called calliper clamps that squeeze the two pads together onto the spinning rotor to slow and stop the vehicle, thank you calliper clamps! 

Another job we had to do was a brake fluid service in which another machine is used, this gets connected to your brake fluid cylinder under the bonnet and the fluid flush completely removes any old fluid and contaminants though, now your wondering where does it go? You have to undo the bleeder screw which is located to the rear of the calliper, behind the wheel, then we attached a bleeder tube with a bottle for the fluid to go in - so fresh and so clean!


After all the inspections are done, we have to take the car on a road test just to make sure everything is running smoothly before giving the car back to the customer - as it was almost 40 degrees on Thursday - thank god for aircon!


One other thing I learnt - I wasn't sure if the guys in the workshop were winding me up but I had to google it. Adblue (it's a fluid which helps reduce exhaust emmissions in diesel cars, this liquid breaks down soot and unburnt fuel into water and nitrogen) believe it or not is made out of Pigs Urine? now, that's a fact your not going to forget, wouldn't you say?


I would just like to thank Andrew for letting me tag along with him for the day.


Great day with great company.


Published by Liz Warner