Winter Inspection

Halloween has been and gone, the witches and goblins have departed and now the reindeers and elves have arrived. With Santa’s sleigh not too far away and Christmas just around the corner, the road trips to see family and friends over the holidays are almost here.

 

 

At FastFit Station we’re trying to spread the word of safety on the roads this winter! We’re offering a winter inspection for just £29.99! This makes sure parts of your car are ready for those long winter drives. If you combine it with a Major Service, you will only pay £19.99!

 

 

Winter Tyres are available in all makes and sizes at rock bottom prices.  Helping to keep our customers safe this winter!

 

 

For any more information or to book your winter inspection then just give your local FastFit Station a call or visit www.fastfitstation.com and we’ll be more than happy to help!

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Recent Flooding

A winter of rain and flooding has caused havoc for many people around the UK. From damaged houses over the Christmas period to long delays for drivers, it appears to have been relentless. With large amounts of people having to flee their homes for their own safety it’s important not to forget the transport issues in all of the mayhem.

 

Some people have been “risking it” in their vehicles through deep flood water which is never a good idea. If you attempt to tackle moving water that’s deeper than 30cm, there is a chance that your vehicle could be caught in the current and swept along. The Environment Agency advises not to tackle water any deeper than 10cm as this is a potential safety risk and can cause serious damage to your vehicle.

 

SO don’t risk the water especially if you don’t know how deep it is, use your common sense, be responsible and find an alternative route!

 

Visit the Continental website for more details on flood water safety. http://blog.conti-online.co.uk/tyre-safety-flooded-roads/

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Vote for your favourite family car with the Telegraph motoring awards

Telegraph family car of the year

The Telegraph’s online motoring show includes an award for readers’ favourite family car this year. The newspaper is looking for the very best family vehicle, able to cope with the demands of family life, from comfortable seating to storage space to standard equipment that will keep your kids happy on long drives. We would also add benefits like reliability and affordable replacement parts so you can keep costs down when it comes to your MOT and car service.

The Telegraph’s definition of a family car is one that has: “enough room to seat four (five at a squeeze) and their luggage, decent performance and some big-car equipment as standard. It should also feel well built and protective.”

A few familiar cars that are in for the running include:

* the Ford Focus

* the Vauxhall Astra

* the Peugeot 308

* and the Volkswagen Golf (which recently won European Car of the Year)

Other contenders range compact SUVs, estates and hatchbacks, as well as premium offerings from BMW and Audi. The same names appear from last year’s group of best-selling family cars, with the models mentioned above along with the Nissan Qashqai, the Kia Cee’d, and the Honda Civic.

The Telegraph Festival of Motoring online motor show will take place from 29th April to 3rd May 2013. Get involved by voting on the Telegraph website for your favourite family car. You can also vote in other categories, including best executive car, best luxury car, best sports car, best supermini and best SUV.

 

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Does Your SatNav Make You Swear?

 

Do you turn the air blue when driving with your SatNav? A recent study by Direct Line showed that 55% of drivers end up swearing when using a SatNav compared to 31% who felt the need for profane language without!

And women are worse offenders than men, with 48% of women losing their cool while behind the wheel compared to 40% of men. The study used eye-tracking technology to monitor their driving behaviour to find that only 22% of the participants were actually aware of swearing more than usual.

Unsurprisingly, younger drivers were more susceptible to four-letter words whereas only 15% of motorists aged between 40 and 49 using profanity to make themselves feel better…

It seems that even mild-mannered people are as likely as any other to use expletives when behind the wheel, especially during stressful and irritating situations like being tail-gated or driving behind a slow driver. One of the most annoying instances for the male participants appeared to be when another driver used the outer lane when not overtaking, which was more than twice as likely to cause a man to swear than a woman. For women the worst offender was being cut up by another driver.

Direct Line offered a few tips for avoiding getting irate when driving, such as:

* Making sure you’re comfortable while behind the wheel – having a sore back or neck because of a badly adjusted seat can make you more irritable than usual.

* Plan your journey and make sure you know where you’re going and how to get there – getting lost or accidentally taking a wrong turn is likely to make anyone annoyed.

