5 Car Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid

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Maintaining your car correctly costs money, but failing to maintain it can cost even more. Here are five mistakes to avoid to keep you spending less on your vehicle.

Forgetting to check fluids

Cars have all kinds of fluids under their bonnet nowadays. Some modern cars have warning lights to tell us when these fluids are low, whilst others rely on us checking them manually. Make sure that you are keeping all these fluids topped up – if they run dry it could cause extra damage to parts. These fluids include oil, brake fluid, washer fluid, engine coolant and power steering fluid.

Letting tires go flat

Underinflated tires won’t just cause the rubber to wear – it could have a knock on effect on other parts of your car. Your vehicle is likely to use up more fuel when driving on underinflated tires and braking is likely to be less effective. One underinflated tire meanwhile could put the whole car out of balance, causing steering to pull and possibly affecting the camber. The moment you think those tires are looking spongy, it’s worth getting some air in them. Just don’t overinflate them, because this can be just as bad.

Ignoring warning lights

Warning lights appear for a reason, yet it’s surprising how many people ignore them. You should always consult your vehicle manual or take your car into a car repair centre to diagnose what the problem is. Fixing it early could prevent catastrophic damage later down the line. Occasionally electrics will play up and tell you there’s something wrong when there isn’t – be careful when this happens as a faulty light could stop you from actually knowing when a real problem arises.

Cheaping it out on repairs

There are lots of ways to go cheap on repairs from going DIY to ordering partially worn parts. Some people may even shop around for the cheapest repair centre, only to settle with a dodgy mechanic making up for a bad reputation with low costs. Whilst you make think you’re saving money this way, you could in fact be creating new faults later down the line. There are times when paying extra for specialist treatment can be of benefit such as finding a European auto repair service for a European car. Above all, read reviews and testimonials so that you know the type of service you’re getting.  

Not considering seasonal maintenance

Different seasons may bring different types of maintenance. The most obvious is winter in which a car battery can die if the engine is not regularly started up. You may even benefit from switching up your tires for winter tires during this season. In the summer, you may want to keep a keen eye on engine coolant levels as well checking that the air conditioning is working properly. 

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Alleviate Your Car Safety Worries

People have a lot to say about the fact that cars have a lot of technology to them today, but that’s only a natural progression when you think about it. Gone are the days in which three wheelers were seen hurtling down the road, and we no longer have the luxury to spot some horse-drawn carriages running through the streets. However, these old time stylings are more than made up for by the amount of ‘smart’ cars we have available to us, and how they can make the world of automobiles a little safer.

Cars are made to last a little longer than they used to be, and that’s largely due to people knowing manufacturing tips and tricks, and how to talk to the mechanic. Information being a lot more accessible means we’re a lot more secure in our vehicles, so use this to your full advantage. Here’s a few little tips on keeping your car a little safer when you’re out and about.


Know About Car Recalls

When it comes to the first step in keeping a car road worthy, you need to stay up to date on any new information about your make and model. If the car designer needs all models brought back in for a safety check, make sure you’re one of the first to get your vehicle back to the dealer.

Don’t let yourself ignore any warnings about this, as you could be seen as driving with a ‘defective’ vehicle, and that’s not good for you or your insurance rates.

Park in the Right Places

When you’re driving around a busy city, or even in the countryside, try and find yourself an official parking space, lot, or garage in order to store your car safely and cleanly. Try and find an area that’s lit and in view of the road, especially if you are driving along a back lane near some fields, as you want to be able to find your car again if you live the vehicle.

Similarly, if you live next to the road, try and park your car in view of windows and doors, as this means there’s always a possible eye kept on them.

Keep the Interior Clean

Your car interior is like another dimension when you enter it, and if it’s dirty and cluttered, you’re not going to feel too great about your surroundings. Jackets and towels all over the backseat? That’s not going to be nice to spot in the mirror. That funny smell coming from the takeaway cup in your door? Where’s the next bin you can stop off to deal with it when you’re on the motorway? Keep your car clean, and you’re going to go far in your vehicle.

If you have a neat car, the inside is going to look extremely boring, and that’s a good deterrent. It also means your car is going to last that little bit longer, as no nasty particles are going to be able to dig their way into the engine or any door and dashboard mechanisms.

You know, if you keep the windshield and rear window sparkling clean, you’re going to be able to see better and a lot more, as no grimy areas are going to obscure your vision. Just sprucing up your interior, and maybe the exterior, could very well make you a better driveway.

Know Your Legal Options

Legal options can be intimidating to even think about, but often enough the law is on your side when it comes to the rules of the road. If you do get into an accident, don’t let yourself panic about it. You have plenty of options open to you, whether they be in terms of insurance or otherwise.

