#tipthursday Follow Our Basic Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

Follow our basic vehicle maintenance to help get the best from your car.

Here at Maitland Motors we believe that maintaining your car is the most effective way to get the most from it. Following our basic maintenance schedule will to help keep your car preforming at its best and more importantly, safe on roads.

Your Basic Car Maintenance Schedule by Maitland Motors

Full Service – 6 months prior MOT (This will depend on when you last had a full service, it may just need an interim. We can check beforehand and advise on the appropriate service required.)

Free Vehicle Health Check – 3 months prior MOT

Pre-MOT 1 month before MOT

MOT (sign up to our reminder text service)

We recommend following this as a minimum depending on your mileage and how you drive. Most car manuals will have details of your make/model’s service schedule as per the manufacture’s recommendations.

If you have any questions or would like to book in for a Service, Free Vehicle Health Check, Pre-MOT or MOT then call us in the 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 Check your MOT due date

A year after the MOT lockdown extension be sure to double check if yours is due

Its been a year since MOTs due between 30th March 2020 and 31st July 2020 were given a 6 month extension due to the Covid pandemic. The automatic 6 months extension was put in place to help limit the need to leave your home.

With everything else the last year has thrown at us, forgetting your MOT date can be very easily done however, due to the extension, there could cars on the roads with extremely lapsed MOTs. Be sure double check yours and booking in asap if due. Other than hefty fines and breaches to your insurance policy you could be driving an unsafe, un-road worthy car. Checking is easy by visiting the gov website and entering your reg or we’d be happy to check for you here in the office.

If you have any questions about when your MOT is due or would like to book in, call our office, send us an email or leave a comment below.

Maitland Motor’s Top 5 Blog Posts

Our blog is one year old!! To celebrate, we thought it would be fun to look back and see which of our posts you liked the best. Here are our top 5 blog posts from the last year…

  1. #tipthursday – Check you Tyre Pressure Regularly. Why keeping your tyres pumped up to manufactures’ recommended PSI is important.
  2. #tipthursday – Check your Windows and Wipers Regularly. One we can all do at home, why keeping an eye on your windows and wipers will help staying safe on the roads.
  3. When should you visit Maitland Motors? A few scenarios when it would be beneficial to book your car in and get in checked.
  4. My MOT was due during the lockdown extension. What now? Advise on what to do if your MOT was due during lockdown 1 and was extended.
  5. Getting the best from your Suspension. How best to look after your suspension.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog and find it as a source of advice, hints and tips and more importantly an insight to behind the scenes of our garage. Being open and honest with our customers is very important to us and we feel that the more you know about car care and maintenance the better for every car that comes to us. That being said, there is always room for improvement, so is there anything you’d like to see more or less of on the blog? Do you have any car related questions that we could turn into a post? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, just leave them in the comments below or send us an email.

Thanks to all our readers and customers who have taken the time to read our blog over the past year.

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.

#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.

Common Dashboard Warning Lights

Automotive technology has rapidly developed over the past few years, with more sensors and computerised elements used now in vehicles than ever before. Essentially, our cars are evolving into computers that we can drive. One way these sensors tell us something is wrong is by triggering a dashboard warning light. Here is a quick look at some of the most common warning lights we see here in the Maitland Motors workshop and what they mean for your car.

Engine Management Light
This light indicates there could be an issue with your engine. These issues could range from simple repairs such as replacing spark plugs to more serious problems which could result in a damaged engine. Ignition coils, Lambda sensors or DPF faults, to name a few, could also be the reason behind your EML being on. If this light is on at the time of an MOT, your car will fail straight away.

Engine Management Light Example

Service Light
This light is mainly designed as a reminder to check your car’s levels and annual maintenance. This could be as simple as an oil and filter change, or a more in-depth service depending on how you drive and how many miles you’ve driven since your last service. Your owners manual will detail age/mileage when certain repairs will be due to ensure your car performs to its best and up to spec. (We have a basic car maintenance secluded here to help keep you right; prevention is always better than cure.)

ABS
This light means there are issues with your Anti-Lock Braking System and its been disabled. The ABS is a safety feature to help stop your brakes from completely locking up if you have to brake suddenly or in an emergency. If this does happen without ABS then you won’t be able to steer your car which can be very dangerous especially when avoiding an accident. Repairs that may affect the ABS include a faulty wheel sensor, wiring issue or a faulty ABS-ring.

ABS warning light example

Tyre Pressure Monitoring
This light means there is an issue with the TPMS system or that at least one tyre has low pressure. To help with this, ensure all your tyres are at the correct pressure. (We have a previous #tipthursday here for more details.) If the light is still present even if your tyres are at the correct pressure, then further investigation is required by technician.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring light example.

Traction Control
Traction control is another safety feature which helps to reduce/ prevent wheel spin, meaning you stay in control of the car in an emergency or wet/slippery driving situations. When this light is on, your traction control won’t work and it’s much more likely you could lose control of your car. This is also an MOT failure, so not one to ignore.

Traction Control light example

Also be mindful of the warning light colour, which indicates the seriousness of the issues. Red lights mean you should not drive your car as there is a serious problem and it may be unsafe to drive. Amber means you need to check your car asap, and green is everything is as it should be.

Dashboard warning lights examples. There are loads more than what we’ve mentioned here.

We’d always recommend booking in with a garage to get any warning lights checked sooner rather than later. Most garages will have specialist equipment they can plug into the car which will tell the technician the fault code and where the issue lies. Sometimes further investigation is needed for more in-depth/ complicated repairs.

If you have any questions about dashboard warning light or would like to book in with Maitland Motors, then just leave a comment below or call our office.

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors: Check when your MOT is due

Almost every aspect of life has been effected by Covid, including the servicing and maintenance of our cars. Many people were automatically given a MOT extension at the height of lockdown. These extended MOTs are now due or overdue, which is why we’d recommend double checking yours to avoid fines and more importantly, driving a unroadworthy car.

Its really straightforward to check on the Gov website and we also have more info on a recent blog post. All the extra MOTs on top of regular MOTs for this time of year mean that garages are more busy than normal, so be sure to get booked in sooner rather than later.

If you have any questions or would like to book your MOT with Maitland Motors, leave a comment below of call the office.

My MOT was due during the lockdown extension. What now?

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.

Check when your extended MOT is due.

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.

For more info on MOTs you can also visit the gov’s “Getting an MOT” page, call us here in the office with your questions or leave a message below. We’re always happy to hear from you.