Brake Checks

An MOT is required by law on most vehicles, so it’s important to make sure it passes. Of course, you need professionals to carry out the test and any work needed to ensure it doesn’t fail. However, here are just a few things you can do to minimise the chances of a failure.

What You’ll Need:

The steps we go over are mostly just checks, however you may need a few things. You might want to get some cleaning equipment, screen wash, engine oil, lightbulbs and maybe even new tyres. A twenty pence piece might also benefit you. Finally, you’ll need to find a reliable garage to carry out the MOT after you’ve made all the checks.

MOT Featured Image

How Long It Will Take:

Preparing for an MOT won’t take much time. Put aside 1 hour before your test to carry out these checks.

How Much It Will Cost:

Most of the things we look at are just checks. If you have to do all of the things on the list, it might set you back around £100 or maybe even more. Screen wash and bulbs are relatively cheap, whilst the price of engine oil, fuel and tyres will differ car to car. Most vehicles that are kept in reasonably good order won’t require more than £20 worth of supplies to get MOT-ready.

Pre MOT-Checks

1.      Keep Your Car Clean

Okay, you won’t fail your test because your car is dirty or cluttered. However, ensuring there are no marks on your windscreen that affect the drivers view is important. Also, your registration plate needs to be legible, so make sure it is cleaned prior to the MOT.

2.      Look For Broken Bulbs

Lights are one of the most common reasons for failing an MOT test. Simply check headlights, break lights and other lights by turning on your vehicle and getting somebody to look for you. If you need lights changing, you can do them yourself or inform the garage beforehand and have these sorted out.

mechanic pushing new tyre along

3.      Check Your Tyres

Tyres are an important part of the MOT test and crucial to making your car roadworthy. The tread depth should be 1.6mm to ensure there’s enough grip and to make sure you are not breaking the law. You can check this using the 20p test. If your tread depth exceeds this, then your vehicle will fail the test. Don’t panic as this is fairly common, check out our other blog on what to do if your car fails the MOT. If you don’t know how to change tyres, then the garage will most likely be able to change them for you.

4.      Top It Up

If you’ve ran out of screen wash, your vehicle might fail the test. Furthermore, a garage might turn you away if you don’t have enough fuel and engine oil to complete the test. So, make sure you’ve topped these up before you take it in.

5.      Check Your Windscreen

Your windscreen is important as it has to be in a good condition to drive safely. If you have any marks, scratches or chips that are bigger than 40mm, then the vehicle will fail. Also, your windscreen wipers need to be in working order so they can effectively clear your view. If they look a bit worse for wear, then they may need replacing before the MOT.

Get In Touch With PARC Today

Is your MOT is due? Then contact our garage today. If your car is experiencing any of the above problems, inform us before the assessment and we can assist in getting them fixed. We can help get your car up to passing standards and ensure it is roadworthy. To keep your car in top condition, make sure you keep up with regular servicing too.

MOT Featured Image

More than a quarter of cars on the roads here in the UK are, probably using a brake fluid that is totally ineffective. And so therefore, places the driver and passengers at an increased risk of meeting with a car accident. A leading researcher has published data following a study on their usage in vehicles in the United Kingdom. The results are at least – appalling; implying that over a quarter of cars in the UK could be running on defective and ineffectual fluid.

Why You Should Use The Correct Brake Fluid

Explaining further, brake fluid is characterised as a hygroscopic. This means that it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. Over a period, its intrinsic nature lowers its boiling point and causes massive reduction in effectiveness and therefore braking.

Typically, fresh fluid boils to produce a vapour. This is highly compressible, and results in softer braking. Under this condition, the brake pedal can be operated with minimal or pretty much no effort.

New Brake Fluid

New brake fluid, typically, has a boiling point that ranges between 230 and 260°C. The fluid, however, becomes useless with extended usage, when its boiling point eventually drops to 180°C. Therefore, it must be changed as soon as its boiling point drops to 200°C. And this is the matter of grave concern that over a quarter of all cars, vans and 4 by 4s in the UK runs on brake fluid that boils below this figure.

Last Time You Checked Your Brake Fluid

To tackle this situation, all drivers will need to be particularly attentive about what exactly goes into our car’s reservoir. Most of us do check the fluid levels intermittently; however, there is hardly anyone among us who goes any further than that simple check.

Often, motorists use any brake fluid that’s handy. It could be a contaminated bottle lying on the shelves in the garage for an unknown time. And how many of us even remember changing the brake fluid recently?

Most motorists wrongly believe that passing MOT test implies that all the lubricants and oils in their car are up to date. That there is no other way to determine the usability and gauge the quality of your fluid except testing its boiling point temperature. And since the MOT does not involve carrying out this test, the onus of ensuring your car’s safety is, as a driver, totally yours.

