Everything You Should Know About the Air Conditioning in Your Car

Finally, the good weather is here in the UK. Hopefully, it’s here to stay. With the temperature rising and more sun during the day, it means one thing; you’re going to be using the air con in your car a lot more. But have you noticed that it’s blowing out hot air when you turn it on? Buckle up for a sticky journey.

At Cavendish Motor Company, we know how to get rid of this problem for good. This article is going to give you the low down on everything to do with your vehicle’s air conditioning system.

An Air Con Recharge and Why It’s Necessary

Refrigerant is one of the most important components of your air conditioning system. If you don’t have the right quantity, you’ll get blasted with hot air.

The amount of refrigerant you have can naturally be lost over time due to the rubber hoses which are fixed to the aluminium pipes its constructed from.

It can also happen during spells of inactivity, such as through the winter. If you don’t get your refrigerant replaced, it can lead to malfunction. You really want to run your air con all year round to avoid this.

How Air Conditioning Works

Have you ever wondered how your air conditioning works? Well, we’ll let you know in the steps below.

The compressor transports the refrigerant around the system.

Refrigerant starts as liquid and it boils after passing through the expansion valve and cabin air passes over the evaporator.

During the boiling process, the heat from inside your vehicle is absorbed by the refrigerant. You need the right quantity of refrigerant for this to happen.

Refrigerant is drawn into the compressor where the temperature and pressure rise.

Refrigerant passes through the condenser and ambient air from outside blown over the condenser.

Heat is drawn out of the refrigerant and outside the car.

Your car is sufficiently cooled down!

Is Air Con Checked During an MOT?

Unfortunately, air conditioning won’t be checked when your car is in for its MOT. You’ll also find that it’s not inspected by manufacturers during a service either. You’ll need to arrange a special service for it.

This is something we can help you with at Cavendish Motor Company. It’s best to arrange the A/C system check every 12 months. In addition, a service should be at least every 24 months. This is going to make sure that you can rely on your air conditioning system during the hot months of the year.

Why Has the Air Con Stopped?

Most of the problems that occur with your air conditioning system happen because of low levels of refrigerant. Without the correct quantity in the system the heat cannot be removed from the cabin.

Losing refrigerant can happen naturally or it can happen through a problem with the system. A natural loss of refrigerant is one of the easiest problems to rectify, replacing this and can return your system to full health in many instances.

Re Gas and How Refrigerant is Replaced

A re gas is the process of refilling the refrigerant. It requires a few steps to be followed for the best results. Let’s take a look at how we do it.

Performance test to discover temperature differential between cabin and air outside.

We remove the refrigerant. It’s weighed to see if it’s the right quantity that your car model needed.

Vacuum leak check.

Pressure leak check.

Use of a specialist vacuum pump, removing any moisture present inside the A/C system.

Future leak detection works by added dye.

We add oil if it’s needed.

We weigh in the correct amount of refrigerant.

Final performance check to make sure air con system is now working.

Air Con Re Gas vs Air Con Service

So, you now know what a re gas is. So, what exactly is involved with a service? Well, it’s important to remember that other components have to be maintained too. So, this is how we do it and keep your car fresh and odour free.

Inspect the A/C condenser fan to make sure it’s working.

Clean it out if there’s leaves or debris present. This improves heat exchange.

We inspect the compressor drive belt thoroughly.

We lift up the bonnet and check the safety of the A/C pipes.
We replace the refrigerant receive dryer or the accumulator.

Examine the pollen filter to prevent pollutants.

Use a de bug treatment in the A/C system in case there is a built-up of grime or bacteria.

This air con service should happen every 24 months for effective maintenance. This is also going to lower the costs of repairs later on.

How to Keep your A/C system Running Efficiently

Do you want to know the secret to keep your A/C system free from faults? Well, it’s not that hard.

First of all, it’s important to realise that your air conditioning is not just for the summer. Sure, it’s great for cooling you down. But it can also help to dehumidify the cabin, clear misty windows and keep your compressor running efficiently.

You really want to be using it throughout the winter and all year round to make sure faults don’t develop.

If you discover your air conditioning isn’t working, it’s best to give us a call at Cavendish Motor Company. We know everything there is about air con systems and how to make sure that it runs at its best for you when you are out on the road.

You can arrange a service with today by calling 01670 201090.

What to Do When Your Car Doesn’t Start

We all dread jumping into our car, turning the key, and nothing happening! It’s difficult to think of anything more deflating, especially when you need to be somewhere.

