9 Tips To Keep Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning Effective For The Summer

Tips To Keep Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning Effective For The Summer

It’s that time of year again. The mercury is rising, the sun is beating down, and you’re looking for any way to stay cool. Fortunately, your car’s air conditioning system can be a lifesaver on hot summer days. But just like any other part of your vehicle, it needs to be properly maintained to continue working effectively. Here are our 9 Top Tips to keep your A/C blowing cold air all summer long.

Clean or Change the Air Filter

A clogged or dirty air filter will restrict airflow to the evaporator, causing the system to work harder and less efficiently. Over time, this can lead to damage to other components in the system. AP Autocare can check your car’s air filter and clean or replace it as needed.

Inspect the Drive Belt for Cracks or Fraying

The drive belt in your car’s air conditioning system helps power the compressor. If the belt is cracked or frayed, it can cause the compressor to work less efficiently, leading to decreased cooling power. Ensure you have the drive belt inspected periodically and have it replaced if necessary.

Check for Leaks

Over time, seals and hoses can develop leaks, which can lead to decreased cooling power and less efficiency. Have a professional like AP Autocare check your system for leaks at least once a year and replace any damaged parts as necessary.

Keep it Clean

The A/C system in your car relies on airflow to function properly, so anything that blocks or restricts airflow can cause problems. Make sure the vents in your dash are clear of debris, and if you have an external condenser unit (usually located behind the radiator), clean with soap and water periodically or have your annual air conditioning check and service done with AP Autocare who will take care of all of this for you.

Recharge the Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant level in your A/C system should be checked periodically by a professional mechanic, as low levels can decrease cooling power and efficiency. If it does need a recharge, don’t try to do it yourself; only specially trained individuals should handle this task, as improper charging could damage your A/C unit beyond repair. Instead, call a qualified technician who will be able to recover any lost refrigerant and recharge the system safely. Book in for your annual Air Conditioning Check with AP Autocare on 0117 963 8916.

Check Coolant Levels and Conditions

Low coolant levels or a coolant leak can cause your car’s air conditioning system to malfunction. Make sure your coolant levels are checked regularly and keep an eye out for any leaks. If you do find a leak, have it repaired by a professional as soon as possible.

Don’t Pre-cool your Car

A common mistake people make when using their car’s air conditioning is trying to pre-cool the vehicle before they get in on really hot days. This can actually put a strain on the system and decrease its overall efficiency. Instead, wait until you’re inside the car to turn on the A/C. Once it’s running, open all the windows for a minute or two to help remove any hot air that’s accumulated inside the car.

Set to the Coldest Setting

If you want your car’s air conditioning to be effective, set it to the coldest setting initially. Doing this will help remove any hot air that’s accumulated inside the cabin more quickly and efficiently.

Don’t Use the A/C Recirculation Setting Initially

One mistake that people often make when using their car’s air conditioning is to turn on the recirculation setting without also opening the windows. This can cause the A/C to work less efficiently and can even cause your back seat passengers to become nauseous from the stagnant, recycled air. If you have back-seat passengers, be sure to open the windows for at least a few minutes before turning on the recirculation setting.

Don’t Forget About A/C Maintenance

Just like any other system in your vehicle, your car’s air conditioning system needs to be properly maintained to continue working effectively. Be sure to check for leaks regularly, keep the vents clear of debris, and recharge the refrigerant levels as needed. You should also clean or change the air filter monthly and inspect the drive belts for cracks or fraying periodically. AP Autocare offers many different services for your vehicle’s air conditioning. Book in today for its annual service. 

Know the Signs of a Worn Compressor

One of the most important components in your car is the air compressor. If the compressor malfunctions, the entire system will not work. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of a worn compressor so you can have it replaced before it causes any major problems.

A sign that your compressor is starting to fail is decreased cooling power-strange noises coming from the A/C unit leaks around the A/C unit-increased engine temperature

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to take your car to a professional for service as soon as possible. Ignoring a problem with your compressor could lead to much more extensive and expensive repairs down the line.

Annual Service

Your car’s air conditioning system needs yearly service in order to continue working effectively. Be sure to check for leaks regularly, keep the vents clear of debris, and recharge the refrigerant levels as needed. You should also clean or change the air filter monthly and inspect the drive belts for cracks or fraying periodically.

Book a Full A/C service from a Professional Garage

If you want to keep your car’s air conditioning system in top shape, it’s important to have it serviced by a professional on a regular basis. A full A/C service will include an inspection of all the components, a check of the refrigerant levels, and a recharge if necessary. This will help ensure that your system is operating at peak efficiency and can help avoid costly repairs down the road.

Keeping Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning Effective For The Summer

By following these simple tips, you can keep your car’s air conditioning running effectively for years to come. Remember to check the air filter monthly, inspect the drive belts periodically, and keep an eye on coolant levels and leaks. You should also avoid pre-cooling your car and turn on the recirculation setting only when necessary. Lastly, don’t forget to have a full A/C service done by a professional every few years to keep your system in top condition.

AP Autocare Expert Air Conditioning Service

If you are experiencing any problem with your air conditioning and live in the Bristol area, then contact us today on 0117 963 8916 to get it booked in for a check with us. 

We recommend an aircon service for your vehicle every two years to recharge the refrigerant and check for any damages which need repairing. Aser vice will keep it in effective working order and you know you will always have your air-conditioning working on those unexpected hot days.

At AP Autocare we offer a wide range of services and are always happy to help. Common air-con areas we regularly deal with include:

  • Repairs to R1234a and R1234yf systems
  • Hot air blowing from Air conditioning system
  • Bad odours from air vents
  • Broken pipes
  • Leaking condensers and evaporators
  • Faulty compressors or compressor clutch pulleys
  • Diagnostics for faulty AC control modules or air quality sensors
  • 12 months parts and labour guarantee

To book an appointment for an airconditioning repair or service please call us on 0117 963 8916.

Can A Garage Refuse to MOT My Car

Can A Garage Refuse to MOT My Car (or Van or Motorcycle)?

A garage is like any business and turning away customers is not great for business. However, by law, there are circumstances when an MOT Testing Station has to refuse to conduct an MOT test on a vehicle. Here are the reasons why (and how to avoid them).

Most of the reasons to refuse to conduct an MOT are for circumstances that are very rare and would not stop 99.999999% of MOT tests going ahead.

How old are you?

For example, if you have a cherished number plate (often referred to as a private number plate) and it is not clear what the original registration date of the vehicle is, then the examiner cannot know what rules to apply. For example, all vehicles from a D-prefix need to have a seatbelt for each seat. There are also different levels of acceptable emissions from vehicles that run on petrol, dependent on the year.

In the highly unlikely scenario where you have a very old (classic) vehicle that is not known in the computerised MOT system, then you will need the V5C registration certificate will prove the age of the vehicle.

The current MOT Testing guide describes the issue as:

 “The registration certificate (V5C) or other evidence of the date of first use is not produced if the information therein is necessary for the test to be properly carried out.

Normally this document will be necessary only if the vehicle has a ‘cherished’ registration mark or if the registration mark’s year letter does not make clear the standard that should be applied – for instance, regarding the seat-belt requirements for D-prefix vehicles.”

Dirty Vehicle

If your vehicle is so dirty that the Examiner cannot carry out a full inspection then they are obliged to refuse to test the vehicle. Usually, this is where the underneath of the vehicle is so dirty that components cannot be examined rather than the body of the car.

A quick use of a car wash before the MOT test will resolve this issue.

No Fuel

This is more common than you might think. If your vehicle doesn’t have enough fuel in the tank to be able to have the engine running throughout the test, then the examination will be refused.

The logic that seems to sometimes be applied is this… a person doesn’t think the vehicle will pass the test, in fact, they are fairly certain it won’t. Their thinking is that it will go from the MOT testing station to the scrapyard so they don’t want to waste more money putting in fuel.

Two tips here – if you are fairly certain a vehicle won’t pass its test it probably won’t. Save the cost of the test fee.

If your car is being tested, put some fuel in!

Risk to health

How can a stationary car or van be a risk to health? In terms of an MOT test – a fair few ways.

Firstly, and damage to the bodywork of the vehicle. Now, we are not saying that a car with a few scratches down the side or a dent on the corner of a bumper would be a reason to refuse to test the vehicle, but any parts of the bodywork sticking out or sharp points that could cut someone definitely would.

Secondly, a car with excessive smoke coming from the exhaust (or any other part of the vehicle for that matter). It is likely to fail anyway in regards to emissions, however, the Examiner may refuse to test the vehicle rather than have the workshop filled with toxic fumes.

Thirdly, where a vehicle (usually a light-commercial vehicle) has a load on board that, in the opinion of the Examiner, is either unsafe or if safely loaded would interfere with a proper test being carried out, then an examination will be refused.

In addition to the above, a tester must decline to test a vehicle if it is of such size, weight or configuration that it cannot be properly or safely tested on the approved facilities. (Not a problem at AP Autocare as we are capable of testing class 4 5 & 7 – Cars, Vans and Minibuses.)

Let me have a look at that?

Other reasons for refusal may be from what the examiner can or cannot see around the vehicle.

If the VIN number (or chassis number/frame number) is illegible, missing, or uses letters and numbers not usually found in the English language and/or the number cannot be easily read, a test will be refused.

