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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.