What are your options when it comes to getting moving again? At Cavendish Motor Company our mission is keeping you on the road in a car that you can trust. In a bid to help, have a read of this short article we’ve put together to help you be prepared if you ever find yourself in this position.

There Are a Few Things to Check

Even though your car is a complex feat of engineering there are some checks you can make yourself before you call us at Cavendish Motor Company. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes:

  • The battery is flat or lacking charge. When this is the case either nothing happens or you may find the engine turns over slowly but not enough to spark the motor into action.
  • Automatics tend not to start unless they are in either P ark or N eutral modes.
  • Using an unprogrammed key or the wrong one for your vehicle.
  • The car is filled with the wrong type of fuel.
  • A Malfunction Indicator Lamp being illuminated indicating a fault with the electronics.

To Check The Battery:

  • If the engine cranks properly it’s not the battery that is the problem. If the vehicle’s engine doesn’t crank at all the battery is your best bet for the cause.
  • To be sure, try to operate the wipers. If they move very slowly, it’s a good sign the battery needs recharging.
  • To do this try “Jump Starting” the vehicle. You will need jump leads and another battery, either on another vehicle or a separate slave battery.

How To “Jump Start” Your Car

Generally, you would connect the two batteries with the leads and activate the slave battery. After about 10 minutes the charge between the batteries should have had a chance to equalise, so you can try firing up your vehicle again.

You must follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual because this confirms where the jump leads should be connected. It will also underline and specific procedures that may be needed. In many cases, the connection is not directly to the battery and if you fail to follow the right procedure there is a danger of faults or failure.

When you feel the battery is the cause of your car not starting and you would prefer to call in a professional you are welcome to contact us and we’ll take care of this for you.

Is Your Vehicle Immobilised?

Car anti-theft systems mean every ignition key you have for your car will be fitted with a coded chip known as a transponder.

The transponder’s data is analysed to check whether it is right for that specific vehicle every time you use the key.

If it is the right key, the car’s engine will turn over. If it isn’t then you may see a warning similar to the one shown here.

If you suspect the cause of the car not starting is down to an immobiliser issue check you are using the right key. If it isn’t the same key you usually use then find the original key and get the faulty key checked.

If you identify it is the correct key and you still have a problem try placing the key closer to the reader. Your owners manual will outline the ideal position for the key in such scenarios.

If you are still unsuccessful please contact us as our technicians are trained to solve this kind of problem.

No Dash Lights?

If there are no dash lights, or the wrong lights are illuminating it’s an indication there is a problem with the vehicle’s fuses.

These protect a car’s electrical circuits and each one will likely “blow” if a relevant fault occurs.

The owner’s manual should be the first port of call when you need to understand your car’s fuses.

There could be more than one fuse box and the manual will indicate where to find what you are looking for.

It will also outline how to relate each fuse to the system it protects.

Checking each one individually you can establish which fuse is the culprit and replace it.

If the fuse you replace goes again when the ignition is switched on it’s an indication that the fault needs a professional diagnosis.

If the fuses are fine, check to see if any Malfunction Indicator Light is highlighting another electrical system problem.

Don’t worry if these checks can’t be done. They often require specialist equipment and a trained technician. But at Cavendish Motor Company we have all that is needed to have you back on the road in a trustworthy car as soon as possible.

When To Service Car Brakes?

Brake Safety

At Cavendish Motor Company the goal with all of our customers is to keep them safe in vehicles they can trust. One of our sayings is “However fast you want to go, the vehicle has to be capable of stopping”.

Our worry is that worn brake pads are one of the most common problems we find on vehicles. This is why we have written this blog to let you know what you can look out for and how being vigilant can save you money on your brakes and keep you safe.


Faults with brakes tend to cause brakes to operate less efficiently. This can lead you to experience longer stopping distances, some inadvertent skidding and even brake failure. Ultimately this can lead to accidents, which we want to help you prevent.

Worn pads can also cause unnecessary expense because they too often lead to brake disc damage.


Modern brakes are made up of a complex combination of components, both mechanical and electrical. Most cars in the UK these days have an ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) which involves sensors recording wheel speeds and a computer monitoring and controlling the application of the braking system in emergency situations.

This technology means that most brake faults we find involve brake pads and brake discs. Pads and discs are friction components that are subject to wear and need replacing when required.

Your brakes work by you applying pressure to the brake pedal with your foot. This is then amplified by a brake booster, which in turn causes pressure in the master cylinder that pushes brake fluid to your brake’s caliper.

