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
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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.
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
Cars are a vital part of everyday modern life that allow people to get where they need to go. However, they won’t just go and go forever. A car is fundamentally a collection of many working parts, where one impacts the next and so on. If perhaps one part of the car does have an issue, it is important to fix it as quickly as possible, to prevent further damaging other parts.
When properly maintained, a car will keep trucking along for many more years than if it is neglected. Not only is this helpful in getting you where you need to go, it is a more valuable investment if you plan to resell. So what are the basics of car care that you must know? Here are 10 fundamental pointers:
Tip 1: Keep up on Oil Changes
Yes, it really is important to keep up on oil changes. The reason for this is because motor oil gets thick and nasty like a sludge substance over time, and the deposits will wear down your engine. Changing your car’s oil can help you refresh the oil before it gets to that point, preventing your car from contamination by constant exposure to heat, air and moisture.
If you wait too long in between oil changes, the result can be catastrophic and very expensive to fix. Recommendations for oil change intervals vary from every 3000 miles to 10,000 miles, so a good average is every 5000 miles.
Tip 2: Flush the Cooling System and Change Coolant Annually
The cooling system in a car keeps it from overheating by circulating coolant through the car’s engine, absorbing heat from the blocks and heads and sending it to the radiator. After so long, the cooling system can start to corrode and acquire a buildup of deposits which hinder its function. For this reason, it is helpful to annually flush the cooling system with a mix of half water and half coolant.
Tip 3: Transmission and Differential Oil Care
A car’s transmission moves energy from the engine to the drivetrain to get the car moving, while the differential compensates for the difference between the inner and outer wheels when handling corners. Fluids are needed for both to ensure proper function. However, the fluids do eventually wear down if they are not replaced. As a result, the inside of the transmission can overheat and wear can develop on the gears and bearings.
This is why it is important to change these oils at regular intervals, and to use the recommended oil type and oil viscosity.
Tip 4: Wash it Regularly
Driving a clean car feels and looks nice, however it is more important than that. Washing your car regularly ensures proper function because anything that you run over, can get stuck under the car. Avoid rust and malfunction by hosing off grime and salt underneath, in addition to cleaning the exterior.
Tip 5: Grease It Up (Lubrication)
While many cars these days do not need to be greased nearly as often as was previously the case, older cars with greased ball joints will need lubing at regular intervals. Additionally, if your car is making creaking noises, especially when going over bumps, it may need lubrication. Generally, lube modern cars every few years.
Tip 6: Sun Protection
The inside of your car can reach well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day in the sun, and the exterior can reach even higher if it is parked in direct sunlight! It is really important to protect your car from the sun because, after repeated exposure, damage occurs to parts within the car.
Always make sure that your belts are not cracked or damaged, the coolant level is sufficient, and that your car’s hoses are not worn out or damaged. Oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid all help to keep your car moving, and at high temperatures, it is important that they are all at the proper level to protect the life of your car.
You should check the air filters in your car regularly during hot weather because dust can clog them, reduce the gas mileage of your car, and it can cause your car’s mass air flow sensor to become damaged. You can protect the inside of your car by parking it in the shade and/or using a window deflector, and should also use a UV protection on the plastic and vinyl to keep it from drying out and cracking/fading.
Tip 7: CV Joint Bearing Care
A wheel bearing lets the wheels on a car move around and holds them securely to the car. There are four wheel bearings on a car, one for each wheel. The wheels and steering wheel will begin to shake when your wheel bearings wear out. You should have your car checked out as soon as possible if this happens.
There are two types of wheel bearings made for cars:
- This type of bearing can be removed and taken apart, it is then cleaned out and filled with new grease, or
- A sealed wheel bearing needs to be replaced all together when it is defective.
If your car was made before 1997, there are two wheel bearings in each front tire (1 inner and 1 outer). You should clean, and fill it with new grease or have it inspected every 30,000 miles.
If your car was made after 1998 then there is one wheel bearing in each tire, it is called a hub and bearing assembly. This unit needs to be replaced when it shows signs of wear.
A few signs that your wheel bearings are wearing down:
- An abnormal noise coming from your tires like squealing or grinding when you are driving.
- The steering wheel might shake when you are driving.
