Buying a Used Car

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Used Cars

Categories : Car Buying
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Top 10 classic car buying tips

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Okay, so you like the idea of owning a cool old car – something that’s a hoot to drive, be a total head-turner and grant you access to a whole bunch of new, fellow classic car fans as well as benefits such as cheap insurance, cheap parts and zero depreciation.
But how do you go about buying your first old car, and what things ought you consider before joining the wild and wacky world of classic car ownership? Here’s our top ten tips…

1. Be realistic

Think about where and when you’ll be using your new retro pride and joy and choose accordingly. There’s little point buying a 1950’s open top two-seater if you need to use it on the motorway, or to transport your kids and family dog. Perhaps a classic VW estate might be more appropriate here.

2. Storage

Consider where it will be kept? A garage is essential for a soft top, unless you want wet floors and the risk of a vandalised ripped hood. If you’ve got a lockup, make sure your car will fit – a classic Volkswagen camper might be too tall.

3. Price it right

Set a budget and stick to it. There’s no point spending more than you really wanted on something exotic that might only get used once a fortnight. Even though you might have your heart set on a VW Bay Bus, sometimes it’s the less expensive classics, like an old VW Beetle or Golf Mk1 that will provide the most fun.

4. Do your homework

Join a club so you can chat to fellow owners, visit a specialist and read the relevant buyer’s guides to find out everything there is to know about the car you’re about to buy. You can then go armed with this information when viewing to avoid landing a lemon.
Ensure you can source and buy the spares parts you need for your vehicle before you part with your money. Companies like VWHeritage provide excellent service and expert advice and supply VW classic parts and Complete Automobilist offer classic parts by mail order or online.

5. Narrow your choices

Be specific, get a very shortlist of cars that interest you. Better still, target a specific make and model so you don’t waste time looking at too many different cars which can lead to disillusionment.

6. Buy the best

Repairing a basket case is fun if you can do the work yourself, but it’s not always economical. Those who’ve spent dark nights and dented their bank balances restoring a wreck always recommend buying the best car you can afford to avoid the risk of going bankrupt trying to repair an absolute dog that needs everything doing. Body repairs are usually the most expensive part to do properly.

7. Ask an expert

If you’re still not sure you’re qualified (or confident) enough to make a wise purchase or there’s gaps in your technical knowledge, ask an expert to take a look. A club official might be willing to accompany you when viewing cars for sale – alternatively, pay a specialist.

8. Suck it and see

Always view as many cars as you can. That way you’ll be able to make an accurate assessment of good cars and bad cars. Information is power and when you finally spot the right one, you’ll be able to make an on the spot decision.

9. Step back

It happens to us all, but try not to let your heart rule your head. It’s all too easy to get carried away and buy a car that’s either riddled with problems, overpriced or just not right for your needs.

10. Enjoy

Once you’ve got your mitts on a totally sound classic, be sure to get out there and enjoy it. No point hiding it away in a garage – get to shows, take a continental tour, help out a friend on their wedding day. After all, classics make fabulous wedding cars!

By Ian Cushway

Categories : Auto Parts, Car Buying
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Written by a Guest Blogger

The Ford brand is synonymous with the motoring industry with models such as the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo selling thousands each year throughout the past decade, with many going to new or inexperienced drivers looking to find their first car. When buying your first car, or one that hasn’t been handed down to you anyway, you don’t want to go splashing the cash on something brand new off the production line, so a used car becomes the option.

In this instance, you need to make sure that whatever model you’re buying is roadworthy and reliable. Ford is known for being one of the most reliable brands on the market with cars that seem to run and run, and if you visit any Jennings showroom you’re sure to find plenty of high quality used Fords that are perfect for new drivers.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

So having established that you want a Ford, what else do you need to keep your eyes peeled for? After all, it’s not as simple as buying a car based on the badge because we all want something different from the vehicle we buy. One of the major things to look out for, of course, is the price of the vehicle. This is often the first thing prospective buyers look at whether they’re shopping online or at a showroom.

Having a budget, and most importantly sticking to it, is essential to finding the best car for you and your needs. As a first time buyer, you often don’t have a great deal of money saved up and you don’t need anything too ‘flash’ with all the latest motoring innovations, you just need something that will get you to and from college or work safely, so set yourself a budget and don’t go beyond it.