The caliper’s fluid pressure is applied to a brake piston that moves forward to press your brake pads hard up against your brake discs. This causes friction between the pad and the disc slowing the road wheel and ultimately bringing you to a stop.

Making brakes last longer

Progressive braking is a method that should start slight, increase with pressure and finish light. It is essentially a method of variable braking that you should endeavour to use rather than constant braking.

Used correctly progressive braking can:

  • Prevent the locking of wheels
  • Prevent a vehicle skidding
  • Save you fuel
  • Give other road users time to react to your driving
  • Reduce wear on your brakes and other related mechanical components

Among the things to like about progressive braking is the fact it saves you money!

Monitoring Brake Faults

Even if you’ve been using progressive braking at some point you’ll need a brake repair. It goes without saying that if you’re concerned about your brakes then booking in for an inspection is crucial, after all, better to be safe than sorry.

You should watch out for:

  • Noises like high pitched squealing, grinding or ringing noises when brakes are applied
  • Any vibrations during braking
  • A brake pedal that feels unusually soft or hard
  • Signs that the car’s stopping distance has increased
  • The brake fluid light illuminating
  • The ABS light illuminating
  • The brake-pad-wear light illuminating

When should you replace your brakes?

You should always replace your brakes before it’s too late. Vehicle maintenance should always be about prevention rather than cure, so get your brakes inspected every time the vehicle is serviced or when you are suspicious of any issue.

At Cavendish Motor Company, our technicians inspect your brake pads and discs, and compare the measurements they find with your manufacturer’s specifications to make sure there is sufficient service life. This will enable you to drive safely until the next brake check.

This image shows the difference between new braking components and old ones when they require replacing. It underlines the importance of accurate measurements over a simple visual inspection.

Disc Wear

Along with inspecting your brake pads and discs Cavendish Motor Company’s technicians will test the brake fluid, because this has a service life and can have an effect on braking performance.

When in doubt…

For Cavendish Motor Company it’s all about safety and you being able to drive a car that you can trust.

So if you have any concerns about your brakes or you’d just like to be on the safe side then book in for a quick inspection today.

Call Cavendish Motor Company on 01670 201 090

5 Ways to Get Your Car Up to Speed for Spring

Spring is here and you’ll be as glad as we are that the cold and wet weather is nearly over. The colourful flowers are blooming and the sun is starting to make an appearance again.

While you can leave behind your winter woes, it’s time to clean out your car ready for the year ahead. After all, there’s a big possibility that you’ve let things slip over the winter. Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it.

So, it’s time for a spring clean. Let’s take a look at the ways you can get your car up to speed for spring.

Examine the Wipers and Washer Fluids

During the winter, your windscreen wipers will battle through snow, wind and rain. This means that when it comes to spring, they may no longer be at their best. Of course, everyone knows that spring is famous for showers and it may be time to get them replaced. If you find your glass is streaky and dirty even after you use the wipers, it could be time to have them replaced.

Don’t forget to fill your washer fluid too. There’s a lot of bugs during the spring and it’s easy for them to get stuck to your windshield. To make sure you can clean your glass on the move and always be able to see properly, top up when the spring comes.

A Deep Spring Clean

Has all the salt and dirt from the road over winter made your car look dirty and old? It’s time to get the pressure washer out and start scrubbing away the grime. All of this build-up of dirt can actually be really damaging for the paintwork on your car. Over time, this grime can become corrosive and chip away at your paintwork, as well as cause rust. This is especially true if you leave it on during the spring when the weather gets warmer. So, it’s time for some elbow grease and to clean the exterior of your vehicle.

Swap Your Winter Tyres Over to Regular Ones

It’s always recommended to have winter tyres during the cold and icy weather. The tyres are made to be safe for bad road conditions. But during the spring and summer time, you only need regular tyres again. So, it’s time to swap them over. This is something that doesn’t take long and we’ll happily do this for you at Cavendish Motor Company . When you’ve got your regular tyres back on your car, check the pressure. This may need to be filled up since they’ve not been used in a while. In addition, examine the tread to make sure it’s safe and above the legal limit.

Test the Brakes

If there is one thing you can’t do without on your car it’s your brakes. So, if you notice any problems with your brakes after the winter, be sure to get them fixed straight away. A service will be able to identify any problems before they get worse. Classic signs that there may be something wrong with your brakes include grinding and squeaking noises.

