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The type of service your car needs will largely depend on what was done before. Our technicians will help you decide by looking at your service book for pre seeing what service was done previously. From there, they can provide you with a more definitive answer. (See what’s included in a bronze or silver service here).
The type of service will depend on what is being done and if any problems are identified which may require additional work. At the time of writing, the price of a Bronze Vehicle Service (standard service) at Elite Garages is from £110 and a Silver Car Service (premium car service) from £210.
A silver car service (full service) typically includes an oil and filter change, a thorough inspection and check of all the main components such as brakes, suspension, tyres and exhaust, as well as a visual inspection of the interior and exterior. Depending on your car’s make, model and mileage, other services may also be recommended to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.
At the time of posting, the price of a bronze car service (standard service) is from £110 and a silver car service (premium service) from £210. The service time will depend on what is being done and if any problems are identified which may require additional work.
We will discuss the customer’s vehicle and what extras it may need and then provide them with a quote specific to their requirements. Typically, a bronze service starts from £110, and a silver service from £210 but prices do vary depending on the vehicle.
The most popular car service is typically the Silver Service (Full Service). It offers a comprehensive check of the vehicle, ensuring all its key systems are working optimally. This type of service generally strikes a balance between thoroughness and cost, making it a favourite among many drivers.
A car alignment ensures that your wheels are properly positioned, promoting even tire wear, improved handling, enhanced fuel efficiency, and safer driving.
Look for signs like uneven tyre wear, vehicle pulling to one side, off-centre steering wheel, vibrations, or squealing tyres when turning.
If your tyres are worn, replace them first. If they’re in good condition, start with a wheel alignment to prolong tyre life. Always consult a qualified vehicle technician for guidance.
The time it takes to replace a clutch can vary based on the vehicle’s make and model, as well as the experience and capabilities of the clutch repair centre and technicians. On average, you can expect a clutch replacement to take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. However, it’s always best to check with your local service centre for a more accurate estimate.
It depends on the extent of the wear. Minor wear can sometimes be adjusted, but if the clutch plate is excessively worn or damaged, it usually needs to be replaced. Regular inspections and timely interventions can prevent a worn clutch from reaching the point of no return.
Signs that you may need a clutch repair or clutch replacement may have gone bad include a slipping clutch (where the engine revs but the car doesn’t accelerate as it should), difficulty in shifting gears, a soft or spongy clutch pedal, and unusual noises when the clutch pedal is pressed. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a vehicle technician as soon as possible.
A typical wheel alignment takes around one hour, regardless of whether it’s a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle. However, if any components exhibit excessive wear, tear, or damage, the process may take longer due to potential replacements.
To determine if your vehicle requires a wheel alignment, start by observing its behaviour while driving in a straight line. Take note of any tendency to veer left or right, particularly when you’re not applying pressure to the steering wheel. This could indicate that a wheel alignment is necessary.
If your vehicle displays any of the following ‘symptoms’, you may need to book a wheel alignment check:
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”1″>Uneven or rapid tyre wear.
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>Steering wheel being crooked when you are driving straight.
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”3″>Noisy Steering.
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”4″>Pulling to the right or left.
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”5″>Squealing tyres.
The frequency of brake service can depend on various factors including driving habits, driving conditions, and the type of vehicle. However, a general rule of thumb is to have your brakes inspected at least once a year or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Of course, if you notice any unusual sounds, reduced brake responsiveness, or any other irregularities in braking performance, it’s important to seek professional brake service immediately.
The time between brake services is influenced by the quality of components used, the expertise of the servicing team, and the car’s usage patterns. Brake pads, for example, typically need replacement every 30,000 to 70,000 miles, though this can vary. It’s best to keep an eye on your brake pads or brake discs and to book a free visual brake inspection at Elite Garages if you have any doubt..
Absolutely! Brake service is integral to not only your car’s performance but, more importantly, to your safety and that of other road users. Brake systems are subjected to wear and tear over time, and regular servicing ensures they remain effective and responsive. Ignoring brake service can lead to decreased brake efficiency, posing potential risks on the road. In essence, a routine brake service is a small investment that yields significant returns in safety, performance, and vehicle longevity
Although many people choose to take their car to the dealership that sold them their car, there’s no obligation to do so. You can use a garage that either sells new cars from your car’s brand or any service centre that follows the manufacturer’s service schedule and uses original/manufacturer OEM approved parts.
It depends on your driving habits and conditions. Generally, it’s advised every two to three years, but always best to consult with a trusted vehicle technician and car service centre. It is best to opt for a wheel alignment every time your vehicle gets an oil change.
Absolutely. Always seek clarity on the origin and pricing. Remember, it’s your right to know where your money is going.
Not always. It often depends on the car’s make, model, and specific needs. Always consult the owner’s manual and consider seeking a second opinion.
If your vehicle fails its MOT, you will be issued a VT30 form and your vehicle will have a “dangerous” or “major” fault. This means that it is not roadworthy and you are not allowed to drive it until the necessary repairs have been made. You will then need to rebook another MOT test once the repairs havebeen completed. It is important to address any issues that caused the failure as soon as possible, as driving a vehicle with dangerous or major faults can result in accidents and put yourself and others at risk.
Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and can result in fines or penalties. If you are caught driving without an MOT, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and your vehicle may also be impounded. Additionally, driving without an MOT can also invalidate your car insurance, leaving you liable for any damages or accidents that occur while driving.
Yes, you can book an MOT even if your current one has expired. However, it is important to note that driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and can result in fines or penalties. If your MOT has expired, it is best to get it renewed as soon as possible. You can book an MOT up to 1 month (minus a day).
