Looking after your car during lock down

At Pulman Group we hope you’re all keeping safe and well during the lock down. We took the decision to close the business on 24th March 2020 for the well being of our staff and customers; we believe this was completely the right thing to do.

Whilst our doors are closed we are able to answer sales and after sales questions during the lock down. Our online team can be contacted Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm, visit www.pulmangroup.co.uk for more information.

We’re sure a lot of people have been filling their days with 1 hour of exercise, maybe a bit of DIY or gardening or just a trip to the shops for essential supplies. But don’t forget your car needs some TLC too! We all need to care of our vehicles especially if they are going to be parked up for more than 2 weeks. We’ve got together 5 Pulman top tips to care for your car while its not being used as regularly.

1. Turning the car over

Leaving your car parked for a long period of time can cause the battery to run flat and potentially damage the internal mechanics.

If you can, a good way to avoid this is by starting your car and driving for about 15 minutes every 4 to 5 days, when you go and get supplies from the supermarket for example. This will prevent the battery from going flat and will help to lubricate the engine. If it’s not possible to take the car for a drive, then simply starting the engine and letting it run for 15 minutes will help to ensure the battery maintains its charge.

If you can move the car it will help the tyres by preventing flat spots and will allow the parking brake to be released regularly.

2. Parking brakes

There are three types of parking brakes on Volkswagen Group vehicles:

Traditional Handbrake

Traditional Handbrake

When parking your car place the vehicle in first gear or reverse depending on any incline or decline considerations.  Then disengage the handbrake.  This will prevent the car rolling but will also prevent the handbrake binding and causing damage. Remember to re-apply the handbrake and to disengage the clutch when you next start the car.

Electronic Handbrake

Electric Handbrake
Again when parking place the vehicle in gear, turn the auto hold function off.  Remove the keys from the ignition and the vehicle will be parked in gear without the parking brake engaged.  As with the traditional handbrake remember to re-apply the handbrake and to disengage the clutch when you next start the car and if you use the Auto Hold function, re-apply that too.

Foot Operated Parking Brake

This type of parking brake is limited to a few VWG vehicles; some older Volkswagen Touareg’s and Phaeton’s.  When parking up these cars place the automatic gear selector in Park (P) and don’t engage the foot operated parking brake.  The vehicle will be held in gear and this will prevent the parking brake binding and causing damage to your car if left standing for a prolonged period.

3. Parking indoors or covering the car

Car Covers
Before storing your car, it’s a good idea to give it a wash to prevent grime from building up and damaging the paintwork.

Remember to clean the tyres, as they tend to hold on to grease, as well as brake shavings and mud which can all cause damage over time, so be sure to clean these thoroughly at the end of the wash.

Rinse the car with free-flowing water before drying with a soft leather chamois or soft micro-fibre towel and finish with a good quality wax.

4. Protect the interior

Remember to clean the interior of your car if it’s going to be left for a long time. Organic debris such as food can rot over time, which at the very least means you’ll be returning to a bad smell, and in some extreme cases can cause damage to your car’s interior.


If your car has leather or coated fabrics, wipe dust away with a dry cloth regularly and for a deeper clean, use a damp cloth and gentle soap to rub the fabric down. Always soak up any leftover moisture with a dry cloth afterwards.

For other fabric seats, be sure to vacuum the material to prevent dust accumulation and never use harsh chemicals or household laundry soaps as these can cause discolouration. When getting out a stain, detergents and solvents can be used to get the mark out, but be careful to not use too much water as moisture can lead to damp and musty odours.

5. Exterior Protection

Before storing your car, it’s a good idea to give it a wash to prevent grime from building up and damaging the paintwork.

Remember to clean the tyres, as they tend to hold on to grease, as well as brake deposits and mud which can all cause damage over time, so be sure to clean these thoroughly at the end of the wash.
If the car has been standing make sure you tackle bird droppings quickly as the uric acid is quite high at 3.5 to 4 ph. The acidity can damage paintwork leaving unsightly rings.

Finally, rinse the car with free-flowing water before drying with a soft leather chamois or soft microfibre towel and finish with a good quality wax or polish.

These tips should help to keep your car in a sound mechanical state and protect it inside and out until you can regularly use it.  