Next, look into the history and mileage of the car. While many cars will go on for mile after mile, some have lived particularly hard lives and may have undergone numerous different repairs. If the service history is filled with receipts for repair work you may want to steer clear because it could be that the car is on its last legs and you don’t want to be breaking down on your way to college day after day.

Another important tip is to make sure that you take it for a test drive, and a significant one, not just around the corner. Make sure that you take it on a road you know reasonably well with junctions, roundabouts, twists and turns so that you can get a real feel for the power and handling of the vehicle and pick up on any positives and negatives. Also, where possible, get out of the vehicle and give it a thorough inspection under the bonnet, checking all of the dials and lights work and that the tyres are in good condition. You don’t want to be sticking to your budget only to have to spend even more bringing the vehicle up to scratch.

Categories : Car Buying
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Biggest Driving Mistakes and Fails

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Written by a Guest Blogger

As a driver, we often pick up bad habits, drive the way we want to and become less concerned about the rules, regulations and the general consideration that should be given to other road users. Instead we are possibly more focused on the music we are listening to or the areas we are driving through than what’s happening on the road around us.

It is quite amazing how quickly we disregard everything that we have learned and make our own rules… It doesn’t matter if you’re a relatively new driver out in your first car or an experienced driver out in your fifth car that you recently bought from to cope with your growing family, there are common driving mistakes that we all make at some point and not only are they the exact opposite of what we have been told to do throughout our driving lessons, but they are often quite illegal in the UK!

For instance, something many people aren’t aware of is that it is deemed to be an offence if you let your car run out of petrol. Traffic police are able to charge drivers with Driving without Due Care and Attention because of risks including causing multicar pile-ups when you end up stranded in a lane on the road, and, let’s be honest, it is something that you should be aware of and able to avoid.


Driving too close to the car in front is not only a form of intimidation but it is now an illegal driving move and will result in drivers being punished with a £100 fine.

Poor Navigation Skills

This is something that most people suffer with, the stress of having to navigate around unknown places is often overwhelming but it can lead to some very bad situations. Common sense is the most obvious tool in combating this and it is wise to remember that the sat nav is not always right.

Running a Red Light

This has incredibly serious implications, it could cause head on collisions, accidents and is now punishable with a £100 fine and 3 penalty points. Red lights are there for a reason and although there is great argument about how quickly they change colour they must be adhere too.


The most common part of driving and something you are lucky if you manage to escape, accidents happen whether they are your fault or someone else’s. Small bumps, little knocks, anything can happen but it is best to avoid them at all costs simply by following the rules of the road and being vigilant.

Mobile Phones

A very serious problem that is the biggest cause of road related accidents and deaths and there is a far bigger crackdown on drivers that use phones when driving. Mobiles are distracting and will eventually result in a near miss or an accident. A £100 fine and three penalty points are the punishment unless the accident is more serious and a prison sentence can be incurred.

Improper Use of Lights

Car headlights serve two purposes, to let other drivers know you are there during poor visibility and to allow you to see the road ahead whilst driving. Not using them properly is a serious risk to you and other road users.

Not Signalling

For the same reason as the use of headlights is important, drivers need to let other road users know where they are going to limit the chances of collisions and as simple courtesy.

Constant Braking

Not only is braking constantly annoying, but it uses far greater amounts of petrol and will encourage another driver to go into the back of you as they are unsure what it is you are doing and trying to achieve.

Not Gripping the Steering Wheel

You need to have a good grip on the steering wheel to stop the car from veering off the road, losing control of the vehicle and being able to guide the car at all times.

