Category Archives: cars

Clean Your Car Like a Pro

Citroen Nemo Multispace Front

How to Clean Your Car Like a Pro

Having your vehicle professionally detailed can make your car feel like new again. With the right materials, you can clean your car like a pro and make your car feel like new whenever you like.

It’s important to begin with the interior. The first task is to dislodge any dirt and debris from the cracks and crevices with an air compressor. Then, use a stiff-bristled brush to loosen any stubborn dirt from the carpet and upholstery. If your car has leather seats, apply a leather cleaner and conditioner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions accordingly.

Using your air compressor once again, blow any build up out of the car’s air conditioning and heating duct work. Doing this will rid the vehicle of dirt and dust that can cause musty smells, helping to give your car that new car smell. Follow this with a thorough vacuuming of the interior.

Wipe down the dashboard and use a protectant to guard against harmful UV rays and keep it looking fresh and new. Clean pedals with detergent, and use a non-acidic cleaner on tyres. After applying a degreaser to the wheels, you’re ready to clean your car’s exterior.

Begin by hosing down the entire vehicle to rinse away any surface dirt. Follow this by scrubbing down the exterior with a soft sponge or washing mitt and a liquid detergent. As always, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines with your cleaning products. With a toothbrush, or a small detailing brush, remove any dirt from the cracks of the car’s bodywork.

Once your vehicle is clean, it’s ready for a polish. Use an appropriate polish for all surfaces. Apply a metal polish where needed and a plastic polish to brake lights, indicator lights, and headlights. This will not only keep all of your car’s lights looking their best, but will make your vehicle safer on the road, as well.

Now that the polish has been done, protect your newly detailed automobile with a fresh coat of wax.

Lastly, clean all the windows. A household glass cleaner will do, though it is advised that you choose a cleaner that is ammonia-free. For the best results on windows, use a micro fibre cloth to remove residue and eliminate those unsightly streaks.

Now that you know how to clean your car like a pro, you’re ready to take it for a drive.

Car Maintenance Tips

new cars

Tips for Simple Car Maintenance That Anyone Can Do

Taking good care of your car can have three major benefits: it’ll make it run more smoothly and economically, it’ll help extend its life, and it’ll avoid many safety issues that arise from a poorly maintained vehicle. While a regular service carried out by a competent mechanic is essential, there is much that you can do yourself quickly, easily, and cheaply.

Tyres

Firstly, regularly check that the pressure of each tyre is within its recommended range – you should do this at least once a month if not more often. Low tyre pressure not only causes handling issues, but will also increase fuel consumption. Also keep an eye on the tread depth, as badly worn tyres are dangerous as well as illegal. Your annual MOT check will pick up tyres that are reaching the end of their life, but it does no harm to check yourself every few months or so, especially if you’re clocking up the miles between MOTs.

Engine and Cooling

An overheating engine can place substantial strains on your whole vehicle, and if left unchecked the damage can be costly to fix. Visually check that all visible belts and hoses within the engine compartment are clean and free from wear, and if there are any signs of fraying then have them replaced as soon as possible. Also ensure that your coolant level is high enough – your car’s handbook will show you how to do this safely: follow the instructions carefully, you should be able to check levels without removing the coolant cap and risking releasing hot fluid under pressure.

While you’re under the bonnet, check your oil levels and top up if necessary. Do this every fortnight or so, and particularly before starting a long journey. If you notice that the oil needs frequent topping up then this could be an early sign of an engine problem, so get it checked before it progresses further.

Lights and Electrics

Checking all your vehicle’s lights, inside and out, is a simple job but one that can be essential for safety – not to mention the risk of a ticket if you’re pulled over with defective lights. Replacing any that aren’t working is also a simple job you can do yourself, or a high street spares retailer will often do this for a nominal charge. Also check that all other electrical parts such as windscreen wipers are operating properly, and replace minor items such as wiper blades if they’re worn.

However minor your level of car mechanics skill and knowledge, taking the time to check and maintain as many parts of your car as you can will pay off in avoiding possible major repair bills further down the line.

5 Secret Cheats To Cheaper Car Insurance

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Car insurance is a legal requirement if you plan on driving your vehicle on public roads. After all, it protects you and other drivers if you happen to be involved in an accident, plus some car insurance comes with a host of additional perks. However, you may be paying over the odds for your car insurance. Read on for five simple yet effective ways that you can slash the costs on your car insurance policy.

1. Avoid Mods

While it may be tempting to add that spoiler or modify your engine, it’s best to avoid any car modifications unless you’re okay with forking out some extra hard earned cash on your insurance policy. When you modify your car you are legally obliged to notify your insurance provider, who will then often raise your premiums to reflect the work that’s been done.

