Comprehensive Checklist: What Gets Checked During an MOT Test?

An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is not just a legal requirement; it's a comprehensive examination that ensures your vehicle meets the essential safety and environmental standards to be roadworthy in the UK.

Understanding what gets checked during an MOT can sometimes feel complicated. At Adderley Green Garage, we're here to provide a clear, detailed guide on what our expert technicians look for during an MOT test, ensuring you're informed every step of the way.

What is an MOT test?

An MOT test is a mandatory annual inspection for vehicles over three years old in the UK. It is designed to ensure the vehicle meets the government's minimum safety and environmental standards.

During the test, certified technicians examine various vehicle components, such as lights, brakes, steering, and emissions, to assess their roadworthiness. If the vehicle passes the test, it receives a certificate valid for one year.

If it fails, necessary repairs and replacements must meet the requirements before being driven legally on the road. The MOT test helps maintain road safety and reduce environmental impact by ensuring vehicles meet the necessary standards.

The Essence of MOT: Safety, Emissions, and Roadworthiness

At the heart of an MOT test is the vehicle's safety, emissions, and overall roadworthiness. We aim to ensure your vehicle is safe for you, your passengers, and the environment. Let's break down the key components that are inspected during the test.

1. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Registration Plate

2. Lights and Signalling Equipment

3. Steering and Suspension

4. Wipers, Washers, and Windscreen

5. Horn

6. Seatbelts and Seats

7. Fuel System

8. Emissions

9. Body, Structure, and General Items

10. Tyres and Wheels

11. Brakes

12. Electrical

13. Driver’s View of the Road

Check out our other useful blog post on What Causes MOT Failure? 10 Common Problems Explained to help you prepare for your upcoming MOT test.

Preparing for Your MOT: Tips from Adderley Green Garage

An MOT test might seem daunting, but your vehicle can pass with flying colours with the right preparation. Here are some tips to ensure your vehicle is ready for its MOT:

Why Choose Adderley Green Garage for Your MOT?

Choosing Adderley Green Garage means opting for excellence in service, expertise, and customer care. Our highly skilled technicians have the latest tools and technology to perform comprehensive MOT tests.

We pride ourselves on our transparency, providing clear explanations of any issues found and advising on the best course of action.

Remember, an MOT test ensures your vehicle's compliance with road safety and environmental standards and enhances its longevity and performance.

Schedule your MOT test with Adderley Green Garage today and drive with confidence, knowing your vehicle is in expert hands. We even offer same-day MOT tests! Book your MOT test online now.

Our top priorities are your safety, satisfaction, and vehicle performance. Visit us for your next MOT test, where quality service meets expertise. Let's keep your vehicle safe, legal, and roadworthy together!

Essential Car Maintenance Checklist Every Driver Should Know

Regular car maintenance is about keeping your vehicle running smoothly and ensuring safety, reliability, and longevity. From seasoned motorists to new car owners, understanding the basics of car checks is crucial.

Our checklist will walk you through a simple yet comprehensive car maintenance checklist to keep your vehicle in top condition.

Oil Level and Quality Checks

Oil lubricates your engine, reducing friction and wear. Check your oil level monthly and change it per your manufacturer's recommendations. Remember, clean oil equals a healthy engine.

Regular oil changes are crucial for maintaining the performance and longevity of your vehicle. Neglecting oil changes can lead to engine damage and costly repairs.

In addition to changing the oil, replacing the oil filter is important to ensure optimal engine performance. Following the recommended oil change schedule and using the right oil for your vehicle can keep your engine running smoothly for years to come.

Checking Tyre Pressure and Tread Depths

Correct tyre pressure ensures optimal performance and safety. Check your tyres monthly and before long trips.

Don't forget to inspect the tread depth to ensure your tyres can grip the road properly, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Regularly checking and maintaining the correct tyre pressure can improve fuel efficiency and prevent premature wear. Rotating your tyres regularly is important to ensure even wear and extend their lifespan.

Additionally, keeping an eye on the tread depth is crucial for maintaining traction and safe driving, especially in wet or icy conditions. Following these simple maintenance tasks ensures your vehicle remains safe, reliable, and efficient.

Want to learn more about tyre maintenance and checks? Read our blog post on Key Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacing.

Monitoring Your Brake Fluid Level

Brakes are your car's most essential safety feature. Check the brake fluid level regularly to ensure it's within the recommended range. Low fluid levels might indicate a leak or worn brake pads, necessitating a visit to a mechanic.

Battery Maintenance Checks

A failing battery can leave you stranded. Check your battery's charge level, especially if it's over three years old. Look for signs of corrosion and ensure the connections are tight and clean.

Lighting and Electrical Systems

Ensure all your vehicle's lights function correctly—headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and interior lights. This will help you see and ensure others can see you.

Changing Windscreen Wipers and Topping Up Fluid

Replace your windscreen wipers once a year or sooner if they start leaving streaks. Also, keep your washer fluid topped up to ensure you can always clear your windscreen of dirt and grime.

Air Filter Maintenance: Simple Steps for Cleaner Air

A clogged air filter can reduce fuel efficiency and power. Check your air filter every six months and replace it as needed to keep your engine breathing clean air.

In addition to checking and replacing the air filter, it is also important to regularly inspect and replace the cabin air filter.

The cabin air filter helps to keep the air inside the vehicle clean and free from pollutants, allergens, and odours. A clogged cabin air filter can reduce the effectiveness of the vehicle's heating and air conditioning systems and the overall air quality inside the vehicle. 

Car Coolant Levels

Coolant keeps your engine from overheating. Check the coolant level in the reservoir; if it's low, top it up, and look for leaks as they can lead to overheating and engine damage.

It's also important to use the correct type of coolant for your vehicle, as different vehicles require different coolant formulations.

Refer to your vehicle's manual or consult a mechanic to ensure you use the right coolant.

