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Why buy tyres at Econofix Garage?

Tyres to suit all needs and budgets

Our tyres come in a wide range of options from runflat tyres to reinforced models designed to cope with extra loads and at a price to suit your pocket. Choose cheap tyres from our budget range or select from premium brands including Pirelli and Goodyear for maximum performance and safety.

 

Tyre Information Hub

At Econofix Garage, we understand that when you have a problem with a tyre you want a quality service, expert advice, value for money and the convenience of a local solution available 5-days-a-week.

We also appreciate that choosing the right tyre can be confusing, from choosing the right size, to selecting a tyre and brand that will be fit for purpose from the extensive range available. To help you, our tyre experts have developed some general information to help you look after your tyres.

When you think about it, your tyres are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road. That’s why it’s vitally important that you select the right tyre type for the vehicle you are driving and for the purpose it is being used. We believe that motorists should get in to a habit of checking all four tyres every two weeks for correct tyre pressure, tread wear and general condition; and if you have one, don’t forget to check the spare tyre too.

Do I need a brake inspection?

There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for when using your brakes

Grinding – when the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, this can result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal caliper. This will likely damage the brake disc also.

Squeaking – there are many reasons why brakes squeal. It could suggest the brake caliper has stuck and the brakes pad remains partially applied to the disc but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing. Either way, you should get this checked out.

Pulsating – If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal whenever you apply the brakes, this indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat. Pulsation occurs because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact. If this only occurs when you apply the brakes firmly, it could just be the ABS kicking in but you should have this checked out if you are concerned or it happens regularly.

Pulling – if your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this is usually indicative of a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized caliper. An inspection can identify the precise reason for the vehicle pulling to one side.

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

Soft Brake Pedal – if the brake pedal is limp and goes all the way to the floor, this indicates a serious braking system fault which you should have inspected immediately. A brake pedal that is soft and can be applied all the way to the floor usually means the brake fluid is ineffective and needs replacing but there can be several other potential reasons such as a master cylinder fault.

Dashboard Light – if a brake warning light appears on your instrument panel either continuously or when you apply the brakes it usually means the brake fluid level is critically low. This could also indicate a leak in the brake hoses.

High Handbrake – If the handbrake is pulling up higher than it normally does it may need adjusting. In modern cars, this is usually anything more than 6 to 8 clicks. If the handbrake lever reaches the end of its travel it will fail the MOT.

Old Brake Fluid – If your brake fluid is over 2 years old it may be losing its effectiveness since it has hygroscopic properties which means it absorbs moisture over time. This affects the properties of the fluid which negatively affects braking ability. Brake fluid should be change approximately every two years but check your manufacturers handbook.

For safety’s sake, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected as quickly as possible when you notice any of the above symptoms.

When to replace your brakes

Different driving patterns have a dramatic effect on how often your brakes need servicing.

For example, a set of brake pads could last up to 60,000 miles or more on a car driven mostly on the motorway. However the brakes on the same car driven mostly in busy city centre traffic may last only 25,000 miles or less.

Front brakes normally wear out before rear brakes because they handle a higher percentage of the braking load, especially on front-wheel drive cars.

It is often recommended that brake pads should be replaced if the pad friction material has worn down to a thickness of 3 millimetres. Brake disc thickness should be measured if they are at or below the manufacturer’s safe minimum thickness specification they should be replaced.

How can I tell if my exhaust needs attention?

Most exhaust problems can be diagnosed by listening out for unfamiliar noises or with a visual check underneath the car. Follow our quick guide for advice on what to look out for.

Listen for signs of a problem

The silencer is the part of the exhaust that usually needs attention first, as it is the furthest away from the engine and is the most likely to be corroded by acidic moisture. This is because these parts remain relatively cold and give exhaust gases a chance to condense and form pools of corrosive acid inside the system. You’ll know that you have a problem with your silencer because your exhaust starts making a loud roaring noise.

Other noises to listen out for include hissing, which indicates a crack in the exhaust manifold, exhaust pipe or a leaking gasket. A chugging noise could mean a blockage in the exhaust system.

If you hear rattling under the car it could mean that the exhaust system has become misaligned. If you can hear a loud metallic vibration, it usually means that something is touching the exhaust pipe or that a clamp, support bracket or mounting is loose. Hangers and brackets hold your exhaust in place. If these become corroded, fractured or fall off completely, it can cause extra stress to the exhaust housing which can also lead to premature exhaust failure.