The type of car service you need depends on your vehicle’s usage, age, and the miles it has clocked. For a basic check-up, a Bronze Car Service (Lubricant service + health check) might suffice. If you drive frequently and cover approximately 12,000 miles in a year, then a Silver Car Service is advisable. For those who travel extensively, nearing 24,000 miles or more in two years, the Gold Car Service would be the best fit. Always consult with your service centre to ensure the right package for your car’s needs.
While it’s possible to drive without regular servicing, it’s not advisable. Skipping regular service checks might lead to undetected issues which can compromise safety, reduce fuel efficiency, lead to bigger, costlier problems down the line, and even decrease your vehicle’s lifespan. For peace of mind and optimal car health, regular servicing is recommended.
Not necessarily. However, it’s advised for optimal car health. Most manufacturers recommend a yearly car service, especially if your vehicle covers more than 12,000 miles within that year. Annual servicing ensures safety, optimal performance, and can enhance your car’s resale value.
Typically, a comprehensive diagnostic test can last anywhere from one hour to 90 minutes. In some cases, additional issues may arise or certain vehicle components may need to be removed prior to conducting the test, which can extend the duration to approximately two to three hours. At the same time, if a problem is detected early on, the diagnostics test may be considerably shorter.
A diagnostic check of your car typically costs between £30* and £100*, depending on the model and make of the vehicle. A car diagnostic test can provide an indication as to why your dashboard lights may be activating.
* Please note: Pricing is an average. Please contact your nearest branch for more information.
A full car diagnostic test can tell you whether any parts or components within your engine are faulty, along with other issues that might be affecting its performance. It can also provide an indication as to why your dashboard lights may be activating.
Once the full car diagnostic test is completed, our technicians will review their findings with you and let you know if there are any repairs that need to be carried out. If the diagnostics test finds no issues, then we will provide a full report of our findings and advise you on how to keep your car running at its best.
Electric car motors are built to last a very long time, often outlasting the other components of the vehicle. While there are always outliers and individual cases, many electric vehicle owners can expect their car’s motor to last as long as, if not longer than, the lifespan of the car itself. Typically, electric vehicle batteries start showing reduced capacity after 8 to 10 years (or sometimes longer), depending on usage, charging habits, and technology.
The cost of wallboxes can vary depending on the brand, typically ranging from £600 to £1,000* for a 7kW model. While more advanced wallboxes with built-in screens may come at a higher price, many buyers prefer simpler units that offer smartphone app control for added convenience.
Higher-speed wallboxes, capable of delivering up to 22kW, are available. However, accessing these speeds requires a substantial investment in a three-phase power supply. The cost of obtaining a three-phase connection can reach into the thousands, and that’s without factoring in the purchase of the wallbox itself.
* Pricing is an estimate and may vary. For more accurate and up to date pricing, contact the energy provider
Many drivers choose to charge their electric cars overnight, ensuring a full battery each morning. The average domestic electricity rate in the UK is approximately 32p per kWh. Charging a 60kWh electric car to its full capacity will cost around £17 (depending on your location) and provide an estimated range of 200 miles.
*Pricing is an estimate as of June 2023. For accurate pricing, contact the energy provider
The type of coolant you use should be compatible with your vehicle’s engine requirements. Using the wrong antifreeze can lead to engine damage, reduced efficiency, increased corrosion, and potentially costly repairs. Always consult your vehicle’s manual or manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you select the appropriate antifreeze for your car.
In essence, yes. Antifreeze becomes coolant when mixed with water. However, it’s worth noting that you should always use distilled water to ensure there are no contaminants.
In a pinch, yes, you can. But it’s not recommended as a long-term solution. Pure water can lead to corrosion and won’t offer protection against freezing or overheating.
Rain itself doesn’t cause tyres to wear out faster. However, wet roads can highlight the reduced grip of worn tyres, leading to potential issues like aquaplaning. It’s essential to have good tread depth in rainy conditions to dispel water efficiently and maintain grip.
Yes, they do. Cold winter temperatures cause the air inside tyres to contract, leading to a drop in tyre pressure. This is why it’s especially important to regularly check your tyre pressure during the colder months to ensure safe driving conditions.
Absolutely. Weather conditions, from temperature fluctuations to precipitation, can influence tyre performance, wear rate, and overall safety. For instance, hot weather can cause tyres to overheat and expand, while cold conditions can make rubber compounds more rigid, affecting grip.
A general guideline is that for every 10°C change in ambient temperature, tyre pressure increases by 0.1 bar, even when the vehicle is not in use. Although this may seem insignificant, it’s important to consider that passenger vehicle tyres typically have only 30-35 PSI. A slight increase in air pressure can have a significant impact on the tyre, potentially leading to a blowout. Furthermore, over-inflation can affect braking performance and cause premature wear and tear.
Electric vehicles typically require less frequent servicing compared to their petrol or diesel counterparts. The Renault Zoe, for instance, has a suggested service interval of 18,000 miles, doubling the 9,000-mile recommendation for its petrol vehicles.
At the same time, Hyundai outlines a similar plan for its electric vehicles, mirroring its petrol and hybrid cars’ service intervals. These intervals are set at 10,000 miles in the first year, extending to 20,000 miles in the second year, and so on, adhering to the “whichever comes first” principle. Similarly, the BMW i3’s service intervals are set for every two years or 18,000 miles, much like the Renault Zoe.
No, electric vehicles (EVs) do not require oil changes.
In a traditional internal combustion engine, the oil is used for lubricating the engine’s moving parts, cooling the engine by removing heat, and cleaning the engine from sludge and varnish. However, an EV operates differently and does not have an internal combustion engine with many moving parts.
