Jan 082018
 

Maintaining car

2018 is here, and while people across the land would have set out various personal New Year’s resolutions which they may or may not stick to, it’s easy to neglect your car which will no doubt serve an important purpose for you throughout the year.

You may even be one of those who haven’t come up with any type of resolutions at all. If so then fear not, we have selected some key resolutions which you should stick to with your vehicle, and these ones aren’t optional!

Although these may seem trivial in comparison to your personal goals, you’d be surprised how may neglect these obvious but important duties for their car.

Keep it clean

It’s rather embarrassing giving someone a lift in a grubby vehicle full of crumbs and takeaway wrappers, amongst other things. The cleanliness of your car reflects on you so make sure you maintain it in the same way you do with your own hygiene.

Pick a nice day and be thorough with the job. Vacuum out all of the mats and give the dashboard a proper scrub down to get rid of any grime. Even when you don’t have time to be so thorough, keeping your vehicle clear of rubbish on a daily basis will go a long way to maintaining the state of its interior.

Acknowledge suspicious symptoms

We’ve all been there, hearing a strange noise mid journey and momentarily turning your music down to see what it was, before continuing as normal if no immediate problems persist and forgetting about it completely. While it could of course often just be a meaningless noise, it could also be a more serious problem waiting to develop. Catching a problem early could make a significant difference to your bank balance.

Keep your fluids topped up

The last thing you want while going at 70mph on the motorway, with your visibility skewed due to something unwanted landing on it, is having no wiper fluid to clean your windscreen. Distracted at 70mph with hampered vision is a recipe for disaster.

This of course isn’t the only fluid you need to watch though, as your coolant and oil levels need to be correct as well for your car to function as you want and need it to. It’s simply better for your car and your own health to keep on top of these.

Be sure to schedule the required service checks

For something that you devote as much faith, time and money into as you do with your vehicle; let it know you respect it by scheduling its required service checks. It’s dangerous to just assume your car is invincible and can get away without it.

Getting your car into service at least once a year will both keep your car in prime condition, while also constantly keep you aware of any potential issues you should be looking out for.

Ensure your tyres and wheels are as they should be

The last thing you want is for your tyre to blow out on your way to work early on a freezing cold January morning, due to you neglecting the low tyre warning light. Any morning for that matter, but as you’re all aware, it’s very cold out there at the moment. You simply don’t want to be sat outside with a busted tyre!

Take notice of any warning lights but don’t solely rely on those either. Keep your tyres filled up, and look out for any balding or strange bulges on them. At the end of the day, your car can’t move without tyres.

As mentioned before, these are all very basic duties, but you’d be surprised at how many neglect them and face more serious complications that could’ve been avoided as a result. With any issues you’re suspicious or unsure about regarding your vehicle, as a rule of thumb, get it checked. Of course some things are out of your control but generally, the more you maintain your car on a regular basis, the less likely it will be to go wrong.

 

Nov 272015
 

In the last two years more than four million car owners have had to keep their car off the road because they couldn’t afford repairs needed on their vehicle. With 21 million owners saying they have needed repairs in the last two years, this could mean that one in five (19%) have been forced to go without their car while they got their finances in order.

That’s according to Kwik Fit, the automotive repair and servicing company, who also revealed half of these motorists (2 million) had to keep their car off the road for a month or longer.

A shortage of money has driven many drivers to make some risky decisions.  Over 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car in an unroadworthy condition because they couldn’t afford repairs with men twice as likely as women to have done so.

Many drivers carry out repairs themselves, which is obviously not a problem in itself.  However, a third of car owners who either carried out a repair themselves or had a friend or relative do it for them say they were concerned about the quality of that repair.  In a cautionary tale for second hand car buyers, nearly half a million motorists say that although they were concerned about their DIY repairs they didn’t do anything about it as they sold the car soon afterwards.

The study also gave an indication that the policy of prevention being better than cure is as relevant to our cars as it is to our bodies.   More than three quarters (77%) of those skipping their car’s annual service had to get repairs carried out on their car in the last two years.  The equivalent figure for those who maintained their car’s annual service record was 56%, suggesting that regular servicing helps keep the need for repairs at bay.

Jul 272015
 

MOT
Increasing the age at which vehicles require an MOT from three to four years, as spelled out in the budget, could be a red herring says Warranty Direct. Moving away from the traditional three-year MOT test to a fourth birthday safety check will mean essential maintenance is postponed, while motoring costs could actually increase.

The first MOT failure rate is also set to rocket from the typical 20%, with more components likely to be identified as requiring attention.

David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, said: “Three years of age is generally a landmark age for a car. In most cases, it stops being covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and things start going wrong and wearing out.

“Whilst adding another year before an MOT is due is a nod to manufacturer build quality, it could be viewed as detrimental to road safety, as the average driver will need to replace tyres and brakes before the four year mark.

“Extending the deadline for the first MOT of new cars from three to four years, will only encourage motorists to postpone necessary maintenance work for anything up to an extra year, potentially putting the driver and other motorists at risk.”

Apr 222014
 

CutCostsMost drivers (47%) spend more disposable income on their car than anything else according to new figures well ahead of holidays (21%) and socialising with friends (13%). As a consequence, 1 in 10 continue to cut back on car maintenance in a bid to save money (equivalent to 2.8 million cars), with 41% placing the reliability and safety of their car last on the list of motoring concerns.

The findings are in a new report from Halfords Autocentres, which show despite the economic upturn motorists’ behaviour hasn’t changed and they continue to make some ill-advised compromises to car maintenance and safety.

Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explains: “Despite a rise in personal earnings, stable inflation and fuel prices that are at a three-year low, drivers feel that they are already paying a high enough price for their motoring and are unwilling to spend more on anything they feel is unnecessary.

“However, car maintenance isn’t just necessary it is essential and we have uncovered some shocking admissions that are likely to be a hangover from the recession.”

Of the drivers that admitted to cutting back on maintenance to save money, 60% are no longer servicing their cars in line with manufacturers’ guidelines – a figure almost unchanged from the more austere financial times of 2012.

A worryingly high percentage (43%) also reported waiting to replace tyres until they are at or below the legal minimum (1.6mm), 32% are not investigating fresh noises or dashboard warning lights and 25% said they had avoided replacing brake pads.

Commenting on the findings, Maria McCarthy author of The Girls’ Car Handbook added: “A lack of technical know-how and the complexity of modern cars can make maintenance a daunting prospect.

“Find a garage you trust, or get a friend to recommended one, and build a rapport with them that will enable you to discuss which repairs are essential and which are advisory – then budget for on-going maintenance.”

A useful way to save on car maintenance costs is with an extended warranty covering the costs of repairs. This includes those repairs identified during MOT or servicing. Click here to get a quote via Warranty Direct.