The Home of Cars and the Motor IndustryGuides and Reviews on New Cars, Used Models and Classics.
If you have just bought a new car or have owned your car for a while, it is important to keep an eye out for fluid leaks. Fluid can leak from a number of places and sometimes it is not an issue but other times it is a warning that something is not quite right.
The best way to spot a fluid leak is to look under your car when you drive away. You may need to pull up a little further down the road to inspect any fluid that has been left. If it has been raining then the fluid may just be water that has cascaded down the engine, but if the weather is dry you may need to do some further checks. Having the heating on or your air conditioning can cause condensation to drip down on to the floor once the car has stopped. This should look just like water.
If you notice that the drips have a greasy feel to them or you can see a rainbow colour then it is most likely some sort of oil. The oil could of come from the engine or from the transmission. You need to try and fine out where it has come from. If it is a new car or new to you, you may still have some sort of a warranty on it. If this is the case then contact the dealer that you bought it from. If not or you bought it privately, then you will need to take it to a garage for them to investigate.
Running a car can be very expensive. Not only do you have to have the money to buy or lease the vehicle in the first place but you then need to ensure that you can afford the running costs such as MOT’s, tax, insurance and fuel. On top of these costs, you also need to budget in for services and repairs. The problem with repairs is no one knows exactly how much it is likely to cost and when they may crop up. Ideally you should try and put a bit of money away each month towards the repairs that may need to be done throughout the year.
If you find that you are suddenly presented with a problem which is going to require a fair amount of money to fix it and you have no spare funds, then you need to consider your options. Some garages will allow you to spread the cost of the repairs over a number of weeks or months. Not many garages offer this service and it is essential that you check before agreeing to any repairs being carried out. If you cannot spread the cost this way, then why not look to taking out a zero percent credit card which will allow you to spread the payments over a more manageable amount.
When it comes to buying second hand cars, there is always an element of risk involved. Even if you buy a second hand car from a dealership, you may not always be given a warranty, but even if you are, it may not cover everything. You may have it in your head that you shouldn’t buy a car with over 100,000 miles on the clock as it may mean it hasn’t got much life left in it, but there are more important factors to take in to account than just the mileage. You need to look at whether the vehicle has been looked after. A car that has been serviced in accordance with the manufacturers servicing schedule is much more likely to last longer and have fewer problems than a car that has had the bear minimum done to it.
There are certain components that start to go after around 100,000 miles but if these have already been changed then you need not worry. Always check if the cambelt has been changed as this is a fairly simply job to do on most cars but can be extremely costly if it goes wrong.
Suspension parts can need replacing on second hand cars. It may not be enough to cause it to fail an MOT or to be that noticeable on a test drive, but it may still need to be replaced soon.
Cars often make strange sounds at times but if you notice a persistent sound coming from the engine or an area of your vehicle you should get it investigated. Noises are usually the first warning sign you get of certain issues and ignoring them can prove very costly and even dangerous.
You need to take the car in to a garage as soon as possible if you notice a new noise that is occurring often. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
Kicking noises are often due to issues with the suspension. It may be that a ball joint has worn and needs replacing or possibly even a shock absorber has gone. Another part is could be is a drop link, which is attached to the suspension. The part itself is usually relatively cheap for most cars and it may only take an hour or two labour. It may be worth asking the garage to put better quality ones on even if they do cost more as you then may not have to replace them as often therefore will save money in the long run. It may be worth getting a few quotes from different t car garages to ensure that you get the best price, just ensure that you are competing like for like.
If you own an older vehicle and take it in for an MOT, there may come a time when the work that is needed to get it through the MOT is going to cost more than the value of the vehicle. You have a tough decision to make as there are pros and cons to repairing it.
You need to think about what repairs need doing, the overall condition on the vehicle, the mileage, and what funds you have and how much you have already spent on it. If you have had the car a little while and had quite a bit of work done on it already you may think that it is better to spend the extra money giving you peace of mind then that certain things have already been done and therefore shouldn’t need doing again soon. Is the vehicle has relatively low mileage and has been serviced regularly then it may be worth holding on to it and paying for the repairs to be done.
The other option is to scrap or sell the car and then buy something else. You will likely have to spend more to buy another car and if you are spending less than £3000 on the vehicle you can expect to have to spend money on it again through out the year.