Cars

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.

Posted in Cars

Leaky Car Radiator

Posted on April 22, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Finding out that you have a leaking car radiator often means you need to act fast. Car radiator leaks can happen at any time and it can often be due to damage to your radiator caused by a bird flying in to it, a stone hitting it or just due to age and deterioration. The leak may only be small or may be a huge hole causing you to lose fluid nearly as quickly as you put it in. When the car leaks water, it means there is not enough coolant going round the engine and therefore the car may quickly over heat. It will often overheat quicker when in stationery traffic.

If the leak is small there are a number of things you can try to fix it before having to fork out the hundreds of pounds to get a new radiator fitted at your local garage. There are a number of products on the market that claim to fix most leaks such as RadWeld that you pour into your coolant. The fluid will then circulate around the car cooling system, finding any leaks and plugging them up by setting in the holes. The solution will set in these holes and form a bond to keep the coolant in. This can be a permanent solution depending on how bad the leak is and how well the product works. These types of products do have very good reviews so it is always worth giving them a try first before taking the car to the garage, even if it only last another 6 months it gives you time to try and save up towards a new radiator.

 

 

Posted in Cars

Stylising your car or van on a budget

Posted on January 31, 2017 at 11:02 pm

If you have recently bought a car or van and want to give it a bit of a make over you may not want to spend a fortune on it. There are a few simple things you can do to give your car a whole new look and feel, it all depends on how far you want to go.

All cars and vans either have steel wheels or alloy wheels. Steel wheels are often covered over with wheel trims. Wheel trims vary in cost but are usually around £20-£30 for a set dependent on style and size. The size of your wheels, will match the size of the required wheel trims.

Alloy wheels are a lot more expensive to buy with a new set costing anywhere from a few hundred pounds upwards of a few thousand!

If your seats are looking a bit shabby and ripped then you can invest in a set or car seat covers. You can get universal, but for the best fit, opt for some specifically designed for your make and model of car. You can also get steering wheel covers and new floor mats just to give it that new, clean look and feel.

 

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Wheel alignment costs

Posted on June 28, 2016 at 9:27 am

If you find that your car is pulling to one side when you drive it, there is a vibration coming from the steering or your tyres are wearing unevenly, then you may need to get your tracking checked by having a wheel alignment.

Wheel alignment is also sometimes referred to as wheel tracking and should be part of standard vehicle maintenance. This involves adjusting the angles of the wheels to the recommended position as detailed in the vehicle’s manufacturer specification. It helps reduction tyre wear and ensures the optimum performance and handling of the vehicle on the road.

It’s not just tyre wear that can suffer by incorrect wheel alignments. You may also find that your braking distance increases and your drive quality and fuel economy are also affected.

Only some garages will be able to do a wheel alignment and it you have recently had a bump, even if its just clipping the curb slightly then I would recommend getting your wheel alignment done. It usually costs about £30 but there may be a charge if it needs adjusting.

Posted in Cars

Damaged wheels

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Damaging the wheels on a car can not only make it look less attractive but can actually be dangerous. It is said that a large number of us carry on driving cars with damaged wheels without even realising we are doing it.

If you have recently had a medium to large impact on your wheel, then I would strongly recommend taking it to your local garage or tyre centre to get it checked out. It may be that you have damaged the tyre wall or that the wheel rim is bent meaning it is not sealing the air sufficiently.

Even if the wheel and tyre look ok, you may have knocked out the alignment of your wheels and need to realign before driving again. Damaged wheels and poor alignment can not only be dangerous but can also cause uneven tyre wear meaning they will need to be replaced sooner that would have been necessary.

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