4 Tips for Keeping your Car Running in Winter

As the temperature starts heading to zero or below, you are going to have to think about changing your car maintenance habits to ensure that your vehicle is winter-ready. Here are our top tips from MEB:

Fuel Tank

Keep fuel levels topped up over winter, ensuring you have at least a quarter tank of fuel at any one time. This is because temperature fluctuations in winter can create condensation build up in the tank causing the fuel lines to freeze if the temperature drops low enough. You also need to keep the fuel pump cool as when you run low on fuel, the fuel pump may start sucking in air. This could heat up and cause expensive future repairs.

You might also want to read 5 reasons why you shouldn’t run on empty.

Oil

One thing drivers can maintain is the condition and level of the engine oil. It can be a minefield trying to pick the right type and grade of oil but this article by Auto Express talks you through finding the right grade of oil for your car. In short, in winter you need an oil which has a lower viscosity that flows more easily through your vehicle so that it runs smoothly and stays lubricated. Winter-rated oils all have “W” in their grade ie 15W40.

A reminder also that you need to make regular dipstick checks on your oil levels to avoid long-term damage to your car’s engine.

Battery

Your battery works hard in winter, to start the car, the heating is on full-blast, you are defrosting your car and the engine is idling.

If you do find your battery is flat then you might need to jump-start your car. Read our article on how to use jump leads safely first.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze (also known as coolant) is a liquid that mixes with water in vehicles to stop the radiators from freezing or overheating. The last thing you want is things freezing on the inside of your car!

Whilst we are at it, here are some more winter driving checks.

If you wish for a professional opinion on whether your car is winter-ready then we’d love to hear from you. Book an appointment today on 020 8807 0668.

Posted in Car checks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

A Motoring Look Back at 2018 with MEB the Motor Centre

It’s that time of the year when we take a look back at what news and motoring tips we’ve shared with you on our garage website blog.



January 2018

In January we focussed on the winter weather and did a round up of the types of weather you might encounter on a winter’s day and how to cope with fog, sleet and snow, rain, ice and hail. We hope you don’t have to experience too many of these types of weather this winter but if you do then be prepared!

We also took a look at three driving law changes that would come into force in 2018: the driving test, MOTs and drones (odd we know but new rules stated that owners had to register their drones and also take a basic online safety test in order to use it).

February 2018

In February we provided advice on how to avoid damage from those pesky potholes, what to check for if you do hit one and most importantly how to claim!

On a more positive note, we looked forward to Spring  (ever the optimists) and how to get out and about to enjoy your car.

March 2018

In March we looked at the new driving test rules in more detail – The major changes being:

  • Following directions from a Satnav
  • Independent driving
  • Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
  • Reversing manoeuvres

We also shared information on the upcoming changes to the MOT that were introduced in May.

April 2018

In April, we celebrated “Drive It Day” which raises awareness of the UK’s classic vehicle movement.

We also talked about the fate of the diesel car. We concluded that it may not have had its day yet, but it certainly looks like it will do in the future.

Finally, have you ever wondered whether those stories about cars are true. There’s so many car maintenance myths out there that we picked our favourites!

May 2018

Ever wondered how car scrappage schemes work? We look at the various deals and our advice in our May article.

Since diesel looks like it might be heading for the exit, we took a look at the different types of fuel available and options to power vehicles.

June 2018

As the tables turn on diesel cars and the need for zero-emission driving, there is more and more talk about electric and hybrid vehicles. In June, we explored the differences between these newer, cleaner energy choices.

We also followed up on our article on the different types of fuel, and looked at what happens if you use the wrong fuel in your car or misfuellingas it is otherwise known as.

July 2018

July was a sad month at MEB in Crouch End as we started winding up our business until we found new premises.

Our last article before our move was about the world of Car Share.

October 2018

It may have looked like we had taken an extended summer break but in October we were finally able to announce the address of our new premises. As a reminder, we are sharing workshop space with body repair specialists Volante in Edmonton, N18.

