#tipthursday Turn off your wipers before leaving your car

With the wet and snowy driving conditions lately, our window wipers have probably been working over time (that’s when we are actually in our cars at the moment). Its really easy to just run out the car without turning them off and leaving where ever they happen to be on the window. Doing so helps to ensure they don’t freeze to the window screen. If this happens, the motor will try and move them which in turn can damage the blades fuses and the motor itself. So be sure to take a few seconds to turn off your wipers and see that they are in the start position.

We have more info on looking after your wipers and windows here.

If you have any questions or issues with your wipers just leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to get back to you asap.

Looking after your car in Lockdown

With most car owners working from home or home-schooling at the moment, their car is most probably sitting on the drive the most of the time just now. This is great for saving on fuel costs and environmental factors, however an unused car can cause have some issues when you return to more regular driving.

Here are a few tips to help maintain your car during lockdown and in a safe condition to dive in case of emergencies.

  • Start your car at least once a week and let it run for 10 – 15 mins. This will help keep your battery charged. (Turning the air con on while you do this will help keep air flowing freely.)
  • Keep an eye on tyres going flat; sitting too long in the same position can affect your tyres. If you notice a slow puncture, pump your tyres back to the manufacture’s recommended PSI. (More on this on a previous post here.)
  • Beware of rust! Brakes, valves and cylinders can all become rusty without use which will effect their effectiveness . A quick once around the block every week will help keep parts freed off of rust. Listen out for any knocks, bangs, squeaks or changes in performance. If you hear anything or notice any changes, they could be an indicator that your car may need further TLC from a professional, before it escalates into a bigger, more serious problem for your car.

We also have more info on checks you can do at home yourself here. These checks can help keep your car in a good, driveable condition.

Unlike lockdown 1, there are no MOT extensions, so if yours is due in the coming weeks or months you will still be required by law to have this carried out. Doing so will help keep you safe and legal in your car, and also means that when restrictions are lifted again your car will be ready. If you are driving without an MOT you could face some hefty fines and more worryingly driving an unsafe car.

If you have any questions or concerns about your car during lockdown, then don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can get you booked in for a Free Vehicle Health Check.

Festive Opening Hours for Maitland Motors

We are taking some much deserved time off over the coming weeks to relax and spend with our families. You can see our opening hours below. We’d also like to wish our fantastic customers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and hope its as festive as possible all things considered. We are already taking bookings for 2021, so if you’d like to make a booking for any of your vehicle needs call the office, leave a comment below or email us – maitlandmotors@gmail.com. Now, to eat, drink and be merry! Merry Christmas!

December Training for Maitland Motors

Last week Ross travelled down to Newcastle to undertake training with automotive industry expect, Andy Savva, The Garage Inspector. This was a brilliant opportunity for inspiration, support and more importantly, advice on how we can improve our service and the garage.

Ross on training with Addy Savva
Ross getting a selfie with Addy Savva

The two day course was jammed packed with info from a fellow technician who’s been in Ross shoes, starting and running his own successful independent car garage from starch . Ross came back to the workshop buzzing and bursting with ideas that, once implemented, will streamline our service, improve garage efficiency and give you a much more professional experience with Maitland Motors.

Ross’ 3 top take aways from the course were:

  • Communication is key. From initial booking in with us gaining as much information as possible from you, to then relaying it to Dale and Saun in the workshop, to contacting our valued customers with updates, prices and managing expectations.
  • Knowing our strengths and weakness. So that on the rare occasion that a car requires knowledge or tools we don’t process, recommending other trusted members of trade who can get the job done quicker.
  • Customers are the most valuable part of the our business, without there’d be no Maitland Motors and is why we want to better our self and offerings.

Well done Ross on gaining 4 new certificates including, Effective Leadership & Quality Management Essentials, Financial Understanding Essentials for the Garage Business, Marketing Essentials for the Garage Business and Customer Excellence & Reception Management Essentials.

We strive to offer excellent customer service and feel it helps to sets us apart from other small, independent garages. Watch this space for loads improvements coming in time for 2021.

If you have any questions and would like to know more about how Maitland Motors can help you and your vehicle, call the office or leave a comment below.

When should you visit Maitland Motors?

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times here at Maitland Motors – “Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to cars”. A few ways to ensure your car is running effectively, legally and more importantly safely is by keeping up to date with your car’s service schedule, getting any knocks, bangs or squeaks checked and being MOT ready.

