Check Your Tyre Pressures

Why is it important to check your pressures regularly?

Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. They are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.

By keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure, your running costs are also reduced. Under-inflated tyres require a bigger force to make them turn, so your car uses more fuel. Additionally, tyres which are not set to their correct pressure wear out more quickly.

So, to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life, increased safety and reduced CO2 emissions, make sure you check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before a long journey.

Enter your vehicle details on the following website to find your correct tyre pressure: Car tyre pressures

Are you looking for our caravan tyre pressure tool?


Winter Motoring Checklist


Click to enlarge

The cold is now starting to set in, so here’s what you need to do this winter to reduce the risk of a breakdown and make sure that you are equipped to deal with the conditions.
We are always here to help and can carry out a free check for you if you wish. Call your local branch Today.

Check your car

  • Antifreeze – check coolant level regularly and, if required, top-up with a mixture of the correct type of antifreeze. Your garage should check concentration to ensure adequate cold temperature protection.
  • Battery – the most common cause of winter breakdowns. A battery more than five years old may struggle in the cold – get it checked and replaced if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned failure.
  • Fuel – keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
  • Lights – check and clean all lights regularly to make sure you can see and be seen clearly. Carry spare bulbs.
  • Tyres – should have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. Consider winter tyres for improved safety. Check pressures at least every fortnight.
  • Windscreen – reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the screen clean inside and out.  Now is a good time to renew worn wiper blades.
  • Screen wash – use a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather.
  • Locks and door seals – stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals.  A squirt of water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help stop them freezing.

Vehicle Smart is the smart way to check MOT and TAX data for any UK vehicle.

Now there’s no excuse for forgetting your Mot or Tax due date as a very kind customer put me onto a rather nifty App to keep you from straying into the points department with our over worked and under paid Police peoples 🙂
Its called:-
Vehicle Smart by JVE Lltd.
You can add all your vehicles to your Garage in the app, With mot history, Mileage and other cool stuff 🙂

Vehicle Smart provides FREE, up-to-date information for all UK vehicles and allows you to store your favourite vehicles in ‘My Garage’ for quick and easy access.

Looking to purchase a used vehicle? Don’t take a risk. Check the details with Vehicle Smart for peace of mind.
Not sure when your MOT or Tax is due? Check the due dates with Vehicle Smart quickly and easily.

The following data is provided FREE by Vehicle Smart:

• MOT History (full break down including all advisories and failure notices)
• MOT Status
• Tax Status
• Vehicle Tax Bands and Costs
• Mileage Data Analysis (spot mileage discrepancies easily)

All Vehicle Details:

• Make
• Model
• Year
• Date of registration
• Colour
• Fuel type
• Engine CC
• Co2 Emissions
• Export Marker
• Wheel plan
• Revenue Weight

Summer breakdown prevention

PTA Summer driving tipsSummer is finally here – hotter temperatures and busy holiday routes of summer can put extra demands on both the car and driver.

With a little planning and preparation, you should be able to reduce the risk of a breakdown and keep stress levels to a minimum.


High temperatures can aggravate cooling system problems too. Low coolant level, leaking hoses and broken electric cooling fans can all result in overheating and expensive damage.

If the fan is broken it will soon become apparent when you meet slow moving traffic and engine temperature soars.

  • Check the coolant reservoir level regularly
  • Look out for wet or white staining on coolant hoses
  • Check the fan by running the car to normal temperature and allowing the engine to idle for five to 10 minutes – the cooling fan should cut in automatically.


High temperatures can aggravate any existing damage to tyres. Under-inflation adds to the problem causing friction and more heat which can prove too much for weak spots, causing punctures or blow-outs.

  • Check tyre condition and tyre pressures, adjusting for extra load if appropriate.
  • Check caravan tyres for cracking and renew damaged tyres before use.

