#tipthursday Get knocks, bangs and squeaks checked

With restrictions easing, cars that have mostly been stuck on the driveways or parked up will be driven more again. However, being stationary for long periods of time can also cause issues for your car. If you’ve started using your car more and hear any unusual knocks, bangs, grinding or squeaks get booked into before a small issue grows into a much bigger, expensive ones.
Christine has been on furlough most of this year so wasn’t using the car much. Once she was back on school runs and in & out of Burntisland she noticed a banging noise (like a water bottle rolling around in the boot) which after inspection ended up being the rear axle bushes. Leaving that any longer, excessive movement in the bush would cause wayward movement in the axle and potentially losing grip especially when cornering. With 2 young kids in the back every day, its defiantly not worth the risk of ignoring.

If you do hear any unusual noises while driving we offer a Free Vehicle Health Check where we get your car up on the ramp and visually inspect the condition of your car. Once we’ve had a good look we’ll give you a brake down of any issues or causes for the noises including an estimate of the costs involved for repairing. From here you can make an informed decision as to what work you’d like carried out and be fully aware of the current condition of your car.

For more information call our office, email us or leave a comment below.

Maitland Motors, Here to Help

How we can help making maintaining your car easier

We understand here at Maitland Motors, that looking after your car can be an added hassle and stress. That’s why we’ve put in place a few processes to help make maintaining your car that little bit easier.

Payment Assist. Payment Assist is a easy way to spread the cost for your vehicle repair & maintenance bill. Payment is split over 4 monthly payments interest and fee free making any larger or unexpected repair bills a bit more manageable. For more details we have a recent post here. (T&Cs apply. Please let us know in advance of any works being carried out that you plan to pay via Payment Assist so we can get the process in place in time for collecting your car.)

Payment Assist with Maitland Motors
Spread the cost of your repair and maintenance bills with Payment Assist .

Courtesy Car. Sometimes its just not possible to be without your car what with work or school run commitments, especially if your car is in for a few days on big or unexpected repairs. Hiring our courtesy car can help at just £10 a day. (T&Cs apply, please ask for more details.)

Free Vehicle Health Check. Been a while since your car last saw a mechanic? Book in for a Free Vehicle Health Check where we’ll visually inspect the condition of your car, giving you peace of mind that its safe or making you aware of any repairs or issues.

A Free Vehicle Health Check will give you a no obligation overview of your car.

Pick Up & Drop Off Service. We offer a limited Pick Up and Drop Off Service where we come collect your vehicle from your home or place of work in the morning for repairs or services in the workshop, then drop it back with you the evening works have been completed. Saving you having to arrange getting your car to us and getting home again. (Due to the pandemic we unfortunately don’t have a waiting area for customers.)

Good Quality OE Parts and Oil. We believe prevention is better that cure here at Maitland Motors, and a big part of that is using good quality parts and oil. They will last you longer, perform better and often come with good guarantees, giving you better value for money. After years or experience in the trade, we use trusted brands such as Mann Filters, Pagid brakes, Varta Batteries and Forte engine treatments. Not to forget we are Pagid/IMI Professional Braking Specialist.

Proud to fit Pagid here at Maitland Motors
Pagid brakes come with a 25 months/ 25 thousand mile guarantee which many other manufactures don’t.

MOT Text Reminder. MOTs can be easy to forget, especially since the DVLA stopped sending reminders. Sign up to our text reminder service where we’ll remind you to get booked in and avoid missing your due date. We only need your reg and mobile number to set this up.

We hope that your experience here at Maitland Motors is as smooth and hassle free as possible but if there is anything further you feel we could put in place, then please just let us know. Customer feedback is really useful in helping us grow and improve our service. If you’d like to book in and use any of the services above, call our office, email us or leave a message below.

#tipthursday Book in for a Free Vehicle Health Check

With restrictions easing again, hopefully we’ll all be able to get out and about a bit more soon. Make sure your car is ready for venturing further a field by booking in for a Free Vehicle Health Chick.

Most cars probably haven’t moved much over the past few months/year which can mean seized parts, dead batteries or flat tyres. At a Vehicle Health Check we’ll get your car up on the ramp to visually check all areas of your car, giving you a better of its condition. Areas inc,

brakes,
levels,
tyres,
horn,
wipers & washers,
seat belts,
lights,
power steering,
battery,
antifreeze,
cooling system,
condition of the exhaust,
suspension,
& all safety components of your car.

After checks have been carried out we can advise you of the condition of your car and if there’s anything that is a cause concern. There is no obligation to have any further works carried out but its always good to be aware of any possible repairs that may need addressing sooner rather than later. Especially if your MOT is due or more importantly, they cause any safety concerns. We can arrange a quote for any works and take it from there.

Give yourself piece of mind that your car is ready for the roads again. For more information or to book in, call the office, send us an email or leave a comment below.

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.

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.

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 oil levels

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors this week is check your oil levels regularly. Your car runs smoothly and effectively thanks to serval different fluids which ensure correct lubrication of eternal parts, the most important being your oil. Oil levels being too low or over-filled can cause issues for your car, and in worst case scenarios, result in costly and timely repairs.

You can check your oil level by popping the botnet and looking for this sign. (It looks like a oil can.)

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors

If you’re still unsure, your owners manual will advise of where to look exactly, how much oil is optimal and the preferred oil. To use the dipstick, wipe it with an old cloth first then replace before checking it to see where your oil levels are sitting. You will see a minimum and maximum line; your levels should be near the maximum. If its low or below the minimum, top it up accordingly asap. A low reading could also indicate a leak or your car is burning oil. Keep an eye on this and if you find you are going through oil quickly, book your car in with a technician for a check.

The Dipstick can be seen with the orange handle. Just pull that out, wipe, replace and you’ll be able to see where your oil level is.

Other levels to ensure are correct are:

  • Coolant
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid

We check all levels as part of our Free Vehicle Health Check if you’re unsure how to do it yourself. Any questions or would like to book in with Maitland Motors, just leave a comment below and we’ll get back to asap.

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.