Monday, 14 December 2015

Local Cause - Christmas 2015

We made a conscious decision in 2012 to give a little something back at Christmas time and every year since, we have supported a local cause or charity instead of sending Cards & Gifts at Christmas. As a small local business we aren't able to give to or support everything, but we do like to use Christmas as an opportunity to give something back to the community at a time that we look at what we have and reflect how lucky we are. It wouldn't be possible without the tremendous support we receive off our customers throughout the year!

We like to choose a different charity/local cause every year and this year we have decided to support the Marches Family Network and are making a donation of £150.00 to this cause. 

Marches Family Network are a fantastic local charity who provide respite care services for children with disabilities or special needs along with support for families of disabled children. 

For more details of their work visit the website 

If you represent a local cause or charity in Leominster and would like to be considered for Our Local Cause for Christmas 2016 please get in touch with Tim Benson on 01568 612436. 

About us: Oldfields Garage Services Ltd in Leominster carry out MOT testing for cars, 4x4s and light vans and provide a variety of servicing options, which can be found by visiting our website.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

How to Find a New Garage when Moving to a New Area?

If you have moved to a new area and drive a vehicle, finding a good local garage you can trust is something that will crop up and you'll need to think about.

There are a number of ways you can look and I'm going to highlight a few key questions that will help you identify the type of garage to fit your needs.

Have they got a Website?
Searching Online is one of the most popular ways of finding a garage, but a good garage would normally have website with there address, contact details along with information of any bodies they are a member of or recommended by. They would normally have a link to reviews on their site.

Do they subscribe to a Office of Fair Trading Code of Practice?
Most good quality garages will subscribe to a Code of Practice, such as the Motor Industry Code of Practice (Motor Codes). Garages who subscribe must adhere to a minimum standards and would usually have several reviews for you to look at. You can visit Motor Codes here and use the "find a garage feature." If a garage has more than 20 feedback reviews it would be reasonable to consider these

Are they Approved by Reputed Motoring Organisations such as the AA or RAC?
MotorCodes approved garages are currently inspected every 2 years by the AA (although this is not going to happen in the future), but the AA also run a list of garages in an area that they would recommend for customers who break down in an area. If you are an AA member you can contact them and they should be able to provide some recommendations for an area.

The RAC also have approved garages who are inspected annually and you can find these by visiting  
there garage finder. RAC approved garages are also allowed to display an RAC sign on their building.

How Long Have they Trading?
Whilst it isn't necessarily important how long a garage has been operating, Garages that have longevity would normally indicate they provide a service level that meets the needs of the local community.

Is the Garage Generally Busy?
If a garage is generally busy then this is normally an indication of their reputation in the local area. Good Garages are usually busy, but will also try to accommodate you if possible - setting a realistic timescale.

Do they Offer Courtesy Cars or Collection and Delivery?
This may or may not be important to you, but it is worth considering to allow some flexibility with getting your car looked after. It is also helpful during busy times with the garage.

Do they have enough Staff?
This might sound a silly consideration, but if a garage only has one member of staff they are unlikely to be able to respond quickly to an emergency.

Are their Staff Qualified to the Required Level?
Keeping up to date with modern vehicles is very important as vehicles and their management systems are becoming more complex. Garages who regularly provide staff training would usually display these in there reception area.

Have you Asked your Neighbours?
If you have a garage in mind following your research don't forget to ask your Neighbours what their reputation is like.

About us: Oldfields Garage in Leominster is an award winning Garage who are approved by The AA and RAC. They subscribe to the Motor Industry Code of Practice and are part of the Approved Garages Network. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

What oil should I use for my car?

Using the correct oil for your car has never been more crucial. It can have a significant impact on the performance, emissions and long-term wear on your vehicle engine and may even cause component failure. Incorrect oil can cause blocking of EGR valves, DPFs and other emission control systems, turbo failure, engine bearing wear to name but a few possibilities - in more extreme cases these may not be too long before the fault occurs.

It is no longer relevant to use the viscosity rating (for example 10W40 or 5W30), because there can be many variations of the same viscosity oil. It also used to be the case that "some oil is better than no oil," but it's no longer true as the wrong oil can cause you problems.

If you speak to your local garage they will be able to help you identify the correct oil for your vehicle. At Oldfields Garage Services Ltd, Leominster, we use the vehicle registration number to check and ensure the specification supplied meets the manufacturers requirements. We only use premium quality oils when servicing vehicles and our preferred supplier is Millers Oils.

Why did we choose Millers to be our main oil supplier?
We've chosen Millers Oils because they blend the oils themselves in the UK, carry out extensive research and provide technical support to ensure the oils are correct for our customers vehicle. Their automotive range is specially formulated using the latest additives to maximise performance and minimise emissions.

What should I do to top up my oil?
Next time you go to top the oil up on your car or van it might not be sensible to pick one up from the local supermarket (unless it exactly matches your vehicles required specification). I'd recommend you go to your local reputable service or repair garage to ask them to supply you with the correct oil to top it up if required - they might even top it up for you!

Millers Oils provide a useful "which oil" checker here. Other oil manufacturers also provide similar systems.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

What is the difference between a Service & MOT?

