Should you take your car to a main dealership to be serviced?

Every car will need a service at some point. The service schedule is decided at the factory and it can vary from manufacture to manufacture and depending on the model of car. IT is very important to have services carried out in accordance with the schedule in order to keep your car running in tip top condition.

You have the choice as to whether to take it to a main dealer (same manufacture as the car) or to take it to another garage of your choice. Many people opt to use a local garage as main dealer prices are often quite a bit higher than local garages. If your car is still within the manufactures warranty then you may have to have any services done at the main dealer to keep the warranty and stop it from becoming void or ensure that where you take the car for the service, uses genuine parts.

Having full main dealer service history can also add value to your car when you come to sell it, so if you want to look after the resale value then main dealer servicing is the way to go. If you cannot afford this then local garage services are often just as good and will ensure that the car is looked after.

Has your car suddenly lost power?

You may be driving along thinking that everything is fine, when you try to accelerate and notice that your car simply will not pick up speed and limps along at 20-30 mph. This can not only be annoying but dangerous if you are on a motorway for example. Often when this happens it is because your car has gone in to limp mode. Limp mode is a function that temporarily slows the car right down to prevent further damage to the engine. It can come on for a number of reasons such as a faulty sensor or damaged to an air pipe.

If you find that limp mode comes on then you need to take the car to a garage as soon as possible. Try and get it recovered if possibly or if the garage is some distance away from your home. Most garages will usually start by putting it on a diagnostic machine to see if it brings up any error codes. From this they can usually work through the codes (if there are any) to find out what is causing the issue. If they cannot find an issue they may reset the diagnostic on the car and send you on your way. Often if this happens, the error will occur again at a later date.

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.