Fitting your own brake pads and brake discs

Cars can be costly to run and repair and so any jobs that you can do yourself will help keep repair costs to a minimum. You do not have to be a trained mechanic to work on vehicles but many modern cars are so overly complicated that it can be hard to do so without a good sound knowledge. Some more simpler jobs may be able to be accomplished by watching video tutorials but you should only attempt to do so if you are confident you are able to finish the job as intended and safely.

One job that many people do themselves is to fit new brake pads and discs. This is often straightforward as long as the callipers are easy to remove.

When buying the new parts, you need to make sure the fitment is the same. Ideally you want to remove the old ones and double check the part you are ordering is correct. If this is not possible then you should make sure that you can return the part for a refund or exchange if it isn’t the right one.

Try and avoid doing jobs on a car when you are on your own, especially if you are going to have to be going under the vehicle whilst it is jacked up.

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.