Just like exhausts, when your brakes have a problem they will let you know.

Common sign of brake problems

  • A squealing or grinding noise when braking
  • Brakes juddering when applied
  • The vehicle pulling to one side when braking
  • A grinding noise when brakes are applied
  • A grinding noise when the brakes are off
  • A loss of efficiency during heavy braking or on a long descent
  • Rear wheels locking when brakes are applied
  • Brake pedal feels soft or spongy when the brake pedal is depressed
  • Brake fluid level in master cylinder is low
  • Brake system warning lamp are illuminated

What is an auto braking system?

An automotive braking system is a group of mechanical, electronic and hydraulically activated components which use friction/heat to stop your vehicle from moving.

How does a braking system work?

The braking system is the most critical system on your vehicle. It’s maintenance and having it functioning properly is vital for you, your family and other motorists.

When the brake pedal is depressed, the pressure on the brake pedal moves a piston in the master cylinder, forcing the brake fluid from the master cylinder through the brake lines and flexible hoses to the callipers and wheel cylinders. The force applied to the brake pedal produces a proportional force on each of the pistons. If these parts start to fail, not only can they impair the cars performance but they can lead to your car failing its MOT!

Free Brake Pads For Life

Get new brake pads and get free brake pads for life (as long as you own the car).


Keeping your exhaust system in good working order is vital, because like the brakes it is an important component which helps to direct noxious gases that can harm your health. Your car’s exhaust system carries away the gases created when the fuel and air are burned in the combustion chamber. These gases are harmful to humans and the environment.

Signs to look for

  • If you don’t accelerate or drive any faster when you step on your gas pedal, your converter may be clogged
  • Making sure there are no holes in the exhaust system or in the passenger compartment where the exhaust fumes can enter
  • Experience a noticeable drop in gas mileage and possible stalling
  • If your engine’s oxygen sensor or any part of your exhaust system fails, your “check engine” light will come on
  • When inspecting your exhaust, the signs to look for are cracks, leaking joints, broken hangers, worn rubber mountings, corrosion, failed gaskets and high level of pollutant gasses

Common problems

The worst enemy for your exhaust system is corrosion or better known as ‘rust’. Rust on your exhaust is caused by moisture reacting to the iron in the steel and forming iron oxide. Moisture can also come from outside weather conditions like rain or snow. When you shut down your engine whatever water vapour is in the pipes will condense and turn back into liquid. Only on short trips will the water not get a chance to get hot enough, causing rust on the exhaust pipe.

If you live in an area where they use salt on the roads in the winter, make sure to wash the underside of your car with water every few weeks. Salt speeds up the corrosion process and getting it off as soon as possible will help stop the corrosion.

Good to know

It is important to check your exhaust system periodically for any damage. If you notice any visual rust, use a screwdriver to gently prod rusty areas. If the structural integrity feels weak or a hole has formed, it is a sure sign that this section of the exhaust needs to be replaced.

Another important function of the exhaust is to make sure your car is being as fuel efficient as possible, by monitoring the levels of oxygen emitted and using this information to balance the fuel/air mix of the engine to the optimum level.

Under existing regulations, a police officer can warrant the removal of your vehicle from the road on the suspicion that it is producing an excessive amount of pollutant gases from the exhaust.


How to check you clutch

By using the following tips, you can get a closer educated guess on whether or not your clutch needs replacing.

Operate the clutch and observe the clutch grabs. It should grab 2” from the floor. The motion of the clutch should feel smooth and even. Be sure to have the emergency brake on whilst testing the clutch. Whilst operating the clutch, make sure you listen to any noise it is making for instance any chatter or squealing. If there is a grinding noise when the clutch is depressed, this will indicate a worn throughout bearing and will require the transmission to be replaced.

Put the car into 2nd or 3rd gear and let the clutch out slowly, again make sure the emergency brake is on or you have your foot on the brake. You know there is some life in the clutch if the engines RPM decreases or it almost stalls. If the clutch slips, and the engine does not sound like it is going to stall then there is a good chance the clutch is in need of replacement.

When testing your car on the road, does the transmission shift smoothly and is there any crunching when changing gears? A crunching noise when shifting usually indicates bad synchronizers in the transmission, but this can just be due to the fact that the clutch cable needs to be adjusted.

What to look out for

  • Harder to change gears
  • A crunching sound
  • Difficulty in changing gears
  • Your car judders when pulling away
  • Applying pressure to the throttle may increase engine RPM, which could result in a speed difference
  • Smell of burning
    We know how expensive clutch repairs can be, so we pride ourselves on giving value for money! Opt for Queen Street Garage as we offer customised solutions tailored to your vehicle in Taunton.

We have courtesy cars for use while your vehicle is being repaired (subject to availability) or if you prefer to wait, there is a seating area with a free drinks machine!

Queen Street Garage can provide a wide range of solutions to help repair the clutch on your vehicle. Our experienced mechanics will make sure the clutch results in your car leaving our garage in full working order. So if the clutch has a jammed cable or a deeper underlying problem, our professional mechanics with rectify the problem quickly and efficiently.