If the examiner can see that parts of the car are not functioning correctly i.e. a door, boot lid, bonnet or even the fuel cap will not open or any part of the car that should readily open and will not, thus hindering a proper examination – a test will be refused. 

What happens if my vehicle is refused an MOT Test?

A document called a VT30 will be issued and logged with the Ministry of Transport. A VT30 is the ‘MOT refusal document’. This states that an MOT certificate was refused and the reasons why. 

AP Autocare MOT Centre

We are pleased to say at AP Autocare that we very, very rarely have to refuse to carry out an MOT, however, we can advise you on how to pass your MOT before you bring your vehicle to us. If you are not sure, then we are here to help and answer any questions you may have.

We have two MOT bays and so can usually book you a slot at a time convenient to you (even on short notice).

So call us now to book your MOT or for further advice and information on 0117 963 8916

MOT Testing Terminology Explained

MOT Testing Terminology Explained by AP Autocare, probably Bristol’s best MOT testing station.

Like many industries, the MOT Testers, MOT documentation and the guidelines themselves use terminology the definitions of which may not be obvious to vehicle owners. Here is a guide on the most commonly used:

Abandon

The term is used when a test cannot be completed because the Tester considers it unsafe to continue or because it becomes apparent during the test that certain items cannot be satisfactorily inspected. An appropriate fee may be charged for the test.

Abort

The term is used when a test cannot be completed because of a problem with the VTS/DC testing equipment or the Tester. No fee may be charged for the test.

AE

Authorised Examiner – the organisation that operates and manages one or more VTSs and is responsible for controlling the quality of testing carried out. Except in the case of a ‘sole trader’ the AE is not a person but a legal entity. For example, a company or partnership.

AED

The AE Delegate is a Person appointed by the AE Designated Manager to act on their behalf on a temporary or permanent basis. Note: this does not devolve the ultimate responsibility held by the AE.

AEDM

The AE Designated Manager is the person who represents the AE and who has normally attended the MOT Management Course. Typically, an AE Principal but in larger organisations may be a senior manager with responsibility for the totality of the entity’s MOT testing operations.

AEP

The Authorised Examiner Principal is a person who is legally responsible for the entity. For example, every partner in a partnership; every director in a company; or the sole trader in person.

AEC

The Authorised Examiner Consultant is a non-mandatory role. AE’s may assign this role to consultants they use to provide advice on MOT standards and how to run the MOT centre.

ATL

Automated Test Lane. These are authorised by DVSA for use in the automated mode and where the tester has the option of not using an assistant if so desired.

Catch up

The process where test data recorded while testing under Contingency Testing is subsequently entered.

Cessation

The process by which an authorisation, approval or designation is brought to an end. Cessation is used in place of the previous terms for termination/surrender or withdrawal of an Authorisation/Designation or disqualification of a Tester/Inspector.

Connected equipment

Equipment that can send test results from the MOT test equipment directly to the MOT testing service.

CT

Contingency Testing is the process by which testing may continue when the computerised system is not available due to a wide-scale failure affecting a significant number of VTSs.

CT20

An MOT Test Certificate for issue during a period of Contingency Testing.

CT30

A notice of refusal of an MOT Test Certificate for issue during a period of Contingency Testing.

DC

Designated Council. Local Authorities that are authorised to carry out MOT tests.

Department (the)

Department for Transport. The Government Department, which carries out the functions of the Secretary of State and under which DVSA operates.

DGW

Design Gross Weight – the maximum gross weight at which the vehicle was designed to operate. This is normally found on a plate fixed to the vehicle by the manufacturer or in the case of older or heavier vehicles by a Ministry Plate. Such plates are not required on all vehicles.

Duplicate test documents

A copy of the documents issued at the time of the test for which the duplicate is required. VT20/VT20W, VT30/VT30W

DVLA

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. An agency of the Department for Transport responsible for driver and vehicle licensing.

DVSA

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Group A

Collectively describes test classes 1 and 2.

Group B

Collectively describes test classes 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Issue of test documents

When the record is electronically accepted or a CT test document is signed by the Tester.

MOT tester qualification course

Level 2 Award in MOT Testing awarded to an applicant following the successful completion of an MOT course. The award is for testing classes 1 and 2 or classes 4 and 7. Previously the Nominated Tester Training course.

MOT manager course

Level 3 Award in MOT Test Centre Management awarded following the successful completion of the MOT Managers course. The course is typically for AEs and AEDMs. This course is also available for other staff to develop their knowledge of MOT management. An AE must, unless exempted, have one person who has attended this course. Previously the MOT Managers course or AE course.

MOT manager

A person filling a VTS management function – AEDM, AED or SM.

MOT service

Formally known as the MOT Scheme or MOT Testing Scheme.

MOT testing service

The computer system and database used to manage MOT test records. Sometimes abbreviated to MTS.

Notify DVSA

Inform DVSA office in writing, by letter, email or fax.

Officer of a company

An officer of a company is as defined in Section 744 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended or replaced by later legislation. An officer is a director, manager or secretary. In particular, note that a manager has a specific meaning in that Act rather than its more normal meaning. Details of all officers are generally required to be notified to the registrar of companies.

OPTL

One Person Test Lane. These are lanes authorised by DVSA to conduct testing where the tester has the option of not using an assistant if so desired.

PRS

Pass after Rectification at Station – The process where defects may be rectified within one hour after the test, but before recording the results on the MOT Testing Service.

QC

Quality Control.

QM

Quality Management. The system or processes used by the AE to manage the quality of testing and operations in their VTSs.

RBT

Roller Brake Tester.

Regulations (the)

The Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981 as amended.

SA

A site Administrator is a person who can carry out VTS administrative functions, also known as VTS Administrator.

Secretary of State

Refers to the Secretary of State for Transport.

SM

Site Manager responsible for the day to day running of one or more VTSs.

Security code

Is a 6 digit code generated by a security card, email or authentication app. The code is entered into MTS by users who have roles assigned to their MTS profile.

SN

Special Notice –- an official notice issued from time to time by DVSA to inform AEs, Testers and other system users of changes to the MOT testing service. SNs may also be used to highlight areas of concern and to advise of developments to the Service.

Sole trader

An individual carrying out business on their own behalf rather than on behalf of a partnership, company or other body.

Tester

MOT Tester – a person appointed by an AE to carry out tests, Inspectors appointed by Designated Councils to carry out tests, all of which are approved by DVSA. Also, DVSA staff who are appointed under section 66A of the Road Traffic Act.

Test slots

A test slot is a chargeable unit that enables the registration of a computerised test. A test slot is only used when the test result is a pass.

ULW

Unladen weight – The weight of the vehicle inclusive of the body and all parts which are ordinarily used with the vehicle when working on a road. (Unladen weight does not include the weight of water or fuel used for the propulsion of the vehicle, or of loose tools and loose equipment).

V5C

Vehicle Registration Certificate issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

VT20

An MOT Test Certificate, which includes separate English and Welsh language versions (VT20W) and which may also incorporate advisory information.

VT29

An MOT Inspection Check List used by a Tester during a test for vehicles other than motor bicycles (see VT29M).

VT29M

Motorcycle MOT Inspection Check List used by a Tester during a motor bicycle test.

VT30

A notice of refusal of an MOT Test Certificate which includes separate English and Welsh language versions (VT30W) and which may also incorporate advisory information.

VT32

An advisory notice issued to the vehicle presenter advising the outcome of an inspection carried out by a DVSA examiner. Includes the English/Welsh dual-language version (VT32W).

VIN

Vehicle Identification Number also includes chassis or frame number.

VRM

Vehicle Registration Mark.

VTS

Vehicle Testing Station.

Working days

Working days exclude Saturdays, Sundays, Good Friday, Christmas Day or a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

Written or in writing

Wherever the terms ‘written’ or ‘in writing’ are used they should be taken to include correspondence via e-mail or recorded electronically.

AP Autocare MOT Test Centre Bristol

AP Autocare carry out class 4, class 5 and class 7 MOT tests. During your MOT test our vehicle technicians will ensure that you are fully informed of our progress and any costs. We can also advise on how to pass your MOT before you bring your car into us. So call us now to book your MOT or for further advice and information on 0117 963 8916

MOT News January 2022

Why you need to book your MOT early this year

DRIVERS were given a grace period for their MOTs in 2020, but that’s now over, causing a backlog of motorists needing one.

With the number of drivers scheduling their MOTs on the rise, it’s best to get your car checked as quickly as you can report Jasmine Butler in The Sun.

An MOT test needs to be done on every vehicle, every year.

Failing to do so could result in £1,000, and could cause a hazard to other drivers on the road.

An MOT determines whether your car is safe to drive on the roads and if it fails, your garage will recommend what to fix so it can pass the next MOT.

You can renew your MOT for up to one month (minus a day) before your MOT date.

For example, if your MOT is due April 15, you can renew it from 16 March and still keep the renewal date of April 15 for the following year.

If you want to renew your MOT any earlier, it is possible but your renewal date for the following year will change to the new date.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced a four-month extension for MOTs which ran out between March 29 and July 31, 2020.

Drivers were warned in late 2021 to get their MOTs booked as soon as possible due to the extension.

There was a backlog of 12 million MOTs from September to December, 2021.

Chris Lunn, Category Manager at Halfords Autocentres said: “Following the MOT extension announced by the government on 29th March 2020, we saw a dramatic shift in MOT bookings throughout 2021 as almost nine million motorists were given a 6-month extension from their MOT expiry.