Electric vehicles (EVs), while having fewer mechanical parts compared to conventional cars, still require regular maintenance to ensure their best performance. Here are the key aspects of maintenance needed on an EV:
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”1″>Battery health inspection
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>Tyre tread and pressure check
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”3″>Brake system check
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”4″>Cooling system examination for battery and electric motor
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”5″>Software updates and diagnostic checks
- ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”6″>Charging port and cable check
- Regular MOTs
Generally, EVs can outlive their petrol or diesel counterparts with the right maintenance. While the lifespan of an EV can vary, on average, an EV battery can last between 10 to 20 years, depending on usage and maintenance. Consistent electric vehicle servicing at Elite Garages will help extend your EV’s life and optimise its performance.
Yes, most garages typically keep service records which holds details of all the maintenance work and inspections during each service. Keeping these records is important as they provide a comprehensive history of the vehicle’s upkeep, which can be valuable for both the current owner and any potential future buyers.
The duration of a car service can vary based on a few factors such as the type of service, the make and model of the vehicle, and the condition of the car. As a general guide, an interim service might take around 1.5 hours, a full service could take about 3 hours, and a major service could extend beyond 4 hours. It’s always best to confirm with your service centre, as some cars may require more time, especially if additional issues are found during the service.
Yes, a brake fluid change is usually included in a full service. Regular replacement of brake fluid is crucial as it absorbs moisture over time, which can affect braking efficiency and potentially lead to system corrosion. Always ensure to confirm what’s included in your service with your provider.
Cheap tyres are not always a good buy and that includes part-worn tyres which offer a false economy and here some of the main reasons why:
- Compromised Safety: With their previous usage, part-worn tyres might not provide the same level of grip as new tyres, particularly in adverse weather conditions.
- Limited Lifespan: Part-worn tyres have a significantly reduced lifespan. You may end up changing tyres more frequently, ultimately costing you more in the long run.
- Hidden Damage: Part-worn tyres could potentially harbour internal damage that isn’t visible, which may result in sudden tyre failure.
No, Elite Garages does not stock or sell part-worn tyres since they are secondhand tyres that may not be as safe as they should be. To ensure your safety, and that of other road users, Elite Garages has consciously chosen to only stock and sell new, high-quality tyres, sourced from reputable manufacturers.
Yes, while part-worn tyres are generally cheaper than new tyres, they can offer a false economy as many are sold with low tread depths. This mean that the cost per millimetre of tread is more expensive than new tyres. If your budget is tight, consider buying economy tyres but stay away from part-worn tyres if possible.
Yes, you can still buy part-worn tyres in the UK but they must meet certain legal requirements before they can be sold. For instance, they must be free of certain types of damage and must have a minimum tread depth of 2mm across the entire breadth and outer circumference of the tread and tyre. Always ensure you buy from a reputable seller to guarantee safety and compliance with the law.
Buying a car without service history can be risky. Without knowing about the previous owner’s maintenance habits, it is impossible to tell whether the car was well-maintained or not. If there are major issues that need to be addressed and you don’t have any records of them being serviced in the past, you could end up paying for costly repairs down the line. It is important to make sure all necessary maintenance has been performed on any car you are considering purchasing, regardless of service history. You should also always have a professional inspect the vehicle before buying it. This will help ensure that any potential issues can be identified and addressed before you commit to the purchase.
The service history of a vehicle holds immense significance in determining its value. A car with a comprehensive service history holds greater appeal compared to one without, as it signifies that previous owners have diligently cared for and maintained the vehicle throughout its lifespan. Generally, a missing or incomplete service history can adversely impact the vehicle’s price, potentially reducing it by 10% to 20%. Given the high expectations of buyers, it is crucial to offer a considerable discount off the asking price in such cases.
HPI Clear is a designation for a car, motorbike, van, or any other motorised vehicle registered in the UK, that has undergone an HPI Check and has no negative recorded data. This certification serves as the ultimate assurance, providing complete peace of mind when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.
Coasting in neutral or with the clutch pressed can save fuel by reducing engine drag while rolling downhill. However, if you are going uphill, it’s better to keep the car in gear as this enables the engine to help you climb up and make use of the available power. This also applies when changing gears – shifting too soon can cause unnecessary strain on your engine, resulting in a higher fuel consumption. For best results, changing gears at the right rpm is recommended. This ensures that your engine is running as efficiently as possible and can help you save fuel.
While there’s no perfect speed, usually, cars achieve their optimal efficiency at speeds between 45 and 50 mph. Fuel economy varies among vehicles, but it is also influenced by additional factors like tire pressure, the presence of roof racks, and driving style.
The answer to this question is yes – changing gears can use more fuel than keeping the engine in a single gear. To get the most out of your fuel, it’s important to drive smoothly and keep the number of gear changes you make to a minimum. Driving at a steady speed where possible can help with this, as well as using cruise control on highways or long drives.
Here are common signs to look out for when diagnosing a potentially failing car battery:
- Slow engine crank during start-up.
- Dim headlights and electrical issues.
- Needing frequent jump-starts.
- Battery warning light illuminated on the dashboard.
- Swollen or bloated battery case.
- Age of the battery (3 to 5 years).
If you experience any of these indicators, it’s advisable to have your battery tested by a professional to determine if a replacement is needed.
The cost of replacing a car battery in the UK ranges from £100 to £400, depending on various factors such as size, type, brand, quality, and warranty. It’s best to contact your nearest Elite Garages to find out more about different types and the cost as the price can vary, especially when it comes to electric vehicles and hybrids.
To determine the appropriate size of car battery for your vehicle, you will need to consider a few factors such as the make, model, and year of your car. The most reliable way to identify the correct battery size is to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or check the specifications provided by the manufacturer. The owner’s manual usually contains information about the recommended battery group size or specific Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) requirement for your car.
