What to do When Your Car Overheats

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

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

So what should you do when the car engine overheats?

Why do car engines overheat? 

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

What are the signs that your engine is overheating? 

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

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

What should I do when my car overheats? 

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

Turn up the heater in your vehicle 

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

Pull over quickly 

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

Open the windows and wait 

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

Add a coolant 

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

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

Contact your nearest garage 

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

Call for roadside assistance 

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

How do I keep my car from overheating? 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

coolant service flushes 

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

Can neglecting overheating damage your car engine? 

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

In Summary 

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

About AP Autocare

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

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

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

Our Services include:

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

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

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

5 Engine Noises That Require Immediate Attention

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

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

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

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

1. Squealing or Grinding Noises

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

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

2. Chirping or Hissing Noises

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

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

3. Rumbling Noises

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

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

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

4. Whirring Noises

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

5. Knocking 

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

What noise should a car engine make? 

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

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

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

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

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

In Summary 

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

About AP Autocare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We follow strict quality control procedures when performing our work.

We offer a 12-month warranty on labour and parts

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

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

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

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

Our Services include:

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

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

Are Your Tyres Balanced?

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

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

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

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

What is tyre balancing?

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

Is tyre balancing the same as wheel alignment?

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

What does tyre balancing involve?

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

What are the signs your tyres need balancing? 

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

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

Here are some common signs of unbalanced tyres:

Fast or uneven tread wear 

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

The car pulls to one side

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

Tread noises

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

Vibrating steering wheel

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

How is tyre balance measured?

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

Why should you balance tyres?

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

How often should tyres be balanced?

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

  • When you hit a pothole or curb when driving, which messes up the balance of the front tyre and regular rotating will be required 

  • When you get a flat tyre repaired 

  • When you have uneven or fast tread wear on the rear tyres 

  • When your steering wheel vibrates unusually 

How long can you go with unbalanced tyres?

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

What are the benefits of tyre balancing?

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

In Summary – Tyre Balancing

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

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

What is included in an Audi interim service?

Audi produces some of the highest-performance cars on the market today. The mix of luxury and quality makes it the go-to brand for car enthusiasts looking for a thrilling road experience. In order to enjoy the reliable performance of Audi vehicles, you must maintain and care for them properly. This means having a strict service schedule where you take your car to an Audi-registered garage as per the manufacturer’s servicing manual. So, let us look at what you can expect from an Audi interim service.

What is full service?

A full service is a comprehensive inspection carried out on a vehicle to determine its health and show whether it is safe to drive on the road. It involves at least 50 component checks and system adjustments to ensure your car is functioning at peak performance. Typically, a full service is necessary after every 10,000-12,000 miles of driving and will take at least three hours depending on the number and complexity of issues.

What is an interim service?

An interim service is a more basic vehicle inspection compared to a full service and is typically carried out after 5,000-6,000 miles of driving. While it may not serve as a replacement for the annual full service, an interim service helps to deal with issues that may arise in the meantime. Longer journeys can have more of an effect on your car’s performance and if there are any issues there can be more serious consequences for your car if left unaddressed. A standard interim service will usually last around an hour and involve fewer checks compared to a full service.

What does an Audi interim service include?

An Audi interim service should be carried out by a qualified car mechanic at a main dealership or an independent garage like AP Autocare in Bristol. AP have fully trained mechanics with experience in the main manufacturer’s vehicles as well as the latest diagnostic equipment. An Audi interim service is recommended after every 6,000 miles. Typically, an Audi interim service involves checks on the following components:

Oil and Filter Check

Engine oil plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your car. The mechanic will check the level of your engine oil and top it up to the required level. If necessary, they will replace the old used oil with new engine oil for better performance.

Windscreen Wiper Check

Windscreen wipers are essential in rainy weather and help to remove dirt and debris that may block your view. However, wipers on all vehicle make and models tend to degrade over time and an interim service will make sure that they are in good working condition.

