Road Safety Advice Every Driver Should Know

Every 20 minutes, someone is seriously injured or killed on British roads. These accidents are all preventable if simple rules of road safety are followed.

Easy to follow road safety tips

Slow down

Speed is a crucial factor when it comes to road safety. The faster you drive, the greater the risk of accidents. Driving within the speed limit and using suitable speed in bad weather conditions is common sense. At speeds exceeding 50mph, a reduction in speed by 1mph can lower the likelihood of crashes by up to 5%. Test your knowledge with the Road Safety Stopping Distance Game

Never drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol

It is widely known that drugs and alcohol impair drivers’ judgment and perception, even small amounts below the legal driving limit can impact your reactions in traffic. Better be safe than sorry and plan ahead to get home safely.

It might take some courage but if you see someone planning on driving after a few drinks, try to persuade them to leave their car until the next day. Don’t get into the car with someone who has been drinking.

And don’t forget those mornings after a night out. Use this handy calculator to see how long you should wait before you get behind the wheel again. As a final thought: if you are taking any medication, even flu medicine can impair your ability to drive.

Stay focused and calm

Make sure you stay sharp and focused when driving. Planning your journeys and anticipate traffic events ahead can really take the stress out of driving. If you are feeling tired after some time behind the wheel, take a break. It is recommended to break up longer journeys after 2 hours for some fresh air and a stretch of your legs.

Avoid driving if you are under stress or feel angry as your mind might not be fully focused on the task at hand – driving safely. In these situations, it is recommended to wait for a while before driving off to allow yourself to calm down and refocus on safely driving your car.

Not only your mind can have an impact on how focused you are. Your eyes are working overtime while driving, so it is vital to have your eyes checked regularly and wear glasses or lenses if you have been prescribed some. This reduces tiredness and ensures your vision is perfectly clear and unobstructed while on the road.

Keep your passengers safe too

If you are regularly traveling with passengers in your car, it is vital to ensure they are as safe as possible – even on short journeys. Insist that everyone traveling in your car is putting the seat belt on before you take off. When you are traveling with children, always ensure they sit in fitting and appropriate child seats and are buckled up correctly.

Make your car safe to travel

There are a few more things drivers can do to contribute to safer journeys and car maintenance is key here. Have your lights and brakes checked regularly, e.g. during your regular car servicing appointment, ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and remove any unnecessary weight you are driving around in your car. We have written a handy post about the 5 car and road safety checks you should perform before a long-distance journey.

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Happy driving and safe travels!

Mobile Mechanic vs. Garage – which repairs can be done mobile?

The world of car mechanics can often be relatively complex, however from a mechanic’s perspective, there are certain jobs that are simple enough to be done at the roadside or on your drive. Alongside this, there are a number of jobs that are complex enough and would be best suited to a garage. We put together a list of major jobs that can be done mobile, and ones that require a garage facility for an optimal outcome:

Repairs done by mobile mechanics

  1. Brake pads replacement – this job is one of the more simple ones for a mechanic to take on, and involves taking the old brake pads off the caliper and replacing them. In this case, mobile mechanics would jack the vehicle up and, provided the vehicle is on a level surface, would be able to get this job done at your location of choice.
  2. Fuel filter replacement – another easy one that can be done at your home or at your place of work. The fuel lines run on the drivers’ side under the bonnet, and your mechanic will remove the fuel pump relay or fuse, and then crank the vehicle to relieve fuel pressure. The mechanic will then simply remove the fuel filter and change it, close the bonnet, and you are on your way!
  3. Suspension springs (coil springs) – your suspension is vital on your vehicle to be able to manage a huge amount of weight and allow you to smoothly go over bumps. This one that can be done mobile as it simply requires a jack to get the vehicle elevated and the springs removed. Again, a flat, clear surface would be required to give your mechanic enough space to get the job done.
  4. Brake Fluid Change – a simple job for mobile mechanics who, in most cases, have brake flushing facilities available to them to bring to your location. The simplicity of this job is such that this is one you can technically do yourself, but to ensure the best possible outcome, get in touch with a trusted professional.
  5. Alternator belt replacement – the alternator belt drives automotive engine devices such as the alternator and power steering pump. It can be located under the bonnet, meaning this job can be done very easily wherever you need.
  6. Car Servicing – servicing your vehicle is something that should be scheduled once a year, and involves work such as changing the oil and filter, inspecting any other fluid levels and ensuring that other aspects of your vehicle are running smoothly. Again, this is all work that can be done at a location convenient to you.