Since relocating from Crouch End to Edmonton, we were getting used to the new sights and surroundings of Edmonton.  If you were to bring your car up to N18 for a service or MOT then what were you likely to find around the Landmark Commercial Centre? Here’s some fun facts about Edmonton N18!

November 2018

In November we looked at whether speed bumps were the best traffic calming method, and what the alternatives were.

We also retouched on the world of electric vehicles. It seems that North London are slowly waking up to the fact that petrol and diesel cars will cease production in 2040 (with a plan to bring this forward to 2032).  We investigated how London boroughs are making efforts to install new electric vehicle charging points.

So now of course we have reached the end of the year. We would like to thank our loyal customers from both Crouch End and Edmonton for entrusting their cars with us for MOTs, services and general checkups throughout 2018.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

MOTs at MEB the Motor Centre

MEB the Motor Centre in Edmonton has some lovely neighbours in Landmark Commercial Centre.  When we were situated in Crouch End we were often competing with Kwik Fit for MOT customers.  Here are some reasons to try your local garage a try rather than using a large fast fit centre!

4 good reasons to switch

good garage scheme1 – Good Garage Scheme

MEB the Motor Centre are part of the Good Garage Scheme which basically means that we are a local garage that can be trusted for a car service, MOT or car repairs.  All Good Garage Scheme  members perform services to a strict Code of Conduct and have the customers best interests in mind.

2 – Quick and reliable

MEB the Motor Centre is an approved MOT test station.  We are approved by the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and all our tests are completed MOT testers nominated by VOSA.

Whilst we’re carrying out your vehicle’s MOT, we might discover that some repairs need doing.  We will contact you to explain what needs to be done before carrying out the repairs.  Plus, you will not be charged an MOT retest fee if the repairs are carried out by MEB.

MOT3 – The Cost

Generally an MOT costs around £54.95 but we ours start from just £34.95.  Book your car in by calling 020 8340 0656.

4 – Don’t take our word for it

Here are some recent feedback posted on the Good Garage Scheme:

This is the best garage I have ever used!

Totally brilliant, I had almost gave up on our car until we found this garage. No other garage could help us!

mot-testingI had problems with my clutch and was really nervous about taking it to a garage myself as a female who knows virtually nothing about cars! MEB were amazing, they were really friendly and helpful. It turned out it only needed adjustments to a chain and they didn’t charge me anything for their work! Really wonderful service and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

So if you have historically taken your car to a large fast fit chain, why not reconsider and use your local garage as an alternative.  We’ve given you four good reasons to try us at MEB!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

A Piece of Crouch End History: Lotus Showroom

Lotus showroomWe’re not sure how many of our customers who brought their cars in for a service or MOT at MEB Motors know that Tottenham Lane (where our garage is situated but further down the road) was also home to the original Lotus showroom.

According to Wikipedia, the first Lotus Cars factory was set up in stables behind the Railway Hotel in 1954.  In the beginnings, Lotus sold cars primarily to privateer racers and trialists.  Early road cars could also be bought in kits to save on purchase tax!  Next to the pub was the first Lotus showroom which moved to Cheshunt in 1959 (to a new purpose-built facility).

Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Engineering Ltd in 1952, not only has a memorial plaque in his name at the site of one of the original Lotus office buildings but his very own museum (albeit in the cyber world at present).   In 2004, 7 Tottenham Lane was added to the Haringey Council’s register of Local Listed Buildings.

However, the Lotus showroom has recently been in the press, under threat of demolition by current owners Jewson.  Graham Arnold’s son, Chris Arnold lodged an objection, as reported in the Ham and High Broadway:

“I’ve grown up with Lotus. I’m very sad that it’s going to be demolished when it could be transformed into a fantastic museum to commemorate one of Britain’s greatest car engineers.

IMG_0192“In its heyday, Lotus was the best car racing company in the world – it all started in Hornsey. Just last week Hornsey Baths were pulled down; I think we should treat our history with a bit more respect. This is another piece of history demolished.”

To further the campaign, Arnold appealed to Lotus owners to take part in this year’s Hornsey Carnival.  Take a look at our photos of the Lotus cars joining the Hornsey Carnival parade.