When it comes to car batteries, the longevity can vary depending on various factors such as usage patterns, climate conditions, and maintenance practices. However, some types of car batteries are generally known for their longer lifespan. Here are a few types with an average estimation:
- Lead-Acid Batteries: 3 to 5 years
- Lithium-Ion Batteries: 3 to 10 years
- Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries: 3 to 10 years
- Absorbed glass mat batteries (AGM): 3 to 6 years
- Deep cycle batteries: Up to 8 years
The cost of a new car exhaust in the UK varies depending on the model and make of your vehicle. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from £100 – £500 for a standard grade exhaust system. Performance or stainless steel systems may cost more due to the higher quality materials and construction. Contact your nearest Elite Garages who will be able to advise you on specific costs.
No, driving with a broken exhaust is not recommended. A broken exhaust can lead to dangerous leaks of hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if inhaled in large amounts. Additionally, a defective exhaust system may also cause excessive noise pollution or even damage your car’s engine.
A car exhaust system can last anywhere from 5-7 years with regular maintenance. However, it may need to be replaced sooner if the vehicle is exposed to harsh driving conditions on a regular basis. Additionally, certain components of the exhaust system (such as catalytic converters and mufflers) will need to be replaced more frequently than others due to their high rate of wear and tear. It is important to have your vehicle’s exhaust system inspected regularly in order to keep it in good condition and prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line.
Signs of a faulty car exhaust can include:
- Loud and/or strange noises coming from the exhaust system. These can include grinding, rattling, or rumbling noises.
- Decreased fuel efficiency as a result of reduced airflow.
- Visible smoke or fumes emitted from the exhaust pipe when the engine is running. This can be white smoke, which indicates a coolant leak; blue smoke, which signals burning oil; or black smoke, indicating an overly rich fuel mixture.
- Rusting on the underside of the car due to exhaust pipe leakage.
- Vibrations and shaking from the exhaust system while driving.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult a professional technicians right away.
The life expectancy of a car’s suspension system depends on many factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, its driving conditions, and regular maintenance. On average, if well maintained, most cars’ suspension systems should last between 50,000-100,000 miles. However for some cars parts may need to be replaced sooner or later than this depending on wear and tear, or other damage.
There are three main types of suspension commonly used in vehicles: coil springs, leaf springs, and air suspensions.
- Coil Springs are one of the most common forms of suspension, consisting of helical-shaped metal springs that absorb shocks and vibrations, allowing for a smoother ride.
- Leaf Springs are made up of several layers of curved steel plates attached to the axle and frame providing a stable base on uneven terrain. Leaf spring suspensions are most commonly used in heavier vehicles such as trucks or SUVs.
- Air Suspension systems use air bags instead of metal springs, allowing for an adjustable ride height depending on the terrain. Air suspensions are most commonly used in luxury vehicles and can be adjusted for both comfort and performance.
The suspension system of a vehicle plays an important role in providing a smooth and comfortable ride. It consists of components such as springs, shock absorbers, and links that connect the wheel to the chassis frame. The suspension helps reduce the impact of bumps or irregularities on the road surface by absorbing some of the force before it reaches the passenger area. The suspension also improves handling by maintaining the contact between the tyres and road surface. This allows for better grip when turning corners or taking evasive action in an emergency situation.
If you suspect that your vehicle’s suspension system is damaged, there are several signs you can look out for. You may experience bumpier rides on roads and highways, and the car may dip to one side when turning corners or braking suddenly. The steering wheel may vibrate and feel loose or difficult to control, especially at higher speeds. You may also hear strange noises coming from underneath the car such as rattling or clunking. Lastly, if your tyres are wearing unevenly and prematurely, it could indicate an issue with your suspension components.
We recommend getting your car serviced at least once a year or every 12,000 miles – whichever comes first. However, the intervals may vary depending on the driving conditions, how often and how far you travel. Don’t ignore your car service as it will cost you a lot more in the long term.
No, it is not illegal to not service your car. However, regular servicing and maintenance are essential for ensuring the safety and reliability of your vehicle. Neglecting to service your car could lead to major problems down the line that will be far more expensive than if you had serviced it regularly.
No, a full service does not include an MOT but some garages may offer special discounts when booking both at the same time.
While wheel alignment checks should be done at least every 6 months or 6,000 miles, you should get it looked at immediately when you’ve hit a kerb or been in an accident. Incorrect alignment almost certainly leads to uneven tread wear which means you will have to replace your tyres sooner than is actually required.
Four-wheel alignment is the most comprehensive option, ensuring optimal alignment for all four wheels. However, it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable technician to determine the specific needs of your vehicle.
The three types of wheel alignment are front-end alignment, four-wheel alignment, and thrust angle alignment. Front-end alignments focus on the front wheels, while four-wheel alignments adjust all four wheels. Thrust angle alignments address the vehicle’s thrust line, which is an imaginary line running down the centre of the vehicle.
Yes, misaligned wheels increase rolling resistance, forcing the engine to work harder and consume more fuel. Proper alignment and wheel balancing can help improve fuel efficiency.
Wheel alignment is the adjustment of the angles of the wheels to ensure they are parallel with each other and in line with the vehicle’s frame. Wheel tracking focuses on aligning the front wheels’ toe, while wheel balancing ensures even weight distribution across all tyres and rims.
The longevity of your clutch can vary based on driving style, driving conditions and the quality of previous clutch repairs or replacements. However, a clutch should last between 20,000 and 100,000 miles with the average being 60,000 miles.
In some cases, yes. However, it often makes more financial sense to replace the clutch, especially if it’s heavily worn.
