Winter Checks You Can Do At Home

The clocks changing means we’ll be driving a lot more in the dark, along with winter weather on the way, now is a good time to give your car a check over. We’ve put together a few easy checks you can do at home to help make sure your car is safe and ready for adverse driving conditions.

Lights
Ask someone to check that all your lights are working as you turn each one on and off including your indicators, headlights and brake lights. Replacing bulbs is quick and cheap but essential in keeping you and other drivers safe. We have a #tipthursday with more details.

Brakes
Check your brake fluid levels. If it’s low, top it up asap as this will affect the efficiency and safety of your brakes. Also, check your car’s manual to see when/if a brake fluid change is due. Visually inspect your brake discs. If there is a lot of corrosion, this can be a sign its time to replace them. We do advise as good general car maintenance to replace your discs & pads every 2 years. Any noises, judders, or sudden changes while driving may mean your brakes are needing to be checked over and there could be an issue with them.

Tyres
Give your tyres a good look over and inspect for any cracks, tears, bulges and wear. Ensure the tyre pressure is correct for your car, we have more on this here. Tyres that are in poor condition can affect your handling of the car, stopping distance and can make your car unsafe to drive.

Wipers & Windows
Checking your wipers and windows is easy. (You can find out more here.) Check your windows for any cracks and chips, as these can impact the safety of the glass. You can also check your wipers yourself by lifting them away from the window, inspecting them for any cracks, tears or nicks in the rubber.

If you have checked anything on your car and are concerned about it, then we can investigate further with our Free Vehicle Health Check. From there, we can advise of any repairs or parts needed to ensure your car is winter-ready and safe. We always say prevention is better than cure, so nipping issues in the bud as soon as you can will also help save time and money. Leave a comment below or call the office for more details.

#tipthursday Check your tyre pressure regularly.

Checking your tyre pressure and ensuring each tyre is set at the right pressure for your make/model helps them to last longer and keeps you safer on the roads. Under inflated tyres are more likely to blow out, increases your stopping distance, effects the handling of your car, wear unevenly and impacts fuel consumption. Over inflated tyres will wear out more in the middle, lose traction and increases your stopping distance.

The easiest way to check your tyre pressure is by using the pressure pumps at your local petrol station. Before you start you should always check your own car’s PSI (pounds per square inch), which you’ll find in your owners manual. Sometimes it’ll be on a sticker on the drivers/passengers door edge or the inside fuel flap. Set the machine to your PSI and it’ll do the rest for you, beeping once you’re done.

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors - Check your tyre pressure regularly.
Example of sticker on inside edge of a car door.

Ideally you should check every week and put air in if needs be. Tyres should also be cold as heat generated from driving can effect them. We’d definitely recommend checking before a long car journey, in spells of bad weather, and if you think your tires are looking low.

If you have any questions about tyre pressure or would like us to check your tyres, call the office or leave us a comment below.

Why we don’t fit parts supplied by customers

Sometimes after a quick look on online, it may be tempting to buy car parts yourself: they seem a lot cheaper compared to your local car garage. We understand that when there are other bills, priorities, etc to pay for the “savings” you are seemingly making may seem like a good idea. However, more often than not, this isn’t the case and is in actual fact false economy for you and your car.

As a garage we have a duty of care towards you and your car, and with parts supplied from online or elsewhere, we can’t guarantee the safety, integrity or any warranties that come with these parts. Often “cheap” parts are cheap for a reason; you get what you pay for. We feel that it isn’t worth the risk.

When we order OE quality parts from our known and trustworthy suppliers, we have confidence that it will be of a high standard that keeps you and your car safe. We know the guarantees that come with each part and if are faulty or malfunction, then we can get it replace quickly and efficiently at no extra cost to you. For example, the brake pads and discs we use from Pagid, come with a 25 month/ 25,o00 mile guarantee. If parts supplied by customers are faulty and fail, then unfortunately if there is no warranty, then it means paying for the part again.

With all our years of experience in the trade, we know which brands give you the best value for money meaning that you won’t need to replace more often than needs be. Cheaper parts often wear through sooner and you’ll find it’ll need replace again and again. This all adds up, and what did save you money to start with is now costing you extra.

There are times when sourcing second hand, or refurbished parts is the right thing to do to for your car (older, discontinued make/model), if you know what you are looking for. Our technicians ensure that the parts sourced are correct and up to the job to keep you on the road. We would never put our name to any part substandard.

We really do strive to give our customers the best service which is why we believe fitting parts we know, trust and that gives you good value for money, while keeping your car safe is so important to us.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, then just leave a comment below or call the office. We’re always happy to hear from you.

