Winter conditions can cause hazardous roadways. But forgetting to prep your car for the season ahead can cause some headaches along with some potential hazards.
Check the fluids
Make sure your car has all its fluids. Running out of oil can be detrimental to the car. Although, running out of windshield washer fluid can be just as scary when your windshield is covered with salt and sludge, splashed across your window while traveling down a highway.
If you are unsure of what fluids are needed or where they go, stop by to see a local mechanic or visit a full service gas station. They can certainly help.
Check your lights
This might be a two person job… But be sure to check all of the lights on the car. Winter can bring dark nights, fog and snowy whiteouts. Replace any lights that aren’t working. And be sure your headlights are shining as bright as possible so you can see and other drivers can see you. Use the headlight cleaner solution, or to bring your headlights back to peek condition look into headlight restoration wipes.
Check the tires
Check the tread on your tires to be certain the tread is capable to handle road conditions. Using the penny test is a good resource. place a penny with Lincoln’s head facing down into the tread. If you can see his head, you probably, should replace your tires.
Pack the trunk
Making sure the trunk has the usual… Spare tire, jumper cables, flares, extra fluids, etc. is important. But in the winter make sure you also pack a blanket, gloves, snow pants, rock salt or cat litter, water and snacks just in case you get stuck somewhere. Some folks recommend a small snow shovel and tire chains depending where you live or travel.
Prepping the car for winter doesn’t have to be over extensive like, detailing the paint job or coating the under carriage. Those are personal preferences. But all cars need a little prep to help prevent certain potential hazards. Have a safe and happy season!
Today we are talking about choosing a new car but instead of heading to a showroom, choosing a used model. Used cars can be just as good as new and often you will save a ton of money on your purchase. Here are some of the top reasons why you should choose a used car this year.
No matter your reasons for buying a new car, it is incredibly important to consider the resale value of the car in years to come. When you purchase a car you will often be able to sell it on and part exchange it for a new one years down the line. This means when you sell your car you are also partially paying for a new one. New cars are great, but the label ‘NEW’ only lasts until you sit behind the wheel and from this point onwards the value of the car will drop significantly. However, if you are to choose a used car instead, you will see a steady decrease in value over the time you own the car and you’ll likely be able to sell it for not much less than you bought it.
More for the money
Shopping for a new car can be incredibly exciting as a prospect until you realise how expensive all of your favourite models are. Once you take a dive into car shopping you will soon realise that many of the options you hoped to buy are out of your price range or carry a steep insurance premium. This can narrow your options massively and make you wish you had kept your old car. However, if you filter your search for used cars, you might find that the make and model you want is within your price range and this can open up a whole world of doors for you. Used cars are cheaper and therefore easier to buy, and this likely will mean that you can get a better car for your money, such as Mercedes approved used cars or used versions of your other favourite brands.
Even if you can afford to buy your dream car, the biggest hurdle which can get in the way is your insurance costs. Insurance is very expensive and it can even be more expensive than the car itself. When shopping for a car the insurance cost might stop you from getting what you want, however when choosing a used car you may be able to avoid the issues. Used cars are worthless and therefore are cheaper to insure, so this is always a great option for you when you want to buy a fancy new model.
Sedan Wars: Have The Japanese Trumped The Germans?
For about 5 years now, the crossover has ruled the roost. This concept is quite frankly, one of the best that the automobile industry has ever invented. Somebody decided it was a good idea to merge the family SUV with a hatchback. Whoever they are, you can bet on it that they were given a raise and a promotion. It’s been an amazing seller, because families have the headroom of an SUV as well as the wheelbase and height, but they have a generally smaller or compact frame than a traditional SUV. Inherently they have a sportier feel, drive great on the highways but feel just as at home in the city. So why on earth would you want a sedan these days? The sedan is not like the SUV or hatchback, it’s perhaps the original family car. Long, spacious and fun to drive, here’s why the sedan is not taking the rise of the crossover lying down.
