Tag Archive | "car garages"

Say Goodbye To Coolant Leaks


Historically, one of the things that made you glad you owned a really reliable car was the sight of some poor unfortunate soul standing at the roadside next to a car with steam coming out of the engine.

Overheating, possibly because of water leaks from faulty or damaged radiators or other engine coolant issues were relatively commonplace in days gone by and can still plague those who by choice or necessity run older motors.

Modern cars, it is commonly believed, are less prone to this sort of thing but this is absolutely no reason to become complacent. Today’s vehicles, when they do malfunction, do so in a much trickier way because they are considerably more complex than cars from days gone by.

When air-conditioning first became popular on cars, drivers began to notice the little pools of water that could gather under their vehicle. A frisson of fear would run through them because they did not know what the problem was or, indeed, how to fix it. Now, of course, we all know that it is a harmless by-product of running air-con systems and not a fault at all, but that moment of doubt should serve as a timely reminder about reliability issues.

There are things car owners can do to minimise the possibility of leaks. In addition to keeping the water/coolant level where it needs to be, a driver can prevent trouble in the car’s cooling system by keeping an eye out for mysterious leaks before they get troublesome and by replacing old or damaged hoses. The common trouble spots in the cooling system can be identified by a few minutes of research. Good maintenance practices are vital and this is especially true the older a car gets, particularly if it is a classic model.

This is why the sensible driver carries a little pack of useful safety items in case of breakdown. Most motoring outlets carry these as ready assembled kits. It doesn’t hurt to have a little tool roll to hand as well. The trouble is there is no way that every eventuality can be taken into consideration. Fate has a strange way of dishing it out.

There exists out there on a shelf near you a range of products that can fix most leaks in all types of water cooled engines – including cracked cylinder heads, head gasket failures, cracked blocks, radiators, heater cores and water pumps. One easy-to-use and respected product, called K-Seal, can have your vehicle up and running, leak-free, within minutes with the added benefit of not having to flush the system before or afterwards. Finally, drivers can say goodbye to coolant leaks.

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5 things you don’t want to hear from a mechanic


Going to the garage can be a bit nervy at the best of times, but here’s some of the post-check-up news you don’t want to be hearing…

A car is a complicated machine, albeit one that has very much become part of our daily lives. With over 28 million cars on the road in the UK, it’s the mode of transport for more than half of us adults.

After a small dip in 2010, it seems we’re back in love with the automobile but all that time spent behind the wheel can have some damaging effects. Given how much the technology and mechanics of modern cars have improved on the models of the 1950s, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s barely any work that needs to be done to keep them in shape.

Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) provides you with 5 nightmare mechanic responses to a ‘tickle’ in the engine which are usually the result of overlooking a basic maintenance task for your automobile.

1. Seized engine due to lack of oil
This is one of the nightmare situations. It means that your engine has fused and failed due to a lack of lubrication; the heat of the engine’s movements, combined with the lack of oil to smooth their journeys, causes them to melt together into a metal lump. You could be looking at up to £10,000 for a new or re-manufactured engine.

2. Hydrolocked engine
Also not news you’ll be desperate to hear: a hydrolocked engine is caused by water getting into the cylinders. This usually occurs when attempting to cross deep puddles in low-slung cars, or through flooding. It means that this expensive piece of machinery, which has the power to expel excess droplets and air molecules, cannot expel the load of water dumped into it. Again, you’re looking at several thousand pounds.

3. Broken timing belt
This one is embarrassing; you’ll notice that, if you read your guidance manual for the car, the timing belt is something that should be checked and changed around every 30,000 miles. If you have an interference engine (these are a modern invention: they allow the valves to open further and breathe into the oncoming piston), they rely on one of these to work. But the timing belt wears down and, if it isn’t replaced, you’re looking at £1,000 worth of damage to your valves and pistons.

4. Overheated engine
Sometimes a little smoke coming from the engine is fine, right? Be vigilant here. Catching an overheating engine early is fine but ignoring it, pretending it will go away, can lead to a blown head gasket, a cracked head or a cracked block. These three problems get respectively more expensive – heading up over the nasty side of £5,000.

5. Broken computer
Many cars these days have up to 20 computers inside them working away at once. Whilst we pay little heed to them, and some of the protective circuitry goes, it’s easy for one to blow the whole system and fry all its computer friends. If the problem is small, fine, maybe you can fix the one computer; otherwise you could be looking at getting a new car.

The takeaway:

If you conduct regular maintenance checks on your vehicle you will be able to avoid most of the issues mentioned above and spend your money on more enjoyable things such as taking your family on a road trip around France over the summer or getting the latest accessory for your car.

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