Exhaust System Check

A mechanic will examine various parts of the exhaust system during an Audi interim service. These will include the catalytic converter, which serves to eliminate toxic elements from the fumes coming from the engine. They will also examine the components for rust and holes that may be forming in the exhaust system.

Windscreen Wash Check

A windscreen wash is exactly what it sounds like! The windscreen wash washes and wipes away the dust and debris on your windscreen to improve your view of the road ahead. Audi interim services include a check of the windscreen washer levels and a top-up which may not sound as critical as it actually is.

Brake Fluid Check

The brake fluid in a vehicle ensures that when you are applying pressure to the brakes the pads and discs stop the car. A small leak can cause the brake fluid to drain out, and this can be dangerous if the brake fluid level is too low, hence the mechanic will check the brake fluid level in an Audi service to ensure it is okay for efficient and safe braking.

Power Steering Fluid Check

The power steering fluid is as important to steering as brake fluid is to braking. It determines how well you are able to steer your car and the levels must be enough for this to happen. Any fluid leak or accumulation of air bubbles in the system may compromise your driving. The mechanic will check for this and make the necessary adjustments during your Audi service.

Lights Check

The law requires you to have fully functioning lights when driving on the road. The mechanic will check the headlights, rear lights and brake lights, etc. in an Audi service to ensure the wiring is okay and that there is no risk of failure.

Ant-freeze Coolant Check

The anti-freeze coolant is a liquid that circulates the car’s engine to reduce the level of friction and heat. The radiator requires a healthy amount of coolant to keep the engine cool so the car doesn’t overheat so the mechanic will ensure there are sufficient levels of anti-freeze in the vehicle. If a car overheats this can seriously damage your car’s engine so it is an important check to have done.

Tyre and Pressure Check

The treads on your tyres should be deep enough to enhance your grip on the road. In the UK, it is illegal to drive a car with treads not deeper than 1.6mm and this is what your interim service will check. They will also check the tyre pressure is at the recommended level for the vehicle make and model and driving.

Charging System Check

The charging system ensures that your car battery is always fully charged. When compromised, your chances of experiencing a dead car battery increase on the road. An interim service will check for any problems in parts like the alternator to ensure your charging system is working just fine.

Steering Check

Several issues can interfere with your steering wheel alignment and pose a challenge when handling your vehicle on the road if not correct can be extremely dangerous, especially in cold or wet weather. A mechanic will diagnose any issues and repair any faults during an interim service.

Battery Check

The battery is a vital component that powers your vehicle and it has to be in top condition at all times to give you reliability and efficiency. The service will examine the battery to ensure there are no issues like battery acid spills in the engine or cracks. A faulty battery may end up dying on the road and will require a jump start to get it running. An interim service helps to prevent such incidents.

Shock Absorber Check

The shock absorbers are part of the suspension system and steering and help to keep your drive stable in bumpy road conditions. Unfortunately, these deteriorate over time and can make driving extremely uncomfortable. An interim service will check for any degradation and resolve it if required.

Why should you get an Audi interim service?

An interim service goes a long way to identify issues long before they arise, allowing your mechanic to offer the relevant adjustments to prevent repairs in the future. Aside from helping to keep you safe on the road, it also saves you the cost of future and often more costly repairs.

How much does an interim service cost?

An interim service will vary in cost depending on the brand of car and the type of garage you visit. However, the standard price will range between £100 and £400 in the UK.

In Summary:

If you drive an Audi, you know how important maintenance is for your vehicle’s health, safety and efficiency. It is the best way to get the most out of your investment and will almost always extend its life. The guide above explains everything you need to know about an Audit interim service and the benefit of ensuring you have them done. 

AP Autocare

We are a specialist and recognised garage for many vehicle manufacturers including; Audi, BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, Porsche, VW, Seat, Skoda and Land Rover and we have main dealer-level diagnostic equipment along with main dealer knowledge and expertise. 

When you bring your vehicle to us for any of our services, you can save up to 30% over main dealer prices.