Arrange an Air Conditioning Service

An air conditioning service is going to make sure you enjoy cool and clean air during the spring and summer. After a long winter, it’s common for you to switch on the air conditioning and for there to be a bad smell, dust or even a leak. These are signs that you could benefit from an air conditioning service.

During the winter months, it is recommended that you let your air conditioning run at least once a week. This makes sure it’s still working properly. But if you don’t do this, it’s common for mould and bacteria to develop and create a bad odour when you turn it on again in the spring.

Allergies are also worse during this time of the year and having the pollen filters cleaned out may help to get rid of dust and dirt that is aggravating them. If you find there is a leak coming from your vents, this can be down to a blocked tube on the evaporator.

It’s also important to remember that the lubricant for the air conditioning system should be replaced every two years. This is going to keep the system working at its best for the spring.

All of these problems have one thing in common – they can be repaired during an air conditioning service. A service makes sure everything is working at its best and it can even avoid more expensive repairs later on.

At Cavendish Motor Company our experienced technicians will inspect your air conditioning system, ensure the system cleans, dries and cools the air just when you need it most.

At Cavendish Motor Company we’re here to serve the motorists of Ashington so if you’d like some assistance with any of the above, or you’d like to book your vehicle in for a service or Spring health check then give us a call as we here to help.

Call – 01670 201090

All you need to know about Diesel Particulate Filters

At Cavendish Motor Company we’re keen to ensure you have trouble free motoring in a car you can trust. We receive a fair number of enquiries for DPF faults so thought it’d be a good idea to give you the information you need to keep yours healthy.

What is a DPF?

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) are fitted to modern diesel cars to reduce pollution but if they block up they can cause very expensive problems.

It’s a given that diesel engines produce a lot of soot or particulates. These can cause respiratory problems and increase the risk of heart disease.

Since 2009 diesel cars that come off the production line must be fitted with an exhaust with a  DPF to prevent this soot entering the atmosphere.

The aim according to the Euro legislation is to cut 80% of particle emissions. However, this DPF technology has problems and garages often have to deal with cars that have blocked DPFs.

In order for the car’s performance to be maintained it’s important that its DPF is emptied regularly. The process is called ‘regeneration’ and is normally carried out passively, that is when the exhaust temperature is high enough, which usually requires cars to be driven on smooth running roads like motorways or fast A-roads.

What happens is that the soot is burned off, and only a small ash residue is left. It’s not possible to remove this ash unless the DPF is dismantled and sent for specialist cleaning. But it should not matter as a car fitted with a DPF and used in the correct manner should be OK for much more than 100,000 miles.

Common Causes of Failure?

A lot of cars that are used mainly in towns and don’t, therefore, benefit from being driven on the open road so they can perform passive regeneration are fitted with ‘active’ regeneration systems. These allow the engine to control the regeneration process with software that monitors the DPF becoming blocked when it injects extra fuel to increase the exhaust gasses temperature and trigger the necessary regeneration.

This active regeneration should be initiated every 300 miles or so depending on how the car is driven and takes between 5 and 10 minutes to finish. However, when your journeys are too short the regeneration can’t complete.

In these circumstances you may well detect:

  • The cooling fans will come on
  • A faster engine idling speed
  • The automatic Stop/Start mechanism no longer works
  • Fuel consumption increases
  • There is an acrid smell
  • The engine sounds odd

If this happens don’t ignore any warning light. It may indicate the filter is blocked, so you should complete the active regeneration process by taking the car for a drive of more than 15 minutes at over 40 mph.  You’ll find the specific instructions for your vehicle in the driver’s handbook.

Don’t ignore the DPF warning light and continue to drive in a relatively slow, halting pattern. It will cause a soot build-up that eventually triggers your car’s ‘limp home mode’ in a bid to prevent additional damage.

If this happens you will need to get a garage to carry out a manual filter regeneration. The garage may replace the filter, which can cost over £1,000 plus labour. In the majority of cases, it’s only a  short period between the DPF becoming partially blocked and it needing an emergency manual regeneration.

Why is a DPF required?

To meet European emissions regulations DPFs have to be fitted to modern diesel cars. It is an offence to drive a car that has been modified so it no longer complies with the prescribed emissions standards. Removing a DPF can also invalidate your insurance cover.

Since February 2014 any car that had a DPF fitted during construction will fail its MOT if the DPF has been removed or modified.

How To Avoid A Big Bill?

So… if your DPF light is on and remains lit after you’ve followed the instructions in your handbook for regeneration (driving on a dual carriageway etc), what next?

