New Year – Time for a Service

The worst of the winter months tend to be January and February. With this in mind it is worth preparing your vehicle for the toughest months of winter. Bringing your car in for a service is a great way to prepare the vehicle. Our technicians will check the fluid levels and the strength of the anti freeze. This anti freeze check will be completed on both the major and interim services.

 

Antifreeze strength could be one of the most important checks to be done to your vehicle this winter!The coolant that keeps your engine at the correct temperature has also can not be allowed to freeze overnight.The water that is pumped around the engine is pumped around the engine block. If the antifreeze failed to do it’s job correctly the fluid could freeze inside the engine block. As the water freezes it expands and this can cause the engine block to crack. This is extremely bad news and extremely expensive! It usually requires the vehicle to be fitted with a replacement engine, ouch!

 

So make sure that you book your car in with one of your local FastFit stations and we will make sure that it is ready for the colder months and keep you happily motoring this winter. You don’t even need to pick up the phone. Simply book in using our new online booking service.

 

 

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Milton Keynes roundabouts

With over three hundred full size roundabouts in Milton Keynes in is not surprising that the grid system takes its toll on our cars. The grid system is fantastic and MK is one of the few places in the country where you can go from one side of town to the other side during rush hour in less the 20 minutes.

There is however one downside to our high speed driving and constant breaking, which is wear and tear. Tyres and brakes in Milton Keynes last the average driver at less time than drivers from other towns. Especially as some of the roundabouts on the towns dual carriageways are driven at extremely high speeds.

 

However there are ways to help save tyre & brake wear. Driver anticipation would make one of the biggest differences.  Make sure you are watching the road as there is no point in speeding off the line if you are going to need to brake hard at the next roundabout. It is also worth noting the tyre pressures should be checked to help avoid uneven tyre wear. An under inflated tyre will attract uneven tyre wear. This can mean that you are paying to replace tyres that if they wear properly inflated may have lasted an additional thousand miles. Ever time you have new tyres fitted it is also worth investing in having the tracking checked, especially if you need new tyres due to uneven tyre wear.

 

Other towns may mock our roundabouts and concrete cows but at least we can get to work without sitting in lines of traffic.

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Our Shiny New Website

At FastFit station we are always investing in ways to save our customers time. We have developed our brand new website with this in mind.  It takes just a few minutes to book your car in for a service, new tyre’s or a Mot. You can book online and book yourself a convenient time slot. The great news is that you will know the prices of the work that needs to be carried out and will only pay once the work has been completed. All additional work such as brakes, shock absorbers, air con and anything else that you may want us to check out for you.

Our new site is really easy to use. All you need to do is click on the service you require from the petrol pump. Once you are on the right page simply fill in your registration number and our system will find the details of your car. All you need to then is add the required service to your basket. You will then be given the option to book an appointment., simply choose a convenient time and confirm your booking.

We have also a launched Grippy our new mobile tyre fitting service.  As you would expect from the FastFit team we have done this with customer service in mind. All of our brand new Van’s are named so be sure to keep an eye out for the mobile team.

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Most Common Reasons for Failing an MOT

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.

MOT Milton keynes

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.

 

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Keeping An Eye On Your Car Brakes

While many parts of a car are replaced as part of your regular car servicing schedule, the brakes are something you need to keep an eye on in between services. While your technician can (and should) tell you approximately how much wear is left on your brake pads, this is only a guide and you do need to watch out for any deterioration in performance.

If you hear any strange noises coming from your brakes such as grinding or squealing, call FastFit Station to arrange for one of our technicians to have a look. Similarly, any change in the ‘feel’ of the pedal needs to be checked. This could mean it is feeling spongier than usual, or you are having to push the pedal further down to have an effect. There may be nothing to worry about, but as your brakes are such a crucial part of the safety of your vehicle, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Finally, if you notice that your car is travelling further before stopping, and you haven’t recently had tyres fitted (different car tyres will have different stopping distances), you should bring your car in as soon as you can. This is not an easy one to spot as brakes usually deteriorate gradually so that you become accustomed to allowing more space for stopping.

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Ceramic Or Metallic Brakes?

