Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Is Your Car's Air Conditioner Blowing Fresh Air?

bacteria, car air vent, green bacteria coming from ventHave a good sniff of the air coming through your car's air vents. A bad smell in the car is a telltale sign that the air conditioning system may need a specific treatment.

Nasty bacteria and mould are not so easily detected but may cause allergic symptoms for the driver and passengers.

Good Garage Scheme members are offering customers a Holiday Check this spring and summer which includes checking the operation of the air conditioner including a bad odour.   The check can be carried out while you wait.

Why not find a local Good Garage Scheme member offering the Holiday Check and make sure you and your passengers can "Breathe easy".

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Is your car ready for Holiday Season?

Spring has officially sprung and the holiday season is just around the corner. Whether you are planning a getaway for Easter, hoping to take advantage of the Bank Holiday weekends or have booked your May half term break, don’t forget to get your car checked before you go.

Good Garage Scheme, Holiday Check, man checking under bonnetFrom 1st April our Holiday Check will be available at participating Good Garage Scheme garages. This seasonal check will ensure your car is in good working condition ready for the holiday season ahead.

Participating garages will check that your tyres, wheels and suspension have not become damaged by harsh winter driving conditions. They will also ensure that engine oil and coolant levels are adequately topped up and check that the air conditioning, lights and power steering are operating efficiently, so you can drive safely and comfortably.

To find a local garage taking part in the Holiday Check programme, please visit our website (please add a link to the holiday check page) and enter your postcode in the box provided.

In a recent survey by Hatchbag, it was revealed that 46% of people are planning to enjoy a staycation this year. If you’re holidaying at home, chances are you may be towing a caravan, trailer or perhaps installing a roofbox to carry your essentials. All of these can put an extra strain on your vehicle, so checking everything in is good working order now will give you peace of mind ahead of your getaway.

For a full list of everything that is covered in the Holiday Check or to find out more about the garages in your area offering this service please visit our website

It's like having a friend in the know!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Look out - pothole about!

pothole, road damage, asphalt
Spring is finally here with its lighter and longer days, but unfortunately so are the potholes, which seem to appear as regularly as the daffodils and tulips of the season.

How are potholes created?
Potholes form when the road surface becomes brittle and starts to absorb more rain water, causing cracks to develop. The pressure of cars driving over the surface will weaken it and as frost and ice thaw, the deterioration process happens quickly, causing chunks of road surface material to become loosened. Once formed, a pothole will generally increase in size as more cars drive over the weakened area.

How can potholes damage your vehicle?
Driving over a pothole can cause damage to a vehicle’s axle and suspension. Potholes are at their most dangerous at night, and in wet weather when the hole is filled with rain water. 

How can the Good Garage Scheme help?
Get to know your local Good Garage Scheme member garage and ask them to give your car a check if you are worried. Continuing to drive when there is a problem may cause further damage.
Simply visit www.GoodGarageScheme.com and type in your postcode or town name.

Where can you report pothole damage?
If you believe your vehicle has been damaged by a particular pothole, there are steps you can take to report the issue, namely:

· Collect evidence – location, timing and photographs
· Report the pothole to your local council or Highways Agency

Presenting your case as if you are trying to help other motorists avoid such damage may help to support your claim.

Why not book your car in for a seasonal check at your local Good Garage Scheme member garage?

It's like having a friend in the know!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Free Quote for Service Plan

green car-shaped money box, Good Garage Scheme, saving, money, service plan
Why not take the worry out of car servicing and MOT payments with a Good Garage Scheme Service Plan?

All you need is your vehicle registration and in just four easy steps, you can find out how much you would pay for a service and include the MOT if you need one. 

According to the government website,
you must get an MOT for your vehicle by either:
  • the third anniversary of its registration
  • the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old

The Good Garage Scheme Service Plan is a simple, flexible way to budget for your future service and MOT requirements by spreading the cost throughout the year in interest-free monthly instalments - just like you would for any other household bill.

Good Garage Scheme Service Plans are inflation-proof and ensure the price of parts, labour and oil are fixed for up to three years.

