Basic Vehicle Maintenance Information
Welcome to Harding Auto Services basic vehicle maintenance helpful tips page. We hope this helps!
One of the systems under the most stress and as result require frequent maintenance. Here are some of the things to look out for.
This could indicate corroded brake discs or worn brake pads that need replacing. It could also be the ABS system operating in abnormal conditions. In general any noise from the brakes warrants a trip to us to confirm there operation.
This would indicate a warped brake disc, a poorly fitted or seized braking component or air in the hydraulic brake system. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your brake fluid every 2 years for cars with ABS or ESP - when was the last time yours was replaced? Have the boiling point checked - anything below 200 Celcius is too low and should be replaced.
The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm (in Germany it is 3mm), across the central 3/4 of the tread around its circumference. Stopping distance is dramatically increased in wet conditions when tyre tread is below 3mm as the tread is unable to dissipate the water away from the contact surface to the road, leading to aquaplaning.
Tyre pressure is vital to the performance of your tyres in all conditions. It also has a dramatic effect on fuel efficiency if the tyre is under-inflated. Most manufactures publish the recommended tyre pressures in the owners manual and a discreet surface somewhere on your car. If in doubt please give us a call and we will let you know.
Winter tyres are designed from rubber that remains soft for lower temperatures - normal road tyre rubber hardens below 7 Celcius, causing reduced grip. The tyre tread is also specifically designed to reduce the buildup of impacted snow in the grooves of the tyre, which is the main cause for loss of control. Harding Auto Services sell Autosocks which fit over your existing tyres, for use in extreme snow conditions. Please call for more information.
Remember your tyres are the only thing between you and the car in front, so look after them!
A clear view from your car, day and night, is vital to safe journey. Old wiper blades with cracks, tears or ridges in can cause streaking on your windscreen which dramatically reduces your visibility. Play it safe and replace your wiper blades every year, if we supply them we'll fit them free of charge for you.
Lights are critical in all driving conditions, in fact most countries now require daytime running lights as well. Remember they're not just for you, they also help other people see you. Check all your lights regularly.
It's one of the hotest and most difficult topics currently in the motor trade.
The viscosity of the oil (you may recall 10W40) is no longer the critical factor, but rather the ACEA and manufacturers individual specification. As the demands on the combustion engine have increased in both performance and efficiency, so the complexity of lubricants have increased. So most manufacturers specify their own grades of oil. There are too many to list here, but it is vital that the correct oils are used, especially in modern diesel and long life petrol engines. It is also important that you use oils that are approved for use in your car, not simply meet the specifications, as these oils have not been verified as appropriate by the manufacturer. Similarly with antifreeze and hydraulic fluids, always use the correct specification and never mix different products - the result can be worse the cheaper alternative!
At Harding Auto Services we always use the correct fully synthetic oils and lubricants for your car, without hidden extra charges. If in doubt please ask.