Home Vehicle Services Information
Vehicle Services Information
Oil & Filter Change
Making sure that your car's oil gets changed regularly is key to keeping a car's engine running healthily for as long as possible. Oil keeps the moving components within the engine moving with as little resistance as possible but needs to be treated as a perishable, meaning that it needs to be replaced routinely to make sure that you're still getting the best performance possible.
Oil and filter changes are included in both standard and comprehensive services.
Why does oil need to be replaced?
Over time oil can lose its effectiveness in a number of ways, so it's important to make sure that the oil in your car's system is healthy and not causing any damage to vital components.
Through regular usage oil can thin and lose its heat absorbing properties, potentially causing damage internally as the engine attempts to run normally while meeting more resistance. For other cars oil can also be lost either through a leak or being ‘burned off'. This is particularly noticeable with a number of cars that have a Wankel rotary engine; because of the increased amount of movement more oil is required to keep the system moving efficiently.
Key Fact The correct oil helps to increase engine life, aid fuel efficiency and maximises the power and performance of your vehicle. The oil filter eliminates impurities suspended in the oil.
Have you ever felt a weird vibration coming from your steering wheel when you're cruising along the highway or your car shaking when you pick up speed? Or perhaps you've noticed that your tires are wearing out faster than usual. If so, you may be seeing the results of imbalanced wheels, which could make for a rough ride and can have some dangerous and expensive side effects.
Between your tires and wheels, there is a strip of weights that line the inside of the wheel, a part that goes unnoticed by the average driver. Over the life of your wheels, these weights that are initially evenly distributed around the wheel's circumference will begin to shift, which causes an imbalance in the wheel.
This imbalance could be along the horizontal plane of the wheel, which would cause side-to-side vibration, or it could be concentrated in certain spots (either too heavy or too light) on the tire, making for turbulent forward rotation. This could lead to a downgrade in traction and/or shifting, as well as accelerated tread wear, which can have you buying new tires sooner than you might have expected.
Car Electrical Service
Electrical Service includes full on-site facilities to diagnose and repair the following:
- Computer diagnostic fault finding and rectification
- Alternators, starter motors, ignition modules and ECUs
- Wiring defects, loom and harness repair and replacement
- Electric window repairs
- Tow bars and electrics
- Car Alarm Systems - we are Thatcham approved installers of 'Tracker Systems'. Insurance company approved vehicle alarms including Cat I, Cat II and Cat III immobiliser systems.
- Satellite navigation systems
- CD, DVD and TV systems
- Hands free car kits and reversing/parking sensors
- Hi-Fi specialist in-car entertainment installs and repairs on in car Hi-Fi systems.
- Air conditioning - Servicing and repairs
TRANSMISSION FLUSH AND FLUID CHANGE
By keeping up with the your vehicle's recommended transmission fluid change schedule, you can keep your transmission in good working order and decrease the likelihood of costly transmission repairs down the road. In many cases, a transmission fluid exchange is due every 30,000 miles or 2 years
During a transmission fluid exchange, our tire and automotive service professionals will remove virtually all the old transmission fluid and replenish it with new transmission fluid. The transmission fluid exchange process differs between an automatic and manual transmission, but the end result is the same: a more efficient transmission, better fuel economy and the avoidance of transmission repairs caused by neglected transmission fluids.
HOW TRANSMISSION FLUID WORKS IN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION VEHICLES
In manual transmission vehicles the clutch and gears are manually moved by the driver of the car. In automatic transmission vehicles, this movement happens from a hydraulic system that is powered by the force of pressurized transmission fluid moving through the transmission system. So, in addition to cooling the transmission and preventing internal gears from grinding, the transmission fluid in automatic transmission vehicles also powers the transmission.
Because automatic transmission systems generate a lot of friction and heat with regular use, the fluid in automatic transmission vehicles will naturally breakdown and dissipate over time. For this reason, owners of most automatic transmission vehicles should check their trans fluid levels regularly to make sure fluid levels are not low.
Like manual transmission owners, automatic transmission owners should also keep an eye out for fluid contamination caused by wearing gears, and leaks.
HOW TRANSMISSION FLUID WORKS IN MANUAL TRANSMISSION VEHICLES
In manual transmission systems, transmission fluid is primarily used to prevent overheating and the premature wear of gears. The transmission fluid also keeps the gears lubricated and at cool operating temperatures.
The type of transmission fluid used in manual transmission systems will largely vary depending on the make, model, and specifications outlined in the vehicle owner's manual. Manual transmissions may use manual gear oil, or transmission fluid specific to each vehicle make and model.
If you have a manual transmission system you want to keep an eye out for contaminated transmission fluid, and specifically transmission fluid that appears to contain any shards of metal from worn bearings or synchronizers. Transmission fluid runs between all the gears in your manual transmission and running metal-laden fluid through metal gears can end up causing untimely wear.
Another thing to look out for is a transmission fluid leak. While the transmission fluid in manual transmission vehicles doesn't tend to naturally break down on its own, loose parts or impact from road debris can cause leaks and low fluid levels.
WHEEL ALIGNMENT AND SUSPENSION SERVICES
An alignment every 6,000 miles can greatly extend the life of your tires. At Tires Plus, we provide a wide range of alignment services performed by certified alignment technicians. With every wheel alignment package, we will:
- Inspect your steering and suspension system.
- Check your tire condition and air pressure.