- The wheel will not move forward easily if the wheel bearing is locked up.
Tip 8: Brake Fluid Care
Next, your car’s brake fluid absorbs moisture which causes the brake components to become corroded and malfunction. We all know how important it is for brakes to work when we are relying on them, so bleed the braking system once per year and be sure to replace brake fluid.
Tip 9: Wheels and Tyres
Wheel and tyre care is also a big part of car maintenance. You should rotate your cars tyres every 5,000 miles and always clean brake dust off your wheels. The nasty grime from the road, moisture and heat from your brakes will cause the sludge to bake onto your tyres. A damp sponge can be used with clean cold water to do the trick.
Next, your car tyre pressure should be checked one a week. If the pressure is off, it can have a negative effect on gas mileage, the cars handling and comfort.
Lastly for wheel and tyre care, check the tread of your cars tyres because bald, slick tires are not good for keeping you on the road. Some tyres come with a tread wear indicator built into them. Examine your tyres regularly and if the tread is too low, it’s time to replace them.
Tip 10: Electric Checkup
The maintenance of the electric components of your car are also essential to proper functioning. However, if you are planning to do any work on your cars electrical system, you should always disconnect the battery first by doing the following:
- Loosen the connector for the negative/ground terminal first
- Wiggle the terminal cap off
- Use a zip tie to move the cable out of the way
- If you need to remove the battery, remove the positive connector
Once disconnected, most new cars have a 12 volt negative ground electrical system, and the battery terminals and contacts need to be clean so that the current can pass around the electrical system freely. You can remove the terminal caps and clean the post with a wire brush.
There you have it! These 10 tips cover the basic fundamental care you should be performing on your car. In doing these regularly, your car will thank you by staying in working order and taking you where you need to go for years to come. A little proactive maintenance goes a long way in preventing expensive repairs and extensive damage!
Comparison site TootCompare.com has compiled a list of the cars most and least – likely to pass or fail their first MoT, using data supplied by the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA).
Cars require their first MoT three years after they are registered; this list is based on cars that were registered in 2010 and tested in 2013. TootCompare ignored models for which there were less than 1,000 tests during the year.
Seven of the top 10 cars most likely to pass their first MoT are Japanese.
Top 10 cars that pass their first MoT
10. Suzuki Splash – Pass rate: 88.1%
9. Land Rover Freelander – Pass rate: 88.8%
8. Audi TT – Pass rate: 89.2%
7. Audi Q5 – Pass rate: 89.3%
6. Lexus RX – Pass rate: 89.3%
5. Toyota Yaris – Pass rate: 89.6%
4. Lexus IS – Pass rate: 89.7 per%
3. Honda CR-V – Pass rate: 89.8%
2. Honda Jazz – Pass rate: 90.4%
1. Toyota IQ – Pass rate: 91.8%
Top 10 cars that fail their first MoT. The worst being French
10. Chevrolet Aveo – Pass rate: 73.75%
9. Mitsubishi L200 – Pass rate: 73.53%
8. Chevrolet Captiva – Pass rate: 73.53%
7. Nissan Navara – Pass rate: 70.59%
6. Mazda 5 – Pass rate: 70.55%
5. Fiat Doblo – Pass rate: 69.24%
4. Peugeot 5008 – Pass rate: 68.14%
3. Citroën C4 – Pass rate: 67.86%
2. Citroën Berlingo Multispace – Pass rate: 67.84%
1. Renault Kangoo – Pass rate: 63.54%
As of February 2015 the following tyres are the latest range of tyres supplied by Dunlop for summer & winter.
Many car manufacturers choose Goodyear tyres for their latest models. Starting at the early stages of new vehicle model creation Goodyear works together with car manufacturers to drive technology and innovation into reality.
Goodyear aims to bring these new vehicles to the next performance level. These performance attributes range from braking distance to environmental impact. Car manufacturers test, approve and choose Goodyear tyres for their new vehicle models. Goodyear tyres are chosen by BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, LandRover, Nissan, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Peugeot, Ford, Opel, Renault, Saab, VW, Chrysler, Toyota, Skoda and Seat.