2. Pay Annually

While monthly payments may be tempting, you can cut costs on your insurance premium by paying on a yearly basis, as a lump payment will avoid those pesky interest charges.

3. Increase Your Excess

A clever way to lower your insurance costs is to raise your voluntary excess levels. By increasing the amount that you are required to pay if you do have an accidents, your annual policy will be reduced. Just be prepared to shell out the excess if it comes down to it.

4. Add a Named Driver

A little known cheat is to add a more experienced, or older, named driver on to your insurance policy to lower costs. Avoid adding anyone who has points on their license, and don’t try and be a named driver under your parents name when you are planning on being the main driver, as this is called ‘fronting’ and can void your claims.

5. Increase Security

Just a few small adjustments to the security of your car can dramatically lower your insurance premiums. Why not invest in an immobilizer or a car alarm? If you have access to a secure covered garage or driveway then notify your policy provider, as this may also save you money on your premium.

Try out one or more of the above cheats, and you will be sure to reduce your car insurance costs. Good luck!

Guy Martin’s Volvo – The Fastest Car In Britain?

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Move over Bugatti and step aside Ferrari. There is a new machine vying for the fastest car distinction, and its a forty year old Volvo.

TV presenter and racer Guy Martin has made the claim that his estate car could be considered the fastest vehicle on the roads in Britain. Martin had the car, which he bought in 2012, specially adapted by Swedish super car engineers to include a 2.8 litre turbo charged engine and a six-speed gear box to create 788 brake horsepower. The Volvo also had its interior completely redesigned to Guy’s specifications to create a car he describes as ‘perfect’ in a column for the Sunday Times.

‘I reckon it is about the fastest car in Britain – quicker than any Ferrari, Porsche or even Bugatti.’ he said

‘My GSXR Suzuki superbike is about 220bhp and probably a bit quicker to 100mph, but if you put them on the road together the Volvo would leave it for dust between 100mph and 200mph. The truth is, this is the quickest machine I have ever driven or ridden’ he added.

While the claim may not be completely accurate worldwide, Martin’s suped-up family car may well hold the crown, at least in England. Some super cars have a higher top speed than the 205 mph which the Volvo can reach, but it is uncertain if they are currently in the UK. Bugatti’s Veyron has an official maximum speed of 268mph and although one was sold in London recently, it is unknown if the super car is within Britain. The world’s fastest car is currently the Hennessy Venom GT with a record 270mph in America, leaving the possibility that the Swedish car, picked up by Guy for £70,000, may well be the king of UK roads.

Martin has claimed that he has only one other car, a Ford Transit van which he uses for everyday use, reserving the Volvo for special occasions. It is easy to see why, with an engine that would leave super cars trailing.

‘My God, it is frightening. You have to keep it pointing in a straight line’ he said

How To Fix Up Your Cars Interior On The Cheap

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A Guide To; How To Fix Up Car Interiors On The Cheap

You may have the most shiny car on the outside, but if the interior isn’t up to scratch it could let the whole vehicle down. Whilst buying a brand new interior from the car dealer is an option, it can also be very costly. If you only spent a few pennies on the car, then you don’t want to pay the earth to fix it up. Here are some tips for fixing up your car interior without it costing the earth.

2nd Hand Parts

Breakers yards and local newspapers can be a wealth of bargains if you know what you want. Also, people will also often list a car on online auction websites that are past having an MOT, but have good parts still attached. Before you approach a scrap yard or private seller, always research the price of the interior components if you were to buy them brand new; this will ensure that you aren’t ripped off for more than the retail price.

Give It A Go

Yes, you could always source the interior parts and then ask a professional to remove the old and fit the new pieces, but this isn’t cheap. If you have a little willpower, muscle and time, then you really can do the swap yourself even with no experience. There are a wealth of ‘How To’ videos on the internet, and a quick search engine check can take you straight to the one you need. Give it a go, you can always ask a friend or professional for help later if it doesn’t work out.

Cloth or leather Interiors

A gaping hole in a seat or unsightly fraying due to wear can look like a daunting task, but it’s actually very much the opposite. With a curved upholstery needle you can sew the edges of a rip neatly back together for immediate gratification. If material is missing, then find a swatch of similar material or even go crazy with some funky patches to make a statement. You can use the same techniques with a leather interior, but if there are no rips and the leather simply looks tired and cracked, then treat it. You can buy leather treatment from most online or high street car shops and a little bit of elbow grease will leave it looking refreshed.