Yearly Service. Your service schedule can be found in your own car’s manual where it will detail exactly when your make & model should be looked at, this is often age/ mileage dependant. Some times your car will require a full service, but the next visit it may just need an oil and filter change. By following this, it will help keep your car running to manufacture’s spec, prolong the many different parts of your car (meaning less repairs, less often), and nip any potential unknown issues in the bud. We’ve also put together a basic yearly schedule when you ideally should see us.

Your Basic Car Maintenance Schedule
Basic Yearly Maintenance from Maitland Motors

Get Noises Checked as soon as they start. Most of our common repairs that come from noises being checked are drop-links, track rod ends and ball joints. Nipping them in the bud stops the repair developing into far more serious issues, which will be more expensive to repair. Squeals could also mean your brakes are needing checked. If your car is making new and unusual noises, it may be a good chance to book in for a FREE Vehicle Health Check at the same time and get your car as a whole looked over.

Get MOT ready. (Especially if your car was given a Lockdown extension as it could be 18 months since your car last saw a technician.) Booking in prior to your MOT means we can spot and repair any potential MOT fails. Saving you time, money and being without your car for any retests.

To help take some of the stress away from car care and maintenance, we also offer a (limited) Pick Up and Collect Service from your home or place of work and Payment Assist where you can split your bill fee and interest free for any unexpected repairs (very handy at this time of year). Ask for more details when booking.

If you have any questions or would like to book in for a Service, Health Check or Pre-MOT then please email us or call the office. Ross and the team are always happy to help.

5 reasons to book your car into Maitland Motors

At Maitland Motors, we are commit to proving wrong the poor reputation that the auto repair industry has. Below are reasons why you can trust that your car is in good hands with Ross and our team.

  1. Highly rated and recommended. We have many fantastic customer reviews where you can see for yourself what our customers think of us. Being members of the Good Garage Scheme, we have been awarded feedback of the week twice and are highly rated on both Facebook and Google. Most people come to us after being recommended by friends or family, which to us, is the highest form of good feedback when someone outside the garage gives us their recommendation.
  2. Try before you buy. We offer a, no obligation, Free Vehicle Health Check where you can try before you buy. This is when we get your car up on a ramp and visually inspect it for any obvious maintenance, repairs or issues. This gives you the chance to come meet us, see where the garage is and ask any questions you might have. When it comes to the bill, all our estimates and invoices come broken down so you know exactly what you are paying for. If your car is booked in with us and any additional work is needed or the job is going to cost more than previously advised we will seek out your authority before going ahead, giving you a full breakdown of what’s involved, the benefits and costs. We aim to be open and honest when it comes to pricing and charging our work.
  3. Experience and knowledge. With over 21 years of experience in the trade, Ross is very knowledgeable when it comes to looking after your car. His CV includes working with the big dealers to independent garages giving him in-depth and various experience of the industry. He also qualified at the top of his class winning apprentice of the year with Fife College and is still very aware that educating himself is key to improving our customer service. In an industry that is rapidly changing Ross is still going on training courses to help keep up with the advancing technologies, repair procedures and innovating tools. Alongside Ross, the Maitland Motors team is very hardworking and committed to repairing your car to a high standard with our very talented technician Dale and our up and coming apprentice, Saun. Maitland Motors itself is fast approaching 5 years in business growing from a 1 ramp unit to a much bigger workshop with 3 members of staff in that time. We have lots of exciting plans for the future to help offer our customers an even better, productive, and modern service.
  4. We only fit OE quality parts. We feel very strongly about using good OE quality parts. When it comes to cars prevention is better than cure and by using quality parts over cheaper ones, you’ll find you’re replacing the same parts less often. They often come with better guarantees and are more reliable. We are proud to be a Pagid/IMI Professionally Accredited Brake Specialist (who offer a 25 months/ 25,000 mile guarantee on their pads and discs) and are also proud to use brands such as Mann, Shell and Forte.
  5. We are here to help you. Which is why we offer a limited pick up and drop off service from your home or place of work. Spread the cost of your bill, fee and interest free with payment plans from Payment Assist. We also offer a Maitland Motors courtesy car which you can rent from a few hours to a few days to help you go about your daily life while your car is in with us. Call the office for more details.

If you have any questions about booking in and how we can help look after your car, DM us, leave a comment below or call Christine in the office.

#tipthursday Fill up with good quality fuel

Not all fuel is created equal.

