Light Checks Only Take a Few Minutes

It is recommended that you check your car throughly prior to every journey. Even though this advice has been around for many years it is widely ignored. However you do need to check your lights on a regular basis. This is easy to do and is much easier if you have some help from a friend. Just sit in the car while they watch the lights from outside and you try each of them in turn. You can rest assured that while your car is in at your local FastFit station Milton Keynes for a service we will check your lights, but you should still do it regularly at home.

Checking your lights could save you being pulled over by the police. The police will pull motorists over who have lights that are not working. They will generally ask you to repair the non-functioning lights as soon as possible. However there is an even more serious element to making sure that your lights work and that is safety! If your brake lights fail or are not working there is a really good chance that someone would drive into the back of you. If that driver can prove that your brake lights did not work that would shift the blame of the accident across to you and your insurance policy. Insurance is the least of your worries if you are hit at speed or by a lorry so it is best to be safe not sorry!

Other daily checks that are recommended are checking the fluids. Check the vehicle’s oil levels and make sure all the fluids are topped up.

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Car Electrics – Satnav to Self-diagnosis

All new cars are packed with the latest technologies. We have all got used to having technology that helps with our daily commutes, with entertainment systems that can now include satellite navigation and in car television systems. Even the simplest of actions that we take in our cars such as winding the windows up and down are driven by motors and lots of switches.

Car electrics have improved over the years and are now much more reliable. Even the technology for the wiring looms in cars has changed drastically. In the past wires ran all over the car connecting the various components and now in most modern cars a wiring loom runs around the car connecting everything together and separate wiring looms run off this to power the different technologies.

Modern cars even have the ability to self diagnose problems.  With sensors fitted all over the car the vehicle has the ability to detect when something goes wrong. The sensors also can tell the car when to raise the engine idle speed to stop the car stalling and even change the fuel and air mix to make sure that fuel is not wasted. There are even sensors in your exhaust! All this is managed by the car’s electronic brain the ECU. The ECU is the hub of the cars electronics and manages all the electrical systems.

If you have any warning lights come up on your dashboard, or any problems with your car’s electrics or exhaust in Milton Keynes, just make an appointment to come into one of our FastFit Station Milton Keynes branches, and one of our fully trained technicians will have a look for you.

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Electric Cars Need Help to Sound Good

Over the next few years it is expected that there will be many new electric cars. Mainstream manufacturers like Ford and Renault are promising their electric cars as early as 2013. The electric engines are enclosed so car servicing in the traditional sense will not be required although I am sure these vehicles will still require annual checks.

There have been many problems along the way with electric cars. The biggest problem at the moment is the range. A lot of electric cars have only got 100 mile radius and then a nine hour plus recharge time. This has obviously limited the sales of the vehicles already out in the market place.

There is another bigger problem than the range of an electric car and that is the noise. Electric cars are almost silent and this is a massive problem to visually impaired. A global standard noise is to be created to ensure that all electric vehicles sound the same. Whilst this has not been approved as yet the work is already in production. Steve Levine is leading music producer and his talents would usually be targeted towards chart music. Whilst Steve was doing the research in to the preferred sounds of the electric vehicle most people preferred it to sound much the same as a normal petrol or diesel car. Importantly the people questioned would also want to hear gear changes so the engine note was not a constant sound!

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FastFit Station’s MOT Inspectors

In order to carry out MOTs, both the vehicle technicians carrying out the test and the garage or test station where they work will need to be registered with VOSA, otherwise any MOT certificates they produce will be invalid.

Our specialist technicians have been fully accredited by VOSA and are able to assess your vehicle against the specified criteria to determine whether it is safe to pass its MOT or not. The vehicle must meet all the requirements on the day of the test, or it will fail. In the event of a failure, you can have the retest carried out for free within 14 days just by bringing it back to us at FastFit Station Milton Keynes.

Even if your vehicle passes its MOT, you may find yourself being given a list of advisory items. These are items that have managed to pass the MOT guidelines, but are likely to need some attention before your next MOT. If there is a safety implication (for example, if your tyres are close to the legal tread wear limit, or your brake pads are getting worn), the technician will be able to estimate a time frame when they will need to be replaced. Maintaining a car safely is about more than just passing your MOT – you want the car to continue to look after all year until the next test.

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Looking After High Mileage Cars

Are you a high mileage user? If so you need to consider how to look after your car. The old saying if you look after your car it will look after you is right. If you are doing high mileage commuting to and from work or are using your car for work, you car becomes an important part of your income. However it can quickly become your highest outgoing as well if it is not properly looked after!

The key is regular car servicing and daily maintenance checks. Make sure the vehicle is serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. We have seen cars that are well maintained reach and pass the 300,000 miles point on the original engine and gearbox! Daily maintenance is only a five minute check to make sure all the fluids are topped up ready for use and the oil levels are correct. It is important to remember oil levels should only be checked when the vehicle is parked on a level surface and the engine is cold. The final piece of advise is do not ignore your car. If there is a noise or a vibration that should not there then it needs to be checked out sooner rather than later. The later you leave it the more expensive it could become!

Your local FastFit Station will provide a service history to record the maintenance of the vehicle. This will prove extremely important when you come to sell your car on. A high mileage vehicle is obviously harder to sell than a low mileage car. However a high mileage vehicle with full service history will sell a lot quicker than one without!