Categories : Tech Tips
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Written by a Guest Blogger

Driving comes with legislations and rules that need to be adhered to at all times to make sure the road is a safe environment for everyone. Certain driving offences can result in punishments and for those that are deemed to be a real risk to other road users often find themselves losing the privilege of driving. Serious offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone, driving erratically and being an unsafe driver for example are some of the areas that can result in the harshest punishments. Fines and penalty points are the biggest punishments and a certain number of points SHOULD result in an automatic driving ban for a set period of time. Once a driver has reached 12 penalty points on their license they are forced to attend court that will determine the length of the ban, in some extreme cases judges are able to overturn the ban yet this should be for rare situations and other punishments should be in place. There are now more people driving around with an excessive number of points, which undermines the law and the way in which drivers should follow the road rules. Bad driving can quickly result in points and fines which will affect the cost of insurance premiums as insurers see you as a risk and a bad driver that could cause them a higher number of pay-outs as a result.

Young drivers are trying to turn this around by having a black box installed from companies such as InGenie, which monitors the way they drive and highlights where they are going wrong. They are then less likely to pick up bad habits after leaving the young drivers category and is something that could be suitable as a way to deter experienced drivers that repeatedly offend whilst driving from doing so in the future? If the punishments that are currently in place are not going to be enforced then there needs to be another solution and other penalties in place of the more severe punishments that are clearly not effective or taken seriously.

It has been reported that the lack of enforcement is so serious that one woman is currently still on the British roads after equating a staggering 42 points on her driving license. As the rules become more lenient, the conditions of our roads and the drivers upon them will worsen and there will be a higher number of cases of accidents and collisions that are a result of poor driving. The rules are in place for a very specific reason, to keep people and pedestrians as safe as possible, it is not something to be taken lightly and there is now a growing concern at the standard of driving and the way in which other people will be affected. Rules are not meant to be broken yet there seems to be little impact on those that do. The strength of other road rules will now weaken as nothing seems to be taken as seriously as it once was, those that repeatedly drive poorly and put other people in danger really have no place on the roads.

Categories : Insurance
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10 Emergency Items To Keep In Your Car

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Unfortunately, no matter how much time and care you dedicate to car maintenance, it’s likely that you will run into unexpected car trouble at some point over the years – just like every other driver.

But, as Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail’, and if you stock your car with a few items that might well really help you out in an emergency, you could prevent your small problem from turning into a complete disaster…

Here’s 10 things that no car should be without.

A map

Most of us rely on technology to get us where we’re going nowadays, but it’s best to have a back-up in case batteries run out, you lose signal or you encounter any sort of other electronic failure.

A flashlight

Essential for exploring under the hood, or generally finding your way in the dark – be sure to regularly check that the batteries are still working, though!

A tow rope

A tow rope can help transport your car to a safer place or to the garage for repair in the event of a breakdown.

Jumper cables

If your car battery runs flat – and you can flag down a helpful fellow motorist – these can get you back on the road with minimum fuss.

First Aid kit

The bigger the better! A First Aid Kit, especially a well-stocked one, could help you out in a jam when the medical aid you need’s a long way away or a minor health niggle is making it difficult for you to concentrate on driving.

Multi tool

Let’s face it, a versatile multi tool is a good piece of kit to have on you at all times, but it’s especially useful when it comes to coping with any of your car’s mechanical troubles.

Owner’s manual

Owner’s manuals can be pretty hefty, so you might feel tempted to leave yours at home. But don’t – it’ll definitely be worth all that space it takes up if you suddenly need to find out what the deal is with that mystery flashing light on your dashboard…

Hard copies of your breakdown cover information

You might have your details stored electronically, but you should also always keep the contact phone number and your policy information on a print out too.

Snacks and water

Break down in an isolated area and you could be there for a while… Keep a cereal bar, fitness bar or similar in the glove compartment, along with a bottle of water, and remember to replace regularly.


A blanket will keep you warm if you run into trouble in cold conditions, or protect you if you need to lie down on the road to look underneath the car.

About the Blogger

This blog was provided by The Car People Manchester, a UK-based used car dealer with showrooms in Sheffield, Manchester and Wakefield.

Categories : Auto Accessories
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The New Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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Written by a Guest Blogger

The iconic Corvette Stingray has had a facelift, a bit of rest and recuperation and come back better than ever for 2014 in the latest attempt by Chevrolet to make it onto the list of big guns in the sports car category with the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and co.

