The importance of an oil and filter change

Posted on November 26, 2022 at 9:21 am

If you are a car owner then you may get frustrated with having to fork out money constantly for repairs and services on your vehicle, but a service is actually a very important job that should be completed on time according to the service schedule. If you go a lot of mileage, you may even decide to do a service before it is due to try and keep the engine in tip top condition.

If you are struggling to be able to afford a major service, then you should have an oil and filter change as a bare minimum. The oil is what goes through different parts of the engine, lubricating it and ensuring that it runs smooth. If there it too little oil or the oil has degraded and is of a poor quality, then it is vital that you get it topped up or changed as soon as possible. Often an oil and filter change will costa round £60- £100 depending on the vehicle and the garage that is carrying it out. 

If you have access to a ramp or somewhere that you can jack the car up, then you may be able to do an oil and filter change yourself.

Posted in Cars

Can you afford to run your car?

Posted on March 18, 2022 at 10:34 pm

The cost of everything seems to be going up at the moment, and fuel is following suit very quickly. The prices at the pumps for petrol and diesel have surged over the last couple of weeks and this has left many car owners struggling to afford to even get to work. Because fuel price increases have hit at the same time many people have found their energy bills to have gone up, it is causing a lot of distress for many.

It is important to shop around for the best fuel prices, but you don’t want to spend time (and money) driving from one fuel station to the next. Finding one that is a few pence cheaper per litre can help cut your fuel bill massively. There are many apps out there that you can download on to your phone that will tell you the latest price information they have for that particular garage. This can be useful in allowing you to do your research before you set off and therefore not waste fuel driving around.

You should also try and keep an eye on your fuel economy, as the more miles you can get to the gallon, the further you will go on a tank of fuel.

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How to properly defrost your car

Posted on January 10, 2022 at 8:56 am

The winter weather certainly has set in and many of us are waking up to cold frosty mornings. It is vital that you defrost your car properly for two reasons. Firstly it is very dangerous to drive without your windows properly clear. You may think it is ok to drive as long as you have a small area to see out of but this can mean you are not able to see round to the sides and could miss someone stepping out in to the road. IT is also very easy for the screen to become fogged up again whilst you drive if not clear in the first place. The second reason to defrost your screen properly is to ensure that you don’t cause it to crack or shatter. Pouring hot water on to your car may well quickly clear the ice but it can also cause it to break. Although tempting (especially if you are running late) you must never do this as you will only cause yourself a lot more problems. The best way to properly defrost your vehicle is to start the engine with the heaters on the screen, turn on any headed screens / mirrors and then gently remove any excess ice or snow with a car scrapper.

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Maintenance tips for your car going in to the winter months

Posted on October 18, 2021 at 5:49 am

The dark mornings and nights are now upon us and the temperature is starting to drop. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be long before we start to see ice on the grounds and possibly even some snow.

Safety must be the number one priority for your vehicle as we head into winter. You need to take a little extra time to check that everything is in order with your vehicle before you set off on a journey.

One of the most basic things to consider is one that the police regularly highlight, and yet still people do not realise the importance of it. If your car windows are frosted up on a morning, you must not leave it running with the keys in while it thaws. Far too many people have had their cars stolen in this manner and it is one that can leave insurance invalid. This being said it is also very important not to drive off without properly defrosting your screen and other windows as this can be very dangerous. Although tempting, you should not pour hot water over your screen as this can cause it to crack.

In some countries with regular extreme weather, snow chains are an option for the tyres. In the UK these are less likely to be necessary unless you live somewhere isolated and open to the elements, but it is important to make sure you have a decent tread.

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Taking the time to get to know your car

Posted on August 6, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Getting to know your car and learning the basics can help save you a lot of money over the period of time you own the vehicle. Historically most cars used to run the same way. If you could work on one type of vehicle then you could work on another but this is not the case anymore. Every make and even model of vehicle is often built quite differently. This can make it tricky to carry out simple tasks such as changing light bulbs or checking oil levels. If you have a modern diesel car then you will also have to consider the DPF and ensure that you run the vehicle properly to protect it.

When you first buy a new or second hand car you should check to see where all the fluid level markers are. Start to understand what is under the bonnet and what levels need to be for optimal performance. Also check you tyres, see what pressure should be in them and if you have locking wheel nuts fitted then be sure you know where the locking nut is.