As Bristol’s largest independent multi-manufacturer specialist, we have been in business for over 40 years and are one of the most reputable and independent MOT, Repair and Service Centres.

We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for any of your vehicle servicing, repair and maintenance needs including MOTs.

We are friendly, and professional and have highly competitive rates, with all the skills of the main dealerships 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:

  • Winter Car Checks
  • Servicing
  • MOTsL
  • 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 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.

How To Choose a Garage For Your High-performance Car

How To Choose A High-performance Car Garage

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


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

Knowledge and skills

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

Diagnostic capabilities

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

High-quality parts

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

Organisation and presentation

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

Modern tools and equipment

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


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

Customer service

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


A good high-performance car garage is a godsend for any motorist who wants the best for their

vehicle. They will ensure your car is working in top and efficient condition whilst saving you time

and money by preventing potential breakdowns. From the guide above, you will be able to find the perfect high-performance garage for your high-performance car and one that you can trust.

About AP Autocare in Bristol

AP Autocare has been in business for over 40 years and we are one of the most reputable, trustworthy and independent MOT, Repair and Service Centres in Bristol. We are Bristol’s Largest Independent Multi Manufacturer Specialist.

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

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

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

Our Services include:

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

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

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

Mystery Shops

We are subject to regular mystery shop style audits

Code of Conduct

Adhere to strict terms of conduct and perform servicing work to an Industry Standard Check sheet


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

Contact us today on 0117 911 8719 to book your appointment.

Are MOTs Changing To Every 2-Years?

The Government has announced potential plans to move the MOT test from an annual test to one every 2 years in the UK for vehicles over three years old. These proposed changes are being considered by the Government to try and alleviate the UK’s cost of living increases.

When a car reaches the age of three years, it must undergo a yearly MOT test to ensure itsroadworthiness and that it is legal to drive. An MOT evaluates the vehicle’s working components whilst highlighting any flaws or defects that require work to be completed to ensure it is safe. The checks ensure the vehicle meets the minimum standards laid out by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority. 

In addition to checking the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), an MOT checks the registration plate (number plate) for security, legibility, and correct formatting. As well as checks including:

  • Lights
  • Windscreen
  • Wipers & Windscreen Washer Bottle
  • Steering & suspension
  • Horn 
  • Seats
  • Seatbelts
  • Fuel System
  • Emissions
  • Bodywork
  • Doors
  • Mirrors
  • Wheels & tyres
  • Brakes

What are the outcomes of an MOT test classified as?

  • Pass
  • Advisory
  • Minor faults
  • Major faults
  • Dangerous faults

A pass means your car is deemed safe and no further action is required until the vehicle’s next MOT in 12 months’ time. If your car is issued an advisory or a minor fault at its MOT, it is still legal to drive. These are things that have been highlighted that you need to keep an eye on or address in the near future. This could be because the tyre tread is legal, however, it is close to the legal limit. Minor faults should be booked in to be fixed quickly.

Major defects mean your car can’t be driven legally until the fault has been fixed. If your present MOT is still valid then you can drive it until the expiry date, or if you are driving it to a garage to get it fixed. Major defects pose a potential safety risk to the occupants or other road users if the vehicle has an accident. A major defect isn’t always expensive to fix and can be a faulty wiper blade which if not working could mean you could be in a situation where you can’t see out of the windscreen to drive safely. 

Dangerous defects mean the car cannot be driven on the road even if the current MOT hasn’t expired or you’re driving to a garage for repair. If you drive a vehicle with a dangerous defect you are risking your own and others’ life and it is classed as a criminal offence.

What is the MOT Test?

MOT stands for ‘Ministry of Transport and this was the Government department responsible for the roads when the MOT was first introduced in 1960.

The MOT test is an annual safety check that must be carried out on all vehicles over three years

old. The MOT test aims to ensure that your car is safe to drive and meets the minimum legal

standards. You can take your vehicle to any garage that is authorised to carry out MOT tests,

but you should always book an appointment in advance. It is important to note that if your vehicle fails its MOT test, you will not be able to drive it on the road until the necessary repairs have been made.