Flush and replace the coolant according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule to maintain optimal engine performance.

Neglecting coolant maintenance can result in costly repairs and potential engine failure, so it's essential to prioritize regular checks and maintenance of your vehicle's coolant system.

If you aren't sure how to check your engine coolant or what type your vehicle needs, watch RAC's video on how to check your coolant.

Steering and Suspension Check: Ensuring Smooth and Safe Handling

Pay attention to how your car handles. If you notice it pulling to one side or if the steering is stiffer than usual, it might be time to check your suspension and steering system.

Regular suspension and steering system maintenance is essential for safe and smooth driving.

Be sure to have your suspension and steering system inspected by a qualified mechanic at least once a year or more often if you frequently drive on rough roads or over potholes.

Ignoring your suspension and steering issues can lead to more serious and costly problems, so addressing any concerns is important.

If you experience any unusual noises or vibrations while driving, it's best to have your vehicle checked by a professional as soon as possible to ensure your safety.

Maintaining Your Exhaust System

An efficient exhaust system is crucial for your car's performance and the environment. Listen for changes in the exhaust sound; a louder noise could indicate a leak which needs professional attention.

At Adderley Green Garage, we do repairs and replacements for all types of vehicles.

Car Maintenance Checklist

Regular maintenance is key to car care. Following this simple checklist can prevent major issues, enhance your vehicle's performance, and ensure your safety on the road.

If you're ever in doubt about a potential issue, don't hesitate to contact a professional mechanic.

Remember, taking care of your car means it will take care of you, whether on a daily commute or a road trip adventure.

Need Help with Your Car Maintenance?

If any of the checks in our guide point towards issues or you are looking for professional assistance to keep your car in top shape, Adderley Green Garage is here to help.

Our team of experts specializes in comprehensive car maintenance and repairs, ensuring your vehicle remains safe and reliable on the road.

Book your service with us today and experience hassle-free car care at its best.

10 Telltale Signs Your Car Urgently Needs Repairs

The Crucial Signs Indicating Car Repairs

Understanding when your car requires repairs is vital for maintaining its performance, safety, and longevity. Often, small issues, if left unattended, can escalate into major, costly problems. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential signs that indicate your vehicle may need immediate repairs, helping you keep your car in optimal condition.

Unusual Car Noises: Indicators of Potential Issues

A car making unusual noises is a clear sign that something isn't right. These sounds can vary and often indicate specific problems:

Taking action as soon as you notice these noises can prevent further damage and potentially save you from expensive repairs.

Dashboard Warning Lights

The appearance of warning lights on your dashboard is a direct signal from your car that repairs may be necessary. Some of the most critical lights include:

Each light has a specific meaning and should prompt an immediate checkup of your vehicle. Regularly consulting your car's manual can help you understand these symbols better.

Braking Issues

Your car's brakes are crucial for safe driving. Any irregularities in braking should be addressed immediately:

Since brakes are integral to your safety on the road, any changes in how they feel or sound should be examined by a professional as soon as possible.

Smoke or Steam from Under the Bonnet

If you notice smoke or steam coming from under the bonnet, it's critical to act immediately:

In both cases, it's advisable to pull over safely and turn off the engine. Continuing to drive in these conditions can cause significant damage to your vehicle.

Fluid Leaks: Identifying and Addressing Them

Fluid leaks are not just messy; they're indicative of potential problems in your car:

Checking for leaks should be part of your regular vehicle maintenance routine. Identifying a leak early can prevent more severe issues.

Excessive Exhaust Smoke: Different Types and What They Mean

Excessive exhaust smoke can indicate various issues, depending on the smoke's colour:

Monitoring your exhaust smoke can provide early warnings of these problems.

Unusual Vibrations: Detecting Underlying Problems

Car vibrations or shaking, especially when it's not part of the car's normal behaviour, can indicate several issues:

Addressing these vibrations quickly can prevent more serious problems from developing.

Decreased Fuel Efficiency: A Sign of Engine Issues

A sudden decrease in fuel efficiency can indicate that your car is not operating as efficiently as it should. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as:

Regularly monitoring your car’s fuel efficiency can help you catch these issues early.

Steering Issues

If you notice changes in your car’s steering, such as stiffness or odd noises when turning, it might indicate steering problems. Potential issues include:

Addressing steering issues is critical for maintaining control of your vehicle.

Exhaust System Problems: Noise and Performance Issues

Problems in your car's exhaust system can manifest as excessive noise or a noticeable drop in engine performance. Common issues include:

Timely repairs to the exhaust system are essential to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly and meets emission standards.

Preventive Measures and Regular Maintenance

The best way to avoid the need for urgent repairs is through regular maintenance. This includes:

Staying on top of these tasks can prevent major issues and extend the lifespan of your car.

Proactive Care for Your Vehicle

As you've learned, recognizing the signs that your car needs urgent repairs is crucial for your safety and your vehicle's longevity. If you've noticed any of the issues mentioned in our guide, don't wait for them to escalate.

Trust your vehicle with the experts at Adderley Green Garage. Our team of skilled mechanics is equipped to handle all your car repair needs promptly and efficiently.

Schedule your service appointment today or call us on 01782 312 510 and ensure your car remains in top condition. At Adderley Green Garage, we’re committed to providing you with reliable, high-quality service you can trust.

Further Resources for Car Maintenance

For more detailed information on car maintenance and understanding when repairs are needed, explore our other articles and resources:

What Causes MOT Failure? 10 Common Problems Explained

Stay Safe on the Road: Key Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacing

5 Warning Signs Of Car Air Conditioning Failure

The Best Day Trips from Stoke-on-Trent: A Complete Guide

Embark on an fun day out with our guide to the best day trips from Stoke-on-Trent. Explore scenic routes and historical landmarks, with suggestions that are fun for all of the family.