Try and get used to how the car sounds and drives as this will allow you to quickly notice if something changes. Picking up on issues early often means they cost a lot less to fix and reduced the risk of them causing further damage to other components.

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Looking after your diesel car

Posted on July 22, 2021 at 9:39 am

If you have a diesel car then there may be a few additional things you need to do to look after it.

All diesel cars have been designed to be used when you do a fair few miles. Diesel vehicles that have been built since 2009 must by law have a diesel particulate filter fitted to them. This filter helps to stop harmful substances from being released into the atmosphere. Instead, the engine has to get hot enough to burn up the soot that the diesel particulate filter has collected up and turn it in to ash.

If you have not done a long journey for a while you need to ensure that you take it on a good run. The regeneration process can only work if the engine is at a certain temperature so this usually requires you to run the car for around 25-30 mins at high revs.

Another thing to look out for with diesels is the injectors. To prolong them you should try and use quality fuel. The worse the quality of the fuel, the more negative impact it will have on the injectors; they are prone to damage and expensive to replace and remember you have four of them so this can very quickly add up.

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How to look after the interior of your car

Posted on June 7, 2021 at 12:18 pm

If you have recently had a new or used car then you may decide that you really want to try and look after it well. Cars that have been not only well maintained in terms of mechanically, but also looked after on the inside, tend to retain their resale value better.

If you have children and allow them to eat in the car, you will probably already be aware of how messy they can be. Crumbs and crisps can very easily become ingrained in the seats and spilt drinks can create stains that can be almost impossible to remove.

Although you may set rules that drinks and food cannot be consumed in the vehicle, there may come a time when this is impractical. Instead, it is often worth while investing in some good quality seat covers. You can get seat covers that just fit around the front seats but you can also get covers that go all the way along the rear seats. You can even get them that have cut outs for the armrest (should your vehicle have one). These really can help protect the seats and can be removed to shake off or clean when needed

Posted in Cars

Why is your car leaking oil after a service?

Posted on May 26, 2021 at 1:13 pm

If you have recently had your car serviced you may be surprised to find some oil on your drive afterwards. If you are not sure if the oil was there before then put a piece of paper underneath the front of the car and run the engine for a little bit. Then turn it off and see if there is any oil on the paper. If there is, then you may well have a leak.

When the service is carried out, there is a chance that they could soil some oil on to the heat shield or plate that is fitted under most vehicles. Over the next day or so this lol could start to work it away out and that could be why you are seeing on the door. If there seems to be more oil each time or you notice that it is happening longer than a day or so then you need to investigate. First thing to check is the engine oil level using the dipstick. If this is low and it’s just been serviced it is most likely that you have a leak. The leak could becoming from an ill fitting oil filter or it could be that the sump plug has not been fitted correctly.

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Is going to a motor sport event a good day out for all the family?

Posted on March 23, 2021 at 1:05 pm

When it comes to planning days out for the family, it can be hard to know exactly where to go and what to do. Often it is very hard to please everyone, especially if you have got children of varying ages as they will probably be in to different things. Sometimes events come up such as car racing, monster truck derbies or rally events that you may think you would like to go to. Before booking tickets for everyone it is important to consider if it is something they are going to enjoy too. If you are going as a treat to yourself or for your birthday you may be tempted to just book it, assuming everyone else will just have to put up but this could actually mean you don’t get to enjoy your day as much as you should. You get child especially may find it really quite boring and therefore start to moan or play up. This may mean that you miss some of the event trying to sort them out. Often with car shows, it may be better to try and find likeminded friends or family member to go with so everyone can enjoy.

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Is it safe to carry out repairs to your own vehicle?

Posted on February 5, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Running a car can be expensive. It’s not only the tax, insurance and fuel that you have to find the money for but also services, MOT’s and any repairs that may crop up. Many garages charge quite a high hourly rate for repairs, so often the part is relatively cheap but the labour costs push the price right up.

For this reason, many people choose to do their own repairs where possible to save a bit of money. Some repairs and general maintenance things such as changing bulbs and topping up levels and possibly even changing wiper blades are often fairly straight forward to do and don’t require any experience, but other repairs should only be undertaken if you know what you are doing. Not only can you get hurt whilst carrying out repairs if you do not have the right equipment or do not have the car securely jacked up, but it may also be not fit to drive if you haven’t fitted the part correctly.

You can watch videos online that will show you how to do certain things such as change parts of the suspension or carry out an oil change, but unless you are really confident, it is best to take it to an experience mechanic.

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