Walk The Bissoe Trail

We really enjoy the company of our customers, but with the new lockdown measures in place, and only one person at any one time allowed in reception, ‘hanging’ around on the forecourt while we work on your car has become the only option while you wait. So, we called our lovely packed lunch monitor, Flower the dog, back in off furlough and sent her off to find something a little more interesting for you to do.

Just across the road from the garage is a handy little path that by-passes the main road and takes you down to the Bissoe trail.

Once you are on the trail you can take a left or right turn, either way makes for a lovely walk but Flower usually turns right because there is the option of cake at the end. The trail is commonly used by cyclists and occasionally horses so just be aware if you take your little people or dogs with you, we fix cars not squished people.

Following along the path you will cross a bridge and then just a few metres further another little path will take you away from the main path and into a wildflower meadow. Once through here, you rejoin the main path and continue toward the ponds/lakes, (Flower is never sure when a pond is big enough to be considered a lake or a lake is small enough to be considered a large pond, any suggestions?).

It’s around about this point that Flower has to exercise patience as the two ponds/lakes are an easy distraction for us humans especially in Spring and Summer. A hive of industry is in full swing with Moorhen and Little Grebe busy going about their Spring & Summer business.

When you can tear yourself away from the activity on the water carry on toward the old arsenic refinery, and while the kids (if you’ve brought them too), play on the big blanket covered mound, you can stand and ponder over why someone has sellotaped a piece of string to the Mineral Tramways plaque.

If you carry on to the end of the path you can turn right at the road for a coffee at the Bike Chain Bissoe, (at the time of writing this the cafe is closed but there is still a lovely coffee van where you can grab a take out), or turn left and grab a pasty from Petes Pasties.

Right I’m off to catch up with Flower, she’s humphed off because she didn’t get Cake this time! See you back at the garage!

How Old Are Your Tyres


How old is too old for a tyre? How do I know how old my tyre is? There is no definitive answer to the first question, and there is no limit on the age a tyre can be considered road legal. However to ensure your tyre remains in a good safe condition, a suggested rule of thumb is, don't let it go beyond 5 years.
In fairness, even the best tyres on the market can fall foul to increasing uneven road surfaces, potholes, one too many close encounters with a kerb and general debris on the road. If you are lucky enough to avoid all this and are replacing your tyres every few years than whoo hoo!! But, even if you think your tyres have got plenty more miles in them yet, knowing how old your tyre actually is will ensure you are keeping a close eye on any potential failures.

Located on your tyre wall is a four digit code, (known as the DOT - an American term that stands for Department of Transport, there you go, a bit of pub trivia for you there). In our example below you will see our DOT is 1718.


This code translates to the week and the year that the tyre was manufactured. So, our tyre was manufactured in the 17th week, (April), 2018. If you don't have a four digit code, for example a three digit code, this means your tyre was manufactured prior to 2000, and we strongly suggest you replace this tyre a.s.a.p, even if you think it's still in good working order.

It's a misconception to think, that by not using your tyres regularly you are promoting longevity. keeping your vintage car in the garage will certainly be protecting the car, laying up your caravan or camper for winter, or just airing the trailer when you finally get around to clearing out the shed or loft, may not be erasing much rubber but it's actually accelerating your tyres ageing process.

Tyres contain antioxiodising chemicals that slow the tyres ageing process. In order for this process to take place, the tyre needs to be in motion. Therefore, if you use your vehicle infrequently or store your tyres you are in fact speeding up the ageing process and increasing the chance of your tyre failing. Keep a close eye on the sidewalls of the tyre, as the tyre ages it will dry out and cracks will begin to show.

If you aren't sure, pop in and see us. We are more than happy to offer a free, no obligation check to ensure you are safe.



Check Your Tyres


The condition of your tyres plays a great part in the overall performance, specifically the handling, and safety of your car. Regularly checking the condition of your tyres is an important part of maintaining your car. Here are a few tips, and suggestions on how to check and maintain your tyres.

How do your tyres look and feel? - run your hand over your tyres, check there is nothing embedded in it. If you do find a nail/screw stuck in there, don't try and remove it. Firstly if you can, check your tyre pressure, (we'll talk about this a bit more, further on), if it's looking low then increase the pressure and bring your car to us as soon as possible. Assuming all else is well with your tyre, we can repair the puncture, with no need for a new tyre. Look for cuts, cracking and bulging in the sidewall of your tyres, these are all signs that your tyres need urgent attention. If you aren't sure, pop in and see us, we are more than happy to offer a free check.


Check your tread - The UK legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm. Running on tyres below this limit not only puts you, your passengers and other road users at risk, but carries a £2500 per tyre fine and three penalty points on your license. You can pick up a tread depth gauge from any good automotive part supplier, (they also turn up regularly in our washing machine). Otherwise a simple check with a 20 pence is equally effective. Place the 20p into the groove of your tyre, if you can still see the outer strip on the 20p, it is most likely your tread is below the legal limit. Most tyre manufacturers, recommend replacing them at 3 mm, due to the reduction of grip efficiency under braking in wet conditions. Once again, if you aren't sure, pop in and we will check them for you for free.


Tyre Pressure - It is recommended that you check you tyre pressures once a month. Tyre pressure is hugely important to the handling of your car. Over or under inflated tyres will dramatically effect the surface grip. This is important for everyone, but particularly important to long distance drivers, commuters and frequent motorway users who often drive at high speeds. Incorrect tyre pressure greatly increases your chance of an accident. The correct tyre pressure or PSI, (Pounds Per Square Inch), for your vehicle can be found in your car manual. If you've lost the manual amongst your mountain of car debris and paperwork, don't worry most manufacturers will have a thoughtfully placed a plaque on your drivers door post, (sometimes on the passenger door), or fuel filler cover. Most petrol stations will have a tyre inflator, with instructions on how to use it. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURES WHEN THEY ARE COLD, this is because when they are warm they expand, but the area inside doesn't change this results in an increase in pressure. If you aren't sure, pop in and we will check your pressures for free.