Debunking 8 Common Myths About Car Servicing and MOT


Many car owners hold onto misconceptions about car servicing and MOT. These myths can lead to poor car maintenance, safety risks, and even financial burdens. In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths surrounding car servicing and MOT to help you make informed decisions about your vehicle’s care.

Myth #1: Regular servicing isn’t necessary if my car feels fine
This is a dangerous misconception. Regular car servicing, as recommended by your car manufacturer, is crucial for preventing costly repairs and breakdowns. During a service, qualified technicians inspect your car for potential problems, change essential fluids like engine oil and coolant, and replace worn-out components. This preventive maintenance ensures your car runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely.

Skipping regular servicing can lead to the following:

● Increased engine wear and tear
● Reduced fuel efficiency
● Safety hazards due to worn-out brakes, tires, or lights
● Unexpected and costly repairs

The MOT is not a substitute for regular car servicing. It’s important to have your car serviced regularly, even if it passes its MOT.

Myth #2: Servicing my car at a dealership is the only way to maintain my warranty
While dealerships offer car servicing, it’s not the only option. You can have your car serviced at a reputable independent garage as long as they use manufacturer-approved parts and follow the recommended service schedule. This often proves to be a more affordable option compared to dealerships.

Myth #3: Servicing costs are the same every year

The cost of car servicing varies depending on the type of service, your car model, and the parts that need replacing. Generally, minor services cost less than major ones, and newer cars may require less frequent servicing than older models. However, it’s important to remember that regular servicing can save you money in the long run by preventing expensive repairs.

Myth #4: Servicing must be done at the same mileage or time every year
While sticking to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule is ideal, there’s some flexibility around timing. You can go a few hundred miles or a few weeks over the recommended intervals without invalidating your warranty or causing harm to your car. However, consistently exceeding these intervals can lead to problems.

Myth #5: Servicing is only required once a year
Some car manufacturers recommend servicing every 6 months or 12,000 miles, while others have longer intervals. It’s important to consult your car’s handbook to determine the recommended service schedule for your specific model.

Myth #6: Servicing is just a way for mechanics to make money
While it’s true that mechanics earn a living by servicing cars, the benefits of proper car maintenance far outweigh the cost. Regular servicing ensures your car runs safely and efficiently, preventing potential breakdowns and accidents. It also helps maintain your car’s value, making it easier to sell or trade in later.

Myth #7: A car with a valid MOT has passed a full safety inspection
An MOT test only checks a limited number of safety-critical components, such as brakes, lights, tires, and emissions. It doesn’t guarantee that the rest of your car is in good condition. Regular car servicing, therefore, remains essential for comprehensive car maintenance and safety.

Myth #8: New cars don’t need servicing for the first few years
Even new cars need regular servicing as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This helps ensure optimal performance, fuel efficiency, and long-term reliability. Skipping servicing on a new car can void your warranty and lead to problems down the road.

Understanding the truth behind these myths can help you make informed decisions about your car’s maintenance. By prioritising regular car servicing and MOT checks, you can ensure your car runs safely and efficiently, saving money on potential repairs and breakdowns. Remember, car servicing is an investment in your vehicle’s health and longevity.

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Posted in Mot Services

How To Choose Top Garage for Car Repairs and Servicing in Croydon

Kinghams Car Repairs Croydon mechanic repairing a car in the garage

Choosing the top garage for car repairs and servicing in Croydon is a crucial decision to ensure your vehicle’s reliability and safety. To make an informed choice, consider the following factors – 

Tips To Choosing Garage in Croydon

1. Reputation and Trust

Look for garages in Croydon with a strong reputation for providing quality car repair services and MOT testing. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family to find a trusted name.

2. Specialisation in car repairs

Determine if the garage specialises in certain car makes or types of repairs. A specialist in your type of vehicle or service may offer more expertise and tailored solutions.

