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3 Quick Winter Car Checks You Should Be Carrying Out

Over the course of the year, our cars rack up a lot of miles and spend hundreds of hours out on the roads.

In fact, according to the National Transport Survey’s findings, the average household car covers 7,800 miles a year, whilst the average person spends an average of 13,000 minutes driving annually, across 514 car trips.

Of course, it’s little wonder then, that all this time out on the roads can eventually take its toll on your car. And, of course, it’s sod’s law for your car to break down during the depths of winter, when it’s freezing cold and pitch black outside, and you have to attempt to jump-start your car.

So, to make sure your vehicle stays in tip-top condition over the coming months, we’ve found three quick car checks for you to carry out this winter.

Check your windscreen and wipers

This might seem like a fairly trivial point but checking your windscreen and windscreen wipers is actually one of the more important checks you can do without the help of a professional.

During winter, it’s vital that you can see clearly out of your windscreen, especially in adverse weather conditions where the visibility is already reduced. However, having wiper blades that are torn or damaged can prevent you from being able to see properly, as they tend to smear any dirt or salt rather than clear it.

Similarly, checking for any chips in the windscreen is especially important during winter as the cold weather can cause them to get bigger and may result in a cracked windscreen.

If you find any damage to your wipers or windscreen, make sure to get them fixed sooner rather than later to prevent any further damage and extra costs.

The RAC has provided a great set of resources for checking your windscreen and wipers, as well as how to replace them.

Check the coolant and oil

Your engine oil and coolant levels are both extremely important in helping your engine to run smoothly and safely, especially during the winter months. However, both of these things can be affected by colder weather.

Coolant helps your car to maintain the right temperature level, preventing your radiator from freezing during the winter months, which means it’s important to make sure it’s topped up by checking the level is between the minimum and maximum markers on the tank.

Similarly, engine oil keeps your engine running by lubricating all of the moving parts and preventing them from seizing up. As a result, during the winter months, you need the correct viscosity for your engine (which can be found in the manual) to keep everything working efficiently.

You can check if you have enough oil by locating the dipstick and checking the oil is between the minimum and maximum markers.

Check the tyres

Finally, one quick check you can do by yourself is checking the state of your tyres, which will gradually erode over the miles.

We spoke to VW Motor Parts, who said: “having a secure grip on the road is imperative during the winter, especially when ice and rain can make the surface extra slippery, so it’s important you check your tyres are compliant to the correct standards.

By law, the tread depth on each tyre must be 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and across the complete circumference, and you can test this by inserting a 20p coin into the grooves.

If you can see the outer band of the coin, then your tyres might be below the legal limit and we recommend you get them checked by a mechanic.”

Tips And Tricks Installing Rack Roof On Your Car

Cars can be fitted with roof racks to be more versatile in terms of transporting various types of luggage and other equipment. This attachment is very important if you need to bring equipment for projects, sports, and more. However, it is important to understand these different types of devices for cars and how they work. Finding out what you need is a very important part. Most cars have different roof dimensions, which bump into a “one size fits all”

solution from the list – On figuring out what you need, you should consider the type of things that you intend to transport. There are racks that are made to hold specific object i.e. bikes and kayaks. These examples pretty much give you an idea of what you should be looking for. Once you have this sorted out, it’s time to move on to taking measurements. Are roof racks easy to install? Yes, they are quite easy to install. But, this only comes into play when you use aftermarket or universal roof rack types. Permanent ones are not the easiest to install as they need every ounce of rigidity they could get. Mostly, permanent roof racks are used for commercial vehicles rather than cars used for the daily commute.

Can you install your own roof rack? This device is different a lot. Differences can be found with the type of objects they want to carry. Another is the design elements and functional differences brought by different brands. How is the roof rack installed? In short, you can install this shelf installation from DIY, provided the contents are universal or you use the stock rails in your car. You can also ask a professional to do it for you, but of course, you have to pay for this option. But, cost is the only warning in this choice. If you are unsure of the installation process or if you are not sure that your professional service can be your best choice.

How to install roof racks – There are specific procedures for installation for the different types of roofs. If you are installing a roof rack on a naked roof, you would need a foot pack, crossbars, and a fit kit to make a roof rack system from scratch. Fit kits are normally custom-made and are very durable.