The signs of a bad clutch can include difficulty in shifting gears, particularly from a stop, and a burning smell reminiscent of burnt rubber. This smell is often a symptom of a slipping clutch that’s not engaging properly with the engine. Another sign is a spongy or sticking clutch pedal that doesn’t return to its original position. If your engine revs without the expected acceleration, this could also suggest a worn clutch. Hearing unusual grinding or rattling noises when pressing the clutch pedal can mean problems with the clutch release mechanism or worn bearings. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your nearest Elite Garages where our clutch experts will perform a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.
Replacing a worn clutch can be a significant job as it requires removing the gearbox to access the clutch assembly. The process can be complex, and it may require specialised tools and expertise to complete the task efficiently. Additionally, the cost of a clutch replacement can be high, depending on the type of vehicle and the extent of the repair required. It’s essential to consult with a qualified vehicle technician to determine the best course of action for your situation.
To check if your clutch is in good condition, park in a safe and level area and gently press on the pedal. Shift into first gear and slowly release the clutch while giving it gas. A stalling engine or unusual sounds can indicate a problem. If the clutch feels spongy or doesn’t return smoothly, it may be damaged. If you notice burning smells or smoke from the clutch area, take your car to a vehicle technician immediately for an inspection. Did you know you can book a free clutch check at Elite Garages?
Yes, an experienced car technician can usually identify signs that suggest a cambelt (or timing belt) needs replacing. They can do this during routine maintenance or when diagnosing an issue with your vehicle. However, some of the indications are not always obvious and require a detailed inspection. Some of the signs include visible leaks, trouble starting the engine and strange noises.
Yes, a broken cambelt (also known as a timing belt), has the potential to cause significant damage to your engine, especially interference engines. When a cambelt snaps, the pistons collide with the valves which can result in bent valves, broken piston heads and potential damage to the cylinder head and walls.
For non-interference engines, the pistons and valves don’t share the same space which means an lower risk of serious damage. However, it will still result in an inoperable car and necessitate a timing belt replacement, which can be a costly repair.
Typically, a cambelt should be replaced every 60,000-100,000 miles, or every five years. However, it’s important to check your car owner’s manual as it may vary depending on the make and model of your car.
Since the process is labour intensive, a cambelt replacement service typically takes between 3-5 hours but it can vary depending on the make and model of your car and the efficiency of the garage.
You can schedule an MOT test before the due date, but keep in mind that the new renewal date will be one year (minus one day) from the date the vehicle passed the test. For instance, if your MOT is due to expire on June 20, the earliest possible date to take the test would be May 21. However, if you take your vehicle for the test on May 19 and it passes, the new renewal date will be May 19 of the following year.
No, you have to get the MOT retest done by the garage that conducted the initial test. Even though you can repair your vehicle somewhere else, a different garage will charge you the complete fee for providing the pass certificate.
While there is a legal maximum price for MOTs, it may vary depending on the services a garage offer and any special discounts, not to mention different hourly rates so some may charge less. The most any garage can ask for a car is £54.85, £29.65 for a motorcycle (up to 200cc and over 200cc), and £58.60 for vans up to 3,500kg.
The lifespan of your car brakes depends on several factors, including your driving habits, the quality of the brake components, and the type of driving you do. In general, however, you can expect your vehicle’s brake pads to last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles.
There are a few signs that can indicate you need new brakes, including squeaking or grinding noises when braking, a vibrating steering wheel and decreased responsiveness when engaging the brake pedal. If your vehicle is showing any of these signs, it’s important to have it looked at by a qualified technician.
While it’s technically possible to drive with brake problems, it’s not recommended and can be extremely dangerous to you and other road users. Driving with brake problems can result in reduced braking performance, uneven and increased wear on brake components.
To keep your car air con in optimal condition, it is recommended to have the system serviced regularly. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing your air conditioning every two years or 30 000 miles, whichever comes first. However, this may vary depending on the age of the unit and how heavily it has been used.
Car air conditioning problems can be difficult to diagnose without the right tools and expertise. If you suspect there is an issue with your car’s AC, it is best to take it to a professional vehicle technician who has the experience and tools necessary to accurately assess and repair the problem.
Common car AC problems include low refrigerant levels, blocked condenser or evaporator coils, a faulty compressor and damaged wiring or hoses. To identify the root cause of the problem, technicians will typically start by checking for any possible leaks.
They will also check for proper refrigerant levels and inspect the compressor and other components for signs of wear and damage. If necessary, they may also conduct a dye test to reveal any hidden leaks that cannot be seen on the surface.
When checking your air con, you should first do a visual inspection. Look for signs of wear and tear and make sure all parts are properly connected and secured. Check the external unit and fan to ensure they are free from debris or dust. Inspect the indoor coils for any damage or dirt buildup. Check the filters for any clogs or blockages which can affect the airflow. Make sure to change or clean the filters regularly. With that said, it’s always best to acquire the services of an expert vehicle technician.
It is highly recommended that front and rear tyres match in terms of type, size and tread pattern. If you only need to replace one tyre, it should be fitted on the rear axle regardless of whether your vehicle is front or rear wheel drive. Additionally, you should never mix tread patterns on the same axle as this can lead to poor handling performance.
Ultimately, this will depend on the type of car you have and your driving style. While expensive tyres (premium tyres) may cost more upfront, they usually last longer with better performance levels compared to budget tyres or mid-range tyres, providing better value for money in the long run.
Mixing tyre brands on a car is not recommended as it can affect the overall performance of your vehicle. If you need to replace more than one tyre, we recommend fitting all four so that they’re from the same brand and have consistent tread patterns.
The main difference between budget and expensive tyres is quality. Budget tyres are often made with lower-grade materials that wear out more quickly, reducing performance, safety and comfort when driving. Additionally, they may not provide the same level of grip in wet or icy conditions compared to more expensive tyres.
