#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 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.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

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.