Monthly Archives: August 2013

Are men being overtaken when it comes to car maintenance?

Our latest poll was aimed at finding out how good men are at carrying out basic car maintenance tasks and although results show they are inching ahead of women, we are starting to see women creeping up in the outside lane as they take a more proactive approach to learning about their cars.

Over the past month we have polled 100 male and 100 female drivers in the UK to see how often you are checking your oil levels, engine coolant, tyre tread depth and tyre pressure and can officially reveal…

underbonnet1Too many motorists are leaving basic car maintenance checks too late!

What do the stats show?
• ¼ of drivers are leaving it as late as six months before they open the bonnet
• 84% of motorists are putting themselves at risk on the road by not checking the basic components of their cars regularly
• 90% of respondents state that they wait until later than the recommended time frame of one week to check their oil levels
• A staggering 53% of drivers never check their engine coolant

12% of men check their engine coolant levels once a week compared to just 5% of female drivers
17% of male drivers stating that they check their tyre tread depth once a month, as recommended, compared with just 5% of female drivers
Men are four times more likely to check their tyre pressure regularly than women
12% of men check their oil levels every week compared to just 5% of women

What should be happening?

Engine coolant… We recommend that you check your engine coolant once a week. We experienced a very hot summer and this can be particularly dangerous if coolant is left at a low level . Failure to keep engine coolant levels topped up can result in leaks and overheating of a vehicle, which is exacerbated in warmer weather. This can lead to costly damage like a blown head gasket.

Tyre tread depth… We advise that you check your tread depth at least once month to minimise the risk of a blow out or puncture. Remember the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm.

Oil levels… You should at least be glancing at your oil levels on a weekly basis. If they do go down below the “low” mark, you could be faced with a damaged engine and potentially a costly repair!

Tyre pressures… Have a visual check of your pressures on a daily bases for any obvious signs of damage, HOWEVER it can already have lost a significant amount of pressure before the naked eye can tell so make sure you check them properly on a fortnightly basis.

What do our garages say?
Once we got the results in we decided to ask some of our members whether this is truly reflected in their customer’s attitudes towards their cars.

Motor Marque in Leeds is one TRUST MY GARAGE member that runs courses for drivers teaching them about the basic maintenance of their cars.

This is what Rae Ellis from Motor Marque has to say…

MotorMarquetraining1We originally launched our workshops in 2008 for women only and it was really popular, so we decided to try a general one for both genders, but only women turned up!

“We market it around our local area with posters and word of mouth, and although we have full attendance, only women turn up. I think that there is a stigma attached to cars that men should already know everything as it’s such a male dominated industry.

“A lot of work goes into the preparation of the workshops and we always have a bigger uptake in winter which is probably because people tend to use their cars a lot more due to the cold weather. We make sure the courses are not too complicated for visitors. It’s all about how to carry out basic maintenance tasks and I think men just have this preconception that they don’t need to be taught these things. However as technology develops there are more and more things we can all learn about our cars that will help them to last longer.

“Since starting the courses five years ago we have seen a significant increase in female customers. I think women want to know more about the basics of cars and they are getting better because they don’t want to be baffled by it all.

Motor Marque External PhotoI think we are seeing this influx of women taking a more hands on approach to car maintenance as cars are getting more expensive to run and maintain so they are doing it from a cost perspective. We teach our customers that if they look at the small things little and often then they are less likely to incur expensive repairs when they do choose to go for a service or MOT, and at the moment the women are giving the men a run for their money in this area!”

Motor Marque is based in Leeds and offers state-of-the art premises based in an easy to find location in North Leeds. It provides a comprehensive range of services aimed at making the care and maintenance of your car or motor vehicle straightforward and simple.

To find your local Trust My Garage member, enter your postcode here.

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Trust My Garage member comes to Basil Fawlty’s rescue

Basil bashes his car after it breaks down

Basil bashes his car

One of our member garages Jordan’s Car Repair Service Garage in Rugby experienced a customer of a different kind recently as it responded to a breakdown call from none other than Basil Fawlty!

Well, Basil Fawlty’s dead ringer… Edmond Wells, the UK’s leading Fawlty impersonator. It was all in aid of filming for our latest consumer video which is now LIVE on our Youtube channel and across our social media networks.

The video aims to educate drivers on what to do in the event of a breakdown and to demonstrate the exceptional level of service that TMG members provide. It is estimated that some 20,000 motorists experience a breakdown every day but how many of these know what action to take in this situation? We are helping to educate consumers with this video.

