Category Archives: automotive

3 Quick Winter Car Checks You Should Be Carrying Out

Over the course of the year, our cars rack up a lot of miles and spend hundreds of hours out on the roads.

In fact, according to the National Transport Survey’s findings, the average household car covers 7,800 miles a year, whilst the average person spends an average of 13,000 minutes driving annually, across 514 car trips.

Of course, it’s little wonder then, that all this time out on the roads can eventually take its toll on your car. And, of course, it’s sod’s law for your car to break down during the depths of winter, when it’s freezing cold and pitch black outside, and you have to attempt to jump-start your car.

So, to make sure your vehicle stays in tip-top condition over the coming months, we’ve found three quick car checks for you to carry out this winter.

Check your windscreen and wipers

This might seem like a fairly trivial point but checking your windscreen and windscreen wipers is actually one of the more important checks you can do without the help of a professional.

During winter, it’s vital that you can see clearly out of your windscreen, especially in adverse weather conditions where the visibility is already reduced. However, having wiper blades that are torn or damaged can prevent you from being able to see properly, as they tend to smear any dirt or salt rather than clear it.

Similarly, checking for any chips in the windscreen is especially important during winter as the cold weather can cause them to get bigger and may result in a cracked windscreen.

If you find any damage to your wipers or windscreen, make sure to get them fixed sooner rather than later to prevent any further damage and extra costs.

The RAC has provided a great set of resources for checking your windscreen and wipers, as well as how to replace them.

Check the coolant and oil

Your engine oil and coolant levels are both extremely important in helping your engine to run smoothly and safely, especially during the winter months. However, both of these things can be affected by colder weather.

Coolant helps your car to maintain the right temperature level, preventing your radiator from freezing during the winter months, which means it’s important to make sure it’s topped up by checking the level is between the minimum and maximum markers on the tank.

Similarly, engine oil keeps your engine running by lubricating all of the moving parts and preventing them from seizing up. As a result, during the winter months, you need the correct viscosity for your engine (which can be found in the manual) to keep everything working efficiently.

You can check if you have enough oil by locating the dipstick and checking the oil is between the minimum and maximum markers.

Check the tyres

Finally, one quick check you can do by yourself is checking the state of your tyres, which will gradually erode over the miles.

We spoke to VW Motor Parts, who said: “having a secure grip on the road is imperative during the winter, especially when ice and rain can make the surface extra slippery, so it’s important you check your tyres are compliant to the correct standards.

By law, the tread depth on each tyre must be 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and across the complete circumference, and you can test this by inserting a 20p coin into the grooves.

If you can see the outer band of the coin, then your tyres might be below the legal limit and we recommend you get them checked by a mechanic.”

How to Calculate Car Engine Compression Ratio

We often wonder if our vehicle is in good shape, and if it can survive in the long journey and everything we use for everyday. In addition to getting a basic car service and choosing to have recommended services according to mileage, there is an easy way to check the state of our machine, so at OneHowTo, we show you how to calculate your machine’s compression ratio effectively.

1.For this you will need a pressure gauge to measure the engine’s compression. You can buy thisin shops specializing in car parts and accessories or on the Internet.

2. Start the car and let the engine run until it reaches its normal temperature. You shouldn’t carry out this check on a cold engine, so it is best to do it after having driven a short distance.

3. Switch off the ignition and once the car is off, disconnect the wires located in the spark plugs, always focusing on what you’re doing because later you will have to reconnect them in the same positions. To avoid any uncertainty, you can take a picture of the spark plugs before disconnecting the cables.

4. Unscrew a spark plug and place the tip of the gauge in the hole where the spark plug is inserted. It is very important that the gauge’s nozzle is fully inserted inside this hole.

5. Now you have to ask someone else to start the engine and speed up the car for about four seconds, in this way you can measure the compression of the spark plug engine. Turn off the engine and repeat the above steps with each of your car spark plugs.

6. Each spark plug should have the same pressure, and it is important that they match the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer in the handbook. If you have a petrol engine the difference between cylinders can be up to 1.5 bar, which is completely normal.

7. If you don’t know the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the suitable compression for your car’s engine, then rely on the compression ratio of your engine (whether petrol or diesel) and add up those numbers. For example in a compression ratio of 14:1 the sum result is 14+1, so 15 should be the pressure value as indicated on the manometer.

8. If there is a problem with the compression of your car engine, it is best to take him to check the service to determine the source of the leak and allow the professional to fix it.

Tips to Prevent Car Accidents

Until the year thousands of people were injured or died in a car accident. There are a number of factors that contribute to accidents such as vehicle design, car speed, driver skills, road environment etc. Whatever the reason; It causes danger to life as well as possessions. But, there are many things that people can really do to avoid car accidents.

Keeping Your Eyes on the Road Ahead

Keeping an eye on the car in front of you isn’t enough. You need to analyse the traffic in front of that car as well. This would provide you the chance of analysing a problem while still having just enough time in hand so as to react to it. This would also decrease the chances of rear-ending the vehicle right in front of you in case they make an unexpected stop.

Being Cautious of the Blind Spots

Adjusting the rear views and side mirrors to give you a completely smooth view of the scene behind you is a wise thing to do but relying entirely on them is not great. While driving, one must turn and look directly at the path next to you that will help avoid losing something that may not be detected by the mirror. Also, blind spots should be considered for all the drivers that are around you especially heavy vehicle drivers to avoid car accidents.

Know the Limits of the Car You Are Driving

It is very important to know the limits of the car you drive either a minivan or a sports car. It is important to assess how the vehicle reacts in different situations. It is also good to know the limits of brakes and tires. Understand things like how long it takes to actually stop the car when maximum pressure is applied or how much tire handle will help avoid car accidents.

Judging a Driver by the condition of their Car

If the condition of the car seems like enough attention is not paid it, chances are high that the driver might be inattentive too. Drifting in the lane too often also indicates a drunk, tired or a person who is occupied with his/her cell phone and it is best to stay away from such cars to avoid a car crash.

These are some tips that effectively help avoid future car accidents. Remember that the key is to stay attentive at all times while driving.