Essentials Items To Keep In Your Car

Essential items to keep in your car

A few months ago, we asked our customers which items they do carry in their car at all times. And all participants made sensible choices when it comes to items, tools and safety equipment. We take a closer look at which essential items you should carry with you in your car.

Legally required items

If you are stopped by the police, this is the paperwork, they will ask you to show:

  • Driving license
  • MOT certificate
  • Insurance certificate.

You don’t need to have them with you but you will have to take them to your local police as proof within 7 days. If you fail to do this, there is a hefty fine waiting for you.

Safety equipment to keep in your car

There are a number of items, that are key for your safety, should your car break down. Even though they are no legal requirement for UK drivers, they are in some EU countries. Drivers should check which items are mandatory when planning a road trip on the continent. It is also worth checking rental cars for these.

High-visibility vest

They are not the most fashionable item to wear, but they can save lives. These bright and reflecting orange or yellow vests ensure you are seen early when you are waiting for a recovery vehicle. or while you are putting up your warning triangle.

Warning triangle

The purpose of the warning triangle is to alert other drivers of obstruction ahead. It is recommended to place it at least 147 feet or 45 metres away from your vehicle. This distance is about the way a car travels when it slows down from 50mph to a full stop.

Make sure you are wearing your high-visibility vest when you are placing or retrieving the warning device.

Never use them on motorways!

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your car can save lives. The key purpose of carrying a stocked first aid kit is not to help you but to provide fast assistance in any case of emergency. You might be the first responder to an accident and will need to provide emergency treatment until medical services arrive. Knowing that there is this small box with all things needed sitting in your glove box or boot, provides peace of mind for drivers.

Items that belong in a first aid kit:

  • Sterile cleansing wipes and/or saline solution for wound cleansing
  • Adherent dressing or sterile gauze
  • Burn dressing
  • Trauma dressing
  • Sterile dressing in various large sizes
  • Regular plasters
  • Disposable gloves
  • Adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandage
  • Bandages in several sizes
  • Tweezers and scissors
  • Resuscitation device
  • Foil blanket
  • Hand Sanitiser

Some items in your first aid kit have an expiry date, so it is worth checking it regularly and replace any items that are out of date.

Fire extinguisher

In 2018/19 over 10000 vehicle fires have been reported. Vehicle fires start small and are usually caused by faulty electricals. Therefore, a car fire extinguisher comes in handy to act fast, contain the fire or keep it away from the fuel tank, lowering the risk of explosions and more serious damage to your car.

Maintenance and repair essentials to keep in your car

Spare tyre

Spare tyres are designed to bring you home or the next garage. Some cars, however, are now sold without one, so check again before you go on a long drive.

Car or Tyre Jack

Keeping a spare tyre without a car jack does not make much sense. Best keep both items together in case you will need to change your tyre.

Spare bulbs

In some European countries, drivers are legally required to carry spare bulbs in their car to be able to replace a blown one straight away. Driving without a fully working set of lights is putting you and other drivers in danger.

Jump leads

Imagine you plan on going home from work and suddenly have to find out your battery is flat. Jump leads can help you get your car started with the help of another driver so you can at least get to back home or the nearest garage to the battery checked.

Basic tool kit (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, various sockets, wrenches)

Keeping a basic toolkit allows you to do small repairs by yourself instead of waiting for a mechanic to arrive and to spend 2 minutes to fix your car

Empty fuel can

This is for the unlikely event that you’ll run out of fuel faster than the fuel gauge on your dashboard tells you. In these cases, grab your fuel can, get a lift to the next gas station and fill it up.

Duct tape

This is an unusual one, but duct tape allows for quick and temporary fixes like a broken side window, or a boot that won’t close. While this sounds easy, avoid driving around with these quick fixes, especially if you think your car is unsafe to drive and seek a mechanic as fast as possible. Driving around with a car kept together using tape will impact your insurance.

Other useful items to keep in your car

Torch

Think about breaking down in the dark, and having to find out what is going on under the bonnet. Of course, you will be in dire need of some source of lighting in this situation and keeping a torch (wind up is fine) in your car comes in extremely handy then.

