Diesel Particulate Filter Blocked?

If you have a diesel engine vehicle produced within the last ten years there’s a good chance you have a Diesel Particulate Filter fitted.  In a nutshell these filters stop soot particles leaving the exhaust pipe and doing us and the environment harm.

We all love these things until they go wrong, then we realize how much saving the planet is going to cost us personally! A high percentage of DPF’s can regenerate themselves as the car is driven and without the driver even knowing it’s taking place, but for drivers who generally drive short distances, the regeneration might not be able to take place.

In these instances the first a driver would know about a problem is when a warning light comes on in the dash panel display. At that point the driver should refer to the vehicle manual and follow the instructions to force regeneration. If the regeneration fails for whatever reason the problem will compound with a possible end result of major expense. If the filter becomes totally blocked it may need replacing and that can cost upward of £1000-00!

We have a much cheaper alternative to DPF replacement!

A customer came to us for a second opinion when a VW dealer told her that she would have to buy a new DPF at a cost of £2200-00. They told her that the DPF was blocked beyond regeneration and to a point, they were right. Regenerating a heavily blocked filter can result in a fire due to the high temperatures involved within the system. In this particular case our diagnostic computer warned our technician of possible fire if he proceeded to try and regenerate the filter.

Luckily for our customer we were able to offer an alternative route that after implementing cleared the DPF completely. Total cost to our customer? £250-00 inclusive!

If you have a problem with your DPF or any other problem, you could save money by contacting Tower Garage. Fill in the web enquiry form on the right or call us now on 01628 477766.

If you would like further information about DPF’s, go to this site and read what the AA have to say.
http://www.aa-academy.com . Type DPF in the AA search box.

New Tyres

You need good tyres to drive safely – the state of your tyres can affect the steering, braking, and acceleration of your car. Driving with faulty tyres could also mean a heavy fine and penalty points on your licence!

It’s against the law in the UK to have:

  • Car tyres with tread worn to below 1.6mm
  • A mix of radial and cross ply tyres
  • Over or under-inflated tyres
  • Tyres with cuts, lumps, cracks, bulges or tears
  • The wrong sort of tyre fitted to a vehicle or trailer

You should check the pressure at least every two weeks, and only when the tyres are cold. Even a short trip to the local shops will warm up the tyre and raise the pressure. Look in your handbook for the recommended pressures for your vehicle.

Tower Garage can supply and fit all your tyre needs. Please complete the form to the right for your free quote.

Exhaust Pipes

Your car exhaust system helps to route out the spent exhaust gas from the engine. Along the way the exhaust gasses may be used to drive a turbocharger and will pass through a catalytic converter to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The correct functioning of the exhaust system is very important and has a direct affect on engine performance and power.

A car exhaust system consists of several distinct parts – an exhaust manifold or an exhaust header, a front pipe, a catalyst converter, a main muffler or silencer and a tail pipe with an exhaust tip. Problems can occur at any point along the exhaust system and it is important to be aware of the signs that your exhaust may need attention.

It’s easy to joke about a funny noise coming from under the car, but an innocent-sounding rattle could be the first sign of a loose exhaust system. Failure to get the offending bracket tightened risks damaging the now-loose part of the system.

Of course, the classic “popping” sound should alert you to a hole somewhere. If caught early, this type of corrosion doesn’t have to prove too costly.


The salt and chemicals used to clear roads during winter months can play havoc with exhaust systems as it becomes lodged on the underside of your car and accelerates corrosion.  One of the simplest solutions is to ensure that the underside of your car is thoroughly hosed down after the winter.

Modern car exhaust systems can also contain a number of sensors to help regulate emissions. If they detect anything abnormal it’s common to see a warning light in the instrument display. A quick visit to Tower Garage and we will soon be able to diagnose the problem and make recommendation on repair.

If you suspect any problems with your exhaust system please contact us. Don’t always fear the worse – exhaust problems are often quick and easy to rectify.

Brake Problems

We all know that pushing down on the brake pedal slows a car to a stop but how does this happen? Clearly, our leg power alone is not strong enough to stop something as big as a fast moving car, so something must be happening to take the small movement of our foot to generate enough force to stop it.

Car brake systems work on three main principles:

  • Leverage
  • Hydraulics
  • Friction

If you look under your bonnet you will see a reservoir for the brake fluids. If this drops too low it could mean that you have a leak in the hydraulic system. The basic idea behind any hydraulic system is very simple – a force applied at one point is transmitted to another point using an incompressible fluid. Most brake systems also multiply the hydraulic force using servo units.

You press the pedal (leverage), the hydraulic system transmits and multiplies that force to the braking units on the wheels themselves, and friction takes over! This is where much of the real work of your braking system is done. The discs and drums apply a resisting frictional force to the spinning wheels to slow them down, hopefully bringing the car to a smooth stop.

There are some tell-tale signs that may indicate that you need to get your brakes looked at.