We’re keen to keep any remedial work to a minimum which is why accurate diagnosis is essential.  There are a number of subsystems that are required for efficient regeneration (glow plugs, additive injectors etc), it’s very common for one of these to have caused the fault.Once we’ve found the root cause we can then assess if cleaning the DPF is suitable.

At Cavendish Motor Company we have a lot of experience in DPF repairs. You’ll be guaranteed a high level of workmanship and great value.

Call today with you DPF faults. We’re here to help.

The Main Reasons Why Your Car Needs Repaired

It’s that time of the year again, the clocks have gone forward, lighter nights are here and we’re all looking forward to getting out on the open road and enjoying what spring has to offer.

At Cavendish Motor Company we’re keen to keep you on the road and free from motoring hassle, which is why we thought it’d be a good idea to let you know the common breakdowns we see, and what you can do to avoid them.

Unfortunately, breakdowns happen with your car no matter what age they are. But the good news is that often breakdowns can be avoided. How? By properly maintaining your vehicle and arranging regular services at your local garage. There are often signs that there are problems with your car before you break down.

Let’s have a look at the top causes of breakdowns and how Cavendish Motors can help.

The Starter Motor

If you’re experiencing problems starting your engine, this could be down to your starter motor. Just as you would expect, this is the part of your vehicle that is responsible for turning the engine over to get it started. In this situation it would be advisable to make an appointment for a diagnostic evaluation to ensure the root cause of the fault is identified. This can be completed by your local garage, and often regular services will pick up on problems like this before they become serious.

A Dead Battery

Are you having trouble starting your car? A dead battery may be the cause of the engine failing to start. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it’s mostly because drivers use the battery more than they should without the engine running. That’s why we always recommend that you carry jump cables with you in your car.

Jump Starting your car

This can help you get the engine running again, but in some cases, you may need your battery replaced by a mechanic. Once you’ve got your vehicle started give Cavendish Motor Company a call to ensure you don’t have an ongoing fault that’ll leave you stranded again.

The Wrong Fuel

There are a few options when it comes to fuel at the petrol station. If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to fill up your car with the wrong one. If this happens and you realise straight away, don’t start your engine. Driving with the wrong fuel can cause damage to your engine. The best course of action is to seek immediate attention from a mechanic to fix the problem. Your system has to be flushed before damage to your engine occurs.

The Tyres

The main reason why people have to replace their tyres prematurely is because they don’t maintain them properly. This includes checking the tyre pressure and inspecting the tread on a regular basis.

The best way you can avoid flat tyres is to book your vehicle in for a vehicle health check. We’ll be able to advise you when you need to replace your tyres as well as spot any other immediate issue that might cause a breakdown.

The Alternator

The alternator in your car has the task of charging your battery. This means that when there’s something wrong with it, it could run your battery flat and you can’t start your engine. One common sign that there’s a problem is dim headlights when the engine is running. If you do notice this, it’s time to head to the garage before you experience a breakdown.

The Engine

An engine overheats more often than you think and it’s going to stop you from driving. If you notice that the temperature gauge is in the red, there could be water pump issues or even a leak causing this overheating. It may be something serious or it could be that you just need more coolant. Either way a skilled technician is what you need.

Water Pump

The Clutch Cables

You use your clutch cables every time you use your gearbox. So, this is pretty often when you’re driving. With all this hard work, the clutch linkage experiences pressure and over time this can lead to wear and tear. If you suddenly notice that your gears are grinding or the clutch feels strange, it’s time for a service.

The Ignition System

Often, your car will misfire because of a faulty ignition coil. This happens over time with wear and tear and means that the ignition spark is not enough to light the mixture in the cylinder to start your engine. A skilled diagnostic technician will be able to identify this problem pretty quickly and maintain your vehicle to avoid breaking down.

The Brakes

You should never drive your car if you’re experiencing problems with the responsiveness of your brakes. The last thing you want is for you and your family to be unsafe driving on the road. Visit an experienced mechanic so that they can inspect your vehicle and find out what is wrong with the brakes. This could be worn brake pads or the brake fluid needs to be changed.

Brake Judder and squeal

Trouble Free Motoring

At Cavendish Motor Company, our aim is to keep you on the road in a car you can trust without breaking down. This is why we have a range of services that offer great value and peace of mind. So whether you need a quick vehicle health check, a service or major overhaul, give us a call as we’re here to help.

Should I Choose Budget or Premium Tyres?