“This meant that there was unprecedented demand from September through December in 2020 and 2021.

“Whilst this is slowly returning back to pre-pandemic levels, January to March remains a really busy time of year with April to May being quieter.”

Many car garages expect the backlog to continue into 2022, but not just due to the four-month grace period.

Garages are struggling with staffing levels just to people being off ill and having to isolate themselves due to coronavirus infections.

Chris said: “We’d always recommend customers plan ahead when booking their MOT.

“Around 70% of our customers book just one week ahead of their appointment and this can lead to disappointment.

“Customers should also bear in mind that bookings will get busier from July, so it may be better to book in a few weeks ahead of the expiry.

“Remember, you can book your MOT a month minus a day before the expiry date and still preserve your renewal date.”

Being caught without your MOT may just lead to a police caution and told to go get one as soon as possible.

It’s always wise to keep your car up to the MOT standard so you don’t get a £1,000 fine.

Motorists ‘lack confidence’ to check MOT history when buying second-hand cars

MOT TESTS and service history is only checked by half of road users who buy a used car, according to new research from AA Cars, and reported in the Express.co.uk by Luke Chillingsworth.

The data found just 54 percent check MOT documents and service history while only 26 percent carry out a history check. Experts warn drivers “lack confidence” in their ability to “judge a car’s condition” which could be a risk for road users.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars said inspections “enable customers to buy with confidence”.

He said: “Our research shows that a significant number of consumers lack confidence in their ability to judge a car’s condition before they drive away.

“Dealers that sell cars which have been independently inspected therefore hold a distinct advantage over their competitors.

“It enables their customers to buy with confidence, happy in the knowledge the car they want has already been carefully checked over.

“We know that vehicle inspections offer drivers valuable peace of mind about the car they are buying.

“It provides a full picture of its condition, how safe it is to drive and whether there are likely to be any expensive repairs in the near future.

“Previous AA Cars research found that more than 70 percent of drivers would make a purchasing decision more quickly knowing that a car had been independently inspected.”

The AA poll of more than 15,000 drivers found most failed to carry out even basic checks when purchasing a car.

Motorists warned of huge £2,500 fine & licence points for missing basic maintenance check

MOTORISTS risk enormous fines and penalty points on their licence for a basic maintenance issue which many drivers could unknowingly be experiencing, report Felix Reeves for Express.co.uk

Drivers are being urged to check their vehicle before setting off or they could face heavy fines for breaking the Road Traffic Act. Wiper blades are incredibly important by keeping windscreens clear so people can drive safely with full visibility.

Much like other parts of a car, failure to replace ineffective, worn out or faulty wiper blades increases the chances of being involved in an accident.

Government guidance on windscreen wipers states that: “All wipers and washers which are required to be fitted must be properly adjusted and maintained in efficient working order.”

The Highway Code sets out that using a vehicle in a dangerous condition can lead to fines of £2,500 and three penalty points, although unlimited fines are available for LGV drivers.

Failure to have proper control of a vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead comes with a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.

Drivers can also be hit with a discretionary disqualification.

Michael Bourne, Group Marketing Director of National Tyres, warned drivers to check their cars for the sake of their own safety.

He said: “Windscreen wipers are pivotal to safety and being able to see those around you, yet there are so many people unaware of how important it is to keep them in the best possible condition.

“The last thing a driver wants is to realise their visibility is compromised by defective windscreen wipers when they’re travelling at speed or when the weather suddenly turns bad.

Driver without insurance or MOT slapped with £300 fine, six licence points, and car seized

Police: ‘This BMW was stopped because the owner reported their number plates stolen’, reports Barry Ellams for the local press.

A BMW driver caught by police without insurance and MOT has had a 6 points penalty on their licence, £300 fine and car seized.

Thames Valley Police stopped the vehicle as the driver had reported their own number plates stolen but officers spotted that the BMW owner driving the vehicle had no insurance or MOT.

The car was towed away and the driver was penalised

Thames Valley Police tweeted at 1.30 am: “This BMW was stopped because the owner reported their number plates stolen. Unfortunately, the owner was driving and didn’t have insurance or an MOT.

“His vehicle was seized and he was issued with a £300 fine with 6 points on his licence.”

Audi with no MOT and door held shut with bungee cord seized

AN AUDI with no MOT, car tax and a damaged door held partially shut with a bungee cord was seized by police reports Katy Griffin for local journals.

The vehicle did not have a current keeper and police say it was found blocking a dropped kerb – preventing access to a driveway needed by disabled visitors.

Officers from Ringwood Police also found evidence of recent off-road use and hare coursing in the vehicle.

A post on the Ringwood Police Facebook page said: “Uninsured Audi with no MOT, car tax or current keeper, with rear passenger door broken and held partially shut with bungee cord seized in Bransgore after being found blocking dropped kerb preventing access to driveway needed by disabled visitor.

“Spare catapult slingshots and bags of ball bearings found on the passenger seat with evidence of recent off-road use and hare coursing.”

‘Greedy’ mechanic banned from MOT testing for fraud

Jamie Smith claimed to have completed the test and issued a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT report Nick Frame for Wakefield Express.

The van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) notified the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) on June 2 last year to make them aware that a vehicle they suspected was in Spain had been issued a MOT in the UK.

Spanish Police confirmed the vehicle had been seized and impounded at the time of the MOT.

Part of the investigation also involved a search of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network between the dates the vehicle was supposedly tested. The search provided no hits of the vehicle being on the UK road network at the time.

The vehicle was actually in a compound over 1,200 miles away from where it was supposed to have been tested on May 24, 2021.

Further investigations revealed that there were a further eight vehicles, including four vans, which had been issued MOT certificates by Smith, without ever having been at the garage.

The certificates were issued between January 15 and June 5, 2021.

Having initially denied the offences, when presented with the evidence, Smith admitted to the counts and to having received payment for the fraudulent MOTs.

Smith was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 50 hours of unpaid work, a curfew from 7am to 7am for two months and ordered to pay full costs totalling £1,620 at Kirklees Magistrates Court.

He was also given the full five-year cessation by the DVSA, banning him from testing vehicles.

MOT test checks if vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards.

Most MOTs are carried out by around 60,000 privately employed nominated MOT testers carrying out tests in around 23,000 testing stations around Great Britain.

The DVSA monitors the industry closely and acts on poor and fraudulent practices.

DVSA’s Caroline Hicks said: “Mr Smith had no way of knowing the condition of the vehicles. His greed put the safety of drivers and the public danger.

We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.”

About AP Autocare

AP Autocare is probably Bristol’s favourite MOT test Centre. With an online appointment system to make booking your MOT easy and the deals and offers on MOT and servicing together – AP Autocare is the garage to get your vehicle MOTd. 

Free MOT Retests

Free MOT Retests From AP Autocare

If and when your vehicle fails its MOT you can leave it with the MOT test centre for them to repair the issues and retest it for no extra cost. As long as the partial retest is done within 10 days of the original MOT then the retest is carried for free. This ensures you have enough time to make any required repairs prior to the retest for a pass.

Most MOT centres will also retest it for you if you take your vehicle away to be repaired and then bring it back before the end of the next working day. Remember though you should not drive your vehicle if its MOT has expired even if you are planning to take it back for a retest. 

An MOT retest is not a full test. A partial retest is where the vehicle’s failed points are re-examined and tested again. If the vehicle fails on any of the partial re-test it then has to go through a full MOT and this is chargeable at the full rate. 

If a vehicle’s existing MOT certificate is still valid as it has been taken to be tested before its expiry date then it can still be driven as long as there are points that have failed as ‘dangerous’ failures.

In May 2018, new regulations were put in place for MOT’s and MOT outcomes. Prior to this, MOT checklists were marked as pass or fail, now points are marked as minor, major or dangerous. 

Following an MOT a vehicle is issued with a pass, a failure or an advisory on specific points on the checklist.

Minor MOT Faults

Minor MOT faults are considered to be a problem that does not cause an immediate safety risk but should be rectified as soon as possible. If a car only has minor faults, it will be given an MOT pass certificate.

Major MOT Faults

A major fault is more serious as it could be a safety risk to drivers and others in your car or others on the road. Major faults are also classed as having a damaging effect on the environment (a vehicle’s emissions). These failures will indefinitely result in an MOT failure until the issues have been rectified. If the vehicle still has a valid MOT from the previous year, it can still be driven, but only until the MOT expiry date.

Dangerous MOT Faults

A dangerous fault is one that poses an immediate risk to the safety of the driver and other road users and will result in an immediate MOT failure. Unlike a major fault, the vehicle cannot be driven even if it has a valid MOT certificate. The car can only be driven when the failure has been rectified and it passes its MOT retest.
 

MOT Retest FAQ’s

Can I take my car to another garage if it fails its MOT?

Yes, you can take your car to another garage for its retest as long as the original MOT is still in date and no points have been failed as dangerous. AP Autocare will quote you for the work that needs doing and retest it for you within the required timescales. This takes the stress out of finding another garage to carry out the repairs and rebooking it for its retest. 

Is a failed MOT or are failure points recorded?

If your vehicle fails the MOT or has specific failure points then these are recorded on the MOT database. If it fails you will receive a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ from the MOT test centre. 

Minor, Major and Dangerous MOT Faults are all recorded in the national MOT database.

Is there a grace period for an MOT?

