5 Ways To Reduce Your Car’s Carbon Footprint

5 ways to reduce your car's carbon footprintWe can’t ignore the fact that all vehicles have an impact on the environment, big or small, petrol or diesel or even electric. Whilst we may not be able to immediately change the way we get around and switch to a greener alternative, there are a number of ways to limit your vehicle’s environmental impact.

We look at 5 things that can help reduce a vehicle’s impact on the environment.

  • Smoother driving

    Driving aggressively with sudden braking and rapid acceleration can decrease fuel economy, shorten replacement intervals for a number of parts and could cost you an extra £600 annually. Smoother driving is not only better for the environment but is also lighter on your pocket.

  • Don’t overload the vehicle

    Avoid overloading your vehicle when not needed. The heavier the car, the more fuel it will use.

  • Check your tyre pressure

    Research suggests that motorists in the UK are wasting £246 million a year on fuel by driving on dangerously under-inflated tyres! Under-inflated tyres can increase the vehicle’s rolling resistance and with it, fuel consumption as the engine (or electric motor) will need to work harder to maintain the car’s movement at a consistent speed. Having the correct tyre pressure is key to optimise rolling resistance and ensure less energy is wasted. Details of the required tyre pressures will be in your vehicle’s handbook, but can often be found on a sticker on the driver’s door or inside the fuel cap.

  • Carpooling

    Carpooling is a great way to save money while also being a greener alternative. In addition to car-sharing services such as BlaBlaCar, carpooling with friends and neighbours can help reduce our carbon footprint. Government guidelines on car sharing during COVID can be found here.

  • Take the car for a service?

    Maintaining your vehicle regularly is not only good practice for the safety of you and your family but can also be safer for the environment. Depending on the type of service, technicians will check and replace the fuel filter, spark plugs, air filter and fluids such as the engine oil that will significantly improve the performance of a car, overall fuel economy and lower the vehicle’s emissions.

With increased awareness about emissions and their impact on the environment, many car manufacturers are now advancing in green technology. Hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles are much more efficient and claim to produce lower carbon emissions. If you have an electric vehicle or are thinking about investing in one, it’s also important to consider the source of the power, i.e. if it is renewable and sustainable for the environment.

If you’re looking to book a service, ClickMechanic can help. We provide three levels of car service – interim, full and major service. To place a booking, head to our website and a trusted mechanic can carry out a service at your choice of time and date.

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EV and PHEV: Repairs and Servicing Explained

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Electric VehicleTaken the plunge with an electric car yet? Or still thinking about an EV for your next choice of wheels? Either way, car owners are left with questions about what happens with repairs and servicing after the purchase. The good news is, with fewer moving parts, there’s probably less that can go wrong with an electric car.

We answer some important questions you may have about Battery Electric Vehicles (EV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) repairs and servicing:

  • What happens to the electric battery warranty? 

    When you purchase an EV (Electric Vehicle) or PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle) there will be a separate warranty for the vehicle’s battery and electric motor components. This warranty is often longer than the warranty on the rest of the vehicle mainly to minimise the concerns of potential owners. Each manufacturer will also state what percentage of battery storage is considered acceptable after a certain period of time.

  • Can I get servicing done for parts other than the vehicle’s electric motor(s) and battery?

    The EU block exemption rule, retained in UK law, allows owners to have their vehicle’s servicing done outside the manufacturer’s dealer network. In the case of PHEVs it means that you can have the petrol or diesel engine serviced, brake pads and discs etc replaced without it affecting the vehicle’s warranty and more importantly, the vehicle electric motor(s) and battery warranty.

  • Who can I use to provide routine servicing and maintenance on my EV/ PHEV?

    Providing the vehicle’s high voltage system doesn’t require powering down, it is the same as any non-EV/ PHEV vehicle. As long as they are VAT registered, use OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or OEM equivalent quality parts you are free to use any service you wish. It is recommended that you keep all details of the work and any part numbers that were used to avoid problems with warranty claims – which is a standard recommendation for non-EV/ PHEV vehicles as well.

