Motoring Tips

Cheap Fuel Causes Problems In Darlington Vehicles

Cheap fuel causes more vehicles to be recovered by Ringroad rescue Darlington.


The recent cold snap has resulted in many more vehicles entering the workshop for fuel filter related problems, we think a lot of the problems have been caused by cheap fuel being used that hadn’t been mixed with the additives required to prevent freezing at the cold temperatures we have been experiencing lately.


A fuel cleaning treatment & a fuel filter change has resolved many of these vehicles faults & allowed the vehicle owners to get back on their ways, with the advice to alternate between the larger fuel companies petrol stations & the cheaper fuels if they still wish to use the cheaper fuels, to help maintain the additives within the fuel system.


A fuel cleaning treatment every few fuel tank fills will also help clean & maintain a better performing fuel supply system, we can add the same products that we use to customers fuel tanks between services if they wish us too, as some are harmful & can damage the vehicles paintwork if spilled onto them, the professional products we use advise that only qualified persons should use them.

Pot holes, Kerbs & Speed Bumps in Darlington

When driving in & around Darlington in your vehicle please avoid wherever possible hitting pot holes in the road, especially after it has been icy the roads are more prone to new pot holes appearing, hitting a pot hole in your vehicle increases the risk of suspension parts breaking or becoming weak & also contributes towards the tracking on your vehicle being knocked out of alignment which will cause uneven & premature Tyre wear.


The same is also possible if you bounce the vehicle up & down the kerbside where they haven’t been lowered or the step reduced to allow vehicles to drive up them gently, speed bumps are a much more common road hazard now than ever before & obviously are there for a reason to calm traffic speeds in built up residential areas & near to schools, they are designed in such a way as to slow you down & if you do slow down to the correct speed appropriate to driving over the speed bump then no damage will occur to your vehicle, if however you fail to slow down sufficiently then you can be sure to damage or cause premature wear to your vehicle suspension.


Car due it’s annual MOT in Darlington?

If your car is due its annual MOT test within the next 30 days, Click here to read all about that rule.

Then why not give us a call 01325 352625 & get yourself booked into one of our available MOT testing slots, one of the tips we give our customers is to make sure your vehicle isn’t going to come into us and be guaranteed to fail the MOT test!!

What do we mean?

Well if you present your vehicle for MOT test & it has a bulb out or the washer fluid is squirting passing pedestrians rather than your windscreen or your tyres are below the legal limit, then unfortunately we will have no option to fail your vehicle.

A lot of the items that form the annual MOT test can’t be checked by the vehicle owner & rectified prior to the vehicle entering our workshop but the items above are easily checked & can be fixed or changed prior to the test being carried out, Resulting in not needing a retest or having to bring the vehicle back to us on another day.

For more information & some pictures of our MOT equipment follow the link to our MOT page via this link>>>MOT

Manufacturer Vehicle Recalls

From time to time a vehicle manufacturer will identify a common fault on a vehicle which they have manufactured & sold, If this common problem is identified as a safety related fault then the vehicle manufacturer concerned has a duty of care to contact all current vehicle owners of the affected model’s & immediately advise the owners to make an appointment at their local dealer to have the vehicle checked for the identified fault & rectify the problem free of charge via the manufacturer’s warranty programme.

Sometimes a current owner can’t be traced as they have sold the car to a car sales outlet & the original selling dealer has the incorrect records on file & the recall letter is sent to the wrong address, The manufacturer can access D.V.L.A records but again this can result in the car being sold in between the data base being built & the letters being sent out, also if the recall isn’t safety related the manufacturer will often just wait until a vehicle is presented with the know fault at a dealership & will then rectify the problem through the warranty programme.

Ringroad Rescue have found a web site for our customers to use to check if their vehicle has a known recall listed for their make & model check here.

Ringroad Rescue advice on reducing your vehicle’s fuel consumption

There are a few simple changes you can make that can have a significant impact on fuel consumption;


Walk or cycle


Where possible walking or cycling instead of driving will not only save you fuel but has health benefits as well as being Eco-friendly!


Car sharing


As well as saving fuel, car sharing helps to reduce road congestion and is also Eco-friendly.


