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The Motorists' Guide
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Car Ownership Guides - Understanding your Car & how to keep it in good condition

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  2. The Motorists Guide

    Tyre Repair Guide

    Repairable Tyre Area Tread Gauge Is Your Puncture Repairable? If you are unsure as to whether a puncture can be fixed, this free printable repairable area gauge allows you to see in which area of the tyre tread it is possible to safely and legally repair a puncture. Is Your Flat Tyre Fixable? The “repairable area” of a tyre is designated as that where a repair can be carried out to British Standards (currently BS AU 159f). Because a tyre curves away from the middle of where the tyre rolls on the road, only the centre area is repairable. Sidewalls are not repairable. The repairable area is defined as a percentage of the tyre’s “nominal” section width and thus varies by the size of the tyre. The repairable area is based on the centre line, eg. 82mm means 41mm on either side of the centre line of the tyre. Using this handy repairable areas tread gauge, you can quickly find out if a puncture in your tyre is likely to be repairable. Follow the printing instructions so that it is the right size, cut it out, read the tyre width off its sidewall, then put the centre line of the gauge in the middle of the tyre where the puncture is. If the puncture falls between the markings for that size tyre, it is probably repairable. (Note that the tyre may not be repairable if the hole is larger than 3mm or there is other internal damage to the tyre.) Click on the image to download your free repairable area gauge in PDF format. Source article: https://www.etyres.co.uk/repairable-area-gauge/
  3. It’s not as though our Winters are getting colder or that we are experiencing longer spells of the Winter freeze, but when it does go below zero then we can reasonably expect to encounter a range of problems that may not have been there beforehand Below is a list of items worth getting checked before the Winter freeze catches you out: Screen Wash This can be a costly item to replace if a quality screen wash has not been used. Replacement usually involves removing the front bumper to fit a new reservoir if it has cracked due to the water freezing and the pump can also suffer the same fate. A quality screen wash solution contains an antifreeze agent which when mixed to the correct ratio can prevent damage to the reservoir, jets, hoses and pump. More importantly is the safety factor of being able to see where you are going with a clear screen from when you start off ! Wiper Blades Always ensure that you switch off the automatic wiper function when leaving the car overnight. Once the ignition is switched on then the wipers may activate and destroy the blades or even the linkage, which can be a very expensive replacement. Also ensure that the blades are in good condition to cope with the extra burden of clearing the windscreen in cold and wet conditions. Battery & Charging Batteries are more likely to fail during the Winter months due to the cold temperatures. Additionally, there is more strain on a battery when the engine and oil are colder. Sometimes, in extremely cold conditions, it helps to depress the clutch when turning the engine over as this disengages the transmission and allows the engine to turn over easier. Ensure the alternator is capable of keeping the battery charged at an optimum level by testing the charge rate. Also, check the drivebelt is also in good condition and tensioned correctly. Tyres These are one of the least maintained items of the car. Considering they have such an important job to do and also considering they have such a small footprint on the road surface, driving in icy conditions demand that the tyres are in a safe, and legal condition and to the correct pressures to ensure a safe trip. Engine Coolant If the antifreeze content is low then this can create major expensive damage to the engine and associated components. When ice forms, it expands and this can crack radiators, engine castings and even freeze components such as the waterpump (which can be part of the camshaft timing belt assembly). Ensure that the antifreeze content is to the correct ratio and sufficient enough to cope with freezing temperatures by having it tested. Lighting The lighting system is vital during the Winter months, not only for safety reasons but also for the legal aspect. You may not use your headlights much when driving in the Summer but chances are that most of your journeys during the Winter are in the dark mornings and evenings. Fuel System The cold temperatures can have an effect on the fuel system, although mainly with Diesel engines. Problems such as the Diesel fuel waxing and any water content freezing in the fuel filter. Allow extra time for the glow plugs to operate and replace any that are failing. Heating and Ventilation Ensuring that the cabin filter is replaced and the air conditioning system is functioning correctly can assist in the windscreen remaining clear for the duration of your journey. Brakes Make sure that the braking system has been checked periodically as it will need to be in good working order to cope with the colder temperatures. Brakes don’t tend to be too effective until some heat has been generated in the friction lining material, so don’t brake heavily until they have warmed up. ABS is obviously vital when driving in slippery conditions to ensure that there are no warning lights on the dashboard and if possible, check the operation of the system.
  4. Checking tyre pressures regularly helps to stay safe on the road & save you money By ensuring that your vehicle's tyres are inflated to their recommended tyre pressure levels, you could: • Extend the life of your tyres • Improve your vehicle safety • Maintain fuel efficiency Click this link to find the correct pressures for your car NOTE: ALWAYS CHECK THE PRESSURES WHEN THE TYRES ARE COLD ADDITIONAL TYRE CHECKS When you check the tyres pressures, you can see at a glance whether there are any issues with a tyre losing pressure, adjustments to the wheel alignment needed or even a fault in the vehicle suspension. The signs that something is wrong is seen as excessive wear on the inside, outside or centre of the tyre tread. You should then take the car to a garage for them to check the steering and suspension for wear or damage. v
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