If you need to store your car for a period of time, it’s important to make sure it stays in good condition so you won’t need to shell out for repairs when you come back to use it. Perhaps you’re going on holiday, working away, or need to declare it SORN for a while. Here’s how to properly store your car to keep it in great condition.
1) Before you store your car, give it a good wash and a wax to protect your paintwork (did you know bird poo is corrosive?).
2) Fill up your fuel tank and add fuel stabiliser, especially if your car is going to be stored for more than 2 months. This helps to stop condensation in your fuel tank, and stops the fuel oxidising, which can clog up your fuel lines. (Fuel stabiliser also helps your overall fuel efficiency, so it’s not a bad idea to add it to your tank from time to time anyway.)
3) Put your car on jack stands and disengage the handbrake. This takes the weight of your car off your tyres and wheels, and avoids brake corrosion.
4) Disconnect your battery and remove it from the vehicle. If you leave it in place, it will eventually drain and you won’t be able to start your car. To keep your battery charged, you can either attach it to a trickle charger or regularly drain and re-charge it.
5) And finally, stuff a rag into the exhaust pipe to stop moist air getting into it, which can cause damage and rust.
The majority of vehicles that fail their MOT do so because of easily avoidable causes like light bulbs, windscreen wiper blades and worn tyres. You can therefore save yourself money on repairs and retesting by making sure these simple things are sorted before you take your car in to be tested.
Lights are the most common reason for failing an MOT, even though most motorists are able to change a simple light bulb (and if you don’t want to do it yourself, bring it in to FastFit Station and we’ll do it for you in a flash!). Second on the list of culprits is tyres. When tyre tread depth wears below 1.66mm, your tyres become illegal, and your handling and grip on the road are drastically reduced. In fact, most tyre manufacturers suggest changing your tyres when your tread depth reaches 3mm. FastFit Stations offer tyre fitting in our garages or by mobile tyre fitting van at your home or place of work, so there’s really no excuse to let your tyres fail your MOT!
Other common reasons for MOT failure are brakes, suspension, steering and emissions. All these things are checked at your regular car service, so as long as you’re getting your car checked over regularly, they shouldn’t be a problem at your MOT. However if you notice your vehicle is performing differently, or any warning lights show up on your dashboard, always bring your car in for a check up.
You can save up to £150 on a combined MOT and car service at any FastFit Station in the Milton Keynes area during October!
As autumn draws in, it’s a good time to make sure your car is in good condition, ready for the cold, wet weather that’s surely to come (and already here for some of us)… Our vehicles take a bit of a beating through the colder months with all those frosty mornings – hardworking heaters and de-misters, tyres that need a little extra grip on wet and snowy roads, and general increased use of the car to escape the cold, even on short journeys.
So we’re extending our Half Price Double Discount sale on services, and our fixed-price £39.99 MOT offer, meaning you can save from between £30 and £150 this autumn!
Check out the prices below on the discounts we offer for major services for each vehicle group:
Group A –
£119.99 £89.99 - SAVE £30!
Group B -
£139.99 £99.99 - SAVE £40!
Group C -
£159.99 £109.99 - SAVE £50!
Group D -
£199.99 £129.99 - SAVE £70!
Group E -
£249.99 £139.99 - SAVE £110!
Group F -
£299.99 £149.99 - SAVE £150!
And if you book your MOT on a weekday, you’ll save an extra £15 with our £39.99 MOT offer (normally £54.85). AND, if you book a service and MOT together online, you’ll save an additional £5 on these sale prices!
Phew, with all this price slashing, we’re quite exhausted. Book your service or MOT at any one of our three FastFit Stations to claim these deals before the 31st of October.
Would you let your child get behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz on a race track? Well that’s exactly what school kids from Milton Keynes have been doing at Silverstone as part of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy scheme, RoadSense. This hands-on educational experience allows children to see what it’s like to drive a car as they approach legal driving age. The safety initiative aims to give them an early awareness of hazards and safety, from the perspective of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
These two-hour sessions include activities to highlight motoring risks such as speed and distractions, and impact on the children what the effects of an accident can have. They also offer a 20 minute driving experience for each pupil.