It’s all too easy to deliver your car to a professional, but if you lack the pennies then give some of these tips a go; you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The 7 Weirdest Vehicles Ever Designed

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Over the years, car manufacturers have experimented with a number of unique and eye-catching designs. Some were naturally more popular with their audiences than others. Let us take a look at what many consider to be the seven strangest vehicles ever to enjoy the (temporary) limelight.

1. The 1956 Buick Centurion

With a nearly all-glass bubble top and a streamlined design, this model intended to give the driver and passengers a full view of the road. Unfortunately, the design never caught on.

2. The 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt

Said to have been inspired by the streamliner trains of the time, the Thunderbolt had a rather bulbous body punctuated with pop-up headlamps. It should be mentioned that this was the first vehicle to sport power windows; years ahead of other manufacturers.

3. The 1951 GM LeSabre

This was the first model to have a wraparound windscreen and tail fins. While appearing as if it were manufactured by aliens, these two features would become commonplace during the remainder of the 1950s and 1960s.

4. The 1948 Tasco

It is believed that the short-lived Tasco was inspired by the fighter planes of World War Two. Still, a mixture of curved edges and a rather bulky shape appeared to be very out of place and the brand was soon discontinued.

5. The 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne

Only 28 Aerodynes were ever made and yet its iconic design still fetches automotive awards into these modern times. With a shape that falls somewhere between a Bentley and a Rolls-Royce, the Aerodyne exhibits a truly classic (if not slightly bizarre) appeal.

6. The 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero

This design vaguely mirrors the shape of a Lamborghini and can be seen as rather ahead of its time. As it was a mere 33 inches (83 centimetres) tall, drivers literally had to climb through the windscreen to sit inside.

7. The 1950 GM Firebird 1 XP-21

Taking cue from the burgeoning space race at the time, the XP-21 blended the appearance of a missile and a jet aeroplane. Complete with a vertical stabiliser and a bubble one-seater cockpit, this strange model was able to turn over an impressive 370 horsepower.

These are indeed some of the most bizarre concept cars to even have been built. While not all were popular with the masses, there is no doubt that such innovative thinking had a massive impact upon vehicles for years into the future.

A Brief History Of The Citroen World Racing Team

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The Citroen Racing Team has a long and storied history and is one of the most well established racing teams in all of motor sports. Starting all the way back in 1956 with their fist entrance to endurance rally events using the then brand new Citroen DS up to modern day where Citroen is a leading name in both endurance rally racing as well as the touring car circuit.

Humble Beginnings

With the release of the Citroen DS, Citroen saw their first opportunity to get into the world of competitive motor sports. The DS had great success is rallying where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are essential. It took a couple of years and some innovation before Citroen picked up there first win but in 1959 the DS stormed the competition to take home the top prize at the Monte Carlo Rally.

From there the Citroen DS saw repeated success across the world in the rallying circuit. Picking up a further nine championship titles in the following twenty or so years in challenging rally’s including Rally Du Maroc as well as two home victories in the Tour de Corse in France.

An Absence and Return

Citroen hit hard times in 1974 when it was forced to file for bankruptcy and as a result the racing team had to take a back seat to the more important task of getting the company back up and running. After a period of years though Citroen returned triumphantly to the world of racing in the 90s with the Citroen ZX which won the Rally Raid Manufacturer’s Championship an incredible five times consecutively between 1993 and 1997.

Entering the World of Touring Cars

Whilst Citroen had always been known for their prowess in the rally world, it wasn’t until 2013 that they entered the competitive world of touring cars. With their Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, developed in mere months due to the skill of their engineers, Citroen took fourteen victories from the first fifteen races in the 2014 World Touring Car Championships and eventually took the Manufacturer’s WTCC Championship five races before the end of the season. This was the season that also saw the Citroen WTCC pilots take the first three ranks of the Drivers’ World Touring Car Championship.

So from humble beginnings to modern day success, it looks like the Citroen Racing Team is here to stay.

10 Amazing & Affordable Gift Ideas for Car Lovers

car gift

With the festive season fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of amazing and affordable gift ideas for the car lover in your life.

1) Personalised car mug – this is a lovely gift for any car enthusiast. Personalise a mug with their favourite car and add their name or a special message from you.

2) Car-themed calendar – the gift which keeps on giving the whole year long! Your petrol-head friend can hang this at home or at work and daydream about the 12 stunning cars that feature in the calendar.

3) Smartphone holder – smartphone holders keep smartphones secure and prevent them from disappearing under your seat! They also make it much easier to use your smartphone as a sat-nav.