Speaking of, we hear a lot about cars being written off by insurance companies, but you don’t always agree when it comes to spending money on a beloved car! Try and get a second opinion on your vehicle, and then see what write off category it’s in. If you can prove it’s still drivable this way, you should be all set. If you were in an accident that caused a huge amount of damage to your car, be on the lookout for car accident attorneys that go the distance, instead of the alternative. If you know where to look, it’s going to be a lot easier to get plenty of coverage for any problem you may run into (or runs into you).

Road safety vigilance is really all you need.

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3 Things That Car Mechanics Don’t Want You To Know

When your car goes wrong, you take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, usually for a hefty price. There’s nothing you can do about it because you can’t manage without your car. It’s difficult to avoid getting ripped off by mechanics because they have a lot of tricks that they use to push the price up. They can only carry on fleecing people as long as we don’t know what those tricks are; educating yourself on the methods that mechanics use is the only way to push those prices down. These are the things that car mechanics don’t want you to know.

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You Don’t Always Need Them

Mechanics would have you believe that there’s no way that you can fix any of the problems with your car and you’ll have to pay them a lot of money to do it for you, but that just isn’t true. A cracked or chipped windscreen is going to cost you a lot to replace if you get a mechanic to do it, but there are other companies that specialize in that sort of thing and they’ll do it far cheaper. Visit Glass.net for a comparison of local companies to find the cheapest option. With a good set of tools, you can also fix a lot of simple issues without paying a mechanic. Replacing a drive belt, changing a battery, and putting on new brake pads are all things that sound like they’d be difficult but with a spare afternoon and a few YouTube tutorials, most people can manage it regardless of their technical ability. Getting that stuff done by a mechanic is going to cost you a lot of money.

There Is A Price Guide

When your car breaks down and you get a quote from a mechanic it seems like they just pluck a random number out of thin air. Most of the time they’re just seeing what the highest price they can get away with is. It’s difficult for them to lie about the price of the materials themselves because you can easily find out roughly how much they should cost. However, when it comes to labor costs they can just make it up as they go along. But what they don’t want you to know is that there are guidelines about how much different repairs should cost. Several books are published each year with a breakdown of how many labor hours they should take. Ask your mechanic to give you their own breakdown and show you the guidelines to see if they add up.

Certifications Don’t Mean Much

When they’re giving you the hard sell, mechanics will often point to their certifications as a reason for you to go with them. But here’s the thing, a lot of them don’t really mean anything. They would like you to believe that they’ve been through an extensive training course to get the certifications but a lot of them can be gained by passing a simple written test on just one area of repair. That means, rather than being an expert, all the certification proves is that they’ve got a bit of theoretical knowledge about a couple of repairs. That doesn’t guarantee any level of practical skill at all.

Don’t just accept the price that a mechanic gives you. Challenge them on it using your new-found knowledge about their tricks.

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Why Life Will Steer You Toward Electric Cars

No matter what your style or passion, electric cars are coming. At the moment there are only a few models available. Perhaps you’re not stirred inside by any of the recent launches. However, there are so many valid reasons for making the switch to electric, that even the leaders of the world are jumping on it. So what is holding you back? There may be nothing you can do about it!

Financial Cost

At the moment electric cars cost more money than their petrol or diesel counterparts. But next year will see a fundamental shift toward balancing out the on the road price. You’ll find vehicles that look very much like the ones you’re already driving. They’ll have one very significant cost advantage over traditional vehicles though. The cost of the electric is just 10% of what you might be paying at the pumps. In the not so distant future, a trickle charge might be solar-powered, meaning that your journey is free.

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Environmental Cost

With next to no emissions, you might think the electric car is environmentally friendly. Before you get too excited, there is still a lot of work to be done. Not all of the materials used to build the vehicles are recyclable. And many of the pollutants in our atmosphere come from tyre particles, not just exhaust fumes. Still, with so many of us now quite excited about the prospect of owning an electric car, pollution levels have the potential to drop significantly. Many world leaders are talking about a complete swap to electric-powered vehicles within just a decade.

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Design Cost

So are electric cars doomed to be small, square, and slow? No. Tesla has already proven that good-looking cars can also be fast and have a record-breaking range. Would you be willing to give up your luxury car for an electric model? It might break your heart to sell, but you might not have much choice. When you’re pricing a luxury vehicle for sale, it’s worth checking the online prices. You might be able to knock a significant chunk off your new vehicle price!

