Car Repairs Bristol

The Best Car Repair in Bristol

AP Autocare is a family-run independent garage with over half a century of experience in the motor industry. We are committed to providing reliable and professional car repair services for all our clients based within Bristol or beyond. Our extensive range of vehicle repairs includes clutch repairs, tyre replacement and repair chains, fixing air conditioners, and bodywork restoration, among others. If you need an MOT test done quickly without compromising on quality, then AP Autocare’s team is here for you! Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 0117 963 8916 or you can book online here.

Car Repair Services in Bristol

AP Autocare is a trusted name when it comes to car servicing, giving you peace of mind that your vehicle is in safe hands when it is with us. Our team of highly qualified and experienced technicians ensures reliable service and uses state-of-the-art equipment coupled with advanced techniques that ensure top-quality workmanship every time. We cater for all makes and models, including Volkswagen, Audi, and Mini cars, as well as light commercial vehicles. Our car repair services encompass a range of options for your convenience at a competitive price. We offer:

  • Clutch: We can replace or repair your clutch system, whether it is worn out, slipping or making noises
  • Tyre: We can check and replace your tyres, as well as offer wheel alignment and balancing services
  • Chain: We can replace or adjust your chain and sprockets, as well as lubricate and clean them
  • Air Conditioning: We can service and re-gas your air conditioning system, as well as diagnose and fix any faults
  • Bodywork: We can repair or replace any damaged or dented body panels, as well as offer paintless dent removal and scratch repair services. Talk to our specialist for car body repair in Bristol
  • Diagnostics: We can perform a comprehensive diagnostic check on your vehicle using the latest software and tools, as well as clear any error codes or warning lights

MOT Testing

We are proud to be an authorised MOT testing centre in Bristol, offering fast and friendly service at competitive rates. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your vehicle meets all safety standards while on the road by conducting thorough checks before issuing any necessary repairs or maintenance recommendations, if required. You can easily book online or over the phone with us; we also offer free reminders for added convenience!

AP Autocare’s MOT Services

Every vehicle on the roads of the UK must have an MOT. An MOT certifies that your vehicle is safe to be on the road. Your vehicle must go through an MOT every year and be certified by a qualified MOT centre, such as AP Autocare. We are able to undertake MOTs on a wide variety of vehicles, including class 4 vehicles, class 5 vehicles, and class 7 vehicles. We also offer free re-tests on vehicles that we perform an MOT on, so if your vehicle does fail on a certain part, we can make any required repairs and put it through its MOT once more for it to pass for free. We are a VOSA-authorized MOT centre.

Why choose AP Autocare for your MOT?

We have been offering MOts in Bristol for over 40 years and are Bristol’s premier car service and MOT centre

We offer a while-you-wait service for your convenience, and you can watch your MOT being carried out via our customer online viewing platform.

We can sometimes offer a same-day MOT or service. Contact us at 0117 963 8916 to check if we have availability. 

We are a Registered Good Garage Scheme member with lots of customer reviews and we have also won 3 awards through the Good Garage Scheme

Main Dealer Quality at a Lower Cost

AP Autocare is committed to providing exceptional customer service and value for money. We use only genuine or high-quality parts and materials when conducting car repairs, ensuring that you receive top-notch results every time. 

Our workmanship comes with a 12-month warranty guarantee so you can rest easy knowing your vehicle is in good hands. 

Additionally, we follow manufacturer guidelines and specifications during servicing procedures allowing us to maintain the integrity of any existing warranties on your vehicle while still offering significant savings compared to main dealer prices. 

We are proud to be Bristol’s largest multi-manufacturer independent specialist for VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Citroen, Land Rover, and Peugeot. Choose AP Autocare’s expertise today and experience excellence firsthand.

Car Garage Services: Customer Testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it; hear what some of our satisfied customers have to say about us:

We are proud that many happy clients attest to the quality and effectiveness of our services. Take a look at their testimonials!

“I have used this garage for many years, and I keep going back because of the good service I get from them. I think the standard of work and the costs are great. The staff are always helpful and keep me well informed about any repairs and costs.”

“Always service with a smile, great tune-up carried out on my BMW, car is like a rocket. I will recommend to friends and family.”

“Very helpful team. First time I’ve used them; happy to return and recommend.”

“I have used this garage for over 10 years. Always provide polite, efficient, and friendly service. I have confidence in them.”

AP Autocare Services

  • Minor or major servicing for all makes and models
  • Dealer-level diagnostic equipment for all of the following manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Citroen, Mini, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen
  • Engine management
  • ECU mapping
  • MOT’s classes 4, 5 & 7
  • Onsite body repair shop for touch-up scratches and dents, minor repairs to major repairs for vehicle bodywork and engines
  • Recovery by arrangement
  • Exhaust repair and replacements
  • Clutch repair and replacement
  • Brake repair and replacement
  • Steering alignment
  • Air conditioning repair or service
  • Tyre checks and replacement
  • We have 3 courtesy cars available and 2 vans if you need them whilst we work on your vehicle
  • Battery replacement
  • Welding
  • All makes & models serviced & repaired

At AP Autocare you can be assured that our experienced repair service, servicing, parts, and MOTs are all of the highest standard with our main dealer and qualified and experienced technicians. 

Our customer service reception team is always there to answer any questions you may have and book the service you need. 

You can book your vehicle service in 5 simple steps online here:

  1. Input your vehicle registration
  2. Choose the service you need
  3. Add any additional services, including Wheel Alignment (4 Wheel), Wheel Alignment (2 Wheel), Air Conditioning Regas (1234YF), MOT, Courtesy Car, Air Conditioning Regas (R134A)
  4. We will provide you with a summary of your booking and cost
  5. Add your details, including your requested date for the services and we will get back to you to confirm

Contact us today at 0117 963 8916 and speak to one of our friendly team members, or you can book online here for all of your vehicle needs.

The Best Car Mechanic Near Me

The Best Car Mechanic Near Me in Bristol

Are you looking for a trustworthy, reliable, and independent garage to service or repair your car? Do you want to avoid the hassle of going to a garage and waiting for hours? Do you want to have peace of mind that your car is in good hands and that you are getting a fair price? How do you find The Best Car Mechanic Near Me? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need AP Autocare.  We are Bristol’s largest multi-manufacturer and independent specialist for VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Citroen, Land Rover, and Peugeot and can help you with any of your vehicle’s needs, from repair, servicing, MOT, and bodywork repair.

How AP Autocare Works

    • Book online or call us to get a quote for any of our standard services. All you need is your vehicle registration (to book online, simply enter your vehicle registration)
    • If you have a concern with your vehicle, book it online or call us at 0117 963 8916 to arrange a check for you. We use dealer-recognised diagnostic equipment and will be able to diagnose what is wrong with the car and provide you with a quote for any work needed.
    • All our mechanics and body technicians are fully qualified with many years of experience in the garage industry, and a lot have main dealer experience working on all types of vehicle repairs.
    • You can carry on with your day while we take care of your car, knowing it is in safe hands.
    • We offer trusted, competitive prices
    • We will complete the job and collect the payment when you are happy with your vehicle and the work we have carried out.
    • We will stamp your service book and update your manufacturer’s warranty.

AP Autocare Services

We offer a wide range of services for any make and model of car or van, including:

Full Service: This is a comprehensive service that covers all the essential checks and maintenance your car needs, such as oil and filter changes, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, brake pads and discs, tyre pressure and tread, lights, wipers, batteries, belts, hoses, fluids, and more. A full service is recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

MOT: This is a legal requirement for all cars over three years old. It is a safety check that ensures your car meets the minimum standards for roadworthiness, such as brakes, steering, suspension, emissions, lights, mirrors, seatbelts, and more. An MOT is valid for 12 months and must be renewed annually.

Vehicle Diagnostic: This is a service that uses a special device to scan your car’s computer system and identify any faults or errors. It can help diagnose problems with your engine, transmission, ABS, airbags, sensors, and more. A vehicle diagnostic can save you time and money by pinpointing the exact cause of the issue and preventing further damage. We have the latest advanced equipment and the same diagnostic tools as the main dealers, offering you manufacturer standards at a lower cost.

Air filter Change: This is a service that replaces the air filter in your car’s engine. The air filter prevents dust, dirt, and debris from entering the engine and affecting its performance. A clogged or dirty air filter can reduce fuel efficiency, increase emissions, and cause engine problems. An air filter change is recommended every 15,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.

Oil Change: This service drains the old oil from your car’s engine and replaces it with new oil. The oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine and prevents friction, heat, and wear. Old or dirty oil can cause sludge buildup, corrosion, and engine failure. An oil change is recommended every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.

Brake Fluid Change: This is a service that replaces the brake fluid in your car’s braking system. The brake fluid transfers the pressure from the brake pedal to the brake pads and discs, which stop the wheels from turning. Brake fluid can absorb moisture over time, which reduces its effectiveness and increases the risk of brake failure. A brake fluid change is recommended every two years, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Vehicle Seasonal Check: We offer winter checks on the battery and anti-freeze as well as summer checks on fluids and coolants and air-con checks. Our vehicle seasonal checks also include battery checks, so you know the condition of your battery.