3. MOT Services

If you need an MOT test, ensure the garage is an approved MOT centre. Check if they offer MOT and service packages for convenience.

4. Location and Convenience

Consider the garage’s location and its proximity to your home or workplace. A nearby garage can save you time and hassle.

5. Tyre Services

Check if the garage offers tyre services, as this can be convenient for replacing or repairing your car’s tires when needed.

6. Experience and Expertise

     Look for experienced mechanics with the necessary qualifications and certifications to  handle car repairs and servicing effectively.

7. Warranties and Guarantees

Inquire about any warranties or guarantees on the parts and services they provide. A reputable garage stands by their work and parts.

 8. Trustworthiness

Choose a garage that welcomes your questions, provides clear explanations, and offers transparent pricing. Trustworthiness is a key factor.

 9.  Approved by Regulatory Bodies

Look for garages approved by relevant regulatory bodies, such as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) for added peace of mind.

Why Choose Kingham Croydon?

At Kinghams Garage Croydon, we’re your trusted choice for car repairs and servicing in Croydon. Whether you need a car service, MOT inspection, or car repairs in Croydon, our efficient team of skilled technicians and mechanics is here to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. We’re proud to be part of the Good Garage Scheme, offering maintenance and repairs with transparency and competitive pricing. As a trusted MOT centre based in Croydon, we provide annual MOT tests to ensure your car maintains a valid MOT certificate. 

Our independent garage, with years of experience in servicing various car manufacturers, including Land Rover, Audi, Volkswagen, and more. We offer a personalised service, inclusive of diagnostics, engine management, and engine control. We look forward to providing you with cost-effective solutions for all your car’s needs. Visit our website at Kinghams Croydon and call us to get a quote, or learn more about our services. Trust our service centre for a reliable and thorough inspection of your vehicle, with no additional costs.

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Posted in Garage Croydon, Mot Services

What are the Signs to Visit a Fiat Service Centre?

Fiat steering wheel of a Fiat in a Fiat service centre.

Your Fiat needs regular servicing to keep it running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road. Here are some of the signs that you must pay a visit to a premium Fiat service centre.

Indications to Visit an Approved Fiat Service Centre

Check Engine Light Being On

This is the most obvious sign that something is wrong with your car. A variety of problems can cause the check engine light, so it’s important to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. 

Strange Noises

This could indicate a problem with the engine, transmission, or other components. If you hear any strange noises coming from your car, it’s best to have it checked out as soon as possible by an experienced mechanic at a Fiat service centre. 

Minimal Performance

This could be a sign of a number of problems, such as low oil levels, dirty air filters, or a faulty fuel injector. If your car is not accelerating as quickly, getting poor gas mileage, or idling rough, it’s time for a service. 

Leaking Fluids

This is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Leaking fluids can damage your car’s engine, transmission, and other components. If you see any fluids leaking from your car, take it to a mechanic immediately. 

Worn Out Tyres

Worn tires can make it difficult to control your car and increase your risk of an accident. It’s important to have your tires rotated and balanced regularly, and replaced when they are worn out.

Improper Brake Functioning

If your brakes are making noise, pulling to one side, or not stopping your car as well as they used to, it’s time to get the brakes checked at a Fiat service centre.

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to take your Fiat to a qualified mechanic for a service. Following the recommended maintenance schedule can help keep your Fiat running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road.

Additional Tips for Keeping Your Fiat in Good Condition

  •     Change the oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  •     Rotate the tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
  •     Replace the air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
  •     Replace the fuel filter every 30,000 to 35,000 miles.
  •     Inspect the brake pads and rotors every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
  •     Have the car serviced by a qualified mechanic at least once a year.

By following these tips, you can help keep your Fiat running smoothly and safely for many years to come.

Using the Services of the Best Fiat Service Centre in Croydon?

You can take your Fiat to any qualified mechanic for servicing. However, if you want to ensure your car is serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, be sure to take your car to an approved Fiat service centre like Kinghams Croydon.  