Brake Checks Pontypool

We promise a professional and efficient service so your car can be repaired quickly. By replacing your brakes and fluid in a reliable and affordable garage, you can save on potentially costly repairs to your vehicle in the future.

Brakes are simply hydraulic pressure going through a friction-causing mechanism to bring the car to a halt. It accomplishes this by pressurising brake fluid as it travels through pipes and hoses to either a disc brake or a drum brake. Did you know that the front wheels absorb 80% of the braking force?

Brakes are critical components of any car or machine. It’s also useful to know what kinds of differences there are and how they function. PARC Ltd has put together some material to help you understand things a little better. If you have any questions about car brakes after reading this post, don’t hesitate to call us.

Disc Brakes Pontypool

Disc brakes contain three main parts, these being: brake pads, calliper and the disk. You normally see them on the back wheels of high performance or large vehicles such as lorries or trucks, as opposed to the front wheels on normal vehicles such as cars.

How they work:

• The disk is squeezed by the brake pads
• Hydraulically force is transmitted
• Friction causes the disk to slow down
• The vehicle slows down or stops

Drum Brakes Pontypool

The disc and the drum are the most significant differences between disc and drum brakes. Drum brakes operate in the same way as disc brakes do, which makes them much easier to comprehend.

When you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic wheel cylinders press the curved brake shoes against the brake drum. As a result of the friction, the wheels slow down or come to a halt. The rear wheels of several vehicles have drum brakes, while the front wheels have disc brakes. Drum brakes, on the other hand, are more difficult to service than disc brakes because they have more components. However, since emergency braking systems are simpler to implement, they are less costly to produce.

If you need any sort of brakes repairing, replacing or servicing, PARC Ltd is the place to come to for quality work and value for money. Call us today.

ABS Brakes Pontypool

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are designed to prevent car wheels from locking during hard braking, which can cause skidding and loss of power.

When a vehicle brakes rapidly or harshly, the anti-lock braking mechanism prevents the wheels from locking up. They ensure that the driver maintains vehicle control and does not skid across the lane, which is obviously very dangerous.

The machine controls the rotation speed of the wheels and, if it senses one spinning at an incorrect speed, it adjusts the brake pad pressure. This restores the wheel’s rotation to that of the other wheels. Anti-lock brakes do this repeatedly when driving, so you can feel a tug or a jerk.

PARC Motors Pontypool

Hopefully your knowledge on brakes has somewhat improved now and you feel confident with the technology that is saving your life every time you step on that pedal!

For trustworthy advice on brakes or generally maintenance of your vehicle, PARC is only a phone call away. Or if you are in the Pontypool area, visit our garage to see an experienced mechanic.

Are you concerned about the efficiency of your cars brakes or would like them checked before going on a long journey you should get in touch with Pontypool Accident and Repair Centre and get them inspected as soon as possible. After the inspection we will provide you with a written brake analysis and a quote for any work which is needed.

How Do I Know If My Brakes Are Failing?

My Brakes Are Grinding – when the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, this will result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal callipers. This will damage the brake disc at the same time so getting them replaced will be important. Talk to us about brake pad replacements.

Squeaking And Squealing Brakes – there are many reasons why your brakes squeal and squeak. It may indicate the brake calliper has stuck and the brakes pad remains partially applied to the disc but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing.

Pulsating Brakes – If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal when you apply the brakes, this indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat or wear. This happens because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact.

What Is A Sticky Calliper

Pulling Brakes – if your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this usually means a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized or sticking calliper.

Spongy Brakes – the brake pedal feels spongy and the brakes seem unresponsive. This is a sign that air has entered the brakes lines and is preventing the brake fluid from flowing through the brake system effectively.

Soft Brake Pedal – if the brake pedal is limp and goes all the way down to the floor, this may indicate a serious braking system issue which you should have inspected by us straight away. A brake pedal that is soft and can be applied all the way to the floor usually means the brake fluid is ineffective and needs replacing.

Dashboard Brake Warning Light – if a brake warning light appears on your dashboard either continuously or when you apply the brakes it usually means the brake fluid level is seriously low. This may also indicate a leak in the brake hoses.

High Handbrake Handle – If the handbrake is pulling up higher than normal it possibly needs adjusting. In modern cars, this is usually anything more than 6 to 8 clicks. If the handbrake lever reaches the end of its travel it will fail the MOT automatically.

Brake Fluid – If your brake fluid is over 2 years old it could be losing its effectiveness since it has hygroscopic properties which means it absorbs moisture over time. This affects the properties of the fluid which has negative effects on the cars braking.

Your brake fluid should be changing approximately every two years but check your vehicle manufacturers handbook or call us directly.

