Do I Need Winter Tyres?

It has long been debated whether it is worth getting winter tyres fitted. Here Walker Cutting gives you the low down on your tyre options.

What are winter tyres?

Winter tyres, often referred to as cold weather tyres, are marked with a snowflake symbol. They differentiate from summer tyres because they are made from a softer compound which means they can perform much better in colder temperatures. They are created with a tread pattern specifically designed to perform well in testing driving conditions such as when it is snowy.

Are winter tyres compulsory in the UK?

In the UK it is not currently compulsory to have winter tyres fitted. It is though often recommended by the government and industry specialists to do so, particularly if we are set to face a harsh winter.

In many European countries winter tyres are a legal requirement. In Germany for example motorists must switch between summer and winter tyres or they can be charged with hefty fines and their car insurance voided. If you plan to take your vehicle anywhere in Europe you should therefore look to have winter tyres fitted.

UK drivers are not bound by law to have winter tyres put on their vehicle but people often choose to have them fitted regardless for their improved safety and performance over regular tyres.

Can I keep my regular tyres over winter?

Instead of fitting winter tyres drivers can continue to use their summer tyres. The problem with doing this is that whilst regular tyres tend to perform well in high temperatures they can often lose grip anywhere below 7 degrees Celsius. Summer tyres tend to struggle to provide grip at temperatures below freezing and as soon as the weather gets bad this can be highly problematic.

There are all season tyres available that are designed to perform well as both a summer and winter tyre. All season tyres are rated for use in the UK because they are a good all rounder. They are a cost-effective solution because they are competent in summer and winter conditions so can be left on throughout the year.

Is it worth getting winter tyres?

From a performance and safety perspective the definitive answer is yes. Winter tyres have been proven to outperform summer and all season tyres in winter driving conditions. They drastically reduce stopping distances on snow, ice and in wet weather at low temperatures. Critically this could potentially be life saving.

If you opt to stay on summer tyres over winter you are far more susceptible to a motoring accident if road conditions become dangerous. Winter tyres will improve the way your vehicle can perform in treacherous cold weather conditions making you safer on the roads.

Keeping all season tyres on throughout the year is an alternative and an all season tyre should be able to cope in both summer and in winter conditions. All season tyres will in theory provide more grip in winter than regular tyres do, but they will not match the performance of having summer and winter tyre sets fitted for their respective weather conditions.

People are often put off having winter tyres fitted by their cost. Winter tyres do tend to cost slightly more than summer tyres, but the price is not as high as it may initially seem. Winter tyres are only used for half the year and as a result this means that a large amount of the cost of winter tyres is offset because you will not be paying for half a year’s worth of summer tyre wear.

Having two specialist tyre sets and switching between summer and winter tyres is undoubtedly the best option if you are looking for optimum safety and performance from your tyres throughout the year. You can keep summer and winter tyres and they can be refitted the following year if they are roadworthy. It is not always the case that you will have to buy a new set of tyres each time that you change them over.

In conclusion, if you are looking to be as safe as possible when driving over winter you should opt for fitting winter tyres. Their downside is a slightly larger cost but if you look after them winter tyres can also prove to be a sound financial investment as well.

Get Winter Tyres Fitted

At Walker Cutting we have a fantastic selection of new car tyres to suit all budgets and requirements. We supply and fit tyres at our specialist Rotherham tyre garage.

If you are looking to get winter tyres fitted this season Walker Cutting is offering great deals on the best winter tyres, fitted for free. We also fit regular and all season tyres at a low cost and we always deliver a highly professional and punctual service.

Contact us today or use our online booking form to make an appointment for your next tyre fitting.

Winter Driving Tips

Winter Road | Winter Check

winter-check-upWith winter looming there is no harm in being prepared and making sure that your car is equipped to deal with harsher weather conditions.

Most of our winter driving tips are checks that you should be performing regularly on your vehicle anyway. They become vital during the winter season as your car is exposed to the elements and you are faced with hazardous driving conditions.

Firstly, be sure to check your windscreen wipers, fluid levels and car bulbs. In snow and fog your wipers become more important than ever, as do your vehicle lights, be sure to check and replace any faulty wipers or blown bulbs in preparation for winter.

Headlights, taillights, indicators and brake lights all need to be working properly in order to keep you and other road users safe. Checking engine coolant levels is also essential as it contains antifreeze which protects pipes from freezing and cracking in the cold which can cause serious engine damage.

During the winter months flat batteries are prevalent. The cold weather can affect car batteries and putting heating fans on the maximum setting can cause car batteries to drain. You can get a free battery check at Walker Cutting so that you can rest assured that your car battery will survive the winter months.

Walker Cutting also have the best selection of tyres Rotherham has to offer so you can make sure you are fully equipped to own the road this coming winter. Our impressive winter tyres are designed to perform better in poor weather conditions. They are a much safer option and they are a legal requirement in some European countries.