Repairs that more suited to be done by a garage

  1. Steering geometry check – uneven roads and potholes mean that your steering can often be pushed out of line. Unfortunately, the machinery required to do the geometry check is only present in garages due to the size and complexity of it, so any checks and potential alignments will have to be done at a garage, or at a specialist that provides the service.
  2. Clutch replacement – typically cars with smaller engines can be done mobile, but anything with a 1.7 litre engine or above would be best served in a garage. This is due to the weight of the engine and the fact that having more than one person doing the job would be more ideal.
  3. Timing chain replacement – getting your timing chain replaced is a job that sees the engine come out in order for it to be completed – a process best served in the confines of a garage. This is to ensure that mechanics can do the job in the best possible fashion, and do not put themselves at risk when removing the engine.
  4. Cylinder head gasket replacement – this job is particularly complex, and a failure of this nature is one of the bigger jobs that a mechanic or garage will have to repair. In many cases, many parts of the car’s engine needs to be replaced to complete this job, so this is best served with a professional garage.
  5. Wheel alignment – similar to steering alignment, your wheels can take a beating when exposed to bumps and potholes, and driver safety can be compromised. Wheel alignment services are available nationwide, but as with steering alignment, the equipment required can only be located at a specialist garage.
  6. Transfer box replacement – this is the gear system that divides the power between the front and rear axle of a four-wheel drive system. A job like this would need to be up on a ramp due to the size of these vehicles, and are safer done in a garage.

Mobile mechanics offer a convenient way to get your car fixed while you get on with your day. For a lot of work, you do not necessarily have to arrange an appointment with a garage. However, any repair that requires your car being lifted up on a platform, a garage will always the best place to go to.

You can book both, mobile mechanics and garages on ClickMechanic. And if you are unsure, contact our in-house expert team, who will help to book the right repair for your car.

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10 questions to ask a mechanic

questions to ask a mechanic

Finding a good mechanic you can trust can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. We have compiled a list of questions you should ask mechanics when you need a repair. These questions will help you build a trusting relationship with the person who is fixing your car, so you know that your vehicle is in good hands.

What parts will be used on the car?

The parts used for a repair will have an impact on the final price you pay. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts will be more expensive, while aftermarket parts and refurbished or used parts will be cheaper.

Can I see the replaced parts?

There is a simple reason for this question: seeing the part which has been replaced gives you additional visual confirmation and confidence that the work has been completed. It also helps you understand your car better and, in some cases, how your car is impacted by your driving style.

How long can I drive my vehicle before my issue becomes a real problem?

This question helps you weigh up whether the proposed repair is a high priority problem that needs immediate attention, or whether it can be delayed. It is important to know what the long term impacts are if certain repairs are left unattended. So while a dirty air filter can be put off for a while, worn brake pads most likely cannot. This question is key if you are on a budget and/or if there are multiple issues with your car.

How was the test drive?

If the repair involves a test drive ask about it. Was the clutch working better? How did the steering improve? Did the vibrations disappear? Don’t forget to enquire about the test route: if a concerning noise occurs mainly on cobbled streets, then a test drive on smooth asphalt won’t tell you if the issue has been rectified.

Can you show me the issue on the car?

Let’s be honest: you wouldn’t let a doctor perform surgery on you without seeing an x-ray or MRI first. The same goes for your car! Ask the mechanic to show you the problem on the vehicle itself before repair. A good mechanic will show and explain the problem in detail to you, including what is needed to get it fixed.

How long does the work take, and when will it be completed?

Agreeing on a time frame helps you plan the time you won’t be able to use your car and to arrange alternative transportation if necessary. As for the mechanic, he now knows when you ideally expect to have your car back and will set a deadline to work towards.

What warranty/guarantee comes with the repair?

Before you hand over the keys to your car, it is vital that you know whether parts and services are covered by the warranty and how long the coverage lasts. Understand your rights when things go wrong – although hopefully, they won’t!

How much will a diagnosis cost & how long does it take?

Over the years, cars have turned into rolling computers, which means some issues are not as easily detectable as others and mechanics will need to run diagnostic checks to track down what is wrong with your car. These checks take time and mechanics understandably will want to get paid for that time, i.e. when they try to find the short in multiple pounds of electrical wiring.

