Cars

Safety checks on your car

Posted on September 27, 2018 at 11:30 am

If you have just bought a second hand car or if you have had your car for a while but little work done on it then it could be a great time to have a safety check done. Many of the larger garages will do a free safety check but be prepared for them to point out every little thing that may need doing on your vehicle. If you have recently noticed that your car doesn’t seem to be driving right then you should get it booked in to a garage as soon as possible to have a once over.

There are some simple safety checks that you can do on a daily or weekly basis to keep on top of maintenance of your car. Tyres play an integral part of safety. Under or over inflated tyres can cause you to not have proper grip on the roads, damaged or perished tyres are often the cause of blow outs and tyres with little or no tread can easily cause a vehicle to lose control.

Brakes – the brakes are another very important part of the safety of the vehicle. You should test your brakes every time you get in to the car and before you pick up too much speed to check that they are responding. Any issues with brakes should be checked by a mechanic immediately.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cars

Alternator issues with your car or van

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:37 am

If you are starting to experience issues such as your lights are not as bright as they used to be or you have a battery and stop light illuminate on your vehicle or the car stalls or has difficulty starting then you may be a sign that your alternator is on its way out. If the vehicle has difficulty starting after the battery is fully charged, the problem likely is with the alternator. You may even have an alternator light on your vehicle which will illuminate when there is a problem.

There are some easy tests that can be done to test it the alternator is in fact charging the battery enough. If your alternator dies then your car will not be able to charge the battery enough for it to start or to keep running.

There are risks of fire etc with alternator problems so it is important to get it checked out as soon as you notice any issues.

The cost of replacing an alternator varies from garage to garage and from make and model of vehicle. On average you can expect to pay £250 plus to get the repair done at an independent garage.

Posted in Cars

Is your repair garage trying to con you?

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Unfortunately many people get nervous when taking their car in to a garage to have repair work done. Unless you have a back ground in mechanics, you may have little knowledge of how your car works and all the components that are needed to ensure safe and smooth driving.

If you have to take your vehicle in for a problem that needs investigating, you may worry that you are going to get ripped off and told you need more work doing to the vehicle than you actually do.

The only way to do this is to try and find a reputable garage. A garage that values its customer’s opinions and is trustworthy will not want to jeopardise their reputation to make a few extra quid.

Speak to friends and family members to find out their experiences of local garages that you may be able to use. If you know anyone within the car industry you may be able to ask them for their advice.

If you are uneasy about repair work that you have been quoted for, do not be afraid to take your vehicle elsewhere for a second or third opinion. Most garages will not have an issue with this unless they have something to hide.

 

 

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How important is a car service?

Posted on June 29, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Unfortunately many people do not realise how important it is to have your vehicle serviced on time. Some people are surprised when their vehicle keeps developing problems, and often much of this is to do with not maintaining it correctly.

When you own a car there are certain maintenance that should be done on it in in order to keep it running as it should. Even with regular services there are no guarantees that it will not develop a problem but you are decreasing the risk of certain things going wrong.

At a service the car is given a good check over and depending on what level of service you have, some components such as spark plugs will often be changed. A service will not only replace parts that may be wearing out but will also cover oil changes etc that may also improve the performance and economy of the vehicle. The cost of serving can vary on make and model of the vehicle, place that carries out the service and what type of service you have done.

If you have your car serviced at a main dealer you will often pay between £200-£400. At an independent garage you may be able to get a similar service for under £200. If your car is under warranty you will often need to ensure that genuine parts are used in the service.

 

 

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Avoiding the potholes

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

People all over England are complaining about the state of the roads, following a harsh winter, many of our roads simply could not take it and have either started to slip away down the side banks or from rather larger pot holes.

Pot holes can be a nightmare for drivers and can seriously damage your cars wheels, tires and suspension. If you hit a pot hole at the wrong angle or are going too fast you could not only damage your vehicle but also lose control of the car.

Many councils are working as fast as they can to fix these issues but in the meantime there are thing you can do to try and avoid them. When driving along a road that has a lot of pot holes, drop your speed a little bit. Ten miles per hour can make a massive difference to the damage a pothole will cause. If you see one try and avoid it but also be aware of other traffic around you. Check that there is no oncoming traffic and also that no one is over taking you. This is especially true to cyclists who can very easily be missed by drivers swerving for potholes.