Brake Checks Pontypool

Regular brake checks are a vitally important part of your vehicle’s maintenance plan. The 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. At PARC we appreciate the importance of regular inspection and maintenance of your brakes can be to ensure your brakes continue to work effectively.

When Should You Replace Your Brakes?

Different driving styles have a serious effect on how often your brakes need servicing. A set of brake pads could last anything up to 60,000 miles or more on a car driven mostly up and down the motorway. However, the brakes on the same car driven in busy city centre traffic may last only 25,000 miles or possibly even less.

Front brakes normally wear out before rear brakes because they handle a higher percentage of the braking load, especially on front-wheel drive cars. It is often recommended that brake pads should be replaced if the pad friction material has worn down to a thickness of 3 millimetres. Brake disc thickness should be measured if they are at or below the manufacturer’s safe minimum thickness specification they should be replaced.

Brake Checks Near Me

Whether you need vehicle repairs, a full service, MOT test or car recovery, our friendly team can meet all of your requirements. We are proud to be Which? Trusted Traders, so you will always receive the best service! Our fully qualified technicians have years of experience in their areas of expertise, and we use modern, state of the art equipment and tools.

The wheels on your car are perhaps one of the most important parts of the vehicle, especially where your road safety is concerned. So, conducting regular wheel and tyre checks is crucial to maintaining your car and ensuring everyone inside is in a safe and legal vehicle.

Why Is Tyre Safety So Important?

Your wheels, or tyres, are critical in several important car functions. This includes: the brakes, the suspension, the surface grip and the speed. Good tyres (correct pressure, correct alignment and correct tread-depth) will allow your car to perform properly, reach speeds safely, brake safely and can even help your car be more fuel efficient.

Tyre Checks In Ponypool

It is recommended you check your tyres at least once a month, but perhaps more during the good old British bad weather. It is also wise to check your tyres before going on any long journeys – as you will want your car to be in peak performance if you plan on driving for more than 2-3 hours in a row.

MOTs In Ponypool

During the MOT test, your wheels and tyres will be checked – but do not just rely on your MOT. Checking your tyres each month could help prevent accidents and could stop any nasty surprises such as a flat tyre. A visual inspection is good, but you should also try and get a feel for how your wheels feels when they are in good health, so that you can identify if something feels wrong.

If you are not confident checking your tyres, then trust a professional to do it. It is always better to be safe, then sorry, especially where car safety is involved.

There are several tyres checks you can do at home – and we will explain them here. These are small, quick checks you can be doing regularly to ensure your car is safe.

Checking Depth Of Tyre Tread

You will often be able to tell if your car’s tread-depth is too low just by looking, as the tracks and dents in the wheel will seem too shallow or maybe even ‘balding’. If your wheel looks smooth and flat – this is a sure sign they need replacing.

Tyre Fitters Pontypool

If you think your wheels might be getting old and near the legal tread-depth limit (but you are not completely sure) then you can do the 20p test. When you insert a 20p coin into the tracks of your tyres and if the ‘border’ of the 20p coin is still visible, then your car needs new tyres. You will want to test each tyre individually, as they can wear-out at different rates.

How To Check Tyre Pressures?

The next thing you will want to check is the pressure of your tyres. Tyre pressure can affect how your vehicle handles and maintaining the right wheel pressure is critical for braking and ensuring you have maximum grip or wheel torque on the road. You will need to do each tyre individually, because the pressure could be less in the back two, or the front two (for example). When checking what inflation pressure to aim for, there should be a guide in your car’s handbook (if you want to be precise) but the main thing to look for at home is a firm wheel. What you do not want are soft tyres that feel deflated.

If you can visit a petrol station – you will be able to check your official pressure using the self-service air pressure pumps available. This is highly recommended as it will give you a much more accurate reading.

How To Check For Punctures?

You will probably know if your tyre has a puncture because it can make handling the car very difficult. Some signs you have a puncture are often felt whilst driving:

If car is pulling in a certain direction
The car wheels feel wobbly
If car is having difficulty steering

If you are unsure though, you can conduct a visual puncture check yourself. To do this you will want to inspect the wheels for any rips or tears, or any items lodged or stuck in the ridges.

Are Illegal Tyres Dangerous?

Yes, there is a reason why cars have a minimum allowance for things like tread-depth. If your cars wheels are not safe, or do not pass their MOT, you will not be allowed to drive your car until they are replaced or fixed.

Last year, over 340,000 tyre tread depths were surveyed across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and it was discovered that more than a quarter of people were driving with illegal tyres. This is dangerous not only for you (the driver) but for people and cars around you too. It is totally your responsibility to ensure your car is safe, so carrying out regular checks is crucial.

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