We’ve had a very busy and exciting few weeks here at Maitland Motors.
Alongside looking after your cars, Ross spent a couple of days training with the one and only The Garage Inspector, Andy Savva. Christine from our office has also been back in the classroom starting her PDA in Book-keeping and Dale our technician was pleased to receive his certificate for his Air-Con course he did a few months ago. All this learning and development will only have a positive knock on affect on your experience here at Maitland Motors.
Its a legal requirement for a technician to have this certificate to carry out Air-Con services and handle (potentially dangerous in the wrong hands) air con refrigerant. Dale is now safe and legal to do so keeping him, our team and our customers safe.
Ross had a brilliant couple of days with Andy Savva on the Marketing Essentials for the Garage Business and the Financial Understanding Essentials for the Garage Business courses. Ross came back to the workshop full of new ideas on how we can improve our services and continue on building our reputation as being a friendly and approachable garage. We’re already putting some exciting changes into place, so watch this space.
In an industry that is rapidly changing, it is so important to keep up to date with new developments and the ways in which cars are being repaired\ maintained. More and more technology is playing a bigger part in workshops and the only way to keep up is by investing in training and our future. Things are very different from when Ross was an apprentice… This is why we are so keen to keep learning, developing and improving as much as we can with the aim of repairing our customer’s cars as efficiently and accurately as possible.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to know more about Maitland Motors and how we can help look after your car, just leave is a comment below.
For this week’s #tipthursday we’re talking about your Owner’s Manual and why you should get to know yours. The Owner’s Manual is usually left forgotten in the glove box but its fill of useful information specific to your make and model of car. It can answer a whole range of questions such as when you should get a service, what your ideal tyre pressure is and warranties you may have.
We’d recommend having a look at the Maintenance Schedule, which if you follow, will help save you money in the long run. As we always say, when it comes to cars, prevention is better the cure and having a well maintained car will help keep it running effectively, efficiently and safely. Following manufacture’s spec will help with this.
Your brakes have to be one of the most important parts of your car, so its important to keep them maintained and in good working order.
An integral part of the braking system is your brake fluid, which over time can age, wear out and may have collected impurities, moisture or rust. Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid, which works very cleverly by transferring the force of your foot pressing the brake peddle into pressure which then stops the car. If there are any problems or issues with your brake fluid, then this could result in a loss of your brakes.
This is where brake fluid intervals come in. We recommend having your brake fluid checked yearly to monitor its condition and that its of good working order. This is also a good chance to spot any leaks which will affect your car’s ability to brake. We’d also recommend booking a brake fluid flush every 2 years or 20,000 miles to ensure it’s clean and effective for braking safely. Your own car manual will also advise of when and how often your make and model should have this done to keep it running to manufacture’s spec.
If you feel a change in your decreasing power, sudden changes in braking, noises when braking or the ABS light comes on, it may be time for a brake fluid flush. Or at the least, booking in for a check to diagnose the issue. Again, loss of brakes and poor braking could effect the safety of your car. If you have any worries or concerns about your brake fluid or brakes, please get in touch by leaving a message below or calling us in the office. Remember, we are a Pagid/ IMI Professionally Accredited Brake Specialist so you can be assured your car is in safe hands.
Lockdown put a stop to almost everything this year including MOT testing. If your car was normally due its MOT between 3oth March and the 31st July, it was automatically extended by 6 months. Now that restrictions are easing and the government have ended the MOT extension, the 1st of these extended MOTs will be due soon.
If your car MOT was due during the lockdown, we’d recommend checking when it is due now and planning ahead to get booked in. If because of lockdown, you car has mostly been sitting in the driveway or parked up it might be a good time to take advantage of our free Pre- MOT check. This will give us a chance to look at the car before test day and help spot any potential fails or issues; giving you the heads up on any further costs involved getting your car ready for its MOT and ensuring its of a safe standard. Just because you were given an extension, this doesn’t mean your car is automatically safe to be driving so might be worth getting in to see us, just from a safety point of view alone. Any lockdown MOTs do not have to wait to the new extended date, they can be carried out now for peace of mind. 18 months is a long time and a car can go through a lot of ware and tare.
As all garage MOT dairies are going to be even more busy than normal over the next few months with extended MOTs on top of regular MOTs, call and book yours sooner rather than later. Our diary is open all the way to December to help accommodate this. You can double check when your MOT is due by visiting the governments website, here.
Any MOTs due after the 31st July will need to be carried out as normal. These MOTs can be carried out up to a month , minus a day, before the due date to keep the same renewal date. So you don’t have to wait till the exact date it runs out to get it done.
You never know when the worst might happen, and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, hungry, thirsty and cold waiting on recovery in a broken-down car. That’s why we here at Maitland Motors we recommend having an emergency kit made up to keep in the boot just in case. It could make an unbearable situation that little bit more comfortable.
A big bottle of drinking water
Snacks (cereal bars are always handy)
First Aid Kit
Old hoddie or jackets, gloves and socks to help keep warm.
Emergency cash change
Tyre Puncture Repair Kit or better still make sure your spare is in good working order. (We can check this for you.)
Keep your kit in a large bag or storage box in your boot and forget about it. Do you already have an emergency kit? Have you ever had to use it and did it help?
If you have any questions or need advice on putting a kit together, then just leave a message below.
Here at Maitland Motors we understand that keeping your car safe and roadworthy can be expensive. Sometimes big jobs come at the worst times (is there ever a good time?) which is why we are proud to offer Payment Assist. Payment Assist is a brilliant way to spread the cost of your garage bill over 3 monthly instalments fee and interest free, with 25% of the invoice being paid at the time of work. You can find out more on their website here.
