What’s Wrong With My Car? Things To Look For When Your Car Just Isn’t Right

Having a car, especially at this time of the year is a blessing. You can travel quickly and efficiently without having to worry about relying on public transport or worse – getting cold from walking everywhere. So, when something goes wrong with your car, it can be rather distressing and again, at this time of the year the last thing anyone needs is another expense. If your car isn’t sounding or feeling right you should always take it to the mechanic before it escalates into something bigger. However, there are things that you can look for yourself and fix without the need of a mechanic at all. Check out these things to look for when your car just isn’t right.

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Your car is using more fuel than normal

It’s easy to drive further than normal and wonder why your fuel tank is emptying faster than normal. However, if this is a regular occurence and you’re not travelling any further than you normally would, there could be a number of causes:

  • Your tyres need pumping up. Flat tyres need to work harder to move your car across the roads, therefore using more fuel. Pump up your tyres for optimum fuel consumption.
  • Check for leaks when you’ve been parked for a considerable amount of time. Quite often owners don’t realise their car even has a leak until they’ve parked in one spot for a longer period of time!
  • Drive slower! We know how tempting it is to put the pedal to the floor on an open road. However, you’ll be using much more fuel than normal. Stick to moderate speeds as much as possible and you’ll notice your fuel consumption drop.

Your car is making an unusual noise

There’s nothing worse than hearing your car make an unusual noise but often there are simple fixes that you can try before taking your car to the garage:

  • Check your oil level. Too much or too little oil in your car can cause it to make strange ticking noises. Filling your oil is simple and cheap to do. This could also be affecting your performance transmissions, so be sure to keep on top of this.
  • Check for holes in your exhaust pipe as this can create loud sounds. If you find one, take your car to your mechanic as soon as possible.
  • If you hear a high pitched whining noise, it may be your wheel bearings or even flat tyres. 

Your car has lost power

Your car losing power is quite an alarming symptom to arise. However, if you’ve got a car that usually has a turbo it might be worth turning your inertia switch off, leaving it for ten minutes and then turning it back on again. This can often restart your turbo and bring your car back.

Remember that if you’re worried about your car it’s always best to let a mechanic take a look. Troubleshooting these ideas however, could save you a trip to the garage and a bill this side of Christmas.

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Audiophile: Getting The Best Sound Wherever You Go

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Speakers have been around for a very long time, and this market has been developing steadily since their inception. The products available on the modern market are a far cry from those which people were using in the past, with things like digital music and wireless technology shaping the market into something new. Of course, though, with a market so broad and expensive, a lot of people resort to using the first options they can get their hands on. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring audio, and the simplest ways to improve your listening experience without spending a small fortune.

Personal Listening

Listening to music on your own gives you an excellent opportunity to use devices like headphones. These products offer a better experience and a lower price than speakers, though you have to be careful with what you buy. Modern wireless headphones sacrifice quality to be able to provide you with their advanced features. This makes wired headphones a much better option for those on a budget, and this is before you even consider the difference between in-ear and over-ear headphones. Over-ear examples are often offer better value for money, though a lot of people will want the convenience of something smaller.

At Home

Being able to listen to music at home is a treat, and a lot of people like to do this using speakers instead of headphones. Modern smart speakers are great for those who want a touch of convenience, though you will often find the best sound quality if you go back a few years. eBay is filled to the brim with old hifi equipment, and you only need a set of speakers and an amp or receiver to get yourself started. It’s worth doing some learning before using hardware like this, as it can be quite complicated to set up, but most people would agree that the sound which comes from setups like this is far better value than a lot of modern products.

In The Car

Cars can present some challenges when listening to music. Unlike a square or rectangular room, your vehicle is likely to be an awkward shape for sound to travel around. There are a lot of products on the market which have been designed to combat this, and you can read Alpine car amplifier reviews, along with resources surrounding all of the other parts you’ll need, around the web. Each car will have its own procedure to install speakers, though YouTube should be able to teach you everything you need, and any facia panels you require can be bought on sites like eBay and Amazon.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of getting the best sound wherever you are. It isn’t always easy to listen to music, though most people enjoy this sort of pastime, making it well worth putting the time and effort to ensure that you can get the most out of it.

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A Lifelong Journey: Learning How To Be A Better Driver When Everyone Else Is Terrible!

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How much time do you spend behind the wheel of a car? It’s something that most of us have to do, whether it’s for your job or you’re the only one in your household that can do it. And over time, it can serve to increase our frustration, but also, if we want to get anywhere, we start to imitate those around us and take their terrible skills on board. Before we know it, our ability to drive goes down the drainpipe, and it’s because everyone around us is operating in the same haphazard manner. But driving better doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to attain; and if you really want to make a difference on the road, improve your commute, or just feel less stressed behind the wheel, try a few of these approaches… 

Truly Get An Appreciation Of Everyone Else Around You

As drivers, we can be absurdly single-minded, and only focus on our journey. But this means we don’t get a true appreciation of what’s going on around us. Sometimes we have to get a different perspective, and we can do this in simple ways. We could get a dual dash cam, which is something that many drivers now utilize on the road, not just to recognize the idiots that are causing near misses but also, giving ourselves an appreciation of the things we might very well not have noticed on the journey. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and if we can get a better perception of what’s going on around us, it’s the perfect place to start.

