Lots of us haven't been using our cars as much as we did over the last few months and it may be that you've started using your car more regularly again and the brakes or clutch doesn't feel quite right. It’s always a good idea to get your brakes checked by a professional garage when you haven't used your car for a while, or as much as you did to make sure your car is still safe to drive.
Your vehicle’s brakes working and being in good working order are essential for your own and others safety on the roads so it is vitally important to make sure they are working as they should be. In summary, your vehicle’s brakes keep you safe on the road.
Brakes will wear and can become warped and this will decrease their effectiveness when you apply pressure to the brake pedal. In these situations your car can skid or not stop as quickly as you need it to cause an accident where people or other vehicles may get hurt.
When brakes become worn they can quite suddenly stop working and you will put your brake pedal down, it will go straight to the floor and your car won’t stop at all and this is a frightening situation to be in. Brakes failing more often than not end up in an accident so they are a vital part of your vehicle’s safety system.
When you use your brakes the friction of tires against the road is what slows it down and makes your vehicle stop. The brakes stop the wheels from spinning and it's the brake pads and brake discs which create the resistance that is needed for this to happen. Every time your vehicle brakes the discs will wear so these will always need replacing over time.
The MOT inspection of a vehicle’s brakes is extensive and this is why an MOT tells you if your car is safe to drive. Your car will either pass its MOT or fail and you will be told the points it has failed on. If there are areas which have passed but components or parts are worn then your car can still pass but they will be given to you as advisories.
When your vehicle passes its MOT you receive an MOT certificate which lasts for 12 months. The result of your vehicle's MOT is recorded on the central MOT database as either passing or failing, detailing the work that needs to be carried out to make it roadworthy or any advisories. To gain a valid MOT certificate for your vehicle you need to have the repairs completed to bring it up to MOT standards and it will be retested before the certificate for the next 12 months is issued.
Dangerous - Your vehicle has a dangerous fault. The vehicle cannot be driven until the fault has been repaired. You will be given a 'refusal' of an MOT certificate, called a VT30 form
Major - Your vehicle has a major fail. The repair needs to be completed as soon as possible and prior to its MOT expiry date.
Pass - Your vehicle passes and meets the legal roadworthy standard
Your vehicle has passed its MOT but there is a minor issue that you need to keep an eye on and repair if it gets worse. Cars with minor defects will be allowed to pass and the faults will be recorded as advisories so you can get them repaired when you need to.
Your vehicle has passed the MOT; however, it has an issue that needs to be corrected as soon as possible as if you don’t get it fixed it could get much worse and become dangerous.
If you have your vehicle repaired after an MOT failure and it is retested, you should be able to get a partial retest if it is less than ten working days after its initial test and this will be cheaper than paying for a full MOT re-test. If your vehicle has been repaired by the MOT Test Centre garage then the retest often doesn’t cost you anything at all.
If you take your vehicle away from the original MOT Test Centre for repairs then you should return it to the same MOT test centre for the retest to be carried out.
Your vehicle’s braking system will be subject to two detailed inspections during an MOT.
An inspection of the physical brake components in a vehicle A test to determine the vehicle’s brake efficiency
The vehicle will be checked to assess the brake pedal for travel and if there is not enough resistant movement e.g. the brake pedal quickly touches the floor when pressed then the individual braking components are checked for wear. and leakage. This includes the brake servo unit, brake master cylinder, brake pipes and mechanical braking components.
The second test is normally carried out on a rolling road brake testing system. The machine tests the performance of the vehicle’s braking system, and determines if it is safe to drive. The system takes a reading from each wheel and this helps to determine brake efficiency and brake balancing.
Along with your tyres, your brakes are the most safety-critical components of all, and they must work properly to pass the MOT.
Worn Disc Pads, Calipers or Shoes - Brake disc pads, calipers and shoes will wear over time due to use and the lining component will wear when it rubs against the brake disk or brake shoe. When the lining wears it is possible for contact to happen between the metal of the pad and the disk. When this happens the disk becomes scored. A scored disk reduces the braking efficiency on the brake unit. You should regularly have your brake disc pads, calipers and shoes checked by a competent mechanic to ensure they are within their limits and safe and don’t wait for your MOT.
Brake Fluid Leaks -Brake fluid leaks always result in a vehicle failing it's MOT test. Vehicle’s use a hydraulic system to operate the brakes and if brake fluid levels are not where they need to be it can cause severe loss of braking efficiency.
Hand Brake Not Fully Operational - A vehicle’s handbrake has to be able to meet a certain criteria to pass its MOT. The handbrake will be checked for reserve travel (reaching the stops on use). The parking brake lever’s mountings will be checked for security and/or corrosion and electronic system parking brake warning lights illuminating also class as an MOT failure. The handbrake/parking brake must work effectively and hold the car firmly, even on a steep incline to pass its MOT.