Carry out a visual check

Other problems can be identified with a visual check. Examine the entire length of the exhaust from the engine all the way down to the tailpipe and look for any cracks or holes, especially where one section meets the next e.g. the seams and joins between the exhaust manifold and the cylinder. External rust may not be as serious as it first appears, because it may only be on the surface. However if the component has rusted through or is rusted from the inside (due to internal condensation build up) it may be a cause for concern. Use a screwdriver to gently prod rusty areas; if the structural integrity feels weak or a hole is formed, it is a sure sign that this section of the exhaust needs to be replaced.

Do I need a brake inspection?

There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for when using your brakes

Grinding – when the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, this can result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal caliper. This will likely damage the brake disc also.

Squeaking – there are many reasons why brakes squeal. It could suggest the brake caliper has stuck and the brakes pad remains partially applied to the disc but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing. Either way, you should get this checked out.

Pulsating – If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal whenever you apply the brakes, this indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat. Pulsation occurs because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact. If this only occurs when you apply the brakes firmly, it could just be the ABS kicking in but you should have this checked out if you are concerned or it happens regularly.

Pulling – if your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this is usually indicative of a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized caliper. An inspection can identify the precise reason for the vehicle pulling to one side.

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

Soft Brake Pedal – if the brake pedal is limp and goes all the way to the floor, this indicates a serious braking system fault which you should have inspected immediately. A brake pedal that is soft and can be applied all the way to the floor usually means the brake fluid is ineffective and needs replacing but there can be several other potential reasons such as a master cylinder fault.

Dashboard Light – if a brake warning light appears on your instrument panel either continuously or when you apply the brakes it usually means the brake fluid level is critically low. This could also indicate a leak in the brake hoses.

High Handbrake – If the handbrake is pulling up higher than it normally does it may need adjusting. In modern cars, this is usually anything more than 6 to 8 clicks. If the handbrake lever reaches the end of its travel it will fail the MOT.

Old Brake Fluid – If your brake fluid is over 2 years old it may be losing its effectiveness since it has hygroscopic properties which means it absorbs moisture over time. This affects the properties of the fluid which negatively affects braking ability. Brake fluid should be change approximately every two years but check your manufacturers handbook.

For safety’s sake, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected as quickly as possible when you notice any of the above symptoms.

When to replace your brakes

Different driving patterns have a dramatic effect on how often your brakes need servicing.

For example, a set of brake pads could last up to 60,000 miles or more on a car driven mostly on the motorway. However the brakes on the same car driven mostly in busy city centre traffic may last only 25,000 miles or less.

Front brakes normally wear out before rear brakes because they handle a higher percentage of the braking load, especially on front-wheel drive cars.

It is often recommended that brake pads should be replaced if the pad friction material has worn down to a thickness of 3 millimetres. Brake disc thickness should be measured if they are at or below the manufacturer’s safe minimum thickness specification they should be replaced.

How can I tell if my exhaust needs attention?

Most exhaust problems can be diagnosed by listening out for unfamiliar noises or with a visual check underneath the car. Follow our quick guide for advice on what to look out for.


Listen for signs of a problem

The silencer is the part of the exhaust that usually needs attention first, as it is the furthest away from the engine and is the most likely to be corroded by acidic moisture. This is because these parts remain relatively cold and give exhaust gases a chance to condense and form pools of corrosive acid inside the system. You’ll know that you have a problem with your silencer because your exhaust starts making a loud roaring noise.

Other noises to listen out for include hissing, which indicates a crack in the exhaust manifold, exhaust pipe or a leaking gasket. A chugging noise could mean a blockage in the exhaust system.

If you hear rattling under the car it could mean that the exhaust system has become misaligned. If you can hear a loud metallic vibration, it usually means that something is touching the exhaust pipe or that a clamp, support bracket or mounting is loose. Hangers and brackets hold your exhaust in place. If these become corroded, fractured or fall off completely, it can cause extra stress to the exhaust housing which can also lead to premature exhaust failure.


Carry out a visual check

Other problems can be identified with a visual check. Examine the entire length of the exhaust from the engine all the way down to the tailpipe and look for any cracks or holes, especially where one section meets the next e.g. the seams and joins between the exhaust manifold and the cylinder. External rust may not be as serious as it first appears, because it may only be on the surface. However if the component has rusted through or is rusted from the inside (due to internal condensation build up) it may be a cause for concern. Use a screwdriver to gently prod rusty areas; if the structural integrity feels weak or a hole is formed, it is a sure sign that this section of the exhaust needs to be replaced.

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