Do I have to get my car serviced at a main dealer ?

Do I have to get my car serviced at a main dealer ?

Servicing a new car, do you have to get it serviced at a main dealer to comply with your warranty ?

You have the right to take your car to any licenced garage or mechanic for servicing. You must ensure that the servicing is carried out exactly as per the manufacturer’s servicing schedule. This sadly is your responsibility not the garage to explain what you require. This means servicing must be undertaken on time and must use any genuine parts or lubricants specified by the manufacturer.

If you choose to have your car serviced by an independent garage or mechanic, make sure they are reputable. Check they are VAT registered, have public liability insurance and use main dealers for service parts if that is what you need. Keep detailed invoices and receipts for all work done so you have proof the car has been serviced according to schedule. We add the invoice number from our supplier to our records. If there is any dispute we can provide evidence of the supply of parts for your car.

If your car requires repair work under its new car warranty, the manufacturer has the right to insist that this work is undertaken by its official dealerships. In this case the manufacturer is paying for the work so it’s their choice. Of course when you pay for work it’s your choice.

What if it’s not a manufacturer’s new car warranty?

Not all warranties are provided by the vehicle manufacturer. For this reason, you need to be careful.

Extended warranties on a new or a used car warranty are not provided by the manufacturer and are basically aftermarket insurance policies.  Some have different requirements for servicing, some even different to manufacturer requirements. We see some which insist on servicing every 6000 miles for instance. Read the documents and if in doubt we will of course go through the paperwork with you. 

What about cars on PCP ?

It is important to understand that although your new car warranty will not be affected if you service your car outside the dealer network, it may affect your finance agreements.

Some PCP agreements will insist that the car has to be serviced by an approved franchised workshop to maintain the guaranteed future value (GFV). If you want to give the car back at the end of the agreement at the agreed value, you will also be expected to service the car with a dealership.

The theory being car with a full manufacturer service history will be worth more. The GFV may be based on a car with a full manufacturer service history. It should state this in your documents. Again we can go through these with you.

Need more help? 

Drop us an email to info@spannermonkeys.co.uk or give us a call 0191 4698740 

Winter Tyres

Do winter tyres work ? 

They wouldn’t sell so many winter tyres if they didn’t so what’s the facts around it?

Many people change them, especially if they have used them before but some people think winter tyres is a myth or con to sell more tyres. In Germany you MUST have winter tyres fitted November to April. If you drive a vehicle in colder conditions without them even if it’s not yours, you are breaking the law. If it didn’t make such a difference they wouldn’t require it by law.

So what is the difference?

The main difference is their intended optimum operating temperature. Summer tyres are designed to do their best work in warmer temperatures, winters work best at seven degrees Celsius and below. Maybe we should call them cold weather tyres ?

According to industry body TyreSafe, “the tread compound in winter weather tyres contains more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds to minimise the hardening effect [of summer tyres in cold weather], giving extra grip and shorter stopping distances in cold, damp conditions”.

Even if you don’t tackle ice and snow on a day-to-day basis, they are still the best option for when temperatures drop.

difference between winter and summer tyres
Winter tyres what’s the point

Will I notice a difference?

If you have been driving in winter conditions on summer tyres then of course, especially when it comes to braking. According to tyre maker Continental, a car fitted with winter tyres can come to a stop from 31mph in 35 metres on snow. This is eight metres shorter than if it was running on summer tyres. That’s a difference of about twice the length of a small hatchback, or one-and-a-half zebra crossings. When driving at 18mph on ice, the difference is even more pronounced. Summer tyres taking 11 metres more to stop. That’s the length of a double-decker bus. So the difference between hitting a pedestrian and not in many cases.

How much do they cost ?

Not so easy as there are so many sizes. As an example a 225/40/18 budget tyre starts at £46 fitted and a winter starts at £52. Drop us an email to info@spannermonkeys.co.uk with your tyre size or a message on social media and we can get you a quote.

When is best to get them fitted ?

As forecast starts to dip into ideal range which as we said is seven degrees and below. Our British winters are unpredictable and can even prove quite mild. A set of winter tyres fitted to a spare set of wheels can be useful. You can store these until needed we will do another post about how to another day. It doesn’t have to be snowing. TyreSafe’s stance on this is they are “the safest option from October through to March”. https://www.tyresafe.org/



We don’t fit customer supplied parts. Why not ?

We don’t fit customer supplied parts

Why not ? ….

Garages are not insured to fit your parts under their own liability insurance. 

A lot of garages and driveway mechanics have started to ask people to supply their own parts. It’s worth considering if this is to reduce their liability.

If you have them fitted and they go wrong you’ll end up paying for removal and refitting – really not cost effective.

There are many ‘fake’ parts out there. Sadly often not made to the same standards and fail often. We wouldn’t want to fit something that could cost you more in the long run.

If our parts go wrong, this happens but very rarely, we remove, replace and refit at no cost to you.

What is our experience ?

Most of the time when clients had provided their own parts in the past they have done the following which all cost either time or money, so we stopped.