At Cavendish Motor Company our focus is on keeping you safe whilst offering great value. We are asked a lot of motoring questions, a common one of those being “which tyres should I buy for my car?”

The range of tyres that Cavendish Motor Company can offer is extensive so we thought it would be a good idea to let you know our thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not.

If you’re not a car enthusiast then chances are, you won’t know a lot about tyres. Don’t worry, most people don’t and often it’s not something that really matters. But when you do need new tyres for your own car, you’re going to be given a choice on what tyres you want. This is when you will want to know what the difference between budget and premium tyres is.

Expert Help to Choose your tyres

Let’s start by seeing what is meant by budget and premium tyres. Well, you’ve guessed it; budget tyres are the most affordable option. Of course, this means that premium tyres have a higher price tag. But believe it or not, there is a big difference on how these tyres perform and not just the price.

We’re going to break it down and look at the safety, durability and fuel efficiency of budget and premium tyres so that you can learn all about the differences.

Safety – The Difference in Bad Weather

When we talk about safety, a lot of people jump to conclusions and think that budget tyres won’t be safe for the roads. This is not true. They still have to be tested and checked and they’re safe to use around town. But there is a difference when it comes to stopping distance in bad weather.

Wet tyre performance

Premium tyres tend to be made fro m better materials that could allow shorter stopping distances when it’s been raining or snowing. This could be the difference between being involved in a collision or not.

Durability – Driving Long Distances and Different Terrain

The last thing you want is to have to replace your new tyres in a few months. That means you’ll want to choose some that are going to last. So, when it comes to budget and premium tyres, is there one that is going to last longer? The answer is yes and the winner is premium tyres. They are constructed from better materials and compounds, which means they will be more durable out on the road. This means they’ve got a longer lifespan than budget tyres and this could save you money if you drive a lot.

If you only drive short distances around the city, you could still choose budget tyres. You’ll not really notice the difference if you don’t drive a lot of miles. It’ll also mean that they’re more affordable to buy in the first place. So, think about your own driving habits and budget before rushing into making any decisions.

Fuel Efficiency – Save on Gasoline

Save Fuel improved MPG

One of the biggest ongoing expenses for your car is fuel. If you have a vehicle that uses a lot of petrol or you drive long distances, you will want to cut down on this expense as much as possible. So, you’ll be wondering if there is a tyre that is more fuel efficient. Well, the good news is that there is. There are industry experts that say premium tyres are able to be more fuel efficient out on the road. Why? Well, it’s all down to low rolling resistance and the brands invest more money into creating and using special materials to cut down the amount of gasoline you need. So, while you may think that budget tyres are cheaper to buy to start with, they could actually cost you more money over the year when it comes to fuel.

The Winner is Premium Tyres

Taking everything into account, you will see that premium tyres are the winner. When it comes to safety, they definitely beat budget tyres. They could have a shorter stopping distance in wet and snowy weather, which could be the difference between a collision or not. In addition, they’re going to last longer on the road than budget tyres. This could mean that higher price tag actually pays off. They may even save you money at the petrol station too. All of these advantages are exactly what you want if you‘re a driver.

But if you only drive short distances and don’t really need the car during bad weather, then budget tyres can still be a good option for you.

But it’s important to remember that you still have to look after your tyres. It doesn’t matter whether you choose budget or premium tyres, you should always drive responsibility to get the best out of them.

We’re keen to help you make the right tyre choice for your vehicle. So if you’re looking for the right mix of durability, performance and value then give our team at Cavendish Motor Company a call today.

Why it’s not a good idea to drive with a dash light showing

At Cavendish Motor Company we are very keen to keep you on the road in a car you can trust. The Cavendish Motor Company technical team specialise in technical diagnosis so we’ve put together this quick 3 minute read to answer that all important question.

“I’ve got a light on. Can I continue to drive my car or do I need a garage?”

Whilst there are nuances from one model to the next the majority of vehicles have a core set of warning lights. Some of these gently remind us of things to which we need to attend, others are just there to provide us with information, but there are a few that warn of serious issues with which you’ll need to act without delay.

When you start your car the instrument panel will illuminate all the warning lights. This is a check that bulbs and circuits are working. These warning lights then switch off after a few seconds. After that, if any light comes on it’s a warning there is an associated issue.