A lot of people think there is a 2 week grace period for lapsed MOTs which allows them to get their vehicle booked in for their MOT, however, this is not the case. Your MOT expires on its expiry date and it is illegal to drive without an MOT. You cannot drive without an MOT unless you are driving to a pre-booked test at an authorised test centre.

Is your insurance invalid without MOT?

In most cases, your vehicles insurance is invalid if you drive it without an MOT and you will be breaking the law if you are driving without valid insurance.

Can you get an early MOT?

You can book your vehicle in for an early MOT and the earliest date is 1 month (minus a day) before its existing MOT certificate expires. You can get your MOT carried out before this, however, its MOT will then be valid from 12 months from the new test date.

About AP Autocare

AP Autocare has been in operation in Bristol for over 40 years. We are known as one of the most reputable and independent repairs, service and MOT Centres in Bristol.

We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for your MOT, Service or Repair if you work in the city centre or surrounding areas.

Our services are trustworthy, friendly, professional and our prices competitive. We are a recognised garage for many makes and models and offer the same levels of service but without the costs associated with main dealer garages. We have dealer level diagnostic equipment with main dealer knowledge and expertise. 

We are a fully qualified and certified MOT Test Centre.

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:

  • 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

If you are looking for a trusted and honest MOT or an MOT retest, contact us today on 0117 963 8916 and one of our experts will answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you. Alternatively, book your vehicle in for an MOT using our online form.

Car Dent Repair Bristol

Car Dent Repair Bristol Service By AP Autocare

At AP Autocare we have a state of the art paint spraying booth and oven in our car body shop which makes us one of the best car garages for dent removal and paint repairs in Bristol. We use this technology, and the latest techniques, to ensure the best quality service is provided and results attained. Our staff have years of experience and ongoing training so you can trust that your car is in safe hands and will return to you looking as good as new. To book or enquire about our car dent repair service in Bristol, please call 0117 963 8916 or book online here. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.

Paintless Dent Repair

A car’s bodywork is prone to dents and dings, especially around the door corners, the front and rear quarter panels.

A technique called Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) or Paintless Dent Removal is a collection of techniques for removing minor dents and dings from the body of a car. The use of paintless dent repair (PDR) can be applied to a wide variety of car repair damage; however, if the car needs extensive paint repairs, PDR may not be suitable. AP Autocare can offer a PDR for small dents and damage and have the ability to repair large areas of damage and respray the vehicle if necessary

Dents can be repaired without repainting a body panel by using speciality tools, such as those that allow technicians to manipulate or massage the dent out.

Are all dings and dents suitable for paintless dent removal?

We are happy to provide guidance and a quote before undertaking any repair as not all dings and dents are suitable for paintless dent repair.

Access – firstly we need to be able to access the back of the dent. This usually involves taking out lights or removing a bumper or panel. This is fairly straightforward and part of the usual process.

The PDR “magic” – a light board that allows our technicians to see the dent more clearly from their point of view and displays a shadow of the dent so that they know where to apply the fix. Using precise tools and by massaging and manipulating the back of the dent, often millimetres at a time, the technician will return the car body to its original shape.

Same Day Service – Depending on the severity of the dent, PDR can be completed the same day, and the results are amazing; even more so when you consider how non-invasive and quick the process really is.

Can I Repair Small Dents Myself?

There is plenty of information around the internet that claims you can repair minor damage with a hairdryer and can of compressed air or by using a plunger. In the same way that you can save money by cutting your own hair or re-using a tea bag 3 times, you can try and save money by repairing the dent yourself using these methods. We would not recommend them, especially if you want your car to look as good as new. When a quote from us and you may be surprised how little you pay for a professional repair.

Large Dents and Accident Damage

The size of the damage to the car can be misleading. A huge dent in a car door, for example, may, with the expertise of a trained professional, “pop-out” in one go. Whereas small scratches to a bumper and wing may need both removing, filling, painting and hand-finishing.

If you are paying for the repair yourself it usually makes sense to get a quote from 1 or 2 garages. We are happy to provide you with a quote.

If your car insurance company is paying for the repair, we can also provide a quote for your consideration. You have the choice of who carries out the repair and so you should choose a garage that you can trust to complete the repair to your satisfaction.

Choose a Trustworthy Garage for Car Dent Repair Bristol

If your car is dented or damaged in an accident, then taking your car to a body shop is the easiest and often only way of having the damage fixed through your insurance company, or the insurance company of the ‘other” car if you were hit. 

The insurance company will likely ask you to go to their preferred supplier and a garage or accident repair centre of their choosing. Typically, this garage is likely to be more interested in keeping the insurance company happy than they are you.

However, you may not realise that you can also get a quote from a garage of your choice of the work to be carried out. This is important as you will want your car repaired at a garage you feel comfortable with.

In an instance where your car has been damaged, you will obviously want to get it back on the road as soon as possible. For this reason, you may prefer to take your car to a garage you know and trust so that you can be confident that your car is fully roadworthy and safe to drive when you get it back.

In all honesty, it is best to find a garage whose speciality is bodywork as this kind of work requires a certain level of skill. You will be able to have the best of both worlds if you find one that is satisfactory to both you and your insurer. AP Autocare can be that trusted garage that you and your insurer can be happy with. We focus on getting the car repaired quickly and to the highest of standards at a cost that the insurance company will appreciate.

As with anything, it is good to do some research before you spend your money on a car respray or car body repair. Making sure the establishment you are visiting is of reputable background is very important, as you don’t want to be paying good money in return for a shoddy paint or repair job. AP Autocare is proud to be a part of the Good Garage Scheme, which is an award given to garages that continually uphold a high standard of customer service. Because of this, you know that AP Autocare is a trustworthy garage you can be sure will do a great job with the removal of the dent from the car. The feedback on our work repeatedly mentions “great value for money” as well as a very professional standard of service and finish.

Why You Should Have Your Car Dent Repaired?

Some people admit that they are happy to drive around in a car that has a few bumps and scratches. However, there are a number of reasons why you would want to get the dent in your car fixed as soon as possible. At AP Autocare, we can repair your car dent quickly and at a reasonable price. Maybe the car is your pride and joy and you can’t stand the unsightly dent and you want it looking as good as new again. Or maybe your car is at the end of its lease so it would be better to get the damage fixed at a garage you can trust rather than risk being charged more than necessary by the lease company. Another possibility is that someone else has caused the damage and is paying for it to be repaired. Fixing the dent in your car can also increase its residual value if you are thinking of selling it. 

Whatever the reason you are looking for a car dent removal garage, you will want the repair to be easy to arrange and efficiently carried out. AP Autocare has an excellent car body shop that will be able to repair the dent in your car quickly and to the highest of standards. You will not regret choosing us as your car body shop garage

We Repair Minor And Large Car Dents 

We can fix small dents and large dents. Minor dents include car dings and round dents that have been caused by the car being hit by small objects that have bent or torn the car metal. We have tools to do paintless repairs or we can respray your car if need be where the dent has caused damage to the paintwork. Our car body shop can also repair scuffs and scratches which your car may have picked up. To get your car looking in its optimal condition, call AP Autocare today on 0117 963 8916 or book online here to book in your service.

Tips to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Tips to Prepare Your Car for Winter discussed by AP Autocare

When winter is here and the dark, cold nights have set in you should always ensure your car is ready and safe to drive in the colder, wetter and icy conditions. You never know when the freezing temperatures will take hold which result in dangerous driving conditions like icy roads, sleeted drives and even snow.

Preparing yourself and your car for driving in these conditions is vital to keep yourself and others on the road safe, as well as decreasing the likelihood of you breaking down. Statistics show you are twice as likely to break down during the winter months, so taking a few steps to ensure your car is prepared and ready for winter will decrease the chances of you breaking down.

Our ‘Prepare Your Car for Winter’ hints and tips will ensure you and your car are ready for the cold weather and keep you ahead of the winter weather and adverse driving conditions.

At AP Autocare we offer winter car checks and services to ensure your car is ready and in safe working order for when the colder and adverse weather arrives. Contact us on 0117 963 8916 or book online here.

When my car won’t start in the cold, what should I do?

Despite the fact that your car might not start for a number of reasons, there is a routine you can follow to increase the chances of getting things running again. Start by:

  • Turn off everything, including headlights and radios: Anything that uses electricity drains your battery further. It is a good practice to leave your engine running for a while before turning on your accessories.

  • As you turn the ignition, press the clutch: This lessens the load on your battery and makes starting your engine easier.

  • Ensure that your battery leads are in good condition: Look under the battery’s cover for signs of corrosion – usually a salty, crusty substance. The corrosion must be removed. Starting with the negative (usually black cable) terminal – disconnect your cables, and clean with a toothbrush and baking soda solution. When connecting the cables, always start with the negative.

Make sure your engine oil is at the right level: Check the level using your dipstick. If it seems low, add more. If you can switch to a thinner grade if possible in winter. Check your car’s handbook to find out what type of oil is recommended.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

Problems during the cold winter months can be avoided with a little preparation.

An analysis of breakdowns that the AA attended during the winter months found that battery problems were the top cause of car breakdowns during cold weather. 

Your car battery holds a charge less effectively during cold weather because cold weather affects the chemical process inside. The battery in other devices, such as mobile phones and digital cameras, may also lose charge faster when it’s cold.

Typically, weaker, older batteries will have lower performance, and cold temperatures can make this worse, causing the battery to discharge or go flat very quickly.

