Local Garage Looking After Local Vehicles

Ringroad Rescue Darlington are proud to have been recovering, servicing, repairing & MOT testing the cars, vans, motor homes & light commercial vehicles of the local residents & businesses in & around Darlington for the past 30+ years.

We are very proud of the strong loyal returning customer base that we have built up over these many years, over the years the vehicles that we work on & look after have changed a great deal with more & more electronics & computer controlled systems built into them, yet with constant investment in the Ringroad Rescue garage & our recovery vehicles & tooling we are still able to look after our customers new & older cars alike.

Ringroad Rescue Darlington Servicing & MOT

Ringroad Rescue Darlington Servicing & MOT for all makes & models.

We are able to offer servicing, repairs & MOT test`s for all makes & models of cars, vans, motor homes & light commercial vehicles, without any restrictions on age or value.

At Ringroad Rescue we always use parts of equivalent matching or better quality to the relevant parts available from your vehicles manufacturer, this enables us to carry out any servicing or repairs on your vehicle regardless of the age of your vehicle from day one that it is registered until the day it goes to the big car scrap yard in the sky.

A full blog post on the rules that relate to servicing of vehicles under manufacturers warranty can be found by clicking 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

Brake Fluid Change Darlington.

Most automotive professionals agree that glycol-based brake fluid, (DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5.1) should be flushed, or changed, every 1–2 years. Many manufacturers also require periodic fluid changes to ensure reliability and safety. Once installed, moisture diffuses into the fluid through brake hoses and rubber seals and, eventually, the fluid will have to be replaced when the water content becomes too high. Electronic testers and test strips are commercially available to measure moisture content, however moisture test strips were taken off the market because they absorb moisture in the air before they can be used. The corrosion inhibitors also degrade over time. Degraded inhibitors cause corrosion in the braking system. Taken from Wikipedia.

Ringroad Rescue Darlington test all vehicles over two years in age for the boiling point of brake fluid using the latest electronic brake fluid testing equipment & will always advise customers to change the full braking system fluid when the test indicates it is necessary, Failure to change the brake fluid in the braking system will reduce the braking efficiency of the vehicle & also cause the braking system to start rusting from the inside which in turn we have found causes premature failure of brake calipers due to the sliders inside the calipers being impeded from moving freely due to rusting occurring on the normally shiny precision smoothed surfaces of the brake caliper components, This then stops the brake calipers sliding freely back away from the brake discs & hold the brake pads against the disc whilst driving, resulting in faster brake pad & disc wear & increasing fuel consumption.

Timing Belt Change Darlington.

Timing Belt Change at Ringroad Rescue Darlington

As with all parts on modern & also older vehicles the timing belts must be replaced at the manufacturer’s recommended distance and/or time periods. Failure to replace the belt can result in complete breakdown or catastrophic engine failure.

Please see the following article taken from for a detailed explanation of a timing belt.

A timing belt, or cam belt (informal usage), is a part of an internal combustion engine that controls the timing of the engine’s valves. Some engines, such as the flat-4 Volkswagen air-cooled engine, and the straight-6 Toyota F engine use timing gears. First seen in the 1954 Devin, which won the SCCA National Championship in 1956 (see May 1957 Sports Cars Illustrated article by O C Rich), timing belts replaced the older style timing chains that were common until the 1970s and 1980s (although in the last decade there has been re-emergence of chain use for many car-makers). Some manufacturers, such as BMW[1] and Mercedes-Benz[2], are known for utilizing timing chains, because of their durability.

In the internal combustion engine application, the timing belt/chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), which in turn controls the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. A four-stroke engine requires that the valves open and close once every other revolution of the crankshaft. The timing belt/chain does this. It has teeth to turn the camshaft(s) synchronised with the crankshaft, and is specifically designed for a particular engine. In some engine designs, the timing belt may also be used to drive other engine components such as the water pump and oil pump.

While chains and gears may be more durable, rubber composite belts are quieter in their operation (in most modern engines the noise difference is negligible), are less expensive and more efficient, by dint of being lighter, when compared with a gear or chain system. Also, timing belts do not require lubrication, which is essential with a timing chain or gears. A timing belt is a specific application of a synchronous belt used to transmit rotational power synchronously.

Timing belts are typically covered by metal or polymer timing belt covers which require removal for inspection or replacement. Engine manufacturers recommend replacement at specific intervals.[4] The manufacturer may also recommend the replacement of other parts, such as the water pump, when the timing belt is replaced because the additional cost to replace the water pump is negligible compared to the cost of accessing the timing belt. In an interference engine, or one whose valves extend into the path of the piston, failure of the timing belt (or timing chain) invariably results in costly and, in some cases, irreparable engine damage, as some valves will be held open when they should not be and thus will be struck by the pistons. End of Wikipedia article.

These valves came out of a Toyota Rav 4 that Ringroad Rescue Darlington got called out to recover from the lake district, It’s the 1st time we have seen valves bent like this they normally snap the heads of when they come into contact with the top of the pistons.


Most commonly now when a vehicle requires a timing belt change a full timing belt kit is purchased & changed on the vehicle as it has been recognized that when a timing belt fails it is more likely to be down to a tensioner or roller failure causing the belt to lock up or jump from the correct position, rather than a belt just snapping due to age & deterioration although if the belt is not changed at the prescribed interval then the risk of snapping will be greatly increased due to material deterioration.

