Category Archives: General Car Advice

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Car Care Mistakes To Avoid

Keeping up your car maintenance is a tedious task, and we are all guilty of ignoring the odd light that pops up or a strange sound in the hope that it will resolve itself. However, it is important to spend some time when needed on car care as of course; we want our car to last as long as possible with as little problems.

Why Is Car Care Important?

It is thought that nowadays cars on average last with each owner for longer than in the past. When you purchase a car, you think long term, but unfortunately, this can only be successful if you look after your car well. There are several different car care mistakes that we make without even realising; some are small things that can easily slip your mind. Thankfully, we have devised a helpful list of the most common mistakes drivers make when it comes to car maintenance.

Tyre Pressure

Many people think that tyres only need to be checked when the issue of a suspected flat tyre arises, but in reality, tyres should be checked regularly. Although your tyres may look fully inflated, they may actually be below the minimum amount. Driving with low tyre pressure can lead to a number of issues, some of which are weakened tyres, overheating and increased fuel consumption. It is particularly important to check tyre pressure regularly when you are approaching the colder months because, the colder the weather, the more air pressure your tyres will lose. It can sometimes be hard to know the accurate pressure your tyres need to be, so KwikFit has a useful tool that allows you to search for the correct amount by submitting your number plate.

checking tyre pressure

Engine Light

When an extra symbol lights up on your dashboard what is your first thought? Is it, “I need to look into this right away” or is it “I’m busy at the moment, I’ll look at it later”? For many people, the second answer would be your choice, which is understandable but the issue comes when it gets forgotten about, in particular, the engine light. The longer you leave your engine light, the more severe the issue gets, which means the higher the expenses of repair costs. If you take your car to a mechanic as soon as the light pops up, it will most likely take a small amount of time to fox the issue at an affordable cost. The moral of the story is, the quicker you get your engine light seen to, the more time and money you will save yourself.

Oil Changes

Although cars can go longer without an oil change than they previously could, it is recommended that you do an oil change in your car every 5,000 miles that you drive. If oil is left in the engine for too long, it can slowly start to damage the engine’s parts rather than cooling them down. The oil will build up causing a sludge blocking up the engine parts, which causes serious problems in the future.

filling up oil in car

Air Filter

Changing your air filter is a maintenance job that can be done at home in little time and should be done around four times a year. It is an easy and cheap job, but this often means that it is seen as less important and forgotten about. When you turn your heating or air-con on, outside air is used to either warm up or cool down your car. This means that along with air flowing through your car, you are also getting all of the dust, dirt and debris from outside also flowing through. Your air filter stops all of this getting into your car, but without regular changes, it will become clogged up and affect you and the overall performance of your car. Purchasing a new air filter is a relatively cheap investment, similar to the tool mentioned in the tyre pressure section, Euro Car Parts also allow you to find the correct filter for your car through searching using your number plate.

Windscreen Wipers

Your windscreen wipers are an essential aspect of keeping you safe in all weather conditions, without them visibility would be almost impossible in weathers such as rain and snow. Going through many different weather conditions means that wear and tear are going to occur at some point, whether they start to tear or crack. As soon as notice that your windscreen wipers are not clearing your windscreen as well as they should, it is recommended to replace them. New windscreen wipers can be replaced at home, but if you would rather get a professional to fit them for you, Halfords provide wiper-fitting services for as little as £4 to fit a pair old wipers.

-"changing

DIY

When the wait is long to see a mechanic, or you are unable to fit in time to visit a garage in your busy schedule, it can become an easy option just to fix the problem at home and do a DIY car job. Many people are more than capable of fixing certain aspects of their alone, for example, if you are a driving instructor in Mill Hill. But unless you have full knowledge on exactly how to do the job and have the right experience, then it can become easy to make mistakes. If you are unsure at all about an issue with your car or suspect you need something fixed, then it is much better to visit a mechanic rather than potentially causing yourself more future problems.

Summary

We would all love to keep our car in the best condition possible for as long as we can. Many of us rely on our car every day and would be lost without it, as well as many people like driving instructor in Wrexham who rely on their car for their livelihood. With regular maintenance this should be an easy task, although it can seem like a hassle, in the beginning, replacing parts as soon as they become an issue will save you both time and money in the long run.