However, this story does have a happy ending.  Due to overwhelming support, the planning application has been refused!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

electric vehicle charging pointsIt seems that North London are slowly waking up to the fact that petrol and diesel cars will cease production in 2040 (with a plan to bring this forward to 2032).  With this in mind London boroughs are making efforts to install new electric vehicle charging points.

Haringey Consultation

MEB (formerly a business operating in Haringey) and other local businesses/residents were consulted in February/March 2018 about the possible introduction of 75 Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCPs)/bays in 23 locations within Haringey.

As part of the consultation, Haringey Council took on board Transport for London’s advice to provide 152 EVCPs to meet demand. The council’s Transport Strategy encourages the uptake of electric vehicles and it contributes to their commitment to improve air quality.

The new charging points are operated by Source London, accessible to Source London members and all others users on a “pay as you go” basis.  These charging points should be operational before the end of December 2018.

Edmonton and Enfield Charging Points

Since we are new to the Edmonton area, it isn’t entirely clear what Enfield Council’s plans are as yet regarding these electric vehicle charging points.  However it is interesting to know that there was a key decision back in June 2017 to appoint a single provider to replace and manage existing electric vehicle charging points in the London Borough of Enfield, although we cannot find which company has been awarded the contract.

If you are looking for a charging point in Edmonton then two can be found within the Tottenham Ikea premises operated by Ecotricity.

For a wider look at charging points in Enfield, take a look at Zap Map (indeed any location in the UK), the majority of which are run by POLAR.

Electric Charging Networks

If you have bought (or thinking about buying) an electric car, most of your charging will happen at home or at work.  However, there will be times when you will need to use public charging networks.  Below is a list of the major UK charging networks (most offering a mix of slow, fast and rapid charging options).

Charge Your Car

ChargePlace Scotland 

E-Carni

Ecotricity

ESB ecars

ESB EV Solutions 

GeniePoint

InstaVolt

Pod Point

Polar

Shell Recharge 

Source London

Tesla (Supercharger and Destination)

Zero Carbon World (ZeroNet)

MEB the Motor Centre service all types of car including electric vehicles.  Call us on 020 8807 0668 to book in your next service or MOT.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Small Business Saturday: Reasons why you should use a small independent garage

small business saturdaySmall Business Saturday is coming up (Saturday 1st December).  It’s important to support our small, local, independent businesses such as the local garage. MEB is one such garage and is a great place to meet all your car needs. Why are small garages better than large corporate dealerships? Read on to find out.

  1. Local Economy

It goes without saying that investing in the local economy is going to benefit the local community. As money spent there is going to be recycled back into the local economy.

  1. Reputation

For local businesses to do well they need a good reputation. Word of mouth is a great way to bring in new business. A good reputation is a great way to bring repeat business.  So small independent garages such as MEB work constantly to ensure they reach the highest standards by employing highly skilled staff, ensuring accurate and up to date technical knowledge and ensuring good customer service.

At MEB we are proud of our reputation and the testimonials we receive from our customers:

“Gerard’s technical knowledge and customer service ethos has clearly been passed on to all who work for him. They make every effort to turn around jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible while keeping the customer fully informed of costings and timings.” 

  1. Local and Convenient

Your local garage should be just that – local.  Easily accessible and convenient, especially if you have to leave your car for the day.  At MEB the Motor Centre we are based in the heart of Edmonton in North London.  We provide a pick up and drop off service and a free courtesy car if needed.

  1. Regulation

Many motorists are not satisfied with their garage experiences and want a recognised garage code with minimum standards.  Results of the Motor Codes survey can be read here http://www.motorcodes.co.uk/motorist/press-releases/gearing-up-for-garage-reform.html.  At MEB the Motor Centre, we are not only a member of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) but have been added to their list of trusted garages.  We have been awarded five stars for the last few years in the Good Garage Scheme. Furthermore, we are a Which Trusted Trader, giving consumers peace of mind that they are choosing a reputable trader.