These are just some of the services we offer. We can also handle other repairs and maintenance tasks such as brake, gearbox, and clutch replacements, steering and suspension adjustments, exhaust system repairs, battery replacements, and more. Just let us know what you need, and we will book an appointment for you.

Why Choose Us

    • We are a family-run local garage business with over 20 years of combined experience in the car repair industry, offering a trusted and professional service, and first-class repair services for any make or model of vehicle
    • We are approved by RAC and Bosch, which means we use high-quality parts and equipment and follow the highest standards of workmanship
    • We can service or repair any make and model of car or van, from oil changes and brake fluid to gearbox and clutch replacements
    • We offer a range of services, from full service and MOT to vehicle diagnostics and air filter changes
    • We are transparent and honest about our prices and labour rates. We’ll let you know an estimate of how long the job is likely to take and any extra costs before we start any work at a reasonable price
    • We have an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from our customers, who praise our fantastic service, excellent communication, and friendly staff. Customer service is at the heart of what we do

Contact Us Today

Don’t wait any longer; get your car fixed, repaired, or serviced by AP Autocare today. You’ll save time, money, and hassle and get your vehicle back on the road in no time. Book your car’s MOT, service, or repair online now. For any questions or inquiries, please give us a call at 0117 963 8916, use our contact us form or email us.

We are a garage you can trust, and have achieved regional runners-up in the independent Good Garage Scheme.

Reasons To Use AP Autocare

Live Web Cam

We have a Live Webcam feed where you can view your vehicle being worked on if you want, giving you peace of mind that we are a professional garage that is open, honest, and confident about the level and quality of service we offer.

If you view your car being worked on, you can see the level of workmanship and the length of time that is taken to work on your vehicle. This is often really reassuring for some customers, proving we are a trusted and reliable service.

MOT Viewing Area

MOT tests normally take around 40 minutes to 1 hour. At AP Autocare, you are welcome to stay with your vehicle when the MOT is being carried out using our public viewing platform. All MOT test stations legally need to provide a viewing area if you want to watch. A good and sound MOT test centre will have been reviewed and authorised to carry out MOTs, and we are more than confident in the MOT and advice service we provide. Our qualified and experienced MOT testers take pride in their workmanship and can advise you if you have any MOT failures or advisories.

Courtesy Car Service

At AP Autocare, we understand that being without a vehicle while it is being serviced or repaired can be extremely inconvenient, which is why we can offer you one of our courtesy cars if you have booked well in advance and they are available. This demonstrates our commitment to our customers and the professionalism and focus we have on our customers’ satisfaction.

Drop off and Pick up Service

Similar to our courtesy car service, we offer a drop-off to work or home and a pick-up to take you back to the garage when your car is ready, which makes life far easier and more convenient for you by not having to waste time waiting while your car is being repaired or serviced. As with our courtesy cars, this needs to be booked in advance and may not always be available.

Multi-Manufacturer Specialist

Ap Autocare is a multi-manufacturer specialist, which means we have the experience and knowledge to repair or service your vehicle like a main dealer garage but at a lower cost. We only use recommended and guaranteed parts, and many of our technicians have worked for main dealers previously. We also offer you a wider choice of parts that can be used for your car and will advise you if using a different-make part will invalidate your warranty.

We also have dealer-level diagnostic equipment for Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Citroen, and Peugeot that is able to fault find, read parameter measurements, carry out key reprogramming, coding, and configuration of new ECUs, body control modules, and instrument clusters. Our experienced technicians can also complete manufacturer software updates on control units, reset auto-adaptive, and much more. We have a technical support team of ex-dealer master techs for our specialist diagnostics equipment, and they support us with faults and advice if we ever need it. Don’t confuse this with a normal garage fault reader; our equipment is far more advanced and technical.

Our trusted service means you have all the benefits and experience of a main dealer garage but with much lower costs, convenience, and the personalised service of our friendly, professional, and independent local garage.

Our team will get to know you and your vehicle, offering you a friendly and personalised service every time.


If your vehicle needs repair, we will provide you with an estimate for the work that needs to be carried out. If this changes, we will contact you before any further work is done to check that you are happy to proceed.

We have fixed prices for MOTs and services, and all of these are clearly detailed on our website. Give us a call at 0117 963 8916, and we can let you know what they are.

Our quotes include VAT, labour, and parts, meaning there are no surprises for you when you come back to collect your vehicle.


We offer guarantees on the work and any parts we fit for you, and we will let you know what these are and what happens if something goes wrong when you book your car with us. We always use high-quality or approved parts for your vehicle and will ensure they do not invalidate your warranty.


We always provide you with a VAT receipt detailing all the work and any parts we have used on your vehicle. We can update your in-car system to show the date and type of service we have carried out and at what mileage, and we can also stamp your service book, which will help you when you come to sell your vehicle.

Polite and Friendly Service

Our team of call handlers offers friendly, polite, and professional service to each of our customers or potential customers. They will find out any answers to questions you have and always get back to you when they say they will. Our polite and friendly team of receptionists, technicians, and mechanics are all focused on providing every one of our customers with excellent service from the time they first call, to picking up their car after its service, MOT, or repair.

We offer services and MOTs for cars, light goods vehicles, and commercial vehicles.

Contact Us

Contact our professional and friendly team today at 0117 963 8916, use our contact us form, or email us to book your car with us at a convenient time slot, and we promise you will be delighted with our service.

Car Repair in Bristol

Mechanical Car Repair and Bodyshop Repairs in Bristol

Are you looking for a reliable and affordable car repair service in Bristol? Look no further than AP Autocare, the independent garage in Bedminster, Bristol, that serves the Centre, South Bristol, and the surrounding area with quality work and exceptional customer service. We offer a reliable service at competitive prices and are a competent garage and accident repair centre that you can trust.

Our Bristol Repair Garage Services

Car Servicing:

We can perform regular maintenance checks and oil changes to ensure your car is in optimum condition. We’ll inspect your car’s vital components, such as the brakes, tyres, lights, fluids, and filters, and replace or repair them if needed. We’ll also stamp your service book and reset your service indicator, so you can keep track of your car’s service history.

Our regular car servicing includes interim and major servicing, with a full range of servicing options to suit you and your car.


We can diagnose any issues with your car using the latest equipment and software and advise you on the best course of action. Whether it’s a warning light, a strange noise, or a performance problem, we’ll find the root cause and fix it for you. We can also clear any fault codes and reset your engine management system, so you can enjoy a smooth and trouble-free drive.

Car Repairs:

We can fix any problems with your car, from brakes, brake pad replacement, alternator replacement, cambelt replacement, clutch replacement, exhaust system repair and replacement, mechanical repairs, and batteries, all always using high-quality parts, dealer diagnostic systems, and materials. 

We have our own body shop and offer quality accident repairs, anything from minor dents and scratches to full body repairs. We are a body repair specialist for insurance claims repairs, and we’ll provide you with a detailed quote before we start any work. We will only do what you approve. 

We guarantee our work for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, giving you peace of mind. Our experienced technicians have worked in the industry and for main dealers for many years and have the knowledge necessary to fix your vehicle to the highest main dealer standards.

Air Conditioning Recharge, Service & Repairs:

We can keep your car cool and comfortable by servicing and repairing your air conditioning system, as well as recharging it with the right refrigerant. We’ll check your system for leaks, clean the evaporator and condenser, replace the cabin filter, and top up the gas (re-gas) and lubricant. We’ll also test the system for proper operation and efficiency, ensuring you get the best performance from your air conditioning.


We can carry out MOT tests and retests for your car and issue you with a certificate if it passes, or help you with any repairs if it fails. We’ll check your car’s safety and emissions standards, such as the brakes, steering, suspension, lights, tyres, exhaust, seat belts, windscreen, and mirrors. We’ll also offer you a free re-test within 10 working days if your car fails the first time; however, for the majority of repairs, we are likely able to do it quickly to get your car back on the road with minimal inconvenience to you.

Performance Tuning and Re-Mapping:

We can enhance the performance and efficiency of your car by tuning and re-mapping its engine using the best software and tools. We’ll optimise your car’s fuel injection, ignition timing, air intake, turbo boost, and other parameters, giving you more power, torque, and responsiveness. We’ll also improve your car’s fuel economy and emissions, saving you money and reducing your environmental impact.

The Importance of Regular Timing Belt Changes

One of the most important parts of your car is the timing belt, which synchronises the movement of the pistons and valves in your engine. If the timing belt fails, it can cause serious damage to your engine, resulting in costly repairs or even a replacement.

That’s why it’s vital to change your timing belt regularly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually, this is every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but it may vary depending on your car model and driving conditions.

At AP Autocare, we can check the condition of your timing belt and replace it if necessary, using the best quality belts and components. We can also advise you on how often you should change your timing belt, based on your car’s specifications and history.

