Monday, 26 October 2015

Tiff Needell on Cars, Tyres and Winter Checks

Tiff Needell, radio studio, Good Garage Scheme
Former racing driver and current presenter of Fifth Gear, Tiff Needell, was in the studio on Friday, 23rd October promoting the Good Garage Scheme's Winter Check.

Tiff spoke with radio stations across the UK including BBC Radio Berkshire, Big City Radio and BFBS Radio UK about the Good Garage Scheme's recent research which revealed that 54% of people will not have their cars serviced before their next long journey.

The research also showed that common items of neglect are tyres and anti-freeze.

Tiff reminded listeners that an MOT is not a service. Passing an MOT test will not mean your car will be guaranteed to be fault-free for the next year. Regular checks and advice from your local Good Garage Scheme member garage will give you peace of mind and ensure you and your family are safe  and that your car will get you to where you need to be.

Find your nearest Good Garage Scheme member at and ask for a Winter Check.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dangerous Sun Dazzle

Low sun can be potentially dangerous for many drivers at this time of year. The Good Garage Scheme welcomes advice from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) in this week's blog.
low sun, sun glare, sun dazzle on windscreen of car

You will often see dirt and grime highlighted on your windscreen in low sun, so it’s important that you clean your windows. Use a microfibre cloth to wipe down the inside and make sure your washer bottle is filled with a good quality screen washer liquid.

A sun visor will not necessarily stop low sun from beaming into your windscreen. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your glove box so you can get to them easily.

With the night’s drawing in, ensure you switch on your headlights before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise so there is no possibility of other road users not seeing you.

Always drive at a steady speed, and if low sun is obstructing what you see ahead, slow down – this is particularly important at sharp bends where it’s important to have a clear view of the approaching hazard.
When road surfaces are wet, the dazzle from the sun is increased by its reflection in the water. Take care when driving on wet road surfaces and ease off the accelerator if necessary.

Look out for vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, mobility scooter and electric wheelchair users – they are all difficult to spot in low sun conditions. Always take extra precautions at known hazard spots such as schools, junctions and crossings.

If you’re affected by low sun, the chances are other drivers are too. Pay attention to vehicles around you and anticipate any sudden manoeuvres. As a rule of thumb, you should increase the stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

Looking directly at low and sharp rays can affect your vision. If this happens to you, take a break from driving by stopping safely and legally.

Peter Rodger, the IAM's Head of Driving Standards said: “The key aspect of driving in low sunlight is how it reduces your vision. If you cannot see, you cannot drive the same way. Don’t continue at the same speed if you cannot see where you are going. It might sound obvious, but many drivers will battle on in near zero visibility despite being blinded by the sun. Trust your instincts – slow down and prepare to stop if this happens to you.”

IAM, logo, Institute of Advanced Motorists, Driving Road Safety tag

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving and motorcycling.  The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 90,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving and motorcycling courses.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Is your car ready for the worst winter in 65 years?

According to meteorologists, this coming winter could be the worst in 65 years.  With the complex weather pattern known as El Nino predicted to be the strongest since 1950, experts are warning of a long, harsh winter with heavy snowfall.  As if it couldn’t get any worse, some reports are also heralding the early arrival of plunging temperatures and snowfall as soon as this month.

is your car ready for winter text with snowflake
Even if you are not one to believe in early weather forecasts, it is always better to be safe than sorry, which is why we are advising motorists to get their vehicles checked now to minimise breakdowns and repairs when the winter weather arrives.

Salty roads and freezing conditions can cause problems for cars during the colder months, but being prepared beforehand can reduce this impact, not to mention the cost of repairs.

mechanic, Good Garage Scheme, WInter Check, checking tyre with clipboardThe Good Garage Scheme Winter Check will prepare your vehicle for driving in cold conditions.  This essential check not only carries out standard tests on bodywork, lights and suspension but will also address winter-specific concerns such as:
  • Checking and recording antifreeze protection
  • Carrying out a tyre report
  • Checking the operation of interior and exterior lights
  • Ensuring windscreen washers and wipers are in full working order
  • Checking power steering operation and fluid levels

Ignoring the warning signs and simply waiting until your next annual service could mean your car faces problems and costly repairs this winter, particularly if the weather is to be as severe as is predicted.

It is quick and easy to find a reliable garage in your area offering the Good Garage Scheme Winter Check.  Simply visit our website and input your postcode to find a nearby garage. 

If you’re out and about this winter why not take our app with you?  A garage you trust will never be far away.