The new model, known inside the walls of the Chevy factory as the C7, has been made as a direct competitor to the Porsche 911, a car that has been a global sensation whereas the Corvette Stingray, whilst being immensely popular in the States and available to buy from Chevrolet Edinburg TX, hasn’t had the same effect. Throughout the States it’s a phenomenon, a truly outstanding piece of American engineering that has remained popular with the die-hard Chevy fans; but now it’s time to break the global market.

CorvetteThe good news for Chevrolet in that respect is that the latest Corvette is right up there in terms of their best releases. For decades the American sports car has sat in the shadow of the German, Italian and Japanese offerings, but in 2014 we might finally see an American model near the top – if not at the top – of sports car sales across the globe.

The 6.2-litre V8 455bhp engine is the most efficient ever put under the bonnet of a Corvette, helping to create value for money as well as smiles per mile. The performance hasn’t been compromised, something you often experience with more efficient engines, with a smooth and comfortable ride combined with the beast under the bonnet making the machine roar down the highways.

It’s also been made much lighter than other models, thanks to an aluminium chassis that helps the driver to throw it into the corners with much more confidence that you’ll come out on the other side rather than fighting it to prevent it from going straight on!

Finally, you have the styling, the most important thing in the eyes of many motoring fans and particularly those who remain loyal to the Chevy brand. The Corvette is an American icon, just like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and as such it needs to maintain its identity. It’s been given a bit of a makeover to bring it into the present day, but don’t worry – it’s still a Stingray.

Categories : Car Buying
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Delaying Vehicle Depreciation

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Written by a Guest Blogger

The cost of cars has always been notoriously high depending on the age, make and model of the vehicle. In order to regain any of the investment made when first purchasing the vehicle, the car needs to be well cared for in an attempt to delay the idea of vehicle depreciation and earn a good resale value when the time comes.

How to Delay Depreciation

Keep the Car in Good Condition

The most important thing to do is to keep the car in the best possible condition. The upholstery needs to be clean and undamaged as does the paintwork, the alloy wheels and every possible feature within the car. It is worth investing in things like car wash equipment, fabric protection such as seat covers and regular services to ensure everything is working perfectly.

Keep the Mileage Down

A high amount of mileage will directly affect the vehicles price. Few people will want to spend a large sum of money on a car that has travelled a lot, this not only means they are getting less for their money but a car with high mileage is more likely to begin to have mechanical faults which will cost the new owner. A car that has reached 100,000 miles is usually unwanted by many buyers.

Keep to the Servicing Schedule

Manufacturers will have guidelines in terms of the regularity of servicing and will also provide a servicing book, which the garage carrying out the work will then stamp as a validation of the service. A full service history is worth a substantial amount of money as buyers are able to see the car has been well cared for and the likelihood of faults is slim.

Keep a Record of Repair Work

If the vehicle requires any work, whether it is a mechanical problem or something on the exterior, evidence of this must be kept. It is deemed to be as important as an up to date service book. Buyers need to be aware of what it is they are buying and taking on and need to know of any potential future problems.

Keep in Mind Desired Traits

Fuel efficient cars tend to have a better resale value, as they are the latest desired trait within vehicles. There are many developments in fuel technology and cars that are fuel efficient not only help the environment but are also cost saving for drivers.

Once cars reach three years old, they lose around 60% of their original value, which equates to a loss of 20% a year. It is a substantial amount of money to lose and owners are finding that they are greatly out of pocket far quicker than usually expected. The more luxurious and expensive the vehicle is the faster they begin to depreciate, it is often far better to purchase a car that is around 1-2 years old as they depreciate at a much slower rate. For older cars, it is best to try to keep hold of the vehicle until they have reached 100,000 miles, once this amount of mileage has been reached cars usually hold their price although it will not be anywhere near the original sale price of the car.

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What to Look for in a Used Suzuki

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Buying a Suzuki, or any car for that matter, should be an exciting time in your life. Whether it’s a cool little Swift or a family-sized Grand Vitara, you’re buying a model from one of the most respected manufacturers in the whole industry, famous for producing both stylish and reliable models throughout their range.

As a customer, you first have to make a decision between buying a brand new model and buying a used vehicle. This decision is often made for you based on your financial situation, but there is nothing wrong with buying second-hand cars, especially Suzuki’s from trusted dealers such as Suzuki Brownsville.