A number of sedan models have always been a top choice for car owners. Jaguar’s XF has held the title of kind of the sedans since 2010, but it’s more of a premium option. The Italian’s joined the fight with the Alfa Romeo Guilla, a 503bhp monster with a thumping 3.0-liter V6. The Germans improved their Mercedes A-class and Audi A6 but the overall design has become a bit stale. The Japanese however, have perhaps came out with a world-beater in the Mazda 3. These models can be found in specialist dealer websites like https://www.rentonmazda.com/ as well as some of Mazda’s convertible sports cars. They have the highly praised 2019 Mazda 3 which comes in a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine. With an automatic transmission and a miles per gallon performance of 26 in the city and 35 on the highway, it seems to have the complete package.
Germany’s big brother
For a long time, there has been a competition of who can wear the crown of best sedan. In many people’s opinion, the Jaguar XF has been the champion for almost 10 years. The previous champion which also wore the crown for 10 years was the BMW M5. Now it seems like the brand has come to the conclusion that this model has seen it’s best days and decided to make it’s jewel, the M6. The BMW 6-series is a large and longer big brother to the 5-series. It’s been given the name ‘gran-coupe’ but we all know it’s a sedan. It’s a shame because it originally was a coupe and was seen as BMW’s answer to the Audi A5. it’s not meant to be a sedan from the ground up, so it’s got cramped interior, horrible fuel economy and a wide body. On the plus side it’s got performance, high-quality upholstery and great handling. It pays a price for it’s good looks with less room on the inside.
Japan has such a great history of car manufacturing, it’s nice to see the Mazda name make a big comeback. The German’s still make fantastic cars, but sedans might not be their best class at the moment.
Being able to drive is a luxury that many of us have, and it certainly does make living a little easier, especially if we rely on commuting to and from work or needing a car to go on holiday or to see family. However, not everyone is as safe and careful when driving when they should be. Cars are expensive to purchase and to maintain or fix, so it’s worth considering these five tips when driving to avoid car damage.
When it comes to your speed, it’s good to always be aware of the speed limits that are on the road. You may be fairly confident with regular routes, but it’s worth doing a bit of road research when traveling somewhere new. Check out the route you are taking beforehand and what the specific speed limits are for that road.
Stay A Safe Distance Behind And In Front Of Cars
A lot of accidents are often caused by being too close to other cars and so when sudden brakes or turns happen that you don’t expect, the response time can often be too late. As a rule of thumb, ensure that you can still see the license plate of the car in front of you. If someone is driving too close to you from behind, then give way to ensure that they aren’t going to cause you any damage as a result of driving too close.
Store Your Car Under Shelter
Whether it’s a used Vauxhall Adam or a brand new Land Rover, you should always try to store your car under shelter. That goes for when you’re at home, i.e. a garage or parking in a public space. Public parking may be a little more difficult, but if there are any free spots that have shelter above it, then it’s worth choosing that as a place to park, rather than somewhere that’s out in the open. From a security viewpoint, it’s also beneficial to park within eyesight of a CCTV camera.
Be Aware Of Those Around You
As mentioned above, being wary of drivers is key. Not everyone is going to be as careful as a driver as you are, and accidents do happen. It is important, therefore, to be aware of everything going on around you. Keep an eye on your wing mirror and rear-view mirror at all times to make sure that you are doing everything you can to maintain a safe distance from other drivers. Look out for pedestrians who often have a bad habit of running across without the go-ahead of the traffic lights.
Take Away Any Distractions
And lastly, distractions within the car are a big no-no. Using your phone or getting distracted in other ways like changing the music station or having passengers in the car are all worth avoiding.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can keep the risk of accidents or car damage to a minimum. Accidents do happen, but hopefully, most can be avoided with these precautions.
How To Prepare Your Car For Any Weather Conditions
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to put off driving if we need to be somewhere and when the weather conditions are pretty bad, it’s daunting to have your car on the road. So here is how to prepare your car for any driving conditions so that you’re safe no matter what.
The windshield wipers are important because it’s going to work at keeping your vision of the road clear at all times. Windshield wipers that are old and don’t go fast enough could certainly make your car more dangerous to drive. So be sure to check your wipers before going onto the road and if they’re not performing like they used to, get them replaced sooner rather than later.
