Car parking and breakdown apps

Many of us use apps on our phones or tablets every day to do things such as online banking, shopping or to socialise with people via Facebook or Twitter etc. There are many apps on the stores that can be extremely useful for drivers.

IF you are someone who often forgets where you have left the car then one of the many car parking apps can be perfect to save you a lot of time hunting around. You download the app (which should ideally be done on the WiFi to save data charges) and then when you have parked your car, go in to the app and click to store your current location. This will mean you need to have your location services on.

When you are ready to return to your car you simply press the button and the app will give you directions and show you a map to enable you to find the fastest route back to your vehicle.

Another useful app is one for reporting a breakdown. Many of the larger breakdown companies now have an app that will instantly pick up your location and allow you to call for help. This makes the whole service quicker as you will not have to worry about giving the operator directions and they know they have the correct location to set off to.

 

Budget tyres may save you money but cost you your safety

When it comes to buying tyres we are often given two or three options by the garage each with a different price, these are usually based on a budget tyre and mid range tyre. These are the two most popular choices for us motorists and many people opt for the budget just to save that few extra pounds. If you look online then you will probably find you are inundated with different makes and prices of tyre. The tyres usually have ratings for road noise, wet grip / drip grip and fuel economy.

Before committing to any tyre be sure to compare these ratings as often you will find a budget tyre that is the same price as another one but has a lot better ratings.

If you can afford to then it is advisable to fit the best tyres possible to your vehicle. Tyres really can and do make a massive difference to driving and safety. They can shorten stopping distances and make the car handle a lot better than budget tyres.

If you think you will struggle to replace all four tyres for mid range or prestige tyres then why not do two and then the other two a few months down the line as long as they have enough tread to last you until then.

 

Finding accessories to personalise your car

If you are someone that likes to put your own stamp on things then you may want to try and personalise your car without going all out on a custom spray job. There are quite a few little changes that you can make to your vehicle to make it feel like your own and to give people who may see it a little insight in to your personality.

Firstly you need to decide on your theme, are you going to have a chosen colour or pattern such as leopard print or rainbow or are you going to just pick items that you like as and when you see them? Yu can then start to look for the accessories to suit your chosen style. Car mats, seat covers and steering wheel covers are usually the first things that people change to give their vehicle a whole new look. Next you may consider changing the dash board plastics or wood, you can often get vinyl stickers that can just go over the original. Changing wheel trims is a relatively cheap fix but if you want to change your alloys then you may be looking at forking out quite a bit extra.

If you want to go the extra mile you may consider changing the bumpers or even putting a vinyl wrap on the bonnet of your car, adding bull bars and side skirts and also a spoiler. It is important to remember than some of these changes may need to be reported to your insurance company.

 

 

Getting your car ready for the winter

With winter well on its way and temperatures dropping down to freezing, now is the time to start checking your car is ready for the months ahead. According to research by recovery firms, you’re twice as likely to break down in winter months, so if you don’t have breakdown cover, that’s the first thing to sort out.

There are some ways in which you can try and avoid breaking down to start with and also making sure your car is safe for driving in bad conditions. Ice is one of the main causes for accidents during the winter months and how your car copes with ice is often mostly down to your tyres. If your tyres have little tread left on them then you should replace them as soon as possible. If you have previously had cheap budget tyres on, then it is worth getting them checked out to see if they have a decent grip on them.  Simple jobs such as checking all your lights are in good working order and your fluid levels are topped up don’t take much time but could make a difference to your journey.

Swapping to winter tyres is a great idea but it is often expensive so you need to weigh up how often you will actually be driving in the bad conditions.

Getting your tyre sizes right

All drivers should know where and how to find the size of tyres fitted on their vehicle. It is quite easy to find this information out, but you do need to know where to look. On the side of every tyre is printed the size it is normally written like 195/55/ R15 87V. If we break this down we can see that it tells us a lot of information about the tyre. The first number in this example is the tyre width in mm, the second is the type height as a percentage of the width and the third letter and number is the diameter. The next number (87) is the load capacity and the final letter is the speed rating. All of this information tells you what you need to know to select the right tyre for your vehicle. There is not necessarily only one tyre size that will fit your car and some cars have different sized tyres on the front to those on the back.

If you are looking to buy a new tyre it is important to check the size of the tyre in which you want to replace in case it is different. You should also check to see that the tyre on the other side of the axle also matches that, if not you may need to get both tyres replaced or ensure the new one matches the one on the other side.