Are garages still open during the UK Lockdown?
Following the UK Government’s advice on the 23rd of March that non-essential businesses should close, a list of services that are exempt from closing down was later published.
Included in that list of essential businesses that were allowed to stay open were MOT test centres and garages.
What should you do if your MOT is due?
As part of the overall effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency announced that MOT due dates for cars, vans, and motorcycles are to be extended by 6 months.
The extension applies to MOTs due on and after 30th March 2020. However, if your MOT due date is before then, you must still take your car in for its MOT test in order for it to be roadworthy, unless you are self-isolating.
So for example, if your MOT is due on the 10th April, your extended due date will be 10th October. You must get your MOT by then.
You can see if your MOT has been exempted by checking your car’s MOT History online.
Are Walker Cutting and Garages in Rotherham, and South Yorkshire Still Open?
As garages are listed as an essential service, Walker Cutting will still remain open for all essential car repairs. That means if your car is showing signs of being unsafe, we would recommend that you speak to one of our technicians on 01709 828220.
We can talk through your car trouble over the phone and let you know what the best action is for you to take.
From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Maintaining your vehicle’s oil is an important aspect of your car’s maintenance. Due to the crucial part your engine oil plays in keeping your engine running. The job of the oil is to keep lubricating moving parts in the engine, preventing any wear to key engine components. Engine oil also helps regulate engine temperature, keeping the temperature consistent preventing overheating components.
We recommend checking your vehicle manufacturer manual to check how often you should change your oil. The normal recommendation is between 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on the average distances your car travels. With short distances and heavy traffic meaning, you may have to change your oil more often than someone who travels long distances with little traffic.
If you decide to neglect oil changes you could be creating more problems that will be costly in the long run. As engine parts will wear out quickly causing them to warp, which can be costly to replace.
Oil change services in Rotherham by Walker Cutting
An oil change can be performed by a professional technician, or you can do it by yourself if you have the know-how how to do it so. Walker Cutting offer low-cost vehicle services for your car, with your oil being changed in no time at all. Keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Engine flushing is a method of cleaning your engine using a chemical additive. This additive flushes your engine of carbon deposits that may have built up over time. The additive is then left in the engine for several minutes while it idles, allowing the chemical to pass thoroughly through the entire engine system. These carbon deposits are a natural by-product of burning fuel, and are commonly found within your intake valves, combustion chambers, injector nozzles and engine pistons. These build ups can hinder your engine, causing it to lose out on power and general performance. Carbon deposits are quite common, especially in older cars, but if left untreated can cause serious damage to your engine. Engine flushing is often performed on older vehicles that have built up a large number of carbon deposits throughout its’ life. However, many manufacturers advise against performing an engine flush service on their modern cars, due to the improved self-sufficiency of modern engine systems.
Benefits of Engine Flushing
Removing carbon deposits via engine flushing has numerous benefits for your vehicle. Not only is it essential in order to maintain a healthy engine system, this process also:
Keeps your engine oil clean – Simply changing your engine oil does not remove all traces of your old oil from the engine. These residuals mix and dirty your new oil. Completing an engine flush before changing your oil will remove all traces of your old engine oil.
Cleans components inside your engine – Engine parts such as piston rings and valves can be significantly hindered by carbon deposits, and will affect the overall performance of your car. Flushing your engine will clean these components and restore efficiency.
Helps prolong engine life – Keeping your engine free of potentially harmful carbon deposits will help your engine to stay healthy and maintain maximum efficiency and performance. The longer your engine stays clean, the healthier it is, and the longer it lasts.
Does My Engine Need Flushing?
When your car has gone a long time without an oil change, it is probably in need of an engine flush. This is because the older the oil, the less capable it is of removing carbon, therefore more carbon is allowed to stay in the engine and forms deposits.
If you have an older car, your mileage is likely higher and therefore your engine has had longer to build up deposits of soot and carbon. Older cars are prime candidates for engine flushing, while newer cars are sometimes advised not to flush their engine. If you drive a newer car, we advise that you check with your manufacturer before taking your car for an engine flush service.
If you primarily drive in the city, or commonly drive for short amounts of time, your engine oil does not have enough to heat up and do its job properly. This leads to more carbon deposits forming over time, and your engine suffering because of it. Many drivers feel obliged to perform an engine flush when they don’t have much reliable maintenance history for their car. Cleaning their engine via flushing can give you more confidence in your engine system and stop you worrying about the engine’s history.
Sometimes when internal work has been performed on the engine, this can lead to leftover particles being left in the engine, or external substances gaining access. This is more common when services are not performed in a sufficiently clean environment. If any of these points apply to you, considering an engine flush service for your car can prolong engine life and improve performance.
