Keeping your engine cool

Over the last few weeks the temperature across England has been hotting up. We are beginning to see temperatures in to the high 20’s and whilst this may be nice for those that like to sit out in the sun or sun bathe, it can be a time when you really need to pay extra attention to the car.

Before setting off on a long journey in your car you should always check the coolant. Even if the journey is going to only take you 30 mins, in high heat especially, you may want to make a few extra checks. If the coolant is low, be sure to top it up before you set off. Always check a day or so after topping up the coolant and driving the vehicle that it has not moved much. Coolant should not need topping up that often, but if you have a slow leak you may notice it going down.

Finding out about and rectifying coolant leaks is far better than finding out when it’s too late and your car has over heated. Over heating can be very detrimental to a car’s engine and sometimes can make the vehicle a write off.

If you notice the temperature gauge on you vehicle creeping up and you are in a place where you cannot stop then put your heaters on full heat and full power, this will help to take some of the heat off the engine.

 

 

Cleaning car headlights

 

Over time you will notice that the headlights on your car often become cloudy not only looking unattractive but also making it harder to drive at night with the limited light that is able to get through. This can also be an MOT failure and one that can be easily avoided or corrected with a little money and elbow grease.

Some garages will often to Mop the lights for you which is usually a quick way to fix the problem, but you may be surprised to be left with a rather large bill for doing so. If you are happy to have a go yourself then here is a method you can try using toothpaste.

Because of the abrasive texture of toothpaste, it can be used to clean headlights in a relatively easy way. Smear the light in toothpaste and then using a cloth or hand held polisher carefully rub the paste off the lights in a circular motion. If using a hand help buffer, take care with not to do it too much or not to do it in the same place for too long. This process may have to be repeated a number of times for you to see the lights start to become clearer. Remove the toothpaste from the light using warm water.

 

New car features – useful or just pointless?

So most new car models come with standard features and optional add ons, these come at a price so sometimes it’s worth looking into which ones are worth having and which are, well, pretty much useless!

One example of a pointless feature is the logo projection that some cars come with that shine a light onto the floor from under the wing mirrors with a picture of the cars logo, maybe nice to have if you are driving a Porsche not so much if you are driving a Skoda!

Auto boot open can be a good feature if you have your hands full as you can then easily open the boot by activating a sensor with your foot.

Automatic windscreen wipers seems like a great feature as in theory they auto adjust to the level of rain that you have. However in practise it can actually be just as frustrating as you end up constantly adjusting the settings as it rarely gets the speed of the wipers right.

Automatic dimming rear view mirror can be great if you find that you get dazzled driving at night with the lights of other cars blinding you through your mirror. The feature can also be turned on and off so if you struggle to see through it when auto dim is activated you can switch it off for a bit.

Checking for oil leaks

An Oil leak can be minor or it can be a major issue but it needs to be found and dealt with promptly to avoid further damage to your vehicle. If your vehicle needs to be topped up with fresh oil more than usual or if you notice a pool of oil under where you park the car then the chances are you have an oil leak. Oil can leak from a number of places and it can be hard to find out exactly where it is coming from. The first thing to do is to clean the engine off and try and remove as much of the oil as possible. Once you have done this, top the oil up and start the car, whilst running see if you can see any oil spraying or dripping out from anywhere. Before replacing anything it is essential to find out where the leak is coming from. There is no point forking out hundreds of pounds to replace parts that will not fix the issue.

You will need to take the car to a garage to get the oil leak checked but there are a few things you can try at home if you feel confident enough to do so. Adding a small amount of trace dye to the oil and then using a UV light should allow you to see where the oil is coming out from.

 

Switching your car insurance

If you are buying a new car then you most likely need to switch your insurance over on to it. If you are trading your current car in part exchange or if you are selling it after then you may need to have both cars insured for a period. Most insurance companies will give you 24 hours cover on both to give you plenty of time to collect the new one whilst still being insured on the old one.

When swapping insurance, firstly call your current provider and check what the cost would be to swap. There may be an additional premium to pay and possibly an admin fee too. Once you have a price go online and obtain a quote from a comparison company to see what others may offer you. I often find a price for a few hundred pounds less than your current provider. If you are going to swap insurers check what the cancellation fee is going to be as often this can be in excess of £75 which can make it worth while paying a little extra and staying with your current insurer. Be sure to also check the level of cover you are being offered with the new company is the same as with your current one and that the excess is not a lot more than you would have had to pay.