It may be time to replace your battery if it is having trouble holding a charge. Speak to one of our team about a replacement battery. We believe we have the best prices in Bristol on a new car battery.

Do I need a new battery for my car? 

We can test the battery and let you know if it needs to be replaced. 

The AA looked at the most common breakdowns their mechanics were called out to between December 2018 and February 2019. Here are the top reasons for calling the AA:

  1. Battery-related (24%)

  2. Tyres (16%)

  3. Intake and emissions (8%)

  4. Starter and alternator faults (6%)

  5. Locks and alarms (5%)

Car problems during the winter range from issues with the fuel intake, such as faulty pumps and injectors, to electrical problems. All of these problems can be checked and resolved with our Winter Car check.

Book Your Car in for a Service 9 Winter Check with a Reputable Garage

The most efficient and safe way to prepare your car for winter is to book it into a garage for a winter service as this will include the essential checks to ensure your car is ready for the winter. A winter service will include:

  • Battery Test
  • Tyre Check
  • Brake Pads, Discs and Brake Fluid Checks
  • Fan Belt and Alternator Drive Belt Checks
  • Coolant & Antifreeze Top-up
  • Windscreen Wiper Inspection
  • Screen Wash Check
  • Oil Level Check
  • Lights Assessment

Battery Test

You have a flat battery if you hear a faint whining noise when you turn the key in the ignition, but the starter motor does not turn over.

In the case of a completely discharged battery, or if the cables to the battery are loose, you may not hear anything.

Additionally, the dashboard ignition lights may not illuminate if the battery is completely flat, and the car cannot be unlocked using remote central locking.

Cold, damp weather puts huge amount of strain on your car’s battery as it makes it harder for an engine to start and has an impact on the battery’s ability to keep your car running as well as powering your cars heating system. There is nothing worse than getting into your car in the cold or freezing weather and your battery won’t start your car. If it won’t start then it is likely that your battery needs replacing.

If you can successfully jump start your car it is likely the battery was the issue. If you jump start your car and it dies immediately, your alternator is most likely faulty.

The dashboard and headlights may also flicker, the car’s gauges may move jerkily, and if the alternator overheats, you may smell a burning smell coming from the cabin.

If all the lights and in-car electrics are working fine, this points to an issue with the starter motor – rather than the battery. Even jump starting your car won’t work if the starter motor has failed. Replacing a starter motor is generally a task for a trained mechanic. They’re not hugely expensive, but the work can take up to half a day.

Your garage will check the health and the voltage outage of your battery during its winter check and service and advise you if it needs replacing before it gets to the point when your car won’t start.

Tyre Check

Checking the tread depth of your tyres is important at any time of the year but even more important in the winter. The legal tyre tread limit is 1.6mm, however, more than this will dramatically improve the steering and your cars braking speed and capabilities which essential if the roads are icy or wet. If any of your tyres need replacing, or are nearing the minimum tread then your garage will advise you of this and recommend any which should be replaced. They will also check your tyre pressures which is essential for safe driving in the winter and you should also do this every 4 weeks and before any long journeys. Tyre pressures can change quickly when the temperatures drops so checking them regularly is essential for safe driving.

Brake Pads, Discs and Brake Fluid Checks

During your service and winter check your garage will check your brake pads, brake discs and brake fluid to ensure they are safe, legal, fast and responsive which is more important in the winter months when the roads are wet and icy and you need to stop your car quickly. During your service and winter check, they will make sure your brake pads and fluids are bled and replaced and they will let you know about any faults in your cars braking system so you are able to rectify them immediately so your car is safe to drive.

Fan Belt and Alternator Drive Belt Checks

Your service and winter check with your garage will ensure your cars fan belt and alternator drive belts are tight and not worn, and that all your plugs and leads are in good condition and secure. These checks will prevent the likelihood of you breaking down if they need replacing.

Coolant & Antifreeze Top-up

Antifreeze is an essential element to stop the water in your engine’s cooling system freezing. Engine-related breakdowns and sometimes engine’s seizing are commonly related to your cars cooling system and its antifreeze levels. Antifreeze is added to the water in your vehicle’s radiator to prevent it from seizing and causing costly issues. Frozen water expands and can split engine hoses and pipes, causing leaks and reduces its cooling efficiency. A winter car check and service with a garage will ensure your vehicle’s cooling system is working effectively and your cars antifreeze levels will be checked and refilled if needed. Checking your antifreeze levels regularly throughout winter is essential to your car running smoothly and will prevent costly breakdowns.

Windscreen Wiper Inspection

Windscreen wipers working effectively are extremely important in the winter to ensure you always have full visibility in wet and icy driving conditions. A service and winter car check will ensure your windscreen wipers are in good working order. The cold wet weather can damage the rubber on your windscreen wipers so it’s always a good idea to check them regularly throughout the winter yourself.

Screen Wash Check

During the winter months, you will use your windscreen wipers and screen wash a lot more due to the salt and dirt on the roads so it is essential it is topped up and at the right level. Even if your windscreen wipers are in good working order they will smear dirt across the windscreen if your screen wash is empty. Your garage will check the levels of your screen wash and fill it up during your winter check and service with them and you should also check it regularly throughout the winter and before you go on any long journeys.

Screen wash has a lower freezing temperature than water alone so you should always use a good screen wash to prevent freezing which will end up in you not being able to use your windscreen wipers effectively when you are driving and can also result in the windscreen wash bottle and pipes splitting which will then need to be replaced.

Oil Level Check

Your winter check and service with your garage will check the oil levels in your car’s engine. Too much or not enough oil in a car will cause major engine problems so it is vital it is at the right level to avoid unwanted breakdowns and costly repairs. Driving without enough oil or low oil pressure will seize your car’s engine, resulting in you needing a whole engine replacement. If you notice the oil light on when you are driving or whilst the car is running, you should turn your engine off and check your oil levels immediately. Your garage will advise you which oil you should use as for some cars thinner oil is recommended in the winter to enable it to run more smoothly.

You won’t be able to start your car in cold temperatures if your oil has a high cold viscosity (resistance to flow). In contrast, excessive hot viscosity causes premature wear on engine components because they won’t be adequately protected.

Check the manufacturer’s recommendations in your car’s handbook, and switch to a thinner grade of oil if possible in winter.

Typical grades are 10W-30 and 5W-20, with the first number (followed by a ‘W’ for ‘winter’) denoting the oil’s thickening characteristics during cold weather. As the number decreases, the oil gets thinner.

DON’T Warm the car up

Have you ever been told to warm the cars engine before driving, especially during winter?

When the weather is below zero degrees, it’s easy to believe you need to let your engine “warm up” for a minute or two by letting the engine tick over before driving away. 

According to an old adage, letting your engine reach normal operating temperature is better for your car than starting it up and driving off right away. In a 2009 study, researchers found that, on average, people believed a car’s engine should idle for four minutes in subfreezing temperatures-but it turns out this is bad for your car, your wallet, and the environment. In fact, idling your machine in the cold only leads to a shorter lifespan for your engine.

Older car models with carburettors did experience engine performance problems due to cold weather. In colder temperatures, petrol and diesel are less likely to evaporate, which would have prevented carburettors from getting the right mixture of air and fuel into the engine. Consequently, some cars stalled at times, and this may have contributed to the practice of heating up our engines. You don’t have to worry about this if your vehicle is made within the past few decades. Since the 1980s, car companies began replacing carburettors with electronic fuel injection, which uses sensors to calculate the proper mixture of fuel and air to supply your engine.

As soon as temperatures fall below freezing, your engine automatically adds more gasoline to the fuel mix to compensate. Leaving your car idling exposes your engine to a more rich fuel than is necessary, which causes oil to be stripped from your engine’s vital components.

Petrol and diesel are excellent solvents, and if you run them at a cold idle for an extended period of time, they can actually wash the oil out of the combustion chamber walls, causing them to lose their lubrication and reducing their lifespan. Consequently, what you intend to be helping your car’s engine might actually turn out to be damaging it.

The engine switches back to its regular fuel mixture once it reaches about 40 degrees, but idling does not help it reach this point any faster. Getting an engine warm is best accomplished by driving. You shouldn’t use this as an excuse to speed down the road: Your engine will take anywhere from five to fifteen minutes to reach a normal operating temperature after you start driving. Until then, take it easy on the accelerator to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your engine.

Light Assessment

The days are shorter and darker and the weather is worse during the winter months so ensuring your exterior lights are working effectively is an important winter check that your garage will do when it is with them.  You should also check and clean your lights regularly as the salt and dirt from the roads will build-up on them without you knowing in the winter months, reducing the effectiveness of your lights for others to see you, as well as reducing your visibility. Driving without working exterior lights is illegal and dangerous, so it is an important winter check.

A winter check and service at your local garage will ensure your car is prepared and ready for the colder months and adverse weather conditions. Snow, ice and wet roads can cause dangerous driving conditions so having your car checked and in tip top condition is vital to yours and others road user’s safety.

