How often should my tyres be checked?

Tyres should be inspected at least once a month and before any long journey. Checks should include checking the air pressure, overall condition and tread depth.

What should I do when checking my tyres?

Tread depths should be checked to ensure they meet the legal minimum regulations. Pressures should be checked in line with the vehicle manufacturers' recommended settings. Take care to increase the pressure if the vehicle is heavily loaded as shown in the car maker’s recommendations. The tyres should also be given a thorough visual inspection to look for any cuts, lumps or bulges. Also look for any objects embedded in the tread which should be removed.

Why is tread depth important?

Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern helps to remove water from between the tyre and the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face longer stopping distances, reduced grip and an increased risk of aquaplaning.

Why is correct tyre pressure important?

To stay safe on the road your car needs to have the correct tyre pressure. If the tyres are under or over inflated then handling and grip will worsen, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable car behaviour. The wheel rim and tyre will be more susceptible to impact damage. Over-inflation results in less comfortable ride, a reduced area of contact with the road giving less grip in the day and accelerated wear on the tread centre.

Where can I find the correct pressure for my tyres?

The vehicle manufacturers' handbook contains this information, as well as it being available inside the fuel filler cap or driver's door sill. Many tyre retailers will also be able to provide this information. Alternatively, car drivers can obtain the correct tyre pressure for their car by visiting your nearest Autometric outlet.

What causes irregular wear?

A. Irregular wear can be caused by a number of factors. Repeated scuffing of tyres against kerbs, misaligned steering, aggressive driving, the over- or under-inflation of the tyre, worn suspension parts, are just some reasons. There are so many variables that there is no one single answer. Tyres should be checked regularly for any signs of wear and replaced accordingly.

How does a battery work?

Your battery does what it does best when it’s sitting idly under your hood. It stores chemical energy when it has nothing else to do, and waits to release it as electricity when you need it. When you put your key into the ignition and turn it to the “ON” position, your battery releases that stored chemical energy as electricity. This is what allows the engine to crank.

Do I need to charge my battery after I jump-start my vehicle?

We recommend fully charging your battery at the first opportunity after its being jump-started.

Will letting my vehicle idle charge my battery?

Idling or frequently making short stop-and-go trips will not recharge the battery effectively.

Should I add water to my battery?

Under normal conditions the battery should not require adding water during its life. Certain circumstances, however, such as a charging system failure or extreme high temperatures for an extended length of time, can cause the electrolyte level to drop. Should these occur, bring it to us and our experts will determine if it needs water.

What kind of preventive maintenance can I do for my battery?

Check your battery every now and then to make sure the battery terminal connections are clean, snug and protected from the elements. Signs of corrosion or leaks could mean that the battery is no longer operating optimally.

What does fitment mean?

This term is used to refer to the physical specifications of the wheel and the availability of the sizes that will fit a vehicle. So, the fitment specifications for a particular wheel and vehicle include the bolt pattern, the offset, the wheel width and the wheel diameter.

What features should I look for when buying wheels?

First and foremost, wheels are purchased for styling the vehicle. You've got to like how they look. Second, decide on the build method and quality. Finish quality is important, so demand a nicely finished wheel.

What does finish mean?

Finish refers to the type of surface treatment a wheel is given. Machined or polished finishes are popular on aluminum wheels.

What are the pros and cons regarding spacers and adapters?

In most cases, using a spacer (of greater than 3mm thickness) or an adapter means you will be using a wheel that was not designed to fit your vehicle. Unless you get the advice of a professional, this can cause trouble. An incorrectly fit wheel almost always leads to excessive wear on suspension parts, poor ride and potential mechanical failure. In the vast majority of applications, we do not recommend the use of these devices.

I just hit something in the road. How do I find out if my wheel is ok?

If you have a vibration or pulling symptom, chances are you may have damaged the wheel. Visit your Autometrix out and let our one of our experts inspect your wheels. He will place each assembly on the balancing machine and check for run-out (a hop or wobble). If you have a damaged wheel, get the unit repaired or replaced immediately to avoid further problems.

My car has recently started making a squeal noise while driving that actually goes away when I apply the brakes. What could be wrong?

Most likely your brake pads are worn sufficiently enough to allow their “wear indicators” or “sensor” to touch the disc brake rotor. When this occurs, the “sensor” emits that high pitch noise designed to warn you that your brakes need immediate attention. Have them checked promptly.

My brakes have started to squeak when I apply the brakes, could there be a problem?

Yes and No. Some brake noise is normal and unavoidable. Demanding driving conditions such as traffic congestion, severe braking, dusty/sandy conditions, abusive braking and even humidity can cause unwanted brake noise. Have your brakes checked to confirm the requirement for repair.

How often should I have my brakes inspected?

Having effective stopping power is an ongoing need. And early detection is the key to maintaining your brakes’ performance. With that in mind, we recommend that you have your brakes inspected on a yearly basis (at the very least), and certainly at the first signs of a brake problem.

What exactly is brake fluid?

Brake fluid is the key to a properly functioning brake system. By pressing on the brake pedal, pressure is created in your brake lines sending brake fluid traveling to each caliper. This then activates your brake pads, which create the friction needed to bring your car to a stop.

What’s a caliper?

Calipers create the pressure needed to activate your brake pads, so they can stop your rotors from spinning. Calipers only function properly with brake fluid.

What does my oil actually do?

Engine oil performs many functions. It stops all the metal surfaces in the engine from grinding together and tearing themselves apart from friction, and it transfers heat away from the combustion cycle.

Does motor oil ever wear out or does it just get dirty?

Yes, motor oil does break down. Oil additives are consumed and combustion byproducts build up in the oil. Changing your motor oil on a consistent basis removes combustion byproducts and replenishes the additives.

Does my vehicle's oil filter need to be changed with every oil change?

We recommend you replace the oil filter with every oil change, as this will eliminate any risk of contaminants trapped in the oil filter (e.g., dirt) from re-entering the new oil.

A quick guide to the different grades of oil.
Fully Synthetic Characteristics
Fuel economy savings
Enhances engine performance and power
Ensures engine is protected from wear and deposit build-up
Ensures good cold starting and quick circulation in freezing temperatures
5W-40 Gets to moving parts of the engine quickly
Semi-synthetic Characteristics
5W-30 Better protection
10W-40 Good protection within the first 10 minutes after starting out
15W-40 Roughly three times better at reducing engine wear
Increased oil change intervals – don’t need to change it quite so often
Mineral Characteristics
10W-40 Basic protection for a variety of engines
15W-40 Oil needs to be changed more often


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