Can I get a written quote and a detailed invoice?

Before you engage a mechanic, ask for a detailed quote outlining the parts, labour time and taxes where they apply. That way you can be sure that there are no hidden fees or expensive extras. It can happen that your mechanic’s work will expand beyond what was agreed first – in these cases ask to get a call to discuss before the work can go ahead.

What repairs do I have coming up?

While a mechanic may only be working on a specific repair, they might detect other defects or worn parts that might cause problems in the future. Knowing what to expect will give you guidance as to what potential costs could be coming up, or may raise the question as to whether investing in a new car would be a more savvy option.

Happy driving!

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Comprehensive Guide to Car Servicing

service pit stop

Regular car servicing keeps your vehicle in prime condition, helping protect against wear and tear. Even a basic interim service can keep your car running smoothly and protect it from repairs. Usually, people will also take on more rigorous servicing to replace commonly worn down elements such as the air filters or spark plugs.

Car servicing at a glance

Interim service Full service Major service
Numer of mechanical and structual checks 25 43 44
When should you get it done? 6 months 12 months 1-2 years
Part Replacements Oil filter Oil filter
Air filter
Oil filter
Air filter
Spark plugs
Pollen filter
Fluid Top-ups Engine Oil
Screen wash & Antifreeze
Brake fluid
Power steering fluid
Battery fluid
Engine Oil
Screen wash & Antifreeze
Brake fluid
Power steering fluid
Battery fluid
Transfer box oil
Manual transmission oil
Engine Oil
Screen wash & Antifreeze
Brake fluid
Power steering fluid
Battery fluid
Transfer box oil
Manual transmission oil

 

What is included in an Interim Service?

Interim services are the least comprehensive type of car servicing. Our interim service is designed to be done every six months or 5000 miles, replenishing the vital fluids and making checks to common areas of fault within your vehicle. Below is the full checklist:

  • Pre-Engine Checks
  • Check timing belt replacement interval.
  • Check for damage to bodywork, lamps, trims and oil leaks.
  • Check the operation of interior and exterior lights.
  • Check operation of ABS and airbag warning lights.
  • Check windscreen washers and wipers.
  • Check horn.
  • Under the Bonnet
  • Check cooling system including fan operation.
  • Check and record antifreeze protection.
  • Check and record brake fluid condition.
  • Check power steering operation and fluid condition.
  • Check and top up all under bonnet fluid levels.
  • Vehicle Raised
  • Change oil, filter and fit new sump plug washer.
  • Check fuel lines and brake pipes.
  • Check the condition and security of the exhaust.
  • Check all steering and suspension joints, mountings and gaiters.
  • Carry out tyre report.
  • Check all wheel bearings for excessive ‘play’ and noise.
  • Check CV gaiters and joints for wear or splits.
  • Check operation and condition of disc brakes.
  • Carry out brake report.
  • Vehicle Lowered
  • Torque wheel nuts/studs / Locking wheel nut key location.
  • Final Checks
  • Road test vehicle and report any findings.
  • Re-check engine oil level.
  • Ensure all upholstery, gear lever, steering wheel, etc. are clean.
  • Stamp service book(s).

What is included in a Major Service?

Our major car service is designed to be done once a year or every 10,000 miles, replenishing nearly all fluids within the vehicle and doing a thorough sweep of checks on your vehicle. A major service is the most comprehensive type of car servicing. Below is the full checklist:

