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

Tyre Pressures

Tyres specified by the a vehicle manufacturer also come with recommended tyre pressures, These tyres pressures permits safe operation within the specified load and speed rating. The information on the tyre sizes and pressures are usually located on a decal just inside the driver’s door, the fuel flap or if the vehicle has one, the vehicles handbook.

Tyres should not be inflated to the pressure that is stated on the sidewall of the tyre as this is the maximum pressure for that tyre, rather than the recommended pressure. It’s also very dangerous to allow tyre pressure’s to drop below the recommended pressure, should this happen the tyre wall will become more pliable than had it been of a higher pressure, and thus it will “roll” under the wheel. This increases the entire roll movement of the car, and diminishes tyre contact area on the negative side of the vector. Meaning that only half the tyre is in contact with the road, the tyre may deform to such an extent that the side wall on the positive vector side becomes in contact with the road and probability of failing in the emergency manoeuvre is then increased.

Sale of Dangerous Tyres Leads to Convictions

We always recommend that you purchase new tyres. There is no true way of knowing what damage there may be to a part worn without x-ray eyes!

The sale of part worn tyres is subject to the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.), which is part of the Consumer Protection Act. The legal minimum for tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but to be legal to sell part-worn tyres must have at least 2mm – just 0.4mm more than the legal limit. The tyres should not have cuts, lumps or any other damages that will compromise its structural integrity, have passed an inflation test and be marked with the part worn stamp. Motorists are reminded to check that the tyre being offered to them meets these requirements before purchasing and to consider purchasing a new tyre which has none of the potential issues of a used example.

At 2mm tread remaining the tyres wet braking ability has diminished so much that it’s on the border of being unsafe. And the mileage that remains on a tyre of 2mm tread is so low that it is just not economical. Add to this that a great number of used tyres are of Chinese origin and are not constructed to the standards of major brand named tyres such as Goodyear and Michelin. Why take the risk?

The sale of dangerous tyres to unsuspecting motorists has led to the conviction of six retailers of part worn tyres from the Brent and Harrow area of London within the space of a week. Top Tyres & Auto Parts Ltd (Wembley); Whitchurch Road Tyres (Harrow); Pinner Road Tyres Ltd (Harrow); Quick Car Repairs Ltd (Harrow); Mr Walazedeh trading as Harrow Tyres (Harrow); and 3D Tyres Ltd (Wembley) faced 36 charges of supplying unsafe tyres, not complying with the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. All six pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay a total of £18,009.40 in fines, including individual penalties for company directors, costs and victim surcharges. The risk to road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, posed by the offenders’ sale of dangerous and incorrectly labelled tyres was roundly condemned by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, TyreSafe and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) whose cooperation led to the successful convictions.”One retailer wilfully selling dangerous tyres is one too many but the conviction of six in a week highlights just how many part worn dealers are flouting the law and their duty of care to the public,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Tyres are a primary safety feature on a vehicle, significantly affecting braking and steering performance – fitting sub-standard tyres endangers lives.

Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “It is simply unacceptable for tyre companies to be taking shortcuts with part-worn tyres, putting drivers and their passengers at risk, in order to maximise profits. As a cheaper alternative to buying a new tyre for a car, this kind of offence also hits the poorest who cannot afford brand new tyres the most, so the outcome of these cases are particularly satisfying.

I would ask anyone thinking of buying a tyre to check it carefully before buying, looking out for cracks, tears, the state of the tread and of course that it is properly marked as a part-worn tyre, before handing over the cash. Trading Standards will never tire in their efforts to ensure the public are kept safe. I hope that these convictions serve as a warning to other tyre companies, that if they do risk public safety, there will be a hefty price to pay.
Source: – Sale of Dangerous Tyres Leads to Convictions

MICHELIN Pilot Road 4


Yet another sport touring radial tire breakthrough from Michelin: With MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres on your motorcycle, you’ll ride with more confidence – rain or shine, hot or cold, city or highway. Available in 3 versions: Standard, GT & Trail. Stops Faster MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres stop faster in the wet than any other tyres in the category. But don’t just take our word for it. Independent tests prove it.* The MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 brakes 17% shorter than its closest competitor on wet pavements and even better on slippery wet surfaces thanks to MICHELIN XST+ sipes technology. All of which means riding in the rain should feel safer, more secure, and a lot less stressful. Lasts Longer Thanks to improved 2CT technology, the new MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 4 lasts 20% longer than MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 3 tyres**. Over the long run, that adds up to fewer tire changes and a lower total cost of ownership. Grips the road in virtually all conditions All-new silica-charged rubber compounds were developed for the MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres. These compounds are specially formulated to provide excellent grip on a wide range of road surfaces, including painted lines and pedestrian crossings, making it easier for you to ride with confidence in virtually all conditions.***

Source: MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 – Tires On-road | MICHELIN – Motorcycle – United States – Motorcycle-website

10 Car Care Tips

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:

  1. This type of bearing can be removed and taken apart, it is then cleaned out and filled with new grease, or
  2. 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!