We at Kinghams Croydon pride in being a leading Fiat service centre in Croydon. We use genuine Fiat parts, and our technicians are fully trained and experienced in working on Fiat cars. Plus, we offer a wide range of services for Fiat cars, from oil changes and brake repairs to MOT testing. If you are a Fiat owner in Croydon or nearby areas, and face any of the issues discussed above, get in touch with us today or call on 0208 629 1420

Posted in Fiat

How to Get Trusted Car Repair Services in Croydon?

Car repairs Croydon at Kinghams Croydon’s garage

We all have heard horror stories about people getting fleeced by auto repair shops charging thousands of pounds for the simplest of jobs. According to a recent survey, some garages in the UK even charge over £100 per hour, making car repairs at garages a rather expensive and baffling experience for most people.

Even if you are ‘mechanically minded’ and believe you know your way around an engine, you are most likely to struggle with DIY repairs as the increasing complexity of today’s cars makes DIY repairs almost impossible. As a result, car owners are heavily reliant on professional car repair services.

Given the spiralling costs of car repairs, here are a few things you should do to choose a trustworthy, value-for-money Croydon mechanic or garage.

Ask for recommendations

Good recommendations from others can save you many avoidable hassles when looking for experts in car repairs Croydon. Inquire about the experiences they have had with various garages in their locality and which ones according to them stood out in terms of quality of work and customer service. Shortlist the garages for consideration that rank high on both these accounts.

Visit various garages

Visiting different garages to get an idea of their services can be quite helpful too. Do not make the mistake of settling for the very first auto repair shop you visit. Go to various ones and closely observe how their staff members work. Try to gauge how experienced and technically sound they are. Finally, choose the garage that seems the most competent and also suits your budget.

Find a garage that specialises in your car make 

When looking for car repair services, make sure to find an auto repair shop that is equipped to handle your car make and model. For instance, if you own a Mercedes or SEAT, you must look for an auto repair shop specialising in providing proper auto services for your car’s brand. This is because they are likely to have all the up-to-date equipment and well-trained mechanics for fixing your car issues efficiently.

Start small

If you are unsure if a particular garage for car repairs Croydon is right for you, do a trial run by taking your car for minor maintenance, such as tyre rotation or oil replacement. Doing so will give you the chance to see how their staff members treat their customers and how well they handle repairs. If you are satisfied with the quality of their services, pricing, as well as the time taken for smaller jobs, you can trust them with costly and major repairs as well, like car engine repair, brake repair, etc.

Look for fair prices

Call around a few auto repair shops to ask about their hourly rates; however, do keep in mind that not all of them will take the same amount of time to undertake a job. To avoid confusion, make a list of suitable garages and compare their prices for various repair services. Finally, choose the one that does not charge too high or too low, as you should neither pay more for no reason nor have doubts about the quality of their service by paying less.

Be wary of aftermarket warranties

Some garages that offer car repairs try to sell customers an aftermarket warranty when they bring their vehicles in for repairs. Compared to the warranties offered by the manufacturer, these are not as comprehensive and can also be quite expensive. So, before you agree to buy a warranty, carefully go through the fine print to understand what is covered and what is not. 

At Kinghams Car Repairs Croydon, we provide a perfect solution for cars in need of repairs, whether minor or complex. All servicing car repairs Croydon is carried out in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and with our fixed-price approach, you can rest assured that you will get quality repairs at an affordable price. Call us on 0208 629 1420 or send us an enquiry email today!

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​​How Long Do Car Repairs Take?

Kinghams Car Repairs Croydon mechanic repairing a car in the garage

You could be dropping your car off at an auto repair shop after an accident, or because you are planning to sell it and want to get it professionally assessed and repaired before that. No matter the reason, predicting how long the repairs would take exactly is always difficult. 

