Frequently Asked Questions

Air Conditioning

What is involved in an air conditioning service?

We cater for multi make vehicle air conditioning including servicing and repair of vehicle air conditioning systems. Your vehicle needs an air conditioning service every two years as part of its service schedule, which includes safe removal of old refrigerant and lubrication, the cleaning of the system and the replacement of lubrication and R134a refrigerant. We can also identify any leaks and other faults which prevent your system from working effectively. We will then repair and refill your system to factory standard.



Tyres

When does a tyre need changing?

One sign that your tyres need changing is noticing deterioration in performance. For example, your car does not handle or grip the road as well in poor weather conditions as it normally does, or it takes longer to stop when you apply the brakes. The fact that tyres wear gradually can make it difficult to identify the reduction in performance, so it's best to have them checked regularly and preferably by an expert. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the tread on your tyres is not worn beyond the legal minimum limit of 1.6 millimetres. To make this easier to identify, tyre manufacturers mould tread wear indicators (T.W.I) into the design of the tyres tread pattern usually at a tread level of 1.6mm. As soon as the tread is worn to the height of the tread wear indicator, the tyre has reached the legal minimum tread depth and you should replace the tyre as soon as possible. You should also be aware that there are many different reasons for tyre wear. Your tyres don't just get worn through age and use, but through emergency braking, under-inflation or over-inflation. And if your wheels are misaligned, one edge of the tyre can wear more rapidly than the other edge. We recommend a weekly walk around the car to check the tread, look for bulges or wear and to check tyre pressures every time you fill the tank.



Why is having the correct tyre pressure important?

Correct tyre pressure can help to extend the life of your tyre, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency. Pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds force (PSI) or BAR pressure. The manufacturer of your vehicle specifies the suitable pressure, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the pressure is checked and corrected on a regular basis, at least every couple of weeks.

There are three main reasons why maintaining the right tyre pressure is important:

1. Safety: Tyres that are under inflated can overheat; and over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling on the road.

2. Economy: Over or under inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Vehicles with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that require more fuel to maintain the same speed.

3. Environment: Correct tyre pressures help to maintain optimum fuel efficiency. This can equate to lower Co2 emissions coming from your vehicle than those with incorrect tyre pressures and that has to be good for the environment.

It is important to check tyre pressure regularly. It is not always apparent that air is being lost, but it generally escapes at the rate of up to two pounds of air every month. More air is usually lost during warm weather, so more regular checks are needed when temperatures rise.

Look for the tyre pressure recommended for your vehicle in your vehicle hand book or within the technical information usually found on the inside of your vehicle's front right hand door or fuel tank flap.

Always check the tyre pressure with a tyre pressure gauge when your tyres are cold. Finally, if you are using your vehicle to carry additional load or weight, always consult your vehicle handbook for the correct loaded tyre pressure.



What is “wheel alignment” and why is it important?

Incorrect alignment can result in rapid irregular tyre wear and can even affect the handling and safety of the vehicle.

Wheel alignment can be affected by driving against a kerb, hitting a pothole in the road or by excessive wear to steering or suspension components. Alignment of wheels and tyres to the specification required by your vehicle is an important way to guarantee a smooth ride and to get the most out of your tyres.

The direction and angle at which tyres are set are both important. Wheel alignment or 'tracking' involves checking the direction and angle against vehicle manufacturers' specifications.

It's worth keeping an eye out for unusual wear on your tyres, such as premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder, which could be caused by an incorrect camber setting.



What is “wheel balancing“ and why is it important?

Wheels that are not balanced or are out of balance generally produce a vibration that is uncomfortable to drive in and results in premature wearing of suspension and steering components, rotating parts and tyres.

Correctly balanced wheels help to eliminate vibration and avoid premature wear caused by an imbalance in the rotating wheel and tyre assembly.

The first sign that your wheels may be out of balance is when your steering wheel starts to wobble above a certain speed. The light weight of modern cars means that they don't dampen down the vibrations caused by spinning wheels in the way that older, heavier vehicles could. Therefore a driver may not always be able to sense an imbalance at the steering wheel.

Wheels are balanced on a wheel balancing machine. The machine rotates the tyre and wheel assembly and automatically calculates the weight and location of the balance counter weight.

As a result of wheel balancing, you should notice a smoother ride and better wear from your tyres, saving you time and money in the future.