Does the MOT test apply to all cars?

There are some cars that do not require an MOT test. If your vehicle is new or old, it won’t need an annual inspection.

  • The date of manufacture or registration of the vehicle is less than 3 years old. Usually, these are new cars under warranty, so they do not need to be tested
  • A classic car is one that has not been significantly modified since it was built or registered at least 40 years ago.

The Government’s proposed changes to the MOT test and why they are being made

As the living costs in the UK are skyrocketing, the government is working on finding ways to reduce that are inexpensive to implement. If cars and other vehicles no longer need an annual MOT test, motorists could save up to £54.85 per year on a standard vehicle and £29.65 on a motorcycle.

Although annual MOT tests are important to ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and meet

the necessary environmental standards. Running a vehicle can be expensive for motorists so the Government is considering a two-year MOT test for vehicles to save money and protect people from the tough economic times being experienced currently and forecasted. 

What is the reaction from the industry about the proposed changes?

The proposed measures have sparked debate with motoring groups and garages

claiming that the move would jeopardise road safety. 

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said:

“The intent of a MOT is to make sure that vehicles are safe to drive on our roads. Shifting it from once a year to twice a year would result in a growing amount of unsafe vehicles, potentially making our roadways far less safe.”

Stuart James, CEO of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), called the plan “dangerous, unreasonable, and unwanted.”

“It is true that in difficult economic times, motorists drastically reduce servicing their cars. The yearly MOT has managed to keep the UK’s safety on the road at high levels due to the essential safety checks it performs,” he added. Saving money on an MOT every two years is not worth investing in nationwide road safety.

“This proposition also will fail to save car drivers money in the long run because deficiencies will go unobserved for longer, causing more damage to cars and increasing repair costs at best, and unnecessary breakups and car crashes at worst.”

While we respect the government’s desire to reduce the economic burden on families, cutting costs on safety is not really a responsible solution,” TyreSafe’s Stuart Jackson said.

The cost of keeping a vehicle in good working order is insignificant compared to the implications of a fatality caused by an accident that could have been avoided.”

Why is there such criticism about the proposed changes?

Motoring experts have questioned the critical consequences of such a change, fearing that trying to extend the disparity between MOT tests will result in more dangerous vehicles remaining on the road for longer.

In 2021, nearly one-third of automobiles managed to fail their MOT on the first try. According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, 29.5 per cent of Class 4 MOTs (cars and smaller vans) failed on the first attempt. After corrective action, the failure rate dropped to 23.2 per cent.

Eight per cent, or 2,476,415 vehicles, did fail on at least one “dangerous” fault. More vehicles could be left running with potentially dangerous problems if the disparity between tests is stretched and drivers do not start taking responsibility for ensuring their vehicles.

In addition, without this regular checkup, it could be more difficult to identify vehicle safety issues. There may also be an increase in emissions if standards are not regularly checked.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to whether or not the potential savings for motorists outweighs the potential risks of eliminating the MOT test.

Would it save drivers money?

The speculated change is being promoted to relieve financial stress on motorists as the living costs continue to rise.

Swapping to a two-year cycle would save motorists around £27 per year. because they only have to pay the £54.85 test fee every other year

However, some observers believe it will cost them more in the long run because minor issues will be missed and more prone to developing into larger, more costly repairs.


In summary, in the UK today, you are still required to have an MOT test carried out on your vehicle once per year.

The proposed changes to MOT testing may be slightly better for drivers’ wallets it could also have serious implications for road safety. If people only have their cars checked every two years instead of yearly, it’s likely that more minor faults will go undetected – and these often develop into bigger problems down the line if left unchecked.

If you have any concerns about the safety of your car, any warning lights or it is due an MOT, contact AP Autocare today on 0117 963 8916 and we can arrange an appointment on a day and time to suit you. 

