Autumn Leaves on UK roads are a danger

Autumn leaves on UK roads are beautiful to see, but when wet or in piles, they present driving hazards unique to the season. It’s alwyas prudent to prepare for Autumn driving conditions by having your vehicles’ tyres, brakes and wipers checked before heading out.

Drivers should be aware that wet leaves on the road surface can make stopping difficult, and piles of leaves can obscure potholes, curbs and street markings. Add to these hazards the fact that road conditions can change from ideal to miserable in a matter of minutes, and what you have is a potentially dangerous situation.

Tyres can affect the car’s ride, handling, traction and safety, and are a critical connection between the car and the road in all types of driving conditions. To maximize tyre life and safety, check the inflation pressure and the tread depth, and inspect the sidewalls for cracks or punctures. As a good practice, tyres should be rotated every 6,000 miles and re-balanced.

The brake system is the car’s most important safety system. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, and brake pads, drums and discs, as well as brake fluid, should be checked regularly too.

To help ensure the performance and safety of wipers, blades should be replaced every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering. Windscreen wiper fluid should be checked monthly and the correct washer fluid mixture should be used for the season.

So as autumn leaves on UK roads start to appear check your car or pop in to us for a visual inspection.

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MOT FAQs

At Tyred and Exhausted we know that there are hundreds of things you may want to ask about the MOT process, so here are some of our most frequently asked questions to help put your mind at ease.

When do I need to take my car for an MOT?

In the UK all cars are required to have an MOT annually if they are over three years old. If your vehicle has previously had an MOT, check the date of the certificate and make sure you know when it is due; you can book your car in up to a month before the expiry date on the certificate.

Can I get a replacement MOT certificate?

If you lose or damage your previous certificate you can get a replacement issued by any UK testing centre, as long as you can prove that you are entitled to receive it. You can do this by taking the car to a test centre with your driving licence, or provide them with the certificate number or the cars unique vehicle registration certificate number. There may be a maximum cost of £10 for a reissue.

My MOT has expired and I forgot! How do I get it to an MOT centre?

Although it is not recommended, legally you can still drive your car to the MOT centre if you have made a previous appointment and are taking the most direct route. Having said this, some faults which result in MOT failures can also be illegal to drive on, and your insurance may be invalidated. Always speak to your insurance company if you are unsure and book your MOT in plenty of time.

What do I do if my car fails?

If your car fails its MOT you will be given a list of reasons why and will need to book the car in for a retest. Normally if you re-book a test within ten days at our MOT centre then there will be no charge, however if it is outside of this time or at a different centre you will need to pay the full MOT fee.

My car has passed but I have ‘advisory’ points – what does this mean?

Advisory points are factors that the tester has found that will need work doing on, normally before the next MOT test. It is a chance for you to rectify the problems before they are so severe that they are dangerous or that they will fail an MOT, and to spread the cost as well.

If you have any other questions about your MOT please do not hesitate to call us at Tyred and Exhausted and we will be happy to help.

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How to Prepare Your Car For an MOT

If your car is due for an MOT there’s no need to panic! No one likes shelling out money and we at Tyred and Exhausted are here to help. If you prepare for your MOT before taking your car in you greatly improve your chances of it passing first time, just give your care a bit of extra attention, you don’t need to be a professional mechanic!

1. Don’t Overlook The Small Stuff

The three W’s: window wipers, washers and windscreen. Make sure your washers are filled with water, the surface of your wipers aren’t cracked and your windscreen is intact. If your windscreen is damaged, depending on the extent it could be the difference between passing and failing your MOT so if it is check your policy, you might be able to get it fixed on your insurance without your policy being affected.

2. Lights, Hazards And Indicators

It goes without saying but make sure all the bulbs in your car are working, and if not, replace them! Get a friend to stand by your car so you can check the exterior lighting, this means the fogs, hazards, breaks and indicators.

3. Take A Look At Your Tyres

Make sure none of the nuts are missing in your alloy wheels, make sure your rims are in good shape and check the alignment of the valve.
A professional is usually required to make specific assertions about the appropriateness of your tyres but there are a few things you can check beforehand just to give you a little bit of an edge. Check for cuts, damage and wear; the wear can be checked against the ‘wear bars’ within the tread.
Generally speaking make sure your car is in a clean and presentable condition, your tester can refuse to check it, wash your car and check for oil leaks, petrol leaks and check your seatbelt function, every little helps.
Here at Tyred and Exhausted we are an independent family business aiming to give you unbeatable service. For your MOT, servicing or general car enquiries make us your number one point of call. Contact us today on 01296 432552 or get in touch online and we’ll give your car the VIP treatment.

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3 Signs You Have a Faulty Transmission

If you’re not car savvy and things go wrong it can be daunting and you may feel out of you depth diagnosing the problem yourself. The good thing is, by understanding what your car should sound, drive and look like, spotting signs of problems early on will help you understand how it needs to be fixed.

