Wednesday, 3 July 2019

7 Car Maintenance Checks That You Should Definitely Be Doing

7 Car Maintenance Checks That You Should Definitely de Doing

7 Car Maintenance Checks That You Should 

Definitely, Be Doing

Performing regular car maintenance checks both above and under the bonnet is an essential responsibility for any motorist. Whether you have a long journey ahead or just your yearly MOT, performing these simple checks regularly could save a lot of time and money as well as keeping you safe on the road.

To keep your car in good working order and on the right side of the law, here are seven simple checks that you can perform on your driveway. 



Although it may seem like an obvious check, it is estimated that approximately 800,000 individuals run out of fuel on the roads each year. When you run your fuel tank down to nothing, the engine will start to draw air. A build-up of air can prevent your car from starting again, even after you have filled up. 

If you are running your diesel vehicle on fumes, you are risking more severe damage, such as damaged seals and even fuel injectors. Save money and make sure you're topped up with enough fuel to get you to your destination. 



Having the right level of oil is essential for keeping your engine happy and healthy, but did you know that one in three vehicles recovered in an emergency has dangerously low oil levels? Low oil levels can cause not only a breakdown, but it can also lead to catastrophic damage to the engine.

Ensure that you have enough oil for your journey by checking that the level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car's dipstick. If you’re unsure what type of oil your car needs, check your owners manual or speak to a local mechanic or dealer. 



If you want to avoid your car freezing or even overheating, then it’s good practice to check your coolant levels. Although this shouldn’t need topping up between journeys, you should always double check, especially during the colder and warmer months.

If you notice that your coolant levels have fallen below the minimum marked level, you should top it up immediately. Always check your owners manual for the correct coolant and ensure that the engine is cold before you top up the reservoir. 

Screen Wash

Screen Wash

Screen wash is regularly used throughout the year, so it’s essential to make sure that your levels are adequate for your journey. During the colder months, snow and grit can very quickly cause a dirty window, while during the Summer smears from pollen and insects can obstruct your view. 

Keep your windscreen clear by checking your levels regularly. 

Engine Air Filter

Engine Air Filter

Engine air filters protect your engine by preventing harmful debris, dirt and other contaminants from entering. A faulty or even clogged-up air filter can reduce your overall fuel efficiency and also lead to a reduction in engine power. Mechanics recommend replacing the filter once a year or 12,000 miles.

If you have noticed a drop in fuel efficiency, or feel that your car isn’t pulling as much power from the engine, it may mean that it’s time for a replacement. The fuel filter can be located under the bonnet, in a black box. Always consult your owners manual for full instructions. 


Car Rubber

When you think of rubber, you may only be thinking about your tyres. However, tyres and windscreen wipers are both necessities that shouldn’t be neglected. Tyres undergo pressure every journey, so checking the air levels and tread depth is vital. The minimum level of the tread is 1.6m. However, it is advised that during the Winter months your tyres should have 3mm to assist with traction and grip. 

Keeping the wheels that keep you on the road in a healthy condition is as important as being able to see where you are going. Wiper blades are used regularly and wear over time. If you’ve noticed the rubber splitting or that they are not clearing the screen as well as they used to, then it’s time for a new set! 



While we look at our cars as a means to get out on the road and to get going, it’s also imperative to be able to stop the momentum safely. The importance of functioning brakes can’t be stressed enough, so keeping them properly maintained is essential. 

To ensure your brakes are in good working order, first check the brake fluid and top up if necessary. The brake fluid can be located within your engine bay. If you have noticed that your brakes have started to score or make a loud noise while braking, it’s vital that you get a mechanic to look at your brake pads as soon as possible. 

Looking for a part for your Vauxhall? Get in touch with our team today, we have been around for many years, and it’s safe to say we know our stuff when it comes to all things Vauxhall.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Vauxhall Is Offering £4,000 To Scrap Your Old Car

(image source: Vauxhall) 

If you’re looking to upgrade your old Vauxhall for a newer model, now could be the perfect time to make the change. Vauxhall has officially revived its scrappage scheme. 