Driving In All Weather Conditions

Living in the UK means that one minute you could be driving in the rain and the next minute the sky clears and the sun is out. Whether you are a learner in Southall or have been driving for a while, it is essential to know precisely how to deal with all of the different weather conditions you may face on a day to day basis.

How To Adapt In Different Weather Conditions

It is vital to ensure that you are driving safely at all times, however some weather conditions mean that you have to take more care than you would with others. You will regularly have to adapt your driving to suit the weather, and for new drivers, it is sometimes hard to know what actions to take in tricky situations. We have gathered together the most important points to remember when driving in various weather conditions.

driving in summer

Summer

A standard issue that comes hand in hand with warmer weather is the glare on your windscreen from the sun. It is a huge cause of accidents during the summer months as glares make it extremely hard to see ahead and can put you off. Your vision is easily disfigured, and ongoing traffic or the sun can block pedestrians out. Although the job of your sun visor is to solve this problem, it sometimes doesn’t cover the full area of the sun you need blocking out. This is why it is crucial to keep a pair of sunglasses handy in your car, to be able to pop on as soon as a glare appears.

Another heat caused problem is the overheating of your engine. This is commonly caused by a combination of hot temperatures and low coolant levels. Your car will inform you if this becomes an issue and a warning will appear, which means you should pull over in a safe place as soon as possible. To lower the chances of this occurring it is essential always to keep up your coolant levels and try to park your car in shaded areas.

Rain

Unfortunately, in the UK it is more than likely that you will regularly be driving in rainy conditions. This means that you should keep up the maintenance of your windscreen wipers to ensure they are ready to use whenever you need them. When it starts to rain, this usually means the sky will look dark and dismal, along with it being rubbish to look at, grey skies also make it harder for other vehicles to see you and vice versa. Turning on your headlights is the only way that you can make yourself more visible to others in the rain, and you should be able to tell yourself what intensity of headlight is required.

One of the most critical aspects of safe driving in the rain is to slow down, take your time and make sure you leave a bigger distance between you and the vehicle in front. The most dangerous time to drive in this condition is the moment it starts to rain. This is because any oil or residue on the road will immediately become slippery and could cause you to spin out.

Fog

Although fog is rarely a problem, it is one of the hardest conditions to drive in, so it is essential to know how to do so safely. You should always turn on your basic lights in fog, even if it is light fog and you should switch over to fog lights when visibility becomes less than 100 metres ahead. As soon as visibility becomes better, you must switch off fog lights to avoid dazzling other drivers. Similar to driving in the rain, you need to keep a reasonable distance between you and the car in front. Fog can be misleading, and it can appear as if you are further away from the vehicle in front then you are.

Snow and Ice

Driving in snow and particular ice cause it to be harder for your tyres to grip onto surfaces. It is always important to check tyre pressure, but even more important when planning to drive in icy conditions. Tyres need to be inflated to their full capacity with a tread depth of 3mm. It is also handy to keep a spare tyre in the boot of your vehicle in case of emergencies. Having a spare tyre means that if you break down, you will not have to wait around for hours in the cold for assistance.

When you step out of your house in the morning and your car covered in snow or ice, it is tempting to use the quickest ways to defrost. However, this needs to be done thoroughly, and your visibility needs to be completely clear before setting off. Make sure all ice is removed, and you have de-misted your car, this can be done by starting your engine and turning on the heaters to full blast. You may have seen in the past people use hot water to remove the ice from their windscreen, but this is a myth that could result in a crack your windscreen.

All aspects of driving in the snow and ice need to be done slower and more gently than you regularly would. Braking, manoeuvring and even steering are accentuated in icy conditions. Braking distances are ten times greater when driving on the ice, and if you are breaking, it needs to be done in advance, and slowly, harsh braking can cause a wheel spin.

driving in snow

Summary

Ensuring that you are at full safety at all times is important no matter what when you are driving. It is likely that during your driving lesson your instructor in Hounslow would have already set up the car, so they were able to drive to you. This means having to deal with things such as defrosting and demisting your car will be a task that you will only have to deal with alone once you have passed. It is essential that you know how to deal with all weather conditions, even if they are rare, to avoid accidents.