* Try to rise above it and avoid letting bad or aggressive drivers get to you. You’re more likely to drive recklessly or dangerously if you’re angry.

* Keep distractions to a minimum, including listening to music, eating and drinking.

We can’t help you drive completely stress-free but we can help you to avoid an irritating flat tyre or technical failure while driving – get your car checked out at FastFit Station for your MOT or car service to ensure that breaking down isn’t one of those moments that makes you say something like *************!!!!

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Advice from FastFit Station to keep you safe and motoring through the snow and ice

FastFit Station – your local garage in Milton Keynes wants to help keep you moving this Winter. With the abundance of snow and ice we’ve recently encountered, along with below freezing temperatures it looks likely that poor driving conditions are here to stay for a while. Read on for some winter driving tips and stay safe.

Make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey and let someone know the route you are taking. Drive at a reduced speed in poor visibility and poor road conditions. Use your headlights and fog lights in thick fog, remembering to turn them off when the weather has improved. Ensure you keep a good distance from the vehicle in front and be extra cautious of what other vehicles around you might do. Be vigilant of the tell-tale glistening on roads in icy conditions. Brake lightly when stopping to avoid skidding. Drive as smoothly as possible and don’t make any sudden manoeuvres.

  • Ensure you’re fully prepared for the journey ahead by checking your battery is fully charged and all your lights are working. The windscreen wipers need to be in full working order with a winter additive added to your screen wash to help keep your screen clear and clean. All your windows should be clear as the glare of the winter sun can make it difficult to see through a dirty windscreen. Any snow or ice should be fully cleared off the roof and around your vehicle. It can fly off during driving causing a hazard to other road users. You should check the tyre pressures are correct and have plenty of tread depth. If you’ve had winter tyres fitted you will really see and feel the difference. Make sure your car has had it’s service to keep it well maintained. We are currently offer half price car servicing in Milton Keynes on all makes and models of vehicles until the end of January.

Compile an emergency kit to keep in the boot of your vehicle consisting of essentials such as an ice scraper and de-icer, a torch, warm clothes and a blanket, food and drink, boots, a first-aid kit, battery jump leads and a small spade.

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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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The history of the Cats Eye

My son asked today “how do they change the batteries in the Cat’s Eye”.  I did explain that they were reflective and they were reflecting the lights back at us to show us where the road goes.

However the Cat’s Eye has an interesting past and was invented nearly 80 years ago! The cleaver little device originated in the UK and is now used all over the world. The Cat’s Eye is made up of two pairs of reflective glass spheres set into a white rubber dome. This is mounted into a cast iron housing, which is then situated in the road. Cat’s Eyes have developed over the years and now different colours indicate where to leave a carriageway.  The cast iron mounting also works to alert the driver as you feel the car rumble over the bump in the road.

Shaw the inventor is responsible for saving many lives over the last eighty years.  Percy Shaw reached a respectable age of 82 passing away in 1976. There are several stories of how he came up with the idea as he gave different stories to different people. Percy became eccentric in later life he keep three T.Vs on constantly one on each of the three channels, all muted! You would have thought that the inventor of one of the world’s best gadgets would have been extremely wealthy. Whilst he was be no means poor his estate was valued at £193,500 in 1976 which is worth an estimated 1.5 million pounds at today’s value.

 

For more car news, advice check out Fastfit Stations blog page. We are your local garage in Milton Keynes looking after all your vehicle needs from new tyres and exhausts to MOTs and car servicing. Once you’ve discovered our good old fashioned service you won’t take your motor anywhere else!

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Working wiper blades this Winter

They are a crucial component to your vehicle yet they are one of the most neglected. Having efficiently working wiper blades are a necessity all year round but particular so in the winter.

We advise you to check your wiper blades regular and if they start making unusual sounds, are not moving smoothly or leave smears and streaks then its time to have them replaced. It is important to check them regularly in order to help maintain the best visibility in poor and hazardous driving conditions. Working windscreen wipers will help to keep your screen clear from rain, sleet, debris and steam that can restrict your view. Driving in these conditions is bad enough as it is without making the situation worse by having a screen that you are unable to clear and barely see out of.