If you cannot avoid hitting it then go as slow as you possible can over it and if you think it may have caused any damage, stop and check as soon as it is safe to do so.

Posted in Cars

Cutting down on service costs

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 10:49 am

If you have a vehicle that is no longer under warranty then you may want to try and cut down on serving costs year after year. A service is vital for a vehicle and often prevents some problems from occurring. It may also highlight issues that need attention such as replacement of brake discs or pads etc.

Most cars have standard services and then have full services that are often done every other year. If you own a petrol car then the full service may include changing the spark plugs. Spark plugs are relatively easy to change and often can be bought for a fraction of the cost the garage will charge you. If you feel able to do so, then try and compare prices of spark plugs – buy them and fit them yourself. When you go to book your car in for a service then advise the garage that the spark plugs have just been changed so will not need to be done. You may find that this knocks £50 plus off the cost of the service.  When buying any parts yourself be sure to check the fitment details and if there is a returns policy should you discover that you have bought the wrong thing.

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Replacing brake discs on your car or van

Posted on October 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Your brakes are a vital component to the safety of the vehicle and should never be overlooked. Brake pads and discs are inspected during a Mot but this does not mean to say that they will not need replacing between MOT’s

Brake pads will need replacing more often than your discs usually and depending on the way in which you drive, brake pads usually last between 25,000 and 70,000 miles (an average of 50,000). The brake discs or brake rotors as they are sometimes called will usually last about 60,000- 70,000 miles. The constant friction caused by the pads rubbing on the discs can cause a lot of heat, if you then drive through a big puddle and a lot of water is splashed on them this can cause them to warp over.

When changing your brake pads, always check your discs thoroughly to ensure that they are in good condition. If they are verging on needing to be changed then it may be worthwhile getting them done at the same time to cut down on labour costs. Always check the discs for corrosion or indented surfaces as this too can cause issues when it comes to the braking system.

 

 

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New car scrappage deals

Posted on August 31, 2017 at 9:05 pm

If you are considering getting a new car then you may want to take advantage of some of the current scrappage schemes that the car manufacturers have on offer. The government are trying to remove the number of old cars (especially the ones that give off high emissions) on the road and so have been able to allow car dealerships to offer substantial savings on a new car by giving people in excess of two thousand pounds for their part exchange.

You can get deals like this at any manufactures which often means you get substantially more for your vehicle than if you sold it privately. Another plus point of this scheme is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of trying to sell your car privately and often the dealerships are not concerned about the condition of the vehicle as it will either be sent to auction or scrapped.

If you think you can get a similar amount for your car privately then you may wish to speak to the sales team at the garage and ask them what other discounts they could give you if you don’t exchange your car.

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Fluid levels in your car – an import thing to check!

Posted on July 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Often people remember to fill up their washer fluid levels as they can clearly see when it is running out. But there are other levels that you need to check which are often even more important but are easy to forget about. Oil, coolant and brake / transmission fluid should also all be checked on a regular basis and before you do any long journey and if low, should always be filled with the correct fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

If your vehicle does run out of any of these fluids it can not only cause serious damage to the car but can also make the vehicle unsafe to drive. If your coolant levels are low for example then the car can very quickly overheat causing it to damage the engine or even set on fire whilst you are driving. It may just require a top up, or it may be the sign of a more serious problem such as a radiator leek which would need investigating by a garage.

Brake fluid is one that should not need topping up often at all but if it runs out, you could find yourself without brakes, which can easily cause an accident.

 

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Could you be losing money by not cleaning your car?

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 11:33 am

Some people are fanatical about keeping their car clean and in pristine condition where as other people simply see it as a something that should be done a few times a year, if they get the chance too. But did you realise that you can seriously devalue a car by not looking after it cosmetically and keeping on top of cleaning the inside and outside of the vehicle. You may find that certain things can seriously damage the paint work on your car such as bird poo and tree sap. They will eat away in to the paint and when you finally do remove it you will find that it has damaged the paintwork underneath and you’re left with a mark that cannot be washed off. When it comes to selling your car you should make sure that it has been given a good clean as people often think that if a car is not clean on the inside and out then it may not have been looked after mechanically either and therefore will not want to purchase it.

If you are not in favour of cleaning your car yourself then why not take it to one of the many hand wash services or a drive through car wash every couple of weeks, you may regret it in the long run if you don’t.

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