Preparing for Longer Journeys

When you are going on longer car journeys you should always be prepared and carry a winter breakdown kit which you will be extremely grateful for if you ever break down. A winter breakdown kit should include:

  • Mobile phone and a car charger
  • Hazard warning triangle
  • De-icer and scraper
  • Hi-visibility vest
  • First aid kit
  • Shovel
  • Walking boots
  • Torch
  • Warm clothes & blanket
  • Food and drink

Check you have Breakdown Cover

When you are going on a long journey away from home it’s always a good idea to have breakdown cover even if your car has been serviced and had its winter car check at your local garage. Being stranded and broken down away from home in the winter is scary so even having minimal breakdown cover will ensure you have access to a company coming out to you to try and get you started again, or getting you to a local garage for any faults to be repaired. Breakdown cover will give you peace of mind that you aren’t on your own on longer journeys in the winter when the weather and driving conditions are normally worse.

Many of the problems you find when driving in the winter months can be easily avoided by booking your car in for a Service and Winter Car Check so any problems or likely problems which may occur are fixed before they cause you any problems. Being prepared is important when it comes to road safety in the winter so take time to invest in your cars safety when preparing for winter and before you go on any long journeys. AP Autocare in Bristol will Prepare Your Car for Winter and have pre-set winter checks which will make sure you and your car are prepared for the colder months.

About AP Autocare

We have been in business for over 40 years and 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.

We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for your Winter Car Check, Service, MOT or Repair if you work in the city centre or surrounding areas.

We offer a courtesy car if you need a car whilst it is booked in with us, or we can arrange a lift to work, home or a collection and delivery service to ensure that being without a car isn’t an inconvenience for you.

We are friendly, professional and have competitive rates, with the skills of a 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:

  • 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 many of the main car manufacturers including; BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda and Land Rover and 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 main dealer prices.

If you are looking for a Winter Car Check, Service, MOT or Repair for your vehicle, please contact us on 0117 963 8916 or book online here and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you.

Buying a VW Campervan FAQ

Buying a New or Converted VW Campervan

Are you looking to buy a new Volkswagon Campervan? Are you wondering if it is best to pay a premium for a new one, try and find a bargain-priced used VW campervan or convert a VW campervan to your own layout and style? Our frequently asked questions will help you in your decision-making.

Our guide will explain how to buy a VW campervan for the first time.

This guide to buying a VW campervan is for those who are completely new to the world of VW campervans. You may have wondered about getting one for years, and now is the time to start doing your research and start your search for your dream van.

We will review buying a new VW, how to find the right conversion company, choosing the layout, which is hugely important (especially if you want to campervan with kids), as well as what type of bed and roof to look for, so you get the best VW campervan for you and your family.

Do you go for a new or used campervan?

A VW California 6.1 with a 2LT TDI 4MOTION 7sp DSG engine and a few optional extras can quickly become a £75,000 to £80,000 purchase. Let’s be honest, if you can afford a new VW campervan at around the £80,000 price tag, you may well do some research on older models; however, we both know that you will end up buying a new one, and why not? A new campervan will be to your exact specifications, and you will be the first and only person to own and use it. And why not?

New VW campervans Bristol

Exact quote here

For most people, your considerations will be between a new VW campervan, a nearly new conversion, buying a van second-hand and converting it yourself, or getting a conversion specialist to do it for you.Â

VW camper vans are often seen as easier to buy new compared to used campervans. Or are they? In the case of a new campervan conversion, you have the peace of mind that it comes with a manufacturer’s or converter’s warranty; however, the issue is very different from that of the conversion itself. Choosing from the 100’s of options available to you!

If you are using a reputable and expert VW conversion company like AP Autocare, you have the option of buying one of their recently converted vans or working with them on a new conversion to get the layout you want and the equipment that you need when you are using it. AP Autocare Care has years of experience in campervan conversions and will ensure you get the best option for you, offering you ideas and suggestions along the way.

Buying a VW Campervan—where to start?

Like all major purchases, your first consideration will be how much you have to spend. What can you afford, what is your budget or even how much are you willing to spend?

This can be broken down into either a lump-sum payment for your new or used campervan, monthly finance fees, or a combination of both. Most reputable conversion companies will have an agreement in place with a trusted finance company, and this gives you more options to consider. It may also mean you can spend slightly more on your conversion to get what you want and need. As an experienced and reputable garage, AP Autocare can offer you financing options if this is something you want to consider.

When you decide on a budget, you will need to work out how much flexibility you have in what you are willing to pay (in case you see something that is perfect for you but a little above your budget) or decide on the compromises you are willing to make when it comes to age, layout, and equipment to keep within your budget.

If you’re buying second-hand from a dealer or company that carries out the conversion, get a feel for them. Do they know their stuff? Are they passionate about the VW conversion? A company that is proud and passionate about the campervans they have converted is a company that won’t cut corners and won’t have a will-do attitude.

Question why they fit certain features. For example, at AP Autocare, we fit Skyline Aurora roofs to our conversions, which are a little extra on the build cost; however, they are a more streamlined roof and have a more secure latching-down system than the more common strap systems. When asked about it, we passionately answer and tell our customers about the benefits, style, and peace of mind of the roofing system and why it is worth the extra budget.

Always get a gut feel about the conversion company and trust your instincts when it comes to choosing the right one for you.

As well as your budget, you should also think about your campervan gearbox requirements, and this is another important decision. You will drive lots of miles in your VW campervan, mainly for pleasure, so you want to be comfortable with the type of gearbox you have. VW campers typically come with one of three types of gearboxes: manual, automatic, or a DSG gearbox. This will be a personal choice, however, one that can rarely be compromised on for budget. As well as the sleeping layout, the gearbox you choose will make or break your camper driving experience and campervan life.

Buying a VW Campervan: Basic Equipment

Although some people will only use their campervan as a day van, it is best to ensure the basic equipment is included in your conversion. Even if you don’t plan to use it yourself, the residual value of the van will be higher, and the more features it has, the easier it will be to sell.

The basic features and equipment are:

Bed: double and pull-out are best. In campervans, a seat that converts into a bed is called a rock-n-roll bed, and you will have a great night’s sleep in your campervan with one of these. Purchasing a rock-n-roll bed not only allows you to sleep comfortably but also allows you to sit comfortably during the day and evenings as well. There are lots of different options when it comes to beds and styles, and at AP Autocare, we can let you know the benefits and disadvantages of them to help you with your decision.

Hob: I know you have dreams of eating fish and chips and looking out at the sea; however, when hunger strikes in the middle of nowhere and the only food on board is a tin of beans, you will be grateful for a hob to warm them on. Electric hobs are okay; however, you always need to be connected to an electrical supply to use them. Most campervans have a double-gas hob. These can be used while you are out and about, as long as you have a gas cylinder with you. This makes them great for overnight stays and pull-ups in the countryside or at the seaside for the day, even if all you want is a cup of tea. If you decide on gas, then it is a good idea to buy a van with or have a gas propane tank that fits under your van, which makes it cheaper to refill compared to a separate gas cylinder.

Table: It is possible to get away without a table if the campervan is for single-person use or a versatile couple who are happy to eat on their laps. A laptop tray or plate resting on your lap is always an option. Very often, though, a small table or swing-out single table is the preferred option; again, it gives you the choice and makes your campervan much more versatile.

Heating: In the warmer summer months, you won’t even think about heating; however, having the option to heat your campervan is a must even in spring and autumn, let alone camping in the winter in the UK. You can have electric supply heating installed in your VW conversion, but again, you will need to be connected to a main electric supply to be able to use it. This cuts out any overnight or more remote stays or wild camping where there is no electricity. The most common option for conversions is gas heating. If you have a gas hob, then you always have gas with you, so it’s a no-brainer. Again, if you decide on gas, then it’s a good idea to buy a van with or have a gas propane tank fitted under your van, which makes it cheaper to refill compared to a separate gas bottle.

Don’t ever think the heating element at the front of the cab will keep you warm at night; it really won’t.

Running water: A campervan conversion can be fitted with different-sized water tanks. The larger the water tank, the heavier your van will be when it’s full, and this can mean it will be more expensive to run. However, a larger tank is good to have as an option if you are planning to do lots of wild camping for a few days at a time with no access to water. It’s good to have an onboard water tank fitted so you have the option of filling it before you leave for a day or a camping trip. If you’re going somewhere with a water supply, then you just wouldn’t fill it up before you left.

Travel Seats: Consider how many people will be travelling in your campervan. If there are only ever two of you, then you will just need the two seats in the front cab to have seatbelts. If there are ever going to be more than two of you, then you should consider either three seats at the front with seatbelts or the normal two or three seatbelted seats at the back. Different seats will offer different levels of comfort; for example, winged front seats or seats with armrests offer improved driving and passenger comfort. Again, our conversion specialists at AP Autocare can give you the options of the different seat types so you can decide which is best for you if we’re converting for you.

Fridge: A fridge that runs off mains and/or solar power (if you have solar panels) is probably a must, whether you use it as a day van or a campervan. Again,  having a fridge fitted gives you more versatility, and when and if you decide to sell it will make it more appealing to buyers.

12v sockets: 12v/240v and USB sockets positioned around the van are a great option. They can be powered by solar panels for a certain amount of time and also be connected to mains electricity if you are somewhere with electricity you can plug in to. They can also be controlled by an LED CBE control unit, which can also control and show you how much you have left in your onboard water tank and your onboard gas tank that is fitted under the van. This ensures you never run out of water or gas at the most inopportune moments and makes camping life much easier and calmer.

Solar Panels – Solar panels are a great option if you are using your campervan as a day van or for overnight stays where there is no electricity supply. A 150w solar panel fitted to your campervan roof with up to two 100-amp leisure batteries and an inverter so that you can run 240v without being connected to the mains is a great option for your conversion.

