Thursday, 29 September 2011

Driving in Autumn - Take Care in Foggy Conditions

Even though we are enjoying summer-like weather, there are still foggy conditions to contend with early in the morning that remind us that autumn is definitely here.

The Good Garage Scheme recommends that drivers slow down when entering into foggy road conditions and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Make sure your lights are on so that others motorists can see you. According to the Highway Code, headlights should be used when visibility is seriously reduced.
As a general rule, that is when you are unable to see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). Fog lights can be used, but must be switched off when visibility improves as this can dazzle oncoming traffic and also obscure the visibility of the brake lights.

If you need someone to check any of your lights, especially your fog lights this autumn, contact your nearest Good Garage Scheme member or visit to find one near you.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

University Students - Far from home but never far from a garage you can trust

If you or someone you know is heading off to university this week, there will be lots of packing and organising and possibly a few tears.

Apart from the shopping, laundry, new surroundings, and new friends, you may even have a car on campus, and with student fees being what they are, it is unlikely to be brand new.


With so much to worry about, you will be pleased to know that a Good Garage Scheme member is never far away and will be able to give you the best advice if you are experiencing any difficulties with your vehicle no matter where you study in the UK.

Simply log on to and enter your postcode or town name.  The website features feedback from previous customers so that you can make an informed decision before taking your car for a service or repair.

Why not download the free Good Garage Scheme iPhone app so you always have a Good Garage Scheme member at the touch of a button?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Tips for Driving in the Autumn – See and Be Seen

As the days become shorter and darker, the Good Garage Scheme recommends that you carry out a few safety checks and offers advice to help you prepare for autumn driving.
Clean your windscreen
Dazzle from low sun is inevitable at this time of year. Make sure your windscreen is clean, both inside and out to help you see clearly. Be aware of other drivers who may be caught out by dazzle.
Check your windscreen wipers
Also, check your windscreen wipers. If you are in doubt if they need renewing, visit your nearest Good Garage Scheme member for advice.

Check your windscreen washer fluid
A smear across your windscreen will make visibility poor. The Good Garage Scheme recommends you top up your windscreen washer fluid regularly and especially before setting out on a long journey.
Are your bulbs working?
It is also important for other motorists to see you! Check your bulbs weekly. Ask a friend or neighbour to help you with this and let others know if you spot a missing bulb on their car. They may not be aware of it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Drivers, have you experienced any of the following?

•    Stalling while driving
•    Misfiring or hesitation during acceleration
•    Difficulty starting
 These are all warning signs of a clogged fuel injector or fuel filter.

Your engine runs on a delicate balance of fuel and air.

Dirt, sand and other impurities can clog your fuel filter and starve your fuel injectors.

Starved or clogged fuel injectors can impede engine performance and reduce fuel efficiency.

Your local Good Garage Scheme member will be able to give you the best advice if you are experiencing any difficulties with your vehicle.

Find Good Garage Scheme members from Land's End to John O'Groats. View all towns and cities with a member garage here.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

How often should I change the oil?

Oil needs to be changed regularly. When oil becomes too old and dirty, you’re no longer getting the full benefit of the additives it contains. The oil becomes less effective at doing the job it’s supposed to do. What’s worse, the increased friction and chemical build-up in used oil can deteriorate your engine’s moving parts.
In order to keep your engine healthy, a good rule of thumb is to change your oil and filter every 6 months or 6,000 miles.
The Good Garage Scheme recommends that you check your oil level with the dipstick at least once a month.
If you are unsure about how to check the oil in your car, follow our five simple steps below:
With your car parked on level ground, warm your engine up to operating temperature, then stop the engine long enough for the oil level to settle.
Lift the bonnet and pull out the dipstick.
 STEP 3:
Wipe the dipstick clean, then replace.
 STEP 4:
Remove dipstick again and read oil level - ideally the level should be between the minimum and maximum markers.
If the oil level is close to or below the minimum marker, then your oil needs topping up.
Please note: Top ups must be with the correct Grade of engine oil for your vehicle

For more information about when to change your oil and what to look for, visit

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Innocent victims of car accidents targeted for protection by the Government

Those who have the misfortune to have an accident with an uninsured driver face escalating policies through no fault of their own, due to the illegal actions of others. Worse than this, tens of thousands are injured and as many as around 160 people lose their lives as a result of collisions with uninsured and untraced drivers.
A practice has been gathering pace over recent years, whereby insurance brokers, claims management companies, lawyers and others pass details of car accident victims who have made claims, in exchange for “referral fees”.
As insurance premiums are increasing (at least 30% on average over the last year) to cover the rise in claims for compensation, such as those involving collisions with uninsured motorists, the victims are being targeted by underhand practices.
The Government is aiming to stamp out this “compensation culture” which has become rife in recent years. This has seen a large increase in text messaging and TV advertising offering a "no win, no fee” claim service.
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:  "Honest motorists are seeing their premiums hiked up as insurance companies cover the increasing costs of more and more compensation claims. Many of the claims are spurious and only happen because the current system allows too many people to profit from minor accidents and incidents."
No precise date has yet been determined for when the ban is to be implemented.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Back-to-School Driving Tips

It’s that time of year again and the Good Garage Scheme would like to remind all drivers to take extra care when driving near schools.

Children can be easily excited and distracted when crossing roads and it is advisable to show extra attention, especially during drop-off and pickup times of the day, also known as "the school run".

Drive slowly and be particularly aware of young cyclists and pedestrians. In some places, there may be a flashing amber signal below the “School” warning sign which tells you that there may be children crossing the road ahead. Drive very slowly until you are clear of the area.

 According to the Highway Code, you MUST stop when a school crossing patrol shows a “Stop” for children sign."

Also, drive carefully and slowly when passing a stationary bus showing a ‘School Bus’ sign as children may be getting on or off.

For details of road users requiring extra care, see the official webpage here.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Free MOT Reminder Service

We all lead busy lives and it is easy to forget when the MOT for your car is due, let alone the date of the next service.
According to the official Direct.Gov.UK website, it is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to ensure that the due MOT test is carried out on time.

The penalty for driving a vehicle on the road with an expired MOT certificate is a fixed penalty notice from the police, currently £60, or a court fine up to a maximum of a £1,000.

Although the DVLA send a reminder when it is time to renew a tax disc, there is no such reminder for an MOT, and if your MOT is out of date, it may even invalidate your car insurance.

Help is at now at hand from the Good Garage Scheme with a FREE Reminder Service.

Simply click here to set up a free email or text reminder.

There are three easy steps:

1.    Enter your vehicle details

2.    Enter the reminder dates

3.    The Good Garage Scheme will send you an SMS or email reminder

Thursday, 1 September 2011

How can you cool an overheating car?

If you find your car’s temperature gauge creeping into the red, turn on the heater.
This sounds crazy but it can work.
Your heater pulls heat from the liquid that cools your engine. If you turn on the heater and then set the fan to full power, your heater will pull more heat from this liquid, helping it to cool the engine.

Also, be sure to turn off the air conditioning at the first signs of overheating. Doing so will take a load off your engine.
 The best thing you can do, however, when your engine overheats is to pull over as safely and quickly as possible and wait for your car to cool down.

Never attempt to remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled as the coolant is boiling and under pressure.
 For more tips on car care, visit