There’s some further helpful video content available via the links below:


Finally, we hope you all stay safe and we wish you and your family good health. Thank you in advance for your support over the coming weeks and we look forward welcoming you back to the Pulman family soon to Deliver a fantastic customer experience.

In the meantime remember you can contact our online team for any advice during the lock down, just visit www.pulmangroup.co.uk for more information.

Please stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Keep Your Car Fresh With An Air Conditioning Service From Pulman

Air conditioning service at Pulman

It’s important to service your air conditioning system to ensure it performs to its best ability over your car’s lifetime! Below we answer the most common questions asked from our customers…

Why should I have an air con service?

There are a number of benefits as to why you should service your air conditioning system in your car! We’ve listed the most important factors below:

  • It maintains the mechanical integrity of the air con system
  • It keeps you fresh, alert and safer whilst driving
  • A service can rectify any faults in your air con system before they turn serious
  • If you suffer from allergies, the air conditioning filters pollutants and airborne particles keeping the air in your car clean
  • In the summer months it keeps you cool and there is no need for your windows to be open (less distractions from the noises outside)
  • It help to demist your car during the winter months.

Benefits of an air conditioning service at Pulman

What would happen if I didn’t get it serviced?

In a nutshell, if you didn’t get it serviced you would shorten the life of the air con system; each year the system can lose up to 10% of its gas! Think of it like a yearly car service, if you didn’t service your car to replace the oil and filters, in time your car would slowly lose value and may lead to it not being roadworthy.

In time, unless the system is replaced, it will be less able to keep you cool and refreshed making it less efficient and it will lead to increased fuel consumption. It will come to a point where it eventually fails to work and replacement parts will be needed which could come at a cost!

Reasons to get an air con service at Pulman

What happens during an air con service?

At Pulman, we drain and recharge the air conditioning system. This is completed by checking the filters, hoses, belt and connections and we also check that the compressor and condenser are working correctly. Our skilled technicians will also replenish the liquids used by the system.

How often would you recommend?

Many drivers won’t have their air conditioning system on throughout the full year, mainly just during the warmer months and to demist windows in the winter, so we would recommend to service your air conditioning system every 2 years.

Why should I get an air con service at Pulman

If you would like to book your air conditioning service with Pulman select your closet branch below (we accept all makes and models for the air conditioning service!):
To be kept up-to-date with the latest service offers from Pulman, follow our social channels:

10 Reasons To Visit Pulman For Your Next Service

10 Reasons To Visit Pulman For Your Next Service

Here at Pulman we offer servicing to both new and returning customers across Durham, Sunderland and the rest of the North East! But why choose Pulman over all of the other retailers? We’ve gathered our top 10 reasons in our latest post…

Reason 1 to service your car at Pulman: Fully Trained Technicians

Reason 1: All of our technicians are factory trained vehicle technicians, so you can relax knowing your car is receiving the best expertise and care! Plus, our fully trained technicians only use authorised manufacturer parts, so you can rest assured your car is being maintained with the quality materials it was originally built with.

Reason 2 to service your car at Pulman: Price Match Guarantee

Reason 2: At Pulman we price match any genuine like-for-like quote within a 5 mile radius of our Sunderland and Durham service retailers. To qualify for this, a written quotation needs to be provided.

Reason 3 to service your car at Pulman: Manufacturer Parts Guarantee

Reason 3: For parts fitted after the manufacturer warranty has expired, we offer a 2-year parts and labour warranty (Volkswagen, SEAT & SKODA).

Reason 4 to service your car at Pulman: Collection & Delivery

Reason 4: We know how sometimes it can be difficult to arrange a convenient time for you to bring your car in for a service! Which is why we offer a free collection and delivery service of your car within 20 miles from our service retailers whether this be from your home or place of work!

Reason 5 to service your car at Pulman: Complimentary Courtesy Car

Reason 5: We understand how some people need a car 7 days a week so while your car is in for a service we offer a complimentary courtesy car! However, if you do require this service it needs to be booked in advance and is subject to availability!

Book your service today

Reason 6 to service your car at Pulman: Complimentary Wash & Vac

Reason 6: There’s nothing better than collecting your car after a service and it looking as good as new gleaming in the sunshine! That’s why at Pulman after every service we offer a complimentary wash and vac!