Why Choose Our Car Services?

There are many reasons to choose AP Autocare for your car repair needs in Bristol, such as:

Quality work: All our repairs will satisfy the RAC’s high standards, ensuring your car is safe and reliable.

Exceptional customer service: We provide courteous, direct, and jargon-free garage bristol service, keeping you informed and updated throughout your vehicle’s time with us.

RMI (Retail Motor Industry Federation) member: We are a member of the RMI, which means we follow a strict code of conduct and adhere to industry best practises.

Honest pricing: All our work will be properly stated, and all our pricing will be transparent. You won’t find any hidden fees or surprises when you choose us.

Convenient central Bristol location: We are located in the heart of Bristol, making it easy for you to drop off and pick up your car. We also offer a free collection and delivery service within a 10-mile radius.

Professionally qualified: All our technicians are fully trained and qualified, with years of experience in the industry. They have the skills and knowledge to handle any car repair challenge. If you need great service, excellent service based in Bristol, our auto centre can get the job done for you.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to book your car repair service with us, simply fill out our online form with your details and requirements. We’ll get back to you with a free quote and a booking confirmation as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0117 123 4567 or visit us at our garage at 123 Bristol Road, BS1 2AB. We’re open from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturday, 9 am to 1 pm.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your car repair needs in Bristol. Trust us, we’re the best local garage and mechanics you can find!


How can I find the best local garage for car repairs in Bristol?

You can find the best local garage for car repairs in Bristol by using our online booking system. Simply enter your car registration, postcode, and service type, and we’ll book your vehicle for the service you need. It’s that easy!

What kind of car repair services do you offer?

We offer a comprehensive range of car repair services at AP Autocare Garage, including diagnostics, brakes, clutches, exhausts, batteries, tyres, suspension, steering, air conditioning, cambelts, head gaskets, engine rebuilds, and more. We can handle any make and model of car or van, from Audi to Vauxhall and from Fiat to Toyota. We use high-quality parts and materials, and we guarantee our work for 12 months or 12,000 miles.

How much does it cost to book a car service in Bristol with AP Autocare?

The cost of booking a car service in Bristol with Auto Repairs Ltd depends on the type and level of service you need. We offer three types of service: interim, full and major. The interim service is suitable for low-mileage drivers who need a basic check-up every 6 months or 6,000 miles. The full service is recommended for most drivers who need a thorough check-up every 12 months or 12,000 miles. The major service is ideal for high-mileage drivers who need a comprehensive check-up every 24 months or 24,000 miles. You can check our website for the latest prices and offers.

Why should I choose you for MOT testing and car servicing?

You should choose AP Autocare Bristol Centre Garage for MOT testing and car servicing because we offer exceptional customer service, quality work, and honest pricing for our wide range of repairs and services. We are a member of the RMI (Retail Motor Industry Federation), which means we follow a strict code of conduct and adhere to industry best practices. We are also the UK’s leading fast-fit specialist, which means we can perform most services while you wait or within an hour. We also offer a free MOT pre-check, a free collection and delivery service within a 10-mile radius, and a free courtesy car if you need one.

How can I contact you to book my car repair or service in Bristol?

You can contact us to book your car repair or service in Bristol by phone, email, or online. You can call our friendly customer service team on 0117 963 8916 or email us to book a convenient time slot for you. You can also use our online booking system to book your car service and vehicle repairs in minutes, knowing you’ll always be in safe hands. Simply fill out our online form with your details and requirements, and it’s all done for you.

How to Choose the Best Accident Repair Centre for Your Car

How to Choose the Best Accident Repair Centre for Your Car 

Choosing the right accident repair centre is crucial for restoring your car to its pre-accident condition, ensuring quality repairs, and providing peace of mind when driving the car in the future. At AP Autocare, we consider ourselves one of the best accident and body shop repair centres in Bristol. We are one of Bristol’s best independent multi-manufacturer car servicing centres and can service and fix your vehicle to manufacturer standards at a fraction of the repair costs compared to main dealers. Our qualified technicians have all worked in the vehicle industry for many years and have main dealer manufacturer experience, meaning we know all there is to know about your vehicle. 

If you are based in or near Bristol, then please give us a telephone call on 0117 963 8916 or contact us here. If you are not based in Bristol, below is what you should consider when looking for an insurance company repair or a self-funded vehicle repair. 

Reputation and Experience

Reputation and Experience

Look for a repair centre with a good reputation and years of experience in the industry.

Customer Feedback 

Look for reviews and testimonials from previous customers. Check online platforms, social media, and review websites to gauge customer satisfaction levels. Positive feedback and recommendations indicate a reputable repair centre. 

Word-of-Mouth Recommendations 

Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had their cars repaired at a particular centre. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights into the garage’s quality of repair and customer service.

Longevity and Established Presence 

Consider the repair centre’s years of operation. A well-established centre with a long history indicates reliability and trustworthiness. It suggests that they have consistently provided satisfactory services to customers over time. AP Autocare was established in 1976. Since then, we have grown to become one of the most reputable independent city centre MOT and service centres in Bristol.

Awards and Recognitions 

Look for any industry awards or recognitions received by the repair centre. Awards such as “Best Accident Repair Centre” or “Customer Service Excellence” demonstrate their commitment to excellence and indicate their reputation within the industry. 

At AP Autocare, our reputation continues to be very important to us, so you can expect to receive honest, friendly, and professional service at a competitive rate without the costs associated with the manufacturer’s main dealers. We are members of the “Good Garage Scheme” which means we follow the strictest standards and have effective repair procedures when it comes to your vehicle.

We must adhere to a strict code of conduct and pledge to have our customers’ best interests at heart 

We must agree on what work needs to be done with our customers before it is carried out 

Work to agreed Industry standards 

Must supply each customer with a feedback card allowing them to give their views on service directly to the Good Garage Scheme, which operates a stringent complaints procedure. 

We are subject to regular mystery-shopper-style audits 

We are proud to have been awarded “Top Feedback—Regional Winner” and the most prestigious award for customer service, “Top Feedback – National Winner“. 

Helpfulness and attitude of staff 99.1% 

Quality of contact about vehicle 98.3% 

How pleased with the standard of work 98.7% 

General satisfaction overall 98.7% 

Certifications and Affiliations 

Professionalism and Transparency: Assess how the repair centre communicates with customers. A reputable centre will be transparent about the repair process, costs, and timelines. They should address any questions or concerns promptly and professionally.

Skilled Technicians: Ask about the qualifications and experience of the repair centre’s technicians. Skilled technicians with appropriate training and certifications instil confidence in their ability to handle repairs efficiently and effectively.

Certifications and Accreditations 

Choose a repair centre that holds industry certifications and accreditations 

Accreditation with Industry Associations: Look for affiliations with respected industry associations such as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) or Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (VBRA). These affiliations indicate adherence to ethical standards and a commitment to quality workmanship. 

Insurance Company Recommendations: Enquire if the repair centre is recommended or approved by insurance companies. Insurance providers often have a list of preferred

repair centres, which can simplify the claims process and ensure that repairs meet their standards. 

ISO Certifications: ISO certifications, such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) or ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System), demonstrate the repair centre’s commitment to quality control, customer satisfaction, and environmental responsibility. These certifications ensure that the repair centre follows standardised processes and continually improves its operations. 

Association of British Insurers (ABI) Approval: ABI approval indicates that the repair centre meets the standards set by the Association of British Insurers. If you are filing an insurance claim, this approval is crucial because it guarantees that insurance companies will accept the repairs.

Compliance with Health and Safety Regulations: Ensure that the repair centre adheres to health and safety regulations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act. A responsible repair centre prioritises the safety of its employees, customers, and the environment. 

Environmental Certifications: Look for environmental certifications, such as ISO 14001, that demonstrate the repair centre’s commitment to minimising its environmental impact. This includes proper waste management, recycling practices, and adherence to environmental regulations. 

By considering these certifications and accreditations, you can verify that the Accident Repair Centre meets industry standards, operates ethically, and has the necessary expertise to handle your car repairs to the highest standards. 

Expertise and Specialisations: Consider a repair centre that has expertise in handling your specific car make or model, as well as any specialisations they may offer. AP Autocare specialises in the mechanical and bodywork repairs of cars for 11 different manufacturers: Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Citroen, Land Rover, Peugeot, and Renault. This gives us a high amount of knowledge of the bodywork of a variety of cars, meaning our abilities are hard to match.

Quality of Workmanship and Warranty: Assess the repair centre’s commitment to delivering high-quality workmanship and inquire about the warranty they provide for their repairs. 

Range of Services Provided: Check if the repair centre offers a comprehensive range of services beyond just accident repairs, such as paintless dent removal, alloy wheel refurbishment, or cosmetic repairs. 