Blanket and/or warm jacket

Being stranded in cold, wet or windy weather is not a nice thought. Keep a woolly blanket or thick jacket to throw over and keep you warm while you wait for your recovery vehicle to arrive.

Water and Snacks

No one likes being stuck in traffic, so plan ahead and keep some water and non-perishable snacks ready, for days when your journey takes longer than anticipated and you’ll need to hydrate and keep up those energy levels.

Save driving!

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Common Noises Your Car Can Make And What They Mean

Common Car Noises

One of the most common questions our expert team of in-house mechanics receives on a regular basis is:

“My car makes a strange noise, what does this mean?”

Here are some pointers as to the different sounds that could be coming from your car, and what they could mean.

Squealing from the engine while driving

High pitched squealing noises usually point to an issue with a belt or pulley, indicating a required replacement or re-adjust.

Hissing from the engine

A signal that the engine could be overheating, which can cause serious trouble further down the line. It also could point to a fluid leak under the bonnet, a leaking turbocharger pipe or a damaged intercooler.

Squealing sound while braking

This is a tell-tale sign of worn brake pads. If the noise becomes the sound of grinding metal, you’re seriously damaging your brakes. Have it checked as soon as you can.

Grinding sound from your gearbox

This noise is indicative of a potential problem with the clutch or transmission.

Rattling sound from the engine

This is a very confusing noise as it could be a number of different problems – including issues with the oil, a faulty clutch fan or a stretched timing chain. Nevertheless, these all require urgent inspection.

Rattling noise from underneath your car

This noise could, amongst others, be a sign of a loose part of your exhaust system.

Clicking while turning

Faulty CV joints are usually the reason for this noise and should be checked by a mechanic right away.

Clicking sound from the engine

Usually, a sign that your engine is running low on oil. If it persists after an oil top-up, have your engine checked thoroughly by a professional.

A loud knocking from the engine

This could be indicative of a lack of lubrication, or something has broken within the engine set-up – or is about to break. Either way, seek the services of a professional mechanic to get the issue seen to.

Humming or growling noise from your tyres

The first thing to do when you hear a noise from your tyres is to check the pressure. If the pressure is correct, have your wheel alignment and balance checked and possibly adjusted.

If any of these noises are coming from your car, the next mechanic is only a click away.
If you are unsure what’s wrong with your car, book a free phone consultation with one of our experienced mechanics in residence.

Book your car repair now

Happy driving!

Driving Home For Christmas – Tips For A Save And Festive Journey

It is the most wonderful time of the year – but for everyone who is driving home for Christmas first comes the most dreaded time of the year: sharing the road with thousands of other drivers how also want to get home to spend the festive season with loved ones.

The team at the ClickMechanic HQ thought long and hard about ways to make your Christmas journey more pleasant, save and most of all: festive.

Preparing for the drive home

As with all long-distance drives, we recommend checking your car before you set off. The key things to tick off the list are:

  • Engine oil levels incl. top up if needed
  • Tyre pressure
  • Wiper blades
  • Coolant levels
  • Lights

Recommended song to feel festive: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

While you are stuck in the annual Christmas traffic

We have all been there – sat in a long queue of cars on the motorway on weekends and Bank Holidays, or stuck in slow-moving, rush-hour traffic. To get through it smoothly, here are 4 Do’s and Don’ts for heavy traffic jams:

  • Put your car in neutral: When you are stuck in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic, it’s tempting to keep the car in gear and the clutch engaged, in case you start moving again. This puts unnecessary strain on your clutch, decreasing its longevity.
  • Switch your engine off: Research shows that even idling for short time burns more fuel and emits more nasty emissions than restarting your car, so switching your engine off in idle traffic would offset this.
  • Drive smoothly in slow-moving traffic: It can be tempting to slam the accelerator down when a gap opens up in traffic. However, if all this means is that you will brake again within a short distance, you will wear out your brakes quicker than if you drive in a slow and steady fashion.
  • Don’t tailgate: As we can all agree, tailgating is one of the worst things you can do whilst driving. Not only will you put yourself and other drivers in a dangerous situation, but your brakes will also wear out faster if you constantly need to hit them hard when traffic slows down.