Tiptronic Gearbox vs. Automatic Transmission

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

In fact, automatic gearbox sales have increased by 70% in the UK since 2007, whilst manual gearbox sales have steadily declined.

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

What cars use Tiptronic?

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

Is Tiptronic the same as automatic?

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

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

There are key differences between Tiptronic and traditional automatic transmissions.

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

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

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

How Does Tiptronic Transmission Work?

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

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

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

How do you use a Tiptronic Gearbox?

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

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

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

Is Tiptronic better than Auto?

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

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

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


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

About AP Autocare

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

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

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

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

Our Services:

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

Why are new cars so hard to come by right now?

Why new cars have such a long delay from order to purchasing

The global semiconductor shortage is affecting businesses worldwide, and the automotive industry is no exception. Many key components needed to build a new car rely on chips, and with chipmakers struggling to keep up with demand, there are widespread shortages. This has had a major impact on the availability of new cars, with dealers reporting longer lead times for customers who order a vehicle.

In some cases, it can take over 12 months from placing an order to taking delivery of the car and that’s if everything goes according to plan

The importance of Microchips

Because of a shortage of microchips, the huge majority of manufacturers now have to decrease or, in some cases, halt their production lines. Microchips are used in the circuitry of every electronic device, which includes mobile phones, PCs, game consoles, and your car.

The computer chips contain tiny components that help control various functions, such as your car’s entertainment system, assisted parking, etc. Microchips must be manufactured in dedicated factories with tidy conditions where there’s no dust or stationary electricity because they are so small and precise.

What’s causing the delays in new cars?

One of the main reasons is the chip shortage before the pandemic. China was already facing challenges before the Covid-19 hit, with a growing demand for chips and insufficient capacity to meet that demand.

The situation was made worse by the trade war between the US and China during the Trump Administration, which led to a decline in chip exports from China to the US. This, in turn, has resulted in a rise in prices for chips and other components needed to build a new car.

As a result, fewer chips were produced and were used in higher-selling consumer electronics. Because we’ve been driving less since the pandemic, chipmakers have naturally prioritised other products. Remember, microchips must always be produced in specialised factories with clean working conditions free of dust and stationary electricity. And that only happens in China at the moment.

The Pandemic Closed The Worlds Manufacturing

In the first three months of 2022, nearly 100,000 fewer cars were made than in the previous year. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, manufacturing has dropped by nearly a third (SMMT). According to the SMMT, the decline is due to a severe shortage of microchips and high oil prices for manufacturers.

Just 207,347 new cars were made in the UK in the first three months of the year, down from 306,558 in the same three months of 2021, when the global Covid pandemic added additional pressures on manufacturers. Manufacturers have difficulty obtaining the parts they require, particularly semiconductors or microchips, which are broadly used in most if not all modern vehicles.

Every major car factory in Europe shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, and some plants in the UK closed for months as they implemented the new social distancing rules. Britains car sales in 2020 were the lowest since 1992, putting a damper on demand for the fifth of Britain’s vehicles that remain in the home market.

Ultimately, the global COVID pandemic forced chipmakers to reduce production because of lockdown mandates. And, as everyone else is forced to remain indoors, sales of electronic gadgets such as tablet devices have skyrocketed, as we’ve all depended on them to keep us entertained during a very long year indoors.

China shutting down manufacturing again in 2022

The country’s massive car industry has been thrown into chaos by the nation’s latest COVID spike, with strict lockdowns affecting vehicle production in several cities. The country’s worst COVID epidemic in 2 years has compelled authorities to tighten the nation’s zero-Covid policy, resulting in the closure of several large cities and the evacuation of millions of people

Automakers have been forced to shut down manufacturing in places like Shanghai and Jilin province, risking postponed consignments when the global demand for cars is high.

Volkswagen’s (VLKPF) industries in Changchun, Shanghai, and Jilin’s provincial capital have been closed for weeks, according to the company.Lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities are becoming more common, posing a growing economic threat.