Every car repair job takes a certain amount of time, which depends on some variables. This includes – whether there is a need for replacement parts or not, if the existing parts can be salvaged, how long it takes to communicate with the insurance agency to get an auto repair estimate, etc. Besides, there are some common guidelines around how long it usually takes to repair different parts of a car that can help you get a rough idea about when to expect your car back after a car repairs Croydon service.

Car bumper repairs

It is usually the bumper that gets damaged first after a collision or a car accident. The decision to either repair or replace the bumper depends on how serious the damage is. If the bumper can be repaired, the repair work may involve;

  • Adding filler to the bumper’s impact site
  • Heating the filler
  • Sanding the excess to smoothen the surface
  • Welding the cracks
  • Repainting the area so the damage isn’t noticeable

Typically, one can expect minor repairs such as bumper repairs to take a day, while bigger car repairs Croydon may need three or more days for restoring the car’s condition. And in case the bumper is heavily damaged, it is better to replace it with a new one. 

Repairing faulty headlight, brake light, or rear light

A faulty headlight or brake light is amongst the simplest car parts to repair, as it takes no more than a few minutes. Mechanics often advertise it as a ‘while-you-wait’ sort of task. Assuming that the mechanic has got the correct lights on hand, and it is only the light that is faulty with no underlying issue in the electrical system, the job in this case should take approximately fifteen minutes. However, if the headlight or brake light has shattered from an impact, it might take more time.

Exhaust repairs

When it comes to exhaust repairs, the amount of time it takes largely depends on how serious the damage is. For example, getting a muffler replaced should not take more than an hour, and the same amount of time is required for repairs concerning the mid-pipe. However, repairs related to the down-pipe are more severe and might take 2-3 hours.

Panel scratch repairs

With small scratches on the car panel, you can expect your car back from the auto repair shop on the same day as the process of repainting can be simple and quick. However, deeper panel scratches have to be filled with primer before the repainting process. The surrounding panels also have to be prepared for the process of painting by removing handles or mirrors. The process may take around 2-3 days.

Panel dent repairs

Small panel dents are easy and quick to repair, with PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) equipment removing them in a day. However, large dents on the car need specialist equipment, & in some cases, the car panels might also have to be replaced. These extensive repairs may take almost two weeks.

Car repairs can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of repair and the complexity of the problem. Check more about how long car repairs take, and find out ways to give you solutions. You can use these time estimates for different car repair services to determine how long car repairs Croydon takes.

At Kinghams Car Repairs Croydon, all repairs are carried out in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Call us on 0208 629 1420 or send an email today to get a free quote.

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How Long Does a Service and MOT Take?

kinghams of croydon servicing & mot

By law, every car that is three years old needs to undergo an annual MOT test to ensure that it is safe on the road and up to date with environmental standards. At Kinghams of Croydon servicing & MOT, we recommend that you take your vehicle for servicing either every 6 months or yearly, depending on your vehicle’s mileage. 

You can always book your MOT at Kinghams of Croydon servicing & MOT within one month of expiry. However, if you’ve never taken your car for a service or MOT test before, you’re probably still wondering, how long does a service and MOT take?

In order to give a clear answer to the aforementioned question, let’s take a look at what exactly a service and MOT test entail first and the difference between the two.

What Happens During an MOT Test?

An MOT test at Kinghams of Croydon Servicing & MOT checks the general health of your vehicle and its parts, ensuring it complies with legal safety and environmental standards. 

Because it’s illegal to drive around the UK with an expired MOT certificate, if you are doing so, your insurance is invalid. MOT certificates expire 12 months after the test. Therefore, you need to make sure you always have an up-to-date MOT certificate.

When you decide to undertake an MOT test at Kinghams of Croydon servicing & MOT, we thoroughly check the following: 

  • All lights are working properly.
  • Steering and suspension is responsive and working efficiently with no signs of damage.
  • Wipers and washer bottle give a clear view of the road.
  • Windscreen for any cracks or chips.
  • Fuel system for any any leaks or damage to the fuel tank and fuel cap. 
  • Wheels and tyres’ condition and tread depth.
  • Brakes are responsive and working efficiently.
  • Bodywork for any corrosion or damage. 

