Winter is on the way so give your car some attention now

Unfortunately, the summer is long gone, and we are faced with the prospect of the cold and frequently wet winter months ahead. Some people do not worry about preparing their cars for winter and expect them to start first time and run well every journey. With a brand new car this may be true but if you find yourself driving a car that is more than a few years old it is a sensible idea to plan ahead for the winter months saving yourself the worry of the car breaking down.

One of the most important issues for a car in winter are the condition of the tyres. It is worth investing in specialist winter tyres on your vehicle if you can afford it as safety should be a priority, if however the current tyres are still roadworthy an extra set of wheels with winter tyres on them could be put on to the vehicle and changed back in the summer months. Often a set of wheels can be purchased cheaply from a breakers yard and for a small charge a garage can swap them over for you.

Probably the part of the car that fails more frequently during the winter months is the battery. It is worth getting it checked to make sure it is maintaining its charge and if not, a new battery should be purchased and fitted.

Dent repair without having to respray your car

If you discover that you have a small dent on your car, on the paintwork, then you may not have to go to the expense and hassle of having to have it filled and resprayed. Depending on where the dent is and how bad it is, it may be able to be removed by a specialist company simply by pushing the dent out from behind or pulling it with a special tool.  If the paint on the car has been scratched then this will not help with that but by removing the dent you will then only need a touch up or respray rather than having to have the panel filled.

Not all garages will offer this service, but before you go down the route of going to a main bodyshop to get the repair done, why not search paint-less dent removal companies near you and pop it to them first. If someone has opened their door into yours for example then they can often pop the dent out easily for a fraction of the cost of a respray.  Ideally you want to avoid getting the car re-sprayed if at all possible as you may find that you then have problems with colour matching, overspray and if not done correctly, peeling paintwork years down the line.

Getting the best price for your car repairs

Cars can be costly to run and we all hate it when those unexpected repairs crop up. Prices for the same job can vary drastically from garage to garage, so it is always worth obtaining a few different quotes before you decide who to go with.

If you want to save money you may be better to avoid using main dealers and use a local garage

Main dealers often charge a lot more for parts as well as their labour rate so the overall price is usually higher, but you may find that you need to go to the main dealer if the vehicle is still under a warranty for example.

It is important to ensure that when comparing prices that you are comparing like for like. For example, when it comes to having a full service done, some garages will not include the cost of replacing the spark plugs or the engine oil and others will.

All garages should check with you before completing extra work. If you have not authorised work to be done then you could complain to the garage and say you are not happy about paying for it.

Should you buy a car that has been used as a demo?

When it comes to buying cars you have many different options. You may decide that you want to buy a brand-new car that has no miles on the clock and you are registered as the first owner. Often there are some great deals to be had on brand new cars but they are usually the most expensive way of buying a car.

You could opt for a used car that is either only a couple of years old or one that is quite a bit older. If the car is only a couple of years long it may even still have some manufacturers warranty left on it. Older cars only come with a warranty if they garage you are buying it from offers one or you buy one from a third party.

If you are in the market for a new car then why not look at buying an ex demo car. Ex demo cars are often vehicles that have been registered by a main dealer either to meet a target or to be used by their salespeople. The mileage on them car vary from less than 100 upwards of a few thousand. The great thing about an ex demo car is the chunk of the value it loses when it is first registered has already been swallowed so you often get a great a newly new car for a lot less than if it was brand new.

How could the lockdown affect your car’s dependability?

While we have all been having to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic our cars have been used less and less perhaps only being used once a week for essential shopping trips. This can cause major problems when you do use your car especially if it is not a newer model.

Brakes and tyres are two essential parts of a car that will need to be checked if the car has been immobile for a while. Moving the car around just a short way will mean that the tyres will be rotated, and the brakes applied. Visual checks on the tyres to check for bulges or splits is a good idea as is making sure the tyre pressures are correct. The correct pressures can be found in the handbook or on a plate inside the door frame.

A working battery on a car is a necessity to ensure your car starts first time reliably and although the battery is not used very much when the car is idle it can become flat. If you are not using your car regularly it should be started and run for at least fifteen minutes or alternatively a trickle charger can be used if your car is parked on a drive or in a garage.

These simple steps can help to keep your car ready for the journeys you will make and improve its dependability.