Recommended song to remind you of the merry season: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

When the road clears after a traffic jam

Finally, you are really driving home for Christmas. The free road ahead brings you closer to your final destination. While it is tempting to put the foot down a bit further to speed up to make up for some time lost, remember to stick to speed limits. Take extra care in wintery and adverse weather conditions which make driving more tricky with slippery road surfaces, rain, and darkening skies.

Recommended song to cheerily celebrate: Candy Cane Lane

When it starts snowing

While snow is rare in the UK and the predictions for a white Christmas are low, there still can be a Christmas wonder. Seeing the first snow is something special and wonderful. On the other side, it makes your journey more challenging. We have written a post about driving on wintery roads so you can get safely to your destination.

The obvious song to mark this moment: Sleigh Ride

When you tuck into your Christmas sandwich

As a prepared driver, you brought a sandwich for the trip. It is recommended to pack snacks and drinks when you embark on a long journey – especially when you can expect it to take longer than usual due to heavy traffic. And as it is Christmas, it should be a festive snack or sandwich.

Recommended song while you are munching through our treat: All I Want For Christmas Is You

When you wish for a new car for Christmas

Spending a long time in your car might make you realise it’s small niggles and aches even more. Even more so, you might come to the conclusion that you will be looking for a new car next year. We have just the right tips on what to look out for when buying a new car.

But in the meantime, listen to this song instead: Santa Baby

When you finally reach your Christmas destination

Give a cheer for you are here. Your mood lightens after a long Christmas journey. Welcome home!

Recommended song to share the joy: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Happy driving home for Christmas and a wonderful festive season!

Book your car repair now

Photo by Jamie Davies on Unsplash

ClickMechanic Car Care Survey October 2019 – Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions 

ClickMechanic Car Care survey October 2019 and competition.

Competition and survey details

After completing the survey you will have the chance to enter a competition to win one of three £25 Amazon vouchers. The competition starts Wednesday 9th October and closes Wednesday 16th October 2019 at 23:59. Entries received after this date and time will be excluded from the competition. The prize draw will happen by Tuesday 22nd October 2019 and the winners will be contacted latest by Friday 25th October.

There is no obligation to enter the competition and the prize draw after completing the survey. No personal information will be collected during the survey, however you will be asked to enter your name and email address if you wish to enter the competition.

Competition terms

  1. The competition is held by ClickMechanic Ltd, 56 Wood Lane, W12 7SB, London, UK (Promoter). The competition is to win the prize described in the competition details. By entering your name and email address to take part in this competition, you agree to these terms and conditions.
  2. All entrants must be UK residents and over 18 years of age. Employees of the promoter, associated companies and agents and their families and friends are excluded from entering this competition.
  3. Entry to this competition is through entering your email address at the end of the survey. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  4. The closing date for this competition is the 16th October 2019 23:59. Entries received after this date and time will be excluded from the competition.
  5. The winners for the prize will be selected at random and notified as set out in the details.
  6. The winners will be notified by email. We will send the name of the winners to anyone who writes within one month after the closing date of the competition requesting details of the winners and who encloses a self-addressed envelope to the address detailed in 1.
  7. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  8. The prize is as follows: three Amazon.co.uk vouchers, with a value of £25 each. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  9. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  10. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms and conditions, we may, at our discretion, exclude you from participating in the competition. We reserve the right to withdraw or amend this competition, or these terms and conditions, at any time.
  11. The competition and these terms and conditions are governed by English law and any claims or proceedings arising out of or in connection with these terms (including non-contractual disputes or claims) will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
  12. We will not accept responsibility for competition entries that are lost for any reason; or proof of posting as proof of receipt of entry to the Competition.
  13. All competition entries and any accompanying material submitted to us will become our property upon receipt and will not be returned. By entering, the competition you assign to us all your intellectual property rights, and you agree to waive any moral rights in your competition entry.
  14. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to ClickMechanic Ltd and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at https://www.clickmechanic.com/terms/privacy-notice.

 

Top 8 Car Cultures From Around The World

Since the automobile was invented different car cultures have developed across the globe. As in other subcultures, like punk or otaku, there really are no limits as to what can be done other than the ingenuity of those involved. From extreme camber to massive spoilers and cars so riding so low they could pass for a pancake, every part of their world has their own particular car culture. Here’s 8 car cultures that deserve to be highlighted.

