I owe a post to Russ and the Guys and Revolution....
I had a service done by the guys in June last year (well, service plus aircon rads and a carnewal fitted ), but the guys pointed out a few things that needed fixing on a 90k mile 2005 car, namely some corroded brake pipes, some perished rubber water pipes and an RMS oil leak - not something they could fix in the few hours I could let them have the motor.
Revolution is not my nearest independent by a long shot - I'm based in Southend on Sea, Essex, and it's a 450 mile round trip. But, I've used them a few times before, and to be honest, their service and pricing means I'm willing to make the long trip to get the car up to them.
Well, I finally got round to getting the car back up a few weeks ago, managing to tie in one leg of the trip with my a trip to my daughters prospective university in Sheffield - well, as I said to SWMBO it's all that direction!
So, a single trip up to drop the car off (and a cheap train fare back to London - £23 if booked in advance!), and the guys had a week to sort the motor... well, on taking out the gearbox to replace the RMS, Russ also recommended I changed the clutch - more £££, but clearly one of those jobs to do whilst the car in in open heart surgery!
On picking up the car, I couldn't believe the difference - the new clutch made the pedal so much lighter! And I now know that all the major bits of the car are done, so hopefully no major bills before the next service!
So, thanks Gents - another great job, great service and a very happy customer from the South. And for those who think it's too far away, I'd say that with a bit of advanced planning with trains, you can save yourself a small fortune versus garage prices in the south - highly recommended!