Like AP Autocare, you should choose an accident paint repair bodyshop repair facility that has the latest equipment, such as…

Accident Repair / Collision Damage Repair: Ensure that the repair centre specialises in accident body repair and has the expertise to handle a wide range of collision-related damages. This includes repairing bodywork, car frame damage, and replacing damaged components.

Paintwork and Refinishing: Look for accident repair centres that offer professional paintwork, high-quality repairs, and refinishing services. They should have experienced paint technicians who can match the original colour and provide a seamless finish. 

Paintless Dent Removal: Check if the repair centre provides paintless dent removal services. This technique is effective for minor dents and can help restore your car’s appearance without the need for repainting.

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment: If your car has alloy wheels, consider a repair centre that offers alloy wheel refurbishment services. They should be able to repair scuffs, scratches, and other damages, ensuring your wheels look as good as new.

Cosmetic Repairs: Inquire about additional cosmetic repair services, such as bumper repairs, scratch removal, or interior trim repairs. A repair centre that offers comprehensive cosmetic repairs can help restore the aesthetics of your car.

Glass Repairs and Replacements: Check if the repair centre handles glass repairs and replacements. Whether it’s repairing small chips or replacing a cracked windscreen, having this service available within the same facility can save you time and effort.

Interior Detailing and Cleaning: Consider a repair centre that provides interior detailing and cleaning services. After repairs, they can ensure your car’s interior is thoroughly cleaned and restored, leaving it in pristine condition.

Mechanical Repairs: While not always offered by every accident repair centre, some may provide basic mechanical repairs or work in collaboration with trusted mechanical workshops that have qualified vehicle technicians who know all there is to know about all makes and models of vehicles. This can be advantageous if your car requires mechanical repairs along with bodywork.

Towing and Recovery Assistance: Inquire if the repair centre offers towing and recovery services. They should have arrangements with reputable towing companies to safely transport your damaged car to their facility.

Additional Services: Check if the repair centre offers any additional services that may be beneficial to you. This could include valeting, wheel alignment, or insurance claim assistance. These added services can contribute to a seamless repair experience. 

Insurance Coverage and Claims Assistance: If you are filing an insurance claim, choose a repair centre that works with your insurance provider and can assist you with the claims process.

Customer Service and Communication: Pay attention to the repair centre’s level of customer service and how effectively they communicate with you, addressing your queries and concerns. 

Communication: Pay attention to how the repair centre communicates with you. They should be responsive, attentive, and clear in their communication. They should address your questions and concerns and provide updates on the progress of repairs.

Professionalism: Assess the professionalism of the repair centre’s staff. They should conduct themselves courteously and respectfully. Professionalism extends to how they handle customer interactions, maintain a clean and organised facility, and ensure customer confidentiality. 

Transparent Estimates: The repair centre should provide detailed and transparent cost estimates for the repairs, along with quality replacements for any parts needed. They should explain the breakdown of costs and any additional charges. A reputable centre will strive to provide accurate and fair estimates. 

Timely Repairs: Inquire about the repair centre’s turnaround time for completing the repairs. While quality workmanship is essential, they should also aim to complete the repairs within a reasonable timeframe. Clear communication regarding timelines and any delays is crucial for managing your expectations. 

Warranty and Guarantees: Ask about the warranty or guarantee offered by the repair centre. A reliable centre should ensure that their work is of high quality and offer warranties that cover the repairs for a specific period of time. This demonstrates their confidence in their workmanship.

Assistance with Insurance Claims: If you are filing an insurance claim, consider a repair centre that offers assistance with the claims process. They should have experience working with insurance companies and be able to provide the necessary documentation and support to expedite your claim.

Flexibility and Convenience: Assess if the repair centre offers convenient services such as arranging rental cars, towing assistance, or pick-up and delivery options. These additional services can make the repair process more convenient and less disruptive to your daily life. 

Post-Repair Support: Inquire about any post-repair support provided by the repair centre. They should be willing to address any issues that may arise after the repairs and offer assistance if you have any concerns or questions about the work performed. 

Price Estimates: Obtain price estimates from different repair centres, comparing their costs, and ensuring transparency in pricing for any mechanical or auto body repairs.

Remember, choosing the right accident repair centre is crucial for restoring your car to its pre-accident condition, ensuring high-quality repairs and peace of mind. Also, choosing a repair centre that is also a mechanical garage means they can repair any mechanical faults or replace parts as well. This is more convenient for you and means you only have to deal with one business for any after-service or warranty. You should also look for a garage that has reviews for outstanding customer service, one you can trust, a garage or body shop that will offer you a courtesy vehicle if you need it and one that has qualified and skilled repairers.

Contact us at AP Autocare today at 0117 963 8916 to ask us any questions you may have, and we will book an appointment for you.

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Mechanic

Choosing A Mechanic

Anyone who owns a car understands that you never truly know what you are buying or what can be expected. Having your car regularly serviced will prevent a lot of problems or issues from happening, and it will also highlight any potential future issues so you can resolve them before they happen. 

Choosing a mechanic or garage to service or repair your car can be difficult if you don’t know anyone locally or have any recommendations. When you find a good garage, it is a win-win, as you will know you can trust them to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive, and they won’t do any unnecessary repairs or overcharge you for them. 

There are lots of garages and mechanics all over the UK, and this actually makes it more difficult when you are looking for one.

So, how do you know if a mechanic or garage is right for you and your vehicle? Here are our hints and tips to help you narrow down your options and find someone or a garage you can trust.

Types of Garages

Service and Repair

Vehicle maintenance and repairs are done at this kind of garage. They will have sound mechanical knowledge and the appropriate diagnostic equipment, such as lifting tables, ramps, etc.

Body Shops

Body shops specialise in fixing cars that have been in accidents, minor bumps, or scrapes that have only sustained minor damage. A body shop garage repairs paintwork, beats panels back into shape, and ensures vehicles are roadworthy. They use specialist equipment, including paint spraying booths, ovens, lifting tables, etc.

MOT Stations

An MOT station has to employ a qualified MOT tester to operate an MOT station. They will have the relevant diagnostic tools for a full range of vehicles and be a certified MOT garage. An MOT Station must have a business manager (sometimes called an ‘AE designated manager’) who is in charge of all MOT testing by the business

The MOT business manager must have taken an approved course, e.g., the former 2-day DVSA course or a level 3 award in MOT Test Centre Management.

You should always use an approved car garage for work on your car, such as a service, repair, or MOT. These garages are all approved by the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.

What is the Motor Industry Code of Practice?

The Motor Industry Code of Practice was launched in 2008, and its aim was to improve the general image of the trade by encouraging garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.

Their purpose and aim are to help customers identify garages that will deal with their cars properly and provide good service. The Code of Practice addresses every facet of garage work, including staffing, billing, and handling complaints. It also addresses booking work and performing repairs.

5 Essential Questions To Ask When Looking for a Mechanic

Look for a Motor Codes garage

The Motor Industry Code of Practice was launched in 2008, and its aim was to improve the general image of the trade by encouraging garages to raise their standards and rebuild customer confidence.

Their purpose and aim are to help customers identify garages that will deal with their cars properly and provide good service. The Code of Practice addresses every facet of garage work, including staffing, billing, and handling complaints. It also addresses booking work and performing repairs.

Look for a Good Garage Scheme Registered Member

The Good Garage Scheme is dedicated to improving standards when it comes to servicing and repairing vehicles in the UK. The Good Garage Scheme enables you to find a garage to fix your car and leave feedback on your experience.

If your car is still under warranty, a Good Garage Scheme member can service it without voiding the terms of the warranty.

Fully registered Good Garage Scheme members have to adhere to strict terms of conduct, including some of the following:

Mystery Shops

Regular mystery shop-style audits are carried out

Code of Conduct

They have to adhere to strict terms of conduct and perform servicing work according to an Industry Standard Check sheet, always having a customer’s best interests at heart

Work to agreed-upon Industry standards


All servicing work carried out includes the use of an oil flush to remove contamination and deposits

Customer Pledge

They have to agree on what work needs to be done with customers before it is carried out

They must supply each customer with a feedback card allowing them to give their views on service directly to the Good Garage Scheme, which operates a stringent complaints procedure.

Are they licenced and certified?

Every car mechanic operating a garage business must have the required qualifications and licences to operate in the UK. Different licences are required for every service activity carried out. For instance, you must apply for a trade licence if you are a new or used car trader or dealer. Additionally, garage businesses require a Motor Vehicle Repair Business Licence to prove their legitimacy.

These demonstrate that they are in the proper line of work and have the legal right to provide the requested services. Additionally, it gives you reassurance that you are dealing with a trustworthy company.

A certified mechanic will have gone through enough training to impart the skills and knowledge needed to work on your vehicle. If the mechanic you’re considering can’t produce a licence or prove that they are qualified, you should probably continue your search. Leaving your car with a novice who is still learning the ropes is the last thing you want to do. 

What is their experience?

Experience is important for any service provider, as it limits the probability of making obvious errors. When searching for a mechanic, ask how long they have been in business. Ask them about the types of vehicles they work on and the types of services they offer. 