Lowriders
Hot Rods
Lowriders were first seen in 1940s Los Angeles, their man feature: hydraulic ride height adjustment in different directions. Some can reich heights of up to 8 feet.

Spinners
Spinners
This subculture originates in South Africa. Drivers perform stunts whilst their car drifts round in circles, driverless that is.. Yes, spinners perform their stunts whilst their car spins round around them.

Boy racers
Boy racers
Famous for their use of huge aftermarket bodykits, exhausts and hifi systems, boy racers gained huge popularity in 1990s Britain.

Oni-kyan
Oni-kyan
This Japanese phenomenon translates as “Demon Camber”. The wheel camber on these cars is purposefully set to be so extremely ‘negative’ that barely any part of the tyre touches the road surface. This makes drifting much easier, as there is very little grip. However it makes handling the car quite an art!

Bosozoku
Bosozoku
Another Japanese subculture here, Bosozuku cars come with enormous body kits. It’s a visual expression of their owners’ rebellious attitudes.

Kustom Kulture
Kustom Kulture
You’ve probably seen something like it on TV. Regular cars are turned into something special, with fine attention to detail and special features.

Van Dwellers
https://www.gocompare.com/new-interactives-content/car-culture/img/Camper.gif
Essentially Van Dwelling is an extreme form of camping, Van Dweller choose to spend their lives living in a camper van. Apparently to get away from the stresses of modern life, perhaps it really is much better than a week of camping on a cramped campsite!

Hot Rods
Hot Rods
Probably one of the most recognisable automotive subcultures, Hot Rodding is almost as old as the automobile itself. With origins in 1920s America, Hot Rods are retro-fitted with much bigger engines to push straight line speed to the max. With it come cosmetic changes to give the car an exterior to match the straight line speed. Cornering is another matter though!

Source: Gocompare

How to finance a new car

A range of finance products for UK motorists

car finance money vehicle

With the widest ever range of finance products on offer, it has never been easier for motorists to buy a new car. And with good reason as dealers usually make more money on the finance products sold than the profit from the vehicle.
Despite this fact, it’s possible to get behind the wheel without it costing a fortune.
Here, I’ll run through some of the best car buying options available in the UK and a trick to borrowing money with little or no interest.
Most of the methods below should include your own car history check. If you’re at all uncertain about purchasing a used car a ClickMechanic car inspection is recommended.

Common ways to a new car:

Hire Purchase – This traditional method to borrowing is still widely used. You’ll need a deposit (10% or something similar) or a part exchange car. You can borrow the rest from a finance company for a set period.
Typical agreement:
Car: £5,000
Deposit or part exchange: £1,000
Loan amount: £4,000
Period: 36 Months
APR: Dependent on finance company and credit score (low is around 5% APR)
Typical monthly repayment: £147.68
Most dealers provide hire purchase via a finance partner like MotoNovo

PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) – A suitable way to a new car if you like to upgrade regularly with lower monthly payments to fit your budget.
You don’t pay off the value of the car with PCP and you don’t own it at the end of the contract (but you’ll have the option to buy at the end via a balloon payment). Lenders usually want around 10% of the car value as a minimum but the more deposit you pay the less your monthly repayments will be.
The amount borrowed is also based on the predicated car value at the end of the term. You pay the depreciation as monthly payments plus some interest – typically 4% to 8%.
You need a decent credit score to obtain PCP.
Check out this article for some detailed information on PCP.

Leasing – Similarly to PCP, a car lease is great if you like to upgrade regularly. Leasing can save money as you sometimes don’t need to pay for road tax or servicing (if the car is brand new) but this will depend on the supplying dealer.
There are a wide range of cars available from a Ford Fiesta to a Range Rover Envogue.
In years past, leasing was only available to those with a solid credit file but there is a huge poor credit market for leasing. Here is one reputable leasing company to look at.

A little secret to borrowing money at 0% interest!
Buying a car with a credit card may seem like a scary prospect but it can be the cheapest if you plan.
You’ll need a superb credit score for this to work.
So, we have all heard of a 0% interest credit card. This type of offer is available for a fixed period of around 18 months. But, some lenders like Virgin credit card now offer 0% for up to 24 months.
Note, these offers are updated regularly so you’ll need to do some research on the best offers.

