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e-up! 32kwh white
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I’d share this for anyone researching an e-up!
I’ve been having issues with the rear drum brakes so back in march asked a local garage (Mcconechys/Halfords auto centre, don’t judge me) to have a look and clean them out if necessary; having had the car for half a day they called me to say the technician wouldn’t work on the braking system because it’s an electric car and they weren’t qualified to work on EVs. They did take it for a test drive and agreed there was an issue. Despite explaining that the rear drum brakes are in no way connected to the high voltage system they wouldn’t budge but said they were booked onto the necessary courses by the end of April. I ended up having to go to the main dealership in Inverness which for me is a 160mile round trip and the job cost 3x as much.
Last week the car had its 1st service at the dealers and they identified the brake shoes need replacing which they would do under warranty and the front discs were corroded and would require replacement within the next couple of months. I phoned Halfords to see if they were able to work on EVs yet and although they’ve done the course they are waiting on equipment which will be delivered “at some point”. On the way back to the dealers I passed an ATS so asked them if they work on EVs and got a no. I did a bit of Googling and it seems that there is a massive shortage of ev qualified mechanics out there.

TLDR: lots of garages won’t touch EVs yet, even for basic jobs, so you may be tied to the dealer network and their ridiculous pricing for consumables. That said it seems the big chain garages are trying to roll out the training and equipment and the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Repair Alliance list independents that work on EVs
 

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It's weird isn't it? Especially considering how many EV's are on the road now.

My brother's e-up was bumped into when it was parked earlier in the year. He took it to his local backstreet garage to have the ding repaired and they flat out refused to touch it because it was an EV.

My e-up is a 2 year PCH and I don't expect it to need any serviciing/work during that time so I'm hoping to return it before it ever has to go to a garage.
 

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Maybe this is all driven by the employee and public liability insurance of the garages ? If the insurer says they won't give cover for work on EVs until x y z courses have been completed...
 

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It does make me wonder how they cope with a 20kV ignition system on a petrol car or a 2000 bar fuel pressure system on a diesel.....
Also, if you get a flat out on the road, will the AA/RAC etc etc all refuse to change the wheel?
 

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e-up! 32kwh white
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is frustrating, Halfords said they’d work on a hybrid but not an EV, I didn’t bother to point out that both have a high voltage motor and battery and both use regenerative braking.
Part of the reason I paid for the first two services upfront from VW was to allow time for other garages to catch up but the utter refusal to even do consumables is a PITA.
I’ve had no issues with Halfords/black circles when it comes to tyres.
I think the aa/rac are better prepared for EVs in that they have more trailers and some vans with ev chargers but I’d guess anything beyond a tyre, top up or a diagnostic scan means a tow to a garage.
 

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I suspect to that this must be an insurance, training and liability issue that should hopefully sort itself out over time as EVs become more common.

I assume the E-up has regen braking and that is why the discs are corroding and shoes binding though less actual physical friction on the braking surfaces.

This is fundamentally a bigger issue in a wet climate like ours, discs will corrode quicker and need replacing sooner on EVs. With the average EV costing about £40K, some might be OK with new discs and pads every 2 years but personally I would not be.

The morale of the story might be that to keep the brakes of EVs corrosion free you need to be doing some heavy braking from speed every now and then (leaving motorways). Counterintuitively, the same is also true for non EVs.
 

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If you saw the equipment we have here for working on EV cars, you would understand why a lot of garages won't touch them. We are an Audi Approved EV centre but not a VW one, despite selling both brands here. We have a dedicated ramp, defibrillators, special tools, quarantine areas, a £6k pump for removing/re-filling coolant, and only certain techs that are allowed to touch them, even for basic jobs. Its a totally different beast when you think the average EV battery operates at 400v and high amps, then there are some that run at 800v and higher amps.

We have to have a lorry with a certified EV competent driver collect old batteries from Audi A3 E-Tron's when they need replacement. It's crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you saw the equipment we have here for working on EV cars, you would understand why a lot of garages won't touch them. We are an Audi Approved EV centre but not a VW one, despite selling both brands here. We have a dedicated ramp, defibrillators, special tools, quarantine areas, a £6k pump for removing/re-filling coolant, and only certain techs that are allowed to touch them, even for basic jobs. Its a totally different beast when you think the average EV battery operates at 400v and high amps, then there are some that run at 800v and higher amps.