Where you fill up can have an effect on your car’s fuel consumption, performance and running costs. Branded fuel such as Shell and Esso are more expensive at the pump, however you essentially get what you pay for. These fuels come with additional additives to help your car run smother, increases its fuel economy and even help to reduce exhaust emissions. So, by using better quality fuel you should find you’re visiting the petrol station less often compared to filling up with unbranded fuel.

All fuel sold in the UK has to adhere to legal standards so where ever you chose to fill up, it won’t do any actual damage to your car.

As always, if you have any questions for us here at Maitland Motors, please leave a comment below.

Why its important to keep your screen wash topped up

This time of year with all the salt and muck on the road, you’ve probably already noticed your windscreen is getting dirtier quicker. Therefore it’s more important than normal to ensure your screen wash levels and dilution are at optimum levels for your make and model of car.

Ensuring this will allow you to clean your windscreen more regularly and with better effect, keeping a clear view of the road ahead. Screen wash and other levels are advised to be checked weekly, but at this time of year with more use, we advise checking/ topping up every couple of days. We also advise keeping a bottle of water in your car in case of emergencies. You’ll find the screen wash by popping your bonnet and looking for a cap with a symbol that looks like the image below. You can also double check in your owners manual which will show you exactly where it’s located.

An example of what to look for when topping up your screen wash.

Normal dilution of screen wash is approximately 50/50 between the screen wash soliton in the bottle and normal water, although with colder months ahead, we recommend a stronger mix of approximately 75/25 screen wash to water. This can help prevention of the screen wash freezing in the bottle, pipes and jets. We strongly discourage the use of boiling water on cold mornings when the windscreen is frozen as the extreme change in temperature can cause the glass to crack.

Here at Maitland Motors we’d recommend using a solution of 75/ 25 screen wash to water in the winter months.

If you have any questions or concerns about using screen wash or topping up your levels, then just leave a comment below or call us in the office.

#tipthursday Check your Advisories

This week’s tip from Maitland Motors, Check your MOT Advisories.

Your car has been in for a MOT and has passed, happy days! However, be sure to check if any advisory repairs have been noted by the MOT tester. These issues or repairs should be seen to in the near future to ensure the continued safe and sound running of your car. The ware and tear that cars are constantly under mean that just because your car has passed its MOT it may still need maintenance work done.

The good thing about knowing any advisories is that you can plan ahead, booking in for any works when its convenient time wise and financially.

Any MOTs carried out with us, we’ll let you know of any advisories when you pick your car up. We can also put a no-obligation, quote together to give you an idea of the costs involved. As we always say, prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to cars. Nipping a repair inn the bud sooner rather than later will save you money in the long run and, more importantly, help keep your car safe on the road until your next MOT.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below, call the office or send us a message.

Getting the best from your Suspension

Your suspension system works to keep you on the road and ensure your car handles many different driving conditions and surfaces safely. The suspension includes many individual parts of your car, so nipping any potential issues in the bud and keeping up with maintenance will help prolong your suspension and save on very costly repairs.

Parts of your suspension system include – Shock Absorbers, Springs, Wishbones, Antiroll Bar, Mounts & Bushes.

Things to keep in mind to help prolong your suspension:

  • avoiding pot holes and bumping up curbs,
  • taking speedbumps slowly,
  • being aware of the condition of the road,
  • ensuring your tyres are at the correct pressure which will lessen the impact on your suspension,
  • fitting good quality parts helps massively. Outlasting cheaper ones and providing a better handling and a more comfortable drive,
  • ensuring your wheel alignment it set up properly,
  • following your make and model’s maintenance schedule and general care of your car (eg yearly service, pre-mot, getting any knocks or banging noises checked asap.)
Good quality parts will last longer so you’ll get more value for your money.

If your car’s suspension is not operating to its best then you’ll find your car may handle the road poorly, pull to one side, is sitting low, is making noises or your tyres are wearing unevenly. If you have any concerns we’d recommend booking in with a technician asap: ignoring minor repairs can soon turn into large costly ones where you could be without your car for some time, and more worryingly, driving an unsafe car. Issues with your suspension is also a MOT fail.

A very broken spring compared to a new one. Getting nocks & bangs checked will help prevent such damage from occurring.

If you have any concerns about your suspension then leave a comment below or call the office. We offer a Free Vehicle Health Check where we will check all areas of your suspension and give you a full report of the condition of your car.