Remapping – For Petrol heads and Boy Racers?
The large majority of people have no idea what remapping is. And those that do tend to associate it with petrolheads and boy racers, eager for an adrenalin-fuelled drive. But there are more benefits with remapping your car than just increasing the thrill factor.
Firstly, what is remapping, you might ask. Every modern car has something called an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) which controls how your car behaves – It’s the brain if you like. Car manufacturers program and restrict the ECU at the factory with standard parameters. These parameters can be altered for many reasons; to accommodate for different grades of fuel sold in different countries, to allow for varying climates, to allow for regional emissions standards, and to compensate for different air conditions like pollution or even altitude. Manufacturers consider all these impacts when programming the ECU, but they are unable to program each individual vehicle to optimum performance across the world – there are simply too many variables to consider.
Remapping is, changing and improving how your ECU (or brain) directs your engine to behave. We consider many factors that impact your car and reprogram the ECU so that your car preforms at its optimum level for the environment.
It may sound too good to be true but we can normally improve power, acceleration, torque (pulling power) and in most cases MPG. So not only will you increase the thrill factor (if that’s what you seek), but you can pull bigger horse trailers, and a tank of fuel will last longer. The greatest gains are on turbo diesel engines but most vehicles can benefit from this service to some degree and we can advise whether there are enough benefits to make the service a worthwhile investment. We recently remapped a VW Transporter who called us to say, as well as improved performance, he now gets an additional 60 miles from a tank of fuel, which was great result.
So, is remapping just for Petrolheads? No, it certainly isn’t! If you want to improve acceleration, or you want improved performance when pulling a trailer, or you want to save some money at the fuel pump, it is certainly worth considering a remap on your car. Contact us today if you’d like to find out what improvements could be made on your vehicle. We can give a clear indication on the likely improvements and we offer a 30 day money back guarantee, if you’re not fully satisfied.
See our Remapping web page to find out what gains you can expect with your vehicle.
December has been an unusually busy month for us and Okee and we are really pleased to have expanded our workshop team. Jason Dennett is our newest recruit and brings with him 29 years of experience in vehicle electronics and diagnostics. You can find out more about Jason and the rest of the Okee staff on our Team page. We are really pleased to have Jason on board and look forward to working with him as we build our customer-focused garage in 2017.
Okee is pleased to be acredited by The Motor Ombudsman, the automotive dispute resolution body as part of our commitement to customer peace of mind and service excellence. Fully-impartial, it is the first ombudsman to be focused solely on the automotive sector, and self-regulates the UK’s motor industry through its comprehensive Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Codes of Practice.
Over 7,500 businesses, are accredited to one or more of the Codes covering new cars, sales, vehicle warranties, and servicing and repair. These drive even higher standards of work and service, and give consumers added protection, peace of mind and trust during the vehicle purchase and ownership experience. For more information visit The Motor Ombusdman website
Lots of people have asked us why we decided to start Okee, and more to the point, what does Okee mean. Well, as its an easier question to answer, I will clear up the last question first... Why Okee?
To be honest it doesn't really mean anything (although we hope it will become synonymous with superior automotive services, trust and driving peace of mind, in the future). When we were brainstorming the company name, we decided early on that we didn't want it to sound like a typical garage. We wanted our garage to stand out from the crowd and the name had to too.
Mark also has a passion for electric and eco cars so we thought... 'why not something ECO'. Then we flipped it around... OCE. The C became a K. And lastly we added an E, simply to try and get a decent website domain name. And that's 'Why OKEE' (NOTE: we are not just specialist in eco/electric cars, and can look after any vehicle).
It's safe to say the name has divided opinion (but then, what great name doesn't?!?). Some love it, some hate it, but one thing I can guarantee... You've said it (or heard it) this week... Okey Dokey! And your're probably saying it right now!
But more importantly... why did we even want to start our own garage.
For me, I hated taking my car to the garage. Any garage! Even the majority of main dealerships fail to give a warm, heartfelt welcome. And small independent garages often feel awkward and threatening if you're not in 'the trade'. I only ever liked taking my car to my nephew, Mark, because I knew I could trust him. But even then, I never knew where to park, I hated sitting in a drab and dirty reception and I couldn't wait to be back on the road again.
For Mark, the ability to offer the customer a higher level of service was his main objective. He was keen to invest in the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment to enable Okee to offer a dealership grade diagnostic services. This means, rather than send our customers to the main dealer when complicated problems arise, we can diagnose and repair here. So the dream was to offer the highest level of service and expertise, in the most friendly and welcoming environment.
So we discussed creating something completely different. Could we create a garage that was actually a positive experience for those that historically hate it? Could we have a nice, relaxing reception with a coffee shop style waiting area, with plenty of parking and a genuinely warm and friendly welcome? We also wanted advice and billing to be really clear, so our clients could have complete trust in our service to them. We saw an opportunity for an independent garage with a superior customer experience, and that's what we hope we have achieved.