If you are not considering changing to winter tyres you must still check your tyres in order to make sure that they have sufficient tread depth to improve stopping distances on cold, icy roads. Once your car is properly prepared for winter, as the driver you need to ensure that you drive sensibly and in a manner that is appropriate for potentially treacherous conditions.

Walker Cutting are happy to check your car over to make sure it is winter ready for free. Alternatively, we are also here to help with all general repairs should you need them, in winter and at any time throughout the year. Contact us whenever you need our professional services and we will be happy to assist.

Walker Cutting Sponsor Local Events

Walker Cutting are always keen to sponsor local events in and around Rotherham. We recently sponsored a golfing day at Tankersley Golf Club and supported a local beer festival at the New York Stadium, just down the road from our Rotherham garage.

At our golf day at Tankersley we were lucky enough to catch the best of the weather and the keen golfers taking part were treated to 18 holes in glorious sunny conditions. The day proved a huge success and all involved had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Participants appreciated a fun nearest the pin challenge where the victor won £100 off a service with us. Nobody left empty handed and there were plentiful key rings, tees and ball markers as consolation prizes, all sponsored by Walker Cutting. We are delighted to announce that we have sponsored the first team at Tankersley Golf club for the next two years and paid for their team clothing so that they look the part in top of the range FootJoy gear.


Tankersley Golf

Last week we also enjoyed a beer festival at the New York Stadium, the home of Rotherham United football club. The event ran over three days, giving plenty of time for beer lovers to consume some of the finest ales and lagers that the region has to offer. The event was a most pleasant affair, with a talented young band named The Starkins providing the entertainment. Walker Cutting sponsored the band and sponsored a bar to support all three nights. Those who attended had a great time, although some people were decidedly merrier than others!

Walker Cutting are a Rotherham based Bosch service centre who specialise in general repairs and manufacturer servicing for German cars. We have more great local events in the pipeline so we would love to see you at one of them. If you require car repairs, an MOT or servicing pop down to our Rotherham test centre and one of our friendly, professional staff will be more than happy to help.



How To Improve Fuel Consumption

If you want to know how to improve fuel consumption you should first consider that it is not all about the way you drive. Even before you have set off on a journey you can be more fuel efficient simply by removing unnecessary weight from your vehicle. If you have unused heavy items in your boot, take them out, and if you are not taking kids on a journey remove their bulky car seats and buggies to reduce the load you are carrying. If bike racks and roof boxes are not going to be in use for a while you should also consider removing these if you are looking to improve your fuel efficiency.

Keeping your car well maintained is a key factor in keeping your fuel costs down. Although you may have to pay a small fee to get your car serviced, getting a regular service will keep everything running at an optimum level. This will keep your car fuel efficient which will save you money in the long term. Your car can also benefit from a one off fuel injector cleaning service that will remove carbon deposits and restore mpg.

Being prepared and planning a journey will help you avoid traffic and driving further than necessary, both of which have a detrimental effect on fuel efficiency . Make sure that your tyres are always inflated to a near perfect level will help reduce resistance against the road; soon you will notice your MPG start to rise. Using your air con as infrequently as possible, and refraining from using heated seats, demisters and other electrical functions that your car has will also help you burn less fuel.

From a driving aspect; drive gently and stick to the speed limits if you want to improve your MPG. You need to avoid harsh acceleration and braking. Keep a fairly low amount of revs without dropping too low and making your engine struggle. As we all know, changing to a high gear early will help you to save fuel, but you should stick to the speed limit on motorways as every 1mph you go above 55mph decrease fuel economy by 0.1mpg.

Another simple driving tip is to use declines to your advantage. If you are driving down a hill, come off the accelerator and let the decline propel your vehicle and take some of the strain off your engine. If you spy an incline try to accelerate before you reach the slope, therefore seeking to reduce acceleration whilst directly on the ascent. It is also a useful tip to try and anticipate obstacles and hazards while driving. By doing this you will avoid the need to harshly brake, coming to a more gradual stop will greatly reduce fuel consumption.

Take all these tips to account and you will start to see your fuel costs plummeting. Next time your car is in for a service at Walker Cutting enquire about our Fortron injector cleaning service and see how it can boost your mpg and majorly improve your cars overall performance.

German Hatchbacks & Superminis

BMW, Mercedes and Audi have all reported a marked increase in global car sales in 2015 and seemingly German cars are as popular as ever.

A big contributor to the current success of German cars in the UK is the growing market for German hatchbacks and superminis. In recent years there has been a distinct crossover as luxury German car manufacturers have sought to saturate the first-car and hot-hatch market. For the most part their attempts have worked, and luxury German car brands have emerged as a genuine challenger to the previous dominance of manufacturers such as Ford and Vauxhall in this popular category.