If you’d like to pay using Payment Assist all you have to do is let us know when booking your car in or when work, after diagnosis and inspection, is agreed on. This way we can get the process started for work commencing on your car; any delays in this can result in us having your car longer than needed. Once we input your details at our end (name, address, email), you’ll then be sent an agreement form via email and a text reminder, detailing the costs involved and T&C’s etc, which you need to accept to finalise set up of the process. This email is only valid for 24 hours and if for what ever reason it lapse, the process needs to start from the beginning again. Until this email has been accepted by you, we can not release the car back to you regardless of work being finished or not, so keep an eye on your emails/phone. This helps with the arrangement running as smoothly as possible, which we know is important to our customers. We really do appreciate your corporation with this.
Once the form has been accepted you’ll pay 25% of the invoice at this point via card payment. The rest of the invoice will be paid automatically over the next 3 months using the same card details, so you don’t need to do anything further.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about Payment Assist with Maitland Motors, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment below.
Have a good look at your windows often, especially your front and rear windows to make sure there aren’t any cracks or chips that may have appeared over the harsh winter months. If there is damage, most insurance companies will replace your windscreens as part of your policy at no extra cost to you. Damaged window screens can be fatal. Also, take the time to check your window wipers by lifting them and inspecting for any cracks, tears or nicks on the rubber. The damage will stop them from working as well as they should and can make driving in adverse conditions even more difficult. If you do see any damage, you can easily replace them at home though it can be a bit fiddly. If you need any help with this pop into the workshop or gives us a phone, we’re only too happy to help.
Here at Maitland Motors, we aim to give you as much information about your car as possible so you can make an informed decision to suit your needs and budget. One part of your car which can be the difference between a safe car and an accident waiting to happen is your tyers. Tyres come in 3 different price brackets; budgets, min-rage or premium. But what are the main differences and how do they affect you?
Budget tyres, as you’d expect, are the cheapest of tyres are may seem like a very appealing choice when comparing prices. They are safe and will pass the legal requirements of the law. If you do little driving, at slow speeds and mostly from A to B, they can be a sound choice.
Mid-rage tyres can sometimes cost just a few extra pounds more compared to a budget, so can make more sense financially as you’ll get more tyre for your money. They’ll last longer and you’ll get more of the features expected of a premium, so they should need replacing less often.
Premium tyres are usually your well-known named tyres and usually very high performing. They are made of top of the range materials and go through rigorous testing, often with 100s of years worth of experience behind them. If you do a lot of driving and in particular, motorway driving, going premium may last you longer in the long run, offering better grip, wear and fuel efficiency.
We always recommend which tyre to go for depending on your car and how you drive it. More importantly, when it comes to your tyres is that they’re safe and are legal. They should have good tyre tread, no bumps, cuts or gashes and be pumped up to your manufactures recommended pressure. Age and tracking is also something to consider when it comes to tyre wear and tear.
We check your tyres as part of your Free Vehicle Health Check and Services, however, if you have questions or concerns about your tyres then please get in touch by calling the office or sending us an email. We’re always happy to hear from you.
Did you know that you are free to take your car to any garage for repairs and maintenance at any age? It’s common that customers are led to believe that they have to take their new car back to the dealer for servicing, MOTs etc, but in fact, you are free to pick and choose who looks after your car. This is called the “Right to Repair” and as long as your garage uses manufacturer parts to manufacturer spec and has their own garage stamp, your guarantees, insurance or credit agreements won’t be affected.
This makes the market a lot more competitive and gives you a lot more choice.
For more info or if you have any questions, feel free to call the office or email us, we’re always happy to hear from you.
Maitland Motors turns 4 today. Here’s a wee look at how far we’ve come.
Maitland Motors turned 4 over the weekend, happy birthday to us!!
4 years ago Ross opened Maitland Motors with just one ramp, his toolbox and a desire to do things right in an industry renowned for cowboys. Prior to this, Ross had slowly been building up a client base by doing homers in his drive come wind, rain or shine and would often be working 7 days a week. (Most of his homer customers still are still Maitloan However, even with his hard-working attitude and knowledge of the car industry, it was still a big leap of faith to go from being employed to self- employed especially with a young family in toe.
The garage quickly outgrew its first home and 4 years later we are now in much bigger premises with 3 ramps, office and staff room. Ross also has company thanks to our brilliant mechanic Dale who joined the team last summer and Chrissie (Mrs Maitland) who looks after the office and behind the scenes side of the business for this past year. Thanks to our growing team and capacity, we can look after even more customer’s car more efficiently. We’ve also become accredited with many industry experts, such as the Good Garage Scheme, Forte, Pagid (not forgetting that we’re Pagid Brake Specialists) and Varta. So you can rest assured that your car is in good hands.
Even after so long in the trade (over 20 years!) Ross is still as keen as ever to keep learning, bettering his skills and widening his knowledge base and over the past 6 months has been on a few courses. This only has a positive knock-on effect on the workshop and then for our customers as we implement more modern ways of working on cars.
We have big plans for the future and are excited to see where the next 4 years take us. However, at the core of what we do is always our customer and giving them an honest, reliable and friendly service. Without our customers, there would be no Maitland Motors and we certainly wouldn’t have made it to 4 years in business without them. So, we’d like to thank all our customers for supporting us, encouragement and telling their friends about us all of which has helped us hit this milestone.
As always if you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can help look after your car here at Maitland Motors, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.