All vehicles that enter the workshops at Ringroad Rescue Darlington are routinely checked to ensure that the timing belt change interval has not been exceed or that it is due at that current time.


Beating franchise dealers on price

Beating franchise dealers on price.

What do you get extra from a main dealer for your money?

You get a posh looking showroom with nice shiny cars & gleaming tiled floor’s, a telephone receptionist that’s sole job is to take phone calls & direct them to the correct member of staff, a service department receptionist to greet you when you take your vehicle into the dealership for servicing, take down your contact details & then phone you to tell you what extra work needs doing & then take your money off you when you come back to collect your car.

At the back end where the nuts & bolts are they have a workshop foreman to control which technician will work on your vehicle, then you have the technician that will work on your vehicle but which one will it be? The time served master technician that has worked on cars for the relevant franchise for the past 10-20 years, or the trainee technician that has just left school & is still learning his trade?

And then you need to count in the service managers salary & car that needs to be paid for, that is there to make sure the full service department do the job properly!!


What do you get from Ringroad Rescue Darlington for your money?

A personally owned & ran business by a husband & wife team with over 30+ years motor trade experience, each constantly hands on within the business on a day to day basis from taking bookings, completing relevant paperwork, driving the recovery wagon’s, personally working on customers vehicles & taking payments for work completed.

The three other staff that form the Ringroad Rescue Darlington team are time served & trained in all modern day servicing & repair procedures & have worked at Ringroad Rescue Darlington between 6-25 years, as a regular customer you will meet all the staff & speak to the technician that has been working on your vehicle.

Still think that the extra money charged by the franchised dealer is worth it? For the extra’s it pays for!

Or would you rather pay less & get more with Ringroad Rescue Darlington? It’s your choice obviously.



Regular servicing will help reduce your motoring costs.

With the current economy continuing to cause ever increasing financial hardship on a large number of UK households anyway of reducing costs are greatly welcomed, current motoring costs are also increasing & as many vehicle owners rely on their vehicles to transport them on their daily commute too & from work, a fuel efficient vehicle is required.

It has long been acknowledged that regular servicing of motor vehicles will assist in the reduction of long term running cost’s & help increase fuel consumption by keeping the engine at optimum operating efficiency & performance.

Regular servicing is an important and essential part of maintaining your vehicle which will provide trouble free motoring. The vast majority of  vehicles require servicing annually regardless of age or mileage.

At Ringroad Rescue we will always recommend carrying out servicing to your vehicle to the manufacturers servicing schedule to preserve any remaining manufacturers warranty on the vehicle & to ensure the relevant items to be replaced are done so at the correct interval to maintain optimum performance of the parts.

If you are a high mileage driver, then you may need to visit Ringroad Rescue a little more often, as your filters will be working harder & may need replacing earlier than expected.


Cutting motorists costs how new rules help

Many motorists with vehicles under manufacturers warranty are
under the misguided impression that any servicing, maintenance
or repairs must be carried out by the authorised dealer
otherwise their warranty is invalidated.

They are still unaware that, since June 2010, European
competition rules which cover agreements between vehicle
manufacturers and their authorised dealers, repairers and
spare parts distributors, have confirmed important rights
which help the motorist.

Under the rules, car manufacturers will no longer be able to
make the warranty conditional on having the car serviced, or
even simple things like oil changes, done in the dealers

The introduction of these rules means that motorists can shop
around for the most competitive price and convenient location
for servicing their cars.

Servicing and maintenance are calculated to represent around
40% of vehicle running costs over the whole life of the car.

Motorists using their Right to Choose have found that there
are more competitive prices available from Independent garages
and workshops. This has helped go some way to offset the
overall increase of motoring costs such as fuel and insurance.

Unsurprisingly, dealers choose not to tell car owners that
their warranty is still intact wherever they choose to have
their cars serviced*, but the RIGHT TO CHOOSE campaign aims
to put that right.

Article Notes

Important Notes

• In order to retain the vehicle warranty it is essential that the car manufacturer’s
service schedule is adhered to and that full records of the vehicle’s service history are
retained. In addition, details of any parts fitted or consumables, such as oil or coolant,
should be retained in order to refute any allegation by a dealer that the warranty has
been invalidated.

• The rules referred to above are the European Regulation 461/2010 (Motor Vehicle
Block Exemption). Regulation 461/2010 has been introduced, along with a set of
Supplementary Guidelines on Vertical Restraints in Agreements for the Sale and
Repair of Motor Vehicles and for the Distribution of Spare Parts for Motor Vehicles
(the ‘Supplementary Guidelines’). The new Regulation contains a list of hardcore
restrictions applicable to the motor vehicle aftermarket – repair, maintenance and the
sale of spare parts – which came into force on 1 June 2010. It also extends the
application of the provisions of Regulation 1400/2002 relating to distribution
agreements and concerted practices of new motor vehicles until June 2013. After that
date, the exemption of such contracts will be regulated by the general regime for
vertical agreements, the newly adopted Regulation 330/2010.

• One of the sponsor organisations, the Independent Automotive Aftermarket
Federation (IAAF), has successfully challenged hundreds of cases where dealers have
misleadingly told motorists that servicing vehicles outside the dealer network has
invalidated the warranty.

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