Very few people now keep their car in the garage and instead use the garage for all sorts of other purposes such as storage for garden furniture or even as a utility room. Not keeping the car, probably the second most expensive thing you own after your house, in a garage if you have one is a big mistake during very hot or very cold spells when the elements can really cause a great deal of damage to the car bodywork.
A vehicles paintwork will deteriorate over time but when exposed to blazing sunlight, high temperatures or frost it will show signs of deterioration quicker than if it is protected from the elements by being kept in a garage. The interior of the car may also become faded if the sun is allowed to shine on the windows for prolonged periods.
Keeping the car in the garage when not in use can also mean a welcome reduction in insurance premiums along with the added security that it brings against theft and vandalism. So, if you have the use of a garage at your property it is wise to use it for the purpose it was intended as it could save you money in the long term
Cars can be very costly to run at the moment, especially with the rising fuel costs but its not only the running costs that you need to be aware of. For many of us, repairs to vehicles can come out of the blue and be an added cost that we could simply do without. For this reason, some people put off taking their car to the garage to have a problem investigated as they simply cannot afford the costs. Although you may think you are buying yourself some time to save up you may actually be costing yourself more money. Sometimes if problems are picked up early, they can be easily rectified. If left, they may end up causing more damage and costing more to repair.
Suspension problems are very common, and they can range from simple drop links needing to be replace to the more expensive shock absorbers or drive shafts. Often the only way to tell exactly what needs to be done is to get the car on the ramp and take the wheels off to have a look. Some garages will do this for free whereas others may charge a fee to investigate the issue. It is vital that you get any suspension repairs done asap as it can be very dangerous driving with these types of defects.
Currently all UK forecourts are required to sell the new E10 unleaded petrol rather than the E5 unleaded fuel that it previously sold. The E10 fuel contains 10% bioethanol in each litre of fuel which is a renewable fuel created during the fermentation process of a wide variety of crops. By increasing the proportion of ethanol in unleaded fuel, indirectly it reduces carbon emissions which is good news for the planet.
So, are there any disadvantages for drivers who are having to use this new fuel? Thankfully, the answer to this question is very little. There may be a slight drop in fuel economy, but the majority of drivers will not notice the difference when all the other factors that affect fuel consumption are taken into account.
The main group of car owners that will need to find an alternative to using this new fuel will be those that own classic cars, or some cars manufactured pre-2011. The problem with the higher level of ethanol in the fuel is that in older vehicles it can cause rubber hoses and seals to deteriorate quicker making breakdowns more likely. Many garages still sell E5 petrol at a higher cost to the driver but for owners of valuable classic models they will need to use this and unfortunately shoulder the cost.
Safety is a key consideration for many people when buying a new car. Making sure your vehicle provides maximum protection in case of an accident is essential, but another factor is how pedestrian friendly the car is in the case of any unfortunate contact. The use of air bag technology in cars has been a major factor in passenger safety in recent years and research into how this technology can be improved to provide even better protection is ongoing.
Recent safety tests conducted by experts in this field have highlighted some of the vehicles that are top of the game in terms of overall safety. The BMW iX, which is an electric car, scored highly across the board and was praised for its innovative active bonnet that releases an airbag on contact with a pedestrian to minimise injury.
In the cheaper car range the Skoda Fabia has a good reputation for safety especially for its adult and child safety features inside the vehicle. Although it does not have active bonnet features it still has safety assist features that make this a safe car to drive in a variety of driving conditions.
When buying a used car, it is certainly worth checking the safety record of the vehicle make and model to ensure you and your passengers are safe when travelling.
Whether you own a top of the range 4×4, a spacious family seven-seater or a small city car your vehicle is, next to your house, probably the most expensive item you have which is why criminals are increasingly targeting these expensive possessions. As vehicle thefts and the theft of valuable parts such as catalytic convertors continued to rise last year which are the most effective ways of protecting your vehicle and avoiding the distress and frustration caused by these crimes?
As silly as it sounds clever parking can make it much more difficult for thieves to have access to the underside of the car. Keeping the car locked away in a garage is ideal but if that is not possible parking the front of the car, where the catalytic convertor is situated, as close as possible to a wall will give added security.
Having a reliable, good quality CCTV camera system that covers the area where the vehicle is parked is a good deterrent as is outdoor security lighting which is set to come on if there is movement detected around the vehicle. A doorbell camera is another way of monitoring who is visiting or watching your property and possibly assessing your comings and goings and the value of your vehicle.