Hints & Tips

Our team have compiled tips to help you and your precious cargo drive safe!

We're always here for free advice

One of the key safety features of your vehicle is your seat belt. Since its invention, it has saved millions of people from injury or more severe injury during crashes.

Modern seat-belts are quite complex devices that operate in a fraction of a second to stop you moving forward in a crash. There are also pyrotechnic devices in seat-belts called pre-tensioners that react almost instantly in a major crash to increase tension and hold you in position.

The main checks you can do on your seat-belt is to look for wear on the webbing. If it is looking frayed two things may happen. Firstly it may fail the next WOF, but secondly and more importantly, it may fail in a crash and not give you the protection it should.

If your seat-belt retracts slowly, or super fast, there may be an issue with the mechanism, again risking failure in a crash.

If you would like us to check your seat-belts for you, please call into the workshop. We will assess the belts in your car and if needed give you a quote for replacing them.

If your wiper blades are not effective, your safety is at risk. Wipers are an often neglected, but essential feature of your vehicle. If you cannot see clearly, how can you drive safely?

Did you know that the windscreen wiper was not invented until 1903, nearly 20 years after cars first started being sold to the general public? The technology of wiper blades has changed dramatically over the last 20 years with designers striving to increase working life, reduce noise and retain the blades ability to clean the water from your windscreen.

We will recommend the  best range of wiper blades because they offer superior performance and reliability. They are designed to reduce noise when they are working and to clear your window effectively at all speeds.

If you would like us to check your wipers out to ensure you can see clearly, please call into the workshop when you are passing by.

Batteries are the spark of life in a car, but most only last around five years so keep that in mind if yours is older as it may need replacing soon.

When checking your battery, the terminals should be clean and tightly secured. Check the electrolyte level and top-up with distilled water if needed.

A dead battery is a guaranteed way to ruin your day! Don’t let this happen to you.

Make sure you can see at night. Check both your front and back lights are working correctly (parking in front of a reflective window is a handy way to see if your rear lights are working). Also check your indicators and reversing lights.

Always keep a couple of replacement bulbs in your glove box just in case. If you don’t know which ones you need, please call and ask us. 

Generally, the washer bottle filler cap will be at the front of the engine bay when you open the bonnet. It will take the words ‘Washer Fill’ or a logo that represents the spraying of the windscreen washers.

Do not open any of the lids under your bonnet unless you are 100% sure what you are doing. Some of these bottles lead directly to engine coolant and can burn you if you open them.

If in doubt, please call into the workshop and we will show you the right one and give you a tour around your engine so you can understand a little more about what happens under the bonnet.

Once you have correctly located the Washer Bottle, you need to add the right kind of cleaning fluid. If you have nothing else you can just use plain, pure, clean, cold water. However, you should use a windscreen washing solution that has been diluted correctly with water.

Make sure you can see clearly by topping up regularly. Again if you need help or advice, please call us or call in.

Did you know that your tyres only have the equivalent of a palm print size area touching the road at any one time? That is not a lot of surface to slow the weight of your car.

In an emergency, you need to know that you can rely on your brakes to slow the car and your tyres to retain the grip needed to control your stop.

Winter is a strange time of year; we can have long spells of dry weather, followed by rain and storms. This weather means we need to be more aware of driving conditions than at other times of the year. Being able to stop effectively in an emergency or being able to safely drive around slippery roads is essential.

If you would like to know if your car is safe, please feel free to call into the workshop. We can check your tyres and access your brakes. If you need repairs done, we can also give you a quote for doing the work for you. Winter is a dangerous time on the road. Make sure that you are safe by calling into the workshop for a brake and tyre check.

It’s vital to check your tyre pressure once a month. You can do this easily when you fill up with fuel at a petrol station.

Most air filling machines have a tyre pressure guide on the side of the machine (and it’s free!). Make sure you set the pressure to the correct setting for your tyres. The front tyres may require different settings to the back. Check the inside of your drivers door for the correct level.

Give each tyre a thorough visual check for signs of wear. The tread depth should be no less than that of a match-head. Uneven wear may indicate poor wheel alignment. If you need a second opinion pop in and we will have a look. Don’t forget your spare tyre, so we can check that too!!

It’s cold, it’s raining, you get a flat tyre. You struggle in the rain to jack up the car and discover when you get the spare tyre out, it is flat. GRRRR!!!!

The spare tyre, whether it is a full-size wheel, or a ‘get you home’ yellow beauty aka space saver, is often overlooked by drivers in their regular simple safety checks. The spare tyre sits in its wheel well for months or even years before it is needed, but you still have to check it.

Every month you should check the tyre pressures including the spare tyre, so that it’s ready to assist you if you need it.

While you are checking the tyre, you should also check that your jack and other tyre changing equipment, are in the car. Often these get taken out for various reasons. Also, check you have your mag wheel socket so that you can get the wheels off if needed. As always, if you need help or advice please feel free to come to the workshop and ask. We are happy to give you advice and help you with your concerns.

Have you got a question not answered above? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help. Advice with Arnel Service Centre is always free!

Fully equipped workshop, right in the centre of Hamilton