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.

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.

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.

#tipthursday Check your tyre pressure regularly.

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.

#tipthursday from Maitland Motors - Check your tyre pressure regularly.
Example of sticker on inside edge of a car door.

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.

#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.