Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to avoid getting in too deep with too low a tyre tread

service
Trust My Garage was set up to ensure that motorists always receive an honest and trustworthy service every time they visit an independent garage for a service, MOT or repair. However, we know that there are a number of rogue traders out there that do not adhere to the strict customer service regulations that our member garages comply to.

Typically men are more confident when going to a garage than women. A recent report from car insurance company Sheila’s Wheels stated that more than four million female drivers admit to putting their lives at risk by continuing to drive faulty and potentially un-roadworthy cars because they dislike the experience of visiting a garage. It’s a common feeling among women and many female drivers will likely identify with this statement.

This is an experience of a young female driver who feels she was taken advantage of by her local garage, who is not a TMG member.

Motorist, Natalie Hunt, from Nuneaton told us: “Last summer I returned from my holiday abroad to find that I had a flat tyre on my car. Much to my dismay I had just spent every last Euro in the Duty Free section of Palma airport in order to shade the blues of having to return to England. Forking out for a new tyre was the last thing I wanted to do!

“Regardless, I needed to drive to work the next day so I visited my nearest garage, which I have since found out is not a TMG member. It was already an unsettling feeling visiting such a masculine environment. Much to my expectation I was informed that I needed to replace the tyre, which I agreed to. The mechanic started looking around my car and said I also needed to replace the other three tyres as they were going bald and could be a danger to me. The cost of my repairs had just risen in excess of £300 within 30 seconds! I had my doubts to this man’s claim as I had only purchased my car two months prior to this, but I just wanted to get out of there as fast as possible, and trusted him as the expert in this matter.

“I can remember learning about tyre tread in my driving lessons, and was pretty sure that these tyres weren’t on their way out, but was worried that I could be driving around in a potential death trap. Subsequently I had to borrow some money to afford to pay for these tyre replacements.

“I can totally understand why other women would feel vulnerable when getting their cars repaired, particularly if they lack knowledge of car maintenance. Next time I need a service or repair I will definitely be looking for my local Trust My Garage member so I can feel assured that I am receiving a high quality, honest service.”

Tyre3A penny for your tyres

The legal minimum tread depth for passenger cars in most of Europe is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread width and round its entire circumference. However it is generally recommended that car tyres should be changed when the tread depth reaches 3mm.

Different rules apply to different vehicle types and there is some variation in a few countries. You should also be aware that different rules apply to winter tyres. Make sure you check the rules if you are planning to travel in Europe.

Place a coin in the groove of your tyre tread which runs right round the circumference. Then roll it along the groove until it reaches a bump in the bottom. This bump is the tread wear indicator. If this bump is still within the depth of the tread then it is still legal. If it is worn down and there is no depth of groove above the indicator then it is NOT legal.
If your tread depth is not legal, you should visit your local Trust My Garage member to have your tyres replaced. You can find your local member here.

Have you answered our survey about women drivers?

Are women getting better at maintaining their cars?

The female sex has always been renowned for the upkeep of their physical appearance with hairdressers, salons, and female gyms on the corner of every street. So we want to find out if women are taking the same approach with their vehicles as recent research from the DVLA shows female ownership of cars has risen by 70% since 1994.
womenblog
Back in 2010 UK based e-commerce company carshop.com (formerly autoquake.com) found that in general women are not as good as men when it comes to performing basic car maintenance tasks.

We want to find out if these figures have changed in the past three years.

What did the 2010 survey find?

tmg12% of women never check their car’s oil level compared to under 8% of men

We say: “Failing to do this can lead to engine failure and ultimately a HUGE repair bill. If you haven’t checked your oil levels recently and think this may be causing problems to your engine, visit a TMG member in your local area. The more you frequently you check your oil, the more likely it is that you will identify a problem early.”

tmgTwice as many women (14%) as men (7%) admitted to never checking their tyre pressures

We say: “Neglecting your tyre pressures means you could be risking your own life as well as your passengers, and increasing fuel consumption. If it’s just a case of not being aware of whether the pressure is correct you can always consult a trusted professional through Trust My Garage and they will assist you in ensuring your tyres are road safe.”

tmg20% of women said they have NEVER checked the tyre tread-depth

We say: “Not doing this could mean that your car is unsafe on the road, and actually ILLEGAL. TMG members give an honest account about how safe your tyres are!”

If you agree or disagree with these figures, we are inviting you to answer our poll so that we can see whether women are becoming more pro-active with regard to the health and maintenance of their cars, as demand from the female market for car purchasing and maintenance remains firm.

ANSWER OUR SURVEY HERE

TMG member is a ‘Top Technician’

As part of the TRUST MY GARAGE customer charter we make sure all our member garages are trusted to ‘work to high standards, use up to date technical information, techniques and tooling’ and ‘achieve key industry standards set by the RMI.’ This ensures that when a motorist visits one of our members, they always receive the very best service and expertise. There is no better example of a garage that adheres to this requirement than Cleevely Motors Ltd in Cheltenham.

The job of a garage technician is more highly skilled now than ever before as technology in motor vehicles continues to advance.  In particular, electronic systems on cars are now highly complex, and technicians need to have the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to repair and service a range of different vehicles with different systems.

Matt Cleevely of Cleevely Motors Ltd is a 'Top Technician'

Matt Cleevely of Cleevely Motors Ltd is a ‘Top Technician’

Every year garage technicians from across the country battle it out in a bid to be crowned the UK’s ‘Top Technician’. The competition was born back in 2002 to champion the best technical repairers off the back of national press querying the level of technical knowledge and practical skills needed to ensure you, the motoring public, are kept safe in your vehicles.

The Top Technician award recognises the expertise that technicians need in order to keep your vehicle roadworthy, and one Trust My Garage member, Matt Cleevely, manager of Cleevely Motors Ltd in Cheltenham, has just been ranked in the Top 24 technicians across the UK, from over 650 entrants.

Matt had to complete a demanding test that questioned him all about the theory of his job as a garage technician. He said: “The actual test was very well formatted and covered different topics. The questions about the electrical side of the job were extremely complex and were based around resistance and voltages – you really needed to know your stuff.”

Matt is the third generation in his family business and is currently working to shape the future of his company to cope with future technological advancements in the motoring industry. Technology affects everything and without continuous professional development it is very easy for knowledge to become outdated. Cleevely Motors is now looking at expanding its extra diagnostic equipment, and will provide further training for its staff to equip them with the skills for dealing with advancing technology in vehicles.

Matt continued: “After finding out I’d got through to the final stages I felt really proud of my knowledge. I’m really keen to improve my professional skills so that I have the capacity to adapt to new technologies for my customers.”

Matt’s technical expertise comes from his 16 years experience.  He is also an avid reader of motor industry magazines and receives a daily digest of technical bulletins and information from Trust My Garage and the RMI, which also help him to keep up to speed with all industry related matters.

With millions of cars in production these days, car technicians are set the incredible challenge of being able to transfer their skills across numerous makes and models, so that when you walk into their garage with a problem, you’ll be able to trust they get it right! We are always ensuring that our member garages are keeping up with current trends and our mechanics constantly improving their existing skills to guarantee the very best service all the time.

Do you want to know where your nearest trusted technicians are…? CLICK HERE to enter your postcode and find your local TRUST MY GARAGE member.