So that was the birth of Okee. We are so proud of what we have created. I (Ben) have always said 'if we can create an environment that my wife and child are happy to be in, we've got it right. And thankfully they love it! There is still a long way to go. We've only been open for 5 months in Wellington but word is getting around and our customer list is growing daily. And we've been pleased to receive such a warm welcome and some lovely reviews on Facebook. A huge thank you to everyone who has support us.
Tyre manufacturers are continually investing in R&D and product development and the motor trade has seen impressive advances over time. Certainly, in recent years, the improvements made to winter tyres is of particular notice. Although we haven’t seen large quantities of snow in Somerset for some time, many of us have horror stories of cars losing control in such conditions. Obviously, our tyres’ ability to grip the road is dramatically reduced on snow and fitting winter tyres can provide improved levels of friction. This is great, I hear you say, but it rarely snows in southern Britain so what’s the point in fitting winter tyres just in case of a sudden down pour of snow? Well, there may be more point than you think...
Extensive braking tests have shown that winter tyres provide far higher levels of grip in wet conditions, on ice and in temperatures below 7 degrees centigrade. Winter tyres are made of a different compound rubber than summer tyres and this compound stays softer at lower temperatures. In temperatures below 7 degrees the rubber in a summer tyre can start to harden, reducing the tyres ability to grip the road.
It may not surprise you to know that in the UK the average temperature between October and March is below 7 degrees and usually very wet indeed, which is precisely the conditions winter tyres have been designed to cope with. Our recommendation to our clients (providing you have room in the garage) is to fit a set of winter tyres for use through October to March, and store them away in the garage for the rest of the year. It will keep you and your family safer on the winter roads. For more information on tyres or for orders/fitting, please give us a call. 01823 617790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We recently had this Honda S2000 through our doors for four new tyres and a 4-wheel alignment. It was a lovely specimen and the owner's pride and joy. Our client required tyres which had been specifically designed for the S2000, which we were able to source for him. In addition, we completed a 4-wheel alignment to ensure an optimum driving experience and to ensure the tyres last as long as possible. A digital 4-wheel alignment is always a good investment to ensure that all four of your tyres are pointing in the right direction and to maintain long tyre life.
Most drivers have heard of an MOT and Service, but many people think they are one and the same, or are not too sure what the difference is between the two. There is also confusion over whether MOTs and servicing are compulsory and how frequently they should be completed. We hope this blog post clears a few things up for you.
MOT tests are very much a ‘here and now’ type test. During this compulsory safety annual check the vehicle must meet a bare minimum standard set by a governing body (DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). The actual standards are relatively low, as long as your car meets the bare minimum at the time of the test, it is a pass. However, this check is not to be confused with a service. During a Mot we are not allowed to physically remove any components from your vehicle. So, for example, if there is a corroded brake pipe hidden under a heat shield, it is a pass. Or if the brake pads are excessively worn but cannot be seen due to the wheel trim, it is a pass. MOT tests are a brilliant way of ensuring cars meet a minimum safety requirement, however further checks are essential to ensure the health of your vehicle.
Unlike a MOT, an annual Okee service is a much more in-depth vehicle check. We are not looking for minimum standards but looking for any issues that are present, or that will likely crop up within the next 12 months, or before the next annual service. We carry out all the checks done on a MOT but with a lot more on top. Everything receives a close inspection during a service regardless of whether the component is hidden or obscured. This means that parts and components are removed to enable us to really see what is going on with your vehicle.
One major difference between MOTs and servicing is the ability to make adjustments and improvements to the vehicle during servicing. Something we are not allowed to do during MOTs. With a service we always replace the vehicle’s filters (air, fuel, pollen, oil) with quality OE parts and replace the oil with quality grade Shell lubricants, which have the right additives for your vehicle. In addition, the service is not limited to safety related components so we always check every function of your vehicle, for example; air conditioning, heating and ventilation, electric windows, central locking etc.
In summary MOT tests are a compulsory annual check that consist of relatively low standards set by the DVSA and as long as your vehicle meets the bare minimum at the time of test, it is a pass.
A service is not compulsory but vital to ensure the health of your vehicle. These checks ensure your vehicle is safe, and will remain safe, for the next 12 months or until the next service date. And, if you keep your vehicle serviced regularly there will be no nasty surprises come MOT day.
We are proud to be accepted as RMI and Trust My Garage members, as part of our dedication to superior customer service in the automotive industry. TMG is the fastest growing garage scheme and highlights our commitment to providing quality workmanship on every vehicle that comes through our doors. Find out more at the TMG website.
Taking your car to the garage can be a hassle and many of our customers find it difficult to be without a vehicle for the day while their vehicle is in for a service, MOT or repair. We have invested in two quality courtesy cars so that our customers can continue with their day unhindered as part of our commitment to superior customer service.
Ben Grave, Mark Lawson