Goodyear Tyres Fitted as Original Equipment on Cars

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.

Winter Tyres

Winter Tyres

We have a range of budget and brand Goodyear Dunlop & Pirelli & Michelin.Winter tyres Goodyear Ultra Grip 8

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.


Tyre Labelling Regulations

Tyre labelling for passenger cars, vans & light trucks will come into effect from 1st November 2012 under European Regulation (EC) No. 1222/2009.

This new regulation will bring a major advance in consumer information on tyre safety (wet braking) and the tyre’s impact on the environment (rolling resistance and external noise).

The graphics on the label may be familiar as they are already used for household appliances and more recently for new cars, but what are the benefits for consumers?

Compare fuel economyTyre-Labelling-fuel-economy

Use this diagram to see how a tyre performs on fuel consumption.
Fuel-efficiency is graded from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

Save up to £110 or 80 litres of fuel over the life of the tyres. That’s for a car fitted with four A-rated tyres driving at 50mph – it uses 7.5% less fuel than with G-rated tyres.
Results can vary with type of car or climatic conditions but the performance gaps are proven.

Compare braking on wet roads

Tyre-Labeling-Braking-GradesThis chart grades a tyre on how well it brakes in wet conditions. Performance scales from A (the safest, stopping in the shortest distances) down to G (least safe, with longest braking distances).

Stop up to 4 car lengths shorter. For a car fitted with four A-rated tyres driving at 50 mph, stopping distance can be up to 18 metres or 30%1 shorter than with G-rated tyres.


 Compare external noise level

This diagram shows you a tyre’s noise level in decibels (dB). The 3-wave pictogram tells you

how it rates in relation to future European mandatory limits. Tyre noise heard outside the car doesn’t necessarily relate to what you hear inside the car.

3 black waves = Noisier tyre. Level greater than the future limit but complies with today’s noise regulation
2 black waves = Average tyre. Noise level equal to or below future limit by up to 3 dB (A)
1 black wave = Low noise tyre. Noise level 3 dB (A) or more below future noise limit

3dB doesn’t sound much but it is actually double the noise level!


When choosing tyres

Labelling is a good start, but 3 other performance factors are just as important for you:

Tyre longevity: a longer lasting tyre can cost you less in the long run. The right tyre could give you more than a year of extra driving compared to another tyre.

Road handling performance: 25% of accidents are on bends.

Dry braking performance: 70% of accidents occur on dry roads.


Goodyear Pirelli Firestone Bridgestone

Traditional performance and safety combined with the new environmental features of the “Green Performance” philosophy. Developed to offer road holding on wet and dry roads, driving comfort and a longer life, the Cinturato family stands out for its low environmental impact.
The use of new eco-friendly materials and the lower rolling resistance help reduce the vehicle’s CO2 emissions. The Cinturato family’s summer tyres comprise three different products, developed for different types of use: from compact city cars to prestigious saloons.

Bridgestone POTENZA range represents the pinnacle of Bridgestone’s dedication to motoring perfection, combining Formula 1 precision with the dynamic versatility to conquer the challenges of today’s roads, whatever the conditions.

For the ultimate in safety, performance and sheer driving pleasure, satisfaction has but one name: POTENZA.

Potenza S00
The Bridgestone Potenza S001 redefines the limits of power and control
Potenza RE050
State of the art driving precision from Formula One technology.
Potenza RE050
High performance tyre for high performance cars.
Goodyear OptiGrip. The tyre that reveals a new tread pattern as it wears.

Smartwear technology in the Goodyear OptiGrip tyre reveals new grooves and compound over time, ensuring high levels of performance throughout its life. So even after 20,000 miles it gives a 20%*, or 11 meters, shorters braking distance in the wet than other leading tyres.

EfficientGrip from Goodyear; the tyre choice for reduced fuel consumption without reducing other performances. It has the great handling and braking qualities you’d expect from a Goodyear tyre,

while providing excellent mileage and reduced fuel consumption due to its outstanding rolling resistance.

Goodyear Eagle F1: Consumer of high performance vehicles still look for safety first when it comes to choosing a tyre. Closely followed by performance and comfortable drive.

Edenbridge MOT

Garage Services Edenbridge

We have invested in the latest technology to enable our expert staff to service your vehicle to dealership standards, without the associated main dealer prices.
Our mechanics will provide sound advice, professional workmanship and a report on all work carried out. All our work is fully guaranteed.
This branch offers the following services

Garage Services

Mechanic Services
Clutch Repairs
Shock Absorbers
Exhaust Specialists
Air Conditioning Specialists
Tyre Fitting
Wheel Alignment

Call us, or call in and see us about your requirements, or submit an online booking here on our website. See you soon.

Edenbridge MOT Tyres Exhausts