Get The Right Type Of Tires
Tires keep your vehicle rolling along on the ground and depending on the time of year, it’s always a good idea to purchase tires that are right for that season in particular. There’s a difference between summer tires and winter tires in terms of the tread depth and the rubber itself. You want to make sure that the tires that you have on your car are going to maintain your safety and no jeopardize it. It’s also wise to have a spare tire in the trunk of your car for emergencies.
Keep To A Safe Speed
Your speed is an important factor in keeping you and your passengers safe. It can be easy to ignore or forget speed limits in certain areas. You don’t want to be caught out with a speeding ticket so keep an eye on your speed at all times. Be wary of other drivers on the road and don’t be tempted to try and keep with up those who are trying to outrun you. Always keep track of your speed in a new area and be conscious of extreme weather conditions and adapting your speed to cater for this.
Have Your Car Serviced
Just like anything, a car depreciates, and that means it’s more likely to encounter issues as it gets older. Therefore, it’s important that you get your car serviced on an annual basis and to be aware of any dramatic changes in your car’s performance. You’ll come to learn how your car drives and sounds when it’s healthy. If it’s not, then it’s good to get it checked, especially during harsher weather conditions.
Carry A Car Breakdown Kit
And finally, always carry a car breakdown kit. With certain weather conditions, you cannot predict if and when your car will break down and having something to help yourself in a situation where it happens is useful. Some things to include in your car breakdown kit is a spare tire, the relevant contact details of a breakdown company. A charger port for your phone for emergency power. An ice scraper and some sort of defroster. A flashlight and jumper cables will be handy too.
Follow these tips to prepare your car for any weather conditions and to keep you and your family safe.
Car accidents are horrible. Whether you were driving or the passenger, whether it was your fault or someone else’s, it’s awful. It’s scary, even if it’s a relatively minor incident where there’s not much damage, and no one is injured, having to get out of the car, speak to the other party and assess the situation is frightening. It’s not something that any of us are ever prepared for, and it’s never taught in driving school. It can be terrifying, and most of us just want to get home and find some comfort.
Of course, if you are injured, your next steps might be dictated. But, in most cases, the incident is minor, and we can just carry on. But, because of the scariness of the situation, many people don’t do the right things. They panic, and they make mistakes. Here are some of the things that you SHOULDN’T do after a road accident.
You should never just drive away from an accident. Even if no one has seen and everything seems fine, you need to stop the car. If another party is involved, you need to swap license and insurance details and if necessary call the police and an ambulance. It can be a good idea to call the police even if you don’t think it’s that bad, just in case. Failing to stop the car after an accident is a crime, and the punishment can be severe, depending on the nature and results of the crash. It’s always best to stop!
The worst thing that you can do is get out of the car and start screaming and shouting. It could affect your passenger in car accident settlement later on, or mean that you get yourself in trouble. At the very least it will make a tense situation a lot worse. Even if the other party was clearly at fault, and you are raging, take a few seconds to breathe deeply before getting out of your car to speak with them. Be as calm as you possibly can, and if you feel your temper rising, walk away for a few moments, or wait for the police to arrive before carrying on the conversation.
Forget to Take Details
Sometimes, accidents are very minor. Someone might crash into you in a car park, or while moving very slowly in traffic. These tend to occur during a brief lapse in concentration and don’t tend to cause much damage. You might see only a few small scratches and think it’s not worth swapping details. But, the damage might be more than you can see. You should still swap license and insurance details, even if you think it will go no further.
Drive as Normal
Even after one of these minor bumps, you should take your car into the garage to be checked. You never know what damage you might not be able to see, which could be making your vehicle unsafe, or becoming a much more costly problem while you are driving. Get it checked out even if it seems fine.
There’s nothing more infuriating as a woman than standing in the garage while a mechanic tries to overcharge you for repairs to your car, because he assumes you don’t know anything about it. Instead of having to phone your brother, or accept your husband’s mocking, every time your engine is making a strange noise, learn some basic car maintenance tips, so you can be in charge of your own car.