Some further car checks you can make before you set off:

  • Check all wiper blades for wear or splitting, check the windscreen washer fluid level.
  • Check oil and coolant levels following the instructions in the owners handbook.
  • Check the electric cooling fan (see above). Run the engine until it’s up to temperature and the cooling fan should cut in when the engine is hot.
  • Have the cooling system checked – a leaking cooling system or inoperative cooling fan could cause the vehicle to overheat and cause extensive damage to the engine.
  • Have all auxiliary belts and or fan belts checked on a regular basis by your local garage.
  • Check the operation of all lights to ensure they comply with any legal requirements, especially if you’re traveling to Europe.
  • Check the condition of the tyres including the spare for correct pressures and legal tread depth. The current minimum legal tread depth for cars and light commercial vehicles is 1.6mm
  • Ensure all dashboard warning lights operate correctly. If not, consult your owners handbook or call your local Garage.
  • Inspect the jack and wheel brace making sure they are in correct working order. If locking wheel nuts are fitted, ensure the locking key is safely stowed away in the vehicle. It may be useful to practice changing the spare wheel, following instructions from your owners handbook.
  • Make sure you have a spare set of keys for your vehicle in a safe place.
  • If you plan to take a caravan, check the tyre condition and the braking system.
  • Never overload your vehicle or caravan beyond their designed carrying capacity.

Have A Great Summer From PTA Garages Services


Just a heads up if you are thinking of visiting Hastings on bank holiday Monday.
There will be a lot of motorbikes trying to get there before anyone in a car and it can get quite hairy so take care.

Welcoming the May Day Run. For over 35 years thousands of bikers have visited Hastings every May Day Bank Holiday Monday and now bike1066 is part of that tradition. In 2014 bike1066 Spring Opener became as big as the world famous Isle of Man TT Races. 41,000 bikes attended bike1066 in one day while an estimated 34,000 attended the Isle of Man TT.


Goodyear Unveils Spherical Tyres That Will Allow Cars To Move Sideways

Autonomous cars are just around the corner and this means that relevant problems and issues need to be tackled before they surface. Yes, that is the problem posed by new technologies; you have to be sure about the pros and cons and be ready to tackle anything that might hamper the development of new technology. Considering all this, at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear has unveiled two concept tyres that have been designed specifically for the autonomous cars of tomorrow. The two designs include one tyre that is capable of making the car move sideways while the other one is capable of sensing road conditions and then adapt to them. The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear 2


The first concept that was unveiled is known as Eagle-360. Yes, the name says it all actually. This is the spherical tyre that connects to the car via magnetic levitation instead of axles and is thus capable of rotating on any axis in any direction. This allows the car to become highly maneuverable and renders it capable of navigating smaller car parks and become highly efficient in utilising the road space. The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear also features sensors that allow it to gain information about local environment and is capable of carrying out communication with other vehicles or the local traffic control system. It also monitors the tread along with tyre pressure and rotates itself to maintain an even wearing out of surface and thus, provide longer mileage. The tread features a 3D printed biomimetic design that mimics the pattern of brain coral; it works like a natural sponge, stiffening in dry condition and softening in the wet for reduction pertaining to aquaplaning and subsequently improves handling.


The other concept tire revealed has been named as Intelligrip. This one sports the idea that is already being worked upon. Although it looks like a conventional tyre, it is capable of communicating with autonomous vehicle’s control system and can ascertain the road surface and weather conditions via advanced sensors. It monitors the wear of tyre and also the pressure and temperature of tire. It has been designed to work in collaboration with the anti-collision systems and is capable of automatically detecting and adapting to road conditions while also capable of adjusting the cornering, stopping distance and stability.The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and the chief technical officer says, “By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tyres will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road. Goodyear’s concept tyres play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies.”
Source: Goodyear Unveils Spherical Tires That Will Allow Cars To Move Sideways

The MICHELIN CrossClimate Tyre

MICHELIN CrossClimate

To meet the challenge of the weather conditions in Europe, Jean-Dominique Senard, Managing Partner of the Group, has today presented the new MICHELIN CrossClimate tyre. A major innovation intended for the European market, this very first tyre with official winter approval is a tangible illustration of MICHELIN Total Performance: combining across-the-board performance to meet a wide range of usage. With official approval for winter use, the MICHELIN CrossClimate tyre is a combination of summer and winter tyre technologies, incompatible until now.