Installing racks on factory mount are also easy. The metal or plastic covers can be popped off simply with the use of a hand tool. After the caps have been taken out, the threaded holes will be accessible for the installation of the rack.

Installing a bike roof rack is done in the same way. The bike rack is separate from your car’s roof rack, this means you’ll have two racks stacked on top of the other. You should also invest in a proper lock to hold the bikes in place while traveling.

The one used to accommodate kayaks on the spot is a bit more complicated to install. This requires a lot of attention especially, the type of car used, the number of kayaks to be carried, and the type of roof your car has. These come with different accessories that may vary per brand. You need to do a little research to get things done right.

Tips for Buying Used Cars And Avoiding Lemons

Not all of us buy a shiny new car. For many Americans, buying used cars is their only chance to ride. However, there are many sharks in the water and you should avoid being scammed. Check the following tips for buying used cars:

1. Analyze how much you can afford spending for a car. Be realistic about how much you can afford for buying a car and insuring it. Do not forget to research your state’s minimum coverage requirements. If you’re taking out a loan to pay for your car, your car payment shouldn’t be more than 20 percent of your take-home pay. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, you may want to spend even less.

2. Make a list of used car models that interest you. You need to spend a lot of time researching a used car. If you find a good deal, be sure to spend a few hours identifying the car’s weak point and if the model is pulled by the manufacturer. Also check for typical repair and maintenance costs. Keep in mind that used cars usually require regular maintenance and component replacement.

3. Look for local used car auctions and sales. Finding used cars in your area is pretty advantageous. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to inspect the car and notice if there are important defects.

4. Use the internet to help you detect the car models you want. There are many websites and forums you can use to track local used cars marketplaces or even talk with owners of used cars. They can tell you more about the car and its history.

5. Get a vehicle history report before buying. You should always ask for a history report from the owner or the dealership. In this way you will know if the car has a bad history. If so, you should better choose another vehicle.

6. Inspect the car closely, preferably with your mechanic nearby. Bring your own specialist when inspecting the car. Look for the following signs:

• Uneven tire tents
• The car is not aligned
• Title of the brand listed in the title, such as “rescue,” “trash”, “flood”, or “rebuilt”
• Silent or rusty in the cracks, luggage, under the carpet
• Electric glitches
• Musty smell, mold or mildew

• Paint too much
• Stickers that show higher mileage than on an odometer
• Work orders for improvements that show higher mileage than on the odometer
• A hood or rod that is not covered properly
• Shimmy at the wheel while driving

Best Tips To Extend Your Car Life

If you own a car, you have to do a lot of things to keep it running smoothly and effectively. Investing to buy a car is a great thing; if you know how to keep you informed the basics keep it in good shape. Experts always give tips to keep your car in the right working condition. There are a few tips listed below.

Be patient

First, be extra patient during the break in period, specially first thousand miles or sixteen hundred kilometers. Keep your car speed under 55 mph and avoid using heavy loads on the drive train.

Go to a reputable gas station

Second, fill your car’s gas tank from a reputable gas station. Avoid filling it from the petrol station where the underground tanker is filled because turbulence can cause sediments that can lead to injector blockages and fuel filters. This is also the reason for your car’s poor performance.

Check and change oil

Third, on a regular basis, change the oil of the car. This can save your car’s engine and will give it a longer life. By changing the oil and filtering it you can save many bugs later on. If you are not checking and changing the oils regularly it can affect your engine and may result in failure.

Use a light weighted key chain

Get rid of that heavy key ring dangling with your car keys. Light up the weight because it can wear out the system inside the ignition. This will result in the failure of your car’s ignition switch. So in order to avoid damaging your ignition switch, buy a light and beautiful key ring. In case your switch is giving you problems, like your keys stuck in while you try to start your car, get it checked. It means your switch is about to fail.

Change the coolant often

Do change the coolant after every year. Mix distilled water with coolant and put it in your car, it will keep the cooling system of your car in a good working condition.

Park in shade

It is advisable to park your car in shade. In order to save it from sun and UV rays. The UV rays can affect the interior of your car, so UV protection should be applied.

Drive with care

Last but not least, drive your vehicle with love and attention on the road. If you are going to take care of your car today by driving slowly and well then you will not bother long in the future. It will also save you from running to a mechanic and back.