  • Pre-Engine Checks
  • Check the timing belt replacement interval.
  • Check for damage to bodywork, lamps, trims and oil leaks.
  • Check the condition and operation of all seat belts.
  • Check the operation of interior and exterior lights.
  • Check operation of ABS and airbag warning lights.
  • Check windscreen washers and wipers.
  • Check air conditioning operation including bad odour.
  • Check horn.
  • Check the operation of suspension dampers.
  • Lubricate all door hinges, locks, and bonnet catches.
  • Check the fuel cap.
  • Under the Bonnet
  • Check cooling system including fan operation.
  • Check and record antifreeze protection.
  • Check and record brake fluid condition.
  • Check power steering operation and fluid condition.
  • Check and top up all under bonnet fluid levels.
  • Check all auxiliary drive belts (not timing belt).
  • Check engine breather system.
  • Check vacuum pipes.
  • Check throttle body.
  • Check battery level and lubricate terminals.
  • Replace spark plugs (petrol only)
  • Replace air filter.
  • Replace pollen filter.
  • Vehicle Raised
  • Change oil, filter and fit new sump plug washer.
  • Check fuel lines and brake pipes.
  • Check the condition and security of the exhaust.
  • Check all steering and suspension joints, mountings and gaiters.
  • Carry out tyre report.
  • Check all wheel bearings for excessive ‘play’ and noise.
  • Check CV gaiters and joints for wear or splits.
  • Check operation and condition of disc brakes.
  • Carry out brake report.
  • Check and top up the axle and transfer box oil levels.
  • Check and top up the gearbox oil level.
  • Check the clutch cable/cylinder.
  • Grease all greasing points.
  • Check rear drum brakes.
  • Vehicle Lowered
  • Torque wheel nuts/studs / Locking wheel nut key location.
  • Final Checks
  • Road test vehicle and report any findings.
  • Re-check engine oil level.
  • Ensure all upholstery, gear lever, steering wheel, etc. are clean.
  • Stamp service book(s).
  • Reset service interval indicator.

What about a Full Service?

The full service is almost a major service however the spark plugs and cabin/pollen filter are only checked and not replaced. These components don’t have to be changed too often. The full service is designed to be done early into your vehicle’s lifecycle in the place of major car servicing.

What is a Service Schedule?

A service schedule is a recommended service plan, with checks and replacements straight from the manufacturers. These will usually last the lifetime of the vehicle up to 150,000 miles and should happen every 5000 miles or 6 months. Following this service guideline will keep your vehicle in top condition and help to advise on any problems that could arise.

Check out this example for a 2007 Ford Focus

If you think you need a car service then get one with ClickMechanic and have your vehicle serviced at home.

ClickMechanic Launches its Mechanic in Residence Programme and Expands Career Options for Car Mechanics

Today, ClickMechanic has revealed its Mechanic in Residence programme. With this announcement comes a newfound, alternative career path for car mechanics. It means those that no longer want to, or are unable to, work in the field, can still remain in the industry.

By applying to the Mechanic in Residence programme, car mechanics can now work directly for ClickMechanic from home. In this position, the mechanic will offer free phone consultations to ClickMechanic’s customers, using their skill set and experience to diagnose any problems with the vehicle in question. This means the mechanic will still interact with customers and use their expertise in car repair despite not being based in a workshop. In addition, this position opens up a helpline to ClickMechanic’s customers, offering easy-to-reach and knowledgeable mechanics which are there to help and advise. By talking the driver through the issues they are experiencing, the majority of faults can be detected or at the very least narrowed down, however, on the rare occasion that a diagnosis over the phone is not possible, the mechanic can also book in a direct inspection from an alternative, local professional.

This is strictly a diagnosis and support-based role, and does not relate to sales. It’s also important to note that this position comes with no revenue targets, meaning there is no incentive to book unnecessary work on the car. It is simply an opportunity for car mechanics to cut out the hard labour, should they choose, and work from home while still offering their expertise. This also makes it an ideal career path for any mechanic who would benefit from telecommuting, such as those who live in less populated areas or particularly for those who struggle with the heavy labour involved in the day-to-day activity.

Nigel Bennett, Head of the Mechanic in Residence programme, said: “The main aim of the MiR programme is to assist car owners with understanding the issues with their vehicles and how they can be resolved. By putting technical explanations across in a way that is easier to understand, we give straightforward advice in a non-sales way. We are looking to grow the MiR team by bringing in other mechanics who have strong vehicle repair experience coupled with good customer empathy and an ability to translate issues in a way that the owners understand.”

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said:
“We’re so pleased to bring this programme to fruition. It brings more career opportunity and options to the car repair sector and gives those who are restricted the chance to continue doing what they love. It’s a big step forward for us in our goal of supporting all mechanics.”

ClickMechanic aims to hire one mechanic for this programme every month and all mechanics are welcome to apply via the ClickMechanic Careers Homepage.

50% of Used Cars Fail at Least One Category During a Pre-Purchase Inspection

We have tapped into our pre-purchase inspection data to reveal that 50% of used cars will score poorly in at least one category during a pre-purchase inspection.