There are some basic maintenance tasks that all cars need on a regular basis. Learning how to do them yourself will save you money instead of paying a professional, or will save you the embarrassment of having to ask for help.
Learn how to top up your washer fluid. This is a really simple task once you’ve identified where the fluid goes, and will take less than a minute to do. Learn how to check your tire pressure. In most cars, you’ll find a sticker on the driver’s side door which tiles you what your tire pressure should be. Unscrew the air cap on the tire and press the gauge into the slot. Easy.
Another simple task is checking your oil level. All you do is slide the dipstick out of the engine. Wipe it clean, and pop it back. Lift it back out and see where the oil level is. There should be some guidelines on the stick to show you where to look. If it’s low, just top up the oil tank.
Learn How To Change A Flat Tire
Don’t end up stranded at the side of the road with a flat tire and no idea how to change it. If you don’t have a spare tire, get one, and store it safely in the car. Ask someone to teach you how to change it, or find a guide on YouTube. You might find yourself very grateful of the skill one day!
Learn To Jump Start
Accidentally left a light on in the car overnight and now can’t get the engine to start. First, check the battery is actually the problem. To do this, check to see if the headlights or any interior lights come on. If they don’t, the battery is probably dead.
To jump start a car, you’ll need a second car with a working battery. Check the location of the battery in each car, and then park the cars close together. Turn off everything in both cars. With your jumper cables, attach the red clips to the positive terminal of the battery (it’ll have POS or a plus sign on it). Attach one black clip to the negative terminal of the working battery. Attach the other black slip to an unpainted metal surface on the car. The strut that holds up the hood is ideal. Start the working car and let the engine run for a few minutes. Try your engine. If it doesn’t work, check the connections and let the other engine run for five minutes before trying again.
Buy The Right Gas
Filling your with good quality gas will prolong its life. Choose gas from a trusted company whenever you fill up.
Try to avoid letting the tank get less than a quarter full. The gas tank can get sediment inside it, and letting the car run too empty runs the risk of that sediment getting into the fuel filter.
Keep Things Clean
Caring for your car will help it last longer. Make sure you clean the car inside and out, even in winter, to get rid of dirt buildup. If you have a leather interior, care for it with proper leather conditioner to keep it supple and in good condition.
Keep an old blanket or towels in the car to protect your interior if you ever need to move anything dirty, whether that’s picking up second hand furniture or driving home with the dog after a muddy walk.
Know When It’s Time To Call A Professional
While it’s important to know how to take the best care of your car, it’s also important to know when you’re beaten. If you’re not sure how to do something, always take your car to a mechanic instead of trying to fix the problem yourself. This is much safer for you and your car. For things like transmission repair, engine repairs or anything else you’re not sure about, call in the professionals.
Knowing how to look after your own car is very rewarding and will help you keep your car in top condition, without having to rely on others.
If you are in the middle of deciding what type of car to buy or truck to buy, the chances are you have browsed online for both new options, and second hand. Each choice has a range of pros and cons, for example, driving a new car is a pretty sweet drive. They have air-con, perfectly working heaters, inbuilt parking sensors and cameras. Some will even park for you now… Or in the case of Tesla – drive for you. And all of those things are great, but they come at a pretty steep price. If you aren’t a cash buyer, and most of us aren’t you might struggle to find a finance deal that is going to work for you. Or, you might not want to be locked into a contract for the next X amount of years.
Used cars come with much fewer strings. Unless it’s in the newer age bracket of ‘used,’ it’s usually within the grasp of most people to be able to afford it. But if you are shopping used trucks and cars online here are a few great reasons to buy used – not new.
No one who buys a new car ever says ‘well this was an investment!’. The moment it rolls off the lot, it loses a heap of value. And then over the following three years, they can lose up to 50%. Which is a lot if you are making a 30-40k investment. Used cars, however, you’re not likely to worry too much about that. You’re already getting a great deal on a car in perfect working order – just a few years under its belt.