Be cautious of turning on your windscreen wipers on a cold frozen morning. You could potential rip off the runner on your wipers or possibly blow a fuse if they are frozen solid to the screen. Ensure you use a scraper and de-icer fluid beforehand to remove the frost. Never use boiling water from the kettle, even if you’re running late – unless you want a cracked windscreen! You should also clear off heavy snow prior to using wipers so not to put too much strain on the blades.

For more car advice and tips check out Fastfit Station’s blog page. Our garages based in Milton Keynes can help keep your screens clear whatever the weather. We also think that you should have a clear view of the price too. All of our prices include both the wiper blades and the fitting and are guaranteed for 12 months! For a free quote simply enter your vehicle details via this link.

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Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 2

  • In our previous blog - Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 1 we discussed the importance of having your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained and listed some useful items you should ideally store in the boot prior to setting off on your journey. So how should you drive in certain wintry conditions. For some new and inexperienced drivers the thought of getting behind a wheel in the snow or ice is truly terrifying. Read on to discover some useful tips when faced with snow and ice on the road and adept your driving as required.

 

Reduce your speed – the chances of skidding are much higher and your stopping distance will increase hugely.

  • Drive only at a speed of which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. The speed limits set are usually much too fast in hazardous conditions.
  • Try not to brake too harshly nor accelerate too quickly.Avoid sharp steering.
  • Ensure you reduce your speed smoothly, judging and allowing enough time on slippery surfaces.
  • Allow plenty of time to slow down before bends and corners.
  • It is very dangerous to brake on an icy or snow covered bend. Your vehicle could end up spinning due to the centrifugal force which will pull you outwards causing the wheels to be less grippy.
  • To avoid your wheels locking when braking on ice or snow select a lower gear than normal and allow your speed to fall before applying your brakes very gently.
  • As you may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking ensure you leave a big gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Make sure you keep your vehicle well-ventilated. An overheated car can make you feel sleepy and cause you to lose concentration.
  • During snowy conditions stop often to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Use dipped headlights when visibility is poor.

 

Should you find yourself stuck in the snow avoid revving your engine to try and get out of it. This will inevitably make the situation worse. Instead select the highest gear you can and move your vehicle slowly forwards. If this proves to be unsuccessful you may have to ask for someone to give you a push or start digging with your shovel!

 

For all your winter car servicing needs look no further than Fastfit Station. From winter tyres to MOTs your friendly local garage in Milton Keynes can help keep your motoring all year round.

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Essential driving tips in the winter – Part 1

Driving during the winter is very different to any other times of the year. With the clocks going back the nights become darker for longer and the adverse and typical British weather can make driving more hazardous. As the last two winters have seen flooding and heavy snow we thought we’d share some essential driving tips to help keep you safe and moving this winter. You should be prepared for your journey to take you into different weather, road and traffic conditions and adapt your driving as necessary for each one.

Having your vehicle serviced fully serviced before Winter and your anti freeze checked is the best start for both you and your vehicle. It will help keep your car on the road and reliable and keep you warm and going places too. Fastfit Stations have several garages in and around Milton Keynes and offer competitive prices on car servicing as well as MOT’s and tyres.

Before you set off on your journey spare five minutes to run through these checks:

  • Lights are clean and working
  • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
  • Check all of your tyres condition, tread depth and pressure, not forgetting the spare.
  • Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil

Ensure you have a good supply of de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and anti-freeze at the start of the season.

In the event where very bad weather is predicted it is a wise idea to store an emergency kit particularly if you have a long journey ahead of you. You’re then prepared should you get into a tricky situation for example becoming stranded in your car overnight due to heavy snow. Items listed below could really help you out in that spot of bother:

  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Wellington boots
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment
  • First aid kit
  • A torch
  • Blankets
  • Warm clothes
  • Emergency Food supply
  • A fully charged mobile phone

Prior to setting off to your destination check out the latest weather and travel updates and keep yourself regularly updated just in case you may need to take an alternate route. When the emergency services advise you against travelling you should really take into consideration whether you’re journey is necessary.

If you are looking to get your vehicle serviced this Winter, need to book in for your yearly MOT test or its time to change those tyres then look no further than Fastfit Station. With several garages located in and around Milton Keynes we pride ourselves on good old fashioned service.

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