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Ampera aka IGOR
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Discussion Starter #41
Just spoke with the second best auto-spark 'round here, and he says the copper grease should be lightly dabbed on the two socket holes... making sure there's no excess that could allow conductivity.
Ah to increase the surface/contact area of the wiring pin to socket to help avoid hotspots, I'm still not sure I would use it preferring to try and clean up the contact area myself.
 

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I wonder if they are suggesting using it as a heatsink conductor to take any heat from the bulb to the reflector, larger area to dissipate the heat? If so I would have thought to use more of a thermal compound, the same that is used it computer processors and heat sinks
Issue sorted! My man in Newry pulled out his magic box of wiring looms and found the one I needed first go. The bulb itself hadn't actually blown. He supplied and fitted the bit of loom for a tenner! He didn't advise copper grease... but he thought the problem might be down to the thinness of the original wires.
At any rate, he said that if it happens a third time I won't have to scour the country again. There's a company here which could supply a ceramic (instead of plastic) version to the one he just fitted. Delta Distributors, 028 3026 7555. Part number 0-705-24. Happy full-beam motoring, lads!
 

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Maybe its not making a good contact / arcing. If the wire was too thin then that would melt before the connector surely? Unless the bulb is just too hot?
 

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Her name is Joanne Heels & I got her on this email address. [email protected]. I was like you in that I was told initially over the phone that I’d have to cover costs to get to the mainland to maintain my warranty, so I contacted the motor ombudsman & they advised me to complain about the situation via email & if Vauxhall weren’t willing to help then they’d step in. I emailed with my concerns & told them I’d been in touch with the motor ombudsman. A couple of days later I got a call from Joanne & she was very helpful. I have to contact her again one month before my service is due & she’ll advise then if they are sending a tech to Belfast to service my car or if she’s going to sort the ferry etc. Either way I’m happy!
Here's my email :

Hello, Ms. Heels.
My name is Sean Rodgers and I own a Vauxhall Ampera (SFZ 9248). I've had it serviced with Charles Hurst in Belfast for the past four years. In January I was told that their technician who was accredited by Vauxhall to work on the Ampera had quit... and that he was the only man in Ireland so certified!
Recently a fellow Irish Ampera owner told me he'd been in contact with the Motor Ombudsman. My friend was told they thought it should be incumbent on Vauxhall to facilitate us.
It was this friend who gave me your contact details. He says you're considering two options : either to fund ferry journeys across the Irish sea, or to fly a mechanic in to Charles Hurst to use their Ampera diagnostic equipment.
I'm in Belfast today with Hurst and have been speaking with their service manager Graham. He tells me there are ten or twelve other Ampera owners that used to get their motors serviced here. And he agrees with my opinion that the best option would be the idea of bringing into their workshop a trained technician for a few days to service all the Amperas in Ireland in one go.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
Thank you for proposing to help us!
Sean Rodgers
 

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Here's my email :

Hello, Ms. Heels.
My name is Sean Rodgers and I own a Vauxhall Ampera (SFZ 9248). I've had it serviced with Charles Hurst in Belfast for the past four years. In January I was told that their technician who was accredited by Vauxhall to work on the Ampera had quit... and that he was the only man in Ireland so certified!
Recently a fellow Irish Ampera owner told me he'd been in contact with the Motor Ombudsman. My friend was told they thought it should be incumbent on Vauxhall to facilitate us.
It was this friend who gave me your contact details. He says you're considering two options : either to fund ferry journeys across the Irish sea, or to fly a mechanic in to Charles Hurst to use their Ampera diagnostic equipment.
I'm in Belfast today with Hurst and have been speaking with their service manager Graham. He tells me there are ten or twelve other Amperas that used to get their motors serviced here. And he agrees with my opinion that the best option would be the idea of bringing into their workshop a trained technician for a few days to service all the Amperas in Ireland in one go.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
Thank you for proposing to help us!
Sean Rodgers
Obviously servicing all the Amperas in one go would be a logical logistical approach, if this suits the owners of course. However Vauxhall would have to make it clear that this wouldn't impact the warranty of those owners where their service dates fall outside of this. If its still GM picking up the tab for these warranty replacements then that might be a bit complicated.

So if travelling across the Irish sea are they also going to cover any expenses such as hotels, food and payment for your time? I'm sure your hourly rate is far higher than what they charge for the mechanics at their workshops ;-)
 

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Obviously servicing all the Amperas in one go would be a logical logistical approach, if this suits the owners of course. However Vauxhall would have to make it clear that this wouldn't impact the warranty of those owners where their service dates fall outside of this. If its still GM picking up the tab for these warranty replacements then that might be a bit complicated.

So if travelling across the Irish sea are they also going to cover any expenses such as hotels, food and payment for your time? I'm sure your hourly rate is far higher than what they charge for the mechanics at their workshops ;-)
You make a good point about owners whose service history might be due outside of the time a technician would be in Belfast. The fact is that no Irish Ampera drivers have had a service since January. And there's no prospect of another accredited full-time mechanic on this island for another year. So a fella would be wise to top up the FSH to carry through to the middle of next year. Then, if there are still no registered men at that stage, at least we'd all be on the same page!
 

