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.

Why we don’t fit parts supplied by customers

Sometimes after a quick look on online, it may be tempting to buy car parts yourself: they seem a lot cheaper compared to your local car garage. We understand that when there are other bills, priorities, etc to pay for the “savings” you are seemingly making may seem like a good idea. However, more often than not, this isn’t the case and is in actual fact false economy for you and your car.

As a garage we have a duty of care towards you and your car, and with parts supplied from online or elsewhere, we can’t guarantee the safety, integrity or any warranties that come with these parts. Often “cheap” parts are cheap for a reason; you get what you pay for. We feel that it isn’t worth the risk.

When we order OE quality parts from our known and trustworthy suppliers, we have confidence that it will be of a high standard that keeps you and your car safe. We know the guarantees that come with each part and if are faulty or malfunction, then we can get it replace quickly and efficiently at no extra cost to you. For example, the brake pads and discs we use from Pagid, come with a 25 month/ 25,o00 mile guarantee. If parts supplied by customers are faulty and fail, then unfortunately if there is no warranty, then it means paying for the part again.

With all our years of experience in the trade, we know which brands give you the best value for money meaning that you won’t need to replace more often than needs be. Cheaper parts often wear through sooner and you’ll find it’ll need replace again and again. This all adds up, and what did save you money to start with is now costing you extra.

There are times when sourcing second hand, or refurbished parts is the right thing to do to for your car (older, discontinued make/model), if you know what you are looking for. Our technicians ensure that the parts sourced are correct and up to the job to keep you on the road. We would never put our name to any part substandard.

We really do strive to give our customers the best service which is why we believe fitting parts we know, trust and that gives you good value for money, while keeping your car safe is so important to us.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, then just leave a comment below or call the office. We’re always happy to hear from you.

#tipthursday Why we recommend using fuel additives

Here at Maitland Motors we believe in helping you get the most from your car, which is why we recommend using a fuel additive. Over time, a car’s fuel system builds up contamination which can effect its efficiency, fuel consumption and performance.

Fuel additives work with your car to help optimise engine performance, maximise fuel economy and help to maintain car parts. Its like a spring clean for internals of your car, cleaning and lubricating the fuel system meaning you get more value for money when filling your car up and lower emissions.

We’d recommend a treatment every 6 months to help your car run smoothly and for its general upkeep & maintenance. We are proud to work with Forte, who have over 40 years experience working in the industry and supply all our engine treatments and additives.

Leave a comment below or message us to find out more.

#tipthursday Check your windows & wipers

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors

This is a really easy one all of us can do in just a few minuets every few weeks. Check your windows and wipers regularly, especially your front and rear windows looking for any cracks or chips. If you do find anything, most insurance companies will replace your windscreens as part of your policy, so be sure to give them a ring. We’ve all seen the adverts, a damaged windscreen can be fatal.

You can also check your wipers easily yourself by lifting them away from the window, inspecting them for any cracks, tears or nicks in the rubber. Any damage will stop them from working as well as they should and will make diving in poor weather conditions more difficult. If you do spot any damage, you can go ahead and replace them yourself, though it can be a bit fiddly.

These are really easy checks you can do at home, especially as we approach the winter months, but any questions regarding your windows or wipers leave us a comment below or call the office.

#tipthursday Is your car making strange/weird noise? Get it checked.

Dose your car make weird or strange noise, such as banging, nocking, squealing or grinding? Then this could be sign its time to get your car booked in for a check. Ignoring them could result in what would have been a quick and affordable fix, turning into a large and expensive repair.

Brakes, suspension, timing belts, wheel bearings (to name a few) can all be culprits of noises when they are no longer working as well as the should/can. There are parts on cars that do wear over time and you should expect to replace them as general on-going maintenance of your car. As we always say, prevention is better than cure when it comes to cars and booking in as soon as you hear or feel any changes with your car will only help to keep it running at its best and as safely as it can.

To book in for a FREE Vehicle Health Check, where we visually check and inspect all areas of your car, then call the office or send us a message.

Get Winter Ready with a Free Vehicle Health Check

As the weather begins to change and the nights are getting shorter, it definitely feels like autumn is here early. The change of year is a great reminder to get your car booked in for a Free Vehicle Health Check here at Maitland Motors.

We will get your car up on the ramp and visually check areas of your car inc,
brakes,
levels,
tyres,
horn,
wipers & washers,
seat belts,
lights,
power steering,
battery,
antifreeze,
cooling system,
condition of the exhaust,
suspension,
and all safety components.

Getting your car checked over regularly means we can flag any issues and the costs involved early and before they escalate into bigger more costly repairs. As we always say here at Maitland Motors, prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to cars. You can find out more about a VHC with us here.

To book your Free Vehicle Health Check and make sure your car is winter ready, call us in the office, send us an email or leave a comment below.

Brake fluid intervals. What are they and how can they help keep your car safe?

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.

Maitland Motors: Brake Specialists

Maitland Motors – Pagid/IMI Professionally Accredited Brake Specialist.

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.

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors: Keep an emergency kit in your boot

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)
  • Torch
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets
  • Old hoddie or jackets, gloves and socks to help keep warm.
  • Emergency cash change
  • Jump Cables
  • Tyre Puncture Repair Kit or better still make sure your spare is in good working order. (We can check this for you.)
  • Spare Oil
  • Jerry Can
  • Antifreeze
  • Washer fluid
  • Tow Strap

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.

#tipthursday Check your windows and wipers regularly

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.