Tag Archive | "car services"

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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Does Viagra Makes You a Better Driver?


Here at Motor Blogger HQ the place is abuzz with activity. The car show season will soon be upon us and, with all the new models from supercars to electric vehicles soon to be formally announced, we don’t need anything else to get us excited.

We always welcome and respond to comments from our readers but why is it that so many contacts want to sell us Viagra? It’s a mystery to us. Honestly guys, we don’t need it – if you know what we mean – and certainly our red-blooded readership are unlikely to be found wanting in that, erm, department, that’s for sure.

Readers in the UK are also unlikely to need divorce services based in Dallas, Texas and probably won’t order their pizza from the Ukraine. This is the trouble with global communication. There’s too much of it .

There was a time, not so long ago, when, if you needed to buy a used car, you would search the local paper for car sales in your region. Now of course, you search the internet – which is fine – but don’t people understand that in their desire to move product or sell service they are getting a bit carried away with their use of trackbacks and other web devices to get their faces known.

For some things there will always be a global market place. The practice of buying from far-away places at money saving prices is well established and there are certainly bargains to be had. Nevertheless, unless you have specialist needs you are unlikely to buy a car from a dusty forecourt in No Hope Springs, Louisiana. So why bother promoting outside your region?

Sellers don’t seem to realise that it is possible to target online advertising locally. A car mechanic in Brighton is unlikely to be summoned to the Lake District to effect an urgent repair but if he sets his search engine parameters to within, say, a 100 mile radius of his base, then his ranking locally will shoot up to beneficial business effect.

It’s the same when selling a car. Unless what you have is collectible or rare, then buyers will not be coming from any real distance. This is why using websites that target buyers in your area are so handy. It cuts down the competition.

Anyway, thanks to all who take the trouble to get in touch with Motor Blogger. It’s nice to be popular. Yes, we carry advertising too, but it is for goods and services that car owners actually want and that’s the difference. What we and everybody else really need is to not be bombarded by hopeful self-promotion. There’s enough of that in Hello! Magazine.

So if in doubt, buy and sell locally. This way buyers actually get to see the goods and won’t be hassled by pleas from across the planet. Obviously none of this applies to Olga from Gdansk – we appreciate the offer, thanks.

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