SuzukiIf you have decided on a second-hand model, your next consideration needs to be around your budget. If you have, for example, $5,000 to spend on your car you will need to remember to factor in tax and insurance. Some dealerships will pay for your tax as part of the purchase agreement, others will not and you’ll have to arrange this yourself. It is a common oversight to think “I have $5,000 to spend on a car” when in actual fact you may have to reduce that by as much as $1,000 or even $1,500 to cover your insurance costs.

You do sometimes have the option to buy a vehicle on finance, paying for it in installments. If this is the case, make sure you take the time to think about how much you can afford to pay each month so that you don’t end up regretting the decision several months down the line because you can’t afford to do anything else or make other essential purchases or payments.

Next, make sure that you’ve done plenty of research so you can look around the car you’ve seen with some background knowledge. For instance, you can look into the fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, value depreciation and reviews from owners of the same vehicle to see if it fits into your idea of the perfect car. Then, make sure you do thorough research on the specific vehicle when you get there. Look at all of the paperwork including the service history to see if it has had any major repair work done or if it is due any, and also look at the quality of the paint and bodywork to check for signs of damage or rust.

You should also be considered in your decision, not rushing into a purchase because if you do you may miss out on a better deal elsewhere or you could end up paying more than you wanted to. Visit different dealerships to see a variety of cars – even if they’re the same model, you can still compare quality and price – and speak to people you know who own the same car or read online reviews.

Categories : Car Buying
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Written by a Guest Blogger

In the modern era you’d do well to find something that didn’t feature electronics. With smartphones, tablet computers and other forms of mobile tech pretty much everywhere you look, even motorists are starting to feel the benefit of the advancements in technology of the past decade.

We all know about satellite navigation systems that help us to reach our destinations and there are even ‘black boxes’ that help us to find budget car insurance to bring costs down; but there are also other forms of technology that help those working in the motoring industry, and those who drive or travel a lot, to take the stresses away and make motoring fun.


The previously mentioned ‘black boxes’ monitor driving styles including speed and braking as well as the time of day that the car is driven, and insurance is calculated based on the results produced with ‘bad’ drivers charged more. These devices use telematics and GPS technology and are also used in fleets as ‘tracking devices’ so that the depot manager can monitor the driver’s location as well as their performance, working out fuel consumption and whether they’ve taken the best route.

Hands-free kits have also proven to be highly beneficial, particularly for commercial drivers. Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal, but many sat nav systems feature Bluetooth technology that enables drivers to talk on the phone while driving absolutely hands free and avoiding the risks (and penalties) associated with driving while talking on the phone.

Satellite navigation has certainly been the most beneficial technology to make it onto our roads. In the past the traditional paper-based road maps were all we had to guide us to our destinations, (in theory at least!) Today, we are given audible directions and visual maps that are adjusted at real-time speeds to help us find the most appropriate route.

A lot of the more modern cars have a great deal of technology built into the dashboard. We have the ability to use the BMW iDrive feature and the Audi MMI programme, and in the future we’re looking likely to have WiFi and 4G built in to enable us to surf the web, stream television shows and watch DVDs, all on a car dashboard. Expect that all to be relatively soon as the bond between cars and technology is growing stronger with every passing mile!

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Car Wars: American vs. Japanese

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Written by a Guest Blogger

The battle has been raging on for decades over which nation is better at making cars, and the result doesn’t show any signs of becoming clear any time soon. Cars made in America and Japan are among the most popular on the planet with models such as the Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford going head-to-head with the Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

The American car market has been huge for decades, you only have to see the sheer number of models available at the Rio Grande Texas Ford dealership to see just how many cars have been produced by Ford alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ahead in the popularity contest.

CarWarsPic There are some major differences between the two nations stereotypically in terms of the cars they produce with the Americans famous for their muscle cars, such as the Dodge; while the Japanese have found fame with their reliable, practical and comfortable models as seen through manufacturers such as Honda.

There are, however, five real areas where the contest starts to heat up: safety, value, reliability, customer satisfaction and resale value (also known as depreciation).