Where is Stoke-on-Trent?

Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent is a city rich in industrial heritage and cultural vibrancy.

Known affectionately as 'The Potteries' due to its history in pottery manufacturing, it is conveniently located at an equal distance from both Birmingham and Manchester, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the wonders of the Midlands.

What to Do in Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent is a hub of activities, offering something for everyone. From the renowned pottery museums and factories, such as the Emma Bridgewater Factory, to the picturesque Trentham Gardens, there's a wealth of cultural and historical sites to explore.

Families can enjoy a day out at the nearby Alton Towers, or embrace outdoor adventures at Go Ape Cannock Chase.

Emma Bridgewater Factory

The Emma Bridgewater Factory, situated only 10 minutes from the centre of Stoke-on-Trent, is a delightful celebration of British pottery. Visitors can explore the vibrant factory, witnessing firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

The factory offers engaging pottery painting workshops, making it a hit with creative visitors of all ages. Beyond the interactive experiences, the factory shop is a treasure trove of beautifully designed pottery, perfect for souvenirs and gifts.

Trentham Estate and Gardens

Discover the beauty of the Trentham Estate, a mere 15 minutes' drive from the city centre. Immerse yourself in the elegance of the Italian Gardens, the charm of the shopping village, and the unique experience of the Trentham Monkey Forest.

Gladstone Pottery Museum

Located just 15 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent, Gladstone Pottery Museum is a captivating step into the world of ceramics. This preserved Victorian pottery factory offers a unique glimpse into Stoke-on-Trent's rich pottery heritage.

Visitors can witness live demonstrations, explore the original kilns, and even try their hand at pottery making.

The museum beautifully combines educational exhibits with hands-on experiences, making it an enriching visit for all ages.

Go Ape Cannock Chase

Go Ape Cannock Chase, about a 30-minute drive from Stoke-on-Trent, offers an exhilarating outdoor adventure.

Set in stunning woodland, it features thrilling treetop courses, zip lines, and challenging obstacles. Perfect for families, friends, and adventurers, the park provides a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Staffordshire.

Whether you're swinging through the trees or enjoying scenic forest trails, Go Ape Cannock Chase promises an unforgettable day of fun and adventure.

Amerton Farm

A quick 30-minute drive takes you to the rural haven of Amerton Farm. Perfect for a family day out, the farm offers a range of activities, including play areas, animal feeding, and a craft centre.

Rudyard Lake

About 30 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent, Rudyard Lake offers a serene escape. Formed in the 18th century for the Caldon Canal, it now provides activities like boating and fishing, along with scenic walking and cycling paths, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Alton Towers

Alton Towers, located just a 45-minute drive from Stoke-on-Trent, is a thrilling world of adventure and excitement. Known for its iconic roller coasters like 'The Smiler' and 'Nemesis', the park offers exhilarating rides for thrill-seekers.

But it's not all about adrenaline - families can enjoy gentler attractions in CBeebies Land and captivating seasonal events.

Surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens, Alton Towers provides a perfect blend of high-excitement fun and experiences for visitors of all ages.

Bakewell

Famous for its delicious tart, Bakewell is a picturesque market town in Derbyshire, less than an hour away.

Visit The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for authentic Bakewell tarts, explore unique independent shops, enjoy the medieval bridge and stunning riverside views.

Chatsworth House

Just over an hour's drive from Stoke-on-Trent, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is well worth the visit. 

The estate boasts a sprawling 105-acre garden with sculptures, works of art that span 4,000 years and a Victorian rock garden. Inside, over 25 rooms to explore with an impressive art collection, including works by Rembrandt and Lucien Freud.

Day Trips Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent is not only a city of rich cultural heritage but also a starting point for an array of diverse and exciting day trips.

Whether it's delving into the world of pottery at the Emma Bridgewater Factory, exploring the serene beauty of Trentham Estate and Gardens, or seeking thrills at Alton Towers, the area surrounding Stoke-on-Trent has something to offer for every type of traveller.

From the tranquility of Rudyard Lake to the historical grandeur of Chatsworth House, each destination provides a unique glimpse into the heart of England.

So, pack your bags and set off from Stoke-on-Trent for a journey filled with discovery, fun, and unforgettable memories. 

Ensure your travels are as smooth and enjoyable as possible, visit Adderley Green Garage.

Whether it's for a pre-trip inspection, regular maintenance, or just expert advice, our team at Adderley Green Garage is here to help you hit the road with confidence.

So, gear up for your next adventure and let Adderley Green Garage be a part of your journey towards a fun day out with the family.

Maximising Car Performance: Essential Guide to Wheel Alignment and Balancing

Maintaining optimal performance and safety in your vehicle involves understanding the importance of wheel alignment and balancing. These often overlooked yet crucial maintenance tasks not only ensure a smoother driving experience but also significantly extend the lifespan of your tyres and contribute to the overall health of your vehicle.

The Crucial Role of Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment, an essential part of vehicle maintenance, is key to preserving both the performance and safety of your car. This process involves adjusting the angles of your wheels to the manufacturer's specifications, ensuring they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Proper alignment reduces tyre wear, improves fuel efficiency, and enhances the overall handling of your vehicle.

Signs that your vehicle may require wheel alignment include noticeable pulling to one side, uneven or rapid tyre wear, and your steering wheel being off-centre when driving straight. These symptoms, if ignored, can lead to increased tyre wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and potentially unsafe driving conditions.

Enhancing Vehicle Safety and Performance Through Alignment

Having your wheels professionally aligned at a reputable service centre like Adderley Green Garage not only extends the life of your tyres but also ensures optimal driving performance. Misaligned wheels can cause your vehicle to drift or sway, requiring constant steering corrections. This not only leads to driver fatigue but can also put undue stress on the car's suspension and steering components, increasing wear and tear.