“Production in our processing plants in Changchun (since mid-March) and Anting/Shanghai (since April 1) is currently on hiatus due to the current COVID situation,” Volkswagen said in a written response to CNN Business. “At the moment, this is causing a production delay.”

Toyota (TM) has shut down its Changchun factory for nearly a month. Toyota has been halting operational processes at the Changchun factory from March 14 onwards due to travel limitations in Changchun, the effect on sustainability principles, and the desire to ensure the protection of employees and all relevant entities.

According to Reuters, Tesla (TSLA) has ceased operations at its Shanghai production plant since the city decided to impose a lockdown on March 28.

War in Ukraine

Respectively, Russia and Ukraine play critical roles in the automotive value chain and vehicle manufacturing in times of peace. Unfortunately, interruption has been an unavoidable result of the continuing conflict between the two countries. Even if the battle does not reach our shores, the impact will undoubtedly cause a domino effect.

The automotive industry has faced numerous challenges in the last half-decade, particularly in production and manufacturing. Following the semiconductor manufacturing shortage, which is still not fully resolved and the sector is in the initial phases of yet another disruption.

Vehicle values will undoubtedly be impacted as a result of rising fuel costs. Because Russia provides 40% of Europe’s gas, the challenge of disrupting the oil and gas value chain has already attracted a lot of attention. Raw materials, production, sanctions, and logistics are still in flux for the automotive industry.

Global brands are withdrawing from Russia as of right now, united in their opposition to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Reflecting the geopolitical landscape further ramping up, we have decided to instantly halt all our business operations in Russia till further notice, “said a Daimler Truck spokesperson. Mercedes-Benz will suspend passenger car and van exports to Russia and Ukraine.

In Summary

The world’s new car market is in serious trouble which is impacting the availability of used cars in the market as well las the value of used cars increasing due to their demand.

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 if you are looking to change your car as we have a stock of used cars available. Alternately, put a hold on your plan to change your vehicle and book it in for its annual service or check which will keep it running more efficiently and increase its life span.

Class 7 MOTs

What is checked on a Class 7 MOT?

A Class 7 MOT is a testing procedure for large vehicles in the United Kingdom. The test covers both the safety of the vehicle and its emissions.

What is a Class 7 MOT?

A Class 7 MOT is an annual test of large goods vehicles (LGVs) over 3,500kg of maximum authorised mass. The test checks the safety and roadworthiness of the vehicle, and its tyre condition.

The test is carried out by licenced testing stations and must be booked in advance. The test fee for goods vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight) is currently £58.60.

During the test, the qualified examiner will check the condition of the brakes, suspension, steering, bodywork, tyres, wheels, mirrors, seatbelts and lights. They will also check that there are no dangerous defects which could cause injury or death to you or other road users.

If an automobile passes its MOT, you will be given or issued a certificate which will be valid for 12 months from the date of expiry on your current certificate. If your vehicle fails its MOT, then you will be given a list of items which need to be repaired in order for it to pass the next time around. You can still drive your vehicle whilst these repairs are being carried out, but you must have them completed within 28 days SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) your vehicle otherwise you could face being prosecuted by the police. 

You also need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) when you take a vehicle ‘off the road’ and you want to stop taxing and insuring it. Your vehicle is off the road if you do not keep or use it on a public road, for example if it’s in a garage, on a drive or on private land.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for MOT Test

It’s that time again. Your vehicle is due for its annual MOT and you’re dreading it but it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little preparation, you can make sure your car is ready for its MOT and that the whole process goes as smoothly as possible.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your car for its MOT:

1. Make sure all Service Lights are off BEFORE taking your vehicle in for an MOT test – if they’re not, the testing centre won’t be able to carry out an inspection and you’ll have to reschedule. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask a friend or take it to a garage beforehand so they can reset them for you. 

2. Check the tyre tread depth and pressure – both of these things will be checked during the MOT so it’s best to check them yourself beforehand and ensure everything is up to scratch. Tyre tread depth should be at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, while pressure should be checked using a digital gauge (don’t go by the markings on the tyres themselves). Its always better top change your tyres before your MOT rather than wait for them top fail your  vehicle, you replace them and then have to have it retested.