4) Car cuff-links – available in a range of designs and colours, a pair of car-themed cuff-links are sure to complete the look for any car enthusiast.

5) Personalised number plate – this is a gift that will definitely impress a motor-head. Personalised number plates can be as cheap as £30 but be warned that prices can increase very steeply depending on the registration you choose.

6) Race tickets – does the car enthusiast in your life feel the need for speed? If so, there are numerous racing events scheduled each year (such as Formula 1) and tickets to one of these would make a fantastic present and give them something to look forward to.

7) Supercar driving experience – treat your car loving friend to an exhilarating day out and the chance to fly around a circuit in the car of their dreams. There are a huge variety of experiences and price ranges available to pick from so make sure you shop around to find the best deal.

8) Heated massage seat cover – this is a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time in their car. The massage functionality will soothe away any traffic induced rage and it can be easily transported for use in the house or office too.

9) Racing video games – there are plenty of different racing games available for every type of gaming console. Thanks to advances in technology, racing games provide a thrilling and immersive experience which is sure to get the adrenaline of any car fan racing.

10) Car care kit – if the car lover in your life spends more time grooming their car than themselves, this could be the perfect gift for them.

When Is The Best Time To Buy A New Car?

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Dealers may make you think there are hot and cold seasons where they see many and few sales, but even though there is a little truth to it, the fact is it rarely affects prices unless the company is going out of business. The best time to buy depends almost exclusively on you and your personal circumstances.

The Rare Occasion When It Doesn’t Depend On You

There are certain things that happen in the car world that do affect the prices of cars in your favour. For example, the two-seater Smart cars were once popular for their 100% safety record, their excellent fuel consumption, and their size that means they are ideal for city driving. However, when the four-seater version came out it became a big success, and dealers were falling over themselves to stock up on them and shift their smaller two seater versions quickly–so many offered big discounts.

The Economics Of Buying A New Car

The best time to buy depends on you, but there is something you should know first: a new car is a massive waste of money except under two conditions. The first condition is if you sell the car for more than its second-hand value (they call it the blue book value). The second condition is if you take care of the car, keep it for many years, and run it until the end (or near end) of its life. If you work under either of those conditions, then the economic side is a good reason to buy a new car.

When You Want To Save Money?!?

The two conditions mentioned above will save you money. If you buy a car and take care of it for years, it will save you more than if you changed your car every few years and had to put up with overly frequent repairs. Stretch out the cost of repairs for your new car and it comes to less than the money you pay for repairs when buying a series of second-hand cars over the same period of time.

Buy When Repairing Your Current Car Will Cost More Than The Finance Payments

Do the maths and figure out if you are saving more by buying a car, even with a loan or on finance, over keeping your current car. If your current car is costing you an average of £350 per year, you can probably find a finance deal with interest lower than £350 per year; ergo you make a saving and get a new car too.

The 7 Most Luxurious Cars On Sale Today

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Are you looking to exchange your car for something a little more luxurious? You should keep these 7 cars in mind when you go shopping:

1) Audi A7
The A7 has a unique feature in its five-door hatchback format. With a variety of engines, quattro four-wheel drive and all weather traction, it is certainly a car to beat on the luxury list.

2)Mercedes-Benz S Class
The classic Mercedes-Benz is considered to be the emblem of luxury vehicles. When it comes to refinement and comfort this car is unbeaten. Its engine allows for a speed of 62 mph in 4.6 seconds with no damage to the environment, and the driver benefits from complete control with safety features.

3) Jaguar XJ
One of the sportier luxury cars, the Jaguar XJ gives the driver a combination of speed and control. Although fast, the engine is still economical with 46.3 mpg along with a 510 ps.

4)BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
A little more practical than other luxury cars, the BMW still manages to combine sport and luxury. This car has the full range of luxurious features climate control, navigation, heated seats and leather. The steering makes the driver feel in complete control even as the engine is capable of hitting 62 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds.

5)Audi A8
This car may not look like much, but the interior more than makes up for it. It also doesn’t lack in speed department, capable of hitting 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds. It comes in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive form and both offer the driver responsive handling and secure road holding.

6) Bentley Flying Spur
It is another one of those classic luxury cars that combine sport with luxury. The performance and handling are second to none with a W12 engine that allows the car to hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and is capable of going up to 200 miles per hour.

7)Range Rover
The Range Rover has always been the trusted vehicle for off road driving. The driver benefits from secure handling and the car comes in four or five seater configurations. The engines are surprisingly efficient despite its large size (44 mpg) and is capable of driving on any rugged terrain.