Route planning


Plan your route before starting your journey, combine shorter journeys and avoid high traffic flow times (where possible!)


Remove excess weight from the vehicle


Carrying unnecessary items in, or on, your vehicle increases the energy required to move it, using more fuel and therefore increasing fuel consumption.


Ensure tyre’s are at the correct pressures


Tyre’s at the correct pressure have a lower rolling resistance and use much less energy / fuel, not to mention being a lot safer.




Reduce your vehicles air resistance by ensuring that cycle racks and roof racks / boxes are only fitted when in use – these items create a lot of turbulence and drag which has significant impact on fuel consumption.


Don`t speed!


Driving in a hurry hurts your fuel consumption, licence (penalty points) & pocket (fines, insurance & fuel costs). Keeping within the appropriate speed limit is not only a legal requirement, but safer for you & other road users and will reduce your fuel consumption.


Look ahead.


Better observation allows you to see up-coming hazards such as slowing / stopped vehicles, enabling you to react early and keep the vehicle`s momentum moving, reducing the need to brake and ultimately making journey times a little quicker as well as being safer & saving fuel.


Smooth Driving


Smooth acceleration & braking will reduce the amount of fuel you use to get to the speed you wish to travel at and does not add any significant time to your journey.


Anticipate changes in traffic – taking your foot off of the accelerator pedal when approaching red traffic lights will reduce the amount of fuel the engine uses (the engines in most modern cars use very little or no fuel when coasting in gear), reduces wear of braking components (which in turn saves money for replacement parts), and you may not be required to stop, therefore reducing the amount of acceleration required to get you back up to speed.


Vehicle servicing


Well serviced vehicles operate more efficiently, require less financial investment in fuel & replacement parts, are much more reliable and hold residual values.


This Article has been put together from notes taken at a speech by


Alan Phillips Eng. Tech, MSOE, MIRTE


Managing Director


Advance Vehicle Auditing Service Ltd

First Snow of the winter season hits Darlington

The first flakes of snow fell on the roads in Darlington & the surrounding areas last night & already Ringroad Rescue have been called out to recover a vehicle involved in a accident due the the slippy road conditions caused by the low temperatures causing ice & snow to remain on the roads when commuters & shoppers headed out on the morning drive today, Increasing braking distances & requiring extra attention to be needed whilst driving.

See our Facebook page for pictures, you may also find it useful to read our earlier article on driving in winter & adverse weather conditions.

Driving in winter & adverse weather conditions

Driving in winter & adverse weather conditions

A helpful driving guide from the team at Ringroad Rescue Darlington to assist our customers.

With the current weather conditions already dominating the national & regional news & with the autumn/winter season only just started, we have already been very busy at Ringroad Rescue recovering cars from the recent flooding in the area, with this in mind we thought it would benefit our current & future customers if we put together some driving tips for the situations you may find yourself in.

As we all know winter driving conditions are very different than in other times of the year. Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness especially in the peak periods on our roads during the daily commute makes winter driving more hazardous. Sometimes conditions can be extreme, with prolonged periods of heavy snow and floods.

Firstly we have put a check list together of items we at Ringroad Rescue would suggest you keep in your vehicle boot ready for use if & when required.

  • Boots
  • De-icing salt 3.5kg
  • Emergency snow shovel
  • High Energy bars (Maybe kept in glove box)
  • High visibility vest
  • Personal keep warm kit, including gloves, hat, warm waterproof winter jacket & a scarf
  • Replacement bulb & fuse kit
  • Snow and ice grips
  • Torch
  • Tow rope
  • Travel blanket

Ensure your fuel tank is kept full just in case you get detoured of your normal route & that your mobile phone battery is always fully charged.

If you think the above is a bit excessive imagine how you would cope if you got trapped in your vehicle over night in a flood or a snow storm, How would you keep warm? What would you eat? How would you let people know where you are.

Heavy Rain

Heavy rain reduces your ability to see & greatly increases the distance required to slow down & stop your vehicle especially if you have a load in your boot or the rear of your van. Remember that you will need around double the normal braking distance. Use windscreen wipers, washers & dipped headlights; drive smoothly & plan your moves in plenty of time to help reduce the risk of your vehicle aquaplaning.