Buying a VW Campervan: Nice to Have

Sat Nav: An integrated Sat Nav is nice to have, as there are lots of other phone options you can use now with a phone mount fitted to your dashboard using Google Maps or other apps. It doesn’t look as good but is a much cheaper option, making it very nice to have if you have one fitted as part of your conversion

Phone connectivity: Again, your phone connecting to your sound system and dash is very nice to have but not essential and does not make your journeys any more comfortable or easy.

USB/AUX: This is a great thing to have. There is nothing worse than your phone running out of charge on a journey, especially if you are using your phone as a sat-nav. This is definitely one to think about.

Reverse camera or rear parking sensors: This is often a must-have for people now, as most cars now come with cameras front and back, so we are used to them. Remember, you will be driving a different-sized vehicle, larger than your car, so often cameras will save you money in the long run as they can minimise unnecessary bumps and scrapes.

Adaptive cruise control: If you’re going to be driving long distances in your conversion and you use your cruise control in your car, then this is probably one to think about. It is not essential for most people, but it depends on your driving habits and how many miles you plan on going.

Multi-function steering wheel: A multifunction steering wheel allows you to operate the audio system, navigation system, and cruise control without having to take your hands off the wheel. Again, it is nice to have in your conversion, but definitely not a must.

Power fold mirrors: Power fold mirrors can close into the side of your campervan when you lock and open out when you unlock; they can also be heated if you want them to be.

Front and rear heated windscreens: These will be essential if you are using your campervan as a day van or a campervan and in most UK months apart from the summertime. Not having these will mean a lot of waiting around for your front and back windscreens to clear to ensure you don’t get smeary windows that you can’t see through.

Buying a used camper van: the golden rules

Let us guide you through some things to look out for when buying a used camper van, as well as some helpful tips and advice.

There are lots of different types of campervans and internal configurations, so when you are thinking about buying one, you must work out exactly what will work for you. The mechanics of a campervan will be mostly identical to the same panel van; it is the internal camper fittings like the units, sink, fridge, etc. that should also be looked at in detail before you buy. Making a bad purchase without thinking about the layout and how it will work for you, as well as the engine and internal fittings, will cost you a lot of money and time.

The golden rules of buying a used campervan are:

  1. Be open-minded; don’t decide on the exact model and layout you want without considering the compromises you are willing to make. The perfect van to match your exact requirements will rarely come up, and most often the only way to get your exact requirements is for a conversion garage like AP Autocare to convert a van for you, which is a great way of doing it.
  2. Trust your instincts and gut feelings. Often, something that seems too good to be true is, and there will be times when you get a feel for someone and it turns out you were right.
  3. Don’t buy a campervan unless you are sure it is right for you and you trust the person or garage you are buying from. Walk away if you are not sure; there will be others that come up but you often have to be patient. Don’t ever be persuaded to buy something that does not suit you or feel right, as you will regret it down the line, and often it will end up being a costly mistake.
  4. Whether you are buying privately or from a garage, always drive the campervan. At AP Autocare, this is a must for us, and we won’t sell one of our conversions unless you have driven it. Driving different campervans will give you a feel for what you like and don’t like, so it’s always a good idea to make sure you buy the right one for you. Take your time with any test drive and never feel rushed. Let the engine get hot, turn off the engine, leave it for a minute, and then start it again. Listen out for any noises, knocks, and rattles from the suspension and under the bonnet. Check that the dashboard lights and lights switch all work.
  5. Feel any slips from the clutch when it’s a manual gearbox or jerks when it changing gears if it’s automatic.
  6. Get a HPI Check for outstanding finance on the campervan or if it has been written off at any time before you agree to buy it. All AP Autocare vehicles come with a HP check included.
  7. When purchasing, take a look at a comprehensive list of used van buying guides to look for specific mechanical issues relating to the base van you are thinking about. They will give you detailed pointers about what to look for mechanically, body-wise, and interior-wise. If you can get someone to come with you who knows what they are looking for when it comes to campervans and engines, then that’s good. Vans.honestjohn.co.uk is a great website for this.

Your Rights As A Buyer

Source: vans.honestjohn.co.uk

Problems can arise with vans after you buy them. How much legal protection you have if there’s a dispute comes down to where you bought it from.

If you bought your van from a dealer, whether that was a franchised or independent outlet, you’re covered by the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. This states that goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.

With a used van, this means it must be of satisfactory quality for its age and mileage. If you bought the van online, this law still applies, and you’re also covered by Distance Selling Regulations that give you the right to cancel the sale within seven working days and receive a full refund within 30 days.

Within the first 30 days of buying a used van from a dealer, you have the right to reject it and have a full refund. However, the dealer is also entitled to one opportunity to fix the problem, but if that’s not done in a timely and appropriate manner, you can still reject the van and claim your refund. When rejecting a van, you must stop using it completely.

Between 30 days and six months after buying a used van from a dealer, you’re entitled to a replacement, repair, or refund. After six months, the onus shifts on to the buyer to prove the van had a problem at the time of the sale.

In the event of a problem, the first thing to do is contact the dealer as soon as possible. If they offer to fix the fault, be sure you know who is paying for the work and ask for everything to be put in writing. Do not agree to proceed with any work until it’s been agreed in writing.

Should the dealer not put this in writing, you can reject the van. However, you must detail your reasons for rejecting it in writing. The dealer may refuse to accept your rejection, in which case you may need to involve Ombudsman Services Resolver.co.uk For anyone who bought their used camper with a hire purchase agreement, you have extra protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This makes the finance provider jointly and severally responsible for the fault.

In other words, they have to sort it out with the dealer. Using a credit card to pay for some or all of the van’s purchase price gives you the same protection.

If you paid for the van with a debit card, you don’t enjoy the same level of protection, but the card provider may be able to help through a ‘chargeback’ scheme. You’ll need to claim within 120 days of buying the van and you may have to wait until the card provider has been paid by the dealer before you receive any money.

When buying a used camper van privately, you have much more limited protection. The seller must have the right to sell it, which means it’s not stolen or subject to finance.

They have to ensure the van is accurately described and must not misrepresent it, for instance, by telling you it hasn’t been in a collision when it has. The van also has to be roadworthy unless otherwise stated, as it’s an offence to sell an unroadworthy vehicle.

The burden is on the buyer to make all necessary checks when buying privately, as the seller doesn’t have to volunteer extra information. So, make sure you keep a copy of the original advertisement for the camper and all correspondence between you and the seller as proof of the description of the van.

About AP Autocare VW Conversions

AP Autocar Conversions is passionate about VW campervans, and we take a huge amount of pride in what we do. Our professional and knowledgeable team spends time with you to understand your needs and to ensure you know what is available and possible with your van conversion.

We also sell campervans that we have converted, and we are happy to discuss these with you and for you to look around them and test drive them.

All our vehicles are HPI clear, inspected, and serviced, and include a warranty, a new MOT, and 3-month breakdown cover for your peace of mind.

We are open Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm and Saturdays 10am – 4pm. Saturdays are by appointment only, and we are closed on Sundays.

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 and one of our team members can help you with any query you may have or book an appointment for you to come and see us.

Car Cleaning Guide

Car Cleaning Guide

Keeping your car in its’ best condition should be one of your top priorities. Not only just mechanically but aesthetically. Your car is legally required to adhere to a list of safety and performance regulations, from the number of harmful gases emitted from the exhaust to whether or not all the lights on the vehicle work fully. These are tested annually as part of the MOT.

Whereas, the appearance of your vehicle is up to you to look after and grade yourself. Here at AP Autocare, we understand that you may find it hard to find the time to look after the aesthetics of your car; both inside and out. This is why we have created a handy guide on car cleaning along with some helpful tips so that you are able to take pride in your vehicle’s appearance once again. 

How To Clean Your Car

Assess your car’s current aesthetical state

  1. Take a walk around your car, looking for any dirt or parts of your car that isn’t looking as good as they did as when you first received the car. Look closely at the paintwork, keeping an eye out for any discolouration or fading. One of the most common paintwork issues is sun discolouration, which occurs when the sun’s rays fade back the original paint colour. Another highly common car aesthetic issue is car scratches and dents, which can occur from passing too close to a hedge or other road users bumping into you. These car aesthetics will require further work from a car body repair shop, such as AP Autocare.

Wash away dirt

  1. You can now use your hosepipe or pressure washer to wash away any loose pieces of dirt that may be on your car. This includes on your wheels, your car’s panels and windows. Make sure to use try and get off as much mud or pieces of dirt as possible as some grains of dirt can contains stones that, if you use a sponge to clean the car after, will scratch the surface.

Choose your type of cleaner and other equipment

  1. There are a huge variety of different shampoos, waxes and combinations of the both for you to choose from to clean your car with. We highly recommend choosing a high-quality shampoo for the initial clean as this will ensure any dirt is dissolved gently and prevent it from spreading further down the line, which could create scratches. Never use washing up liquid when cleaning your car as this can dissolve your fine layer of paint protection that car manufacturers have put on.
  2. You will also need to invest in a sponge and a bucket. A soft sponge with no sharp edges or dirt is best to reduce the chance of marks. Using a regular bucket is fine, just as long as you rinse it out thoroughly before commencing the cleaning. You can also purchase a bucket with a grit guard which means that the small dirt particles will be caught beneath the water and stop spreading when you dunk your sponge in.
  3. For the most high-quality car wash, you can also use a chamois cloth after cleaning to remove any remaining water particles which can leave marks and lower the strength of the paintwork. We recommend choosing a natural chamois, however, a synthetic version is fine to use. You can also use a tyre brush to get into your alloys and wheel arches, to perform a thorough and deep clean. You must ensure not to touch your paintwork with one of these brushes as they can cause considerable damage to your paintwork.

