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Anybody Tired of Tyres Yet?!

Yeah they might not be as exciting as a shiny new exhaust or set of alloys but looking after your tyres could mean that you have the money to spend on the extras!

Having the correct tyre pressure can help to extend the life of your tyre, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency which has got to be a good thing right!

The three main reasons why maintaining the right tyre pressure is important are:

  1. Safety. Tyres that are under inflated can overheat; and over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling on the road.
  2. Economy. Over or under inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Vehicles with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that require more fuel to maintain the same speed.
  3. Environment. Correct tyre pressures help to maintain optimum fuel efficiency. This can equate to lower Co2 emissions coming from your vehicle than those with incorrect tyre pressures and that has to be good for the environment.

Call in to see us for your free tyre check & find out about our great offers on new & part worn tyres.


Brake – ing News!

When you’re driving along with the heaters turned up & the music on it’s easy to forget that you’re in a massive chunk of steel and glass hurtling through space at 60-plus miles per hour.

Brakes may not be the sexiest part of a car, but they’re certainly one of the most crucial. We can help you to identify the subtle warning signs that indicate a need for service. Of course, there are some obvious signs that your brakes need servicing, such as the brake light appearing on your car’s dashboard or the feeling that your vehicle is taking longer to stop than it should. In either case, come see us for some expert advice.  But do you know what the other signs are that could indicate an ailing brake system?

If, after reading this post, you’re still not sure or if something just feels not quite right, call in & see us, our team will be happy to take a look.


Brake Pads

Over time the brake pads will begin to wear thin, which means they’ll become less effective at slowing and stopping your car.

Fortunately, checking the thickness of your brake pads – that squeeze down on the calipers – is a straightforward procedure. All you need to do is look between the spokes of your wheel to spot the metal brake pad inside or remove the wheel for a really good look! When you find it, look around the outer edge where you’ll see the metal caliper. Between the caliper and disc, you’ll see the pad. You’ll have to estimate, but generally, your pads should be at least one-quarter of an inch thick. If they’re any thinner than that, book in for new discs.

Strange Sounds

One of the warning signs that your brakes need servicing can come from a small indicator in your braking system that emits a high-pitched squeal when your pads need replacing. In addition to the squeal from the sensor, you’ll also want to listen for a harsh grinding sound. This means that you’ve gone completely through your brake pads and now, when you apply the brakes, the metal of the calipers is grinding against the metal of your discs. Not only is this an ineffective way to stop your car, chances are good that you’ll also damage your disc, thus turning a relatively easy and inexpensive pad replacement into a more costly disc replacement.


Has your car ever felt like it wants to pull to one side?  If so, this could indicate a problem with the braking system. The cause of this pulling might be a stuck caliper. Because such a scenario would cause friction on one wheel and not the others, your car can pull to the side where the caliper is stuck.

Two other brake-related scenarios that could cause a car to pull would be a collapsed brake hose that would cause your calipers to move unevenly when applying the brakes, or uneven brake pads, which would also apply different amounts of pressure to different wheels.

Pulling, however, doesn’t always indicate a problem with the brakes. The cause could also come from unevenly inflated or worn tires, poor alignment or a problem with your vehicle’s suspension. This is why, if your car begins to pull, bring it in to us so we can check the problem out.


If you’ve ever had to do an emergency stop, then you’ll know the feeling of rapid brake-pedal pulsing that comes from the quick grabs the system applies to the discs to slow the car. However, if your brake pedal pulses in this way under normal braking circumstances, you could have a problem.

Generally, a vibrating brake pedal can indicate warped discs. Their uneven surfaces will thrum against the brake pads, and you’ll feel the feedback through the brake pedal.  Discs usually only warp when they’re under extreme stress for an extended period.  If you haven’t stressed your brakes recently, but you still feel vibration in the pedal, you may have misaligned wheels. In either case, come see us for a diagnosis.

In addition to thrumming, your brake pedal can give you other indications that your car’s braking system might need examining.

A mushy pedal, one that goes practically to the floor before engaging the brakes, could indicate worn pads or a problem with the hydraulic system.  The opposite of a mushy pedal is one that causes the brakes to grab immediately at the slightest touch. This could indicate an unevenly worn discs, dirty brake fluid or contamination of the fluid by moisture.

