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Six Essential Car Parts to Check Before A Long Trip

 

Don’t neglect to make these 6 essential car maintenance checks before your next long-distance trip to help get you safely from A to B.

With warmer weather on the horizon, many of us are starting to plan and prepare for holidays and long weekends away.

If your next break begins with a road trip, remember to add these 6 simple car parts checks to your holiday to-do list before setting off.

Light bulbs

Sometimes your car light bulbs can go without you even realising, especially if you don’t often drive around when it’s dark.  Before setting off on your trip, you should check that all your lights are working and replace any bulbs where necessary.

Windscreen wipers and wash

Although we’ve got our fingers crossed that the sun will be blazing for your holiday, if you’re staying close to home let’s be realistic, there’s a good chance you’ll be needing your windscreen wipers at some point!

It’s important to check that your wipers are in full working order and don’t have any splits or cracks that could cause your visibility to be obscured by grease and grime during your travels.  Don’t forget to top up your windscreen wash before setting off too.

Engine oil

Setting off without enough oil could land you in trouble during your journey.  Engine oil is essential for keeping all your car’s moving parts working smoothly, as well as cooling and cleaning them too.  Driving around without enough oil can damage car parts and cause you to break down, which isn’t a very good start to a holiday!

To check your car’s oil levels, locate the dipstick under the bonnet and check that the level falls between the minimum and maximum markers before topping up if necessary.

Tyres

Damaged or excessively worn tyres can be very dangerous, so it’s important to check the condition of your tyres thoroughly.  Make sure that all tyres are free from cracks and bulges and that the tyre tread depth is legal and safe.  Your tyres should have a minimum of 1.6mm tread across the central three-quarters of the tread around the entire circumference.  Finally, check your vehicle handbook to find out the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle and top up the air at a local petrol station if needed.

Coolant

Overheated engines are one of the commonest causes of breakdowns, so save yourself a lot of stress and hassle by keeping your car’s coolant topped up between the minimum and maximum levels.  If you’re going away during the colder months your coolant will also help to protect your engine from cold temperatures.

Battery

At Autoworld Online we recommend having your car battery and charging system checked every six months to ensure that any problems are identified before they become more serious.  If you’ve got a long drive planned this is the perfect time to make sure that your battery is in full working order.

Checking and maintaining these six essential car parts before setting off on a long journey can improve your vehicle’s performance and reduce the chance of breaking down. 

If you’re not confident performing any of the checks yourself, why not pop into Autoworld garage. We serve all car owners in Bolton, Bury, Wigan and Manchester.

How to Solve Common Car Problems

 

Problems with cars and their parts are common at this time of year because of the incredibly challenging conditions they are met with. Although you may mainly associate issues related to car parts with old vehicles, many new vehicles have parts that require repairs and replacements. One way to ensure that your car parts remain in good condition and are efficient enough to get the job done is to have your car serviced on a regular basis. Though you are not legally-obliged to have your car serviced, it is essential that your car remains roadworthy if you are to drive on the roads of the UK, and opting for regular servicing is one of best ways to ensure its road-worthiness.

Is your car roadworthy?

Outside of servicing, there are also several things you can do at home to keep your car roadworthy. These include checking and replacing parts like brake pads, oil filters and discs. Various parts of your engine and brakes are vulnerable to wear and tear, and there’s a big chance you will need to place exhaust parts and lighting features at some point whilst your car is in your ownership. There are also various less well-known parts that will almost certainly require attention at some stage.

Timing and cam belts

Timing belts are sometimes called cam belts and are tasked with making sure camshafts turn at the correct speed. When the belts slip or begin to wear out, many other engine parts can be affected, as can the entire engine. You are advised to replace your belt every few years to keep your engine in good condition. The car’s manual may instruct you to replace it when you have clocked up a specific number of miles.

Oxygen or Lambda sensors

Your Lambda sensor is also called the oxygen sensor. This sensor’s job is to monitor the amount of oxygen in your fuel to limit its emission of harmful gasses. It also tells your engine management system about oxygen levels and whether more or less oxygen is needed. The sensor can be found in the exhaust system but can be tough to identify and access, which is why the services of a professional are normally needed when you suspect you have a problem with the part. A mechanic can identify the vehicle’s emission levels with special tools, which will tell them whether harmful gases are too low or high. If levels aren’t right, there’s a big chance your oxygen sensor isn’t working as it should.

The alternator

Your alternator’s job is to charge your battery. When cars won’t start, many drivers immediately point their attention to the battery. However, the culprit is often the alternator. If your car is taking a significant amount of time to start, or when you struggle to get it started even when the power output of the battery has been tested, you may need to replace your alternator.

Contact Autoworld today

At AutoWorld, we can assist you if you do suspect you have an issue with a car part. To find out more, simply call 01204 53 43 33 or send a message to info@autoworldonline.co.uk. Alternatively, e-mail us at caacltd@live.com.

Diesel Prices May Rise As Government Considers Reversing Tax Cuts

 

Diesel car owners could face steeper prices at petrol pumps after the government said it was considering reversing tax cuts brought in by Gordon Brown.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said Brown had made a mistake as Labour chancellor when he cut the duty on low-sulphur diesel by 3p in his 2001 budget. Brown announced the measure ahead of that year’s general election to help meet climate change targets around carbon.

However, it has since emerged that diesel engines emit up to four times as many nitrogen oxides as petrol cars and 20 times as many particulates, which have been linked to problems in the lungs, heart and brain.
McLoughlin made the comments to the London Evening Standard, which said that 9,400 Londoners die prematurely every year from breathing the city’s polluted air.

“We have got to look at that,” McLoughlin told the newspaper. “It is something the chancellor will need to look at in due course.”

Asked if Brown had made a mistake, McLoughlin said: “Yes. In fairness they thought they were doing the right thing. The consequences of what they did was to bring about a reduction in carbon.”

But he added: “It’s something that we’ve got to address. We are addressing it through the government’s air quality strategy, and by putting money into public transport like the Elizabeth line.”

The government is also spending £600 million on electric cars and charging points, and working with manufacturers to reduce emissions.

The push to promote diesel, in a misguided attempt to help the environment, came out of the 1997 Kyoto protocol, through which countries agreed to cut greenhouse gases. Brown said that diesel vehicles should benefit from lower tax because of their low carbon performance.

That meant a reduction in the price of diesel at the pumps but also a new system rewarding cars with low CO2 emissions. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is considering a new “T-Charge” on vehicles on top of the congestion charge to help clean up the city’s toxic air.

What are your thoughts on this? Why not let us know!