3. Top up your washer fluid levels – part of the visual checks carried out during an MOT includes checking that there’s enough washer fluid in order to clean the windscreen properly, so always make sure it is topped up before taking it in.

How much does a Class 7 MOT cost?

MOT’s are an important part of owning a vehicle. They help to ensure that yours and others vehicle’s are safe to drive and meet all of the required legal requirements. Whilst the cost of an MOT can vary depending on a number of factors, you can typically expect to pay around £58.60 for a Class 7 MOT. This includes both the test itself and if it needs to be retested as long as it is retsetsed within 10 days. You only then need a partial retest on the failure points if is it retested within 10 working days and there’s no fee for this. If there are any major failure points then you will not be allowed to take your vehicle to another garage to be repaired as it is deemed as dangerous to drive and risks you and other road users.

While the price of an MOT may seem like a lot, it is important to remember that it is an essential part of owning a car. An MOT can help to catch potential problems with your vehicle before they become more serious, which could save you money in the long run. It is also worth noting that some reputable garages will offer discounts on MOT’s if you book them alongside other services such as servicing or repairs.

Do I need a Class 7 MOT for my vehicle?

An MOT, or “Ministry of Transport” test, is required for all vehicles in the UK that are more than 3 years old. The test assesses the safety and roadworthiness of a vehicle and is conducted by qualified mechanics at authorised testing centres.

If your vehicle fails its MOT, you will be given a “refusal of issued certificate” notice. This means that your vehicle is not safe to drive on public roads and must be repaired before it can be retested.

There are a few exceptions to the MOT rule, such as vehicles that are exempt from road tax (electric vehicles such as milk floats ) or those that are used solely for off-road purposes (such as agricultural vehicles). You can check whether your vehicle needs an MOT by searching for it on the government’s online database here.

What can I do to make sure my commercial vehicle passes?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your commercial vehicle passes its annual inspection. Firstly, you should always keep up to date with the recommended maintenance for your vehicle. This means regularly changing the oil, checking fluid levels, and inspecting the brakes and tires. By keeping up with regular maintenance, you can avoid larger issues that could mean it fails its inspection and MOT.

Secondly, you could take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic before the inspection. This way, they can check for any issues that need to be fixed and advise you on what needs to be done in order to pass.

Finally, ensure all of your paperwork is in order before taking your vehicle in for the inspection. This includes registration and proof of insurance. Having everything in order will help the process go smoothly and help ensure that you pass your commercial vehicle inspection.

What happens if my vehicle fails the MOT test?

If a vehicle fails its MOT test and the failure points are major faults then it cannot legally be driven on the road until the necessary repairs have been made. Once repairs have been made, the vehicle will need to be retested. See the reasons for failure below and you can read our full MOT FAQ’s here.

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.

Class 7 MOT Conclusion

The MOT Class 7 test checks a large vehicle’s safety, emissions and roadworthiness.

Safety is checked by making sure the vehicle has working brakes, steering, tyres, and lights. The tester will also check for any warning lights on the dashboard.

The emissions test measures the level of harmful gases coming from the car’s exhaust. All cars must meet minimum standards for emissions, although newer cars usually have lower emissions than older ones.

The roadworthiness test looks at various aspects of the vehicle to make sure it meets legal standards. This includes checking the suspension, bodywork, seatbelts, and mirrors.

Book with us today

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 to book your MOT or Class 7 MOT with us or click here to book in one of our services.

Summer & Winter Tyre Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your tyres is important all year round, but it’s even more crucial in the summer and winter months when the weather can be more extreme. In the summer, the hot weather can cause your tyres to degrade faster, while in the winter, the cold weather can make them harder and more prone to cracking.

When tyres are properly maintained, they significantly improve performance and reduce the risk of accidents. If you’re unsure whether your tyres could do with some maintenance, then here are a few tips to help you out.

