Commissioning and Test
- Why systems have to be bedded in – When any mechanical system has been dismantled and new parts installed, each element of that system needs to bed in with its associated components before it is free, easy and will function as it has been designed to do. Typical examples are overhauled engines, braking systems, transmissions and steering boxes. They will often need adjustment as the bedding in progresses until a point is reached when no more is required.
Another aspect of the bedding in process is the need to retighten nuts and bolts as the effects of vibration, heat expansion and cooling.
Once few hundred miles have been driven, any further tightening is usually no longer needed.
Another aspect of new parts is that their inherent reliability will not be as good as one, which has had some use. If faults are likely to occur, they will often become apparent within a very few miles. It is better for us to deal with those faults before the restored car is handed over.
- Alignment – An aspect of the bedding down process is the need to do final alignment checks, particularly of the steering and suspension and engine carburetion and ignition.
- MoT Certificate - A new MoT test certificate will be provided for any car that has been restored, irrespective of whether it has an existing in date MoT already.
- Final Road Test – Once we are satisfied that all systems have been bedded in and the final alignments checks have been completed, we will undertake a final road test. The objectives of this road test are to:
- Ensure a full on the road function check is completed to ensure all systems, controls and readings are normal and within acceptable tolerances
- Ensure the handling of the car is within acceptable limits and safe
- The car performs as expected and there is no abnormal fuel, water or oil consumption
- There are no rattles or other unexpected noises
- Safety equipment functions correctly and can be adjusted, particularly safety belts.
- Normal driver steering adjustment and driver/passenger seat adjustment
- All engine compartment, cabin and boot components, jacking, spare wheel; tools and handbooks are fitted to the car. This includes any mats, mud flaps etc as appropriate
- Cleaning - Any car nearing the end of a long restoration will inevitably have attracted its fair share of finger marks, dust and debris. It is important that there is a thorough clean, a check of any panel and trim for scratches, minor dents and scuff marks, removal of stains and generally ensure that the car can be presented in a state befitting an expensive restoration and as a “new” car. So this is when we will undertake any final panel and paintwork rectification and also ensure that alignment and function of the doors & locks, boot and bonnet are correct.
- Polishing – The final touch will be a thorough polish to bring the full lustre to paintwork and ensure that the car is presented and handed over as an owner should expect. We are after all presenting car with a new lease of life as though it is new.
- Preparation of the overhaul file and car log book – Any valuable classic car, and Aston Martins are very much a case in point, deserve to have a comprehensive history file of all that has been done to the car. Such a history file provides both a confidence in the work undertaken but is also a pleasurable thing to refer to when after the car has been delivered or driven home, the owner has time and leisure to spend reviewing it. We aim to provide both a pictorial record as well as a brief description of all of the tasks undertaken. In addition however, we are increasingly asked if we can prepare a “logbook”, fully illustrated which can be kept on the bookshelf. This will be bound and can be provided in either soft or hard back according to choice. What better way is there to celebrate the rebirth of your very special car.
- Invoicing – Regrettably, as always we have to return to harsh reality and deal with the least agreeable topic, namely that of settling the restoration account. As the owner, you expect a final invoice setting out all the expenditure incurred and of the interim payments made. This leaves a final balance, which hopefully will be quite modest which will need to be settled prior to the final handover.
- Guarantees – As a general rule we will always guarantee work that we have undertaken, but where at your request, we have refrained from some element of the refurbishment, or we have agreed to refit a major component without fully investigating its condition, we may need to place restrictions on what is covered. Generally we would aim to guarantee the car for a period of one calendar year from handover against material defects and workmanship. The one primary condition we will always insist on however is that any investigation and rectification is undertaken on our premises, unless we agree formally in writing otherwise. We will always aim to be as reasonable as we can, but you will understand our reluctance to rectify any defect under guarantee, which is not reasonably something over which we can have had any control.
- Final presentation and handover – Finally the day arrives when all is ready, the bill has been settled and the car is fully ready for the final handover. We always encourage owners to come to us for the final handover and to spend the day with us. Not only does that provide an opportunity for you to do the final owners inspection and to discuss and agree any resulting issues but it also gives us the opportunity to describe and explain any new features, to go out for a brief test drive and discuss driving and maintenance needs etc. It also provides you with the ability to meet the craftsmen who built your car and experience at first hand, and experience the pleasure and the pride they have as they explain what they have contributed. Finally we will have assembled the full history file, explain any guarantee provided and pass over the log book and keys to you in a final presentation.