Friday, 21 February 2014

Automotive Charity BEN Offers Support for Flood Victims

With the acrid, foul-smelling flood waters slowing abating and worries that we have not seen the last of the bad weather, the automotive charity BEN is extending their support for our affected automotive colleagues.

Following the Environment Agency's report that 5,800 properties have been flooded since the start of December and 100,000 homes having experienced power cuts, we recognise that members of our automotive community are extremely likely to be amongst those being challenged by the experience.

Commenting on the situation BEN's Chief Operating Officer, Nigel Rothband stated,

"The prolonged damage caused by these events will be placing severe physical and emotional stress on those affected, and we are desperate to ensure that anyone connected to our automotive industry community knows that we are on hand to offer our care and support.

We cannot solve the long-term problem; sadly we cannot throw millions at it to make it go away, but what we can do is to provide short term immediate support including financial assistance, where needed.

Obviously, some people will have been unable to work and will have incurred additional costs in trying to protect themselves and their properties - where these factors have caused short term financial hardship we may be able to assist depending on the circumstances of the individual.

Many will be covered by insurance, which should always be the first port of call, but for those who are vulnerable and do not have cover, or remain unsupported by other agencies we can, and will, respond to immediate need. Whether those affected just needing someone to offload too, advice on temporary accommodation or financial assistance- we are here to help. I would urge any automotive person who is distressed or suffering to get in touch."

In addition to actively encouraging those affected to get in touch, BEN is also contacting existing beneficiaries, in affected areas, to find out if they need help. Many older people in these circumstances will have been unable to get out and therefore missed out on normal social contact, or they may simply be more anxious and need some reassurance. We at BEN are determined to support these individuals and can also offer support to those people needing help to complete their insurance forms.

To contact BEN's helpline;
Call 01344 876770
Text 07781 472622

BEN - Caring for automotive people, and their dependants, in times of need

BEN is the Good Garage Scheme's chosen charity - the UK’s dedicated charity for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive and related industries, as well as their dependants.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Advice for Driving in Deep Water

Following severe weather warnings of storms and floods over the coming days, the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) offers sound advice on how to keep safe in the storms.

According to Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger, “A suddenly very wet road surface increases the chances of slipping when braking or steering, which is a problem not just for motorists, but cyclists and motorcyclists too.

When driving in wet conditions remember that stopping distances will increase, and visibility will be reduced. Drop your speed and give yourself more time to slow down.

In cases of severe flooding, you should reconsider making the journey at all. If it is unavoidable, and you have to drive through deep water, the IAM recommends drivers take the following precautions:

  • Drive on the highest section of the road and don't set off if a vehicle is approaching you
  • Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians
  • Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by "slipping the clutch" (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water
  • If you can’t see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it
  • In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe
  • Once you're out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely.
  The Good Garage Scheme recommends downloading its free App before you set off on your car journey. Should you run into any trouble, help is at the touch of a button. To download the app for peace of mind click here.

Safe Motoring!

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank the Road Safety Charity IAM for the valuable advice. Peter Rodger is the IAM’s chief examiner. For more information visit

Friday, 7 February 2014

New MOT Test rules for the DPF

Clogged diesel particulate filter
Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) have been in the news quite a bit this year. DPFs were fitted to diesel cars to meet European emissions standards, but they need high temperatures to regenerate and remain effective. Motorists who use their cars primarily for local runs with lots of stop-start driving and low mileage may find themselves with a blocked DPF as a result.

Vehicles suffering with blocked DPFs have become a common fault, the first indication of which will be the engine management light coming on, or a lack of power. If the warning light is ignored, it could be a costly repair. Rather than deal with the repair bill, some people have chosen to completely remove the DPF, but this could prove costly. From February 2014 the MOT test will include a check for the presence of a diesel particulate filter.

This new government legislation means it is vital that garages look after DPFs for their customers. Vehicles will automatically fail the MOT test if a diesel particulate filter that was fitted when manufactured has been removed.

Your local Good Garage Scheme member garage will be able to advise you of a treatment specifically designed to help your diesel particulate filter operate as it should.

For more information contact your local Good Garage Scheme member via

It's like having a friend in the know.

For more information about the government's new legislation, click here.