Pre-purchase inspections tend to be broken down into several categories which will analyse the working condition of all aspects on a used car. ClickMechanic’s is broken down into twelve categories to include all necessary checks such as the electrics, brakes and the handling of the vehicle. By using our data from the last 2,000 inspections, we have determined which areas often cause the most trouble for motorists looking to buy.

In fact, looking at each category individually, the electricals/controls as well as the wheels and tyres are the most likely to cause an issue with 23% of used cars scoring poorly in these areas during inspection. This is followed by the body exterior with 18% along with the road test and engine compartment categories equally with 17%. After which, the suspension and brakes appear to cause the most problems; 12% of cars will score poorly on inspection of the front suspension, brakes and steering and 11% will do the same for the rear suspension and brakes.

The less likely areas to need addressing after an inspection include the underside condition of the car, with 8% of cars facing issues in this region, as well as the clutch and transmission with 5%. Mechanics will also find faults with the exhaust system in 3% of used cars during a pre-purchase inspection as well as problems with the brake hydraulics and fuel system in 2% of used vehicles.

Given this, pre-purchase inspections tend to reveal more wear and tear in the electrics and the physical state of the car, such as the wheels and exterior, than the actual handling of the car. This includes faults with the clutch, which, despite being one of the most common repairs for every motorist, is not a very common issue to face during a pre-purchase inspection. This suggests that the seller is more likely to repair any mechanical handling issues rather than any faulty electrical components such as the heating or lights, or the wheels themselves. However, it is worrying to see that 13% of cars will score poorly in at least one category involving the brakes.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic said: “Any motorist looking to buy a used car should take care to ensure that it is in full working order – no one wants a surprisingly expensive repair bill, not to mention the importance of safety! A pre-purchase inspection should always be conducted and you should remember to take the additional costs into account before buying the vehicle.”

ClickMechanic Introduces Machine Learning into Its Quote Engine to Offer Newfound Depth and Precision in Car Repair Costs

We’re pleased to announce the introduction of machine learning in ClickMechanic’s quote engine. This addition advances the capabilities of the booking system, making it the first of its kind in the industry. It allows it to generate a previously untapped depth of quotes with distinct accuracy.

ClickMechanic’s quote engine provides instant, industry-standard fixed price quotes for car repairs. It combines car repair times with industry standard labour prices and industry parts prices to produce an accurate figure of cost for any repair. Previously, deficiencies in the data sets, such as miscellaneous missing pieces of information, limited the engine from performing at its best in some instances. However, with the introduction of machine learning algorithms, ClickMechanic can now ensure that these gaps are filled with highly accurate estimates based on the existing data. This allows the booking system to produce quotes for a much wider variety of jobs with even greater accuracy, meaning mechanics no longer need to resort to guesswork if the data is unavailable to them.

This solution offers a newfound level of precision and capability in car repair costs and enables customers to get the utmost out of their car repairs. It is shaping how drivers find and book the best mechanic for the best price. Being acknowledged as a development which has the potential to transform the industry itself, ClickMechanic was awarded the highly competitive Open Competition grant from the UK’s innovation agency recently to support the project. The introduction of machine learning has also been a major influence in the 5 awards we received over the last quarter in 2017 including: Young Company of the Year at the Amazon Growing Business Awards, Product of the Year at the V3 Technology Awards and the Product Innovation Award at the Workshop Power Awards.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Here at ClickMechanic, we pride ourselves on offering car owners the most reliable and best-value prices possible for car repairs. We are naturally very excited to implement machine learning algorithms, as it brings our product forward by leaps and bounds; reinforcing its position as a market leader. This advanced accuracy and precise quoting will support us immensely in our objective of bringing trust, transparency and convenience to the car repair marketplace.”

More Than Half of UK Adults Believe That Young Girls Are Discouraged from a Career in Mechanics Due to Its Being a Male-Dominated Industry

Our latest research has revealed that more than half of UK adults believe that young girls are discouraged from a career in mechanics, as a result of its being a male-dominated industry.

