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Frequently asked questions
Yes, of course. Our mechanics have the skills and experience to perform these checks on a variety of vehicles.
No. We can realign your wheels, even with worn tyres. However, most people find it convenient to have this done when fitting a new tyre to minimise the amount of time your car is off the road.
In like with general driving, we recommend having your wheels aligned every 2 – 3 years. This will make sure you are at your safest in the car.
The most common signs that your tyres are poorly aligned are: Uneven tyre wear on one side of the car Off-centre steering wheel Noisy steering Car pulling to one side of the other Squealing sound when turning
Having your wheels aligned will help to reduce excessive wear on your tyres and improve safety for everyone inside the car. We recommend having it done when having new tyres fitted to ensure you get the most out of them.
Replacing windscreen wipers can take as little as 5 minutes if you know what you are doing. Our experts can perform this and get you back on the road quickly.
Again, this depends on the size of the crack and its location. If it obstructs the driver’s view or could contribute to a dangerous situation while driving, it will be considered a motoring offence. We recommend you have scratches and chips repaired as quickly as possible.
It depends on where the scratch is and how big it is. If you have a scratch of any size directly in front of the driver and in a place that could cause visibility issues, you could fail an MOT. If you have a scratch elsewhere that is under 40mm in size, you may be OK.
The exact lifespan of windscreen wipers will depend on their usage conditions. However, we recommend they are changed every 6 months to 1 year, or when you notice problems.
Most of the information needed to perform an MOT can be found online with your registration number by the approved centre.
Yes. If your car fails, we will get in contact to advise why. Our team will provide quotations and lead times for any work that needs to be performed so you can make your decision.
In this situation, you will be given a VT30 vert. You are not allowed to legally drive your car until the relevant repairs are made. Then, you will need to have another MOT performed to ensure the car meets the legal requirements. Your insurance is also likely to be void without a valid MOT certificate.
All cars over 3 years are required to have an MOT and a relevant certificate. If your car is younger than this, you do not need an MOT to keep it road legal.
On average, an MOT takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour. We will try and ensure it is completed professionally and within the time frame we set.
This will depend on your individual car make and model. Check your manufacturer’s manual which should have all the information you need.
We recommend these checks when you’re considering buying a second-hand car and want to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money.
Our checks will take approximately 30 minutes unless we identify any complex issues. In this case, we will always keep you updated.
We will advise you of this concern and provide quotations for how much this would cost to fix. With this, you can then make a decision as to whether this car is the right option for you.
No, but we do recommend having a detailed check on your car to make sure it is ready for adverse weather conditions.
No. A vehicle check will just identify issues caused by bad weather. A service will bring your car up to workable state, keeping you safe at all times.
If you notice any of the signs below, it’s likely your car may need a service: Engine warning light Unusual, loud noises Smoke under the bonnet Vibrating Reduced comfort
Yes. If there is additional work needed to make your car safe, we will quote for this and allow you to make the decision before proceeding.
A full service will take approximately 2 – 3 hours. The actual time will depend on the age or complexity of your car.
The recommendations are to service your car every 12,000 miles. If you drive the car more, you may need to have it serviced on a more regular basis.
As well as running the risk of punctures and accidents, driving without roadworthy tyres can result in a fine of up to Â£10,000.
This information can be found on the tyre itself. Additionally, the information can be found in your car manufacturers manual.
It’s not always necessary to have tyres changed in pairs. However, this is the ideal situation as it ensures you have even tread on both sides.
For your tyres to be road legal, the tread needs to measure 1.6mm minimum. You can use a 20p coin to check this – if the raised edge is covered then pushed into your tread, your tyres are likely to be fine.
In average conditions, your front tyres should last around 20,000 miles. As your rear tyres take on less of the strain during driving, they can last up to 40,000 miles.
Our vehicle checks can definitely help to identify issues that may cause you to fail an MOT. We recommend utilising them to minimise the costs to you in the future.
In general, our vehicle checks will take under 30 minutes. Any work identified here will be quoted separately.
To keep your car in the best working condition, we recommend having a vehicle check every 6 months to 1 year.
There are a number of reasons why your car may have failed this test. In general, it means that your car is releasing too much CO2 into the atmosphere. We recommend you have your oil, exhaust and catalytic converter to find the problem at hand.