One of the more common problems with a car is a faulty transmission – but we at Tyred and Exhausted are here to inform you of some signs that can indicate what the problem is.

Sign Number 1: Damp Spots

Damp underneath the car can be a sign that there is a leak (never good) but if the stain is red, this will quite possibly be fluid from a faulty transmission. There may only be drips indicating the leak, but it’s a sign that this will only worsen if it isn’t fixed – as a visual sign, you will know that this isn’t something to ignore, so ensure it’s booked in for a diagnosis.

Sign Number 2: Drop in Fluid Levels

If the fluid levels in your car have dipped, don’t ignore it. By checking them as soon as you notice the difference, you will be able to tell straight away if this is related to your transmission. As with the leaks, the transmission fluid should appear translucent but red in colour. If this is cloudy, or is expressing a burning smell then it is hinting that the fluid needs to be changed.

Sign Number 3: Listen to your Engine

Whether it’s grinding or stuttering the sound of your car is an indication as to its problem. Whether it’s something minor, or more serious, the tone of how your car runs is crucial to understanding what needs to be fixed. There should be no reason to hear your transmission whilst you drive so if there are signs of this then it means other hints have been ignored and immediate action must occur by a professional.

We hope this has helped you to understand the signs of a faulty transmission. If you are concerned, or you require further help then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to book you in.

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How Important is a Car Service?

It’s something that rolls around every year. Regardless of the age of your car, the servicing is something that each make, model, size and colour car goes through annually; yet but what are the benefits? We at Tyred and Exhausted are here to not only provide services, but also to allow our customers to understand the importance of making the effort to get this done.

Longer Life:

As complex as cars appear, with the right care and attention, they can go years without problems and costing their owners additional money. There are never guarantees that with a service a car will never have problems, but a service highlights potential problems that could occur if they are not dealt with.  Depending on the garage, a car service may also treat your car to a valet, leaving you one less job to do when you get it home.

Cost Effective:

Linking well with the point above, the cost effectiveness of getting your car serviced may not be noticeable as you pay for the completion of the car service. However, without this you may notice costs soar as general wear and tear kick in and problems arise. You may already be aware that car’s aren’t cheap when problems do arise so save money in the long run by paying for a service each year.

Warranty / Selling Bonus:

If your car is new, then often the warranty is only valid if the services are maintained so it’s important to ensure these are kept up to prevent this being affected. Also, if you have a completed log book showing the history of services this is very valuable to a buyer; they know the car has been well looked after and often add £’s on to the sale price.

So whether yours is due now or not for a few months yet, don’t skip your cars service; see it as an overall health check for your vehicle. For a reliable service, or more information, don’t hesitate to contact us to get booked in.

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Save Fuel With These Eco-Driving Tips

Did you know that you can save fuel by altering the way you drive? No – well you can, and to help you save money on fuel read on as we at Tyred & Exhausted offer some eco-driving tips which will help you cut your fuel consumption.

Tip One: Avoid Harsh Acceleration

One way to drive more economically is to avoid any harsh acceleration or breaking; one way you can achieve this is by giving the car in front of you a wide berth, this will allow you to slow down naturally rather than slamming on the brakes when they do. It’s also a lot safer, as it gives you time to react to a situation.

Tip Two: Remove Heavy Un-Used Accessories

Roof racks and bike carriers are heavy, and when you are not using them take them off your car. If you leave them on your vehicle, the excess weight will use more fuel as it will take more energy to move the car from one spot to the next.

Tip Three: Changing Gears

When possible try and drive in higher gears, this will reduce the revs and reduce the amount of fuel you consume. It’s easy to develop bad habits, and for many of us who want to overtake or accelerate we tend to leave it in a lower gear to build up speed before changing gears. This will use more fuel – so try and kick this bad habit.

Tip Four: Check Tyre Pressure

If your tyres are under inflated then you will inevitable use more fuel – therefore keep an eye on your tyre pressure. It can also affect the safety and handling of the vehicle so it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Tip Five: Have a Regular Service

Have your car serviced every year as this will make sure that your car is kept in tip top condition, and ensure that your car is running efficiently.

To book your car in for a car servicing in Aylesbury make sure you get in touch with us at Tyred & Exhausted and call us on 01296 432 552.

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Common Gearbox Faults & Symptoms

The gearbox is an essential component of any car – and should yours go wrong you’ll probably know about it. But to help you identify a gearbox fault and the symptoms which you should be on the lookout for then read on as we explain all in our latest post.

Fluid Leaks

Transmission fluid is a light red colour and should it begin to leak you should notice it on the drive or where you have been parked. It’s important that you keep your transmission fluid topped up, especially if you’ve noticed a leak. Without fluid the transmission will begin to seize up – which can make it very difficult for the gears to shift from one to the next.

Jumping Gears

A big sign that there is something wrong with the gearbox is if the gear stick jumps out of the gear you’ve placed it in. This indicates a problem with the linkage, and will either mean that they will need replacing or you’ll need a new gearbox. If the mechanic gives you the option, try and get them to change the linkage as this is considerably cheaper than trying to replace the whole gearbox.