Car Service Lights and Warnings

When one comes on while the car is being driven, stop in a safe place and as soon as possible. Red and flashing warning lights mean the vehicle needs immediate attention; others allow you to carry on so you can reach a garage so professionals can check for problems.
These are the most important lights to watch out for:

Engine warning light

ECU Light or Emissions Light

You may find that this light is followed by unusual symptoms like a lack of power or the engine making odd noises, but at other times the car may seem fine.
What can cause this warning light to come on can range from a faulty electrical sensor to a more serious mechanical issue. When it comes on, it’s advisable to have a professional look at the car straight away to ensure there’s no danger of further damage.

Brake system light

Anti Lock Brakes Warning

As the brakes are among a car’s most important features this light is crucial. It may just be warning that handbrake is still on, but if may indicate a potentially dangerous problem with the braking system.
If the brake fluid level is low, it needs topping up to the MAX mark. When the fluid level is fine but the light remains on, it’s time to have the garage check for problems straight away.
ABS warning light

An anti-lock braking system (ABS) warning light coming on while driving indicates there may be a problem. Get the system checked even though the majority of cars are still safe to drive without ABS, it isn’t universally the case.

Your braking distances may be affected and you may find it more difficult to avoid any skidding in adverse weather conditions.

Power steering / EPAS warning light

Steering Light

This warning light turns on when something is wrong with a car’s steering system. Often associated with this lamp lighting up is the steering becoming heavy and requiring more effort to manoeuvre. The car needs to be checked as soon as possible.

Oil pressure warning light

Oil Pressure Warning

Oil warning lights flash up when the oil’s temperature is too high, the level or the oil’s pressure is too low. Stop in a safe place and check the oil level.
Because oil crucially lubricates the engine contact a professional when the warning light stays on even when the oil level is fine. Total engine failure can happen if this is left unchecked.

Coolant warning light

Engine Temperature Warning

A car without coolant can overheat and get so hot it effectively welds itself together and lead to complete engine failure. The car should be brought to a stop immediately and if the coolant level is fine, the car needs to be seen by a garage to check for larger problems.

Airbag warning light

This is warning of something faulty with at least one airbag and possible the whole system. This could cause the airbag to fail in a crash, or it could go off unexpectedly, with the potential to cause injury and a repair bill.

Regular car checks and routine maintenance helps reduce the risk of any of a car’s warning lights showing up on the dashboard.

Diagnostic Check

The good news is that at Cavendish Motor Company we have the expertise to keep your car’s complex systems functioning as they should. We guarantee that our skilled technicians will always give you great value and peace of mind when we maintain your car.

Call us today we’re here to help 01670 201 090.

Hit a Pothole? If your vehicle is damaged who pays?

If you drive in and around Ashington then you’ll be as aware as I am that we seem to have our fair share of potholes on our roads. You may have even hit one recently.

Tyre Damage by pothole

Did you know that you may be able to claim compensation if your vehicle is damaged when you drive over a pothole? Take a few minutes to read this weeks article and you’ll not only find out what action you will need to take to ensure your vehicle is OK but if damage has been caused.

The good news is that you may not have to pay for car repairs if the damage is caused by a pothole. This is sure to be a relief for drivers that seem to be surrounded by pothole infested highways.

Flat Tyre

So, let’s find out more about the compensation process and how you can get started if you ever find yourself in this position.

Take Photos and Notes

For any compensation claim, you will need to gather evidence. The best thing you can do after your car is damaged by a pothole is to take a lot of photographs. This is going to be evidence that you need to prove your vehicle was damaged by the pothole and that you deserve compensation from the relevant authority who is in charge of the road. Make sure that you take photographs of your vehicle as soon as possible, showing the damage caused.

You will also need to take photographs of the pothole too. This includes ones that show how deep it is and the size of it. It’s also good to take a few shots proving what road it’s on. This will make sure that the relevant authority knows it’s their road.

Find Out the Repair Cost

Before the relevant authority is going to process a compensation claim, they will need to know the repair costs of your vehicle. At Cavendish Motor Company we can carry out a vehicle health check and see what the repairs are going to be. Take note and keep all the correspondence; this is going to be provided to the relevant authority later on.

Tyre and Alignment Prices

Select the Right Authority to Contact

There is going to be one authority that owns or manages the road that the pothole is on. This will be the organisation that you contact for compensation for the damage your car has sustained. So, to work out what authority you need to contact, think about what road you were driving on. If it was a normal street or road around your hometown or in a city, you will want to contact the local council. Their contact details should be freely available on their website.