Use a search engine to look at their website and look for customer reviews so you can see the experience other people have had. 

Give them a call and see what reception you get from them, and ask them what their advice would be and what services they offer.

Ask them for a quote and check their prices and how much it will cost you before you book your car. 

Ask them what guarantees and warranties they offer on servicing, parts, and repairs.

What qualities should a good mechanic or garage owner have?

The right auto body shop or garage should have the following characteristics:

Integrity is among the first qualities that a mechanic or business should demonstrate. This way, you are sure that your car is in good hands and that the mechanic won’t do anything that doesn’t need to be done on your car that will cost you money that you don’t need to spend.

Mechanics should be good communicators who keep you updated on the progress of repairs and any additional repairs, as well as any additional costs during the process. 

They should be trustworthy and show they can live up to their word. This means that if they assure you that the repairs will be completed in two days, there should be no incidents when you go to pick up your vehicle. 

Good mechanics should advise you on the best course of action when multiple options exist to repair the vehicle. This includes suggesting repairs that are more urgent than others. 

Finally, should you hire a mechanic to fix your car, they should be professional enough to handle your vehicle with the utmost respect and complete the services as expected without cutting corners.

In Summary

Your vehicle is a valuable investment that needs the best care to maximise its efficiency and safety on the road. Finding a good, trustworthy, and professional garage will mean you always have someone you can ask for advice from and trust that they will always do the right thing for you and your car. 

It doesn’t matter how skilled or experienced the mechanic working on your vehicle is; you can’t be too sure about the car parts they’ll use. This is why you need to know what is covered under warranty and what parts will be installed before anything is done. Always check the warranty duration, and keep the paperwork and receipts safe in case you need them in the future. 

Always ask for a written estimate with a breakdown of costs for both labour and parts before any work is carried out. Automobile repair fees vary from one auto body shop to another, depending on the amount of quality work carried out. The written estimate process will allow you to make comparisons before selecting a mechanic that you feel offers the best value for money. A reputable garage will have no problem providing a written estimate and will always contact you if this changes when they are servicing or repairing your vehicle.

When you leave your car at a garage, you should have a clear timeline of when it will be ready for you to pick it up.

AP Autocare in Bristol

AP Autocare was established in 1976, and since that time, we have developed into one of Bristol’s most reputable independent city centre MOT, repair, and service facilities for all sizes of vehicles. Temple Meads Train Station and Bristol City Centre are both accessible by foot from our location. Ideal for people who need a train home or work in the city. We have a variety of courtesy vehicles, including cars and vans, which we can offer to all our customers with prior arrangement, or we can also collect and deliver your vehicle from your home or place of work.

You can rely on us to provide you with trusted, reliable, and professional services at a reasonable price without the expense associated with main manufacturer dealers, saving you up to 30% in comparison. Our reputation has always been and will continue to be very important to us, and our customers are at the heart of what we do.

The Good Garage Scheme

We are honoured to have won the most prestigious award for customer service, “Top Feedback—National Winner,” as well as the “Top Feedback – Regional Winner.”

    • Helpfulness and attitude of staff  99.1%
    • Quality of contact about vehicle  98.3%
    • How pleased are you with the standard of our work  98.7%
    • General satisfaction overall  98.7%

We are the largest independent service centre in Bristol, specialising in BMW, Mini, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Citroen, Peugeot, and Land Rover. Based in Bedminster, Bristol

We have the ability to work on all makes and models of vehicles, from small cars to light trucks up to 3.5-tonne class 7, and we can accommodate motorhomes and campers. Our in-house body shop can handle small- to large-scale bodywork repairs, such as minor dings and scrapes, accident repairs, wheel refurbishing, and classic vehicle restoration.

Our Services

    • Brakes
    • Clutches
    • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
    • Winter Car Checks
    • Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
    • MOT’s
    • Servicing
    • Bodywork & Paint Repairs
    • Air Conditioning Servicing & repair
    • Tyres & Exhausts
    • Remapping
    • Suspension & Steering
    • Welding
    • Battery Testing & Replacement
    • Wheel Alignment
    • Tyre Replacement
    • Remapping

Customer Feedback

  • Very helpful team. First time I’ve used them – happy to return and recommend them.
  • Have used this garage for over 10 years. Always polite, efficient and friendly service. I have confidence in them.
  • I have been using this garage for four years. Always helpful and they give you all the details you need to make decisions about your vehicle.
  • Always good and reliable work. Professionally run garage.
  • Very friendly, competent garage and has been for the past 40 years. Many thanks to all.
  • Helpful and efficient. My first visit, and only for an MOT. I look forward to returning for my next service.
  • Always excellent service 10/10.
  • These guys always do a great job. They are so helpful. It was great to have a courtesy car so I did not have to take the bus home.
  • Great staff and excellent communication throughout. The mechanic explained the whole issue in detail and further feedback on the collection. All in all, a great experience and half the price Audi would have charged.
  • The staff are very helpful, polite, and friendly.
  • Reliable and confident service over many years.
  • Booked in very quickly. Excellent service as usual. Professional service was received. Trusted garage I would recommend to friends and family.
  • As always, very good service.
  • Good overall service. I had a major engine repair (crankshaft oil seal) and was kept informed on the vehicle as it was there for 3 days. I was offered a courtesy car but declined. Overall excellent.
  • The guys at AP Autocare went above and beyond to fix my Range Rover headlights after another garage had messed around with them. I would recommend this garage to everyone! Most importantly, they didn’t try and rip me off because I am a woman.
  • Excellent standard of work and a very good price compared to others. Highly recommended.

If you are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, and professional garage, please call us on 0117 911 8719 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and will arrange an appointment for you.

What to do When Your Car Overheats

Car Overheating: Steps to Take

Smoke coming out from under your car’s bonnet can be distressing for any driver. This is a common situation on a long trip or during the summer when temperatures rise to the point that they overwhelm your vehicle’s cooling system. Unfortunately, overheating can affect your car’s engine condition if left unaddressed.

As a driver, you should act fast to prevent possible damage to your vehicle’s engine. While several factors can cause your engine to overheat, you still need to know what to do before a mechanic can diagnose and rectify the issue. Your action or inaction goes a long way towards influencing the condition of your car afterwards.

So what should you do when the car engine overheats?

Why do car engines overheat?

Several things can cause a car’s engine to overheat. However, the most common is a faulty cooling system that prevents heat from leaving the engine compartment. Typically, this will happen when there is a blockage or leak in the cooling system. Another cause of car engine overheating may be a dysfunctional water pump, clogged coolant, or broken radiator fan. These can happen to any cooling system due to wear and tear, which can break components such as gaskets and hoses. Also, when the coolant level drops below the manufacturer’s recommendation, the engine might overheat as the coolant is not effective.

What are the signs that your engine is overheating?

An overheating engine can display varying symptoms depending on the type of vehicle and situation. However, the common signs that all drivers should look out for include the following:

  • The temperature gauge on your car’s dashboard moves to the red zone or “H”
  • Steam, which some people confuse for smoke, starts coming out from under the hood
  • A strange smell comes from the hood that you can easily notice

What should I do when my car overheats?

When driving, if you notice any of the symptoms of car overheating, be sure to follow the steps below:

Turn up the heater in your vehicle

This may feel like you will compound the problem, but turning on the heater forces warm air out of the engine and into the passenger section of the car, helping to reduce the load on the cooling system. Sometimes turning on the heater may be enough to cool the car, and this will be evident when the temperature gauge goes back to neutral or the check engine light disappears.

Pull over quickly

When you notice your car is overheating, the best thing is to find a safe spot on the side of the road and pull over. This is a sure way of cooling the car, as cutting off the engine stops it from working and heating further. Failure to stop when your car is overheating could seriously damage your engine and cost you a huge amount.

Open the windows and wait

Once on the side of the road, you should open your windows to let out as much of the heat as possible. It usually takes around 30 minutes or more for an overheated engine to cool, so sit tight in your car and wait for the clock to tick. Rushing to open the hood can expose you to serious injury as there is a chance of hot water or steam shooting out and spraying you, so you will be safer inside the car.

Add a coolant

After a minimum of 30 minutes, feel the car’s hood to see if it’s cool before opening it and adding coolant to the reservoir, but always wear protective gloves. Cover the radiator cap with a wet cloth, push it down to open it, and allow the built-up pressure to escape. Pour the coolant slowly and replace the radiator cap before turning on the engine.

The issue is likely to be something mechanical, either with the cooling system itself or something more serious, which requires professional attention if the coolant is full.

Contact your nearest garage

If you notice the temperature gauge moving back to normal, this only means that you’ve found a temporary solution. To be safe, drive to the nearest garage and allow a professional and qualified mechanic to look into the issue. They will inspect it and offer the necessary service to get your car back to a safe and healthy state.