Most people know that ceramic brakes are generally fitted to high performance cars, but how different are they, and is it worth spending a bit extra to have them fitted to your car next time your brakes need replacing?

Ceramic brake pads are mostly made from ceramic fibres, unsurprisingly. Ceramic is used because it dissipates heat exceptionally well; much better than metal does. This improves performance as they don’t suffer as much with brake fade. They also don’t produce as much brake dust as they don’t break down in the same way as metallic brakes. As well as improved braking performance and reduced wear, ceramic brake pads are also very lightweight which is important for performance cars.

On the downside they are more expensive, and the improved performance isn’t worth it for most cars. High performance cars and sports cars are usually driven much harder than the average family saloon, so it is worth spending the extra on ceramic brake pads that will stop you quicker and won’t fade like metallic brakes.

Most cars are fitted with metallic brake pads. They are not made of a pure metal; they are carefully designed combinations of iron, copper, steel and graphite mixed together and bonded into the pad. They are much cheaper, and for most cars, they are as durable as is needed. They deliver good performance and are more than adequate at transferring the heat resulting from the friction between the brake pads and the discs.

Metal brake pads are also heavier than ceramic, which does slightly reduce the car’s fuel efficiency. As they are harder than ceramic, they also cause more wear to the brake discs than ceramic does, meaning they need to be replaced more frequently. They also take longer to get going – they work most efficiently when they are warm so the first few stops on a cold morning will have longer stopping distances than when the pads are warm.

It may seem that ceramic brake pads have more positive aspects while their metallic counterparts have more negatives, but for most cars, those few positives for the metal brake pads carry more weight, and metallic brake pads are used on the majority of vehicles, from family saloons to heavy lorries.

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When Should You Change Your Brakes?

Checking your vehicle’s fluid levels or its tyre treads are fairly easy parts of vehicle maintenance, as you can easily see if they need topping up or changing. Your brakes are more challenging unless you’re a trained mechanic! So when should you book your car in to have its brakes repaired or replaced?

There are a few subtle signs to watch out for. As your brake pads wear down, your stopping distances will increase. As they get close to wearing out completely, your stopping distances will increase dramatically, but that is when you are at greater risk of accidents happening, so ideally you want to realise that your brakes need changing before you find yourself unable to stop!

More obvious signs are unusual noises such as grinding, squealing or squeaking. These may be a sign of worn brake pads or it could be just that the surface of your brake pads is hardening which would require cleaning. However, some grinding noises could indicate a problem with your brake callipers or your brake discs, and should be taken to your local garage urgently just in case it is something serious. If the sensation transmitted through the brake pedal starts to feel different, you should also book it in asap. This feeling could be a juddering feeling, or more of a spongy feeling, as if there was a cushion on top of the pedal.

When it comes to the safe operation of your car, we all know that the brakes are a pretty crucial component! It is well worth taking your car into the garage such as FastFit Station in Milton Keynes 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. The brake system is also tested as part of the MOT test, so it is worth making sure they work before you go for an MOT.

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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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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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Behind The Scenes With Milton Keynes MOT Testers

Strict guidelines are imposed on vehicles to make sure that they are roadworthy. All vehicles that are three years old and older currently have to be tested yearly. The MOT test is a requirement to drive your vehicle on the road. You also cannot tax or re-tax a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate. So how qualified do you have to be to be an MOT tester?

  • An MOT tester must hold a Full UK driving licence for all the classes of vehicles they want to test.
  • They must be a skilled mechanic with at least four years full-time employment in vehicle repair and service – of the vehicle types that they are to test.
  • They must have no unspent convictions for any criminal offences in relation to MOT testing or in connection with the motor trade. Also any acts of violence or intimidation.
  • They must be otherwise of good repute.

To become an MOT tester the individual must pass the VOSA two day assessment course. This will allow to test classes 1 and 2, for classes 3 4 5 or 7 the tester will also have to pass a further test NTTA Nominated Tester Training Assessment.

Even when all the tests are done and complete all Milton Keynes MOT‘s testing stations and MOT testers are still monitored by their local VOSA officials.

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