Reason 7 to service your car at Pulman: Complimentary Health Check

Reason 7: With every car we service we offer a free express visual health check of the car’s components. Plus, it is our duty of care to check your car’s key safety features while our fully trained technicians are servicing your car! However, we won’t carry out any work which may be flagged in the vehicle health check without your permission.

Reason 8 to service your car at Pulman: Unlimited Wi-Fi Connection

Reason 8: We know that some customers would prefer to wait at our service retailers whilst their car is being serviced, that is why we offer an unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot area. So, if you’ve had to take time out of work to bring your car in for a service, you can rest assured you’ll not fall behind on your emails!

Reason 9 to service your car at Pulman: Complimentary Refreshments

Reason 9: At each retailer we offer complimentary refreshments including coffee, tea and herbal teas, water and a range of biscuits. Plus, if you book in for a service at Pulman Volkswagen Durham or Pulman SKODA you can dine at our delicious Café Dafté which offers a range of daily fresh dishes, sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes!

Reason 10 to service your car at Pulman: Family-run Business

Reason 10: Last but certainly not least we are a family-run business, so we understand the importance of caring for your car whilst delivering a fantastic quality service!

If our top 10 reasons have tempted you, book your service with Pulman today! Simply click on the links below:

Or call your closest retailer:

  • Pulman Volkswagen Durham: 0191 383 7509
  • Pulman Volkswagen Sunderland: 0191 537 5993
  • Pulman SKODA Durham: 0191 383 7500
  • Pulman SEAT Sunderland: 0191 537 0015

Why not follow us on our social channels to be kept up-to-date with the latest service offers from Pulman:

Facebook: VolkswagenSEATSKODA
Twitter: VolkswagenSEATSKODA

Get Your Car Ready For Spring

Spring clean car

Now that we are saying goodbye to the cold winter weather (hopefully) it’s time to get your car ready for spring! Follow our top tips to get your car gleaming & restored back to its natural beauty…

During the winter months the harsh weather conditions such as snow, sleet and rain mixed with the road salt beating against your car can affect its exterior and interior overtime. Although you should be cleaning your car throughout the winter months to keep the dirt at bay, now is the perfect time for a total spring clean.

Give Your Car A Thorough Wash

To wash the exterior of your car you can simply use a garden hose or if you don’t have access to one, a sponge and bucket filled with cold water will do the trick! Starting off at the bottom of your car will remove the heavy mud and dirt from your car first a the lighter stains should drip off as you move up! Use a large microfibre cloth afterwards to speed up the drying process a don’t leave your car to dry in the sunshine as this can create water marks!

Onto the tyres; to start with if you have winter tyres on you should replace these and you should check for any cracks and check the tread; if the tread is low or you spot any cracks, these should be replaced immediately. If you don’t need to replace them, you should use a smaller sponge or small brush to get in between the alloys to remove stubborn dirt. Finally, you should check your tyre pressure, either by visiting your local petrol station or you may have your own tyre inflator at home.

Volkswagen clean wheels

Top Up Key Fluids

You should ensure that your car’s key fluids are topped up. Firstly, check the water fluid and top up if necessary; you can use water or windscreen wash.

You should also check the engine oil using the oil dipstick but before you do this ensure your engine is cold or been off for at least 10 minutes. Once cooled remove the dipstick from the pipe and wipe it on a clean, lint-free cloth like a microfibre cloth, place it back into the pipe and pull it back out again and look at the film of oil on the end of the stick. You should look at how high the oil film reaches the dipstick as well as the condition of the oil. If you’re unsure on how to check your oil and which oil to use, visit your local Pulman Retailer (Volkswagen, SKODA and SEAT) across Durham and Sunderland and a member of the Service Team will be happy to help!

Clean The Interior

The interior of your car can also take a tough beating during the winter months so it’s important to give the inside of your car a good spring clean too!

Depending on the condition of your mats either clean or replace them. If you’re cleaning them, clean them outside of your car with a stain remover, and if you have time, with a jet wash and let them hang to dry. To clean the seats within your car, a handheld hoover works best as it can get between the crevasses and saves you potentially tripping up around the cable from a standard home hoover! If the material throughout your car is cloth, a foaming fabric and upholstery cleaner can be used, however, if your materials are leather/wood you should check the owner’s manual for appropriate cleaning products to use.