Call for roadside assistance

If you have roadside assistance coverage, we would recommend that you call them as soon as you pull over. This is especially true in a remote location with no garages around. They will send a roadside mechanic to your location with all the knowledge and tools to either fix the problem and get you back on the road or take you to the nearest garage for repair.

How do I keep my car from overheating?

These are several precautions drivers should take to prevent their engines from overheating, including:

Keep track of the coolant level (cooling system leak) in your car engine and top it up when it goes below the threshold. Leaking coolant is one of the main reasons for an overheated car.

Park your vehicle under the shade in the summer to reduce exposure to extreme


Keep an eye on the vehicle’s thermostat whenever you’re on the road

Open your windows when driving to let the warm air escape, especially in summer conditions

Schedule a regular car service at a reputable garage, as this will highlight issues before they arise

Consult your car user manual whenever possible to remain updated on the

coolant service flushes

Allow your engine to cool and then call your nearest garage to book your car in and get their advice

Can neglecting overheating damage your car’s engine?

Normally, if you react urgently to cool an overheating engine, you may get away with no lasting damage to your car’s engine. If you continue driving your car without trying to cool the overheating engine and add coolant, you can easily cause damage to the engine and are likely to face significant repair costs in the future.

In Summary

An overheating car engine is a serious issue that can worsen if you don’t react fast enough. Knowing what to do when your engine overheats can easily save you thousands in repairs in the worst-case scenario. However, it doesn’t have to get to this; you can take precautions to prevent such incidents. Remember to refer to the owner’s manual and take your car for a regular service, which will check all of your vehicle’s components.

About AP Autocare

We are one of the most reputable and independent MOT, Repair and Service Centres in Bristol, and we are Bristol’s Largest Independent Multi Manufacturer Specialist.

With the skills of a main dealership but without the costs, we’re a friendly and professional garage offering competitive rates.

Our services are available for all types of vehicles, from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).

Our services include:

  • Winter Car Checks
  • Servicing
  • MOT’s
  • Bodywork & Paint Repairs
  • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
  • Annual and Interim Services
  • Air Conditioning
  • Tyres & Exhausts
  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Remapping
  • Suspension & Steering
  • Welding
  • Battery Testing & Replacement
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Tyre Replacement
  • Remapping

We are a specialist and recognised garage for the main car manufacturers, including BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda, and Land Rover. We have main dealer-level diagnostic equipment along with main dealer knowledge and expertise. Bringing your vehicle to us for any of our services can save you up to 30% compared to the main dealer’s prices.

If your car has overheated, please contact AP Autocare in Bristol on 0117 963 8916 or contact us here and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you.

5 Engine Noises That Require Immediate Attention

5 Engine Noises To Be Aware Of

Cars are not designed to make unusual sounds other than what they usually produce. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore unusual car noises, and this can often result in more costly repairs or even make your car unrepairable. When you notice unusual noises from your engine while driving, the best thing to do is to stop and listen closely.

Strange noises should always concern you, as they usually indicate something is wrong with the engine of your vehicle. This will require immediate attention, and neglecting them will only worsen the problem. So, what should you do in this scenario?

Here is the all-you-need-to-know guide about strange engine noises!

Contact AP Autocare in Bristol today at 0117 911 8719 if your vehicle is making strange noises. We will use our in-house diagnostic equipment to diagnose the problem, offering you solutions to ensure your vehicle is in good, efficient and safe working order

1. Squealing or Grinding Noises

Squealing and grinding noises are common when braking and often indicate worn brake pads. When you notice either of the sounds, chances are your brake pads or brake shoes are worn out and need replacing. This means the pad is too thin to prevent the metal components from touching when you press on your brakes Worn-out brake pads must be replaced immediately, as they compromise your car’s safety and the safety of others on the road.

If they aren’t replaced and the metal parts continue to touch, the disc pads will also suffer damage, resulting in complete brake failure. Another reason you may hear squealing or grinding is when brake callipers come loose due to inappropriate mounting. The safest thing to do is to immediately call your local mechanic to ask for advice and arrange for the necessary repairs or replacements. It could be the difference between arriving home safely and something unfortunate on the road.

2. Chirping or Hissing Noises

When you hear chirping sounds or hissing noises from your vehicle’s engine, it might indicate that the serpentine belt or timing belt is damaged or has come loose. Depending on the nature of the issue, some belts may need an adjustment to ensure they are in good working order, but some will require total replacement. Failure to act will compound the issue and mean your car is not safe to drive. If you delay having your timing belt adjusted, it will mean you will need to replace it sooner than you would have needed to, and the cost will have multiplied.

Hissing sounds often signify a problem in your vehicle’s engine, and there are multiple reasons for this. In many cases, it can be an overheating engine, or the exhaust is plugged. This can also happen when there is a leak in your vehicle’s vacuum or fluid leaks in the engine’s hot parts. In some cases, coolant leaking from the engine will also produce this sound. With so many possible issues, you should visit your local car professional so they can diagnose what the issue is and repair it for you.

3. Rumbling Noises

Rumbling often becomes apparent when accelerating, signifying the likelihood of a hole in the exhaust muffler. While a hole in the exhaust muffler doesn’t harm your car, it is a danger to you. This is because it results in fumes leaking into your car, which can be very toxic when inhaled for prolonged periods.

Another reason your car could be making rumbling noises and shaking simultaneously is that one of your spark plugs could be faulty. This will typically lead to the cylinders misfiring.

Of course, a rumbling noise and juddering through the steering wheel are likely to indicate a flat tyre.

4. Whirring Noises

A whirring noise can often result from unlubricated components, worn universal joints, or a faulty converter. Your car’s engine consists of various components, including gaskets, hoses, wires, and multiple rotating belts. The continuous running of the engine stretches the belts over time, which causes them to crack. As the belts rotate at high speed, they may produce this noise. When this happens, the solution lies in replacing the faulty parts to arrest the damage. Ignoring it will result in higher repair costs in the future, and replacing it is relatively cheap.

5. Knocking

A knocking sound, ticking noise, or popping noise is produced when there is something wrong with the ignition. This is what you’ll notice when fuel ignites in the cylinder. Ignition in the engine can lead to a fuel injector, a damaged spark plug, or even a faulty distributor cap. If you ignore knocking sounds from the engine, then it could cost you a lot more. Contact your local garage and ask them to look at your vehicle to assess what needs to be repaired.

What noise should a car engine make?

Not all noise from your car’s engine is a bad sign. For instance, when you turn on the ignition, your engine always produces a sound, unless it is electric or hybrid, which is much quieter. However, if your vehicle is louder than usual, there might be something wrong with the cylinder compression. When there is an imbalance in the fuel-air ratio inside the cylinder, combustion occurs at a lower or higher rate than usual, and it will be louder than normal.

What noise does an engine make when it is low on oil?

When your car’s engine runs low on fuel, you might hear a “ticking” or “tapping” noise. This results from insufficient fuel being pumped into the engine’s upper part of the engine, or you should check if it’s a bad fuel filter causing the noise. You should also check your engine’s oil level to diagnose the problem and top it up accordingly, which will stop undesirable noises and prevent damage to the engine. You should check your car’s oil level once a month, and this will ensure you never run low and risk damaging or blowing its engine.

What should I do when my engine makes an unusual noise?

When you notice strange noises and are unsure what to do, you should contact your local auto repair garage as soon as possible. You risk compounding the issue by ignoring the noise, which often results in higher repair costs, especially when it continues for a long time. Your mechanic will accurately diagnose the problem and suggest repairs.

In Summary

Strange or different car noises should not give you sleepless nights. Most vehicle noises can be sorted out at a low repair cost by your local garage; however, if you ignore them for a long time, they can severely damage your engine, so you should always get your car checked out to find out why.

About AP Autocare

We are a trusted, reliable and independent garage with over 40 years of experience based in Bristol. We offer diagnostics, repairs, servicing, and MOTs for all sizes of vehicles. We are one of Bristol’s largest independent multi-manufacturer specialists, and we can service or repair your car for a fraction of the main dealer prices.

We are Citroen, Peugeot, BMW, Mini, Renault, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagon & VW, Seat, Skoda, and Land Rover specialists with dealer-level diagnostic equipment.

We offer service, repair, and MOTs for all makes and models of vehicles.

At competitive prices, we supply and fit brakes, clutches, exhausts, and tyres.

We diagnose and repair all makes and models of vehicles using the latest equipment, whether the issue is with the engine management, ABS, body control units, or instrument panels.

Service, repair, and diagnostics are available for R134a and R1234YF air conditioning systems, and we are fully approved.

Our bodywork repair and respraying services are available for all types of vehicles.

Pendle Performance has approved us as a local agent for remapping and tuning.

All of our technicians come from dealership backgrounds and are highly trained.

We follow strict quality control procedures when performing our work.

We offer a 12-month warranty on labour and parts

We are located within walking distance of Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station, making us ideal for any service, MOT, or repair you may need.

We can sometimes offer a courtesy car if you need transport while your car is with us, or a collection or delivery service within certain areas of Bristol. Contact us to find out more.