Whilst Ford and Vauxhall are still leading the way in the sales of hatchbacks and superminis, German equivalents are becoming increasingly popular. According to Auto Express, in 2014 3 of the top 10 selling cars in the UK were German manufactured cars.

The best selling German car in the UK in 2014 was the ever-present and reliable Volkswagen Golf, which sold a staggering 73,880 registrations in 2014 and was the 4th most popular car of the year. In terms of sales the Golf is sandwiched between the Vauxhall Corsa and the Vauxhall Astra, to gauge just how popular the Golf actually is. Also in the top 10 was the Volkswagen Polo, the smaller supermini equivalent to the Golf, which sold more registrations in 2014 than the Fiat 500.

The Audi A3 is another German hot-hatch that also features in the top 10 selling cars of 2014. Auto Express notes that 45,581 registrations were sold for this vehicle in 2014, making it the 8th most popular car in the UK in 2014. The Mercedes GLA, which was regularly touted as the best new vehicle of 2014 also received promising sales.

With good reported sales from German car manufacturers in early 2015, it appears that a continued growth in the sales of German Hatchbacks and Superminis is likely. Evidently, people are now seeking reliable German manufacturing in their hatchbacks and superminis and they are now a real potential alternative to a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa.

Walker Cutting is a German car specialist garage and we are the home of Audi servicing Rotherham. Our Audi service costs are some of the most competitive around and all our servicing is carried out to the highest standards. We are also the premier Mercedes service Rotherham garage and the preferred VW Service Rotherham garage.

At Walker Cutting we provide expert servicing on all German cars and are a highly trusted garage with a glowing reputation from customers throughout South Yorkshire. The growing rise in the popularity of German hatchbacks and superminis means you need a name you can trust to call upon when you need to fix and service German vehicles.

Luckily, you can rely on Walker Cutting for a knowledgeable and dependable service with all German car related issues. Contact us today and make us your regular service provider.

Our Spring Cleaning Advice

Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow and the accompaniments they bring may have taken their toll on your vehicle in ways that aren’t so obvious to the open eye. After months of dark, damp days and winter neglect, spring is the perfect time to get into gear and give your vehicle a thorough clean both inside and out, one which may help to maintain your car’s value and reduce the risk of long-term corrosion damage.

There are several reasons why the winter weather can be harmful to your vehicle. The inside of your car may not have been able to dry out throughout the cold months due to the constant inundation of wet shoes and clothes bringing in moisture, and there not being the heat or ventilation to allow it to dry out. Your car upholstery may also be stained with dampness; it is advisable to wash these with upholstery cleaner, but do not use too much liquid and make sure you clean on a relatively sunny day to allow your car to be aired out and left well ventilated for a significant amount of time.

Remove winter grime from internal paintwork and surfaces with warm water and a suitable car shampoo, paying particular attention to the undersides of doors and making sure that all shampoo is washed off before drying the car. Rain water penetration and retention under the carpet mats leave wet patches and dampness. The point of water entry isn’t always obvious to the naked eye, so this will need to be investigated thoroughly by an expert.

The underneath of the car takes the worst hit during the winter weather; this is particularly damaging to your vehicle if you drive in mud laden conditions. The salt used to grit roads in icy and snowy conditions is corrosive, and if left on the underneath of your vehicle, can cause severe rusting damage to your paintwork and car body.

After a pot-holed winter, check your wheel and tyre alignment, for misaligned tyres wear out more quickly. Here at Walker Cutting, our Bosch approved service centre provides the best steering alignment repair Rotherham has to offer. Your tyre tread will become worn over time, and though the legal minimum is 1.6mm, we strongly recommend you have at least 3mm. Another important aspect of tyre safety is their pressure, which should be systematically checked once per month. When your tyres are under-inflated your car’s handling will seriously deteriorate, causing it to often behave erratically and unpredictably, ensuring it to be a road safety hazard.

Service and MOT Rotherham.

If you have any queries about the above advice please to do not hesitate to get in touch with us, here at walker Cutting we are happy to help and offer our advice. Contact us on 01709 828220 today for your free, no obligatory quote.

Roadside Checks and Car Servicing

The importance of a service before an MOT

Very few people realise that certain specialist policemen are trained and employed to perform roadside vehicle checks to spot defects, especially defects that render a vehicle too dangerous to drive. These policemen also have the authority to issue a ‘prohibition notice’, which could be instantaneous, or could come in to effect in a number of days, putting the vehicle out of use until the problem is resolved. This depends on the number and severity of defects found, and is intended to ensure that all motorists accept full responsibility for their vehicle and its safety on the road.

These spot checks set out to certify that the vehicle isn’t breaching any road safety rules and regulations, acting as a matter of public interest and concern. Unbelievably, one in five cars brought to a test centre for their MOT test are deemed unfit to be driven; the performance of spot checks seeks to change this, making the roads a safer place for both drivers and pedestrians alike.