An MOT is a legal requirement and driving without one could result in serious consequences, including a £1,000 fine (or up to £2,500), a driving ban and 3 penalty points on your licence if your MOT faults are deemed ‘dangerous’. Your vehicle insurance may also be invalidated.
No, you need to get an MOT test done before you can drive your newly purchased vehicle on any public road.
There is no simple answer as it depends on your vehicle, how often you drive and the distance you travel. UK drivers tend to choose summer tyres due to the usually mild winters but all-season tyres are just as good for Britain’s unpredictable climate. In case an unexpected cold snap catches drivers off guard, these versatile tyres will provide superior performance compared to summer tyres. Ask our tyre experts for their recommendations by contacting your nearest Elite Garages branch.
Rapid tyres are manufactured by the Shengtai Group in China and distributes to tyre wholesalers and outlets across the world. They provide good all-round performance without the hefty price tag, granting customers full assurance of product quality thanks to its factories’ international certified credentials.
Rapid tyres are considered budget tyres, as they are designed to offer a cost-effective solution for drivers that do not need the top of the line performance offered by premium brands. That said, they are of higher quality and rated as premium economy.
Yes, Rapid is a respected economy tyre brand with affordable options for drivers, offering good grip on both wet and dry surfaces. While they may be cheaper than premium tyre brands, they still provide good all around quality and reliability at a lower price.
Yes, it is possible to perform a two-wheel alignment, also known as a front-end alignment where technicians perform the service on only the front wheels. This may include a camber, toe, and caster adjustment.
Yes, it is recommended to get a four-wheel alignment when you fit new tyres. Even brand new tyres can be affected by improper wheel alignment, which can lead to uneven tyre wear, increased fuel consumption and poor handling.
To determine whether you need a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment service, you first need to consider your type of vehicle and the symptoms you are experiencing. If you need assistance, please contact your nearest Elite Garages branch for more information or you can book your wheel alignment online!
Put simply, two-wheel alignment is a procedure that corrects the positioning of your front wheels, while four-wheel alignment adjusts all four. Generally speaking, it’s not necessary to perform the latter on large SUVs or trucks with solid rear axles unless an accident has occurred and caused misalignment in its frame which translates into “dog tracking”.
Yes, a tyre bulge in the sidewall will result in an MOT failure as the test checks the overall safety of your car, and considers a tyre bulge a serious safety concern.
No, it is not safe to drive on a tyre with a bulge in the sidewall as it indicates internal damage, and the tyre needs to be replaced immediately. Driving on a tyre with a bulge can lead to a blowout or sudden loss of control while driving.
A tyre bulge is formed when the sidewall of a tyre develops a visible swelling or bump. It is usually caused by air pressure building up inside the tyre, which pushes the rubber outwards, causing the tyre to bulge. There are several factors that can cause a tyre bulge, including overinflation, impact damage, and underinflation.
For the most optimal driving experience, good ride comfort and traction, experts suggest changing all four tyres at the same time. However, in certain cases, you may be able to get away with just replacing one tyre but when you do, make sure it matches the other three tyres in terms of size and type.
Apart from the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm, other specific tyre requirements that must be met for the MOT test include the following:
- Tyre condition: Tyres must be in good condition, with no cuts, bulges, or lumps on the sidewall or tread.
- Tyre pressure: Tyres must be inflated to the correct pressure, as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Type and size: Tyres must be the correct size and type for the vehicle, as specified in the vehicle handbook.
- Tyre speed rating: The speed rating of the tyres must be equal to or greater than the maximum speed of the vehicle.
- Tyre load capacity: Tyres must have a load capacity that is equal to or greater than the maximum weight of the vehicle.
In the UK, the legal minimum tyre tread depth for a car to pass its MOT is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre’s tread. Any tread depth below this limit is considered unsafe and illegal, resulting in an MOT failure.
While the minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6 mm, many experts recommend replacing your tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm and no less than 2mm. This can help to maintain better grip, stability and braking performance in all weather conditions.
If an exhaust has a hole or crack, it needs to be fixed right away. Not only can this cause #toxic fumes to enter your car’s cabin but it could also increase the risk of fire. An exhaust leak can cause the engine to run too hot or even fail due to lack of back-pressure from the silencer and tailpipe. If left unchecked, it may also result in increased emissions which could lead to failed emission tests and costly repairs.
A broken exhaust can produce a hissing sound, rattling, a low rumble or even a loud roar. It might be louder when you accelerate the engine and quieter when idling. In some cases, it may sound like air being sucked out of the engine instead of an actual noise. If something is wrong with your catalytic converter, you may experience a rattling sound that tends to get louder as the vehicle accelerates.
Depending on the make and model, how you drive, the environment it’s exposed to and regular maintenance checks; car exhausts can last the lifetime of the car. Generally built with either chrome or stainless steel, today’s car exhausts boast an impressive lifespan of 3 to 5 years but sometimes even more.
A faulty exhaust may result in #strange noises, reduced power and poor fuel economy, visible smoke or fumes, a rotten egg smell inside or outside the cabin and the engine dashboard light appear.
It’s often a good idea to replace all four brake pads at once but it’s not necessary as they are designed to wear evenly across all the wheels. The decision depends on the specific circumstances of your vehicle and driving habits but it’s always best to consult with a professional vehicle technician to determine the best course of action. Book a brake replacement service!
The average lifespan of car brake pads is around 30,000 to 70,000 miles. Of course, this depends on the kind of driving you do and how well you maintain your vehicle. If you drive more aggressively or don’t keep up with regular maintenance, then your brake pads may need to be replaced sooner.
Most cars have a warning light on the dashboard which will appear if your brake pads are starting to wear down. You may also hear squealing or grinding noises when you press down on the brake pedal, which indicates that it is time for a change. If you notice any of these signs, we recommend getting your brakes checked as soon as possible. Book a free brake inspection now!