  • been sold damaged parts
  • not got all parts needed
  • paid way over the top for poor quality parts
  • been sent totally the wrong parts
  • bought cheap copies from abroad that have failed

Give us a call or email, we can if you prefer split what the cost is between parts and labour. This way you definitely know you’re not paying an excessive price on parts.

In summary ? It’s a no from us 

Be very wary of anywhere that encourages you to supply your own parts this is so they can say to you ‘not our fault’

In short, we don’t do it as we prefer to protect our clients and our reputation.

You wouldn’t take your own steak to a restaurant and it come out the same quality as their own. So why would you expect a garage to fit your own parts ? ;)#

http://www.independentgarageassociation.co.uk/ also advises garages who are members not to fit clients own parts.

Undersealing, Waxoyling, Rustproofing, Rust Prevention – what will they call it next ?

red defender prepare for buzzweld

One of the services we offer people often call undersealing, rust proofing, rust prevention, wax oyling and many other things

We prefer rust prevention

Rust is like a nasty little worm that eats metal, we can never stop it all together, but we can help slow it down. This is why we prefer rust prevention.

We have access to many products and a really popular one at the moment is Buzzweld. As Buzzeld have a large amount of products for a lot of applications we have been a treatment centre for a while now. Subsequently we get asked a lot about DIY applications.

The most important part of any treatment is preparation. Spanner Monkeys start with a steam clean. The vehicle is then allowed to dry naturally for as long as it takes. When we are asked why it takes so long, that’s one reason. Weather dictates how quickly it dries so most of our underbody treatments are done in the summer months. 

Steam cleaning gets off most of the grime and day to day dirt. The next step depends on the car condition. Most often it’s removing treatments or rust already on the vehicle as much as possible. If not it’s to key the surface.

roloc wheels paint rust

Some of our favourite products to use include Roloc nylon discs. The discs remove paint, rust and ground in debris without excessive damage. They are more expensive but because of the composition are safer while being tough and effective.

We do of course supply Buzzweld for you to do your own vehicles and can supply these abrasives if you’d like to prepare your car in this way. Give us a call to discuss the best products for your vehicle 0191 4698740

tin foil - top tips

The next favourite has to be tin foil! Laugh as much as you like, this stuff works. It looks like you are about to oven bake it of course. You can mould it round exhausts, hubs, brakes, pipes, whatever you need to keep treatment away from. It doesn’t fall off, it’s inexpensive and less of a faff than plastic film for underneath

We then wrap the rest of the car carefully in film, Topgun brand as used in bodyshops is our favourite. It clings to the car which is useful, then it’s taped to itself rather than the car.

Mailing list – We’ve never had one before, who would like to join us ?

We’ve never had a mailing list, we have been told we should. We are still deciding what to send out and how often, would weekly work ?


So that’s the link, we want to make it different, it’ll likely share some of the blog content too.

We can feature some how to info, some straight forward advice, seasonal bits, few photos. Do let us know if there are things you’d like us to share about.

Land Rover Show – Peterborough 2019

Peterborough Land Rover Show also known as the LRO Show is one of the largest of the year. The show features business stalls with some exhibitors putting an amazing effort in. The club stands vary from a simple gathering to an amazing display. Some of the Land Rovers are even dressed up. You’ll also find a great display in the main arena. Summed up a good weekend of great variety 

Subsequently deciding not to attend a Land Rover show as big as Peterborough as a business is not easy. However we will attend an important christening on Sunday needs must. A big plus of course is a good nights sleep in a local premier inn. When you are told it was freezing at the show, it was a good choice. The car park of course in addition full of lovely Land Rovers.

It’s really nice to wander round the show as a family, catching up with clients and friends. As much as we love chatting to people on our own stands at shows this is just as important.

Was great to be chatting with suppliers including Electric Winch Shop, YRM, Direct 4×4 and more! Always good to have time to browse stalls and see what is being sold, current trends and new products.

It is also great for our sons who have autism to experience the shows. They will have a better relationship with our suppliers when they take on working in the business.

www.lro.com will have the details for next years shows on soon and we will be back next time

Special delivery for Unsworth Tractors

One of our customers asked us to make a sign for her partner and we delivered this to a stall (photo attached) The sign of course had the business name and a tractor theme for his business 

Unsworth tractors sign Land Rover show
Unsworth tractors sign delivered to the Land Rover show



Blog – not done this before …. So here goes

So we have decided to start a blog about what we do as not everyone uses social media or sees our posts! That’s bad isn’t it, considering how awesome some of the posts we make are….

Today’s tasks have included get some ‘artsy’ photos of the immense roof rack. We made this for Inbread Toasties a new street food vendor. It’s been a very different challenge but one the team have enjoyed. After that, getting it over to Elite powdercoating and it fitting inside their oven was interesting. The ladder for the roof rack will make a menu board


Machines & Designs coming in from North Off-Road

In 2017 Spanner Monkeys made the decision to purchase machinery and designs from North Off-Road Vehivle developments to increase and streamline some of the fabrication processes

We are unable to offer warranty on previously purchased North Off-Road products and this will be taken care of by them directly