Brake Pedal Worn - The brake pedal’s rubber must not be worn to excess as this can be dangerous when trying to stop your vehicle quickly. If the pedal rubber is worn then this will class as an MOT failure.
Uneven Brake Performance - Brake performance (condition and operation) is checked during a vehicle’s MOT using a rolling road brake testing machine. If the vehicle shows signs of uneven braking then this will be investigated further. In summary, if the brakes decelerate the vehicle effectively then they are correctly balanced so the vehicle stops in a straight line. Issues can be a result of brake component wear or an uneven adjustment of the braking system.
ABS (anti-locking braking system) and ESC (electronic stability control) - If a vehicle has an ABS (anti-locking braking system) and ESC (electronic stability control) it is checked during the vehicle’s MOT to ensure it is fully operational and safe.
Malfunction Indicator Lamps - for ABS, ESC, electronic parking brake (EPB) and brake fluid warnings are also tested.
Brake Condition - The relevant brake pipes and cables are assessed and checked during an MOT. Visible metal or flexible brake pipes will be checked for corrosion, condition, fouling or leaks and will class as an MOT failure if they are.
Brake Servo and Master Cylinder - The brake servo and master cylinder are examined during a vehicle’s MOT. The master cylinder and servo unit are checked for leaks with the engine on and the brakes applied and the servo unit is checked to ensure it is operating correctly.
If your MOT passes in any brake area but you are given any advisories then you should get it booked into a garage for the repairs to be made to ensure your car remains safe to drive.
All of these brake components should also be checked at every service you have to ensure your car is safe and that no parts need repairing or replacing.
Your vehicle's clutch system isn’t checked during an MOT so will be checked at its annual service. The clutch is an important part of your vehicle and without it you are unable to change between gears so your vehicle becomes undriveable. As with many of your car's components your clutch will wear over time and need repairing or replacing at some point in its life.
A clutch separates the engine from the wheels, allowing you to change gear and still come to a complete standstill when the vehicle’s engine is still running.
The clutch is made up three main parts:
You will know if there is an issue with your vehicle’s clutch system by:
AP Autocare are Brake and Clutch specialists in the Bristol area.
If your car is in need of replacement brakes or a new clutch then we can help If you are unsure if you have a problem with your brakes or clutch then we can assess both to see what the problem is and how we can ensure it is safe for you to drive.
Our professional and fully qualified technicians will check the condition and carry out a safety report on your brake pads, discs, shoes and drums. Will will also check brake hoses and pipes, hydraulic systems and handbrake mechanisms for defects and we will get your vehicle back on the road promptly.
If your vehicle is a manual geared vehicle you need to keep your clutch in fully working condition to be able to drive it. Your clutch and gearbox is made up of many different parts, including several cables, hydraulic release systems and other mechanisms. Our team of clutch technicians are able to check each component and advise on any necessary repairs.
If your car has a dual mass flywheel, we have the latest of equipment to allow us to fully check the movement in the flywheel and compare to manufacturer recommended tolerances. We will never unnecessarily replace a dual mass flywheel unless it is required.
Our expert technicians can help you with: Clutch and flywheel replacement Dual clutch system replacement Brake safety checks Replacement of Pads and Discs or Shoes, cylinders and drums Replacement of brake system components Correct resetting of warning/service indicators on dash We offer a 12 months parts and labour guarantee
We have trаіnеd аnd сеrtіfіеd mесhаnіcѕ ready to іnѕресt, dіаgnоѕе аnd rераіr аnу sort of brake or clutch рrоblеmѕ уоu might be еxреrіеnсing. Bring your car into us for a ѕіmрlе іnѕресtіоn of your brake or clutch ѕуѕtеm, or fоr аn аnnuаl brаkе or clutch іnѕресtіоn.
Finding a problem, or potential рrоblеm wіth your brake or clutch system еаrlу will often ѕаvе you a great deal of tіmе and mоnеу further down the line. Our tесhnісіаnѕ can find and fix уоur brake or clutch problem аnd gеt you back оn the road safely.
We have been in business for over 40 years. 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.
We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for any Service, MOT, or Repair if you work in the city centre or any of the surrounding areas. We offer a courtesy car if you need a car whilst it’s booked in with us or we can arrange a lift to work or home after you’ve dropped your car off to us, or a collection and delivery service to ensure that being without a car isn’t an inconvenience for you.
Our team is friendly, professional and we offer highly 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:
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 and Tyre Replacement.
If you have a Brake or Clutch warning light coming on, or you notice something not right with your vehicle then please call us on 0117 963 8916 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and will arrange an appointment for you.
Published: Thursday 23rd July 2020