Engine Flushing Services From Walker Cutting
Here at Walker Cutting, we provide quick, easy and affordable engine flushing services from our Bosch-accredited service centre in Rotherham. If you are experiencing loss of engine power or think that an engine clean would be beneficial to your car, get in touch with our expert technicians for free, friendly advice or a no strings attached quote. We’re always happy to help.
Call us on 01709 828220 or Email Us today!
Potholed in on the UK roads have become an underlying issue to UK motorists, especially with the damage potholes can cause to your vehicle. This has caused us to simply drive around them to avoid any damages, however some potholes are unavoidable. The recent weather in the UK has seen a rise in potholes up and down the UK roads, according to a study by AA customer’s nearly 39% of members claimed their cars have been damaged by potholes.
What causes potholes?
Potholes are created by groundwater that has gone into the crevices of the road, the water freezes and expands. When temperatures warm the water melts leaving holes within the layers of the asphalt creating the layers to collapse, creating big enough divots to cause vehicle damage.
Pothole driving safety tips:
Drivers can take measures to make sure their vehicle and passengers are safe from potholes. Driving more sensibly by slowing down before a pothole will help reduce the impact a pothole may make, however braking directly on a pothole can create more damage to your car tyres. A good habit is also to create a little more space between you and the driver in front, this will help you to see the road ahead quicker, giving you the time to react to a pothole.
Keeping a firmer grip on your steering wheel will benefit your handling of the vehicle. When driving over larger potholes can sometimes take charge of the direction of the car, so by having a firmer grip you are able to handle the car over the pothole.
Making sure your tyres are in good condition is a good precaution to take when starting any journey, as poor quality damaged tyres will be affected more by potholes. It is recommended to have good quality tyres in good condition are better suited to dealing with potholes. Potholes can create tyre damage and even punctures, which creates problems and disrupt your journey.
Every car wheel alignment will deteriorate over time, with issues such as potholes that can easily damage your wheel alignment. Wheel alignment is adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are parallel and perpendicular to each other. By adjusting the wheel and making sure the alignment is correct will mean your car tracks straight, meaning maximum tire life expectancy.
Wheel alignment is important to upkeep and monitor due to providing many benefits to the life of your car. Poor wheel alignment can often cause uneven tyre thread and make your car less economical on fuel.
How to tell your car is out of alignment?
There are a few symptoms that could mean your vehicle has bad wheel alignment:
- Your vehicle may drift to one side whilst driving
- Steering wheel vibrates
- Tyres screeching
- Uneven tyre wear
What are the causes of bad wheel alignment?
There are many causes of bad wheel alignment, one of the causes of wheel alignment is a sudden impact to the wheel. This can often occur by hitting a pothole or even by bumping into a curb, even going over speed bumps at speeds or at the wrong angle can be a cause of bad wheel alignment.
Parts that naturally wear over time can also cause bad wheel alignment. Regular checks around the components of the suspension springs and other wheel components should be regularly inspected to prevent deficient wheel alignment.
Bad alignment can also cause vibration as wheels pull against each other. If your car is shaking while running down the road, check your alignment. A crooked steering wheel. Another sign of a vehicle that is out of alignment is that the steering wheel may be crooked while the car or truck is going straight ahead.
Walker Cutting Services:
Walker Cutting use that latest Bosch equipment, ensuring the most precise measurements to accurately align your wheels correctly. Contact us today for more information on how our wheel alignment services can help you today.
The life expectancy of brake pads depends on the make and model of the vehicle, brake pads should last around 50,000 miles. However, this can be lower for some vehicles and may need to be replaced around 25,000 miles. Some brake pads could last up to 65,000 miles to 70,000 miles. Most owner’s manuals list a more accurate number. Brake disk condition should also be measured by the manufacturer’s minimum thickness.
How to know when you need new brakes, what are the warning signs?
There are a few signs to look out for when you may need new brake pads. An easy way to check is by looking at your brake pads, you can see your brake pads by looking in-between the spokes, or you can view them by turning the wheel to the opposite direction. Once you can see your brake pad you should be seeing at least ¼ of an inch of the brake pad. If there is less than ¼ inch of pad left we would recommend getting the brake pads replaced.
Another indication that your brake pads need replacing is if you hear a grinding noise coming from your brakes while braking. This noise is caused by the metal brake disc making contact with the bare metal caliper, which would otherwise be making contact with the brake pads. Causing the brakes to make the screeching/grinding sound.
A reduction in responsiveness can also be an indication of your brake pads being on the way out. However, a reduction in responsiveness could be due to a leak in the brake hose, if either problem occurs it’s important to get the brake pads or hose fixed as soon as you can.