In fact, 58% argue that the gender imbalance will have a negative influence on a young girl’s decision to enter into this profession. Looking at other factors; 50% feel that the stereotype of a mechanic will put young girls off, whilst 40% believe that the lack of role models has a significant influence. 34% blame a lack of exposure to the opportunity, after which 21% believe that a fear of the opinions of friends’ plays a noteworthy role. 21% also assume that the physical labour involved in the work discourages young girls and 20% feel that young girls are concerned with their family’s opinions, which dissuades them from this career. 20% also believe that a mechanic’s lack of opportunity to progress as a career path will have an impact. Factors which receive the least amount of blame include school, of which 14% feel has a negative influence, and at the end of the table, wage, which only 6% argue will discourage the decision.

As such, there is a sense that the current imbalance of gender in the industry as well as the position’s dated reputation of being a ‘man’s job’, is believed to put off more young girls than its potential as a career path. Indeed, almost 3x as many people believe that its being a male-dominated industry will put-off the decision, compared to the physical labour involved or the lack of opportunity to progress in it as a career. In addition, there are almost 10x more people which believe that gender imbalance is likely to discourage, compared to the wage.

Comparing the results between men and women produces some interesting insights. On the whole, women feel that the majority of the factors have more of a negative influence on young girls than men do. The most obvious difference of opinion is in the lack of exposure to the opportunity, of which 41% of women argue compared to 27% of men. There’s also a 9% difference between men and women on whether the industry’s male-domination has a negative effect; 62% of women versus 53% of men. However, men do single out some factors more than women including friends’ opinions (23% of men vs. 19% of women) and the physical labour involved (23% of men vs. 20% of women).

Interestingly, in terms of age, the results show some division. Whilst those aged over 55 feel the most popular factors have more of a negative influence, those aged 18-34 argue that the opinions of others have a more significant effect on the career prospect. Indeed, 26% of those aged between 18-34 admit that friends’ opinions may have an effect, compared to a smaller 18% of 35-54s and 19% of those aged over 55. There’s a similar pattern in the results for the parent/family’s opinions as well; a greater 24% of those aged between 18-34 blame this, compared to 17% of 35-54s and 20% of those over 55. The factors with the highest percentile difference include it being a male-dominated industry (52% for 18-34s vs. 58% for 35-54s vs. 62% for over 55s) and a lack of exposure to the opportunity (29% for 18-34s vs. 33% for 35-54s vs. 39% for over 55s), both of which have a 10% difference between the age groups with those over 55 having the greater percentage. The only factor which all three age groups agree upon evenly is the lack of role models, with 40% each.

Location-wise, Plymouth has the highest percentage arguing that the listed factors do have a negative effect on young girls, as 93% felt that at least one factor made a difference. In contrast, Edinburgh has the lowest percentage, with 74% admitting that the circumstances have some kind of an impact. Looking at London, the results are fairly reflective of the total average, however, there is a 6% increase in the physical labour involved, with 27%, as well as a 5% increase in the impact of school, with 19% blaming this factor.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “It is sad to see a number of industries, such as car repair, still being dominated by one gender. Whilst there has been some improvement over the years for mechanics, there is still an obvious imbalance which needs to change. There is no reason a woman cannot excel in this career and as such, young girls should not be negatively influenced if they show an interest.”

ClickMechanic Breaks Workshop Power Awards Record with 3x Awards and Is Shortlisted for Another 5 Awards This Year!

ClickMechanic was pleased to accept a record breaking number of awards at the Workshop Power Awards last month. These three awards included Best Tech Product of the Year, Product Innovation of the Year and the Extra Mile Award. Combined, these awards accentuate the innovation behind ClickMechanic’s design which introduces a technological and disruptive approach to an archaic industry. The Extra Mile Award also reflects ClickMechanic’s dedication to customer service, supporting both car owners and mechanics alike in the UK.

This announcement comes shortly after the online marketplace for car repair was recognised as one of the ‘Young Guns Five to Watch‘, an esteemed accolade which emphasises the fast-growth of ClickMechanic and the success of its young Co-Founders, Andrew Jervis and Felix Kenton. This title also encourages ClickMechanic’s likelihood of featuring in the ‘Young Guns Class of 2018’; a prestigious award presented to a select number of promising entrepreneurs whilst still under the age of 35.

In addition, ClickMechanic has also been shortlisted for a further 5 awards across 4 events to be held later this year. These include Online Solution of the Year at the Retail Systems Awards, Digital Business of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards, Product of the Year at the V3 Technology Awards and Young Company of the Year at the Growing Business Awards.

