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Well, we're finally there. We made it through 2014 but, unlike the previous couple of years when we experienced a whole number of uplifting events like the London Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the main news has been about the stabilisation of the economy and the destabilisation of the Middle East with a seemingly endless stream of violence. At least today's announcement of the Queen's New Year's honours list, with some really well-deserving recipients, has got 2015 off to a good start.

What does the New Year hold apart from the General Election in May? Well, and this may seem a tad contrived, it's all about New Year's resolutions isn't it and I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't mention that one of the best resolutions you can make is to stay safe on the road. So, if you haven't already done it, why not take your car in to your local garage and ask for a free health check? Even better, why not get yourself up to speed with some car maintenance advice? We run Pit Stop Workshops so you, your family and friends can learn about the basics like changing a tyre and topping up the oil. To register please call Paul on 01206 211483, or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll take the details.

If you're not already enjoying the benefits of our loyalty schemes, you can ask Paul or me about them too but here's a summary: 'Rewarding Service' entitles you to a free air conditioning service when your rewards card is complete. There are 20 stamps on the card and you 'earn' a stamp for every £20 you spend; but you don't even have to use it, you could give your completed card to a family member or a friend to redeem.

'Pass it On' will give whoever you hand this card to (providing they are new to John Austin, not a current customer) a 10% discount on their first service or repair with us. As you referred a new customer to us, you'll receive a 20% discount on your next service or repair – and it CAN be used in conjunction with any other discount promotion we're running. If you're not already involved, you should be.

All that remains for me to do is to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. Best wishes from all of us at John Austin.

August is typically a quiet month as customers wait for the impending plate change in September and, despite the new '64 plate coming in to play, figures show that the used car market is not being neglected. However the UK new car market is the star of the show, enjoying its 30th consecutive month of comparative growth. Historically low finance offers available to consumers as the Bank of England’s base rate remains at 0.5 per cent, and the growing confidence in the economy, have been the major factors in sales growth.

So, if you were in the market for a new car, what did you want and what did you get? Here are the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK this year: 1. Ford Fiesta – 83,664 registrations in 2014 2. Ford Focus – 53,507 registrations in 2014 3. Vauxhall Corsa – 50,187 registrations in 2014 4. Volkswagen Golf – 45,653 registrations in 2014 5. Vauxhall Astra – 38,621 registrations in 2014 6. Nissan Qashqai – 32,073 registrations in 2014 7. Audi A3 – 28,279 registrations in 2014 8. Volkswagen Polo - 26,460 registrations in 2014 9. Fiat 500 – 25,910 registrations in 2014 10. BMW 3 Series – 23,736 registrations in 2014 But what about the super rich? What's their car of choice?

Research by Oracle Finance has shown that SUVs are most popular with footballers in the Premiership, with the Range Rover being the most popular marque over all. OK, most of us aren't in the super rich category, but it's always interesting to take a look at what our footballers are buying at the moment isn't it?. Here's their top 10: 1. Rover Vogue 2. Bentley Continental GT 3. Range Rover Sport 4. Audi Q7 5. BMW X5 6. Porsche Cayenne 7. Lamborghini Gallardo 8. Ferrari 458 9. Maserati Gran Turismo 10. Aston Martin DB9 Happy motoring!

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Did you know that if you sneeze while driving at 70mph you can lose your vision for as much as 100 metres? If you suffer from hay fever, antihistamines are a must-have. 

We’re heading for a summer scorcher (well, when the rain stops!), so your car might need a little help too. You can take it to John Austin’s for a FREE summer healthcheck. 

We’ll look over your vehicle, paying particular attention to the cooling system, tyre condition and pressure, oil level and windscreen wiper blades, to make sure you’re safe on the road.

We have over 40 years’ experience in servicing and repairing cars; all makes and models are welcome; we carry out MOTs whileyou wait (but you'll need to book your vehicle in first) and we're open six days a week.

Call 01206 211483 or just call in. We’re here to help. 

Posted by in Uncategorized

Did you know that if you sneeze while driving at 70mph you can lose your vision for as much as 100 metres? If you suffer from hay fever, antihistamines are a must-have. 

We’re heading for a summer scorcher (well, when the rain stops!), so your car might need a little help too. You can take it to John Austin’s for a FREE summer healthcheck. 

We’ll look over your vehicle, paying particular attention to the cooling system, tyre condition and pressure, oil level and windscreen wiper blades, to make sure you’re safe on the road.

We have over 40 years’ experience in servicing and repairing cars; all makes and models are welcome; we carry out MOTs whileyou wait (but you'll need to book your vehicle in first) and we're open six days a week.

Call 01206 211483 or just call in. We’re here to help. 

Want to avoid a breakdown and cut down on expensive repairs? You have to take action We know from the AA that the number of models and complexity of modern cars mean that there are a huge and varied number of things that can go wrong at any time. So where do you start? We asked the AA to tell us about the most common faults they come across; here’s a brief run down on what they are and what you can do to stay safe on the road and avoid expensive repairs:

Flat or faulty battery

Most common problems are caused by terminals and clamp connections or by a loss of voltage, often caused by constant use on short journeys without regular recharging. At every service, check that the terminals have been cleaned and protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease, and that clamps and connections are secure. If you don’t make long journeys, a fortnightly overnight charge prolongs battery life; modern maintenance-free batteries don’t need a top-up.

Lost keys

Most modern cars have a 'transponder' key combining a conventional mechanical key with an encrypted electronic chip to prevent theft, which means if you lose the key, recovery to an authorised dealer may be the only answer. As it might take several days to get a replacement, you should always carry a spare key. Flat/damaged tyres and wheels You manual will tell you what the correct tyre pressures should be and you can adjust the pressures to suit different speeds and loads. You should check the pressures once a month – don’t leave it for the mechanics to do at your annual service. When checking tread depth, look out for uneven tyre wear – it’s possible the wheels may be misaligned and you should consult a tyre specialist for advice. And don’t forget the spare tyre. A worn or flat spare won't help you in an emergency. Finally, check that the jack is in good condition and that the key/removal tool for the locking wheel nuts is accessible.

Alternator faults

Persistent battery problems and dim headlights when the engine is idling can indicate alternator/generator faults. Belts driving the alternator may also operate the radiator fan and water pump. A red ignition warning light, plus a rapid rise in engine temperature, could indicate a broken belt, in which case you need to stop straight away and get assistance.

Starter motor

Though usually robust, starter motors can fail. A regular service should highlight potential faults.

Fuel problems

Empty fuel tanks cost a lot of time and inconvenience. Fill up at the start of your journey and well before the warning light comes on. Don’t drive on fumes. Every year more than 150,000 motorists put the wrong fuel in their car – petrol in diesel is most common but drivers put diesel in petrol cars too. When that happens you’ll need to drain and flush the fuel out of the system before filling up again.

Clutch cables

Clutch cables are under high stress, and abrasion can weaken the wire strands until they break. Temporary roadside repairs can be made, but replacement at the first signs of wear is the best solution.

Spark plugs

The spark plug is a much-neglected part of the ignition system. Make sure that the plugs are replaced at the manufacturer's recommended service intervals.

High Tension leads

High-tension (HT) leads and their connections can deteriorate with age; water and dirt enter cracks in the insulation, reducing ignition voltage. Damp-repellent sprays like WD-40 are only a temporary solution. You should ask your garage to check the condition of the leads and replace as necessary.

As you can see, there are only nine top faults, so we thought we should make it a nice round TEN by adding this tip: don’t forget to read the manual. It tells you everything you need to know about your car and can help you become more aware of any small niggles and stop them becoming expensive problems.

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