Reduced responsiveness or fading. If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal feels spongy or sinks toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. One tell tale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less slimy texture.

Pulling. If your vehicle “pulls” to one side when you are braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.

Noise from the wheels when you brake. Do you have a high-pitched screeching sound when you apply your brakes? This may well be a sign that the pads are worn and need replacing.

One exception is if your car has been sitting after being exposed to water, such as from rain or from washing it. The moisture can cause a thin layer of rust to develop on the brake units. This is normal. When you first apply the brakes, the pads pressing on the rust-covered rotors may cause a squeal for a few stops until the rust is worn off and then the sound will disappear.

If you have a loud metallic grinding sound it probably means that the pads have been worn down completely, most likely beyond replacement. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal (the disc and the caliper) rubbing together and is a very bad sign! It usually means that the brake units will have to be replaced completely.

Vibration. A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors. The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock (ABS) brakes.


Maintaining your vehicle’s braking system is something that must not be overlooked. As with so much with cars, keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, as well as contributing to everyone’s safety when you are driving.

If you are worried about any aspects of your car’s braking then contact us now for a professional assessment. This is one area that is simply too important to be left to chance!


Air Con Units

In-car air conditioning was once considered something a luxury, but is now a common feature of many cars.

While the servicing of  your air conditioning unit is best left to your garage, it helps if you know a little about how it works and what problems you should be on the look out for.

1. Firstly, it is well to deal with one quite normal “problem” that many people report with their air conditioning units. If you see a puddle of water on the ground after using your air conditioning don’t worry. This is a perfectly normal feature of the system as it is only water dripping from the air conditioning evaporator. The evaporator has a drain tube fitted to allow the condensation from the evaporator to drain away from the vehicle.

Now to some issues that may be a sign of problems.

2. Odd smells coming from the air conditioning may be caused by a build up of bacteria. As your car becomes older, or when the air conditioning system is used infrequently, bacteria, micro-organisms, mold and fungi may start growing, just behind the dash panel on the evaporator causing some very unpleasant odours! Some even claim this can result in headaches and flu like symptom sometimes referred to as “sick car syndrome.” This problem can be solved by using an anti-bacterial treatment that destroys the bacteria growth and leaves your car smelling fresh again.

3. If you car does not feel cold enough, then you may need to recharge your system. The air conditioning system in your is basically a refrigerator in a rather unusual configuration and like many systems of this type it can deteriorate over time. On average most vehicles lose up to 15% of their gas per year.

TOWER GARGE TIP: Running your air conditioning all year round will help maintain the system. If you run the air conditioning in the winter it will help to keep the system well lubricated and leak proof. This is because the refrigerant actually carries the oil that lubricates the system and most importantly the compressor.

4. Strange noises coming from the air conditioning should be looked at immediately. If your air-con system suddenly starts making noises you have not heard before it is very advisable to have a qualified specialist have a look at it. Some noises could be early symptoms of a compressor failure (the compressor is the air conditioning pump).

The compressor is usually the most expensive part on the system ranging from approximately £230 to £600+ and if the bearings in your compressor break down or if the compressor seizes up it also means that other components can become contaminated with metal particles A flush of the system would then be needed as well as replacement of the compressor, the receiver/drier and the expansion valve – all adding to the expense of the operation.

5. Excessive moisture inside the car can usually be fixed easily. Sometimes the drain tube from the evaporator may become blocked or detached allowing the condensation to build up inside the evaporator. If this occurs water will just build up inside your car to a point where there are damp carpets and high humidity. These problems can be solved with low-cost servicing.

6. Many of the issues surrounding your car’s air conditioning unit can be avoided if you have the system serviced regularly. Like so much with cars, an ounce of prevention prevents a pound (or £’s) of cure! The compressor needs oil, or else it will seize up. The filter collects debris and moisture. If the filter becomes blocked, then the performance of the system will deteriorate and it can even quit working entirely. Normally the refrigerant gas in a car air conditioning system has to be recharged completely within four years from the manufacture date, and thereafter every two to three years.

Here at Tower Garage we can completely service and maintain all aspects of your air-con unit, and keep you running as cool as the day it left the manufacturers! Contact us now to arrange for your, no-obligation, air-conditioning assessment.

Warranty Service

Tower Garage can service and maintain all makes and model of car, irrespective of their age. The recent European laws regarding “block exemption” mean that you no longer have to take your car to an expensive franchised dealer for servicing Read Full Article. At Tower Garage, we can service and maintain your car to the very highest standards, and your warranty will not be affected in any way.

Contact us now for your free service quote.

Wheel Balancing

If you’ve ever driven your car and noticed that you get a lot of vibration at certain speeds then the chances are your wheels could need balancing! Very often the car will be fine under the trigger speed and you can often “drive through it” by increasing your speed.