Some of these signs could be that your rotors are worn, so do not be surprised if a mechanic says your rotors will need replacing. Brake rotors can last from about 30,000 miles to 70,000 miles, again depending on your vehicle make and model. Always double check your car’s manual.
How do I make my brake pads last longer?
You can make your brake pads last longer by not putting unnecessary pressure onto the brake pads, this can be achieved by not driving at high speeds while leaving a shorter braking distance. Braking suddenly puts a huge amount of pressure on the brake pads, leading to unnecessary wear.
Another method that can be used is coasting, this is when you take your foot off the acceleration while allowing the speed of the car to slow down, by reducing the car speed from 40mph to 20mph then braking can help your brakes in the long run. Driving and accelerating quickly and frantic braking can also reduce how long your brake pads last.
Walker Cutting break repair services
Walker Cutting can help you today with our brake repair services. We offer a high standard of brake repair services in Rotherham, with access to the latest bespoke Bosch equipment, our staff are fully trained to the latest Bosch standards, offering customers a high standard of service.
Learner drivers will soon be permitted to drive on motorways for the first time, as the government seeks to improve driving standards. Critics have attacked the plans as insufficient.
The new rules come into place in 2018 and will allow instructors in dual-control cars to take their pupils onto the motorway, in the most dramatic shake-up of driving lesson rules for years. The change comes amid increased concern over deaths among younger drivers, and fears that many new drivers are insufficiently confident or prepared to drive frequently on the motorway.
There is also hoped to be an economic benefit as a result of this move, with Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones stressing the vital importance of motorways to Britain’s businesses.
It remains to be seen what effect this will have on motorway driving, and whether the introduction of unqualified drivers into main roads will have a recognisable impact on the number of deaths on the road. Despite the uncertainty, ministers have pointed to the disproportionate number of deaths among drivers under 25 as an indicator of the vital need to increase experience among newly-licensed road users. However statistics show motorways are frequently among Britain’s safest roads, while country lanes often pose a far higher risk due to poor visibility, heavy machinery and poor road surface conditions.
The new rules will not extend to Northern Ireland, or include motorbike learners, the government has said.
Additional changes to the driving practical test, including the introduction of sat navs, have been announced by the government- although ability to drive on the motorway is not going to be tested.
Need car repair? Rotherham-based Walker Cutting offers the best value high-quality car repair & servicing in the area- because of our main dealer standard of car repair and Bosch kit we can provide a cheaper service that still hits the high standards expected of European car specialists.
Car upgrades are the buzz of the summer- with the news of an impending combustion engine ban (albeit in over 20 years) car companies are riding a wave. Specifically the wave they’re riding is the excitement over new technology, potentially revolutionary new car engines and the self-driving car buzz: in short, the new optimism that by 20 our roads will be populated solely by safe, clean, silent, cheaply run cars of USS Enteprise level technology. These car will almost certainly drive themselves and never, ever crash. Some will look more like lounges than cars.
Of course we still have some major distance to cover before UK drivers can step, blinking, into this new reality. One of these is the inconvenient fact that we’re currently all driving the awful, polluting internal combustion-engines of years gone by. For once taking the cue of legislators, and even environmentalists, manufacturers who just a few years ago were fiddling their emissions tests are now deserting diesels in droves, flocking instead to embrace the new futurism. If their philosophy seems too flexible to be genuine, it’s because it probably is. The emissions scandal has done tremendous damage to the car industry’s image, and while deep down shareholders probably aren’t as thrilled about the race for driverless electric cars (and the competition they’ll face from tech juggernauts like Google, Tesla and Apple) as they may appear, rushing to unveil more and more ambitious next-gen car projects seems more effective than continuing to try and convince a jaded public of the benefits of diesel and petrol. The obstacle they’re all facing, though, is twofold- the public image disaster that was diesel-gate, and the pressure to sell more cars.
Enter the scrappage scheme, the route by which car manufacturers hope to convince us of their (now) pure intentions. New rules demanding even more rigorous and draconian emissions targets from suppliers have contributed to a drive to push consumers towards cleaner and cleaner cars.
At the time of writing, Ford, Vauxhall, Mercedes, BMW, Skoda, Renault, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, VW, Nissan and Kia have all unveiled new scrappage schemes offering money off upgrades.
Yet the incentives rarely put a dent in the cost of the new cars- with critics warning the motive could easily be increased sales figures rather than cleaner air. Others claim consumer uncertainty over Brexit might be driving companies to offer better and better incentives to buy. Nonetheless the potential environmental benefits of a ‘scrappage war’ to of the best incentives to upgrade to a new, cleaner car could set the tone for a widespread switch to new technology. Certainly the headlines will look positive, even if the reality is more of a traditional price war.
