Is there still a need to carry out a winter health check, or winter service, on your car? Enhancements over recent years in engine components, lubricants and coolants have meant that your vehicle’s engine can operate efficiently at a much wider temperature range. In fact, low viscosity synthetic oils reduce engine wear, increases fuel economy and can increase the life of your engine, whatever the weather. That, coupled with developments in coolant, which can last up to 10 years, the argument for winter checks can sound quite weak.
However, as statistics show, there are still more breakdowns in winter than in any other season, and we strongly believe there is a need to carry-out a few simple winter checks, for your safety and peace of mind. If you take good care of your car, and have a regular yearly service, all should be fine, but it’s good practice to check the parts of your car that are particularly at risk from winter conditions.
At Okee we offer a free Winter Vehicle Heath Check which includes battery life, tyre health, fluid level checks, wipers, coolant strength, and brake effectiveness, among other things.
This health check should form part of your yearly vehicle maintenance plan, and we encourage everyone to have an annual vehicle service, an air conditioning regas and preferably a 4-wheel alignment (particularly if you notice uneven tyre wear) to keep your car in tip-top condition.
Your annual vehicle service will include detailed checks of your; lights and electrical systems, engine, brakes, steering, suspension and more. A vital element of the service is replacing the pollen filter (sometimes called ‘cabin filter’) at least every 24 months. When the pollen filter becomes full of dust, pollen and other foreign particles, the fresh air output into the car is heavily reduced and condensation will take longer to clear. Clearly an issue in winter (when you’re late for work!).
Also, an annual air conditioning re-gas is a really good idea, as your air conditioning system will leak up to 10% of its gas each year. Efficient AC is not only important in summer (to keep you cool), but also in winter, as it’s an effective method for demisting windows.
So, we would encourage everyone to have a winter vehicle health check. It’s undoubtedly not a waste of time, and as it’s a free service at Okee, money well spent! We understand how difficult it is to remember all the things you need to do to ensure your car is in the best condition, and we always try to make the process as simple to understand as possible. We work with our Clients to create a bespoke yearly service plan for their vehicle, based on what’s best for them. To find out more about our services, please give us a call on 01823 617790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, for Winter Driving Tips go to the ROSPA website for some really useful resources and advice. Safe motoring everyone!
We were pleased to be chosen to perform the first service on this lovely Fiat 500, and had great fun working on it – although replacing the pollen filter was a bit of a mission and required Mark to contortion himself under the clutch pedal to get the new one in. We honestly didn’t think he was coming out!
With less than 900 miles on the clock this beautiful, coral Fiat 500 was nearly as clean as when it left the Fiat showroom. However, the yearly service was due, so we completed a manufacturer specific service, following Fiat’s service schedules, and using Original Equipment approved by Fiat.
EU Block Exemption laws give car owners the freedom to use alternative independent garages for servicing, without affecting the vehicle’s warranty. The chosen garage must follow the manufacturer’s service schedule and use approved OE parts.
At Okee, when servicing any vehicle, we always use Original Equipment filters which have been approved by the manufacturer, and quality Shell lubricants to ensure the long life of the engine. We also use an oil and petrol/diesel flush treatment, for a deeper clean of the vehicle’s oil and fuel systems.
Mark said this was the cleanest service he has done since we opened the doors in July 2016, and was pleased he didn’t have to put his overalls on! And to top it all off, one of our lovely clients brought in some delicious homemade cupcakes in aid of Comic Relief. All in all, we’ve had worse days at work! To find out more about our Okee Service Standards go to our website.
Most drivers have heard of an MOT and Service, but many people think they are one and the same, or are not too sure what the difference is between the two. There is also confusion over whether MOTs and servicing are compulsory and how frequently they should be completed. We hope this blog post clears a few things up for you.
MOT tests are very much a ‘here and now’ type test. During this compulsory safety annual check the vehicle must meet a bare minimum standard set by a governing body (DVSA – Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). The actual standards are relatively low, as long as your car meets the bare minimum at the time of the test, it is a pass. However, this check is not to be confused with a service. During a Mot we are not allowed to physically remove any components from your vehicle. So, for example, if there is a corroded brake pipe hidden under a heat shield, it is a pass. Or if the brake pads are excessively worn but cannot be seen due to the wheel trim, it is a pass. MOT tests are a brilliant way of ensuring cars meet a minimum safety requirement, however further checks are essential to ensure the health of your vehicle.
Unlike a MOT, an annual Okee service is a much more in-depth vehicle check. We are not looking for minimum standards but looking for any issues that are present, or that will likely crop up within the next 12 months, or before the next annual service. We carry out all the checks done on a MOT but with a lot more on top. Everything receives a close inspection during a service regardless of whether the component is hidden or obscured. This means that parts and components are removed to enable us to really see what is going on with your vehicle.
One major difference between MOTs and servicing is the ability to make adjustments and improvements to the vehicle during servicing. Something we are not allowed to do during MOTs. With a service we always replace the vehicle’s filters (air, fuel, pollen, oil) with quality OE parts and replace the oil with quality grade Shell lubricants, which have the right additives for your vehicle. In addition, the service is not limited to safety related components so we always check every function of your vehicle, for example; air conditioning, heating and ventilation, electric windows, central locking etc.
In summary MOT tests are a compulsory annual check that consist of relatively low standards set by the DVSA and as long as your vehicle meets the bare minimum at the time of test, it is a pass.
A service is not compulsory but vital to ensure the health of your vehicle. These checks ensure your vehicle is safe, and will remain safe, for the next 12 months or until the next service date. And, if you keep your vehicle serviced regularly there will be no nasty surprises come MOT day.
Ben Grave, Mark Lawson