Maintaining your tyres in the summer

As the warmer weather approaches, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the summer months ahead. One key area to focus on is the tyres, which can be adversely affected by the heat. Here are our top tips for keeping your tyres in good condition during the summer:

Regularly check the tyre pressures

Hot weather can cause your tyres pressure to drop, underinflated tyres not only impact fuel economy but can also overheat, cause serious damage as well as cause accidents. 

Inspect tyres

Inspect your tyres for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or bulges in the sidewalls. If you spot any issues, have them checked repaired or replaced by a professional garage like AP Autocare as soon as possible.

Keep an eye out for sharp objects

Keep an eye out for sharp objects that may have become embedded in your treads; even small stones can cause irreparable damage if left unattended. Ensuring sufficient tread depth is vital for maintaining grip in wet weather conditions; the legal minimum is 1.6mm, but ideally, 3mm should be maintained across the whole tyre surface.

With a little bit of care and attention, you can help to prolong the life of your tyres and stay safe on the roads this summer.

Winter Tyre Maintenance:

It’s important to keep your car in good and safe condition all year round, and this includes paying special attention to your tyres in the winter. Here are a few tips on how to care for your tyres during the colder months:

Tyres should be properly inflated

First, ensure your tyres are properly inflated and check the pressure needed in wither your user manual, or there is normally a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door. Cold weather can cause them to lose air pressure, which can lead to decreased gas mileage and shortened tyre life. You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month, and more frequently if there have been extreme temperature changes.

Watch out for ice and snow buildup

If the weather is extremely cold then watch out for ice and snow build-up on your tyres. This can reduce traction and increase the risk of slipping or skidding while driving. Use a tyre brush or scraper to remove any accumulation before heading out on the road.

Choose pro-winter tyres

Consider using winter-specific tyres if you live in an area where you may experience more snow or colder weather. These tyres are designed to provide better traction and grip in slippery conditions. They may be more expensive than regular tyres, but they could end up saving you money in the long run by reducing the risk of accidents or other damage caused by driving on icy roads.


It’s important to take care of your tyres all year round, but especially in summer and when the weather can be more extreme. By following these tips, you can help prolong the life of your tyres and stay safe on the roads.

AP Autocare Tyre Services

For safety reasons, it is recommended that your tyres are checked by a garage every year and this will form part of your annual MOT. If you are unsure about the condition of your tyres or if you want a tyre inspection  AP Autocare offers this as a service. Checking the condition of your tyres includes them being checked for tread depths, uneven wear, damage to tyres or punctures by one of our experienced tyre technicians. Our service will also check the alignment of your tyres and we will recommend if your vehicle may also need a wheel alignment. Your wheels being unaligned will cause damage and additional wear to your tyres so it is cost-effective to have it checked. 

With the help of our professional, fully qualified technicians we can assess and check your tyres for you and get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible. At AP Autocare we will source the exact tyres you need and match them with your existing ones. The installation of your new tyre or tyres will be included in the price of the new tyre so you won’t have to worry about extra fees.

Good tyre condition and the correct tyre pressure will keep you safer on the roads and could potentially prevent you from more expensive tyre replacements in the future. 

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 to book in for a tyre check or replacement. 

About AP Autocare Services

Our company has been operating for over 40 years and we are known for being highly trusted and reputable as an independent MOT, Repair and Service Centres in Bristol. We are Bristol’s Largest Independent Multi Manufacturer Specialist.

Located within walking distance of Bristol City Center and Temple Meads Train Station, we are the ideal place for your Service, MOT, or Repair if you work in the city centre or in the surrounding areas. As an alternative to being without a car, we provide a courtesy car during your vehicle’s stay with us, or we can arrange a lift to work or home after you’ve dropped off your vehicle, or we can arrange a collection and delivery service.

Besides being friendly and professional, we offer highly competitive rates, with the skills of a main dealership without the associated costs.

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).

AP Autocare Services include:

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

Contact us today on 0117 963 8916 to find out how we can help you.