 

Getting your wheels aligned

Wheels alignment is very important but not everyone knows that or even knows that it is something you can have done. When your car is made in the factory the wheels are set up to be aligned exactly with each other meaning that it steers as it should and does not cause any issues with the tyres. Over time the wheels can be unaligned or if you hit a pot hole or a curb for example you may knock the alignment out. You may notice this by the fact that your car is pulling to the right or left when you drive it or a vibration through the steering wheel.

Most car garages can check and alter the alignment for you for less than £30 but if left out of alignment you may find that you end up having to fork out a lot more. The ill alignment or tracking as it is also known can cause  uneven tyre wear, often on the inside of the tyre meaning that you may not even realise until you take the car to the garage. If this happens the chances are you will also have to fork out for a pair of new tyres. Getting your tracking done once every 12 months or if you have recently had a bump to the wheel can save money in the long run and can avoid unnecessary problems with your tyres.

Hormann Garage Doors – What Are the Prime Features of Sectional Garage Doors?

Hormann sectional garage doors
Sectional garage door consists of separate sections, rather than one panel, which allows smooth and smooth operation, especially when using the electric garage door opener. Since the parts are all pivotally connected, the door can slide through a solid curve before finally settling in a horizontal position parallel to the floor of the garage. Thanks to its design and mechanism, it can solve a lot of common problems that arise in the garage door. Keep Reading →

How much is your second hand car really worth?

When it comes to selling cars, many of us simply do not know the real value of our cars. Often people think that because they paid a high price for their car that they should be able to sell if for a high price, but this is simply not the case. The car is only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it. There are many factors that affect the value of a car and the price can vary drastically even between vehicle of the same make and model. Some of the main factors that will affect the resale value are; mileage, age, condition, service history, MOT remaining and any other repairs that may need doing.

If you take your car to a garage to trade in, they will often give you less than the market value (also known as part exchange value), unless you are buying a new car or a high value vehicle where there is more profit in the sale. Your car may be able to be sold for a lot more privately but you will need to decide if you have the time to do so. You may also have to pay for advertising, so consider this when making your decision.

 

How to look after your brakes

Brake pads and discs are checked during an MOT and you can expect to have to replace your discs every 40 – 50 thousand miles and you discs every 60-70 thousand miles on average. Although pads and discs are not a huge expensive a full set all round will often cost a few hundred pounds plus and therefore the longer you can keep your brakes maintained the better.

Although your front brake discs are used a lot more than your rear brakes, you may find that the rear ones have to be replaced more often and this is usually due to corrosion. Discs and pads are made from cast iron which is an ideal material to use but the down side is it rusts. The front brakes can quickly wear off any rust that has accumulated by normal braking on a journey whereas the back ones may not be used for a while and therefore the rust just builds up. This can cause pitting on the brake discs and can weaken them meaning they will need to be replaced. Sometimes with a bit of heavy braking, you can remove some of the rust off the discs but if it has built up too much for example, if it has been sat for a long time or over driven short distances, then you will have to fork out for a new set.

 

Should you use a mobile mechanic?

With many of us relying on our cars day to day to get us to and from work or to do the school drop off, being without a vehicle for a few days can be a bit of a nightmare. If you need work doing on your car then you may have the option to use a mobile mechanic. Mobile mechanics will usually come to your home or place of work and carry out repairs there allowing them to work on your vehicle when you have no need for it.

When using a mobile mechanic it is important to check them out first by either getting reviews online or by speaking to people who have dealt with them in the past. Some mechanics may even offer to pick your car up for you and drop it off once they have completed the repair. This again can be a great way of getting work done. You may end up paying a little more for the work than you would if you took it in to a garage, but it is often less disruptive. Always be sure that the person working on your car is capable and that if they are going to be driving your vehicle, they have the right insurance to do so.

Garage Doors

There are lots of things which will come to affect your driving experience, like with functional changes, such as changing your tyres to suit the driving conditions, and with changes you might not expect, such as changing your garage door to more stylish timber garage doors.