Car repair from Walker Cutting ensures you get great value, the finest customer service and above all, the best car repair Rotherham has to offer! Our team are the most experienced car repair & servicing experts in South Yorkshire, and we always go the extra mile to get you back on the road. Our Bosch service centre is equipped with top of the range kit to give the most effective and precise diagnostic testing, and a fast, professional car repair.
Startling news hit headlines today as ministers outlined plans to ban new petrol, diesel & hybrid cars outright from 2040- one of the most ambitious changes planned to the face of Britain so far this century. A total ban on cars as we know them is a major announcement- curiously made while the Prime Minister takes a holiday in Italy. Such a sweeping policy is rarely so vague- and groups from all sides have been quick to scrutinise the plans.
Even while the last few years have seen fossil-fuel, and particularly diesel, cars decline in popularity thanks to stinging government regulation, it’s never been envisaged that a total ban would be on the cards. With 169,000 people employed in car manufacturing and 814,000 in wider car-related industries, it would seem there is little to replace the jobs sure to be lost. Electric cars require a totally different (and largely automated) process to manufacture and service. With almost a million jobs at stake and little to replace them, the long-term implications for the UK economy could be bleak. In addition, 12% of UK exports are car related, and the industry adds roughly £18 billion to the economy each year out of a total £71.6 billion turnover. That represents a lost fortune to the economy (and treasury) as the UK switches to largely importing foreign cars.
Cost of electricity to rise
The AA has highlighted the need for urgent infrastructure updates before the volume of electric cars needed go online. With ministers suggesting a ‘switch over’ across the 2020s as the free market (hopefully) makes the electric car more viable, this leaves little time for the current government (or, it’s suspected they hope, the next one) to install thousands of new charging points across UK roads, update legislation, and, above all, find a way to inject huge surges of power into the national grid to match post-rush hour demand. With the government currently unable to build one power station, further environment regulations preventing the construction of coal, gas or coastal stations, we can expect to see a lot, lot more expensive, inefficient and ugly wind & solar plants on the landscape. In addition, fuel duties currently bring the treasury £27.6 billion per year- almost enough to cover the entire transport bill for the country- which will undoubtedly be added to the cost of electric car ownership somehow.
Farming, haulage, construction and other industrial sectors appear to be unaffected by the 2040 deadline. It’s also unclear whether government agencies, such as the civil or emergency services will be required to abandon fossil-fueled cars. It’s equally unclear whether ministers will need to abandon their £300,000 custom-built Jaguars for a Nissan leaf. What this does mean is that while taxpayer-funded depots will undoubtedly keep police vans and ministerial saloons running smoothly, lack of demand, expensive parts and high fuel costs combined with a thinly-spread population will hurt farmers and those needing maintenance on fossil fuel-driven agricultural and construction vehicles.
Urban bias & costs
That cities are the primary, secondary and tertiary focus of the policy is clear- from highlighting particular areas high in pollution to congestion and a wide range of other urban driving problems, ministers have ignored rural drivers whose needs are simply not met by electric cars. As has been suggested by motorists’ advocacy groups in the past, congestion, not pollutions, is the problem- yet this policy affects all road users. Unable to cover large distances or overcome rough or hilly terrain, most electrics are almost universally designed as ‘city cars’- small, efficient, stylish and compact. And it’s not just those in the country who it’s feared will get an unfair deal- larger cars for families, and vans for the self-employed, are expensive and, currently, rare. The lack of the same second-hand market that exists with traditional cars will mean those seeking to upgrade will face paying three or four times more than they would for a traditional car, even as more and more conditions are imposed on these ‘old fashioned’ polluters.
Some critics have accused the government of ‘kicking the ball further down the road’ by imposing a schedule for change unlikely to carry any immediate policy implications. Others highlight the limited details of the plan, the low value of the current ‘clean air’ package, and the emphasis on pressuring overstretched local authorities to come up with their own solutions. Without further information and no legal requirements to hit the 23-year target, it’s easy to understand why many environmental campaigners are cautious in their optimism over this goal. Nonetheless, such a far-reaching plan with real implications for almost everyone in the UK is sure to attract interest far outweigh such a muted announcement. Future details may help clarify a lot of the points left out of today’s announcement, although it’s with some skepticism that many onlookers will view the plans, perhaps until more information comes out following Parliament’s summer recess.