By choosing to have regular wheel alignment checks, you are not only enhancing the safety of your vehicle but also ensuring a more economical and environmentally friendly drive. Reduced tyre resistance leads to better fuel economy, meaning fewer trips to the petrol station and a lower carbon footprint.

Understanding Wheel Balancing and Its Importance

Wheel balancing is another key aspect of vehicle maintenance, often performed in conjunction with wheel alignment. This process involves equalising the weight distribution of the wheel and tyre assembly, ensuring that it rotates smoothly at high speeds. Unbalanced wheels can lead to vibrations, typically felt in the steering wheel or the overall car body, particularly at higher speeds.

These vibrations are not just a nuisance; they can lead to premature wear of tyres, suspension, and steering components. Moreover, unbalanced wheels can negatively impact the handling and safety of your vehicle, making it more challenging to control, especially in emergency situations.

Spotting the Signs of Unbalanced Wheels

The most common indicators of wheel imbalance include a vibrating steering wheel, uneven tyre wear, and a general wobble or shaking of the vehicle, especially at certain speeds. These symptoms, if left unchecked, can lead to a less comfortable ride and more importantly, increased wear and tear on various components of your vehicle.

Preventative Measures and Regular Maintenance

To avoid the issues associated with unbalanced wheels, it is recommended to have them checked and balanced regularly. At Adderley Green Garage, our expert technicians use advanced balancing machines to ensure precise results, enhancing your vehicle's performance and extending tyre life.

The Process of Aligning and Balancing Wheels

When you bring your vehicle to Adderley Green Garage for wheel alignment and balancing, our skilled technicians use state-of-the-art equipment to adjust and balance your wheels. The alignment process involves adjusting the wheel angles to their optimal position, while balancing requires adding small weights to the wheel to counterbalance any uneven distribution of weight.

The Significance of Regular Wheel Alignment and Balancing Checks

Regular checks are crucial for maintaining the health of your vehicle. Misaligned or unbalanced wheels can go unnoticed for a while, gradually causing more damage and potentially leading to expensive repairs. By adhering to a regular maintenance schedule, you ensure that your vehicle operates efficiently, safely, and reliably.

Wheel Balancing and Wheel Alignment at Adderley Green Garage

In summary, wheel alignment and balancing are key to ensuring the safety, efficiency, and longevity of your vehicle. These services, offered expertly at Adderley Green Garage, not only provide a smoother driving experience but also help in reducing wear and tear, saving you money in the long run.

For professional wheel alignment and balancing services, trust the expertise of Adderley Green Garage. Contact us to schedule an appointment and ensure your vehicle remains in top condition.

Ultimate Car Winter Checklist: Get Ready For Winter

Not sure how to prepare your car for winter? In our ultimate car winter checklist, we'll take you through our top ways to prepare your car for winter.

Winter is just around the corner, and it's time to prepare your car for winter driving. Cold weather, snow, and ice can all take a toll on your car. As such, it's particularly important to make sure that it's ready for the winter months.

Whether you're a seasoned driver or a new car owner, this article will provide you with all the information you need to ensure your car is safe, reliable, and ready for winter.

Winter Car Checks: A Prime Step in Your Car Winter Checklist

Taking the time to book a comprehensive winter car check with a trusted local garage is a wise first step as winter approaches. Professionals can thoroughly examine your vehicle, ensuring it’s in top condition to face the harsh winter conditions. They’ll check the essentials like the battery, tyres, brakes, and fluids, giving you peace of mind that your car is winter-ready.

Book in with Adderley Green Garage for a free multi-point winter car check. Or, if you'd rather do it yourself you can find out how to do winter car checklists online.

Winter Weather Driving Tips: Prepare Your Vehicle

When winter arrives, it brings along a variety of challenging driving conditions including snow, ice, and fog. Preparing your vehicle to tackle these conditions is important for ensuring a safe driving experience.

Additionally, adapting your driving habits to match the season's weather conditions can significantly enhance your safety on the road. Let’s delve into the key areas you need to focus on to ensure your vehicle is winter-ready.

Tyres and Brakes

One of the most important things to check before winter is your tyres and brakes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Check Tyre Pressure and Tread Depth

Make sure your tyres are properly inflated and have enough tread depth to handle snowy and icy roads.

Consider Switching to Winter Tyres

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall and ice, consider switching to winter tyres for better traction and handling. Your tyres should have at least 3mm of tread and are inflated to the correct pressure - this is vital for grip in wet and icy road weather.

Tyres and Brakes: Key Items In Your Car Winter Checklist

Make sure your brakes are in good condition and replace any worn pads or brake discs. Winter driving conditions can be more dangerous and challenging, so make sure you adjust and adapt your driving to the weather conditions. The AA has a useful guide on winter driving conditions.

Heating and Defrosting Systems

Your car's heating and defrosting systems are essential for keeping you warm and safe during winter. Here are some things to check:

Test the Heating System and Replace the Coolant if Necessary

As the chill of winter approaches, ensuring a comfortable and warm driving environment is crucial. A functioning heating system is essential for defrosting and defogging your windows and is vital for safety.

Check Windshield Wipers and Replace Them if Needed

Make sure that your windshield wipers are functioning to maintain clear visibility during winter. If they're worn out or streaking, it's time to replace them with new ones for effective clearing of snow and rain.

Ensure the Defrosting System Is Working Properly

Make sure your defrosting system or air conditioning is working properly to keep your windshield clear and free of ice.

Car Battery and Lights

Cold weather can drain the power from your car's battery and affect the performance of the electrical system. It's imperative to ensure your battery is fully charged and the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free as part of your car winter checklist.

Additionally, make sure that all lights including headlights, brake lights, and indicators are functioning properly to ensure safe driving during winter's shorter, darker days.