If you never do an oil change, then your engine will eventually become clogged with dirt and sludge buildup. This can lead to a decrease in performance of the engine, as well as reduced fuel economy and increased emissions. Over time, this buildup can also cause serious damage to your engine components, leading to costly repairs or even a complete engine rebuild.
The best way to decide when to get an oil change is by taking a “whatever comes first” approach. If you drive frequently and accrue mileage rapidly, then it’s crucial that you get your car oil changed as soon as possible, even if the suggested 6 months hasn’t passed yet. This could be especially effective for those who often commute or simply returned from a long road trip.
Even if you don’t drive very often and you are not nearing the recommended oil change interval in terms of mileage, it’s best to get your oil changed at least every 3 to 12 months. That means at least once a year but ideally twice depending on how often you drive and the driving conditions.
You can renew your MOT up to ONE month (minus a day) before it expires. While most garages will give you the opportunity to book a slot for the soonest date, some may require that you wait until it has expired.
You can book your MOT earlier but the renewal date for the following year will change to one year (minus a day) from the date the vehicle last passed the test. For example, if your MOT expires on 21 September, the earliest you can book your MOT to keep the same renewal date for the following year is 20 August.
If you have a new car, you must book your MOT test by the third anniversary of the registration date. To receive an MOT notification, you have to sign up for reminders from gov.uk or through Elite Garages’ Members Club. This typically entails entering your vehicle’s registration number (number plate) and an email address or contact number.
Absolutely! With more than 11,000 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras strategically placed all over the UK, 50 million records are scanned every single day. These hi-tech surveillance devices and police on patrol can instantly identify if a vehicle has an up-to date MOT or not.
An emergency car kit should include items such as a first aid kit, flashlight with spare batteries, mobile phone charger, jumper cables, reflective triangles, ice scraper and snow brush, non-clumping kitty litter for traction on icy roads, blanket or sleeping bag for warmth in case of an unexpected breakdown and a shovel.
You should avoid leaving items in a car during the winter months, as cold temperatures can damage or ruin them due to freezing. This includes electronics like laptops and cell phones, liquids such as beverages or fluids for your car, medications, food items like fruit and vegetables, and plastic or rubber parts.
There are several things you should check on your car before the start of winter to make sure it is in good condition and ready for the colder weather. This includes checking your battery, antifreeze, tyre pressure and tread, car brakes and all your fluid levels (engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and power steering). Book your winter safety check now!
Our MOTs are competitively priced and in accordance with industry standards although vary depending upon location and time of year. You can check our prices based on where you want to have your MOT done by going to the MOT page and selecting your desired location, date and time.
In simple terms, budget tyres are the cheapest and often don’t last as long or hold up as well as mid-range or premium tyres. Mid-range seems to be the happy medium as they provide better grip and longevity which is only superseded by the more expensive, premium tyres that offer even better performance, including Bridgestone.
We never fit part worn tyres and always encourage customers to avoid fitting part worn tyres at all costs. There are many safety concerns and they really are not any cheaper than economy tyres in the long run. Here is a good article about why part-worns offer a false economy.
Brake pads and discs wear out over time and will need replacing at some stage. Since no vehicle can operate without functioning brakes, Elite Garages will check yours for free and make recommendations for brake repairs or replacements, if deemed necessary.
Your car’s cambelt won’t last forever; with increasing wear, it becomes more and more prone to breaking. If the cambelt snaps while the engine is running, it can cause the valves to collide with the pistons, resulting in bent valves and potentially damaged pistons and cylinder walls. If you don’t change it then it might break!
While all vehicle components require maintenance, it’s particularly important to pay attention to your car’s timing belt. Unfortunately, there aren’t always clear signs that a cambelt has reached the end of its life and even experts may have trouble diagnosing it without a deeper dive. However, click this link to find out the signs that a cambelt replacement is imminent, as many people have reported these as the main indicators.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the cambelt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles or every 5-7 years, whichever comes first. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, so it’s always best to check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations. Remember to treat the manufacturer’s intervals as the maximum frequency as it’s safer to get it done sooner, especially considering the damage it can cause if you don’t
Common signs of a car battery that is running low include dim or flickering lights, difficulty starting the engine, rapid clicking when turning the key and the battery warning light appearing on the dashboard. If you notice any of these symptoms, we highly recommend getting an expert to look at your battery and find out whether it needs replacing.
While several things can drain a car battery, the most common cause is leaving the lights or the radio on after the engine has been switched off. Other causes of battery drainage could be a faulty alternator, corroded battery cables and parasitic drains caused by an electrical short in the system. If you are concerned about your battery, book a FREE battery check at Elite Garages!
Generally speaking, the average lifespan of a car battery is between three to five years but may depend on several factors, such as the quality of the battery, your driving habits and how well it’s maintained.
Yes, our technicians are highly experienced in air conditioning repairs and servicing for all makes and models of vehicles. We will be able to diagnose the problem and carry out any necessary repairs or aircon regassing.
At Elite Garages Haywards Heath, an MOT test costs £54.85 and includes a free re-test within 10 working days should the vehicle fail its initial MOT test.
It is not always necessary to replace all four tyres, however, it depends on the level of wear and tear on each tyre. If two or more tyres are significantly worn then replacing them as a set (four) will be recommended for safety reasons.
Elite Garages Strood offers a wide range of budget, mid-range and premium tyres at various prices. The type of tyre will depend on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle (performance, load-bearing, EV), how often you drive and personal driving habits, among others. Please visit our website to see the different tyre brands we stock.