During wet handling the Michelin CrossClimate equaled, if not bettered the summer tyre, and while it felt a little numb at the limit compared to the summer, it provided a more progressive nature and had more grip and feel than the all season and winter tyres, which felt weak and numb on the wet circle.

Source: Tyre Review

Potholes | RAC

RAC are campaigning for better, safer roads Potholes are an increasing problem on Britain’s roads causing damage to vehicles and presenting a potential safety hazard. They are caused when moisture gets into the cracks in the road which expands when it freezes. The holes get bigger as vehicles drive over them damaging the structure of the road below its surface layer. Adverse weather conditions and repeated freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles make the pothole situation much worse.

However, it’s not just the weather that is to blame for the problem. The RAC believes the rise in potholes across the UK has stemmed from many cash-strapped councils’ reactive ‘patch and dash’ approach which means rather than resurfacing roads properly, potholes are repaired individually in a hurry, and sometimes in wet weather, leading to them quickly breaking down and reappearing. Planned preventative road maintenance would, in the longer-term, be a more efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with the issue.

Here you can find everything you will need to know about potholes including:advice on how to drive on roads with potholes how to report a pothole and how to make a claim for damage made by a pothole.

Potholes: the damage According to the RAC, hitting a pothole can cause a number of wheel and tyre problems. Initial impact on a vehicle can cause buckled wheels, cracks, lumps in the tyre, cracked alloys and it can knock out the tracking and wheel balancing.

A recent report found that a third of all recorded vehicle damage is as a result of potholes.

In more severe cases, it could lead to drivers losing control of their vehicles and being involved in an accident. Advice to drivers The following useful tips may help if you are driving on roads with potholes: Keep your eyes peeled – Protect yourself and your car by keeping an eye out for potholes and watching your speed, particularly in wet weather when deep potholes may be hidden beneath puddles. Maintain your distance – Leave plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front so you can see potholes in advance. Stay alert – Be aware of other traffic or pedestrians on the road before changing course to avoid a pothole. Watch your speed – Striking potholes at higher speeds can cause more damage to your vehicle. Avoid unnecessary braking – Try not to apply your brakes when driving over a pothole. When you brake you tilt the vehicle forward placing more stress on the front suspension. Drive over potholes with care – If you have to drive over a pothole, allow the wheel to roll freely into the hole. Hold the steering wheel correctly – Make sure you are holding the steering wheel properly – ‘10 to 2’ hands position – when driving on a road with potholes – failure to do so may mean you lose control of your vehicle. Recovering lost parts – If your vehicle sustains damage while travelling, such as a lost hubcap, ensure you stop in a safe location before attempting to recover it. Safety first – If you wish to inspect any damage to your car, ensure that you stop in a safe place. Get checked out – If you have hit a pothole and suspect your car has sustained damage, we recommend you get the vehicle checked out by your local garage. Ask them to verify if there could be any other issues such as problems with tracking and wheel alignment, tyres or suspension. Check tyre pressure regularly –checking your tyre pressure regularly to ensure safety as a line of defence against potholes. Recommended tyre pressures can be found in your vehicle’s handbook and on the label located inside the driver’s side door frame or doorpost.
Source: Potholes | RAC

Ministers lose £80m in revenue after scrapping car tax discs

The government looks to have lost as much as £80m of revenue as a result of its decision to scrap car tax discs a year ago. The move has also led to a doubling in the number of unlicensed vehicles on British roads. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) ended the need for drivers to display a valid tax disc in October 2014, saying that the move would save the taxpayer £10m a year by making the system more efficient.

However, that decision looks to have backfired, after official figures published on Thursday showed that the exchequer has lost as much as eight times the intended saving. An analysis of road users carried out in the summer showed that about 1.4% of vehicles were being driven without vehicle excise duty. This was up from just 0.6% two years ago, when a disc was still required.