Test Your Car Battery and Replace It if It’s Weak

Make sure your battery is in good condition and replace it if it's weak. Make sure to drive your car for at least 30 minutes every few weeks to keep the battery healthier.

Jumper Cables

Keeping jumper cables in your car is a wise precaution. They can be a lifesaver if your battery dies, enabling a jump-start from another vehicle.

Check Your Lights and Signals

It's crucial to ensure all your lights and signals are functioning correctly to maintain safe driving conditions. Properly working lights enhance your visibility on the road and allow other drivers to see your movements clearly.

Check Fluid Levels Are Topped Up

Antifreeze/Coolant

Coolant/antifreeze is crucial to keeping the cooling system going, extending the life of your car's engine. You should check the level of your coolant every few weeks, but more frequently in winter.

Anti-freeze needs to be diluted with water before adding to your car, and the engine coolant is ready-mixed without the need to dilute. This fluid lowers the freezing point of the water in your car's cooling system - if the water freezes, this can cause significant damage to your engine.

Windscreen Wash

Consider using a winter-specific wash. A high-quality screenwash is designed to resist freezing, ensuring its effectiveness even as temperatures plummet during the winter months.

Plan Your Journey and Stay Up to Date With the Weather Forecasts

Before heading out, it's crucial to check the weather forecast. Winter weather can be unpredictable, and it's better to be prepared for adverse conditions. There are various apps and websites available that provide accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts which can help you plan your journey better.

If the weather looks too dangerous, it's safer to delay your trip until conditions improve.

Breakdown Cover

Ensure you have a reliable breakdown cover before winter sets in. Winter is notorious for causing unexpected vehicle breakdowns, and having breakdown cover in place can be vital.

At Adderley Green Garage, we offer local breakdown recovery in Longton and surrounding areas of Stoke-on-Trent.

Download Offline Maps on Your Phone

In case of a network failure or if you find yourself in an area with poor connectivity, having offline maps downloaded on your phone can be particularly beneficial.

Additionally, apps like Google Maps allow you to download maps of specific areas which you can use offline. This ensures that you're never left stranded without directions, no matter where you are.

Routine Maintenance

Don't neglect routine maintenance. Regular oil changes, checking the coolant level, brake inspections, and keeping your fuel tank full are all crucial for winter driving.

Most importantly, ensure your vehicle's servicing is up to date to prevent any unexpected issues on the road. Regular maintenance is one of the best ways you can prepare your vehicle for winter driving.

Winter Car Emergency Kit: A Crucial Part of a Car Winter Checklist

During winter, the chances of encountering emergencies on the road significantly increase due to adverse weather conditions. Having a well-equipped car emergency kit can be a lifesaver. Here’s a comprehensive list of items to include in your Winter Car Emergency Kit:

Warm, Thick Blankets and Winter Clothes

It's crucial to stay warm if you get stranded. Pack some extra winter clothes, gloves, and warm, thick blankets to fend off the cold.

First Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, and pain relievers can be invaluable in an emergency.

Spare Food and Drink

It's wise to store non-perishable food items and bottled water in your car to ensure sustenance, particularly if an unforeseen situation leaves you stranded This precaution is especially important when travelling with children!

Shovel, Ice Scraper and Deicer

These tools can help you dig your car out of the snow, clear your windshield, and provide traction under your tyres if you're stuck in snow or ice.

Spare Mobile Phone Charger

Keeping a spare phone charger, whether it's a USB car charger or a portable battery pack, ensures that in the event of an emergency, you can make crucial calls if necessary.

High Visibility Clothing

High-visibility vests or jackets can significantly increase your visibility to other drivers, particularly in low-light conditions or amidst snowstorms. This simple precaution can be a lifesaver, ensuring that you are seen and avoided on the road during adverse weather conditions.

Deicing Salt

Deicing salt can help melt the ice around your tyres or on the road, providing better traction.

Emergency Equipment

A warning triangle, tow rope, jump leads, and an empty fuel can are crucial items to have on hand. Items like these can assist in either facilitating your return to the road or in alerting other drivers to your presence, which can be crucial in the event of a breakdown.

Flashlight and Extra Batteries

A flashlight can be essential if you get stranded at night. Keep extra batteries as well to ensure it's always ready for use.

Basic Tool Kit

Having a basic tool kit with essentials like screwdrivers, pliers, and an adjustable wrench can be very helpful for minor repairs.

Fire Extinguisher

A compact fire extinguisher rated for automotive use is a smart addition to your emergency kit.

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

By following our comprehensive car winter checklist, you can ensure that your vehicle is safe, reliable, and ready for the cold and snowy weather ahead. If you live in Longton or the surrounding areas of Stoke-on-Trent, come and visit us at Adderley Green Garage for any of your winter car troubles.

Don't wait until it's too late - start preparing your car for winter today! 

What Causes MOT Failure? 10 Common Problems Explained

Navigating the intricacies of vehicle maintenance can be complex, especially when you're prepping for that all-important annual MOT. According to the DVSA, nearly 50% of all faults found on MOTs could be avoided by carrying out regular, simple maintenance, like replacing bulbs, wipers and tyres.

Most vehicles face challenges during the car MOT test, but understanding and preemptively addressing common issues can make the process smoother.

At Adderley Green Garage, we are experts in the automotive field and have over 30 years of experience. We've put together a guide on the 10 common problems that can cause an MOT failure, read more below on common failures and how to avoid them.

Faulty Brakes

When we discuss vehicle safety, brakes are invariably the first component that springs to mind. Faulty brakes are a major culprit behind many MOT failures. Warning signs aren’t always glaringly obvious. They can range from subtle squeaking noises to your vehicle unexpectedly pulling to one side when braking. The brake system's complexity, involving components like brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid, means several things could go wrong. Regular brake inspections and timely car repairs at Adderley Green Garage can help identify and rectify these problems well ahead of your MOT.