Stop Speeding 

We start to imitate others around us because we feel that pressure. And when it comes to something like speeding, if everybody else is doing 5 miles over the limit, and they are doing that passive-aggressive thing to you because they’re stuck behind you and you were “only” going the limit, that temptation to speed up can develop into a full-blown habit. Speed limits are there for a reason. If you stop speeding, you’re not going to cause an accident, and you won’t have your license taken off you!

Stop Being In A Hurry

We are forever in a rush to get somewhere, and we witness this by the people risking their lives to take over us on a quiet road, but there’s a lesson to be learned here. If we are forever in a rush, then clearly we’re not leaving enough time to get to our destination, but also, being in a rush means we start to take risks that we wouldn’t if we had more time. It’s something you see all of the time. People cutting across all four lanes to get to an exit, and this is such a major mistake that could cause one massive accident, but the lesson is simple, if you are always in a hurry, bad habits will always up.

And probably the biggest lesson we can all learn is to address our own bad habits. One of the best ways to do this is, unfortunately, to have them checked by a professional. Being a good driver isn’t just about passing your test, it is a lifelong journey.

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Cutting Back On The Cost Of Driving

There could be several reasons why you’d want to cut your driving costs. A change in circumstances could call for the need to budget, or you could be simply looking to free up your cash for something else. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of ways you can save money on driving.

Take a look at some of the following ways to cut back on the cost of driving to give your finances a boost.

Switch to a more affordable car

Car payments can really eat into your budget, so if you’re looking for a simple way to free up money each month, consider buying a cheaper car. While having an expensive car is great, if you only need a car to get you from A to B, then something more affordable can just as easily do the trick. Buying a used car is one easy way to reduce your car payments, so why not shop around to help you find a good deal?

Shop around for insurance

Besides the cost of the car itself, car insurance can be your next biggest outgoing. It’s important that you shop around for the best insurance deal each time your renewal is up – you never know what kind of deals you could get from a cheaper provider. You should read more about finding low-cost car insurance so that you can get a better deal. Many providers will even offer a no claims discount, so if you’re a good driver with no history of accidents, you could save even more!

Drive less

One easy way to cut down on the cost of driving is to drive less. By carpooling or taking other forms of transport, you could reduce your fuel costs easily. Walking or cycling are excellent ways to commute to work, and as they are free, you could easily find yourself saving some money each week. Save the car for when it’s raining or you’ve got a real need for it – you’ll be surprised at how easily you could get by without one.

Go green

More and more people are looking at ways they can go green to help the environment. By investing in an electric or hybrid car, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment while also going green. Electric vehicles can be great to drive, and if you live or work near the city, it’ll be easier to find a charging point. Take a look at all of the electric vehicles on the market in 2020 to help give you a clearer idea of what’s out there.
Cutting back on your driving costs can easily save you money each month. Whether you’re saving for something in particular, or you just want to cut back, then your car and driving habits should be one of the first places you look. If you’re serious about saving money, then making some lifestyle changes is necessary, so don’t see cutting back on your car as a bad thing, see it as a positive way to take care of your financial future.

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7 Tips For Buying A Reliable Car

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Fed of buying unreliable cars? Finding a car that runs smoothly could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Here are a few tips that can help you to guarantee a reliable car.

Consider buying brand new

The best way to guarantee reliability is to buy a car brand new. That isn’t to say that brand new cars don’t still have their faults – however you won’t have to deal with any wear and tear problems. The downside of buying a brand new car is the cost and many people may simply not be able to afford this option.

Use a trusted dealer

When it comes to used cars, the credibility of the dealer is important to take into account. A good dealership will only sell cars that are in acceptable working condition. You can find these dealers by asking for recommendations off of family and friends, as well as reading reviews online.

Choose a reliable brand

Certain brands have a good track record when it comes to producing reliable vehicles. For instance, Mazda is usually regarded as a pretty reliable brand. Try looking for dealers that specialise in such brands such as Renton Mazda. Avoid brand and models that have a bad reputation when it comes to faults.

Check the mileage

The more miles a car has done, the more wear and tear there’s likely to be. This means a greater chance of faults. Modern cars tend to have a ‘life expectancy’ of 200,000 miles – at this stage, most of the parts will likely need replacing. For more chance of reliability, you should usually aim for under 100,000 miles. Sites like Cenex offer for information on mileage.

Look into the vehicle history

It’s worth also considering the vehicle’s history. If there’s a long history of faults and repairs – and if the vehicle has switched hands lots of times – it could be a bad sign. You may also want to be wary of vehicle that’s been sitting idle on someone’s drive for years – a car that hasn’t run for a while could be as much of a problem as a car that’s got too many miles on the clock.  