One of the major factors in choosing a new car is its safety rating. Modern cars are put through stringent tests to make sure that they’re up to all of the challenges and risks they’re faced with. While the Japanese have spent a lot of time working on the safety element, the Americans are already years ahead in their development of what has already been in place. 1-0 America


Another key factor in the decision in what car to buy is, obviously, the price. Finances are tight around the world at the moment with people choosing against buying new cars and opting for used models as a result. This means that the new car market is faced with a serious issue in trying to win customers back and that means that they have to be cars that are worth the price tag. The Corvette, while a fine car, is the only real American car that you could justify paying a new price tag for right now, while the majority of the Japanese market is much more reasonably priced. 1-1


This refers to the number of reported problems the car owners have experienced. In numerous studies over the past few years, American cars have proven to be much more reliable than their Japanese rivals with models such as the Buick Lacrosse outshining the likes of the Toyota Prius, despite the Prius potentially being the “car of the future” by being a hybrid. 2-1 America

Customer Satisfaction

While reliability is one of the major contributing factors to customer satisfaction, factors such as value, comfort and performance are equally important and in this respect the Japanese have it over the Americans. The cars made in America are still designed to be loud and fast as a precedent, while their emphasis appears to be turning towards hybrid and electric models. In comparison, the Japanese are placing much more emphasis on all-round performance in terms of fuel economy, driving experience and quality. 2-2


This one is a runaway victory for the Japanese I’m afraid. American models turn into ‘classics’ but they lose their value very quickly because the market has a fondness for the older models meaning that there is next to no resale value on the majority of modern cars, with the exception of the latest Mustangs it must be said. Final Score: 3-2 Japan

Categories : Car Buying
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Essential Car Maintenance You Can Do At Home

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Written by a Guest Blogger

We all love our cars in our own ways, with some giving them what many (partners especially), might perceive to be a little bit too much TLC. On a sunny weekend morning, many of us take to the driveway to give our cars a clean and polish inside and out, performing numerous maintenance tasks along the way.

This love we show for our cars – and bikes for that matter – emphasizes how important it is to go somewhere you can trust to get any parts you need to do any repairs yourself, or to get them done professionally. There are a great number of jobs you can do yourself, getting the parts from Brownsville auto parts and taking them back and getting your hands dirty.


There’s often nothing better than fixing something yourself, as shown by the irrational love of DIY shown by many people. One such example is changing the air filters in your car to help to improve performance. To do this, just pop open the bonnet and locate the filter. Make sure you have a look at how it sits in the casing (so you know how to replace it!) Then simply remove the old one and replace it with the new one, making sure you do up and fastenings so the filter remains in place – you don’t want dirt getting through into the major working parts.

Windscreen wipers can last either a long time, or a short time depending on how often they’re used and the brand you have fitted. Changing your wipers takes no time at all, it’s just a fiddly process trying to locate the fittings so that you can unclip the old one and replace it with the new. The key here is not to let your wipers slam back down on the glass otherwise you risk cracking it, (which will be far more expensive than your new blades!)

Headlight bulbs are prone to wearing out just when you don’t want them to. For that reason, with the nights getting progressively longer towards the end of this summer, it’s probably a good idea to change them over for newer ones to get you through the winter. It’s dangerous to drive with headlights that aren’t working with other road users potentially assuming you’re a motorcycle if you only have one working headlight, which puts you at risk.

To change your bulb, locate where the lights are housed and start by removing the wire that holds the existing bulb in place. Remove the bulb from its current location and, using a clean rag to keep dirt from the bulb, replace it with the new one, clipping it into place. Plug the wire back in and be sure to test your new headlight to make sure you’ve replaced it sufficiently.

Categories : Auto Parts
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Obviously when you fly to another city and need transportation, you will need to use mass transit or rent a car. Other times when you might need a rental include: special occasions, when your vehicle is at the repair center, or if you need a special type of vehicle (e.g., a truck) just a couple of times a year. Instead of outright owning a vehicle, some people and businesses opt to lease.