MOT Tyre Conditions

The importance of tyre maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Worn-out tyres compromise vehicle safety and efficiency. The legal minimum tread depth stands at 1.6mm. However, many experts suggest replacing tyres before they reach this minimum, as reduced tread depth can significantly impact grip, especially in wet conditions. Regularly inspect your tyres for signs of wear, punctures, and sidewall damage. At Adderley Green Garage, we offer tyres for most make and model of vehicle, and we offer wheel alignment too. Find out more about our tyre services here.

Lighting and Signalling Issues in MOT

Good visibility is non-negotiable for safe driving. Adequate functioning of lights and signals play a pivotal role in this. While blown bulbs might seem like a minor issue, they can significantly impact your driving and result in MOT failure. Before your car MOT test, ensure all lights, spanning from indicators, brake lights, reverse lights to fog lights, are all in prime and working condition. Regular checks, prompt replacements of blown bulbs, and ensuring correct light alignment can save you potential MOT hassles. Lights are the primary reason for MOT failures in the UK, contributing to up to 19% of all failures due to their significant importance on the road to both drivers and other road users alike.

Exhaust Emissions & Fuel System Leaks

Amid increasing environmental concerns, exhaust emissions are under stringent scrutiny during MOT tests. Your vehicle's exhaust system should not only meet environmental standards but also function optimally for vehicle performance. Visible smoke, persistent foul odours, or even unusual sounds might signal potential issues. Regular servicing, timely air filter replacements, and addressing fuel system leaks can keep emissions within acceptable limits.

Windscreen Issues & Windscreen Wipers

Your windscreen serves as your window to the world when driving. Even minor obstructions or damages can pose significant risks. Chips, cracks, or damages directly in the driver's line of sight can lead to MOT failure. Additionally, functioning windscreen wipers ensure clear vision during adverse weather. Check wiper blades for wear and ensure the wiper fluid reservoir is adequately filled.

Suspension & Steering Problems During MOT Test

A vehicle's suspension system offers passengers a relatively bump-free ride, while the steering system ensures responsiveness and control. Worn-out shocks or struts, or even slight issues in the steering mechanism, can drastically affect vehicle handling and comfort. Regular checks, especially if you notice your ride becoming bumpier or steering becoming sluggish, are essential.

Seatbelt Defects & Malfunctioning Horn

Seatbelts, often dubbed as life-savers, have a pivotal role in ensuring passenger safety. They must latch securely, retract smoothly, and remain free from damage. A functioning horn, on the other hand, acts as a vital tool for communication on the road, alerting fellow drivers or pedestrians. Prior to the MOT, it's vital to ensure seatbelts are in optimal condition and the horn functions consistently.

MOT Test Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

MOT tests encompass a comprehensive check of various vehicle components, right from the battery, mirrors, to even your number plate. The complexity means there are multiple facets where issues can arise. Regular checks, an understanding of your vehicle's health, and a proactive approach can simplify the MOT process.

Looking for an efficient, same-day MOT test in Stoke-on-Trent? At Adderley Green Garage, our expert team can conduct MOTs for cars, motorcycles, minibuses and motor homes, offering same-day services to get you back on the road in no time

Local Garage at Adderley Green

Located in Stoke-on-Trent, Adderley Green Garage isn't just another MOT test centre. With a team of trained professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, and a customer-centric approach, the garage ensures your vehicle gets the care it deserves. From simple oil changes and intricate car repairs to comprehensive MOT checks, Adderley Green Garage has built a reputation for fast, efficient and friendly customer service and repairs.

The annual MOT test serves as a testament to your vehicle's safety and environmental standards. By being proactive, understanding potential pitfalls, and leveraging the expertise at Adderley Green Garage, you can turn the MOT from a daunting task to a routine check.

Consistent car repairs, regular maintenance, and services like breakdown cover equip you with peace of mind on the road. If the annual MOT test is on the horizon or you seek guidance on car maintenance, Adderley Green Garage in Stoke-on-Trent is ready to assist. Embrace the journey of safe, efficient, and responsible driving! Book your next MOT now on our website.

If you liked this blog post, read our other posts on what gets checked during an MOT test and 10 signs your car may need urgent repairs.

Summer Car Maintenance: The Essential Checklist

Summer car maintenance UK

Although this summer hasn't been as warm as previous years, it's still very important to keep ontop of your car's maintenance. Make sure you can make the most of your summer, enjoying day trips to the seaside and sunny evening drives with these handy summer car maintenance tips!

Maintain Your Car’s Tyres for Summer

One of the most important aspects of summer car maintenance is ensuring that your tyres are in good condition. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Maintain your car's tires for summer

Change Your Oil and Filters

Regular oil changes are essential for keeping your engine running smoothly, as well as checking your car's air filter. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Air conditioning summer car maintenance

Maintain Your Car's Battery and Electrical System

Your car's battery and electrical system are crucial for starting and running your vehicle. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Keep Your Vehicle's Interior Clean

You might not realise this but if your car’s windshield is dirty, it can actually be a hazard. Even from the inside, that haze will diffuse the light and make things more difficult to see. Dirt in your car can mount up so easily over time and we don’t always notice it but it’s really important to keep on top off. Not just for hygiene but also for safety purposes. Make sure to always keep your windows clean and wipe down your dashboard to remove dust.

Prepare for Car Emergencies

No matter how well you maintain your car, emergencies can still happen. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Summer car maintenance and prepare for emergencies

Summer Car Maintenance At Adderley Green Garage

Summer car maintenance is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and safely during the hot months ahead. By following this checklist, you can help ensure that your car is in top condition for all of your summer adventures. Remember to check your tyres, change your oil and filters, keep your car cool, check your battery and electrical system, and prepare for emergencies.

For expert summer car maintenance and more, get in touch with us at Adderley Green Garage in Longton, Stoke on Trent. Book your appointment today!