Simon Jordan, owner of Jordan’s Car Repair Service tells us more: “We respond to lots of breakdown calls every year and understand that breaking down can be a worrying time for a motorist. Lots of drivers don’t know what to do in this situation and others will try and patch their cars up themselves hoping that it will provide a worthwhile solution in the short term. It was really good to be involved in Trust My Garage’s video and help to educate motorists about the right things to do when faced with an unexpected breakdown situation.
“The filming was a really fun day and the Basil Fawlty lookalike was hilarious. Everyone came out of the garage to watch him including customers, and even people in the street were coming to watch and take photographs.

“We helped create two different scenarios demonstrating what you shouldn’t do in the event of a breakdown and what you should do following a breakdown. The message to drivers is not to panic or try and patch up a quick fix yourself but to locate your nearest trusted independent garage online by entering your postcode in the Trust My Garage website.

Simon Jordan

Simon Jordan

“Basil Fawlty is an instantly recognisable character and his famous car scene is recognised by all generations so recreating the scene with a lookalike really added comedy value to the video and will encourage consumers to share it.
“The whole process opened my own eyes into finding new creative ways to reassure our customers about the great work we are doing with Trust My Garage and to really demonstrate that we understand the worries of motorists and can help when it comes to looking after their vehicles.

“As well as breakdown services we do accident work as well. We’ve seen cars in ditches, upside down, pile ups, disappeared in the woods, and down embankments of motorways. Once we had a woman fly off an embankment and she couldn’t get back up! If you visit our website we have a photo storyboard of the whole Jordan’s rescue process to put customer’s minds at ease.”

Are you wondering where your nearest TMG member is? CLICK HERE to find one the next time you breakdown.

Are you ready for summer flash floods?

In planning for heavy downpours of rain following the mini heat waves, police forces across the country are warning weather appdrivers to prepare in advance and steer clear of certain roads that are susceptible to flooding. Smart phones, sat navs and in car technology means we have the most up to date information to plan around adverse weather forecasts. One of these data centres is a, standard weather app integrated into most Smartphones…

BUT the climate is so fickle at the moment that we cannot always predict for certain what weather we are going to be driving in. The Environment Agency has already put out 32 flood alerts in the UK this summer and surface water flooding has caused much localised travel disruption.

 

If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail…

We’ve put together some top tips to make sure that you are fully prepared for driving in wet weather so that you don’t end up stranded… in a very big puddle!car flood

 

  • Slow down as it takes longer for you to stop in the wet weather and if possible avoid using your brakes altogether as they can cause you to aquaplane across the water. Take   your foot off the accelerator earlier than usual to gradually slow down. You will be able to tell if your steering is unresponsive which means that the water is preventing your tyres from gripping the road.
  • As far as you can try and keep to middle and overtaking lanes of motorways and dual-carriageways as water is naturally drawn to the hard shoulder/inside lane because of the way the roads are built.
  • The stopping distance in these conditions needs to be vastly increased. The official following distance is a 3 second rule (or 2 car rule) – make sure you increase this to at least 5 seconds (or 4 cars). It’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Turn on your lights when your visibility is limited, whether it is a heavy storm, light rain, fog, or even overcast Aquaplaningconditions. It’s not just about what you can see, but about others being able to see you!
  • It may seem like an obvious one – but as we have been lapping up the sun lately, it is likely that many people haven’t recently checked whether their windscreen wipers are up to scratch. With the warnings now in place, it is important that you replace old or brittle wiper blades to make sure you have good visibility in heavy rain swept weather.
  • NEVER drive through water if you can’t see the ground at the bottom of it. And IF driving through large puddles of uncertain depth then GO SLOW. If you go fast it can cause expensive damage as the air intake on many cars is low down at the front, therefore water can become sucked into the engine and cause driveability problems and you might need to take your car to an independent garage to get it checked out! As you go slowly make sure you use a low gear and higher revs to make sure you don’t cut out or damage the catalytic convertor. Once you come out of the flooded area it is important that you test your brakes as they will be saturated with water.
  • Avoid following large vehicles! The splash and spray from lorries and vans can obscure your vision on the road, so keep a wide distance from them and make sure your windscreen wipers are constantly active.
  • Pull over if it gets too bad. No matter how much you need to get somewhere, being late yet ALIVE is always the more sensible option. Heavy rain can put strain on your wiper blades, and cause a sheet of water to flow over your screen restricting your vision. Find a safe spot to pull over and wait for the worst part of the storm to stop, which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Did you know…?
Your car will float in just two feet of standing water

If you want your vehicle wet weather proofing, you can get a ‘Trust My Garage’ member to carry out a service where they will check all the essential parts of your car to drive you through these weather warnings safely. OR in the unfortunate event of the rain damaging your car in some way, they will provide you with a loyal and affordable repair service. CLICK HERE to find your nearest one.