This June, Vauxhall is offering car buyers a minimum £4,000 guaranteed scrappage allowance or £3,000 extra part-exchange value as a part of their ‘Trade-Up’ sales campaign. 

However, there are a few terms and conditions that you will need to fulfil before you qualify. 

In order to take advantage of this deal, customers would have to be trading in a vehicle that’s at least seven years old and has been registered in the driver's name for a minimum of 90 days. 

Allowing customers a discount on the following vehicles: 

· Astra

· Mokka X

· Crossland X

· Grandland X

· Viva Rocks

Vauxhall is keen to express that prospective customers will be offered ‘at least’ £4,000 for cars intended for the scrapper, meaning that there may be extra savings to be had! 

If you’re keen to get in on the savings, but your car doesn’t meet the seven-year-old scrappage requirement, there is still an incentive for you. As a part of their ‘Trade-Up’ sales campaign Vauxhall is offering a minimum of £3,000 in savings to be provided on top of the value of the car being traded in! 

Looking to simply scrap your car? Click Here

Friday, 3 May 2019

How Will Self-Driving Cars Work?

Self-Driving Cars

How Will Self-Driving Cars Work?

The latest technological advancements in self-driving cars have been incredible, and everyone from Tesla to Google are working on their prototype. Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous cars can drive without any input from a driver, with the car completely controlling itself. If these new technologies continue to develop and take off, this could radically change our current transport system.

These autonomous cars work by internally mapping their surroundings, using a range of intelligent sensors monitoring different things. These sensors differ from prototype to prototype but have used; radar, lasers, high powered cameras or sonar. Computers within the car then process all of the information from these sensors to intuitively map their location and know what is surrounding the car, and what hazards there might be.

Once the car is aware of its surroundings It can steer, accelerate and break accordingly. The car is programmed to follow rules of the road such as speed limits and stop lights, but is also instilled with responsive rules such as object avoidance and ‘Smart Object discrimination’.

It is estimated 90% of road accidents are caused by human error, whether the person is distracted, under the influence or simply made a mistake, human error can be deadly. The hope is that autonomous cars will reduce accidents by eliminating the human error aspect. These self-driving cars will soon be able to communicate with each other, this will help to avoid accidents as they will know what the other cars are doing around them.

This tech is not without its risks however, in 1018 a self-driving car that was being tested on the streets struck and killed a cyclist who was trying to cross the busy road. Whilst the cause of this incident is still under investigation, it has reminded people that there are risks, this technology is still in its infancy and will still have a lot of issues to work out before it can be set loose on our roads.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Fly Tip & Risk Getting Your Car Crushed

You may have seen examples of fly-tipping in many locations across the country. Discarded mattresses, electrical good and even bin bags full of unwanted items and rubbish are some of the common sights when it comes to fly-tipping. However, Ashfield District Council have been working hard to not only clean up the unwanted mess but also working towards clamping down on this unpleasant and illegal act.

What exactly is Fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is officially recognised as an illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it. Not only is fly-tipping an unwanted sight to our local community, but it can also be extremely hazardous to members of the public. Some waste may contain toxic materials or asbestos, which in turn could directly damage water sources and even the quality of the soil.

Ashfield District Council Intervention

Fly-tipping is considered as a serious criminal offence and up until recently offenders could be served with a fine up to £50,000. However, Ashfield District Council has now gained the authority to crush any vehicles found fly-tipping.

Ashfield District Council Visit Scrap Your Car Online:

Find out in the video below what could happen to your car if you are caught fly-tipping in the local area.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Are Mandatory Speed Limiters Coming Soon?

A proposal has been approved by the European Transport Safety Council, which plans to see all new cars fitted with devices to physically restrict them to speed limits. The plan put forward states within the next 3 years, all new cars sold in the EU will have to be fitted with one of these automatic speed limiters as standard. This device is called intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and will use GPS data or traffic sign recognition cameras to know what the speed limit is and enforce it.

If a driver does go up to the speed limit the device would not let the speed go into illegal speeds unless the driver pressed forcefully on the accelerator. This would override the system and would take the speed up, however visual and audio alerts would repeatedly signal that the car is over the limit until the speed was brought back down.