Struggling to Change Gears

If, when you’ve been driving you’ve had to pump the clutch in order to change gear then there is either a problem with the clutch or the gearbox. Don’t ignore this problem, it won’t go away. If your car is showing one or all of these symptoms make sure you book yourself into our garage in Aylesbury and we’ll fix the problem for you.

For more details call us today on 01296 432 552.

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When Should I Replace My Tyres?

Winter is officially here – and in true British style we’re expecting snow, ice and hailstones, but what about your tyres? Are they able to withstand the slippery conditions which are fast approaching? If you’re not sure – carry out our quick and easy checklist to discover if your tyres are safe enough.

Regular Tyre Checks

You should try and check your tyres every months, this will give the opportunity to spot any damage or irregular tears which could have arisen without your knowledge. It’s also the perfect opportunity to check the tread depth to ensure that you have enough grip to drive confidentially and with complete control over ice and snow.

No one likes driving in snow and ice, but when you know you have good tyres on you’ll have greater confidence in the safety of your car.

If you’re tyres shows any of the following signs then they need replacing;

– Tread depth very low
– Irregular wear and tear
– Any damage to the wheel
– Puncture
– Aging Tyres

Our top tip for anyone who wants their tyres to last longer is to check them regularly for the above and make sure they have the correct tyres fitted and that they have the correct amount of air in them. Tyre pressure will affect performance and could make your tyres last longer.

If you are looking for cheap tyres in Aylesbury telephone Tyred & Exhausted on 01296 432 552.

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How a Leaking Exhaust Could Damage your Car

Making sure your vehicle is the fully functioning machine it was upon purchase is something that’s difficult to keep on top of, short of being a mechanic or living with Lewis Hamilton’s pit crew. Keeping an eye on the various elements of your car though, is something that everybody should do, as spotting a potential fault early can lead to a cheap and easy solution to a problem that could have become difficult and painfully expensive. When it comes to exhausts in Aylesbury, there are many things that can go wrong, and many ramifications if it does. But if your exhaust is just leaking, can it actually damage your car?

The short answer is yes, it definitely can. Most notably, exhaust leaks can often cause valve damage through the process of taking in cold air. Similarly the leak can affect the engine and the overall performance of the car, and worse of all it can cause poisonous gases to bleed into the passenger seat and harm the occupants! Any sort of leak, or exhaust issue should be handled and seen to immediately due to the nature of the monoxide and burnt gases it handles.

Here at Tyred and Exhausted, we’re the experts when it comes to tending to the needs of your vehicle, and understand how important your car is to you. For many of us, a car is an absolute necessity, a sole means of conveyance and a primary mode transport for work, school and getting about. As such, we know it can be tempting to leave an issue like a leaking exhaust. This should never be done, however, and with our Fast-Fit car service, we can get your car in the problem identified and the necessary replacement parts fitted quickly getting you back on the road in next to no time!

Furthermore, the longer an exhaust remains leaking, the more severe the damage and the more expensive the job will be to get it fixed further down the line! As friendly, professional engineers you can trust, we’re waiting for your call today! Simply dial 01296432552 and don’t wait another moment to fix that exhaust!

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How to Tell if Your Brakes Are Worn Out

Safety on the road is of paramount importance, and when it comes to ensuring your vehicle is still roadworthy, keeping in the know in regards to your brake situation could save you a lot of trouble further down the line. There can be no compromise, when you need to stop; you have to know that your right foot can do the job, bringing your vehicle to a halt within the correct amount of stopping distance. Here at Tyred and Exhausted, our team are experienced in dealing with your vehicle, able to bring your brakes in Aylesbury back up to the responsive, reactive standard they should meet. Here’s how to tell if you need to take a trip to the experts!

How Do Brakes Wear Down?

Made up of several parts, a brake consists of a hydraulic clamp, a brake fluid line, a brake pad and a rotor connected to the wheel.  Brakes use friction, forcing the brake pad against the rotor, to slow the vehicle down, and as such, the pads eventually erode away. As the state of the pads gets worse with use, the brakes become less and less responsive, until they don’t work at all, leaving you stuck.

How to Spot Eroding Brake Pads

There are a couple of things you can look and listen for when your brakes are showing signs that a trip to the garage may be necessary. Luckily, lots of cars don’t cover the brake pad through the hubcap, and as such you can get a good view of the state of your brake pad. The large metal disc is the rotor, and wrapped around the rotor you should see the brake pads. Taking a close look or, if you can squeeze your hand in, running a finger along the surface should tell you whether or not they’re in need of replacing.

Finally, a high pitched ‘chirping’ noise often occurs when your brake pads are worn right down, as a small piece of metal, usually silenced by the pad, comes into contact with the rotor.

If you’re in need of brake pads or any vehicle work, pick up the phone to the experts here at Tyred and Exhausted. Our friendly team are always happy to offer help and advice, and we pride ourselves on a first rate level of service.

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