The Department for Transport (DfT) estimated that about 560,000 vehicles were untaxed. Motoring organisations claimed when the measures were announced that the abolition of the tax disc after 93 years – part of the government’s purge on bureaucracy – would fail. Not everyone will rejoice at the passing of the tax disc Read more The move, which suffered a number of admin problems at the start, also led to thousands of innocent motorists having their cars clamped.

Many of those who have not taxed their car may well have failed to receive official notices reminding them to get their tax renewed in the post. Under the old scheme, the tax disc provided a visual reminder when it was due. It was also easy for police to spot untaxed cars – something that it is no longer possible. Last week it emerged that the DVLA had immobilised or towed away almost 100,000 cars in the past 12 months – a 58% rise on the previous year. It said it now posts almost 3m reminders each month, at considerable cost.
Source: Ministers lose £80m in revenue after scrapping car tax discs | Money | The Guardian

The three new motoring laws that you need to know about

There’s good news for motorists with the introduction of three significant new laws which officially came into force yesterday, and which it’s important that drivers know about.

30 day faulty goods return

Under the new Consumer Rights Act 2015, motorists are now guaranteed 30 days to demand a full refund if they buy faulty goods, a law which extends to buying both new and used cars.

Previously, car dealers were simply obliged to repair the car by replacing a faulty part if the car had a problem, but the new act will finally turn the table in favour of the buyer for the first time.Any licensed dealer must now provide a refund for the sale price in full if a buyer returns a faulty car within the 30-day period, and it’s hoped this could also squeeze dishonest dealers out of business.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 also provides extra rights for buyers once the initial period is up, with dealers obliged to replace or repair faulty parts for up to six months after the sale date. Buyers can also demand a reduced price if the dealer doesn’t fix the problem the first time round.However, Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC, noted that the responsibility for this is on the consumer, saying: “The responsibility will lie with them if they are to benefit from the new law. This is likely to lead to some difficult disputes between dealers and buyers.”

Parking grace period

Drivers who park their cars in a private car park are now entitled to a ten minute ‘grace’ period after their ticket expires thanks to new legislation introduced yesterday.Previously, thousands of complaints had been launched by motorists who found themselves on the receiving end of disproportionately hefty fines after overstaying their allocated time by a matter of minutes.The official regulation says that any penalty issued before the grace period’s expiry will be illegal, unless the vehicle itself is parked unlawfully – for example, if a driver hasn’t paid the right fee or neglected to buy a ticket altogether.

It’s hoped that the grace period will make life easier for otherwise innocent drivers who may unintentionally overstay in a car park for reasons like not being able to make it back on time, or struggling with shopping or children.

AA president Edmund King said: “At last, we are beginning to see local authority parking enforcement that reflects the realities of modern life.”The policy covers both the end of free parking periods and the end of paid-for time and applies across all of Great Britain in a move similar to a measure already applied to council-owned car parks from April this year.

Drivers have been urged by motoring bodies to ensure that they keep their parking tickets on them as in case that a penalty notice is issued in the post the ticket will provide necessary evidence to support the 10-minute rule appeal.

Ban on smoking in the car with children

It’s now illegal in England and Wales to smoke in a car that’s carrying an occupant aged 18 or under, otherwise drivers face fixed penalty fines of £50.Introduced as part of the larger Children and Families Act, the ban will apply to anybody smoking in a car or other vehicle with children on board, and not just parents with their kids.That means that other passengers who smoke will be subject to the penalties, along with workmen with apprentices or employees under 18 travelling in vans, for example.Chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said: “We want children to grow up free from harm and we need parents to understand why smoking in vehicles is so dangerous. 80 per cent of smoke is invisible so even if you think you are being careful you cannot see where the smoke is going.”The new measures mean that all private cars, with the exception of convertibles with their roofs fully retracted and stowed, will have to be smoke free when children are being carried.Cars with open sunroofs will still leave drivers liable to fines if there are under-18s aboard, however a 17-year old travelling alone in a private vehicle will not be fined.
Source: The three new motoring laws that you need to know about – Car Keys