Before taking to the roads this Summer, you can take several simple precautions to keep your family safe and save money at the fuel pumps. Extreme heat and long drives can be tough on cars. Cracked hoses, leaky radiators, under-inflated tyres and dirty filters can significantly lower your fuel efficiency, or worse, lead to a total breakdown.
Tyres are one of the most overlooked parts of a car. Under-inflated, over-inflated, worn or misaligned tyres can be extremely dangerous, particularly in hot summer weather. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre.
Belts and Hoses
Check hoses for cracks, leaks and loose connections. The most vulnerable parts of the hose are those nearest to clamps where the hose connects to the radiator or the engine.
Belts can also be visually checked for cracks and damage. Take note if the belt looks excessively shiney or smooth.
Cars are designed to run hot, but there’s a limit to how hot they should run. A combustion engine is most efficient at around 93 degrees Celsius. If an engine is allowed to get too hot, moving metal parts can actually start to melt and fuse together, causing a variety of internal problems for your engine. For summer driving, coolant should be added as a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. You can even buy pre-mixed coolant so you don’t have to bother with the measurements.
Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It keeps your engine parts running clean, smooth and cool. Most owners manuals suggest that you change your oil and oil filter every 7,500 miles . Most of us do a lot of heavy driving during the summer when an engine is more likely to overheat. So at least check your oil before you head out on that road trip with your family.
Over the winter, your cars air filter can get clogged with salt and other debris. A clogged air filter can lower your fuel efficiency. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve your mileage by as much as 10%. If your air filter really dirty, then it needs to be changed. Air filters are relatively inexpensive.
The best way to keep your battery running smoothly is to keep it clean. Regularly detach the battery cables and wipe off the terminals. Make sure the battery is strapped down tightly and that all connections are secure. If you suspect that your battery is being overcharged or isn’t holding a charge well, take it to any branch of PTA Garage Services so we can run a quick battery inspection. If you suspect that your battery is being overcharged or isn’t holding a charge well, take it to a service shop where they can run a quick battery inspection. And if you need to replace the battery, make sure that it’s the right battery type for your specific make and model of car.
Winter can be tough on windscreen wipers. Ice, snow, salt and extreme temperatures can cause cracks and tears in the rubber which in turn lowers the effectiveness of the wipers. If your wipers are leaving visible streaks or take several passes to clear away light rain, they need to be replaced.
Brakes need to be replaced when the lining on your brake pads or brake shoes are worn down past the minimum thickness specified by your car manufacture – You can have your brake linings checked at any branch of PTA Garage Services. The following are some signs that your brakes need to be checked or replaced.
Your brake pedal becomes very soft and spongy
Your brake pedal is very hard or needs a lot of pressure to stop
Your brake pedal rests too low or too high
Warning lights on your dashboard
Loud and constant scraping and grinding sounds coming from the brakes
The most common cause of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit is a low level of refrigerant. This could be caused buy a leak somewhere in the system. Since modern air conditioning systems are complicated, PTA Garage Services can check out any problems and recharge the system if required.
We have a range of budget and brand Goodyear Dunlop & Pirelli & Michelin.
Winter can be challenging for any driver, with plummeting temperatures, road conditions change suddenly – from snow to slush, from wet to ice, from dry to wet. Cold Weather tyres, combined with appropriate driving skills and behaviour during these unpredictable conditions, increase road safety significantly. For the best cold weather tyres, you can rely on Goodyear.
The new UltraGrip 8 is the first directional tyre using patented 3D-BIS (Block Interlocking System) Technology™ throughout the entire tread pattern. It offers more grip, shorter braking distances and improved handling. In some situations, one metre shorter braking distance can make a big difference.
Why have your air conditioning serviced?
• Not cold enough?
• Windows not demisting?
• Strange noises when A/C is on?
• Your cars air con system loses up to 15% of it’s gas each year.
• A poorly performing cars air conditioning system can cause a build up of fungus, bacteria and other microbes inside the evaporator core, this can cause a smell or sometimes an allergic reaction and can lead to legionnaires disease!
• Have your car air conditioning system serviced every 12 months.
• A typical main dealer car air conditioning service will cost you at least £100
• A poor aircon system can increase your fuel costs as the air conditioning pump needs to work a lot harder