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Speed Bumps

speed bumpsLove them or loathe them, speed bumps are part of our road system.  But are they the best traffic calming method?

Speed bumps are commonly used to enforce a low speed limit (around 25 mph).  They might be good at keeping speed limits low but can cause problems such as traffic noise, damage to cars and slow down emergency vehicles. They also are a hassle to sports cars (plus others with low ground clearance), cyclists and motorbikes.

Types of speed bumps

In the UK we have four different types of vertical deflection in highways:

  • Road humps (round topped)
  • Speed tables (hump with long and broad central plateau)
  • Speed cushions (raised portion of road with flat top over only part of the carriage way’s width)
  • Rumble strips (restricted to retail parks and rural areas because of the noise)

 Car damage

One in five drivers have experienced car damage from speed bumps with an average repair bill of £144.

Car drivers can claim for damage if the speed bump is larger than the legal requirement (no higher than 100 millimetres) but it is more difficult than claiming for pothole damage.

The most common type of damage is tyre related – damage to the inside shoulders (damage can’t be easily seen) can lead to blowouts on high speed roads. Other issues include suspension issues (broken springs, shock absorbers having to be replaced), damage to steering and vehicle sumps (can wreck engines and cause dangerous oil spillages).

Speed bump safety

Since cars can be damaged by speed bumps, what can be done to avoid this?

There are things that the local authorities can do:

  • Keeping within the stipulated safety regulations
    • No vertical face of more than 6mm
    • No more than 100mm high
    • No narrower than 900mm
  • Clear signage – warning drivers to slow down significantly
  • Lighting – ensure that the speed bumps are clearly visible to drivers by:
    • placing at least three street lights (no less than 38 metres apart) near the speed bumps on the highway
    • provide lighting specifically for the speed bump (reflectors/cats eyes, lamps either side of the hump)

There are things that drivers can do too.  Driving slowly over speed humps can avoid damage to  your car.

NB if you are driving regularly over speed cushions then you can increase wear on the inner should of your tyres.  Get this checked out at your next service.

Other traffic calming methods

Speed bumps aren’t the only way to slow down traffic.  Local authorities also employ the following methods:

  • 20mph speed limits – by lowering speed limits you shouldn’t need to introduce other traffic calming measures
  • Road humps (sleeping policeman) – used to stop vehicles from speeding up rather than trying to slow them down. Often found in residential areas but not suitable for bus routes!
  • Lane width restrictions – using traffic islands or road markings gives the impression of a more narrow road and reduces speeds
  • Interactive signs – these detect the oncoming traffic speed and flash up the speed they are doing (if exceeds the limit) or a smiley face if below the limit

If your car has been damaged by a speed bump, call us on 020 8340 0656 and we will fix your car for you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Fascinating Facts about Edmonton, N18

Since relocating from Crouch End to Edmonton, we are getting used to the new sights and surroundings of Edmonton.  If you were to bring your car up to N18 for a service or MOT then what are you likely to find around the Landmark Commercial Centre?

Welcome to our guide to Edmonton!

EdmontonNow most importantly to motoring enthusiasts such as us at MEB the Motor Centre is TeamSport Go Karting North London. We love to spend our spare time racing each other on this multi-level 800m go kart track in North London.  If you become a regular, take advantage of their #Grid membership club, giving you 10% off at all of their tracks, and loads of other perks.

Just a 15 minute stroll away from our new site in Commercial Road is Pymmes Park.  Originally a private estate, in 1589 Robert Cecil spent his honeymoon here. Edmonton Council acquired the estate and in 1906 it was opened as a public park.  Sadly Pymmes House was destroyed in the Second World War by fire.

If you are a fan of blue plaques then you can see one dedicated to John Keats, the poet at Keats Parade.  The poet had been apprenticed to a surgeon in Church Street between 1811 & 1815, the house being knocked down in 1931 and Keats Parade erected on its site.  The other blue plaque is in honour of writers Charles and Mary Lamb who lived in Bay Cottage (Lamb’s Cottage).