- Adjust your camber, caster and toe angles (if adjustable) to the manufacturer's specifications. (Additional parts and labour may be necessary on some vehicles — see your customer service advisor for details.)
- Road-test your vehicle to ensure your alignment is straightforward.
- Provide you with a printout containing your vehicle's "before" and "after" alignment readings.
OUR STEERING & SUSPENSION SERVICES:
Repair or replace key parts including:
- ball joints
- sway bar links
- center links
- idler arms/pitman arms
- rack and pinion units
- tie rod ends/sleeves
- CV joints/boots
- CV axle half shafts
- shock absorbers
- coil springs
- universal joints and springs
- How to keep your car on the road
A few simple maintenance checks can work wonders
- Give your car a thorough check every few weeks and you may spot problems before they cause a breakdown. There are 6 key areas to keep on top of: fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics and rubber. When it comes to remembering them, just think: FLOWER
- Don't wait until your fuel light comes on, especially if you're in an unfamiliar place. It may sound obvious but, if you're running low on fuel and you see a petrol station, top up.
- Give all your exterior lights a decent clean every few weeks, making sure to check for blown bulbs and cracks in the lenses.
- Cars can get through up to a litre of oil every 1,000 miles, so it pays to check your oil level regularly (check your handbook if you're not sure how to). Don't wait for the red oil pressure warning light to come on - your engine might already be damaged by then.
- Overheating causes a lot of breakdowns, especially in hotter weather, so check your coolant level every couple of weeks (again, if you're unsure, your handbook will explain). If the level always seems low, check for leaks. It's always a good idea to keep your windscreen washer fluid topped up, too.
- How to check your cooling fan
- Battery problems are the number one cause of breakdowns, at any time of year. So if your battery's getting a bit old and tired, renew it before it lets you down. You should also make sure that your radiator's electric cooling fan starts running when the engine gets hot. You can check this by running the engine with the car stationary, or ask your garage to have a look for you.
- If your tyres aren't inflated properly, you could be putting yourself at serious risk. They'll also wear out faster and can lead to wasted fuel. If you've got a full load on board you'll need to increase your tyre pressures - your handbook will tell you the right levels.
Key Fact If you don't have time for a full Vehicle Health Check, why not pop in for a Free Tyre Safety Check. We'll check and adjust your tyre pressure, check your tyre condition and tread depths.
At Auto trader we know how important the regular inspection and maintenance of your brakes can be to ensure your brakes continue to work effectively.
We have over 600 brake specialists nationwide who are fully trained and committed to maintaining your brakes in an expert and cost effective manner.
Today's vehicle braking systems involve many different components working together to help you to stop and manoeuvre your vehicle in a controlled manner. The key components of your vehicle braking system include a master cylinder, servo, brake callipers, brake fluid and cylinders, disks, drums, pads and shoes. All the components are linked by a series of brake hoses and brake pipes containing brake fluid, so when you press your brake pedal the vehicle slows down and stops. The rate at which your brakes reduce the vehicle speed is determined by the amount and duration of foot pressure is applied to your brake pedal, and of course the overall condition of your braking system.
Brakes are in use more often when driving around town than on a motorway journey, not forgetting that you may need to use your brakes to stop your vehicle quickly in an emergency. So maintaining an effective vehicle braking system is a top priority for every motorist.
Regular brake checks are an important part of any vehicle preventative maintenance plan. Brake checks can identify a problem before it begins to impact on your braking efficiency, thus providing an opportunity to restore the effectiveness of your vehicle's braking system to its intended operating performance. The effects of a sudden brake failure can be devastating and in the event of an accident attributed to faulty brakes, the consequences of not maintaining an effective braking system could result in prosecution. Your vehicle will also fail its MOT test if your braking system does not meet required standards to allow your vehicle to come to an efficient stop.
During the performance of your vehicle's braking system is tested on a rolling road to measure the amount of braking force generated while operating the hand and foot brake. The braking force generated is then recorded and compared to the manufacturer's specified tolerance level. Any reading or imbalance falling outside these tolerance levels will result in an MOT test failure. As best practice for drivers whose annual mileage is considered average or high (around 8,000 miles per year or more), your vehicle's braking system needs checking at least twice a year.
Car Exhausts and Repair
Your car's exhaust pipe serves a number of purposes, but it needs to be in good condition and working well for you to get the best fuel economy possible and reduce the CO2 emissions produced by your car.
Exhaust systems are prone to damage from a number of different sources, whether they come from external knocks and bumps or from corrosion caused by the age of the vehicle. For that reason it's important to check your exhaust pipe for physical damage at least once every 10,000 km, or once a year- whichever comes around first.
Exhaust checks are part of our free vehicle health check service, so if you're in any doubt about your exhaust system's condition, visit us in-centre and our technicians will be happy to offer their professional, unbiased opinion.
Repair and replacement of damaged exhausts
Damage to exhaust systems can not only make running a car more uncomfortable from additional noise, smoke or worse fuel consumption, but it may make your car's noise levels and CO2 emissions higher than the legal requirements. This could potentially be cause for an MOT test failure, as the car will not be deemed legal for road use.
Sometimes you will be able to spot visual damage to the exhaust, giving you a clear idea of any work required, however as the exhaust pipe travels across the entire length of the underside of your car, it can be difficult to know for certain without your car being placed on a hydraulic lift.