Stay Safe on the Road: Key Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacing

Driving with older tyres that need replacing can put your safety at risk as well as the safety of those around you. It’s important to keep an eye on your car's tyres and make sure that you know the signs they may need to be replaced before the worst can happen. Read our blog post to find out more about car tyres and the key signs they need replacing.

Car Tyre Tread Wear

The treads on your tyres help your car grip the road. This is especially important if you are driving in adverse weather conditions like rain or snow. When the road is wet or slippery and you need to stop, the treads allow you to do that.

If your treads are worn down, that extra grip is gone and you can have a difficult time stopping.

Not only is worn tread a safety issue, but it is also a legal one. Once a tread is worn down too much, it is no longer legal to drive your car with those tyres. Each region is different, so check with your local transportation department to find out what the legal limit is.

All tyres come with something called a tread wear bar. This is a small horizontal bridge that are between your treads at a lower depth. When your tyres wear and these bars become flush with the tread, they need to be replaced immediately.

Make sure that you check your treads often to ensure they are safe and legal. If you aren’t sure how to do this, book your car at Adderley Green Garage for a safety check.

Uk Legal Requirements for Car Tyre Tread Depth

The treat depth of a new tyre really depends on the tyre type and who manufactures it. A treat pattern should be thick enough to ensure a long life for your tyres.

The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. Your tyre tread depth must measure at least 1.6mm in 3 points across the centre and circumference of the tyre. Once your tyres reach this limit, you must change them immediately for safety but also so you aren't breaking the law.

If caught, you could receive a hefty fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points on your driving licence per illegal tyre.

Most tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres be changed once the treads wear down to 3mm remaining. If your tyres have worn down less than this, this starts to affect your tyre's reliability, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Tyre garages in the UK use a special tool to check the legal tyre limit of your tread - this is called a tyre gauge. If you don't have a tyre gauge, take your car to a local tyre garage near you for checking.

Car Tyre Irregularities

If your tyres are showing any signs of irregular wear, it is important for you to have them inspected. This could be a small bulge in the side of the tire or worn spots on just one side.

If your tyres are unevenly wearing down, it may mean your tyres are misaligned which can be easily fixed. If it isn’t fixed before more damage is done, or if there are bulges, it definitely means that your tyres need replacing.

Vibrations or Unusual Noises When Driving

Hearing unusual noises or vibrations while driving is an overlooked sign by drivers. If your car feels unsteady on the road or you can hear an odd noise, particularly at high speeds, it could mean an issue with your tyres.

Vibrations can usually be felt through the steering wheel or the driver's car seat. These vibrations can be caused by a variety of issues, but most commonly they are due to imbalanced wheels. Over time, tyres can become imbalanced which can cause your car to shake. This not only makes your drive uncomfortable but also poses dangerous safety risks. It could also mean that your car tyres are imbalanced, and you may need car tyre rebalancing.

Hearing unusual noises is another sign that your tyres need checking. If your tyres are making a loud humming noise, this could be a symptom of irregular or uneven tyre wear. This can be the result of misalignment, underinflation or overinflation, or a tyre that has simply worn out.

Remember, tyres are the only part of your car that touches the road, and any vibration or noise can drastically impact your car's handling and safety. 

If you start noticing any of these signs, make sure to visit your local car garage. The issues may seem minor, but these could be the early signs of major tyre issues. Have your tyres checked by a professional at the earliest sign of trouble.

Car Tyre Age

Tyres need replacing every 6 years regardless of the wear. If you look at the 4 digit code on the wall of the tire, you will be able to tell what the age of your tyres are. The first two numbers represent the week it was made and the last two numbers are the year. Check what that date is and set a reminder for yourself.

Although tyres can last for up to 10 years, 6 years is the peak amount of time you should be driving on them. After that, a number of issues can start happening and it may become dangerous.

What Are the Dangers of Driving on Worn or Damaged Tyres?

When it comes to vehicle safety, your tyres play a pivotal role. Your tyre’s condition can significantly affect your vehicle's performance and your safety. Driving on worn or damaged tyres can lead to serious consequences. Some of the dangers include:

Regularly Check Your Car's Tyre Pressure

As an extra note, always make sure to always maintain and check your car's tyre pressure. Checking your tyre pressure is very important, as improper pressure affects your handling and braking as well as risks your safety. Read our other blog post on why tyre pressure maintenance is so important and the effects of under and over-inflation.

Tyres Stoke-on-Trent

If you are unsure if you should replace your tyres or not, bring your car to the professionals for an inspection. They will be able to easily tell if you still have some time left in your tyres or if you are putting your safety at risk.

Need a second opinion on your tyres? Our experienced mechanics can diagnose and fix any tyre problems you may have. Contact Adderley Green Garage for more information.

5 Warning Signs Of Car Air Conditioning Failure

Adderley Green Garage Vehicle Air Con Maintenance

In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 signs that indicate your car's air conditioning system is failing.

From strange noises to weak airflow, we will cover everything you need to know to keep your car cool and comfortable during those hot summer months.

Read on to learn how to identify and fix common car air conditioning problems issues, as well as our top 5 tips for maintaining your vehicle's air con system.

Strange Noises

If you hear strange noises coming from your car's air conditioning such as rattling, squealing, grinding or hissing sounds, this usually indicates an underlying issue.

If your air con belt is loose, worn or damaged it can cause squealing sounds. Fan issues can cause rattling or clunking sounds, and may indicate that it needs to be replaced.

Bubbling and hissing sounds can indicate that you have a refrigerant leak. If your vehicle's AC system is low on refrigerant, it may not cool the air as well as it should.

Weak Airflow

If your air conditioning airflow is not as strong as it used to be, it could be a few different problems. A clogged air filter can restrict airflow, which then causes your air con to work much less effectively.

