The importance of servicing your vehicle

The benefits of servicing your car regularly from Maitland Motors.

Servicing your car can seem like an unnecessary expense sometimes, it passed its MOT, its fine… However, here at Maitland Motors we always say prevention is better than cure and by sticking to your service schedule as much as possible will really benefit you and your car in the long run.

What happens if you don’t service your car?

Overtime preventable repairs will sooner or later be needed if the bare minimal you do is MOT your vehicle. Many of which may cost you more than servicing and general maintenance would have in the first place.

Congealed oil in a oil sump.

We recently had a 5 year old car in the workshop that hadn’t been serviced in a while. Upon inspection, this is the condition we found the oil sump, completely congealed with oil. The repair for this is an expensive one; a whole new engine. At a service the old oil would have been drained out, replaced with new oil and an engine flush would have removed a lot of contaminates within the oil filtration system. The oil has congealed like this due to dirt, contaminates and carbon build up.

Benefits of Regular Services

  • Helps your car run effectively and efficiently, saving on fuel and maintenance costs.
  • Prolongs the lifespan of your car.
  • Prevention of parts failing and further, more costly repairs.
  • Helps keep you safe and legal on the roads.
  • Less likely to brake down saving on the costs of recovery & repairs.
  • A well maintained and cared for car will hold more of its value if you ever decide to sell.

What’s the difference between an Interim and Full Service?

We mostly carry out 2 types of servicing; an Interim Service and a Full Service. Depending on millage/ age/ budget/time since last service, an Interim Service may be all your car needs to keep it ticking over. If its been a while, or your car hits a particular mileage/ age, then it may be time for a Full Service. You owners manual will have a service schedule designed to get the most out of your own particular make/model of car. Also, most modern cars will remind you its time for a service with a service dashboard warning light.

Interim Service from Maitland Motors
All oil and filters we use at services are OE spec and won’t effect any warranties.
Full Service from Maitland Motors
We also have a limited pick up and drop off service, ask for more details. T&Cs apply.

Estimated prices for your particular make and model of car can be available upon request as each and every car is so different (amount of oil required, parts needed, etc, can all effect price), we don’t advertise fixed prices. If you have any questions about servicing or would like to book your car in, call the office, email us of leave a comment 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.

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.

#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.

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 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.