We have a team of friendly, professional, and trusted mechanics who have worked in the industry and for main dealers for many years. We offer highly competitive rates without the costs associated with a main dealership.

We offer services for all vehicles of any age and size, from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).

Our services include:

  • Diagnostics and Repair
  • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
  • Winter Car Checks
  • Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
  • MOT’s
  • Bodywork and Paint Repairs
  • Air Conditioning Servicing and repair
  • Tyres and Exhausts
  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Remapping
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Welding
  • Battery Testing & Replacement
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Tyre Replacement
  • Remapping

If your car is making unusual noises, contact us today at 0117 911 8719 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you.

Are Your Tyres Balanced?

When was the last time your tyres were balanced, and why is it important?

Tyre balancing is one of the most recommended car maintenance services in a car owner’s manual. However, many motorists still skip this crucial maintenance task, risking the health of their vehicle and others on the road. Much like the shoes on your feet, car tyres experience wear and tear due to prolonged exposure to friction. Also, remember, unbalanced tyres wear unevenly.

At a certain point in time, you will have to replace them to maintain the stability and safety of your car. But before it gets to that, tyre balancing helps to even and prevent wear and assures you of a smooth and more efficient driving experience.

So, when was the last time you balanced your tyres?

What is tyre balancing?

Tyre balancing, which can also be referred to as tyre unbalancing, refers to the distribution of weight inside the car tyre or wheel. As the tyre rotates, an imbalance in weight distribution may lead to external pressure on the axle, causing vibrations that affect the stability of the steering wheel. If you notice unusual vibrations, excessive tyre wear, or suspension damage on your vehicle, it is a sign that your vehicle needs its tyres to be balanced.

Is tyre balancing the same as wheel alignment?

Although both are regular car maintenance services, tyre balancing is not the same as wheel alignment. Wheel alignment focuses on correcting the tyre angles so they move in the same direction when driving. This also leads to proper contact of tyres with the road, which helps to maximise tyre life by reducing wear.

What does tyre balancing involve?

During tyre balancing, the tyres are mounted on a balancing machine that measures the balance as the tyre is rotating. Once unbalance is discovered, you can attach small lead weights to eliminate the unbalance. Furthermore, tyres must be balanced on the wheels during fitting since they are not the same weight. Tyre unbalance may result from a valve or slight deviation; your local mechanic will notice and correct this.

What are the signs that your tyres need balancing?

When the wheel-tyre assembly on your car is out of balance, several things will tell you there is a problem. You’ll notice it from the feeling of the steering wheel or sometimes the floor. Another sign is a repeated “thump” sound that gets faster as you accelerate and vice versa.

Only ever use a trusted and reliable garage to carry out your tyre rebalancing, as this will ensure your vehicle remains safe and roadworthy.

Here are some common signs of unbalanced tyres:

Fast or uneven tread wear

When the treads on your tyres are worn unevenly, one side of the tyre is bearing a large chunk of the weight. This increases the friction on the side, causing it to wear faster. This is especially common when tyres are improperly inflated.

The car pulls to one side

Your car pulling to one side is a symptom of tyre unbalance, but it may also imply that your wheels need alignment. Getting your tyres rotated and balanced approximately can help solve this issue.

Tread noises

Unbalanced tread depth on your tyres causes a certain loud noise when driving. You will mostly notice the noise coming from one tyre. Similarly, alignment problems also lead to tyre noises as the air chamber emits a drumming or humming sound as you drive.

Vibrating steering wheel

When your steering wheel vibrates or shakes when driving, your wheel-tyre assembly is probably out of balance. However, several other factors may cause this, including worn-out suspension, a bent wheel, or damaged tyres. If unsure, take your car to the local mechanic for an accurate diagnosis.

How is tyre balance measured?

A mechanic or tyre shop measures tyre balance in two different ways: using dynamic balancers or static balancers. When the unbalance is steep, the tyres are either rejected or downgraded. Additionally, the tyres must be measured again on the balancing machine after getting fitted to the wheels to correct the combined unbalance. However, the tyres may still be rebalanced when the driver experiences excess vibrations.

Why should you balance tyres?

With every trip on the road, your tyres progressively lose balance, which can only be restored when you visit a garage for a rebalance. As well as this the treads on your tyres wear over time, they alter the weight distribution around the tyres, resulting in unbalance. This is typically manifested through the unusual vibration of the steering wheel while driving. You can find out more about your responsibilities for safely maintaining your vehicle here.

How often should tyres be balanced?

Experts recommend tyre balancing be carried out with every tyre rotation, which typically comes after 5000–6000 miles or 6 months. Furthermore, wheel balancing should always be involved anytime you want to replace your tyres with a new set. But tyre rotation and balance will also come in handy in other situations, including:

  • When you hit a pothole or curb while driving, which messes up the balance of the front tyre, regular rotating will be required 
  • When you get a flat tyre repaired
  • When you have uneven or fast tread wear on the rear tyres 
  • When your steering wheel vibrates unusually 

How long can you go with unbalanced tyres?

According to skilled mechanics, you can drive on unbalanced tyres without problems as long as you take all of the safety precautions. However, the longest you should go is a couple of weeks to prevent damage to other parts of your vehicle and unnecessary tyre wear. The sooner you get your tyres rotated and balanced, the better and safer you will be, as well as creating additional costs for other parts that weren’t needed.

What are the benefits of tyre balancing?

Tyre balancing offers a range of benefits to you and your car. It results in an even distribution of weight and force across the wheel-tyre assembly, which guarantees a smooth and more efficient journey on the road. As the driver, you’ll feel more comfortable and enjoy the journey. Furthermore, well-balanced tyres encourage uniform tread wear, stabilise your driving, and enhance fuel economy.

In Summary: Tyre Balancing

Properly and regularly balanced tyres are critical for your car. It increases fuel economy, reduces wear and tear, and smooths the drive for a comfortable experience on the road. If you can’t remember the last time you had your tyres balanced, contact us today at 0117 963 8916 to arrange your appointment.

We offer a huge range of services for any type and size of vehicle. Visit us here to find out more.

How To Choose a Garage For Your High-performance Car

How To Choose A High-performance Car Garage

Aside from buying a house, buying a car is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. It makes perfect sense to want to do as much as possible to get the longest service from your vehicle. This means finding a high-performance and trustworthy car garage that will take proper care of it and treat it with integrity every time you hand them the keys to your car. But with so many garages claiming to offer the finest quality on the market, finding the right service provider for you can be difficult. Here are some tips and considerations when searching for a high-performance car garage.


Experience is a major factor when searching for a potential car garage that services high-performance cars as it can indicate how well they know their trade. A garage that has been operating for some time will be able to handle any car trouble that you experience. They are likely to have seen and worked on the problem before and will have a clear understanding of how to fix it.

Knowledge and skills

Always look for a car repair specialist with a broad knowledge and skill base to work on your high-performance car. Remember that anyone running a garage with the right equipment can claim to offer expert services, but this is not always true. Some mechanics have gone through specialised training that allows them to be experts in certain car models. This is something you might want to consider in your search for a garage. AP Autocare is Bristol’s largest multi-manufacturer independent specialist for VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, BMW, Mini, Porsche, Citroen, Land Rover, Peugeot, and Renault, and you can be confident they know everything they need to know about your vehicle. Always ask the garage if they specialise in your specific car brand and if their mechanics are certified to work on your vehicle.

Diagnostic capabilities

High-performance car repair begins at the diagnostic level. A mechanic should have the ability to accurately and conclusively diagnose the issue with your car before they can claim to offer high-performance services. Cars are becoming more complex, so always find a garage that has the latest technology and systems in their diagnostic and repair services. This means they have the right tools to identify the problem with your car in the shortest time possible. They will also provide a reliable solution that won’t keep your car out of action for too long and identify future problems that can be fixed right away. AP Autocare has dealer-level diagnostic equipment that is capable of carrying out fault finding, reading parameter measurements, key programming, coding, and configuration of new ECUs, body control modules, and instrument clusters. We can also carry out manufacturer software updates for control units, reset auto-adaptive, and much more. Our equipment is backed by a technical support team of ex-dealer master techs, is regularly updated, and is far more advanced than your average fault code reader that some garages use.

High-quality parts

A good high-performance garage will be resourceful to know everything there is about which parts are best for your vehicle’s performance when you take it in for a service. This means they will have a business relationship with the leading manufacturers of car parts to get fast access to high-quality components whenever a customer needs them for their car. Whether you are looking to replace your shocks or braking system, the right garage will advise on what best suits your car and the costs associated with it.

Organisation and presentation

The level of organisation and cleanliness when you visit a garage will give you the kind of service you can expect. This should be evident as soon as you walk into their reception. Was it clean and well organised? Did you struggle to find your way to the reception area or have trouble distinguishing between employees and customers? All of these can highlight the level of professionalism in the garage. A high-performance car garage should have a welcoming reception and a team that is qualified and experienced, like AP Autocare.