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You make a good point about owners whose service history might be due outside of the time a technician would be in Belfast. The fact is that no Irish Ampera drivers have had a service since January. And there's no prospect of another accredited full-time mechanic on this island for another year. So a fella would be wise to top up the FSH to carry through to the middle of next year. Then, if there are still no registered men at that stage, at least we'd all be on the same page!
Tbh you, and all owners impacted by this, should get everything in writing and get them to state that the warranty status isn't affect due to their lack of trained technicians.
 

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You make a good point about owners whose service history might be due outside of the time a technician would be in Belfast. The fact is that no Irish Ampera drivers have had a service since January. And there's no prospect of another accredited full-time mechanic on this island for another year. So a fella would be wise to top up the FSH to carry through to the middle of next year. Then, if there are still no registered men at that stage, at least we'd all be on the same page!
Here's the response I've received :

Dear Mr Rodgers

Thank you for your further emails, please be assured that I shall be contacting Mr Graham Chambers, the Service Manager of Charles Hurst, Belfast.

Please be advised that once we have resolution for those customers effected I shall be requesting that he contacts all customers to advise of our plan.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting Vauxhall Motors and allowing me the opportunity to assist and confirm our position.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Heels

Executive Support Manager
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Discussion Starter #51
I've dealt with Joanne before away back in 2004/2005. I ordered an LPG Corsa only to be told delivery would be after the cut-off for receiving a £1500 grant for buying an alternative fuel car. They also gave me £500 off the cost of the car for the delay, all I had to do was show the email confirmation to the dealership who contacted them to confirm it.
 

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Here's the response I've received :

Dear Mr Rodgers

Thank you for your further emails, please be assured that I shall be contacting Mr Graham Chambers, the Service Manager of Charles Hurst, Belfast.

Please be advised that once we have resolution for those customers effected I shall be requesting that he contacts all customers to advise of our plan.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting Vauxhall Motors and allowing me the opportunity to assist and confirm our position.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Heels

Executive Support Manager
I've just received this from Joanne Heels @ Vauxhall HQ..

Dr Mr Hegarty,
Please be advised that we have reviewed the process for the servicing required & it has been confirmed by the engineering team to advise that the coolant replacement procedure has been revised so that the technicians are no longer required to disconnect the High Voltage system on the vehicle as part of the 5th annual service. As a result, the training & requirements are not as stringent. The technicians are now required to complete some online High Voltage awareness training. The dealer, Charles Hurst, Belfast have been advised of the new requirements & are arranging for this training to be completed at the dealership as soon as possible. We are hoping this will be completed in the next week or so. Once complete, they will be able to carry out the necessary servicing requirements on your vehicle.
Kind Regards,
Joanne Heels
Executive Support Manager

So, the 5th year coolant change is no longer mandatory it seems! Hmmmm.... I'm happy enough as I'll not have to travel to the mainland now to get my car serviced!
 

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Please be advised that we have reviewed the process for the servicing required & it has been confirmed by the engineering team to advise that the coolant replacement procedure has been revised so that the technicians are no longer required to disconnect the High Voltage system on the vehicle as part of the 5th annual service
I don't think that means the coolant does not have to be replaced just the method of changing the coolant has been changed.
I think its still mandatory, after all it gives VX a chance to duck the HV warranty if not done.
 

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I think you are correct about still needing done. I’ve just booked mine for 5th year service and no mention of coolant change? What will be interesting is how much the labour rate will go down by.
I was quoted £160 for coolant and labour
 

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When I booked mine in to my usual service agent they did not mention the change, When I asked they came back with £30 ! Further questioning and this was claimed to be the engine coolant and not normally done. When I asked about the 5th year HV coolant change there was silence and they had to find the (only?) ampera tech who did know about this and priced it.
Then it turned out the vacuum thingy used to change the coolant was broken and no one knew when it would be fixed!
I gave up, cancelled the 5th year service and rung Bellingers, where the person answering the phone knew about the coolant on the 5 year service, very refreshing compared to my usual service agent.

I shall be at Bellingers on the 27th August having the 5th year service done . (y) If anyone else is in then say hi as I'll be waiting around.

I have since complained in writing to the head office of the original service agent. I will not embarrass them by naming them here.
 

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My usual agent wanted 300 + on top of the normal service. Bellingers is a bit cheaper I think, will have the final reckoning next week
 

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It sounds like this is a move in the right direction sort of i.e. not requiring full HV technicians to be able to change the coolant. Although having typed that out I'm beginning to doubt what I'm saying. They would still need to be trained in the specialist equipment and process for changing the coolant though. Am I correct in saying this is really the only specific EV task that is carried out under the typical service schedule? Everything else is just standard tasks carried our on ICE cars although some of those may require the HV to be disconnected for safety.
 
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Sean Rodgers
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