We are sometimes asked what's the difference between a Service and MOT? I'm going to try to explain this as succinctly as possible. In the simplest of terms, the MOT is a legal requirement and must be carried out on Cars and Vans at least once per year to ensure the vehicle is safe for the road. Without a valid MOT, your vehicle will not be able to be legally driven on the road, with the exception of taking it to and from an MOT test centre. 

Servicing on the other hand is aimed at maintaining your vehicle, helping to ensure it operates at its optimum level. Vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing after a certain amount of miles (usually around 10,000) or after a certain period of time (usually 12 months). Timescales and mileage recommendations vary depending on the vehicle and manufacture. Servicing is increasingly important with modern vehicles to ensure miles per gallon efficiency remains strong and components of the vehicle don't wear or damage prematurely - causing  unnecessary expensive repair bills. Items that have a recommended service life can include engine oil & filter, air filter, cabin filter, fuel filter, spark plugs (on petrols), cambelts/timing belts, air conditioning systems, brake fluid and so on. Whilst the vehicle is still in its warranty period it is important to carry out servicing to the schedule set by the manufacturer using parts and oils that meet manufacturer's specification. You don't however have to take your vehicle to a main dealer to keep the warranty valid due to the European Block Exemption Laws. 

With quality servicing there will inevitably be some crossover with the requirements of an MOT and this will vary depending on the level of Service that is carried out. 

For an example on a major service, like our Silver Service we would pre-flush the engine, cleaning the inside of the engine ready for fresh oil and renewing the oil filter. We also change the cabin filter, fuel filter, air filter and spark plugs as necessary, check the vehicle underbonnet levels, tyre condition and pressures along with inspecting safety items, such as brakes, brake pipes and other safety/maintenance checks.

Oldfields Garage Services Ltd in Leominster carry out MOT testing for cars and light vans and provide a variety of servicing options, which can be found by visiting our website.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

How to choose the best MOT station for your needs?

Here at Oldfields Garage Leominster, we don't believe in rushing an MOT or heavy discounting to entice customers to come to us. 

We aim to provide a fair MOT that ensures our customers and their families are safe in their cars or vans, making you aware of advisory items that may require consideration/attention in the future. We allow 45 minutes to an hour for every vehicle (and if it requires more time to inspect fully we are happy to do that). 

The MOT test is designed to ensure all road using vehicles meet a minimum standard. The standard is set by the DVSA and all MOT testers have to attend an MOT testers course to be able to carry out the test. It is the responsibility of the Testing Station to manage and monitor the quality of the MOT. 

Our MOT testers are experienced and trained technicians who not only carry out MOT tests, but also routine maintenance - giving them a better understanding of assessing vehicle safety.

What vehicles can Oldfields Garage Test?
Oldfields Garages can test Class 4 vehicles. Vehicles are tested based on their Class rating, with cars and vans under 3 tonne being rated as Class 4. Motor Caravans, Dual Purpose Vehicles (such as twin cab pickups), vehicles up to 8 seats and Private passenger vehicles and ambulances 9-12 seats are also class 4. 

For full details on vehicle MOT classes visit

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Petrol V Deisel - which is best?

We are often asked whether Diesel Cars are more Economical than Petrol and with the help of Unipart we have put together this article which we hope you will find useful. Years ago when it came to choosing the fuel type for your car the choice was easy. However, these days it is not so simple. With the cost of fuel constantly rising many people are debating whether they should have a car that runs on petrol or a car that runs on diesel. This blog explains the differences between petrol and diesel.

Once upon a time people were very reluctant to buy a diesel car for one reason - they had noisy engines and people often referred to them as trucks. It wasn't long before car manufacturers realised they could refine the diesel engine to make it cleaner, efficient, more powerful and with developments in Dual mass clutch and flywheel technology vibration was taken out from the vehicle cabin. With diesel costing less than petrol at the petrol pumps it was suddenly becoming a more viable option for consumers. However, today the economy is slightly different and diesel is no longer cheaper than petrol which means no longer is it clear cut when choosing which fuel you should opt for.

Consumers often opt for diesel cars because of the reputation they have of 'saving money' However, research has shown that this is not the case and more often than not diesel cars are more expensive to run than petrol cars. A diesel engine may give you more miles per gallon but it could be a number of years before you see any savings because diesel cars cost more to fill than an unleaded car. Not only that, when purchasing a diesel car you are paying a premium for the privilege. If it is a new car then this premium can be as much as £2,000.

With petrol being priced cheaper at the pumps and new advances in petrol engine efficiency it means you are getting more value for money from a petrol engine.

If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year then petrol will always be the best choice for you. The magazine "Which" conducted a study and found it would take an automatic BMW 530d SE diesel – costing £40,945 and doing 40.9mpg – more than 14 years of average motoring to be as cost effective as the petrol-powered 528i SE Step Auto, costing £37,300 and doing 34mpg. While company car drivers who do lots of miles might do well with the more expensive diesel with a £3,645 premium, the report says private buyers should stick to petrol, adding: ‘The premium for the diesel means it will almost never pay back in terms of fuel savings.’
It seems the message is pretty clear at the moment. Town dwellers who do low mileage would benefit from petrol. Anyone who drives lots of miles, particularly if you don't do a good amount of longer journeys (to allow the Diesel Particulate Filter to regenerate properly), would be better suited with a car that uses diesel as fuel.

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