Modern tools and equipment

A high-performance car garage will take advantage of the latest technology on the market to boost the efficiency of its services. They invest in state-of-the-art equipment and high-precision tools to ensure the highest-quality service for their customers. From the diagnostic tools to the wheel alignment and corner balancing machines,. If you feel impressed by what you see and are happy with the service you receive, then this is a good and positive sign.


Price will always come into play when seeking professional car services. However, if you want a high-performance garage, you will likely need to pay slightly more. Overall, you should want to strike a good balance between a good price and value for your money and a great service. Don’t be shy to ask the garage why their quote might be more than another garage’s, as they will be happy to explain the reasons, and this should give you huge confidence that they are experienced, know what they are talking about, and will provide you with a good and trustworthy service.

Customer service

There should be full disclosure from the car garage about the condition of your car from the time you take it in for repairs to the time you go back and pay for their services. A good high-performance garage will provide you with excellent service from reception through to the mechanics completing the work you need to have done. They will advise you on everything you need to know about the condition of your car and the progress of the repairs. This enables you and the car specialist to always be on the same page when it comes to any issues with your car, the parts needed to fix it, and the cost of the repairs. A good and trustworthy garage will be upfront with its costs, and there will be no hidden or unexpected charges.

High Performance Car Garage Conclusion

A good, high-performance car garage is a godsend for any motorist who wants the best for their vehicle. They will ensure your car is in top condition while saving you time and money by preventing potential breakdowns. From the guide above, you will be able to find the perfect high-performance garage for your high-performance car and one that you can trust.

About AP Autocare in Bristol

AP Autocare has been in business for over 40 years, and we are one of the most reputable, trustworthy, and independent MOT, repair, and service centres in Bristol. We are Bristol’s largest independent multi-manufacturer specialist.

We have the knowledge and equipment to service and repair any high performance car, and our customers come back to us again and again.

We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for any service, MOT, or repair.

Our team is friendly and professional, and we offer highly competitive rates with the skills of the main dealership but without the costs associated with them.

We offer services for all vehicles of any age and size, from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).

Our services include:

  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
  • Winter Car Checks
  • Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
  • MOT’s
  • Bodywork and Paint Repairs
  • Air Conditioning Servicing and repair
  • Tyres and Exhausts
  • Remapping
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Welding
  • Battery Testing and Replacement
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Tyre Replacement
  • Remapping
  • Car Sales
  • Specialists in VW Campervan Conversions

If you are looking for a high-performance car garage in Bristol, please call us on 0117 911 8719 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and will arrange an appointment for your vehicle.

We are a fully registered member of The Good Garage Scheme and this assures you that we adhere to strict terms of conduct, including some of the following:

Mystery Shops

We are subject to regular mystery shop-style audits.

Code of Conduct

We adhere to strict terms of conduct and perform servicing work according to an Industry Standard checksheet


All servicing work carried out includes the use of an oil flush to remove contamination and deposits.

Contact us today on 0117 911 8719 to book your appointment for your high performance car.

Tiptronic Gearbox vs. Automatic Transmission

What are the benefits of a Tiptronic Gearbox?

While manual transmissions currently account for the majority of vehicle sales in the United Kingdom, automatic transmissions are seen as the industry’s future.

Automatic gearbox sales have increased by 70% in the UK since 2007, while manual gearbox sales have steadily declined.

The key difference is, as the name implies, whether you wish to change gears manually based on the pace you want to reach or focus on accelerating and braking while the vehicle does the work for you. So what if you could have both features working together in your car? Read our article about Tiptronic Transmission and find out everything you need to know.

What cars use Tiptronic?

Many people think of Tiptronic as a feature that is only available on high-end luxury vehicles; however, this transmission option can be found on a wide variety of cars sold in the UK. The Tiptronic gearbox was most commonly associated with Audi and Porsche in years gone by; however, this type of transmission is now also used by BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Lamborghini, McLaren, SEAT, Škoda, and some Peugeot models, along with most manufacturers. No matter what type of car you have, if it uses a Tiptronic transmission, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible performance from your vehicle.

Is Tiptronic the same as automatic?

No, Tiptronic is not the same as automatic. A Tiptronic refers to a type of semi-automatic transmission, whilst an automatic transmission is a type of transmission that doesn’t require or allow the driver to manually shift gears. With a Tiptronic transmission, the driver can choose whether they want the car to shift gears automatically or whether they want to take control and do it themselves.

The main difference between Tiptronic and automatic transmissions is that Tiptronic gives the driver more control over when and how the gears are shifted, whereas an automatic transmission will automatically select the best gear for the current driving situation. This means that with a Tiptronic transmission, the driver can choose to upshift early for more power or downshift later for better engine braking.

There are key differences between Tiptronic and traditional automatic transmissions.

There are a few key differences between Tiptronic and traditional automatic transmissions. For example, Tiptronic transmissions give the driver more control over the gears. With a traditional automatic, the transmission will shift gears on its own based on speed and engine performance. However, with a Tiptronic transmission, the driver can use paddles or buttons to shift gears up or down as they please.

Tiptronic transmissions also tend to be more responsive than their automatic counterparts. This is because they’re constantly monitoring the driver’s inputs and making adjustments accordingly. Automatic transmissions simply don’t have this level of responsiveness built into them.

Ultimately, Tiptronic transmissions are generally more expensive than automatics. This is due to their added complexity and the fact that they typically come equipped with higher-end features and components.

How does tiptronic transmission work?

Tiptronic transmission is a type of automatic transmission that gives drivers the option to choose between gears in a semi-automatic way. This means that instead of the car automatically shifting gears for you, you can use the shift paddles on the steering wheel to manually select the gear you want (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or reverse).

The main benefit of a Tiptronic transmission is that it gives drivers more control over their car’s performance. For example, if you’re driving up a steep hill, you may want to shift into a lower gear so that your engine doesn’t have to work as hard. Or if you’re passing another car on the road, you may want to shift from a lower to a higher gear so you can accelerate more quickly.

There are some drawbacks to tiptronic transmission. One is that it can be less fuel-efficient than traditional automatic transmissions because drivers tend to rev their engines more when they’re using the shift paddles. Additionally, Tiptronic transmissions are typically only found on more expensive cars, so if you’re looking for this feature, you may need to pay a bit more.

How do you use a Tiptronic Gearbox?

A Tiptronic gearbox is an automatic transmission that allows the driver to manually select gears. The Tiptronic gearbox first appeared in Porsche cars in the early 1990s and has since been used by other manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, VW, and many more.

To use a Tiptronic gearbox, the driver first selects the “D” position on the shifter. This puts the transmission in drive mode and allows the car to be driven like a normal automatic transmission. To select a specific gear, the driver moves the shifter into the “T” position. Then, using either paddles on the steering wheel or up/down buttons on the shifter itself, they can manually select gears.

Gear selection is normally displayed on an LCD screen on the dashboard, which also shows important information such as engine speed and current gear. When manual mode is selected, the Tiptronic system automatically upshifts when the maximum engine rpm is reached. It will also downshift when coming to a stop unless manual intervention occurs beforehand.

Is Tiptronic better than Auto?

When it comes to choosing between a Tiptronic and automatic transmission, there are a few things to consider. First, what is your driving style? If you are someone who likes to have more control over your car, then a Tiptronic would be a better choice. With a Tiptronic transmission, you can manually shift gears by using the paddles on the steering wheel or by using the lever on the centre console. This gives you more control over how your car responds to different situations. However, if you prefer to let the car do the work for you, then an automatic transmission would be a better fit. With an auto transmission, the car will automatically shift gears based on how you are driving.

Another thing to consider is what kind of vehicle you are driving. If you are driving a performance-oriented vehicle such as a sports car, then a Tiptronic transmission will give you better performance as it allows you to keep the engine in its powerband longer. On the other hand, if you are driving a family sedan or SUV, then an automatic transmission will likely be just fine, as these vehicles aren’t usually driven hard enough to take advantage of a manual transmission’s benefits.

Finally, the cost is always something to consider when making any decision about your vehicle. In general, Tiptronic transmissions will cost more than auto transmissions since they are typically only found in higher-end vehicles. Therefore, if cost is a major factor for you, then an automatic transmission may be the way to go.


Overall, the Tiptronic transmission is a great option for drivers who want more control over their car’s performance. While it can be less fuel-efficient and is usually only found on more expensive cars, the benefits of this type of transmission make it worth considering if you’re in the market for a new vehicle.

About AP Autocare

We have been in business for over 40 years, and we pride ourselves on being one of Bristol’s largest independent multi-brand service and repair centres.

If you live or work in Bristol City Centre or Temple Meads Train Station, we are located within easy walking distance.

With the skills and professionalism of main dealerships, but without their costs, our team offers highly competitive rates.

In addition to small cars, we offer services for light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).

Our Services:

If your car isn’t running as you feel it should or you need more information about our services, then please contact us today at 0117 963 8916 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you