Interior cleaning of a car

Top Tip For Your Wiper Blades

Although it’s usually wise to change your wiper blades after a harsh winter, there is a tip to try first before replacing them. Try rubbing them in alcohol, if this doesn’t stop the constant smears on your windows, then it is time to replace your wipers!

Emergency Items

If you store winter emergency items in your car such as blankets, a shovel, rock salt etc… now is the time to replace these with spring emergency items. This includes a few bottles of unopened water, a torch, portable phone charger and replenishing the first aid kit.


We hope our guide on how to spring clean your car has helped! Currently at Pulman we are offering Spring Checks from only £20 which includes an express visual check, oil and washer fluid top-ups, wash & vac and an air conditioning refresh. Book yours today by clicking here. To be kept up-to-date with the latest news from Pulman, follow our social channels:

Facebook: VolkswagenSEATSKODA
Twitter: VolkswagenSEATSKODA

Did you know that Volkswagen offer a fantastic range of accessories and merchandise? Perfect for gifts and presents?

Pulman VW Shop

When you walk into Pulman Volkswagen you would expect a range of approved used cars and selection of new Volkswagen cars to choose from. You are right of course! But Pulman like to do things a bit differently. At our Pulman Volkswagen Durham showroom, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, a hot meal at the Pulman Café, whilst browsing our fantastic range of accessories at our new Merchandise store.

From keyrings, pens and wallets to toy cars, Lego Volkswagen Beetles, clothing, shopping bags and much more! Do you know a Volkswagen enthusiast? A GTI fan? Or someone who just likes anything cars? Volkswagen with its fantastic heritage has a huge selection of merchandise available.

Take a look at some of the products displayed at Pulman Volkswagen:

GTI model car – £36.00
GTI Toy Car

GTI Thermal Flask – £29.00
GTI Flask

GTI Wallet – £25.00
GTI wallet

GTI Sledge – £72.00
GTI sledge

GTI Cap – £14.50

GTI mug – £12.00

Keyrings – from £4.00
VW Keyrings

Clothing – pricing on request
VW Top

Lego – £97.00
Lego Camper

Cuddly Toy – £18.00
VW Cuddly Toy

Money boxes – £22.00
VW Money box

Egg cups – £16.00
VW Egg cup

Shopping bags – £10.00
VW Shopping bag

Ride on cars – £78.00
VW Toy car

All put together by our fantastic Parts Manager Andy Foster. Andy began his career as a Valeter and is now the Pulman Group Parts Manager. Celebrating 20 years with Pulman Volkswagen Durham this year, a fantastic achievement. Even after 20 years, Andy is coming up with fresh ideas of how to enhance and deliver a fantastic customer experience.

Call in a visit Pulman Volkswagen Durham and Sunderland to learn more about the accessories and merchandise available.

Alternatively, you can download the brochures below:

Accessories brochure – Click Here

Merchandise brochure – Click Here

PulmanVolkswagen.co.uk – Call 0191 383 2999 to order and for more information.

Preparing Your Car For Winter: Winter Checks

Did you know every year, 24% of weather-related vehicle accidents occur during bad weather? Whether it is snowing, raining, or icy, with the Pulman Winter Check we make sure your vehicle stays in perfect condition! As the evenings begin to get darker earlier and the weather gets colder, roads can be hazardous and you need to be confident that our vehicles are safe and reliable for the season. 

For just £20 our technicians will make sure that you are set for winter, this includes…

1) Winter Care Packs (Autoglym De-icer, Ice-scraper, Volkswagen Group screenwash)

2) Express Visual Check 

3) Free Wash and Vacuum 

What is the Express Visual Check? 

The Express Visual Check is a 34 point visual check of all the wear and tear items on a customer’s car. The check will be carried out when your vehicle comes into a Pulman workshop no matter the age and condition of the vehicle.  The check is designed to provide you with complete peace of mind and allows us to highlight potential wear and tear issues…

What are winter tyres and are they worth it? 

The main difference between winter tyres and regular tyres is tread depth. On a winter tyre it starts at between 8 and 9 mm, as opposed to 7 and 8mm on a regular tyre.

The grooves within a winter tyre are wider and deeper as well, forming a larger channel for snow and water to travel through – this helps maintain grip on the road. 

Finally, the rubber used to make winter tyres contains a larger percentage of natural rubber and silica in the compound. This doesnt harden as much as synthetic rubber in cold weather, which also improves the tyre’s grip. 