The road safety team leader for Milton Keynes Council, Adrian Carden, supports the RoadSense initiative, explaining how it is a “stimulating and engaging way to educate pupils on how to act responsibly as passengers, pedestrians and our county’s future drivers. We are delighted to support the scheme, which we are certain will deliver both immediate and longer term benefits. We are very keen to support young people in Milton Keynes to be safe and responsible.”
For more info, call 0845 123 0055 or visit the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy website.
Most of us know that driving carefully and keeping our cars well-maintained will help reduce the cost of servicing and repairs, but here are some little-known tips that can help to increase the life of your car:
1. Choose your petrol station carefully. Liquid fuel is less dense when it’s cold, so filling up your tank early in the morning can mean you actually get more for your money! And if you see the fuel tanker when you arrive at the station, drive on and visit another day. When a petrol station’s storage tanks are filled, sediment is churned up and may be transferred through to your car’s fuel tank. This sediment clogs up filters and fuel injectors and may worsen your car’s performance, or even cause damage internally. If you really want to check the reputation of your petrol station, ask how regularly the filters on the pumps are changed. If they can’t remember or aren’t sure, it’s likely you’ve been filling up on less than premium fuel!
2. Look after your ignition. It may sound silly, but a heavy keychain dangling from your ignition day after day can actually wear out components inside, damaging your ignition switch. Lighten up your key chain or keep a separate one for your car keys – all that bouncing and hanging can take years off the life of your ignition. A key that sticks or lags when you try to turn it can suggest your ignition switch needs replacing.
3. Keep a driving log. Ok, perhaps it’s a little obsessive for most of us, but if you have a long commute or rely on your car every day, it’s a really good idea to keep a log of your mileage and fuel-economy. All it takes is a jotted down note every so often – keep a pad and pen in your car to make it easier. Take note of your mileage and the date every time you fill up with fuel. If you start to see the amount of miles you’re getting per fuel tank decreasing (and so long as the price of fuel hasn’t been hiked up again!), you may want to check with your garage or service station to check that there’s nothing wrong with your vehicle.
And of course, checking your car in for a regular MOT and car service is essential if you want to get the most out of your car. Bring your vehicle in to FastFit Station for a great all-inclusive quote!
Milton Keynes firefighters will be offering free road safety sessions for local drivers to help improve their motoring skills and awareness of hazards.
The two-hour course will include information and guidance on motoring laws, what to do in a breakdown situation, how to give emergency aid, what to do if you witness or are involved in an accident, and how to take extra care at junctions and roundabouts (something that is particularly pertinent in Milton Keynes!). The firefighters will also be open to answering questions from attendees.
Jim Hutchison, Great Holm’s Crew Manager, explains the reasons for setting up these road safety sessions for the public:
“Modern-day driving can be a daunting experience, regardless of how long ago you passed your test. We believe these sessions will help drivers gain or develop the confidence and skills they need for a lifetime of safe driving.”
Four two-hour sessions will be held at Great Holm Fire Station between 7pm and 9pm on Sunday 4th November, Monday 12th November, Tuesday 20th November and Wednesday 28th November.
There are 20 places on each day so book to secure your place, either by ringnig the Fire Station on 01908 263374 or emailing Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org . Refreshments will be provided, and each attendee will receive a road safety goodie bag.
Want to increase your fuel efficiency and cut the cost of your petrol? Then stop carting around so much stuff in your car boot! According to a new campaign run by Shell, almost a quarter of UK motorists are using their boot as a storage compartment for unnecessary items. The heavier your load, the quicker you use your fuel, and clearing out your car boot could save you
The FuelSave campaign aims to help motorists to save fuel and reduce the cost of motoring with hints, tips and advice through online videos and games. According to a survey run by the fuel company, a third of UK drivers keep more than five items in their boot at all times, including wellies, tools, outdoor clothing, gym bags, sports equipment, golf clubs, buggies and pushchairs, baby equipment and spare pairs of shoes!
We’re all guilty of leaving things hanging around in our cars, but if you knew you could reduce your fuel costs by simply emptying your car, would it make you change your ways?
Online mini-games created for Shell’s Target One Million campaign can help you find new ways to save fuel, and be in with a chance of winning an iPad3! You can play online here, and find out more about what Quentin Willson found when Shell sent him to discover what kind of things UK motorists are stashing in their car boots in this video.
So, what’s in your car boot?