When it comes to car repairs and replacing tyres we instinctively want to use a local garage that we trust and know won’t charge a small fortune.
Our cars are our lifeline. So when it comes to keeping our families safe on the roads it is vital to ensure that the car and its tyres are kept in top condition.
I met a friend for a play date the other day who was worried about a bulging car tyre. She didn’t know if the tyre was safe to drive on, where to get it changed quickly and for a good price – and worried about the tyre blowing out on the way to the garage.
During times like these, a good local garage is worth its weight in gold. Local centres can make it easy to pop in if you are having tyre trouble, get advice while saving you time and money.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve used my local garage for a quick repair or got advice on a car-related niggle. They have carried out repairs and tyre changes much cheaper than a dealership and in a much faster time too.
Why Tyre Health is Vital
The only contact your car has with the road is through the tyres and the health of your car depends greatly on the health of your tyres.
I spoke to Professional Tyre Dealer, Point S who said that tyre safety is an important part of the car maintenance regime and it’s a good idea to get some expert advice if you are unsure what to look for.
By not regularly checking your tyres, you may never be sure about the tyre pressure, the quality of the tyres may suffer and could be exposed to potential problems in the future.
To keep your car roadworthy and spot any problems early on, here are some tips from Point S to help you on your way:
A tyre driven in from ‘new’ should last a few years. However, they do age more quickly if you drive a lot of miles. The older your tyres get the more likely they will need to be replaced before they become dangerous. Keep your tyres properly inflated as if you drive around with under-inflated tyres they wear down much quicker.
Tread depth helps your car brake more rapidly so they are a crucial part of tyre safety. Check the depth by inserting a twenty pence coin into your tyre tread. If the rim of the coin disappears from view, they are roadworthy. Check the whole circumference as some tyres wear down unevenly.
Wear and Tear
My husband found an old Stanley knife wedged in his tyre which is why it is vital to inspect them for wear and tear. Anything can get lodged in tyres, including screws, nails and glass and this helps them deteriorate quickly. Bald sections of the outer rim need changing, as they won’t brake sufficiently and you will probably skid even if the road is only moderately damp.
Cracked and Bulging Tyres
Cracked and bulging tyres can put them at risk for blow out. Cracks happen usually when they have been exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time. If they reach the side wall, it’s time for the tyre to be replaced. Bulges can signal the end of the rubber composite so head to your local garage for some new tyres.
How I Learnt the Hard Way
If your car has broken down and you’ve arranged a pickup and drop off through your breakdown cover, then ask them to take your car to your preferred local garage to be repaired.
I can’t tell you how important this is.
On one particularly bad experience I broke down in the middle of rush hour. I didn’t have breakdown cover, so a local dealership recommended a vehicle recovery service, who then took me to their preferred garage.
As soon as I got to the garage, I knew it wasn’t right.
I couldn’t put my finger on why, but something about it put me off. They agreed to look at my car, give me a price, fix my car that day and then drop it off at where I worked. Putting my unease down to the embarrassment of causing tailback traffic, I took them up on their offer.
Later that day, the garage returned my repaired car to my place of work as agreed. As I walked into the car park, I witnessed the owner of the garage assault someone from the building where I worked, after he’d asked him to move my car so it didn’t block people in.
It was about to escalate and get pretty nasty, but luckily more people arrived and the men from the garage quickly took my money owed for the work and sped off in their car.
I later found out that the owner of the garage was a wanted man and had been on Crimewatch. I believe the incident led to his subsequent arrest and conviction – so at least some good came out of it!
As for my car, I didn’t get any paperwork or a receipt detailing the work done which made me really worry about the workmanship and the parts used to make the repairs.
The moral of the tale – find a trusted local garage and store their number in your phone. You never know when you might need them.
Why Use a Local Garage and How to Find Good One?
While my bad experience is a pretty extreme one, it goes to show that having a local garage you trust is so important.
For example, if for Dunfermline you want reliable car tyres, you can get on Point S site where they cover a large area and it is easy to look at different variations which you can later book online too – which is pretty handy if you’re on your lunch break and you need to get your tyres fitted pronto!
It can be a challenge finding a good local garage but there are ways to find one in your area. The AA put together a set of guidelines to follow to find a garage that is right for you:
Check your garage is part of any reputable schemes
The AA champions The Institute of the Motoring Industry that accredits professionally trained technicians. The Trading Standards approve Motor Codes which garages join and agree to operate to their set code of standards.
Get an Explanation of the Work
Ask the technicians to explain the problem to you clearly. If a fixed price isn’t possible then ask them to provide a detailed breakdown of the work required.
If your vehicle is under warranty and you take your car to a local garage, check whether original manufacturer parts are used and that the garage can guarantee that your warranty is protected. If your car isn’t under warranty then you may want to check the quality of the parts used.
Check with family, friends and read customer reviews online to give you peace of mind
Check How Long Work Will Take
Ask the garage how long the work will take. Check they provide a courtesy car while your vehicle is being repaired.
I hope these simple tips will help you look after your tyres and find a good local garage to carry out repairs. The health of your tyres and your car go hand-in-hand so make sure you check them once in a while.
This is a sponsored post with Point S