If you have a
vehicle and have not been given the service schedule book then you may have no
idea what if any services have been done on it. Most cars are usually kept up
to date with the services for at least the first three years after which time
some people can become a little complacent and miss one or two along the way. A
service is important to ensure that the car is working as efficiently as
possible and to try and prevent the unnecessary wear of parts.
If you have
just bought a car but have no service history for it you can do some
investigation work and try to find out yourself information on past services.
If the car came with any receipts, then have a good look through them first and
see if you can find an invoice for a service. If you know where the car has
been taken for repairs you could ring that garage up and ask them if they have
any service history for the vehicle. You can sometimes order a duplicate
service book online for the make and model of your vehicle but be sure to then
try and contact the servicing garages to ask if they would be willing to stamp
it for you.
a car you want to make sure that you get the most fuel for your money as you
would if you were driving your own car at home. Many hire cars come with a
certain amount of fuel in them and when you return them, you usually have to
return them with the same amount back in. If you return them with less fuel
then you will usually get charged for this.
for your next car hire by reading these top tips to help improve your hire car
fuel economy. Some you’re probably aware of, some you might have forgot or been
unaware of. They’re all handy to know!
simple, but when the weather is hot try to park in the shade rather than out in
the open as this will reduce fuel evaporation. Plan you journeys in advance and
look out for traffic. Making sure you take the shortest route may help you save
on the fuel you use. Carrying unnecessary weight will increase fuel
consumption. It can be easy to leave those bags of unwanted clothes in your
hire car for days forgetting to take them to the charity shop but each day this
is costing you money.
As a car
owner it is your responsibility to ensure that your car is maintained and road
legal. There are many things that can go wrong with a car from time to time and
one of the more costly jobs is often involving the cam belt.
A cam belt
is the belt that drives the cam which synchronises the rotation of the
crankshaft and the camshaft so that the engine’s valves open and close at the
proper times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.
have a rubber belt but some are fitted with a chain belt which means they are
much less likely to break. The rubber cam belts will often need replacing at
certain intervals and may need tensioning in-between changes. If this is not
done you run the risk of the belt snapping or loosening too much and causing
internal damage to the engine, which can often be enough damage to make the car
a write off and beyond economical repair.
need the cam belt changing approximately every sixty thousand miles or so where
as other may only need it doing every one hundred and twenty thousand.
the cam belt changed as soon as possible on a second hand car unless you can be
certain it has been done recently.
Car insurance is something that we all need if you are driving a car on the roads or even just having it parked up outside your house. Prices for insurance can vary drastically depending on the car you want to insure, the area you live in, the experience you have and points on your license (just to name a few). It can be an expensive annual or monthly fee for a car or van owner and with many of us relying on our cars to get to and from work, owning a car is a must.
looking to take out a new car insurance policy, it is recommended that you shop
around for the best price as different insurance companies can offer vastly
different quotes for the exact same policy.
have found the best quote, be sure to check the small print for other fees you
may incur during the policy. The excess is something that can vary quite a bit
from policy to policy. Most insurance policies have a compulsory excess and
then a voluntary. You may find that by increasing the voluntary excess, the annual
price for the insurance drops down. Some insurance companies will charge an
admin fee for changes, such as changes of address, vehicle or convictions etc.
They will also charge a fee to cancel a policy and this can be anything from
£20 upwards of £75.
It is important to always know the date when your MOT is due. Ideally you want to get your MOT done a bit early as after the date has passed you will no longer be allowed to drive it without a valid MOT. Having the MOT done on the same day it is due is risky if you need the car back soon as it may need work doing to it and then a retest should it fail, which may take longer than a day to complete.
Before taking your car in for an MOT there are a few things you can do yourself to try and make sure it doesn’t fail on anything simple. Checking that your washer level, oil and coolant levels are correct is something you should do often anyway but be sure to check and top up if required prior to your MOT. Check your tyres are in a good condition, have enough tread on them, no damage and are inflated correctly. You should also check your lights are all working as if not this can be a failure for something that is easily rectified.
You may wish to take your car to a garage that does MOT’s only and no repair work as some people feel that they are less likely to try and find things to fail it on as they will not make any money off repair work.
If you notice you have a light out on your vehicle you may assume that it is a very simple job to do. Most vehicles have quick release panels that allow you to easily access the back of the light fitting, remove the dud bulb and replace it with a new one, but unfortunately, this is not the case for all makes and models of vehicles.
Some vehicles require you to remove the plastic covering held in place by studs around the wheel arch. This can be quite hard to do and often locating and replacing the bulb is not always straightforward. There are also a few makes and models of cars that require you to complete part of the front bumper to access to the front light assembly. Often vehicles where you are required to do this, are best taken to a garage to complete.
Be sure that you always buy good quality bulbs and double check that they are the right fitment before purchasing. Places such as Halfords sell bulbs for most vehicles and even offer a fitting service for a small fee. Driving around with a headlight or indicator bulb out, for example, is an offence and if you notice that one is not working you need to get it replaced as soon as possible.
With oil prices on the rise, fuel prices are once again creeping up, putting even more pressure on household budgets. With that said, few drivers really understand how to get the best efficiency out of their vehicles, so here are a few tips to help you – it really could save you money!
First off, check your tyre pressures regularly; both under and over inflated tyres will wear more quickly, which will cost you money, but under-inflated tyres create more friction and thus use more fuel. Ensure your tyres are appropriately inflated for the load.
Consider your load – the heavier your vehicle is, the harder it has to work to move, so the more fuel it uses. Keep the load in your vehicle to a minimum, and don’t drive around with a load of stuff you don’t need in the boot.
Next up is driving style – and this is a biggie. Accelerating hard uses a lot of petrol, and is often totally unnecessary. To drive as efficiently as possible, accelerate gently, using hills to assist where possible, and work up the gears as quickly as you can. Look ahead – you want to try to avoid stopping, so the same applies to braking – gently, and in plenty of time.
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.
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.
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.