Pros and Cons

Leasing a car has some distinct advantages as compared to buying. Usually the down payment is less when you lease. When you purchase you often need to put down 20% to obtain a loan. The monthly payment is usually less when you lease too. The disadvantage here is that you don’t own anything at the end of the leasing period. If you are the type of person that always likes to have a newer vehicle (3 years or less old), then leasing may be for you. Make sure you read the fine print what the dealer requires as to the returnable condition of the vehicle so you can avoid any penalties. For businesses, there may be tax benefits too.

Working with a Car Solutions Company

For some small and large organizations, it makes sense to work with a car solutions company. These companies work with businesses to identify funding methods and help with fleet management. One company, Hitachi, even has electric vehicles in their portfolio for businesses that want to “Go Green”.


You have choices when choosing a new vehicle. When determining if it makes sense (or cents) to lease, consider the down payment, annual estimated mileage, monthly payments, routine maintenance, depreciation, and tax consequences.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at

Categories : Car Buying
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Automotive Manufacturing – Then and Now

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When I was an automotive instructor I liked taking the time to discuss with my students how automotive manufacturing has evolved over the last 100+  years. Let’s look at the assembly line in 1913 and now in 2013.

Ford Motor Company’s Moving Assembly Line

Henry Ford is often credited with first implementing the assembly line into automotive production. But it was actually Ransom Olds that did it first. What Ford perfected and implemented was the “moving” assembly line. Even though the ever popular Model T was introduced in 1908, it wasn’t until 1913 that Ford implemented the moving assembly line at his new plant in Highland Park, MI. In just a year, he reduced the time to build a car from 12 hours and 30 minutes to just 1 hour and 33 minutes. Below is a video of Ford’s moving assembly line from 1919.

Tesla Motors Modern Plant

Fast forward 100 years. It is now 2013, the 100 year anniversary of Henry Ford’s moving assembly line. The automotive company that has the attention right now is Tesla Motors and their flagship car the Tesla Model S. The number of robotics used in Tesla’s plant is amazing. Words cannot do it justice. Automation is optimized to the fullest.

Manufacturing Behind the Scenes

To create an automobile from raw materials, many processes have to take place. Everything from tool making, die casting, CNC machining, plating, and painting. RD Castings gives an overview of many of these processes and the high tech machines used to complete them.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at

Categories : Auto Manufacturing
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Vehicle insurance is one of those things that you love it when you need it and hate paying the premium when you never use it. Nonetheless, it is required all around the world. And it makes sense to protect yourself from liability and from the extreme costs if you do wreck your vehicle. Let’s compare what’s required in the USA and UK and then identify characteristics of companies you may want to do business with.

Car Insurance in USA

Vehicle insurance in the USA differs by each state. The minimum in most states is liability insurance. Using three numbers such as 20/40/10, identifies three specific policy limits – bodily injury per person/bodily injury per accident/property damage limit…in that order in thousand dollars. Other types of insurance includes collision and comprehensive; medical payment; personal injury and no-fault; uninsured and underinsured; umbrella insurance; and, rental, towing, and total replacement insurance. To find out what’s required in each specific state, check with the state’s insurance regulator. Some states, like Missouri, have informative videos to list the requirements.

Car Insurance in the UK

Third party insurance as it is called in the UK is the bare minimum. When you have the minimum amount of insurance, you are protecting your liability if you cause damage to a another car, person, animal, or property. But don’t think about getting your car’s costs reimbursed…you will need additional insurance to protect your investment. Something very important to note is that if you own a vehicle you are responsible for providing insurance on it EVEN if you are not the driver. You own it, you insure it. For more information about motor vehicle insurance in England, Wales, and Scotland, check out the Gov.UK guide to vehicle insurance. If you need information specific to Northern Ireland, check out NIDirect.Gov.UK.

Finding an Insurance Company

What characteristics should you look for when shopping for auto insurance? You have lots of choices. Find an agent or broker that takes the time to explain the policy, complete annual reviews of your needs, and suggests ways that you can save money. One characteristic that I feel is important is to be able to talk to a person. In today’s age of technology and cost saving measures by some companies it seems that talking to a live person is becoming scarce. In the UK, one company – Sky Insurance – makes their mission statement about actually listening to customers to make personalized recommendations for their customers. Getting recommendations from friends and colleagues is also a great idea. Learn about each insurers’ services and then make a decision.

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at

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