Aquaplaning is caused by driving too fast into surface water this happens when the tyre tread cannot channel away enough water, the tyre’s loose contact with the road & your car will float across the surface of the water. Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing speed in wet conditions. Having the correct tyre pressure & tyre tread depth will maximise your tyre’s ability to maintain their road grip. If this happens, ease off the accelerator & brakes until your speed drops sufficiently for the car tyre’s to make contact with the road again.

Flooded roads

If you find yourself driving into a flood area & water is covering the entire road, then please follow these flood driving tips that we at Ringroad Rescue have put together for you:-

  • Avoid the deepest water – which is usually nearest the kerbside, where possible drive in the middle of the road
  • Be aware of the bow wave from approaching vehicles – wait at the beginning of any flood where another vehicle is already approaching through the flood towards you
  • Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep as water getting into your vehicle electrics could cause it to stall & get you stuck in the middle of the flood
  • If you are not sure of the water’s depth, look for an alternative route
  • If you decide to risk it, drive slowly in first gear keeping the engine speed high to assist in stopping your vehicle from stalling

Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood.


Driving in snow or ice

When you find yourself driving in snowy, icy & slippy conditions please follow these helpful notes provided by Ringroad Rescue:-

  • Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear in front of you, increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners, braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches & lights

If you get stuck in snow:

  • If you get stuck in snow, move your vehicle slowly backwards and forwards out of the rut using the highest gear you can
  • If this doesn’t work, you may have to ask a friendly passerby for a push or get your shovel out of your emergency kit in your boot

If you get caught in a snow drift:

  • Don’t leave your vehicle
  • Call us or the emergency services and let help come to you
  • Don’t run the engine to keep warm


Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions we can find ourselves driving in. When fog occurs any small accident involving one vehicle can quickly escalate with many other vehicles becoming caught up, especially if they are driving too close to one another, Once again we have put together a selection of fog driving tips:-

  • Allow plenty of extra time for your journey
  • Check your car before you set off. Make sure everything is in good working order, especially the lights & wiper blades also ensuring the washer bottle is full & contains an appropriate concentration of specific windscreen cleaning fluid
  • Listen out for announcements & advice to drivers on the local radio station
  • Reduce your speed and keep it down
  • Switch on headlights and fog lamps to assist other road users to see your vehicle
  • If you can see the vehicles in your rear view mirror, the drivers behind can see you – switch off your rear fog lamps to avoid dazzling them
  • Use the demister and windscreen wipers, remember switching on your air conditioning can assist in clearing your vehicle glass quickly
  • Do not speed up to follow the rear lights of the car in front as you will be too close to be able to brake safely if you need to stop
  • In severely thick fog switch off distracting noises and open the window slightly so that you can listen for other traffic, especially at crossroads and junctions
  • Beware of speeding up when visibility improves as in patchy fog you could find yourself ‘driving blind’ again only moments later
  • If you break down, inform the police and get the vehicle off the road as soon as possible. Never park on the road in fog and never leave it without warning lights of some kind if it is on the wrong side of the road


Low Sunshine

Again in autumn/winter and ironically having already discussed all these poor winter weather conditions, low winter suns can also cause difficulties due to the angle of the sun in the sky it will frequently be too low for your visor to help. If blinded by glare:

  • Reduce your speed
  • Reduce the effect of glare by keeping both the inside and outside of your windscreen clean and grease free
  • If you wear sunglasses them off whenever the sun goes in and the sky is no longer too bright to look at. Sunglasses should not be worn in duller weather or at night as they seriously reduce the ability to see

If the Worst Happens

If you get stranded, don’t panic.

Stay with your vehicle and call the Emergency services on your mobile phone, Or obviously call the team at Ringroad Rescue Darlington & we will be out like knights in shining Armour to rescue you & get you back on your way or recovered home safely.

Call Us Now 01325 352625


Client Testimonial

" I have been using Ringroad Rescue for the servicing, repair and MOT of my volkswagen polo for a few years now, the staff are very friendly and professional. They use quality parts and always do a thorough job.
I would recommend them to anyone who wants reassurance that their vehicle is in safe hands."

Mrs Julie Wilcock, Darlington