Unlike a service, an MOT test doesn’t cover the engine, clutch or gearbox. 

What Happens During a Service?

When you take your vehicle for a service, especially at Kinghams of Croydon servicing & MOT, our experienced technicians inspect a whole host of parts and systems. This includes oil and oil filter changes, full tyre inspections, brake checks, steering, fluid and coolant levels, exhausts and a wide range of other checks. 

If anything that is not planned for replacement within the service in question requires attention, the service team present should inform you and explain the reasons for replacement as well as the associated costs. 

Even if you feel as though you don’t use the vehicle much, it still needs to be serviced as unfortunately, things rust, wear, and dirt accumulates. The goal behind Kinghams of Croydon Servicing & MOT is to keep your car in optimal condition. 

Servicing is vital as with regular maintenance, you’re able to keep tabs on what’s wearing, what’s still in top condition and which parts you’re going to have to replace soon. Safety should be a priority. 

Another great part of regular servicing is that it vastly improves the resale value of your vehicle because its condition doesn’t need to be assumed with the help of your MOT test results, but rather confirmed by seeing your extensive service history and that you’ve taken good care of your vehicle.

The Difference Between an MOT Test and Service

The key point of difference between an MOT test and a service is the overall aim of the two. An MOT test is an inspection of your vehicle, with the objective of ensuring that key systems meet minimum safety standards in accordance with government regulations. 

Whereas, a car service is far more comprehensive than an MOT and actually designed to maintain the car’s engine, transmission and other core components in peak condition to ensure their longevity rather than merely assess the vehicle. 

In a servicing context, Kinghams of Croydon servicing & MOT technicians dismantle or remove parts, so a proper look of the inner workings of the vehicle can be achieved. 

Overall, services cover your car’s mechanical heath, an MOT doesn’t. Unlike an MOT, services don’t just stop at the safety-critical parts of your car to ensure everybody on the road that you are driving in a safe and functional car.

How Long Do the Two Take?

Now that we’ve covered the comprehensiveness of the two, we can state how long each of them takes. 

MOT tests generally last between 45 minutes to one hour, and full services typically take no longer than 3 hours to complete. A combined service and MOT test should take around two to four hours to complete. Assuming no significant issues are encountered, you should have your car back the same day. 

It should be noted that the length of a service can depend on various factors. This includes the age of the car, the model, the type of service (whether an interim or a full service), the mileage of the vehicle, and if any problems are identified within the service or a previous MOT test. 

Should I Book a Combined Service and MOT Test?

Booking your car service and MOT test at the same time yearly provides more peace of mind, confidence and is more convenient. The chances of you forgetting to do one of them will be eliminated if you just decide to do both at the same time. They can both be completed during the same visit as they only take a couple of hours, saving you another trip to the garage. 

Booking a combined service and MOT is also very cost-effective, as many great garages like Kinghams offer incredible savings. 

Interested in Kinghams of Croydon Servicing & MOT?

You can rest easy knowing that your vehicle is in the safest hands when you choose us. Our highly trained service and MOT technicians are what give us our fantastic award-winning reputation. 

If you are due for an MOT test soon, why not combine it with a service so every aspect of your car can be checked and tweaked to ensure both optimal safety and longevity. Why not book your service and MOT by contacting us today. 

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How often does an Alfa Romeo need Servicing?


Alfa Romeo is a modern-day classic with roots that date back to 1911. Since 1986, this range of automobiles have been part of the Fiat group, and since 2007, it has been part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

Alfa Romeo vehicles come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from saloons to SUV models. These models are; Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Alfa Romeo 4C, Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce, Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and Alfa Romeo Tonale. 