Keep an eye out for the following signs that indicate you may need a replacement: A lack of engine performance Poor fuel efficiency Loud, rattling noises Issues starting the vehicle
Your DPF light should only come on when there is too much soot on the filter that hasn’t been burnt off. Sometimes, a long motorway drive at speed is enough to sort this. However, if the light stays on, you’ll need to get it checked by a professional mechanic.
This depends on the insurance policy you have. But it’s worth checking whether your policy excess exceeds the cost of the repair, whether the claim will impact your âno claims bonus’ and whether this claim will increase future premiums. We recommend checking your insurance documents to make sure.
The exact time will depend on the extent of the damage. Light scratches can often be repaired in around 30 minutes or can take up to a few hours.
At this time, all of our bodywork repairs take place in our workshop. This allows us to achieve the highest quality results without the risk of external contaminants.
We can deal with most types of bodywork damage, including scratches and dents. Get in contact for information about our full range of services.
An uncharged battery should be workable if left stationery for between 1-2 months. However, we recommend starting your car up regularly, even if not travelling, to keep the battery charged.
The best place to find this information is in your car’s manufacturer manual. Normally, your registration number can be used to find the right battery online too.
Car batteries can be detrimental to the environment. Most reputable mechanics will dispose of your old car battery themselves in the safest way available. They can also be taken to specialist recycling locations.
Some of the common signs that your car battery may be on it’s way out include: Slow starting engine Dimming lights Electrical issues Check engine light Get in contact with the Axminster Autos team if you’ve noticed any of the signs above.
In general, a car battery should last approximately 3 years. This will depend on how hard it has to work and the quality of the battery fitted.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend you have your air conditioning either services or recharged every 1 – 2 years. The actual time frame will rely on how dependent you are on air conditioning during your driving.
The main signs for low air conditioning gas include: – Lack of cool air when it’s turned on – Not hearing the air conditioning kick in – Leaks (greasy film or pools of liquid) In these situations, it’s likely you need to recharge your system.
Yes. Although the main role of air conditioning is to cool your car, it also helps to clear your windscreen and dehumidify your car. We recommend you turn your aircon on for a short period every few weeks to keep the gas moving around.
On average, it will take about 45 minutes to complete this process. This includes removing the old gas and replacing it with fresh refrigerant.
Yes. We work carefully to ensure our bodywork repairs are as inconspicuous as possible by matching your car colour exactly.
On average, brake pads will last anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 miles. The exact lifespan will depend on how often they are used and in what sort of driving conditions.
The main signs to look out for are: Squealing or screeching sounds when braking Grinding sound Pulling to one side or the other Vibrations when braking Having to push the brake paddle more when braking Brake warning light Sticking handbrake
If your DPF needs a manual clean or to be replaced, you may notice: A stagnant, diesel smell DPF warning light on your dashboard Loss of power in your engine Excessive smoke coming from the exhaust
Generally, it will normally take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to manually clean a DPF in our workshop.
Generally, no. Your car warranty will cover wear-and-tear and is generally exempt from this coverage.
Replacing a clutch is a complex and specialist process. For this reason, it can take anywhere from a few hours up to 10 hours.
In general, your car clutch should last around 60,000 miles. The actual lifespan will depend on wear and how often the clutch is used.
If your clutch is on it’s way out, you may notice the following signs: A burning smell Revving and acceleration not matching up Unusual noises Trouble getting into gear Clutch pedal feels unusual
We highly recommend you don’t drive a car with a burnt clutch as this could do additional (and more costly) damage to other components of your car.
Some car lights are relatively straightforward to replace yourself. However, if you’re unsure about the process, you can do more damage to the car in the process. We recommend letting an experienced mechanic change this component for you.
Yes. By replacing the pair of bulbs, you’ll reduce the risk of unbalanced or unpredictable beams which can pose a safety risk to you and other motorists.
We recommend replacing your car bulbs if: They are flickering They are dimmer than normal You’ve constantly changing fuses Some lights are working and some aren’t
The best place to find this information is in your car manufacturer manual. Alternatively, the team here at Axminster Autos will be able to advise.
Checking your brakes every 6 months will ensure you stay on top of their wear and replace the pads before any further damage can happen.
It should take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the vehicle and the specifics of the job at hand.
Sometimes, brake pads wear more on one side than the other. There are a number of reasons for this, including problems with the brake calliper, problems with the brake rotor or misaligned fittings.