Making a credit card car purchase work for you:

Let’s say you found a credit card with 0% Interest available for up to £5,000 over 18 months.
You can borrow the 5k to buy your car. At month 15 of your lending period you must apply for another 0% interest credit card and balance transfer over before any interest kicks in.
There may be a balance transfer fee, but this is nominal at around £75. To keep the lend amount interest free you must always make the minimum payment and settle the outstanding.
It’s straight forward provided you think through the process and continually plan ahead.
Finally, you also get another layer of insurance that comes with any credit card purchase. So, if you buy a used car for £5,000 and inherit mechanic issues the credit card company have a legal responsibility to help (subject to the individual terms and conditions of the credit card company).

Mechanic Of The Month October: Jaz from Stoke-on-Trent

It was a tough call to choose October’s mechanic of the month. The mechanics on the network have been keen to impress with many achieving a full 5 star review score. The mechanic Jaz from Stoke-on-Trent, however, stood out from the crowd with loads of jobs completed despite only joining ClickMechanic in July.

Jaz has managed to retain a perfect 5 star review score since the first review he received. Jaz has received reviews that could not have been more glowing. Like this one from customer Leon: “Jaz was a good genuine guy with a great knowledge of cars and described what the job entailed and how long it would take to complete. Very happy with the work carried out.”

And another one from customer Jordan: “Zafar was very knowledgable, and actually educated me on better use of my car and certain features to watch out for which is brilliant. Clearly he knows his stuff.”

We had a quick chat with Jaz, to find out what his secret to customer happiness is.

How are you finding the ClickMechanic experience?
The experience has been great. The ClickMechanic marketing model itself is very unique, as the numbers are proving with more and more customers using ClickMechanic. The fixed pricing aspect for customers is really reassuring.

From a mechanic’s perspective I would say that the booking system is very unique, it is very easy to use the mobile app on the phone. The whole process from accepting the job to the follow-on bookings is very easy. Further to that the Stripe payment system is also very convenient.

When did you become a mechanic?
I started with mechanics 18 years ago, I supercharged my first vehicle, a Ford Cougar, when I was 16 in Dubai. Soon after I started working with BMW in Dubai. I did have a dual career at that point as I was also into IT. I stopped car mechanics for a while to work for Cisco in IT, but after came back to running my own mechanics business. When I came to UK I first ran my own company again, and then took a position at Halfords, rising to become a senior manager. Early 2017 I branched out on my own and started my own mobile mechanic company.


You have awesome reviews, is there anything in particular you do to accommodate customers?

The secret behind my 5 out of 5 review score is to accommodate the customer’s wishes and guiding them through the process of the repair.

As soon as I get a job I contact the customer, and ask them for more information about the repair. I reassure the customer and inform them that I will be there for a certain time.

On the day, I always try to arrive a few minutes earlier than the booking window and make sure that I am on time in all cases. Punctuality is really important. When you’re there introduce yourself properly and explain who you are, that you are there for the ClickMechanic booking and tell them where you travelled from.

Before you start the job guide customer through all of what you will be doing before starting the job. Further to that always respect the customer’s knowledge, and explain everything very clearly.

When you’ve done the job report all the details about the work done on the system. Make sure to log all faults found on the car, and take photos.

And remember, a little bit of courtesy goes a long way, and will come back to you later down the line.

What made you join Clickmechanic?
The ClickMechanic idea is unique and everything was very clear in terms of what they expect of mechanics. I like an adventure and I thought, why not!

What do you like most about your job?
I love cars, I love repairing vehicles. What I like best of all is fixing something and getting the immediate response of seeing the problem resolved. It’s great to fix complex problems that other people hold their hands up for. My favourite thing is the challenge in that respect, I will always be ready for any challenge.

Further to that, what makes the job itself enjoyable is the variety, working on different cars and different problems is what I love.

Of the cars you have owned, do you have a favourite one?

My personal favourite cars have always been Mercedes-Benz or BMW cars, they’re my specialism. My little baby was a Mercedes-Benz S600 Biturbo. I did some enhancements on it myself, which meant it had around 700hp. I recently sold it as work is so busy I didn’t really find time for a fun car.