So regardless of the model, routinely incorporating Alfa Romeo servicing in its use is necessary. Because like every other car on the road today, your Alfa Romeo must be properly serviced in order to get the most out of it. 

A regular Alfa Romeo servicing can aid in the detection of potential issues before they become serious. Essential inspections will be performed on crucial vehicle parts during your Alfa Romeo servicing to ensure that these important parts do not fail you when you need them the most.

Many of the parts and systems in your Alfa Romeo are not meant to last forever, and some Alfa Romeo parts may need to be replaced at some point. This is normal especially with wear-and-tear parts of your vehicle like the brakes, clutches, brake pads, windscreen wipers, headlight bulbs etc.

The good news is that Kinghams Croydon has got you covered, as regardless of the model, we offer a full range of Alfa Romeo servicing. We aim to keep your car running smoothly, through our well equipped service team, who have undergone intensive Alfa Romeo servicing training, using the latest diagnostic tools.

Common Faults that Necessitate an Alfa Romeo Servicing

Fuel Leaks

The integrated fuel pressure and temperature sensor in the affected vehicles may have an influence on the fuel supply line due to a manufacturing issue. Fuel leakage could occur as a result, raising the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.

Water Damage

Alfa Romeo owners are often concerned about damage, especially here in the United Kingdom where vehicles are frequently exposed to damp weather. This especially affects Alfa Romeo Spider owners because of the potential damage to their convertible roof. Water entry into the rear of the vehicle, where the roof control unit is housed, is a problem with this model. This frequently results in water damage to the control unit, necessitating costly convertible roof repairs.

Suspension Faults

Your suspension system works hard to make you comfortable while driving by smoothing out bumps along the way and keeping the wheels as close to the ground as possible. However when the suspension system is faulty, you get to experience that the car pulls to one side while driving, you feel every bump, and also experience difficulty while steering.


You do not need to wait for your vehicle to encounter these faults before you consider an Alfa Romeo servicing. We recommend that you bring in your Alfa Romeo for servicing two times a year on an average, or after every 10,000 miles.

Remember, regular maintenance of your vehicle is essential for safety and can give you peace of mind. Do ensure to give us a call today on 02086291420, let us cater to your Alfa Romeo servicing needs.

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Do all Mechanics Work on Subarus?


Subaru automobiles are manufacturers and sellers of SUVs and sedans, which are available in almost 80 countries across the world. These vehicles are made to cater for rougher terrains and longer drives, with a lot of technological advancements inclusive in its operating system.

Subaru has various models such as Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Subaru Crosstrek, Subaru WRX, Subaru Impreza, Subaru RX, Subaru Legacy, Subaru BRZ, and Subaru Ascent. All of these with different designs, workability, and technologies tailored to each.

Now, to answer the question of if all mechanics can work on Subarus is to look at issues common to these vehicles, as well as Subaru servicing options.

Common Issues that Require Subaru Servicing

Leaking Head Gasket 

Some Subaru models suffer severe leaking in their head gasket which can result in leaks inside and outside the engine. The coolant passage also usually develops a problem which also results in a leak. Detecting this leak is possible by simply paying attention to your oil and coolant levels to see the frequency at which they reduce, particularly after your routine Subaru servicing.

Inner Joint Problem

The axle of a Subaru is designed with an inner axle joint and an outer axle joint, which connects the wheels with the transmission. Each joint is filled with oil stored in a rubber boot that works as a lubricant to allow your car to move. The inner joint is also known as the double offset joint, is located near the exhaust system of your Subaru and is prone to cracking and damage. A burning odour emanating from your exhaust system will alert you to an issue with the inner joint boots. This early warning should urge you to do a Subaru servicing for a replacement.

Problems with the Front Suspension

During your Subaru servicing ask that there is an evaluation of the rubber components that make up your front suspension. These parts are prone to wear and tear, especially if you live in a dry region, and will eventually deteriorate and crack. A quick check will tell you whether these components are in good functioning order or need to be replaced.