For a higher quality car repair, Rotherham-based Walker Cutting delivers a main dealer standard of repair with the best value of any specialist car repair service. Our experience, state of the art Bosch equipment and award-winning customer service has established us as the top car repair service with Rotherham drivers. Contact our team today to learn more about the ways our team can help you- from MOTs and general car repair to specialised servicing and commercial vehicles.
The relentless onward march of technology often produces as many misses as hits. The pressure on manufacturers to impress with space-age on board tech has never been higher, yet this often forces some questionable choices onto the final product- when they should really have stayed on the drawing board.
Arguably pointless and pretty expensive, moisture-activated wipers typify the ‘gadgets for the sake of gadgets’ approach favoured by car makers competing for what’s seen an increasingly tech-obsessed public. Whether it’s what consumers want or not, cars that don’t need you to tell you if there’s water on your windscreen are apparently here to stay- with an extra few hundred on your bill for the privilege. Simply producing a more accessible wiper control apparently didn’t showcase enough digital bling for the designers. Still, at least they are an ostensibly helpful- if over engineered- feature.
Pointlessness score: 2.5/5
Social media integration
If there’s one thing we wish other drivers could do more easily, it might be to see more of the road, avoid distraction better, brake faster, or perhaps be more aware of speed & control. It’s fairly certain that our fellow road users’ ability to drive while casually checking twitter or facebook isn’t on most people’s lists. Unfortunately, that’s the sort of tech the guy driving the brand new SUV coming up your tail at 70mph probably has to look at instead of you.
Public tolerance for using phones at the wheel has rightly dwindled in recent years- yet car manufacturers have responded by finding new ways we can scratch the digital itch without technically using a mobile. Responsible drivers (and most normal humans) can survive the duration of a journey without checking their instagram likes- or at least we learn to pull over if there’s something urgent to look up. Having your car plugged into social media seems like great way to prolong an otherwise declining road safety issue for the sake of selling a few cars- in our opinion, people should know better.
Pointlessness score: 4/5
Lane departure warning system
Using new technology to solve problems that aren’t there is a consistent theme in the history of ‘style over substance’ design duds. Eager to load up on as much sci-fi tech as possible, the designers lose perspective and instead bury their customers in unnecessary gizmos that serve no real purpose but sound great- and offer plenty of chances to upsell.
As one reviewer of this glossy gimmick claimed- ‘if you need this, you shouldn’t be on the road’. While this at least has the potential to improve peoples’ driving, and maybe, just maybe, prevent and accident, it’s hard to see how this doesn’t enable poor driving. That said, if in a few years all cars have facebook rigged up to the dashboard- we’d probably rather this came as standard too.
Pointlessness score: 2/5
Touch screen computers
This is a broad section- and not exactly new. Touch screens have been appearing in cars since the 1980s, but while they offer a stylish way to navigate the (generally) necessary functions of an on-board computer- navigation, radio, etc, it does seem a little like modern manufacturers are feeling pressured to add more bells and whistles to their on board computers than are strictly sensible, or necessary. Famously had to use and prone to problems, these confusing systems are no running better than ever- yet it’s what they’re running that’s become the problem. Unlike your headlights, wipers, or horn- which all operate on instinctively-positioned stalks or pressure sensors- a touch screen is hard to operate without taking your eyes off the road. Despite this obvious drawback, car makers seem convinced making your car as much like your smartphone as possible is the only way to remain a serious competitor. Anything that leaves you less able to see the road ahead would be bad enough- yet increased interface between the computer and the engine has also led to cases of car thieves hacking into and stealing cars.
Pointlessness score: 4/5
Just as a touch screen increases distraction, so does hands-free. The number of phone or voice-controlled apps for your car keeps increasing- with instant messaging by voice just one feature taking off for drivers. It’s not just about taking phone calls- sending texts or searching Google can now be done using only the driver’s voice. Near-universal smartphones and the now vast app marketplace mean car or phone manufacturers no longer have a monopoly on in-car tech: what effect the unchecked development of thousands of untested in-car apps has on safety remains to be seen. Road safety experts have unequivocally stated over and over again that using hands-free lessens your focus on the road. However while fewer and fewer people find it acceptable to use a mobile while driving, the marketplace for apps and gadgets that let you perform the same jobs with only your voice seems to be growing- hampering the improvements to road safety many have worked hard for.
Pointlessness score: 3/5
Walker Cutting is Rotherham’s top car repair service, proud to stand out for value and quality. Whether it’s MOTs, servicing or diagnostics, through to advanced van or car repair using Bosch-made, manufacturer quality parts, our team of experienced professional mechanics are always happy to go the extra mile to keep you on the road. Talk to us today or read through some of car repair customers’ reviews to learn more about how we can help you.