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There will, undoubtedly, be a huge market for high-design and stylish vehicles. Many of the electric vehicles already on the market far exceed their diesel or petrol counterparts. They have more gizmos and gadgets on board, and reviews suggest they’re finished to a higher standard. As we ‘devolve’ to electric, you can be certain there will be a model in every possible category. Best of all, that means there should be an option to suit every budget.

If all of these cost benefits still haven’t convinced you to go all-electric, then perhaps the world-changing around you will. It simply won’t be profitable for standard fuel to be sold anymore. Houses will be built with electric car charging points already built-in. And many countries are raising taxes already to put those old polluters off the road for good. Public transport and services are already converting to hybrid and electric. Why wouldn’t you?

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Family Cars That Take The Stress Out Of Long Journeys

Hitting the open road with the roof down and the wind in your hair, listening to your favorite tunes is a wonderful way to waste an afternoon. For you, driving is more than just getting from A to B, until you have kids that is. As soon as you start a family, driving goes from being a fun way to spend an afternoon to a nightmare of epic proportions. Keeping the kids entertained in the house is difficult enough but when you’ve got them all crammed into a small space it’s going to be arguments and whining all the way.

Looking Man People Woman Car Family Children


Unless you’re some kind of super parent, you aren’t going to manage a car journey that’s completely peaceful but you can make things a little easier on yourself if you choose the right car. There’s no complete formula for the perfect family car because every family has their own needs. Some need more space so the kids don’t get on each other’s nerves, others are more focused on safety, and some need a way to keep the kids entertained so they stop pestering you for the whole journey.

Whatever your priorities, there should be a car that fits your criteria somewhere on this list of the best all round family cars.

Chevrolet Bolt

Any families that have a keen interest in environmental concerns should look into the Chevrolet Bolt. It’s one of the best value for money electric cars on the market at the moment, coming in at around $30,000. There’s no need to worry about running out of juice on the road because it can do over 200 miles on a single charge and it has a great display that shows you exactly how long you’ve got left before you need to charge again. It looks a bit small from the outside but it’s actually surprisingly roomy once you get inside so you shouldn’t have any fights over who’s got the most room on the backseat. The entertainment facilities are also great for families because for a small monthly fee you can turn the car into a wifi hotspot that supports up to seven devices, so the kids can keep themselves busy in the back while you concentrate on the driving.

Subaru Xv


Subaru has a bit of a reputation as a boy racer’s car so families don’t always consider it, but the Xv model is the perfect car for people that have young children. Click here for Subaru Xv details to find out more. It’s particularly good for young kids because it has the latest in child seat anchor technology. Making child seats stable can be a bit of a pain in some cars but in the Subaru Xv, it’s simple. That makes getting everybody strapped in and ready to go far easier. The automatic key fob unlocks the car as you get close, without having to reach into your pocket. That doesn’t sound like it would be that useful but when you’re trying to juggle a few kids at the same time, it can come in really handy.

Stop-Start tech cuts the engine when you stop at traffic lights which saves a huge amount of fuel. Cutting the running costs of your car comes in very handy when you’re trying to run a family on a tight budget.

Kia Soul

If budget is the number one priority for you then the Kia Soul is a brilliant choice. It’s the perfect balance of affordable and practical. It’s only around $16,000 to buy which would usually get you a fairly small car but the Kia Soul doesn’t have that problem. The entertainment facilities are great, even on the cheaper model. There’s a six speaker stereo system with simple controls that anybody can master and if you upgrade to the more expensive model, you can even get a voice activation system put in. The amount of trunk space is massive so it’s perfect for long road trips that need a lot of luggage.

Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid plug-in hybrid


When you were in your twenties you probably vowed that you would never be one of those parents that bought a clunky old minivan but now you’ve got kids, you’re probably starting to realize why so many parents drive minivans. If you have a large family then they simply won’t fit in your car. You’re going to have to bite the bullet and do what you said you never would; get a minivan. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get one that looks stylish. Nobody’s saying that the Chrysler Pacifica is the most fashionable car in the world but as minivans go, it’s pretty cool. One of the major benefits of the Pacifica is that the front cabin is separated and there’s a noise cancelling feature that you can use if you need a bit of peace and quiet during the drive. Just make sure not to keep it on all the time, otherwise, you won’t know what they’re up to back there. For an extra $2,000 you can make sure that you don’t hear a peep out of them by installing the impressive entertainment package. It boasts a blu-ray player, 10 inch screens in the back of the seats, wireless headphones, games, and even a min vacuum cleaner to clean up any mess they make on the back seat with their snacks.

Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is another great one if it’s just sheer space that you’re looking for. There’s enough room for all of the kids, buggies, and whatever else you need to bring along. It’s got a huge center storage facility so you can access everything that you’ll need during the journey without having to keep stopping and getting things out of the back. It’s got great safety features and plenty of charging ports to keep everybody’s tablets and phones charged for the whole journey.

This list caters to every families needs, and if you can’t find a car on here that will make journeys with the family a whole lot easier, you must be asking too much.   

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Crash Bang Wallop: What All Your Car’s Noises Mean


Has your car been making noises recently? If so, it’s probably telling you that there is something wrong with it. One of its component parts could be worn out of there might be some damage that isn’t so easy to see with the naked eye.

So, next time you’re driving your car, it’s probably a good idea to take a closer listen to some of the noises that occur. Here are some of their possible meanings.

A Squealing From Under The Hood

If you can hear a very high-pitched squeal coming from under the hood of the car, it’s a sign that the serpentine belt has worn out or come very loose. This is a pretty big issue as this particular belt helps to power the major systems that make up the car. Once this serpentine belt breaks completely, there is no way you will get your car going. So, as soon as you notice this squealing under the hood, it’s time to take your car to the mechanic.

A Squealing From The Brakes

You might also hear a similar noise coming from the brakes as well. This squealing noise will start once you press the brake pedal and it means that the brake pad is rubbing against the rotor. Thankfully, though, this issue isn’t as big an emergency as the one mentioned above. Take your car to an auto repair garage whenever you get chance.  They will be able to replace the brake pads, which shouldn’t be too huge an expense.


Lots Of Fast Flapping

Think there’s a fish in your car? Well, there might be, but it’s more likely that all of that flapping is coming from your car’s blower system or air con. Again, just like with the brake squealing, this problem isn’t a big one, and shouldn’t be too expensive to fix. Your mechanic can check the air-con system and ensure that it is running smoothly.

Grinding Metal From The Brakes

If you hear any metal sounds from your brakes, it’s important that you get your car checked out as soon as possible. This is probably a sign that your brake pad has worn through completely. Not only will you notice this noise, but you might find that your brakes don’t work as well as they should. So, don’t delay, and take your auto to your nearest garage.

Groaning Whenever You Steer

That groaning you hear whenever you turn the steering wheel isn’t your car yawning. It’s actually an issue with your steering system. If you have power steering, there is probably something wrong with the fluid in the system. Your system might be running low, for instance! This isn’t a huge safety concern for you, but it’s still better to get this checked out as quickly as possible as it might make the vehicle much harder to steer and drive.

As you can see, most noises that your car might make are a sign that something isn’t quite right. What can you hear in yours?

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Introducing The 6 Best Hybrid And Electric Cars Of 2017

We’re fast approaching the end of 2017; a year that’s seen lots of new developments and plenty of new cars in the auto industry. It’s been a year where many manufacturers have made a clear effort to bring out ‘cleaner’ cars. We’ve seen a whole host of hybrid and electric cars from some of the biggest names in this industry.

Today, we separate the best from the rest and look at the top hybrid/electric cars that have been released this year. They’re not in any particular order, but you can bet these are the best ones out there.


Tesla Model X

If you’re looking for a fast car with a green engine, then the Tesla Model X is right up your street. We love this car for its ingenuity and commitment to being model and fully electric. There’s no hybrid engine in here, just an absolute brute of a battery-powered one. This thing has over 600bhp and goes from 0-60 in under 3 seconds. Those are staggering stats for an electric car that’s far from supercar territory.

The battery is a whopping 100 kWh with a range extending well over 300 miles. As if all this wasn’t enough, it’s a practical car too. This is one of the main reasons it makes it onto this list – it can boast some of the best electric car stats and figures out there, but it still remains a car you can drive everywhere every day. There are seven seats inside (seven!!) which is ridiculous for a car with 0-60 stats like the one mentioned. To make things even better, it looks amazing and is packed full of all the classic Tesla technology. If you’re interested in a full review that looks at all the tech and other features, you can check one out on topgear.com. One final note on this car is that it does have a large price tag. But, for everything you get, it doesn’t actually seem like bad value for money.


Volvo XC90 T8

The XC90 T8 is a premium car from Swedish manufacturer Volvo. It’s the hybrid version of the highly rated XC90 series, and it has some fantastic features that make it a great hybrid car. Right off the bat, you get a great maximum range on the electric motor – it can go for nearly 30 miles without using any petrol at all. Not only that, but this car has low emissions, and the petrol engine is pretty powerful too

What we like most about this car is the fact it’s highly practical for the whole family. It’s very much a large family car, and it can accommodate up to seven people, with a decent trunk too. All these features come with a sizeable price tag if you buy it new. However, you can see WCVolvo.com for more information on used prices, which will greatly reduce how much this costs. Plus, factor in the savings you make thanks to the hybrid engine, and it definitely makes it worth spending more on this version instead of one of the non-hybrid XC90’s.


