How do you know if a wheel bearing needs replacing?

Wheel bears often make a fair bit of noise when they are on their way out. Usually you will notice a humming type sound when you are driving the vehicle and this may get louder at certain speeds. Another way to check a wheel bearing is to jack the wheel up and try and move it from side to side and up and down. If you can feel a lot of play in the wheel and it moves then the wheel bearing probably needs replacing.

If you take your car in to a garage they will easily be able to check if a bearing needs to be changed. The job usually takes around a couple of hours and can cost anything from £100 upwards of £300 depending what vehicle you have and where you take it to get the repairs done. Although it may seem like a relatively easy job to do, it isn’t if you do not have all the right equipment so it is better to have it done at a garage. You may be able to find a garage that will allow you to purchase the part yourself and them fit it for you, but be aware that if the part fails then you will need to fork out for the labour costs to get it replaced again as it will not be covered by the warranty.

Getting the most money for your second-hand car

People sell cars for many reasons, sometimes it is because they need a bigger or smaller vehicle or it may be that they are simply cannot afford to run the car etc. Unfortunately some people do sell cars when they know it has or is soon going to have a serious problem. It may surprise you how many people put up pictures of a vehicle they have for sale that has not been cleaned properly. It maybe that some people will see beyond the surface dirt but for others, this could be enough to put them off immediately without even bothering to read through the rest of your advert.

Before you picture your car give it a good once over clean and polish ideally, and do not forget the interior. For as little as a pound you can buy a product called back to black that is wiped over all the black plastics on the car that may have started to fade. This will really help to bring the black bumpers back to life and make them look almost new, this can make a huge difference to the overall appearance of a vehicle. 

Free hire car following an accident

Lots of people aren’t aware that if they are involved in a car accident that isn’t their fault they may be entitled to a free hire car.  Many insurance companies will only offer you a courtesy car (if it is included in your policy) but this is very often a very small car and may not be suitable for what you need to use your vehicle for. If you have an upgraded policy then you may be entitled to a like for like car, be sure to check your insurance policy as you may not be offered this even if you are entitled to it. If you have not chosen this option there are still ways in which you can get a like for like car without having to fork out on renting one privately.

An accident management company such as Compass hire will be able to arrange to get your car repaired and also supply you with a like for like car if you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault. If liability has already been admitted by the other party or if they are pretty sure that they can prove it was someone else’s fault then they are usually happy to take on the case. They may deal with personal injury claims to or pass you on to another company that will manage this for you. Often you will not even have to pay your excess (and then try and claim it back) that you would if you claim through your own insurance company. 

Paying extra for a 12 month MOT

If you are looking to buy a cheap used car then you may find many that only have a few months MOT left on them. These cars are often advertised with 1-3 months MOT but if buying from a garage they will often MOT the vehicle for you if you agree to buy it. If you want to get a good chunk of money knocked off the car sales price then you can agree to buy it with little or no MOT. You need to be aware that if you choose to do this you may have to fork out for repairs almost immedialty after you have purchased the vehicle. Once you have purchased the car take it straight to a garage to give it the once over. If it turns out that the car needs a lot of repairs that will cost more than the car is worth or the car is dangerous then you may be able to hand the car back and get your money back. This may not be a simple task though so you may have to go to court to fight it.

If you do buy a cheaper vehicle then it may mean that you have spare money to spend on repairs. If your budget is £1500 and you can find a car for £1000 then you can afford to spend £500 doing it up. This is better than spending your full £1500 budget on a car that still may require work to be done to it but you have no funds to spend on it.

Why are your tyres wearing unevenly?

Tyres can be a huge cost for motorists. The more miles you do the quicker you will have to change your tyres. Not only will you have to change them if they are worn but you may sustain a puncture which may be able to be repaired, but if not, will need to be replaced. Punctures can happen on new or old tyres.
Checking your tyres often for damage, air pressures and wear is vital and should be done at least once a week. Bald patches on some areas of the tyre or tyres on the same axis (fitted at the same time) wearing out at different times can signify a problem. If your tyres are wearing unevenly then you may need to take it in to a garage to have the issue investigated. Often these issues are caused by problems with the suspension. The car may not be sitting straight and therefore the weight may be not be distributed evenly.
The garage will be able to take the wheels off the vehicle and have a look at the suspension parts such as shock absorbers and struts. From here they can advise you of what needs to be changed. You will probably need to also change your tyres that have been damaged.