Cleaning Process

  1. Fill your bucket up with warm water, and follow your chosen car shampoo instructions to how it should be added and the amount that you should use. Take your sponge and soak it in the water; ensuring that it is completely wet throughout before using it on your car. Work your way around your car, starting at the top of panels or the roof and working your way down each section of the car. Once you have gone around the entirety of your car, you can pick up your hosepipe or pressure washer and wash away the soap suds that may remain on your vehicle. This will also allow you to spot any missed patches before drying. You can go back over the car again, ensuring that your sponge remains clean and dirt particle free throughout.

Drying

  1. Drying of the car is often a process people skip when cleaning their car. However, we believe it to be as important as the washing. Watermarks can completely ruin the clean appearance of your car and can even damage your paintwork if left for long periods of time. It is an easy process, which just requires you using a chamois cloth to go round and rub each section of the car that you cleaned, ensuring to clean in a circular motion to get the best removal of water spots. We recommend having plenty of chamois cloths available as, if your car is particularly wet, they soak up the water which prevents them from being able to dry your car effectively.
  2. For more hidden parts that would have gotten wet during your power washing, such as the insides of wing mirrors and door handles, you can use a hair dryer to access them. We recommend using your hairdryer on a low temperature as high temperature can damage your paintwork. There is nothing worse than driving off, unaware that water has sprayed from your wing mirrors, all across the sides of your car.

Finishing touches

  1. Now that your car is dirt free and dry, you can apply the finishing touches. One technique that we are fond of is using a clay bar to pick up any fine particles that may have been left by the chamois cloth. Following the manufacturer’s instructions on best uses for a clay bar is best.
  2. You can also apply way to your vehicle’s outer bodywork. It is an easy process to follow. Simply, apply your chosen wax (ensuring to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully) to a fine sponge or chamois cloth, and spread it evenly across the entirety of your car’s bodywork. You must then allow it to dry and then buff it by using another fine cloth.

If you’ve decided to follow our guide on the best car cleaning methods, and discover a scratch, dent or mark on your car, bring it into AP Autocare today. We have a team of experienced scratch and dent repair experts who are able to inspect the damage and advise you on the best course of repair. We are able to repair any size scratch, dent or cut on your vehicle with the use of our highest range car respraying equipment and spraying booths. 

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 or book online here to talk to one of our car scratch and dent repairs experts. 

Top 7 Car Issues

Top 7 Car Issues

Keeping your car on the road can be not only difficult and time-consuming, but expensive too. Modern cars now have many different parts that only specialists are able to completely repair or replace using special equipment and tools. We understand that things do break unexpectedly to even the most avid of car owners. This is why we have collated for you a list of our Top 7 Car Issues that we have seen come through our garage doors so that you know what to look out for to prevent you having a breakdown.

Flat or Faulty Batteries and Alternator

You may think that your vehicle’s battery isn’t necessary for your car if you don’t turn on your headlights or the CD player. However, your battery and alternator are integral components of your vehicle that are required to be in full working condition to allow the car to start. Modern cars and other vehicles now use acid or lead powered batteries which are more reliable than the previous design types. However, they still have their faults. They do have a lifespan of around 5 years, however frequent small journeys can cause the battery to not have enough time to charge and therefore run out of power more quickly. Similarly, if the connection between the battery terminal and the clamps is not properly lubricated, the connection can be weaker and mean that your car has less access to battery power, therefore lowering performance. Lubrication can also lower the chance of corrosion, which again, lowers the effectiveness of the connection and the vehicle’s power. 

Damaged Tyres and Wheels

Your tyres are a very important part of your car. Having properly fitted tyres with plenty of tread and no bulges, scrapes or cuts in can improve the control of your vehicle and drastically improve your safety when travelling. However, bumps and damage to your car and its tyres can happen. Such as hitting a curb or driving over nails or glass can significantly damage your tyre and wheel and decrease the control of your car. Spotting this damage can be easy with visual checks and touching the outside of the tyre. Although, your tyre will wear gradually over time anyway which means you will need to replace them every 6 months, 10,000 miles or when you notice them wearing – whichever comes first. Less easy to spot problems with your tyres and wheels include slow punctures and your tracking being out of line. Slow punctures will mean that your tyre will gradually deflate over journeys. The gradual decrease will be so little that you most likely won’t notice until it is too late, such as on a long motorway journey. Your tracking being out of line is noticeable when you put your steering wheel straight but your wheels don’t all face straight. If you frequently use your car, you may not notice this straight away. 

Fuel Problems

If you’ve ever purchased a new car or had to use a rental car, it can difficult to get used to it and all of its features, such as which lever controls the wipers or which fuel that it uses. One of the most common car issues that we see is people using the wrong fuel in their car. Putting the wrong fuel in your car at the fuel station can have a long-lasting effect on your vehicle and can drastically reduce its life. In older cars, if this were to happen, you could remove the fuel rather easily, however, modern cars now have special encasing around where the fuel is entered so that it prevents car fuel thieves. This means that you will require a mobile mechanic to come and visit you to remove the fuel from your vehicle using specialist equipment. Don’t worry if this happens to you as you would not be alone. This happens to over 133,000 drivers a year. 

Other Fuel Related Issues

In addition to using incorrect fuel, your engine requires multiple components to flush the fuel through the engine to power it. If one of these components breaks, your engine will be unable to work and leave you motionless. Fuel leaks are also highly common in vehicles and can often go unnoticed before turning into a catastrophic and expensive repair. Small drips of fuel can corrode the fuel tank and create a larger hole for the fuel to leak from.

Damaged or Worn Handbrake

In many comedy films, we see a forgetful driver park up but forget to put their handbrake on. This is highly comical but in the real world, can be dangerous and very expensive to repair the damage caused. It is more common than you think in the real world. Your handbrake is prone to wear, meaning that it stretches more and has less braking resistance. This wear and stretching eventually cause it to snap and leave you without a parking brake, sometimes without even noticing! The wearing of the vehicle’s handbrake is exacerbated by drivers yanking up the lever and turning it on at an extremely pressured rate. To spot a worn handbrake can be done by applying the handbrake on a steep hill (when appropriate). If you require pulling your handbrake up a lot, this could signal a worn handbrake that is close to snapping.

Body Work Damage

The aesthetics of your vehicle is one of the most important selling points of your car and is definitely one of the most noticeable to spot if there were damages to it. Whether it be passing another vehicle and getting a little too close to them or not seeing a post whilst parking, damages to your vehicle are highly common and can be expensive, with many car owners choosing to leave them unrepaired. Dents are one of the easier aesthetic damages to repair, with a plunger type device to pull the dent out. Scrapes and damage to the exterior paint of your car are more difficult, with some paintwork damage leading to your vehicle’s body material rusting which will decrease the durability of it. 

Broken Bulbs

Ensuring that you are seen in low light tunnels or at night is very important to guarantee your safety when driving. Similarly, your vehicles’ lights allow other road users and pedestrians to see you as you travel. Your vehicle has multiple lights, from headlights at the front of your vehicle to your indicators all around your vehicle. The law states that all the lights on your vehicle must be in fully working condition, with no cracks or gaps in the encasing plastic/glass. Broken or blown light bulbs is one of the most common issues with vehicles on our roads and is drastically being cracked down on by police. Luckily, repairing a blown bulb is usually a quick and simple repair that may not even require a garage to perform. However, if the casing that holds your light is broken, this will require more work to replace. Similarly, if there is an issue with your electrics, this can be a larger job to diagnose and repair, which requires specialist diagnostic equipment to determine the cause. You can perform simple tests to check whether or not all of your vehicle’s bulbs are in fully working order so you don’t get caught out one evening!

Cracked Windscreen

One of the most annoying car issues that are very difficult to prevent. One of the major causes of cracked or chipped windscreens is other drivers driving too fast over road surfaces with loose stones and them being flicked up into your windscreen. Other causes include collisions and vandals. Large chips and cracks can be an automatic MOT failure and result in your requiring to have an entire new windscreen being fitted. Small chips can be fixed relatively easy with the use of specialist equipment. This is highly recommended as soon as you spot the issue as heat changes, such as defrosting your vehicle’s windscreen can cause the small chip to turn into a large crack across your windscreen.

If you spot any of the above-mentioned issues, we highly advise bringing your vehicle into a trusted and approved car repairs garage, such as AP Autocare. This is because we have top of the range diagnosis and repair equipment so that we are able to diagnose and repair almost any car issues on a wide variety of different car makes and models. We are one of the top car and other vehicle repair garages in Bristol. We specialise in French cars and German cars, such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroen, Audi and many others, with each of our car repairs team being specially trained in a wide variety of techniques. If you’d like to learn more about our repair services, please call us on 0117 963 8916 and one of our team will be able to book you in for repairs. Similarly, we highly recommend having your vehicle serviced once every 6 months to guarantee it’s performance. We are even able to advise on any repairs that your vehicle may need to keep you safe and moving on the roads.