Bad Air-conditioning Rings

The failure of the vehicle’s air conditioning to function correctly is a regular issue that owners face. On a hot or humid day, you notice that the air being blasted through the vents is warm. This symbol indicates that the o-ring seals in your Subaru’s air-conditioning system are worn out and should be replaced. During your Subaru servicing, determining the cause of the leak or leaks in the air-conditioning system helps in the repair of the worn-out o-ring.

So, do all mechanics work on Subarus?

Just like every other car, Subarus gets faulty from time to time and would require servicing. But going to just any mechanic for your Subaru servicing is not an option, as you should be certain that the mechanic has in-depth knowledge in the area of Subaru servicing. You need to be sure that you as the Subaru owner gain proper understanding of what the fault is, as well as all it entails before the mechanic commences.

That is why you should consider Kinghams Croydon as your mechanic. We specialise in Subaru servicing, so get in contact with us now to see how we can help you. Call us today on 0208 629 1420.

Posted in Subaru

What are anti-lock brakes?


We’re all taught the importance of how to break in icy or wet conditions on the road, but what if you no longer had to learn? The days of pumping your break until your car stops to prevent skidding are over! Anti-lock brakes are here to save the day, making driving safer than ever!


If you’ve recently bought a new car or have just learned to drive, the chances are that you’ve heard of the anti-lock braking system. The question is, do you know how it works? 


In this blog, we will discuss what anti-lock brakes are, how anti-lock brakes work, when they take effect and what the warning light on your car means.


If you’re looking for car maintenance or repairs, get in touch with Kinghams Croydon today.


What does an anti-lock brake system mean?


The anti-lock brake system is designed to keep you safe in wet or icy conditions by stopping your car when you brake sharply. If you are travelling at speed and take a sharp break without ABS, your wheels could stop, resulting in the car losing traction and the driver unable to steer properly. ABS makes this danger less likely to occur.


How does the anti-lock brake system work? 


Anti-lock brake systems work by being able to detect how quickly each wheel is rotating and the rate of acceleration and deceleration. Some cars use an electronic stability control in order to do this, yet an anti-lock braking system can be done without this element.


The antilock braking system will activate when the wheels are about to lock by sensing how harshly the driver brakes. The antilock braking system will then rapidly reduce and increase the braking pressure multiple times per second applying the correct amount of pressure for the force in which you are braking the car. 


This system allows the car to slow down, yet keep the wheels moving which gives the driver more control when steering and makes it less likely that the car will skid to a halt.


There are four different components to an anti-lock brake system:


  • Speed sensors – These detect and tell the system that there is a problem with the braking.
  • Valves – If the pressure in the brake line is too high, the valves will relieve some of the pressure for a safer drive.
  • Pump – If a valve releases pressure in the brake line, the pump will then increase the pressure again. This process will repeat, creating the same pumping motion that you would if your car didn’t have an anti-lock braking system.
  • Controller – This is a computer in the car which monitors the speed sensors to control the valves.


When do anti-lock braking systems work? 


Anti lock braking systems will only activate when the user brakes harshly. For example, if the driver completed an emergency stop. If you learned to drive in a modern car, when producing the emergency stop, you may have felt the car judder, this is the anti-lock braking system taking effect.


In what circumstances does the anti-lock braking system take effect?

The anti-lock braking system is most effective on dry and solid road surfaces to ensure that the driver has maximum control over the car, whilst maintaining control over the vehicle. The system has the ability to be able to increase overall stopping distances as it repeats the same braking method during small intervals. In slippery conditions, the braking system will work less effectively, although it will still be able to work, just not as well. 


What does the anti-lock braking system warning light mean? 