We hope this mini guide has helped but don’t forget if you’re unsure of anything or would just like us to look over your car for your own piece of mind call us on 0113 277 4712 to make an appointment or call in & see us.


Say Goodbye to the Tax Disc

Say Goodbye to the Tax Disc

From 1st October 2014, the iconic paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on your vehicle’s windscreen.

How this affects you

To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you will still need to get vehicle tax and DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. This applies to all types of vehicles including those that are tax exempt.

Buying a vehicle

From 1 October, when you buy a vehicle, the tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the vehicle.  This means that when you buy one of our great pre-owned cars you will need to tax the vehicle before you can drive it off our forecourt

Selling a vehicle

If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.

For more information see the DVLA website –



Spring Has Sprung


We all get our cars ready for the winter but how many of us get them ready for spring?

After a long winter of wear and tear from snow, salt and potholes, your car needs attention.  Preparing for the spring and making checks now can save you a lot of money in the long run.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) recommends the following 7 easy steps that will protect your car & make it more efficient:

Give your car a spring clean

Salt is corrosive and will cause rusting if left on the bodywork. Give your car a good clean including underneath to get rid of every trace.

Its pollen season

The UK pollen season can be pretty miserable for hay fever sufferers, so replacing your car’s pollen filter annually is a vital investment. Keeping your air-conditioning well maintained will help as well.

Servicing your air-con will also help your car smell better

If it smells stale when you turn the heating on, it could well be a sign that mould is building up in your condenser.

Flies will soon be out in force

Be sure to refill your washer fluid. Habitually washing the windscreen and headlamps when you stop for fuel is also important as windscreen wipers won’t get rid of all the fly debris.

Change your wiper blades

Old wiper blades are not only noisy; they can leave marks on the windscreen, so remember to replace them regularly. Clean them regularly to avoid damaging your windscreen.

Tyres & wheel alignment

After a pot-holed winter, check your wheel and tyre alignment. Misaligned tyres wear out more quickly.

Top up your anti-freeze

Anti-freeze contains corrosion inhibitors so you should keep your car topped up all year round – going without could lead to expensive engine damage.


Don’t forget

Deal with minor problems and repairs as they happen – they can become very expensive if left to build up over time.


Want to save on your motoring?

xmas tree moneyWith Christmas fast approaching we could all do with saving a few pennies. If you drive regularly fuel & repairs will be right up there with your most expensive bills.

We at Playfair thought we try & spread a bit of Christmas cheer by showing you how you can easily save money on your motoring costs.


Fuel is likely to be your biggest bill so let’s start by looking at that, many factors affect your fuel consumption but follow these tips & you’ll be spending a lot less time at the petrol station!

Many petrol stations sell ‘high performance’ fuels yet there’s little or no performance difference for most standard cars. So for an easy saving, don’t fill up with the super fuels unless you drive a sports car.

Think of your accelerator as a money pump – the harder you press, the more cash is turned into fuel. Your brake is a money burner. Press it, and the speed you paid for converts into heat. Try to drive smart & anticipate the road ahead. Change gear slightly earlier than normal as this will also save burning fuel.

De-clutter your car – The lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to accelerate. A roof rack adds massive wind resistance, increasing drag and making the engine work harder.

Don’t need it? Remove it. If you don’t need it turn off – air con, heated screens, blowers all increase fuel consumption so turn them off when you’re not using them.


Maintaining your car properly can also save you a fortune in the long term – after all it’s much cheaper to regularly top your oil up than it is to replace your engine!

Keep your tyres inflated – Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a car meaning you need more fuel, so regularly check the pressures are correct.

Regular servicing – This will maintain the engines efficiency. It will also highlight any little problems so you can nip them in the bid before they turn in to expensive repairs. Don’t forget we offer excellent service packages to help keep the cost of motoring down.

Engine oil – We recommend using good quality engine oil which helps to make your car’s engine last longer and can give better fuel consumption.


Following these simple tips will not only help you save money on your motoring but by reducing your fuel consumption you are also lowering your carbon footprint.