John Gilpin is Edmonton’s literary hero.  Read about him in William Cowper’s 1782 poem, “The Diverting History of John Gilpinand how he never gets to spend his twentieth wedding anniversary at the Bell Inn in Fore Street. Although the pub is no longer there, the local Wetherspoons is named in honour, Gilpin’s Bell public house opposite the site of the original inn. Gilpin is also remembered in Edmonton in statue form at Fore Street and the 1950s council housing Gilpin House in Upper Fore Street.

Three facts about Edmonton

Did you know that Edmonton is split into Lower Edmonton (N9 confusingly the northern part of Edmonton) and Upper Edmonton (N18 the southern part!).

The main Roman road from London to Lincoln and then onto York passes through Edmonton, Ermine Street.

If you are finding lots of references to Edmonton in Canada then you might be interested to know that Sir James Winter Lake set up a trading outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company there, naming it after his home town in England.  Edmonton is now the capital of Alberta (Canadian province).

So we now think you are culturally enriched enough to enjoy your time in Edmonton whilst you are waiting for your car to be serviced.  Please do book yours soon on 020 8340 0656.

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

MEB Moves from Crouch End to Edmonton

End on an era for MEB

I am taking this opportunity to personally thank you for your lovely comments it’s the end on an era for us. I have now moved to our body shop in Edmonton N18.

Volante, has a small team of professionals located south eastern part of the London Borough of Enfield.

While predominantly we have been specialising in Italian cars dating back to the 1970… with over 40 years in the UK motor trade, offering a first rate mechanical service for Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth brand.

We can service any vehicle, to the highest standards, line with manufacturer recommended guidelines and ensure you vehicle is in peak performance.

Furthermore we will be pleased to look after your vehicle with not only servicing but MOTs, and Body repairs.

We are approximately thirty five minutes away from Crouch End on the W3 bus, however we are offering to pickup and delivery service for Crouch End customers for all services and MOT.

Yours sincerely

Gerard

— 

Volante body repairs EdmontonUnit 2, Landmark Commercial Centre

21 Commercial Road

Edmonton, London 

N18 1UB

Tel: 020 8807 0668

E-mail: volante.uk@gmail.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Car Share

car shareThanks to the programmes Peter Kay’s Car Share and Carpool Karaoke, the idea that more than one person can travel in a car at once has become more popular, and even fun!

How it works

Carpooling or a car share is a simple concept: two or more people make a regular journey in a single car.  It could be the same driver each time or they could take it in turns.

Firstly you need to either find an existing carpool or set one up.  Check with your business as they might have one set up or the facilities to connect commuters travelling the same way.

If you are setting up a new car share then talk to your friends and neighbours about it, use community noticeboards to advertise and the power of social media.

Investigate if there are any council or government incentives for choosing to carpool or indeed any apps that you can leverage.

For more details on how to set up a car share programme, take a look at this great Wikihow article.

 

Benefits

  • It can save time – not only as there will be fewer cars on the road but also saving time finding a parking space as there will be less vehicles in the car park
  • It can save money – according to Liftshare, the average car-sharer saves around £1000 a year through journey-sharing.
  • It’s better for the environment – not only are you saving on fuel, you are also reducing your carbon footprint
  • It’s good for employees – carpooling can attract and retain staff to businesses where there are poor transport links; health and wellbeing can be improved if staff aren’t worried about being late for work; staff can connect with one another improving employee engagement (which in turn reduces the number of sick days taken).

 

Apps and Websites

Through the use of technology like-minded commuters are able to share their journeys with others.

  • Liftshare.com provides the largest car sharing network in the UK – you can either use it privately or ask for a demo on how to use it for your business
  • Blablacar.com is a website and app which shows the cost of typical journeys and allows you to set up ride alerts
  • Gocarshare.com is all geared up to matching individuals with lifts to festivals and sports events. Their aim is to make car sharing fun.

At MEB Motors we want to make sure your car is in peak condition if you are part of a carpool.  Get in touch today about your next service 020 8340 0656.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed
Share This