The braking system warning light will come on due to an array of different problems with the system. You can check in your car handbook to look at the specific light which is on and what it means to get a more accurate description. If the ABS light comes on, it means that the system is not working properly and needs to be fixed. This may also affect other systems in your car such as traction control and stability control. It’s worth noting that if your ABS light comes on, your car will fail its MOT. Don’t worry, it’s usually safe to drive if your ABS light does come on, but its best to get your car checked out as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you hear any strange noises coming from the wheels it could be unsafe to drive. 

Thank you for reading our blog ‘What are anti-lock brakes’. If you need to get your car repaired, get in touch with Kinghams Croydon today.

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How long do brake pads last

brake pads last

Making sure that your brake pads are not worn is a vital part of making sure your car is safe to drive. When you drive with worn brake pads, you may find that you are pushing on the brake harder and more often to slow or stop the car. Hard braking resulting from worn brake pads can wear down your tyres more quickly or entail unbalanced, uneven tyre wear. If you need a professional to replace your brake pads, we specialize in Alfa Romeo, VW, Audi, SEAT and Mercedes

How long do brake pads last?

How long do brake pads last usually? – On average, brake pads should last around 40,000 and 50,000 miles.

When you look after your brake pads, how long do brake pads last?– A brake pads life expectancy can differ depending on driving conditions and types of brake pads. 

What worsens your brake pads? 

Where you drive– When you drive in built up areas like city streets, it is likely that your brake pads will wear out more easily because you are stopping and starting, thus using your brake pads more often. On the other hand, during a journey on the motorway you will not stop and start as much, meaning your brake pads will have a longer life span. If you live in a city, it is likely that you will have to get your brake pads replaced more often. 

The weight of your car– It is likely that your brake pads will wear down faster if your vehicle carries more weight. This is due to the fact that when a car is lighter, there is less brake effort required to slow or stop the car. An example of this is if you have a 5 seater car with it’s full capacity of people your brakes would wear more quickly.

Type of brake pads– There are many different types of brake pads that are available which have different advantages and disadvantages. Organic brake pads are the least expensive however they have a shorter lifespan. Low metallic brake pads can be noisy but have a longer lifespan than organic brake pads. Semi metallic or sintered brake pads have a long life span and a quick braking performance however they may wear your brake discs down quicker than other brake pads. Ceramic brake pads tend to be considered the best as they can be more resistant to temperature changes and last the longest, however they are the most expensive. 

How many miles you cover– The more miles you cover, the more you will brake and the faster your brake pads will wear out. 

How to check brake pads 

Recognising the symptoms– If you listen to your brakes when you’re stopping your vehicle you can usually tell if your brake pads are wearing out. Squeelers installed on your brake pads will let out a high pitched sound to tell you when you need to get your brake pads replaced. You can also feel when your brakes are worn using your foot on the pedal to tell when your car is not coming to an immediate stop. If your car doesn’t come to an immediate stop, it suggests that your brake pads are at the end of their life expectancy. 

Get your brake pads checked by a professional– Some older cars and rear brake systems may have brake shoes instead of pads. There are also multiple different ways of checking brake pads that require tools and time, so it’s best to get your brake pads checked by a professional. 

When is the right time to replace my brake pads? 

If you’re researching ‘how long do brake pads last’ the chances are that you’ve already spotted a problem with your car. If you spot that there’s anything wrong with your brake pads, you should never ignore it. Not only will it take longer for you to stop, it will also mean that you damage the brake rotors and calipers. 

How to make brake pads last longer? 

  • Give yourself plenty of following distance from the car in front of you so that you have more time to slowly stop. 
  • Remove any unnecessary weight from your vehicle
  • Don’t rush to stop. If you see an amber light, don’t speed up to try and get through it, slow down. 
  • Flush your brakes every two years 
  • Keep to the speed limit. Stopping and starting from a high speed makes your brakes wear more easily. 

Thank you for reading our blog ‘How long do break pads last’. If you need your brakes pads replacing or feel that something is wrong with your car but you don’t know what it is, we can help. Get in touch with our specialists at Kinghams of Croydon.

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