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How To’s / DIY Articles

Road Safety Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a service include?

A service generally includes comprehensive checks and adjustments of over 31 different vehicle parts and systems dependant on service type, including (but not limited to);

  • Engine oil changes or filter replacement
  • Functionality checks on lights, brakes, and steering.
  • Engine tuning adjustments
  • Hydraulic fluid and coolant level checks
  • Suspension checks
  • Steering alignment
  • Battery condition checks

How do I know if my wheel alignment is out?

Wheel misalignment is very common and may be caused by anything from driving over a pothole to suspension wear and tear. The most common symptoms of this issue include;

Uneven or rapid tyre wear – tyres misaligned inwards, or ‘toed in’ tend to show excessive wear on the outer shoulder, whilst ‘toed out’ tyres show excessive wear on the inner shoulder

Excessive fuel consumption – when wheels are misaligned, they do not work together effectively, putting strain on the engine and reducing fuel efficiency

Handling issues, particularly unprompted pulling to one side – misaligned wheels can lead to the vehicle pulling left or right when driving straight ahead

Clearly audible squealing noises when driving at low speeds – this may be a result of the excessive wear wheel misalignment can cause in the steering and suspension system

How do brakes work?

The braking system is complex and involves the collaboration of multiple components. It primarily assists in helping vehicles stop, but can also be used to maneuver them in a safe, controlled manner. The primary components of this system are generally listed as the master cylinder, brake discs, servo, calipers, brake fluid, cylinders, drums, pads, and shoes. These parts are linked by a system of tubes and hoses in most vehicles.

The brake pedal is directly connected to the master cylinder, a component filled with brake fluid, which allows for the creation and application of hydraulic pressure. This pressure is applied when the brake pedal is depressed and is used to activate pistons that force the pads, or shoes, onto the rotating parts of the wheel, with the intention of stopping or slowing the vehicle. The two most common types of brake assembly in the UK are disc brakes, and drum brakes.

How do I know if my clutch has a problem?

There are many signs of a clutch problem – listed below are some of the most common indicators;

Burning smell – The presence of a burning smell whilst driving is often an indicator of a serious issue, meaning the vehicle should be stopped as soon as is safely possible. Though a burning smell is considered an indicator for many faults, the cause is often a worn, or damaged clutch, which allows for the build-up of heat.

Spongy clutch – If the clutch pedal feels unusual or ‘spongey’ when pressed down, the cause is likely a worn clutch.

Difficulty changing gears – One of the most obvious indicators of a worn or broken clutch is difficulty changing gears – often caused by the clutch struggling or failing to engage. If caught early, this issue may be resolved by a small clutch repair – avoiding the costs of a replacement.

Visible damage – The presence of fine black dust within the bell housing is a sure indicator of a damaged or worn clutch.

Higher biting point – As the clutch degrades, its biting point tends to become higher. If there is a notable difference in biting point, hiring a garage or mechanic to investigate the condition of the clutch is generally worthwhile.

Why does my car aircon rattle when I turn it on?

Noisy aircon can be an indicator of many issues, especially if the noise or rattle is particularly loud when the system is first turned on. Listed below are some potential causes;

Compressor issues – A rattling noise when turning on the vehicle’s air conditioning is a common early indicator of aircon compression failure

Pulley bearing failure - If the vehicle’s compressor pulley bearings are failing or in bad condition, they tend to be loud upon air condition start-up. The noises made by these bearings is often described as a grinding, rattling, or squealing sound.

Worn serpentine belt – Worn serpentine belts are known to slip when the compressor is engaged, which may lead to an unusual rattling sound.

Worn or broken Compressor Clutch - The compressor clutch undergoes a high amount of wear and tear. If it is particularly damaged or worn, it can make a rattling noise during operation. This issue often necessitates replacement of the part, or of the part, and the attached compressor, depending on the vehicle type.

Audible rattling produced by the vehicle when the aircon is turned on can also be a general indicator of the strain the engine is under. Activating a system of this size can put a heavy load on the engine, creating additional vibrations and rattling noise across the entire vehicle. This noise could be originating from a huge number of things, from loose parts to pulleys.