Ways to Improve Your Engine Performance


One thing that may be running through your head, is ways in which to improve your vehicles engine performance. When your engine runs more smoothly, you will save on fuel consumption and prolong the life of your engine.

• Ensuring that you change your air filters roughly once a year or every 12,000 miles will help the performance of your vehicle.

• Changing spark plugs every 20,000 miles will also help, and the copper versions have better conductivity.

• If your car battery has a lot of extra space around it, you can get an insulation “blanket” from an automotive parts store that can help keep the batter cool in summer and warm in winter to prolong its life. Having a good battery helps the performance of your engine.

• Changing the oil regularly is also important. Modern cars are quite good at telling you when to change your oil but older cars may not have as good of sensors so you should change the oil every 5,000 miles.

All of the areas can help prolong and improve the performance of your engine.

How Often Should You Be Checking Your Oil?


With older vehicles it has always been recommended to check the oil levels every week, but with modern-day sensors installed in all newer vehicles, things are just a bit different. Oil sensors in newer car models notify you when the oil level is low, however it is still recommended to check the oil once every few weeks or after every 1,000 miles driven and also before departing on a long journey. Even newer vehicles need topping up now and again.

Checking the oil level is not usually difficult, but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

• If you have just been running the car, allow it to cool before checking the oil level.

• Always pull the dip stick out, wipe it clean, then reinsert and pull out again to get an accurate reading.

• If low, top it up with a high-quality engine oil that is compatible with your vehicle.

• If you are having to fill your oil up often, this could indicate a leak and the vehicle should be inspected by a professional mechanic.

• Ensure that you get your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles or every six months.

Dealer Services – are they worth the money?


It’s certainly true that vehicles with a full service-history will retain more value than those without, and rightly so, but it’s a commonly-held belief that more value can be added by ensuring that those services are only carried out by recognised dealers.

Here, we explore whether that is actually the case. Dealer services are more expensive; depending on the manufacturer, it’s easily possible to pay at least 50% more for a service from a main dealer. Whilst they will use only genuine parts, is it really worth that premium?

In a word, no. Whilst using genuine parts could have a slight benefit in terms of resale value, there’s no reason you can’t specify this to another service centre, particularly if they’re a specialist in that manufacturer. Besides, in many cases no parts will be replaced at services as they amount to little more than an oil change, and a check & diagnostic. Even where parts are replaced, does it really matter if your wiper blades and bulbs are generic?

As well as being cheaper, independent service agents often offer better quality; dealers often employ junior staff and train them up, with the best then setting out on their own – so chances are your independent is much more experienced and knowledgeable than even the best dealer man.


Car maintenance tips for the winter


Winter is well and truly upon us, so it is time to make sure you and your car are ready for it. With frosty mornings and towns covered in decomposing leaves from the now nearly-bare trees, safety must be the number one priority.

One of the most basic things to consider is one that the police regularly highlight, and yet still people are being caught out: if your car windows are frosted up on a morning, you must not leave it running with the keys in while it thaws. Far too many people have had their cars stolen in this manner and it is one that can leave insurance invalid. As tempting as it is, you should also try not to use hot water to quickly defrost the windscreen – you run the risk of cracking it.

In some countries that have regular extreme weather, snow chains are an option for the tyres. In the UK these are less likely to be necessary unless you live somewhere isolated and open to the elements, but it is important to make sure you have a decent tread. The minimum legal depth is 1.6mm, but the deeper the tread the better the grip so it is best to replace them before they get too low. Wet leaves are also a big hazard, so caution should be taken even on milder days.

Using Pool Cars – are they a Good Idea?


Pool cars are cars that can be used by multiple people. They may be part of a lift sharing scheme into work, or they may be available in a particular area for people to use for the day. They are thought of as being a good way to help reduce the number of cars on the roads. If people have cars that they don’t use daily, or they are able to take advantage of a carpooling scheme, this could have a significant impact on the number of people deciding to buy cars. A car is an expensive purchase after all and many people are actively looking for ways to reduce their expenses.

However, pool cars have been known to be a nuisance in some areas of the UK. Residents complain that they park in their parking spaces and take up space on residents’-only roads. When people are paying lots of money for a parking permit, this is understandably a problem.