BMW i8

Spoiler alert; this is the first of two BMW entries on this list. Second spoiler alert; this is probably our favorite of the two! As far as electric/hybrid supercars go, nothing comes close to the i8 right now. It’s surprising how no other manufacturer seems to have made anything that can rival the i8 regarding top speed, fun factor, looks, and hybrid efficiency. The closest cars come from Tesla, but they’ll be quick to point out none of their offerings are really ‘supercars.’

What makes the i8 great is that it completely beats down the myth that hybrid cars are boring. It looks amazing, has some of the coolest doors I’ve ever seen, and drives just as well as any other supercar. BMW claims it has the fuel consumption of a compact car, but in a sports car. There are bags of technology in this car too, it really looks like it came directly out of the film iRobot (you know, that one with Will Smith). Obviously, you’ll have to pay a fair fortune for this, but if you’re looking for a green sports car, this is the best option for you.


Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Volkswagen Golf has long been an iconic compact car. It’s the car of choice for young people all over the world as they pass their driving test and look for something practical, easy to drive, and a little bit sporty. The GTE continues to tick all of these boxes, but it also adds something else to the party; a hybrid engine. Beneath the floor, there’s a lithium battery capable of giving you 31 miles on its own. This battery can charge in just over 3 hours from any power outlet in your home. If you get a proper wall charging unit you can knock an hour off that time.

It’s a very handy car that packs a punch too; 0-60 will happen in just over 7 seconds, which is mad for any hybrid compact car that’s not a Tesla. The CO2 emissions are remarkably low too, coming in at around 35g/km – again, pretty mad. What we have here is a car that will do just about everything you want it to do, in classic Golf fashion. The interior is slick, the design is modern, it’s the perfect car for all occasions. Factor in those low emissions and it could well be one of the best city drivers of the year.


BMW i3

Here we have the second BMW on our list, and one of the best full-electric cars on the market today. Before we get into things, you have to remind yourself why the i3 was created. It’s specifically made for people that need a small-ish car to drive around a city and not for people that drive across country. With that being said, the full-electric version has a range of up to 124 miles, which will get you to a lot of places when you take short journeys. It’s not a particularly fast car, but that’s not what it’s about. This is a completely green, zero-emission machine, that’s perfect for small families or individuals. If you work in the middle of a busy city that has carbon taxes, this is the perfect mode of transport for you.

It’s a smart car that’s cooler than an actual SMART car, and you have all the BMW benefits to go along with the electric motor. It’s got a load of technology on the inside, including some great safety features. Also, if you’re someone that likes this car but is still put off by the range of the electric-only motor, there is a hybrid option that can help for longer journeys. All in all, an affordable electric beast that’s great for city slicks.


Audi A3 e-Tron

This makes the fourth car on this list from a German manufacturer as Audi join the hybrid party. They’re a company with a lot of clout, and an eye for executive designs and revolutionary technology. The A3 is a car synonymous with the brand, it offers everything you could want from a mid-sized saloon, and oozes high-quality. What the e-tron does is elevate a great car to new heights. They’ve packed it with a hybrid engine that will provide more than enough range when used in a city. The idea is that you switch to the proper engine whenever you’re making long journeys or need to plug-in your car to charge.

In the auto industry, this isn’t a new idea, but it’s new to Audi. As such, you have to give them props for a fantastic first effort. They’ve ticked all the boxes, and this car comes in at a very affordable price. It fits right into the same price range as other executive saloons, but it’s one of the only ones offering this hybrid tech. Speaking of which, the technology inside is built for the future meaning you have a car that will last a long time and prove a good investment. Fancy learning more about this car? Then check out this article on forbes.com for more information about its best features.

The Future…

There you have it; our pick of the best hybrid and electric cars this year. While all these vehicles are fantastic, it’s exciting to think about what the future holds. Are we going to see even more electric/hybrid cars next year? 2018 will surely be the year more manufacturers attempt the full-electric car, which is currently only on offer from a handful of companies. There were recent reports that Porsche is looking to become one of the first major Tesla rivals, so that will be exciting too.

My only worry is that there’s a lot of hype surrounding autonomous cars right now, so maybe some manufacturers are thinking of setting aside electric/hybrid ideas? Hopefully not, and we will see some great designs and revolutionary ‘green’ cars next year and beyond.

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