All Elite Garages offer a wide range of budget, mid-range and premium tyres at various prices. The type of tyre will depend on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle (performance, load-bearing, EV), how often you drive and personal driving habits, among others. Visit our website to see tyre brands we stock.
We always explain this in detail, providing a list of what’s included and what is not. If a customer asks what service they need, we can advise depending on the service schedule and the manufacturer’s specification.
All Elite Garages branches offer a wide range of budget, mid-range and premium tyres at various prices. While some tyres may cost anywhere from £46, others go up to £83 or more, for example. If you’d like to know the price of a specific tyre, please contact your nearest Elite Garages branch.
As with internal combustion engine cars, an electric car service interval also depends on manufacturer recommendations so it’s important to check your owner’s manual for accurate details. For the most part, an electric car service schedule is similar to that of petrol or diesel cars.
Yes, even electric cars need an annual MOT once they are three years and older. The main difference is that a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) has an exhaust system which needs to be tested, whereas this is not required during an EV service. If your vehicle is due an MOT, click here to make an appointment.
Electric vehicles require regular servicing and maintenance just like any other car. During an electric car service, technicians check various parts and components, including brakes, tyres, suspension, lights, electrics, high-voltage cabling, battery pack and more. Contact your nearest branch for a full list or read our EV Servicing page.
The tyres on electric vehicles are different from regular tyres as they have a reinforced sidewall to handle the extra weight of the battery packs. EV tyres also have specially designed treads to grip the road better and provide traction since they have a much higher acceleration than petrol or diesel cars. Ask us about the best EV tyres for you!
Yes, you certainly can and it’s often something we recommend. In fact, around 95% of the time our customers get a premium or standard service with their MOT. Click these links to find out what’s included in an MOT and what’s the difference between a Service and an MOT
If the damaged area on the tyre is larger than 6 mm and on the sidewall, you should not get it repaired. You should rather opt for a replacement tyre from our wide range of budget, mid-range or premium brands.
Yes, our branch is open Mondays to Saturdays with MOT booking slots available from 8:30 am
Yes, if your vehicle should fail its MOT, we offer free MOT retests within 10 days. For added convenience, you can also book a service at the branch to address any MOT issues.
Depending on the type of service, checks may include the engine oil, oil filter, lights, tyres, bodywork, exhausts, brakes, steering, fluid and coolant levels, suspension and 12V battery. We will always explain this in detail, providing a list of what’s included and what’s not.
Absolutely! In the event of your vehicle failing the MOT, you may book a vehicle service at the branch to repair the issues in question.
Our MOTs are competitively priced and in accordance with industry standards. However, they do vary depending on location and the time of year. You can check our prices based on where you want to have your MOT by going to the MOT page and selecting your desired location, date and time.
The squeaking sound your brakes make come from worn-down brake pads and is often when metal rubs against metal. As you press down on the brake pedal, the brake calliper clamps around the pad and applies pressure to slow your wheel down. If your brake pads are worn, these components will rub together resulting in a grinding or squeaking noise.
This question is often also about the legal tread limit so we are always happy to explain that it is 1.6mm. We recommend changing your tyres at 3mm for optimal performance and safety but this is the customer’s choice. You can book a free tyre check to ensure your tread is above the legal limit.
While front tyres can last for approximately 20,000 miles, the rear tyres may last a little longer. However, it’s important to note that when you replace your tyres will largely depend on driving style, frequency and the quality of tyres fitted.
Brakes deteriorate over time from general, day-to-day use but mileage, the environment and driving habits can impact the speed of wear and tear. Sometimes a brake issue is merely a foreign object lodged in your brakes or debris.
Manufacturers have different recommendations but the general consensus is to replace your brakes when only 20% of the original thickness remains. Brake pads can last between 25,000 and 60,000 miles while brake discs anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 miles. Remember, your driving habits can also impact the brake replacement intervals.
Rapids are also budget tyres but they are more high-end and rated as premium economy. Whilst they provide more grip than standard budget tyres, Rapids don’t perform as well as a good quality mid-range or premium tyre. However, Rapid tyres do offer a great in-between offering quality and value for money.
We will always try and explain this in detail, providing all the pros and cons. Put simply, budget tyres are the cheapest and often don’t last as long or hold up as well as mid-range and premium tyres. Mid-range seems to be the happy medium as they provide better grip and longevity which is only superseded by the more expensive, premium tyres that offer even better performance.
In the UK and Europe, the legal tyre tread depth for cars is 1.6 mm around the tyre circumference and the central three quarters. However, most tyre experts recommend replacing your tyres when the tread depth is at 3 mm for better braking distances.
The issue could be the clutch pressure plate or the clutch disc. However, other causes for clutch slipping is often found in the release system, an incorrectly reworked flywheel or the fitment of the wrong clutch. Our experts will be able to determine the cause and suggest a solution.
We supply a wide variety of brands, from budget, mid-range and premium tyres; each with its own benefits. As the name suggests, budget tyres are cheaper as they are not made to the same standards as mid-range or premium tyres. Mid-range tyres, especially Rapid, are often the preferred choice as it sits just below the premium brands. There is always a choice for our customers, and they can decide, and we are always happy to offer advice.
As a group, we stock a large number of tyres on-premises but if it’s not available, we can arrange next-day delivery from our warehouse. You can check availability and options online here 24/7
A car air con needs a service at least every 1 to 2 years as the coolant doesn’t last forever and filters can get clogged up with dirt and stagnant water. If you notice a strange smell, noise or visible leak underneath the car, it could explain why your air con is not working.
Most customers will have a standard service one year and premium service the following year. If they’re not doing the mileage, there’s no point doing a premium service every year. 95% of the time customers get a service with their MOT. Click these links to find out what’s included in an MOT and what’s the difference between a Service and an MOT