All cars produced from 2020 will have these devices, but they have already been installed in some cars out now! For all of those worried about the limits there is going to be an off button for these machines, at least when they are first implemented. The ability to disable the device is an attempt to make people more tolerant to them being introduced, but they are expected to be permanently on at a later date.

These ISA’s are being implemented to make roads safer and lower the rates of injury and death by dangerous driving. There’s also a move to implement and enforced black boxes and lane assist systems in all cars, but there are currently no plans in place for this. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

4 European Road Trips Ideal For Spring 2019

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning a European road trip. Although it may not be everyone’s first choice, road trips are ideal for motoring enthusiasts. With almost no limitations, road trips can allow you to get a real feel for what a country has to offer.

However, with so many beautiful destinations on offer, it can be difficult to settle on one location. So, that’s why we have put together five perfect European road trip ideas, ideal for this spring!

Germany – Experience the Autobahn

Every enthusiastic motorist finds themselves on the famous Autobahn at one stage or another. The famed German highway system has no speed limits in non-urban regions, making it the perfect location to quench the thurst of budding motor-racing enthusiasts.

Alongside the unrestricted speed limits, the Autobahn takes drivers through a vast amount of beautiful German countryside. Popular tourist locations include The Black Forest, Munich, Neuschwanstein and Hamburg. 

Italy – Drive the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is located in the south of Italy and is a sought out location for many holidaymakers. Offering travellers a rich variety of beautiful architecture, history and breathe taking scenery, this truly is one of the best road trips in Europe.

Austria – Grossglockner High Alpine Road

If your road trip tick boxes include mountain roads and endless untouched countryside, then Austria is the perfect location. Take to the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria and enjoy nearly 50km of breath-taking mountain views. 

At the highest point of 2,505m, the Grossglockner mountain can be enjoyed from a variety of viewpoints and coffee shops along the way. Accessible from Kaprun, the high alpine road is a tolled road, prices for vehicles can be found here.

Ireland – Ring of Kerry

Get a real feel for what Ireland has to offer, by embarking on the 111-mile circular route that takes you through the stunning countryside, historic villages and white sandy beaches. Although this famous road trip can be completed in just under four hours, why not take your time and spread this road trip over a long weekend.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

How To Jump Start A Car

As we head into some cold weather and possible snow it is important to know how to jump start your car battery in case of an emergency. Cold weather can really wear down batteries and make them more prone to draining and not turning on in the morning when you need them. Other things like leaving lights on, the battery being defective or general age of the battery, can all contribute to a battery that won’t start.
If you get stuck in the cold this winter then follow these simple steps to get your car up and running again!

  • To get started you will need, jump leads and to find another car with a good battery to jump start yours on. Avoid using a hybrid or an electric car as this can damage their car.
  • Ensure that all electricals in the car are switched off including, the lights, the radio and sat-nav etc. For safety reasons ensure you are not wearing anything metal, or that anything metal can touch the battery.
  • Check over the battery before you begin. Do not attempt to jump start the car if there is any visible damage to the battery.
  • Pull the other car in as close to yours as possible. Switch both cars off, open the bonnets and remove the keys from the ignitions.
  • Attach the red cable to the positive side of the dead battery, this should be recognisable by a red cover or a plus symbol +. You may have to remove a cover to access these metal attachments. Then attach the other end of the red cable to the positive side of the working battery. Again, this should be clear by a red cover or + symbol.
  • Attach one end of the black cable to the negative side of the good battery. This will feature a – minus symbol. Attach the other end of this black cable, to an unpainted metal part of the engine.
  • Start the car that is helping, after a minute or so attempt to start the engine of the car with the drained battery. If the battery does not start with this help it may be time to call a garage.
  • If the engine does start up again, let both of the cars run for 5 mins before removing the cables.
  • Be careful when removing the cables. Ensure both cars are switched off disconnect the black cable first, start from the car with the drained battery.
  • Drive your car around for about 30 minutes to let the engine recharge as much as possible.

If your battery keeps dying you may need a new battery or other car parts.