If you were driving on a major road or motorway, it’s not going to be the local council that you need. Instead, it’s going to be a national organisation. In England, Highways England is going to be responsible for potholes. In Scotland, you will need to send your compensation claim to Transport Scotland. There is also Traffic Wales and the Department for Infrastructure for Northern Ireland.

Wait for the result

Once you’ve submitted all of your evidence and contacted the relevant authority, it’s time to sit back and wait. Remember there is probably a waiting list and you will have to join it. If things go smoothly, you could receive their findings within a few weeks, but it’s likely to take a couple of months.

Consider the Small Claims Court

In the event that the relevant authority rejects your claim, you can take it one step further. You can present your evidence at the small claims court. You will have to pay legal fees here if you lose and you may have to consider getting legal advice first. While this may be a way for you to receive the compensation that you think that you deserve, it may also cost you more if you lose. So careful consideration is required before taking this route.

Your Safety

At Cavendish Motor Company, our primary focus is to ensure your vehicle is safe and in a roadworthy condition. It’s not uncommon for wheel alignment to be affected after hitting a pothole. Even if your tyre and wheel appear to be undamaged it’ll be worth popping in so that we can check your wheel alignment and carry out a quick health check.

Correct Wheel Alignment Saves Money

This will not only ensure your safety, but check that your tyres will not have their service life reduced by bad alignment.

So if you’re in Ashington give us as a call today to book your appointment on 01670 201 090.

How you can save money with Wheel Alignment

How you can save £100s by checking your wheels are properly aligned.

Cavendish Motor Company have been caring for motorists and their cars in and around Ashington for years. We like to listen to your questions and comments and always offer great value. With this in mind, we decided to share the tips and benefits of having your wheels properly aligned.

Correct Wheel Alignment Saves Money

This is one important part of the regular maintenance schedule for any vehicle that many people overlook.

Better Driving Experience

Among the many beneficial advantages of ensuring the wheels are aligned properly, is that you will find it more satisfying to drive your vehicle. You will also find that the chance of your vehicle pulling to one side or the other is greatly reduced.

Wheels which have come out of alignment work against each other, which results in hard driving. Making sure that the wheels are properly aligned can help reduce any rolling resistance. This means that the vehicle does not have to burn so much fuel in order to be able to travel in a  forward direction.

Save on Fuel

When wheels are properly aligned, you will find that you save money at the pumps as t here is a significant fuel economy benefit associated with correct wheel alignment.

Improve MPG with Wheel Alignment

It has been estimated that those vehicles with bad wheel alignment can suffer a decrease in fuel efficiency by as much as 7%. For a motorist who drives 15,000 miles a year, obtaining an average 51 miles per gallon at £1.15 per litre (£5.27 per gallon), proper wheel alignment adds nearly £110 in annual fuel cost savings.

Save on Tyres

It does not take much for the wheel alignment to fall out of line on a car, however new or old. A clip of a kerb, a pothole, can all have an effect on the alignment of the wheels, which can result in the tyres wearing out faster than they normally should.

Improve Tyre Wear with Alignment

Incorrect alignment can cause a tyre to wear unevenly, not only does this decrease a tyre’s safe driving life, but it can also damage a tyre leading to the need for premature replacement. So by getting the wheel alignment correctly adjusted, you will save money and extend the life of your tyres.

When should wheel alignment be checked?

If and when your tyres start to wear unevenly, you may notice these tell-tale signs.

  • Tread may look variable upon inspection.
  • The car may pull to one side or the other.
  • Your steering wheel may not be straight.

If you notice any of these, it is time to have your vehicle’s wheel alignment checked.

At the Cavendish Motor Company, we use the latest technology and training to ensure that your wheel alignment is correct.

For the short time it takes for our technicians to check the alignment on your vehicle, we can help you achieve a more pleasant driving experience and save you money. What’s not to like about that?

Call today to get your alignment checked 01670 201 090.

Cavendish Motor Company


We have taken the decision to protect our team and their families and plan to re open shortly.

During this time we are answering emails to service@cavendishmotors.co.uk and telephone calls on 01670 523200.

We are providing free advice and guidance to our customers and scheduling in work for when we re-open based on a priority need and key worker status.

If your car is due an MOT shortly the government are extending the current test expiry date by six months automatically on or shortly before your test falls due.

We will contact you when we reopen to arrange to test your car or conduct a health check to keep you safe.

We are also keeping a close eye on government communications and advice and reevaluating our position accordingly.

We look forward to seeing everybody again soon.

Stay Safe Everyone.

Marc, John and the Team.

My MOT is due Now