Older car – cheaper to repair (in most cases). The value of your vehicle is one of the primary factors that is taken into account when determining the rates that you’re going to pay. It makes sense, right? The higher the value of the car, the more money the insurance company will have to pay out in the event of an accident. Of course, there are other factors, like how long you’ve been driving and how many seats are in the car. But mostly, they’re looking at the value.
While you can still find plenty of 20+-year-old cars trundling along, in general vehicles are designed to last longer now. Of course, they all have a certain amount of miles in them, and by no means in 100,000, the same as 200,000 but car designers and engineers have made incredible strides in the giving cars a longer lifespan.
This is one of the things that people who are buying used cars worry about, but with cars designed to last, it shouldn’t be a concern. Unless you are really going to buy that 20-year-old Volvo – of course.
Pick Of The Litter
Or something like that anyway. If you want an older model because it had a sweet shape, more boot space or a particular gadget they phased out then used is going to be your best friend. Each year, around 350 models of new car hit the market. Which might sound a little OTT, it’s just that some marketing is better than others – and we don’t always see the models that get released in other countries. So if that is what the new car market has each year, you can begin to imagine the range of the used car market.
New cars come with a blank sheet. And that’s cool, but older cars come with a personality – and that is cooler. But, what is more – you have access to their history. You can check the plates of the vehicle too, has it been stolen? Do the plates match the make and model of the car?
If the car has been in an accident, has been repaired, or failed its last MOT you will have access to all of the information before you decide to purchase the car. Of course, a clean MOT one year isn’t a guarantee that it will pass the next – but if you know what some of the issues were, you will have an idea of what you can expect the next time.
More Motor for Your Money
A new car is going to run you a few thousand. Either upfront or a couple of hundred a month in a contract. If you have the cash to play with, then you’re going to be able to get a lot more car for your money. A new Land Rover, or a Volvo 4×4, are anywhere between $45,000 – $177,000. Which is pretty steep, even on finance. But a few thousand will get you second-hand version – with a few miles on the clock.
You aren’t tied to only purchasing something that has a heap of functions you might not use. You can buy any make, and model and any year of car that you like. In fact, if you have time, you can spend as long as you like finding the perfect second-hand sweetheart for you.
Obviously, no one wants this to happen, but in the first year of driving most people are more likely to have a crash. The insurance on a newer car is already going to be high, add in a new driver premium – and then an accident? It makes the car even more expensive. Having a slightly older car, and maybe even on the cheaper side is going to put you at ease just that little bit more when you start driving unaccompanied.
If you buy from a used car garage, the car will usually come with a decent warranty. One that will keep your covered for 3-6-9 months and the follow-up care is generally pretty nice too.
In general, there are pros and cons to both new and used. But, if you are looking to maximize what you can get with the money you have, and keep your insurance low, then used cars will win every time.
A junker, as the name suggests, is something that is only fit for junk! When buying a used car, therefore, you need to take steps to avoid a motor that, let’s be honest, should only be homed in a scrap yard, and not on your driveway. If you don’t, not only will you have a potential money pit on your hands, something that will cost you a fortune in repairs and breakdown fees, but you might also have something that could put your life in danger.
Here then are some tips that we hope you find useful. Our advice here should hopefully help you avoid a junker of a car the next time you’re looking for a new set of wheels.
#1: Buy your car from a reputable dealer
When shopping for used cars, you might be spoiled for choice. From private sellers flogging their motors in the classifieds (online and off) to the many dealerships in your local area, you won’t be short of cars to consider for your next purchase. However, while many sellers will be honest and fair with you, there might be those who don’t have as many morals. Especially when it comes to private sellers who don’t have to offer you a warranty, you might end up with a car that isn’t worth the money it was advertised for. The same might apply to backstreet car dealerships that have no online reputation to speak of. Therefore, look for dealers that you should be able to trust. You can do this by asking for recommendations from family and friends, checking for testimonials and customer reviews on their website, and by doing a quick Google search to check for any good or bad news reports. When you think you have found a reputable dealer, you will have greater peace of mind when buying.