How should I store my winter tyres? 

Storage should be top of your list on things to think about, as its an important part of maintaining the lifespan of the tyre. They should be stored on the rims and stacking should be avoided. Additionally, they should be kept in a dark, dry environment? Sounds like a lot to consider right? Not necessarily! Here at Pulman Hotel4Tyres we store your tyres when you’re not using them, and fit them for you when the season changes! 

In short, we will…

Supply, store, and fit winter tyres – Supply you with winter tyres and store them until you are ready to have them fitted (free of charge) 

Store and re-fit summer tyres – When the winter tyres are fitted, staff also fully check and store your summer tyres. After the winter period, they then re-fir your summer tyres 

Store used winter tyres – When the summer tyres are re-fitted, as part of the package, Hotel4Tyres will check and store your used tyres 

Want to book your car in for a Winter Check? Click here 

Will my car pass its MOT test?

Will your car pass its MOT? We have compiled a list of some of the elements that are checked as part of the MOT test! 

Did you know 30% of all MOT faults relate to lighting and signalling?* 

To pass the  MOT check the front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors must: 

  • Be correctly positioned and secure
  • Not be obscured 
  • Be in good condition 
  • Show the correct colour 

Check before your test: before your MOT check, have someone walk round your vehicle to check each of the lights while you operate them from the drivers seat 

Did you know 9.6% of MOT fails are due to brake issues?*

The overall conditions of the brakes, pedals and levers are inspected, as well  as relevant warning lights. A brake performance test will be carried out to test brake efficiency 

Did you know 10% of all MOT faults are related to tyes?* 

The tyre must be of an appropriate speed and load rating for the vehicle. Tread depth must not be below the legal limit of 1.6mm, and tyres will be examined for cuts in excess of 25mm 

Did you know your registration plate must be clearly legible to someone standing 20 meters away?* 

A general inspection of the body, chassis, engine moutings, seats and doors will be made as part of your MOT checks. Every vehicle must permanently display a legible VIN and a speedometer must be fitted and able to illuminate in the dark. 

Did you know 6.6% of MOT fails are due to issues with the driver’s view of the road?*

Rear view mirrors and wing mirrors must be secured and provide adequate views to the rear and side. Wipers and washers must sweep enough area to give the driver an adequate view of the road. The area of the windscreen directly in front of the driver must not have any damage or obstruction larger than 10mm

Nearly half of all faults found during an MOT test could be avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, so it’s worthwhile checking items like lights, wiper blades and tyres beforehand so that your car has the best chance of passing first time.  Ready to book your MOT? Click here to check out our latest aftersales offers! 

*all figures courtesy of Halfords autocenter 

What is an MOT test?

The MOT tests some important items on your vehicle to check that they meet the legal standards. It is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions required in the UK for most vehicles over 3 years old. An MOT is not the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check the general mechanical condition. 

Defects found during the MOT are categorised as either 

  • Dangerous 
  • Major 
  • Minor 

The category that the MOT tester gives each item will depend on the type of problem and how serious it is. MOT testers will still give advice about items you need to monitor. These are known as ‘advisories’ 

What does the test cover? 

  • Lighting and signalling equipment 
  • Steering (including suspension)
  • Brakes
  • Tyres and wheels 
  • Seat belts 
  • Body, structure and general items 
  • Exhaust 
  • Drivers view of the road

MOT Test

Want to know more? Click here

What the test doesn’t cover? 

  • Engine 
  • Clutch
  • Gearbox 

Is your car due its MOT? You can book your test with Pulman by clicking here. At Pulman we want you to feel confident about the quality of service you’ll receive – every time you visit us. That’s why we devised the Pulman Servicing Promise: 

  • Free courtesy car on request^ 
  • Free lifts, collection and delivery of your car 
  • Free car wash and vacuum with every service 
  • Free visual check 
  • Free WiFi connection 
  • We’ll price match any like-for-like quotes within 5 miles* 
  • Fully trained technicians 
  • Friendly professional staff 
  • Complimentary refreshments and snacks 
  • On-site cafe+ 

*Please provide a written quotation. ^Courtesy cars to be booked in advance to ensure availability. +Cafe Dafte located at our Volkswagen Durham and SKODA sites