We have to have a lorry with a certified EV competent driver collect old batteries from Audi A3 E-Tron's when they need replacement. It's crazy!
There was me thinking I’d just do the front discs and pads myself, maybe not if I need a defibrillator on standby!
 

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Modern technology is brilliant. I remember the days in the 60s and 70s when i thought i was a Master Mechanic when i changed the plugs in my MGB. Now in todays ICE cars you can not even see the plugs.

I still fancy an electric car though, the Mini Electric. However, would i need to employ a specially trained mechanic to open and close the car door for me as i would not be allowed to do it myself until i had been on the 4 day course to learn how to do it.

Also for Health and Safety reasons i guess i would have to have my Heated Long Johns correctly earthed and passed with a certificate of fitness. You cant be too careful.
 

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Test-Driver - these days you need to go on a technical course and a health & safety course, just to be able to fill a plastic lemonade bottle full of gin and go sit on the beach with it. We need to be a bit more "Darwinian" for the species to survive and thrive....

And what's with the Mini thing? They are chintzy and over-priced....
 
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Test-Driver - these days you need to go on a technical course and a health & safety course, just to be able to fill a plastic lemonade bottle full of gin and go sit on the beach with it. We need to be a bit more "Darwinian" for the species to survive and thrive....

And what's with the Mini thing? They are chintzy and over-priced....

That is so true. I remember in the 60s and 70s walking round the service dept even at Main Dealers and going under the car on the ramp just to have a look. Today i am surprised they do not ask you have a Hi Vis Jacket on and safety boots just to book your car in at reception.

I have shared my views on the Mini many times. Yes they are overpriced but i think they are excellent cars. They received good scores in the latest Driver Power survey and the interiors are quality. I would have bought one this time after Test Driving four different petrol automatics, but the price was far too high compared to my UP GTI and i could not stand the staff at Mini Dealers.

People will have their own views and that is fine, even more so on this forum with most on here being VW fans. It was just the same on the Smart forum and i know on the Mini forum they will say the Mini is the only car to have.

I love my UP GTI and i will keep it for at least another two years if not longer, but i have never been loyal to just one make (or ever been loyal to just one girl friend) as i like a change. I will either get the latest MIni Cooper automatic ICE or EV and buy it online so i do not need to deal with Mini staff face to face or the Toyota Aygo X automatic for my next car. I could get the Mini next and the Aygo X after that which would probably be my last car until i hang up my spurs. The Toyota 10 year warranty sounds good to have in a final car.

In the meantime let me go wild and drive my UP GTI a bit more. There is nothing like the thrill of driving at 20 MPH stuck in the traffic.
 

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Well I have had 2 e-ups and despite both being under warranty I continue to work on the brakes before and after each winter. The "service" is an inspection only - they don't even remove wheels - just peek at the drum shoe thickness via a hole and at the front pad thickness. Actually the "service" only then adds a grasp of the steering/suspension to see if bearings & joints are OK. Plus a diagnostic hook up. I do all that anyway! But I have to let them play/educate themselves for the warranty.
So brakes: neither the rear drums or the front discs are anything to do with/near any high voltage stuff. Regen braking is the motor/diff unit being driven by the car (gravity or momentum) and in any case you can touch everything under the bonnet - it is shielded. I have. Most "dangerous" would be holding the 12v Batt + while also holding earth!!
My 2nd one had a very slightly oval drum when new - a tiny bit of high spot relieving and wear-in cured that. Saved me the bother of visiting VW under warranty.
Here's a pic or two from the biennial dismantle/clean/lube/test of brakes plus rustcure/paint of nearby "gubbins" . If under warranty VW should replace any bad brake parts. I wonder why the discs were rusty? Was it perhaps kept unused in bad weather (or kept for ages in Emden-By-The-Sea before shipping? As for rear brakes, you might have had the dreaded oval drum. BTW there is a qualified VW EV service place in Dunfermline if its nearer.
 

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