These awards highlight ClickMechanic’s growth over 2017 which has achieved some huge milestones in the last year alone: it has just provided its 2 millionth quote, which adds up to a total of £300 million in value of quotes given out, it now has half of a million registered users and it’s on track to surpass £5 million in booking revenue this year. As such, ClickMechanic is on track to reach its goal of internationalisation and consequently being recognised as the number one marketplace for car repair in Europe.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “We are truly excited to see ClickMechanic being recognised and shortlisted for so many awards. ClickMechanic was founded to bring trust, transparency and convenience back to the car repair marketplace and these awards reflect our growth, success and impact on the industry. We will continue to deliver our unique services and are eager to see what the future holds for ClickMechanic!”

The UK’s Top 10 Car Repairs Will Cost the Average Driver over £30,000 in Their Lifetime!

With autumn’s wet and chilly weather already upon us, many motorists will be anticipating car issues over the coming colder months. But what are the most common car repairs and how can drivers prolong them? We have tapped into our database to reveal the UK’s most common independent mechanical car repairs and has calculated the average cost to repair each over a lifetime, totalling a staggering £30,287. Read on to find out what is most likely to break and for expertise on how to make these parts last longer and save some money.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Ultimately, the following repairs will be unavoidable, as wear and tear will eventually require attention. That being said, there are methods which can be applied and habits which can be changed that will extend the life of a part if you find yourself replacing it often. A small change can easily save on the bills in the long-run. Is it essential, however, that all drivers stick to their manufacturer’s recommended schedule, to keep yourself safe and avoid lengthy bills.”

1. Clutch Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £5,670

Signs it needs replacing:

– It begins to slip when driving

– The driver struggles to change gear using the gearbox

– The transmission makes an unusual noise whilst the clutch is in use

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

This is the most common repair at ClickMechanic because the clutch disk is especially affected by wear; its thickness will diminish with time which will lead to a reduction in force against the flywheel. In most cases, the lifespan of the clutch should be fairly long – a problem will only occur if it is continually used incorrectly or after a long period of time.

To improve the lifespan of your clutch, do not use it in excess or put unnecessary pressure on it; try to apply the handbrake and sit in neutral rather than using the clutch whilst you wait at red lights, and ensure all gear changes are smooth and speedy. Also avoid driving with your foot constantly pressing down on the clutch – the less pressure there is on it, the longer it will last!

2. Cambelt Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £2,088

Signs it needs replacing:

– A grinding or squeaking noise coming from the engine

– The car will not start; this occurs once the belt breaks completely

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

A cambelt, also known as a timing belt, is a chain which operates the valves on the engine. Being made of rubber, it will wear and eventually brake if not replaced when the manufacturer recommends.

If the cambelt breaks, it can be a costly affair as it can lead to severe engine damage. As such, it should always be replaced in accordance with the car manufacturer’s recommended schedule or if you notice any apparent wear. The belt itself is relatively cheap to replace, so ensure this is done as and when required. If you want to improve the conditions for your cambelt, storing the car in a garage can help. Extreme changes in temperature will make rubber expand and contract, eventually causing it to grow brittle and crack; by storing the car in a garage, the change in temperature will be less intense on the belt in the coming colder months!

3. Front Brake Pads/Disc Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £1,730

Signs it needs replacing:

– The car does not slow as effectively as it used to

– There is an apparent squeaking or grinding noise as you brake

– A ‘Brake Warning’ light appears on the dashboard

– The car vibrates or pulls to one side when braking

– The disc’s surface is no longer smooth, it may display grooves, spots or cracks

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

Brake pads and discs will wear depending on your driving style and the environment; less aggressive braking will lead to a longer life for both. However, you should always ensure your brakes are functioning properly and get the pads and discs replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule or whenever necessary. You can have the front, rear or all pads/discs replaced at once to keep them balanced.