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A Traffic Warden has Won an Unfair Dismissal Case

Traffic wardens are pressured and targeted for the amount of tickets they write according to a traffic warden. The traffic warden was sacked because of the lack of tickets given out. The traffic warden said that he prefered to give advice to drivers on where to park and only penalise the people who showed a total disrespect for the rules. It is claimed his employers had a secret target of 10 tickets per shift. This was used in evidence against them in the court where the judge found in favour of the traffic warden.

This outragous case shows why there is such a conflict between the general public and traffic wardens. The traffic wardens are just trying to do their job but they are scared of disciplinary action if they write less than ten tickets a day. This traffic warden however was trying to do his job in the correct, moral way to make sure that drivers adhere to a fair system and if they did not then they would be punished.

Whilst this case was in London we do have our fair share of traffic wardens in Milton Keynes. We are lucky that there are lots of spaces to park so tickets given in Central Milton Keynes you would have to deem should be fair. Traffic wardens also have to take photographic evidence of the offending car to prove it was illegally parked.

At FastFit Station we have plenty of parking so you can come over and have your car servicing completed whilst enjoying our good old fashioned service, and no worrying about parking tickets!


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Car Exhausts In Milton Keynes

Your car exhaust is often an ignored part of the vehicle. You know your brakes need checking and replacing regularly, and most of us are even aware of the need to keep an eye on the brake fluid levels, but the exhaust is just expected to do its job without complaining. Unfortunately, due to its position underneath the car, exhausts are frequently abused – hitting speed bumps around Milton Keynes and having to put up with damp, salty conditions from our gritted roads. Needless to say, this has the potential to lead to rust and dents which can have a detrimental effect on the performance of your car if you don’t get it looked at.

While driving around Milton Keynes, try to drive slowly over speed bumps as any damage to the exhaust will need to be fixed unless you are happy for your fuel economy and power to decrease. You would also be risking further damage to your catalytic converter which can be more expensive to repair.

Regular checks by FastFit Station’s technicians will ensure that any problems are picked up quickly, and rectified before they cause any further issues. During an MOT, the level of gases emitted by your car’s exhaust are measured, and the car will fail its MOT if they are too high.

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Changes to the Driving Theory Test

As part of a crackdown on the country’s poor standards in driving the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) has made the decision to no longer publish the answers for the multiple choice theory examination.
Since the theory test was introduced in July 1996 the answers have been published in a book. For years many have believed that candidates were just learning by rote and therefore not gaining any understanding of the actual theory behind the questions.
All this has now come to a stop meaning that those revising and about to sit the exam will be required to actually read the Highway Code and then work out the answers for themselves.
Mike Penning, Road Safety Minister advised “By bringing a stop to publication of theory test questions and answers we aim to encourage candidates to prepare by learning each topic area thoroughly, rather than just memorising the answers.
“The intention is to improve candidates’ knowledge and understanding of driving theory, so that they are more able to retain and apply it when they are on the road.”
This new introduction follows a modification to the practical driving examination. Fifteen months ago a new “Independent driving” module was introduced in which candidates are required to reach a set destination of a landmark using just road signs, instead of being directed where to turn and drive to by their driving examiner.
Once they have passed both the theory and practical examinations then all that is left is for them to hit the roads, ensuring their vehicle is kept in tip top condition with regular car servicing at their local FastFit Station.
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Avoided price increase for Diesel users

The anticipated fear of diesel fuel prices rocketing has been avoided after PricewaterhouseCoopers administrators managed to sign a deal with its customers to carry on supplying fuel.
The Coryton refinery is the UK’s largest independent refinery. Based in Essex it is responsible for supplying approximately 20 per cent of the fuel that is used across the South-East of England. However Petroplus, a Swiss-based oil firm announced the news of their insolvency and deliveries stopped.
Energy broker EnergyQuote’s lead analyst Damien Cox was quick to criticise newspapers and their early warning reports of fuel shortages which may have caused the situation to escalate into panic buying.
“It’s important to have some perspective,” he said. “While this will have a high impact, it will only be short term. There are contingencies in place and supply won’t be affected in the long term. The UK economy is shrinking, and demand for fuel in the eurozone and UK is falling.”
With this new deal in place it has eased the anticipated threat of a sharp rise in diesel fuel prices, which are already at a record high. Although the administrators have continued to oversee the running of the site for the time being, it is still unclear of what the future of this refinery and its 500 employees is.
If you are looking for car servicing or an MOT for your vehicle then look no further for good old fashioned service than your local FastFit Station Milton Keynes.
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How Do You Know When Your Brakes Need Changing?

When it comes to the safe operation of your car, the brakes are pretty crucial! When they start to wear your stopping distance increases dramatically, and that is when accidents can happen. So how do you know that your brakes need changing before you find you can’t stop in time?

There are various signs to look out for when operating your brakes that may indicate a fault. Unusual noises such as grinding, squealing or squeaking sounds may be a sign of worn brake pads or could be the surface of your brake pads hardening which would require cleaning. If it starts to feel different when you press the brake pedal, such as a pulsating or spongy feeling, you should bring your car into FastFit Station Milton Keynes to be checked by one of our trained technicians and repaired as necessary.

It is well worth taking your car into the garage at the first sign of brake wear, as the longer you leave it, the more chance there is of damage occurring to other parts of your car’s braking system.

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