This fact also illuminates the importance of a service prior to your MOT, as failing an MOT can lead to severe consequences, much like the failing of a spot check. Many of the defects which could attract a prohibition are the same defects that could warrant a failed MOT test, and as a motorist, there is no avoiding personal responsibility for the roadworthiness of your vehicle.

Car Service Rotherham

Here at Walker Cutting we offer a Bosch approved car service, often undertaken prior to an MOT, and designed to ensure that every user of the road is a safe one. Although MOT test certifiers have the power to deem a vehicle unfit for the road, they do not hold any power to prohibit a vehicle from using the road; only government officials can do this. To ensure that you are not caught out on the road, or your vehicle is not deemed unfit to drive by a government official and therefore issued with a prohibition, book in at Walker Cutting, or contact us on 01709 828220 for your free, no obligation quote today.

The Importance of Engine Diagnostic Testing

Modern vehicles are increasingly reliant upon complex inter-related electrical systems, yet their system of self analysis is often not as adept. As a coping mechanism for this, engine diagnostic testing has evolved as a combination of both a manual procedure and electrical testing and repairs. Each year, over 10 million cars arrive at motor centres and garages with faulty injection or engine management systems. This is highly dangerous, as often the vehicle has failed to highlight when an internal problem has arisen.

Detecting a Problem.

One way that your vehicle signifies when a problem has erupted is via the illumination of warning signals on your dashboard, indicating that you may require an engine diagnostic check to help identify the problem. However, as stated above, not all vehicles display warning signals when a problem has arisen. The engine diagnostic testing we provide here at Walker Cutting in Rotherham grants an in depth analysis of your vehicle’s engine systems, highlighting existing problems, whilst also acting as a good indicator of any early onset problems likely to erupt in the imminent future.

Our Engine Diagnostic Testing Service.

The engine diagnostics check that we offer here at Walker Cutting tests the vehicle’s Engine Control Unit (ECU), scanning all of the different systems to provide a list of any problems and error codes. We offer first class care and will highlight existing issues with the ABS brake system, airbags, battery systems, central locking, crash sensors and the engine.

We have teamed up with Bosch, the world’s leading petrol injection system and testing equipment manufacturer to provide an expert analysis of your engine diagnostics. Bosch’s wireless engine diagnostic technology combined with our knowledge and expertise means we have unlimited access to the latest testing information and devices.

Head down to Walker Cutting today for your every requirement in engine diagnostic testing to ensure your vehicle gets safely back on the road!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter

winter-check-upAs the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop, we know that winter is well and truly upon us. Although usually considered a time of merriment and socialising, winter can be tough on your car and driving can become treacherous as road conditions worsen due to the changing climate. Here at Walker Cutting we want to help you to look after your car during the winter months and avoid any unnecessary breakdowns. As an approved Bosch service garage we have the knowledge and expertise to limit any issues during these dark, wet and cold months!

Here are 5 ways to keep your car in full working order during winter:

1) Take Your Car For A Full Service

If your car is due a service then it’s definitely worth getting it done before winter. Whilst cars naturally experience more problems during the colder months, a lot of these could be avoided by regular servicing and maintenance. A service will check your car’s general health and make sure that all the elements of your car are ready for the winter, such as tyres, brakes and oil.

2) Check Your Battery

Battery issues are the most common cause of breakdown during the winter months as they not only have to deal with reduced output caused by the cold, but they have the extra problem of increased use of lights, heater and blowers. Batteries which are over 5 years old will most probably suffer during winter, so it is always important to get yours checked or replaced if necessary.

3) Top Up Your Car’s Anti-freeze

Your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water. Over the year, the solution can become diluted if regularly topped up by water so before the winter hits, top yours up with anti-freeze.

4) Ensure your tyre have enough tread depth

Tyres are extremely important during the winter months, being the sole link between you and the increasingly dangerous road. It is vital that you check your tyre pressure and ensure that you have at least the legal minimum of 1.6mm of tread, and in an ideal world, around 3mm. If you live in a rural area or rely on your car to get into work, you may want to consider winter tyres, which are a legal requirement in many European countries.

5) Check your headlights are working at their best

As we all know, during winter it’s darker, rainier, foggier and generally poor all round for visibility. To give yourself the best chance, make sure that your lights are clean and working properly, replace any bulbs and consider carrying spares. For a clear view of the road, ensure your windscreen is clean and address any chips or cracks which could be exacerbated by the cold. You should also have a look at your wipers and check for nicks or tears.

Walker Cutting Bosch Service

Walker Cutting is the place to go if you want to get your car checked over before winter. We offer great value services on all makes and models, even if your car is still under warranty. Whether it’s a new set of of tyres of general repairs, Walker Cutting can take care of it for you.

Call us on 01709 828220 or Email Us today!