Bring a mechanic/knowledgeable friend with you to view the car

Bringing a mechanic or knowledgeable friend along with you could be beneficial. They may be able to take a look under the bonnet and spot any problems that may not be obvious. They may also know certain questions to ask the seller.

Always go for a test drive

A test drive can be a great way to see how a car feels. It may allow you to spot problems such as sticky gears or steering issues that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. A trustworthy seller will always offer a test drive – if they refuse, it’s probably because they’re hiding something. 

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6 Top Tips For Getting The Best Out Of Your Company Vehicle

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Your company is going places, quite literally. You’ve got the services that your customers want, and now all you need is the van to take it to them.

Running a company van means lots more things to think about. You will need to make sure that your vehicle is kept in good repair, and is road legal. Also, you will need to pay any taxes on the vehicle. 

Your Branding 

Your van is a moving advertisement for your company. If you do not have an eye-catching logo and enough information on the side of your vehicle to catch the eyes of potential customers, you are missing a trick. Get yourself a designer who can help you create the impression that you need to be making. 

If you ever change anything about your design, you will need to know how to remove car wraps from your vehicle.

Keep It Clean

As you are driving around a representation of your business, you need to show that you care and have attention to detail. Keeping your vehicle clean and tidy, will show your potential customers that if you care this much about your van, you will care about the service you are providing them.

Drive Well

This shouldn’t need pointing out, but if you are cutting up drivers, or tailgating in a company vehicle, then it does not give a good impression of your business at all. If you let staff out and about driving the vehicle, have some contact information on the back where people can feedback about the driving of your team. This will make them think twice about aggressive driving. 

Think about doing some driver etiquette training with your team. Being courteous costs nothing when you are on the road, however being rude or driving dangerously, may cost the driver their license and, you, your business reputation. 

Mod Cons

Make sure your van has things like a built-in sat-nav and Bluetooth connectivity. Making sure you and your team don’t need to be handling phones while driving will keep you, and other road users, safer. 

Using mobile phones while at the wheel causes a lot of accidents these days, and your company should not become part of a statistic. 

Servicing Your Vehicle

You will need to make sure that your vehicle is regularly serviced. You’ll probably find that you are doing a lot of miles in the van, so you should try and get it into a garage as often as possible to have the oil changed, and everything checked over. 

Lease Hire

One great option for running a company vehicle might be to find out about lease hire agreements. Another company owns the van, and you pay them for renting it. Often these come with service contracts, and they will allow you to swap the vehicle as it gets older. It can take some of the hassles out of managing company vehicles, especially if you need a fleet. Check with the lease hire company regarding their policy around putting your branding on, as this may differ. 

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4 Negatives To Consider Before Buying A Motorbike

Riding a motorcycle might look cool and it’s definitely a thrill, but before you decide to buy one, have you considered the downsides? There are a lot of people out there that maintain motorbikes are great and they’re always a better choice than a car but that isn’t really the case. In reality, there are a lot of reasons that a car might be best. These are some of the main downsides of owning a motorbike. 

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It’s More Dangerous 

This is the most obvious one and you’ve probably thought of this already. There’s no denying that motorbikes are simply more dangerous than a car. Even if you follow good safety advice, you’re going to be moving a lot faster than most of the cars on the road and there’s always the chance that you’re going to crash. When you do crash, you don’t have the same protection that you would get in a car, which means the risk of injury and maybe even death is a lot higher on a bike. 

If you’re in a crash, it’s not just you that you have to think about either, it’s the bike. If you hit a car, you can be sure that the damage to your bike will be much worse than the damage to their car. In some cases, you might be able to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer and make a compensation claim to pay for the damages but only if it was the other driver’s fault and you can prove that. If you can’t make a claim, you’ll have to pay for the repairs or most likely replace the entire bike. 

There’s Only Room For Two 

Bikes look great but they’re hardly practical. You can get one passenger on the back and that’s it, which isn’t ideal if you’ve got a family that need driving around. Most bike owners will have a car that they drive around in day to day and leave the bike for fun, but it still means having to own two vehicles which is expensive. 

You Need A Separate License 

Driving a bike and driving a car are two completely different things so your car license is worthless. You’ll have to get a separate license for your bike and that means paying for it and taking the time to learn and then do your test. That’s a bit too much work for a lot of people, especially if they’ve already got a car that they can get around in. 

You Can’t Use It In Bad Weather

You can drive a car around whatever the weather but if it’s raining outside, riding a bike isn’t the best idea. For one, you’re going to get absolutely soaked but, more importantly, it’s dangerous. When the roads are wet and slippery, your chance of having an accident is increased even more so you need to be very careful about driving in the bad weather.  

If you’re buying a motorbike for fun driving at the weekends, that’s fine, but you should consider these downsides before you make your decision.

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