Do not ignore that sound coming from your car

If you drive your car quite often you will probably notice fairly quickly if it starts to sound different. It may be that the sound of the engine is louder or that when you change gear you notice a crunching sound. It may not be coming from the engine; it could instead be an issue with the suspension which may result in a knocking noise. It may be tempting to ignore this and wait until it gets worse but that is very risky, and you may end up having to pay a lot more to repair the issue later on down the line than if you had had it fixed when you first noticed it.

You will usually need to take it in to a garage to get a mechanic to have a look at it unless you are able to get a mobile mechanic out to you. Depending on what the noise is, they may ask you to leave the vehicle with them for a bit until they have had a chance to test drive it and investigate further.

If you want to be able to get quotes from other garages, be sure to make it clear that you do not want them to carry out any work until you have agreed for them to proceed.

Winter safety when driving

That time of year is upon us when the nights and mornings are dark and frosty and it is not unusual to get ice and even snow. This can make for horrible driving conditions and although you may not want to, there may be times when you have to. Although you can never completely avoid the risk of an accident, there are things you can do to try and ensure that you and your vehicle is as safe as can be.

Two of the main safety features of a car is the brakes and the tyres. Both of these should be checked regularly by inspecting them but with your brakes you should also test them when driving at slower speeds. Your tyres need to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread left on them for them to be legal but most garages say that anything less than 3mm starts to affect your braking distance. During the winter months especially, it is even more important to check that not only is there plenty of tread left on your tyres but that they also are inflated to the correct pressure and free from any damage. This could be a puncture, bulging or cuts / cracks.

Are you worried about trusting your garage?

If you notice that your vehicle seems to have developed a fault or is playing up, you will need to take it to a garage or have a mechanic come out and look at it. Depending on what the issue is, you may not be able to drive it so have to get it revived or use a mobile mechanic.

Unless you have a good mechanical background, it can often be very hard to know exactly what the fault is and therefore what fix is required. This is where you need to be able to find a garage or mechanic that you can trust as you are going to have to go with their recommendation as ti what needs ti be done.

If you have not lived in the area long or only just owned a car you have probably not had the opportunity to find out about the local garages. Asking on social media sites such as Facebook for recommendations is a great way to get real feedback from the community as to who is good to use. You could also ask around to friends and family as even if you have to travel a little further afield it may be worth it to know you are going to be looked after.

Are we heading for a fuel crisis?

Over the last few days, people have been seen queuing up at the petrol stations desperate to get fuel. Over the last week or so there have been rumours that fuel supplies will run out at the forecourt due to a shortage of HGV drivers.

The petrol and diesel cannot get to the pumps to top up the supply and a handful of garages have already closed. Often like anything with this, the most hype has been drummed up by the media and cause a country wide panic. People have rush to the forecourts to top up their ranks as much as possible.

Many are hoping that the government step up and sort the issue out before someone ends up getting hurt.

If you need you vehicle for work the you may find yourself in a sticky situation. You won’t want to add to the chaos by going to fill your tank but on the same subject you don’t want to run out of fuel and find that you can’t get any.

The shortage of drives has been an issue for some time now and it is a real shame that they government have again left it too late to try and sort it out properly.

Can you trust the mechanics at your garage?

So many people worry about taking a car in to a garage to have an MOT, have repairs done or a service. Unless you understand mechanics and know a lot about your specific make and model of vehicle, you may be a little bit in the dark as to what work may need doing on your vehicle and how much it is likely to cost.

If you have to take your vehicle in for a problem that needs investigating, you may worry that you are going to get ripped off and told you need more work doing to the vehicle than you actually do.

The only way to do this is to try and find a reputable garage. If you can find a garage that you can trust then it is worth sticking with them and also recommending them to others. A garage that values its customer’s opinions and is trustworthy will not want to jeopardise their reputation to make a few extra quid.

If you have not found a good garage yet then why not ask around your family and friends, also take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook and ask for recommendations on there. You can often also read reviews on the social media sites about a garage before you make the decision to use them.