4. Alternator Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £2,506

Signs it needs replacing:

– The dashboard/interior lights are not as bright as usual

– A ‘Battery Warning’ light has appeared on the dashboard

– The battery does not charge or has run flat

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

An alternator will generate electricity to charge the battery of a car. It is a vital part of the engine as the battery will provide the electricity for a range of components. As such, most electrical factors will affect the lifespan of the alternator, including starting the car, listening to the radio or winding the electric windows. Unfortunately, there is little which can be done to extend its life. Above all, ensure all parts in the engine are of a high quality and free of dirt to ensure a long-lasting alternator. As it is for all repairs in this list, an alternator should be replaced as and when necessary in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

5. Starter Motor Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £1,655

Signs it needs replacing:

– The engine does not start or you have issues making it start

– The starter motor makes more noise than usual when you start the engine

– You can hear a clicking noise when you turn the key

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

The starter motor is what assists in starting the car; it can be found attached to the flywheel. Once the engine starts, the starter motor will automatically switch off. Starter motors are particularly prone to wear – it can malfunction due to short circuiting, it can rust or it can simply be worn out over time. As it is such an essential component, any issues should be inspected and the part replaced if need be as soon as possible. You should also follow your manufacturer’s recommended schedule to keep the starter motor in top condition! Once again, this component will inevitably be used often and there is little which can be done to prevent wear. Although, try to avoid holding the ignition key in the starting position for longer than necessary, as this will run and wear the starter motor.

6. Battery Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £2,015

Signs it needs replacing:

– The car will not start

– None of the electrical equipment works

– The battery’s terminals and connectors show signs of erosion

– A pale blue or white powder has appeared on parts of the battery

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

Over time, batteries can leak acid, which forms the corrosive blue or white powder – this can affect the cables and eventually ruin the battery. To remove this acid, wear protective gloves and goggles and mix a baking powder and water solution. Simply scrub this solution onto the corrosive powder with a toothbrush and this will break it away.

Lucky for us, batteries will last longer in colder weather as they discharge in hotter climates. To prolong your battery’s life, you should ensure you do not leave your headlights, car door lights, or any electrical equipment running when you leave the car. You should also try to take long journeys in the car to ensure the battery fully charges; you can always buy a car battery tester to check its health.

7. Cambelt and Water Pump Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £1,608

Signs it needs replacing:

– Patches of visible fluid near the engine or fluid has leaked around the water pump

– The car will not start

– The engine temperature is higher than usual and overheats

– The ‘Engine Temperature’ warning light is on

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

The water pump is another component which is prone to wear, and as such, it should be inspected as and when problems occur and as stipulated by the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. The most common issues are a leaking seal or the rotating part of the pump may be damaged. A lack of coolant in the car’s system can lead to the engine overheating and severe as well as expensive engine damage.

To extend the life of your water pump, you simply need to keep the engine well-maintained and change the coolant when recommended. As the water pump is often run by the cambelt, most drivers will get them replaced together as it is cost efficient.

8. Flywheel Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £7,740

Signs it needs replacing:

– The clutch slips whilst driving

– You cannot change gear

– Transmission makes an unusual noise whilst the clutch is in use

– The starter motor struggles to rotate the flywheel

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

Changing the flywheel is usually recommended when changing the clutch, as a faulty clutch can often damage the flywheel, which may then damage the new clutch if not replaced. To prolong the flywheel’s life, you need to prolong the clutch, which means not putting excess pressure on the clutch, and only using it when necessary!

9. Cylinder Head Gasket Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £3,500

Signs it needs replacing:

– The ‘Check Engine’ light comes on

– The engine does not perform well and cannot rev freely

– There is smoke or a smell coming from the engine bay

– The engine’s coolant temperature is too high

– There is coolant or oil leaks around the cylinder head gasket

– The engine is more noisy than usual

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

Prone to wear due to its exposure to extreme heat, the cylinder head gasket can fail when it grows too hot – this is known as a ‘blown head gasket’. The pressure will consequently drop in the engine and the car will no longer run properly. Should this issue occur, you should not run the car and seek help from a professional mechanic as soon as possible. You should also get this part inspected or replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

To prevent the gasket from overheating, you need to ensure that the coolant system is running efficiently; by keeping the water pump in check, the cylinder head gasket is unlikely to overheat.

10. Fuel Filter Replacement

Approx. cost over a lifetime: £1,775

Signs it needs replacing:

– The ‘Check Engine’ light comes on

– The engine does not feel as smooth as usual when running

– Fuel consumption appears higher than usual

– Struggling to start the car

Why is it breaking and how do I extend its lifespan?

A fuel filter will inevitably grow dirty over time and cause either a blockage of fuel or an excess of dirty fuel to enter the fuel pump. Not much can be done to prevent the wear and tear of the fuel filter, however you should ensure it is always in working condition to prevent further damage. Have it inspected in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommended schedule or if you notice any of the above issues.