Why it may pay to buy a new vehicle when you pass your driving test

It’s become standard procedure when you pass your driving test to buy a banger, run around in it for 2-3 years and build up your no claims bonus then buy a newer car when you haven’t got any claims, you’re older and earning more money.

But what if you have a serious accident? What would your chances of survival be compared to a new car?

The Daily Mail published an article showing the differences between a 1997 Rover Metro and the new Honda Jazz and the chances of injury/survival.

Now we are not promoting everyone should get finance and buy a new car, just giving you some food for thought.

Anthony Johnson (owner of driveJohnson’s) said the following, “if parents are buying their child their first car and they can afford to go new, I would definitely recommend it for the safety reasons. If it was my daughter I would ensure they have a black box for insurance purposes and I would make sure she’s giving me lifts now and again to keep tabs on her driving style.”

Watch the video here and see the difference in safety:

For the full article on the 1997 car Vs 2017 car crash test, visit the Daily Mail.

Anthony’s top 3 things to look out for

Following other vehicles too close. There’s no benefit, reduces your view ahead and if you hit the person in front from behind, it’s your fault. Know your stopping distances!

– Approach speed to hazards/junctions. Braking early and progressively is vital so it warns road users behind you of your intentions, giving you more time to assess/plan the approach to the hazard/junction. Many learners and new drivers aren’t thinking “what if?” on the approach to things like bends where the view is restricted, only to come round the bend and not be ready for an immediate hazard.

– General lane position and correct use of MSPSL for changing lanes/overtaking. Many learners learn when to check the mirrors for a test but don’t buy into the reasons. Sometimes that’s the instructor’s fault and sometimes it’s the pupils attitude to driving and not fully comprehending the consequences. It’s essential to check the mirrors early and in good time before changing direction, slowing down, increasing speed and for potential developing hazards. Many learners do it too late and luckily get away with it. If you’re driving for 50-60 years like this, at some point something will be there and there will be no or little time to react to what you have seen in the mirrors.

Sourcing a new car when you pass

Jack Forster who is taking his driving lessons in Hounslow with one of our instructors said “I’ve just sourced myself a car for £99 a month from a car contract hire company. I have to pay 3 months upfront and i’ve got the car for 2 years. It’s an affordable way of sourcing a new car if you have a full time job”.

Visit: Car contract hire leasing for an idea of pricing and car availability.

 

Reliable Car Garage in Milton Keynes

A Local Car Garage in Milton Keynes

Trying to find a reliable car garage in Milton Keynes can be tricky with so much choice.

Open up the Citizen newspaper and you will be inundated with offers for cheap MOT’s in Milton Keynes.

 

So here’s a few tips and questions we used to find a very reliable car garage in Milton Keynes: MK Autocare.

 

newspaper milton keynes

1. Don’t always go for the garage that has the largest advert in the paper. They are usually a national company with a lot of spending power. Are they spending their money on advertising to win the work or on their mechanics to provide a quality service?

 

2. It’s always a nice feeling going to a car garage where the manager or owner is about. Smaller car garages in Milton Keynes often have the owner working on site. Everyone knows the employees work harder when the boss man is about.

 

mot in milton keynes3. If you’re looking for a good MOT tester in Milton Keynes then ask the garage you are interested in about the mechanic that will be testing your vehicle. Age, qualifications and previous experience are vital contributions to a good and honest MOT test in Milton Keynes.

 

4. Look around the premises if you get a chance. A tidy workshop is usually a sign of a quality workers. Would you feel confident leaving your car with a garage that has wheels, oil spills and other car parts lying around aimlessly?

 

5. How long has the garage in question been operating? Do they have a social media following? Can they provide believable testimonials of happy customers over a long period of time?

 

Hopefully you can see there is more to choosing a car garage than just an offer in the newspaper. If you don’t know someone close to you that can recommend a local garage then these questions should hopefully help you on your way.

 

driveJohnson’s has chosen MK Auto Care for all their servicing, car repairs and MOT testing requirements. If you trust driveJohnson’s then you can trust MK Auto Care.