#2: Have the car inspected before purchase
If you don’t know the first thing about cars, then you really should pay a mechanic to inspect any car you are interested in before you part with your cash. If there are any hidden (or obvious) faults within the car, the mechanic will let you know, and you will then have the option of continuing your car search elsewhere. You could, of course, ask the seller to make the necessary repairs before you purchase the car, but to be honest, if they haven’t bothered to do so before putting it up for sale, then you might want to think twice before trusting them. Any reputable seller, private or otherwise, should always do the necessary work on the car before putting it up for sale; unless, of course, the following point applies.
#3: Be wary of cars advertised for sale ‘as is’
When you’re browsing the classifieds, you might come across cars for sale ‘as is.’ This means that any flaws or defects you notice before you buy will be your responsibility, as the car is only available for sale in its current condition, i.e. ‘as is.’ Because of this, it is unlikely that you will be offered a warranty, meaning that once you have parted with your cash, you have no legal rights to claim a refund or ask the seller to pay for any repairs if the car breaks down or you notice any problems after driving it away. Now, a car advertised ‘as is’ does not always signify you are buying a junker. If the defects are fairly insignificant, such as a scratch on the surface of the car, then you can always get that covered over later if you wish. If you’re buying the car for a dirt cheap price, you might also be happy to pay for any repairs that need doing. But as we suggested above, hire somebody to inspect the car before purchase, because you might also find yourself out of pocket should you later discover any serious and expensive issues after sale.
A test drive is more than a quick circle around the parking lot. And it’s more than a twenty-minute jaunt around town. You need to give it a thorough test drive to make sure that everything is working as it should, so request a test drive for a couple of hours or more so you can fully get a handle on the vehicle you might be buying. There are some useful tips here on what you should look out for when you’re taking the car for a spin. Still, if you aren’t particularly car savvy, you might want to bring somebody along on the ride with you. This should be somebody with years of driving experience, so ask anybody you know (or the mechanic you hired for the inspection) to join you on the roads. They will then be able to advise you further on the viability of the car in question.
#5: Check the car’s history
Any reputable seller will have a vehicle history report ready for you to review before the sale. This will let you know how many owners the car has had, as well as details of any accidents and repair jobs, both large and small. If the car has had a lot of owners, you might want to ask why. There might be issues with the car that has resulted in it changing hands a lot of times, so you might want to think twice before buying. You might also want to think twice if the car has been in an accident, or if there is has been a lot of maintenance work done on the vehicle. And you should run in the other direction if the seller does not have the car’s vehicle history report, because he or she is probably trying to hide something. Still, even if the car seems to be good to go, and the seller does have a vehicle history report, you might also want to run a free vehicle check online before buying, as you may well uncover details that the seller has been trying to keep hidden from you.
Buying a used car can be problematic, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble and money if you follow the tips we have presented here. Hopefully, you will then buy a car built to last, and not something that is only fit for the junkyard or a demolition derby!
Are You Aware Of The Major Traffic Collision Facts & Figures?
When it comes to driving, you know that you have to be safe to avoid accidents and collisions, but do you know the major facts? By getting to know this information, you can ensure that you are then safer on the road too. Let’s take a look.
The Different Impairments
To begin with, let’s take a look at the different impairments that arise. Predominantly, they come from alcohol and drug use, as well as fatigue. In fact, 16% of serious collisions involve alcohol, as the infographic below. Plus, every three hours, a drug-related traffic incident occurs!
From here, you then have to take a look at the different safety that come with seatbelts and child seats, in particular. When wearing a seat belt correctly, death in a collision can be reduced by 47% – which is phenomenal! And again, with child seats in this instance, that figure then goes to 71%. So let this serve as a reminder that safety precautions are there for a reason.
How To Stay Safe
So what do you need to learn from this? Well, first of all, you need to ensure that you’re taking the right safety precautions yourself. Now that you know you’ve understood why some of these issues occur, you’ll know what you need to avoid. But not only that, you need to make sure that you’re vigilant and staying safe.
If you’d like to find out more information about this, take a look at the details in the infographic below.