Plans are available for interim and standard servicing with or without an MOT. All plans cover the cost of parts, labour and VAT according to the Terms and Conditions.

A rigorous Industry Standard Service will be carried out on your vehicle with a copy for your records adding to the resale value of your vehicle and your peace of mind.

Good Garage Scheme, Service Plan, Tick, pound coin, logoTo find your nearest Good Garage Scheme member offering a Service Plan, please visit the website.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Don't Let your Diesel Let you Down

With diesels often in the news these days relating to pollution and scrappage schemes, it is unsettling for those of us with a diesel car to know exactly what to do.

What can you do if you are concerned about your diesel car in the meantime?

For peace of mind, ensure you service your car regularly. Contamination from fuel builds up in your engine even if you don't drive often or cover many miles. Good Garage Scheme member garages can offer help and advice to drivers with diesel engines and a Complete Cleaning Solution to keep them clean and running smoothly.

What about a blocked DPF?

CHECK inside engine icon, dash light, check engine, check DPF, blocked DPFDiesel Particulate Filters (DPFs), which are fitted to diesel cars to meet European emission standards and reduce the emission of particulate matter (soot) produced by the engine, are designed to trap larger soot particles within the filter. As the soot particles build up, the filter requires emptying. The only way to empty the soot is to burn it off at high temperatures – most often when you are driving on a motorway.

If you use your diesel car mainly for short journeys, it may not reach the temperatures required to burn-off the soot, leading to a blocked DPF.

If you are concerned about your DPF or have had a light come up on your dashboard, don’t leave it. Visit your local Good Garage Scheme member garage for help and advice.

Here are some fuel-saving tips for all drivers:

    air, tyre, tyre pressure, check tyres
  • Check and adjust tyre pressures regularly – Under-inflated tyres make your car work harder and reduce fuel efficiency
  • Watch your speed - Driving at 65mph as opposed to 55mph increases fuel consumption by up to 20%
  • Switch off when idle - fuel is wasted while the car idles. If you're likely to be at a standstill for more than three minutes, switch off the engine.
  • Lose the weight! Removing any junk from the boot will reduce the weight on your car and the workload of the engine.

For more useful advice and to find a garage you can trust, whether you’re at home or on the move, visit www.GoodGarageScheme.com  - It’s like having a friend in the know!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Think! Before Using Your Phone at the Wheel

photo courtesy of IAM RoadSmart
Using a hand-held mobile phone while on the move is a fatal distraction – that’s the view of leading independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, and as of 1st March, drivers will be fined £200 and
receive six points on their licence – double the existing penalty.

Motorists caught using their mobile twice or accruing 12 points on their licence will face magistrates’ court, being disqualified with fines of up to £1,000.

New drivers, within two years of passing their test, risk having their licence revoked and lorry or bus drivers can be suspended if caught.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said:
“Addressing the growing problem of smartphone use whilst driving will require a combination of enforcement and education as well as drivers, passengers, companies and individuals taking more responsibility.

“It is essential that drivers get the clear message that if you are on the phone and have a fatal crash you can expect to go to prison for a long time. There is a lot of support among the driving public for stronger penalties and more enforcement focus on mobile phones, but also a feeling that
this is not always reflected in sentencing."

Put your phone away before driving so you won’t be tempted to use it. Make the glove compartment the phone compartment.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and
 services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

School Days at Empire Garages

photo courtesy of Empire Garages
The team at Empire Garages in Enfield hosted over 90 four year old children from a local school over a week in January and we are not sure who enjoyed it more, owner, Ajay Gokani and his team or the children!

The teacher’s aim for the visit was for the children to see the tools a mechanic uses, a car engine, ask questions and learn about fuel. 

They were able to view basic car maintenance, a tyre change and a ramp in operation before going home with a goody bag from Empire Garage which included colouring in pages featuring the Good Garage Scheme’s Miles Better. 

All of the children were also awarded with a Good Garage Scheme Trainee sticker.

Well done to the team at Empire for their initiative and for supporting their local community.

Empire Garages have been a member of the Good Garage Scheme since 2007 and are an award winning garage.