This vibration occurs because one section of the tyre has become heavier than the others. A small imbalance on a front tyre is enough to cause a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel, usually occurring between 50 -70 mph. To balance a wheel, we mount it on a balancing machine which spins the wheel to locate the heavier part. We then compensate for the heavy part by attaching a lead weight on the opposite side. Many people are pleasantly surprised at how smooth their car drives after balancing all four wheels.

Quality tyres tend to hold their balance fairly well and only go out of balance very gradually. If you notice a vibration that wasn’t there the day before, it is possible that one of the balancing weights has fallen off. If you feel the vibration mostly in the steering wheel, the problem is most likely in a front wheel. If the vibration is mostly in the seat, the problem is probably in the rear.


Any undue vibration from your car should always be checked out as soon as possible. Taking action sooner than later can often prevent a simple problem from becoming a very expensive problem!

Tracking, or wheel alignment, is different to wheel balancing. In a nutshell, wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels themselves so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of these adjustments is to maximise tyre life, and ensure that the car tracks straight and true when driving along a level road.

Signs that your car made need its tracking adjusted:

  • Uneven or rapid tyre wear
  • Pulling or drifting away from a straight line
  • Car wanders on a straight and level road
  • Spokes of the steering wheel off to one side while driving on a straight and level road.

If you feel that either your wheel balance or tracking is out please contact us for a quick and simple assessment by completing the contact form on the right.

Warning Lights

The average family car now has greater computing power than the original Apollo spacecraft on the moon landing in 1969! This is of course great until you are driving along and the engine management warning light suddenly illuminates. “Computer says….!”

An illuminated engine warning light means your vehicle has detected a potential fault. The engine computer has logged one or more codes that correspond to the issue and turned on the warning lamp to alert you to the problem.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine the nature of the problem without connecting a diagnostics computer to the vehicle to read the fault codes. Once this has been done, further testing may be required to isolate the fault so the correct parts can be replaced.

Depending on the nature of the fault, your engine may not run as well as it normally does, or it may use more fuel than usual. Either way, there is no alternative but to get this checked out with the correct equipment.

At Tower Garage we use the benchmark in diagnostics equipment, Autologic.

Autologic provides garages with a multi-function diagnostics platform that combines Autologic’s diagnostic software with expert technical support from its vehicle manufacturer trained master technicians. This is as good as taking your car to a main dealer.

Don’t ignore these warning lights! A problem spotted early may save you a lot of expense down the line.

Here are the most common warning lights and their description:


Imagine if every time you came to a physical stop in your car the engine stopped too! That is what would happen if there wasn’t a way of separating the spinning engine from the drive section of the car – that point of separation is your clutch.

Pressing the clutch pedal allows your wheels, gearbox, and clutch plate to stop spinning while your engine and flywheel keep spinning. We all remember those early driving lessons where we discovered the mysteries of “balancing the clutch” and letting it out smoothly so that the car didn’t suddenly develop “kangaroo petrol”.

A faulty clutch can be a real problem. Not only can it leave you stranded, it can also cost a lot of money to replace. That is why it is very important to know how to tell if your clutch is on the way out and take action before it wears out. If your clutch shows any signs of failure, the sooner you act, the better off you will be.

One of the major warning sign that your clutch is on the way out is the “feel” of your clutch pedal. If the pedal seems “squishy”, or if your clutch doesn’t engage until you’ve let the pedal almost all of the way out, then you may have a problem.

You may also be aware of a strong burning smell. If your clutch is going bad, you may smell something akin to burning newspaper. This smell indicates friction from a slipping clutch.

Look for problems when you change gear. If you get any shake or vibration as you engage the clutch it may be a sign that uneven wear is not allowing the clutch to engage smoothly.

At Tower Garage, our experienced team of mechanics, will be able to diagnose any problems with your clutch simply and quickly. If you have any suspicion that your clutch is on the way out contact us now to get it looked at – before you are left stranded on the side of the road!


Neglecting your car servicing schedule is definitely a false economy. The current economic climate has meant many people have had to tighten their belts, but if we skimp on car servicing we could end up paying a lot more for expensive repair work in the future.

Car servicing should be placed as a necessary expense in our household budgets and, as far as is possible, the vehicle’s service schedule should be followed on time.

When you bring your car to Tower Garage for servicing you can be sure it will be well looked after:

  • The engine oil will be changed and the air filter is either cleaned or replaced depending on the car and its requirement.
  • The headlamps, indicator lights, taillights are checked.
  • The brake fluid levels are checked, and in case of power steering the power steering fluid is checked.
  • The emissions are checked and the car,will be tuned to minimise emissions.
  • We also look at the car’s service history and may change parts that are required to be changed after a certain mileage.
  • We will check the suspension and shock absorbers and the brake system.
  • The windshield wipers and fluid in the windshield wiper bottle is topped up.

Our service will not break the bank either, and we will always discuss any big expenses with you before carrying any remedial work out. To enquire about our standard cost for your car please complete the form on the right and we will contact you with our price.

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