#tipthursday Why we recommend using fuel additives

Here at Maitland Motors we believe in helping you get the most from your car, which is why we recommend using a fuel additive. Over time, a car’s fuel system builds up contamination which can effect its efficiency, fuel consumption and performance.

Fuel additives work with your car to help optimise engine performance, maximise fuel economy and help to maintain car parts. Its like a spring clean for internals of your car, cleaning and lubricating the fuel system meaning you get more value for money when filling your car up and lower emissions.

We’d recommend a treatment every 6 months to help your car run smoothly and for its general upkeep & maintenance. We are proud to work with Forte, who have over 40 years experience working in the industry and supply all our engine treatments and additives.

Leave a comment below or message us to find out more.

What to expect when you book your car into Maitland Motors – Covid Update

If you’re new to Maitland Motors or haven’t been into us for while, this updated post will give you an idea as to what to expect when you book in with us. Especially as we’ve had to make some changes in the workshop due to Covid restrictions.

When you drop your car off, we now have a Key Drop Off Box where you can leave your keys securely at a safe space that adheres to social distancing. Its just at the office door on your right. We’ll then give them a quick wipe with antibac, label them, and store them in the office while not in use. (We’d really appreciate any large or bulky keyrings being removed as its one less thing to touch.) After you drop your car off, we’ll pop it up on the ramp to or if needs be, take it on a test drive. Our team will be wearing face masks, using seat covers, matts & gloves and wiping down any areas we’ve touched when we’re in your car. From here, we can start the work your car is booked in for, diagnose any issues (noises, bangs, lights) or start further investigation for more in-depth work. If you’re a new customer or we haven’t seen your car in a while, we’ll also give your car a Free Vehicle Health Check.

Key Drop Off Box to safety leave your keys with us.
The Key Drop Off Box is located at the office entrance to your right.

Next, if your car needs new parts to fix or repair the fault, we’ll only use quality and trusted parts, such as Pagid Brakes and Mann Filters. We find that using trusted manufactures helps to keep your car running as best it can. ( For safety and warranty reasons, we don not fit parts supplied by customers.)
If any unforeseen repairs are picked up that means the car is dangerous, such as bald tyres, we will contact you to discuss and advise of any further costs involved. We would only go ahead with additional repairs with your full permission, ensuring that you are fully aware of the work we are carrying out and the costs. You are under no obligation to go through with any works for what ever reason. We can only advise you on repairs, ultimately its your choice if you go ahead with any work.

Once given the go ahead, we will crack on with the job. Repair times vary from job to job and car to car, and if for reasons, such as seized bolts or lost locking wheel nut keys, your job is going to overrun its expected repair time we’ll be sure to let you know. For really big jobs or in-depth investigations that may mean your car is with us for a few days, we do offer a courtesy car (£10 per day) to help minimise the stress of being without a car can cause.

Ross under the bonnet.

Finally, we’ll take your car on one last test run before calling you when your car is ready collect. When you come in for your car, your invoice and any additional paperwork (new MOT certificate etc.) will be ready for you. Full payment is due at time of collection. Ways you can pay:

  • over the phone before you collect the car
  • cash or card in our office
  • Payment Assist (please let us know before hand if you are planning on paying via Payment Assist so we can get it in place in time for collection. Its a great way to spread the cost of your repairs, find out more here)
  • via bank transfer before you collect the car. Details are available on request.

You’ll be back on the road again fully aware of the condition of your car, the works carried out and any advisories we’d recommend. We can also keep the old parts to show you exactly why we’ve replaced them.

Additional Covid precautions: When in the office, you aren’t required to wear a facemask but if you have one we’d appreciate you wearing it. Our team will also be wearing them. We have loads on hand sanitiser available, you are more than welcome to use it. Please don’t come into the workshop. If the office is empty, just holler from the front door, we won’t be far. Unfortunately, customers are no longer able to wait for works being carried out in our office, but we do recommend the local cafes on Burntisland High Street. Thanks in advance for your understanding in helping us to keep you and our staff safe.

Points to keep in mind:
If you’re booked in for an MOT, have a backup plan in case it fails and MOT repairs are needed. Depending on the repairs and when we can get any parts needed, you may not get your car back the same day.
Let us know of any time scales you’d like your car back for, such as school pick up etc, so that we can work our diary around you.
Make sure your car has fuel in it so that we can carry out any test drives to diagnose issues or make sure your car is safe.

So, if like the sound of our service, why not book in for our free, no-obligation Health Check and try before you buy. Call the office on 01592 328848, or email us at maitlandmotors@gmail.com