If you find that the airflow is not consistent, it could be a filter issue, a malfunctioning blower motor, damaged or blocked air ducts, electrical problems or low refrigerant levels. Any air conditioning car specialist should be able to diagnose these issues for you. 

Warm airflow is usually caused by low refrigerant levels, this means your air con will need regassed. When this level is low, your vehicle may not be able to produce enough cool air to properly cool your car down.

Most car garages offer air con regassing, and this is a relatively straightforward service that shouldn't cost you too much.

Sometimes a regas won't fix weak air flow, so it's important to regularly maintain your vehicle's air conditioning system. Make sure to take your car to a specialist garage with skilled mechanics who can diagnose the issue for you.

Unpleasant Odours Air Con

If your car's air con has a musty or mouldy smell, this is usually a sign that your filter needs to be changed. It's important to replace your filter regularly, as a dirty filter can cause blockages and reduce the effectiveness of the air con. It can also be a breeding ground for bugs and bacteria, so it's a good idea to change it often.

At Adderley Green Garage, our highly skilled mechanics can do air con filter changes and anti-bacterial cleans.

Burning or Gas Odours

If you smell gas or exhaust fumes when you turn your air con on, this can be a sign of a serious problem. You could have an exhaust leak which allows toxic fumes to enter through your air con.

A fuel system leak can also cause a gas smell whenever your air conditioning is turned on. This can be a serious issue and must be fixed as a priority.

It is important to have your air conditioning system checked by a professional as soon as possible, especially if you can smell burning or gas. A qualified technician can assess the issue and determine the best course of action. 

If you don't address the problems straight away, they can lead to further damage if left unchecked. It can also be quite dangerous to operate the air conditioning system if there is a gas leak.

Car Air Con Maintenance

Air Conditioning Leaks or Moisture

Air conditioning vehicle leaks or moisture are usually a common issue. If you find puddles of water under your car after using the air con, it can be a sign of a clogged line.

Moisture on the dashboard or floor mats can also signify an air con system leak.

If you notice warm air coming from your air con, this can be a sign of a refrigerant leak.

AC Not Cooling

If you find that your car's air conditioning isn't cooling properly, there can be a few underlying issues.

If your AC takes longer to cool your car, it could be low gas levels or a clogged air filter. A damaged or dirty condenser could be to blame too. The condenser is responsible for cooling the gas in the air con system. If damaged, the condenser will malfunction and not work properly.

The compressor may be malfunctioning, which means it won't be able to circulate the refrigerant gas properly in the air. Electrical problems such as a faulty relay or switch can stop your vehicle's air con from working altogether.

Air Conditioning Top Tips 

Run Your Car's Air Con Often

Running your air conditioner on defrost mode can help keep it running efficiently and prevent any issues from arising. Doing this regularly will also help to keep the gas pressure in the system at an optimal level.

Defrost mode helps to remove any moisture that has built up in the car. This can cause mildew and other problems if left unchecked, which can be costly to fix.

For best results, you should run your air conditioner on defrost mode at least once a week. Do this throughout the entire year, even during the winter months.

Keep the AC Clean

Keeping your car clean is an important part of maintaining your air conditioner. Make sure to vacuum the interior and wipe down all surfaces and dashboard with a damp cloth. Doing this in your car once a month will help to keep the air inside your car clean. This also helps reduce the amount of dust and dirt that can get into the air conditioner and cause blockages.

Changing your air filter regularly will help to keep the air inside your car clean. A clean air filter means that your air con is running at its optimum function.

Only Use Air Con While Driving

Once you begin to drive, turn on the air conditioner and roll down the back windows for a few seconds. Doing this allows the hot air to escape during those summer months, and will help the air conditioning system work more efficiently. This also reduces strain on the system and can help your air con last longer.

Remember - air conditioning systems work best when the car is already in motion. The best idea is to wait until you are driving, before turning on the air conditioning.

Turn up the Temperature

By setting the temperature too low, the air conditioning system has to work harder to cool the air. This means that the system has to run for longer, using more energy and fuel.

The AC system has to reheat the air before sending it into the car. This uses more energy and fuel, which could cost you more. Set the air conditioner to the highest setting for efficiency, and adjust the fan to stay comfortable.

Car Air Conditioning Maintenance

Having a professional service your air conditioning system is the best way to ensure that it is running properly. They will check for any leaks, inspect the hoses and connections, and replace any worn parts.

An air conditioning specialist will also check the refrigerant level and top it up. This will help to keep your air conditioning system running efficiently and can help avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Air Con Repairs and Services

If you experience any issues such as strange noises or smells, don't delay. If you ignore the problems, they can become more costly in the long run. Book in with Adderley Green Garage for air con repairs and services.

Vehicle Air Conditioning Deep Clean

Strange smells coming from your air con? As we mentioned earlier, this can usually be fixed with a filter change and an anti-bacterial air con clean. Bring your vehicle to us at Adderley Green Garage - we service most kinds of vehicles including lorries and motorhomes too.

This blog post highlights the top 5 signs that your car's air conditioning system may need repair or regassing. Common problems that can occur include strange noises, weak airflow, unpleasant odours, leaks, and the air conditioning not cooling effectively.

We also listed our 5 tips for maintaining your car's air conditioning system to prevent these issues from arising. Tips included running the air conditioning on defrost mode and keeping the AC system clean.

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that the car's air con system is running correctly and efficiently. This will help avoid costly repairs in the future and will keep filter germs and bacteria at bay.

At Adderley Green Garage, we offer all kinds of air conditioning services. From filter changes and anti-bacterial cleans to repairs, recharges and regassing.

We repair air conditioning systems in cars, vans, lorries and motorhomes. No job is too big or too small. Find out more about our air conditioning services.

If you liked this blog post, make sure to read our post on pros and cons of air conditioning in your car.