‘Traditional’ transmission repairs can save both waste and money
One aspect of garage services that has almost become a ‘forgotten art’, writes motoring journalist, Iain Robertson, is a genuine feather-in-the-cap for Mr Clutch, which always champions value for money to its customers.
We live in a world that revolves around creating waste. We all know that it is not good for our environment. As a result, we are tasked by almost everyone, from governmental bodies, to family members, to recycle, up-cycle and even re-use innumerable items that might have been destined for the scrap heap.
There has been enough finger-pointing in recent times that we could all be described as ‘waste-weary’. Yet, our demands on the fast-fit arena mean that waste is an inevitability. However, the garage services sector is one of the most environmentally controlled of all.
While re-purposing is not a garage responsibility there are several aspects of garage services that might be termed ‘traditional’, in a valuable ‘mechanicky’ sort of way. Sadly, something that once formed a vital element of the traditional garage arena but which remains sacrosanct in the nationwide outlets of Mr Clutch, is a high quality of friendly service, which embodies a level of trust that ensures its customers return to have their vehicles maintained properly.
Another largely unsung aspect of Mr Clutch’s services is that of flywheel repairs, rather than replacements. Clutches and their components wear down in regular use, an aspect that can be particularly high in built-up areas, where continual commuting stop-starts place many aspects of a vehicle’s transmission under immense strain. The clutch is a ‘soft connection’ between the engine and the gearbox, as are the more recent dual-mass flywheels that help to make refined progress more feasible. Part of a clutch’s construction is friction material (just like brake pads) that is intended to wear. Yet, without the ‘hard connection’ of a solid flywheel, smooth running would be impossible.
However, even though it is recommended that the flywheel, which should not normally wear, should also be changed with every replacement clutch-plate assembly (notably on vehicles equipped with dual-mass flywheels), Mr Clutch recognises that repair is often better than replacement. As a result, its skilled mechanics will always check thoroughly to see if re-skimming the flywheel to remove wear grooves is possible. It is not the case every time but, when it is, the cost-savings to the customer can be substantial and Mr Clutch has stopped many thousands of tonnes of waste materials being disposed of subsequently, since it commenced trading several decades ago.
It is immensely satisfying to know that Mr Clutch mechanics, technicians and fitters still rely on time-served skills to maintain their customers’ vehicles and, above all, to save them money in the process. Yet, it is equally satisfying to recognise that the environmental footprint of Mr Clutch Autocentres is considerably smaller than many of its ‘fast-fit’ and traditional garage services rivals.