  • What servicing can I get done on my EV/ PHEV?

    Any servicing required of the petrol or diesel engine* (PHEV only), brake pads and discs, tyres, exhaust and items such as bulbs and windscreen wipers.

    *The EV system will still require any maintenance checks done by the dealership according to their schedule.

  • And what work can I NOT get done on my EV/ PHEV?

    For anything that requires the high voltage system to be powered down and routine checks and maintenance of that system. We would recommend that you check the details of the terms and conditions of your vehicle’s electric battery warranty to see further details on this.

At ClickMechanic, we can help with repairs and servicing for your EV/ PHEV with a 1-year warranty on parts and repairs. Head over to our website, tell us about your car and a vetted mechanic can carry out a repair or service at your choice of time and date.

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How to make your tyres last longer

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Tyres will wear out eventually – that’s a fact. But is there anything you can do to prolong the life of your car tyres?

Aside from being an important part of regular vehicle maintenance, it’s important to pay attention to your vehicle’s tyres for safety reasons, too. After all, they are what keep your vehicle moving and are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road.

Here are our top tips that can help reduce tyre wear:

Top tips to make your tyres last longer

  • Tyre Pressure

    Regular checks on your tyre pressures will ensure that your vehicle’s tyres wear evenly as well as improve your fuel economy. Details of the required tyre pressures will be in your vehicle’s handbook, but can often be found on a sticker on the driver’s door or inside the fuel cap. Make sure you adjust the pressures if you are loading the car more than usual too (which will also be indicated in the tyre pressure information).

  • Wheel Alignment

    Front wheels that are incorrectly aligned can cause the tyres to scrub on the road surface and cause uneven wear across the tyre. It is advisable to get the alignment checked every time you have the front tyres changed. It’s also recommended to check wheel alignment after you have had any kind of suspension or steering work carried out or even after you have hit a large pothole.

  • Clutch Control

    Good control of the clutch is paramount to reducing tyre wear. Wheelspin will cause the tyres to literally grate the rubber off onto the road surface. It is also futile if you are looking to move off quickly as wheelspin will mean it will take longer to get up to speed than it would do with good clutch control.

  • Late Braking

    Good road anticipation goes a long way in reducing your tyre wear. Leaving braking to the last minute increases the chances of the wheels locking up and this, similar to wheelspin, will cause the tyre to grate against the road. Even if your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) it will still momentarily scrub the tyre against the road.

  • Cheap Tyres & Treadwear Rating

    Every tyre will have a Treadwear rating on the sidewall. This is often overlooked by people when buying tyres but it’s important to know that it could save you money long term. This rating will be between 60 and 620 – the higher the number, the longer it will last against the benchmark of 100. For example, a tyre with a rating of 400 will last 4 times longer than a tyre with a 100 rating. Cheaper tyres will generally have a lower rating so they will wear out quicker than a more expensive tyre with a higher rating.

And lastly, remember to check your tyre tread depth. It needs to be 1.6mm, which you can check using a 20p coin whose edge should be below the tread line. Driving a car with a defective tyre could land you with a £100 fine and three penalty points – per tyre! 

To place a booking for a tyre fitting head to our website and a vetted mechanic can carry out a repair at your choice of time and date.

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6 tips to get your car ready for the summer

Get your vehicle ready for the summer

Holidays in the UK are back on with the travel rules being relaxed since May 17. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you are free to travel anywhere within those countries bearing in mind certain rules and guidelines. With summer just around the corner, this means more trips to scenic places and longer drives! However, with a rise in temperatures coming up, your vehicle might need some attention before you head out on a trip.

Here are some tips to ensure your vehicle is ready for the summer:

How to get your vehicle ready for the summer

  1. Check the coolant

    Check the level of the coolant in the expansion tank. This will be clearly visible in the engine bay as a medium-sized tank of fluid. When cool, the level of the coolant should be between the Min and Max lines. If it is lower than the Min, you could be losing coolant, so we recommend getting this checked by a mechanic.

  2. Battery condition

    If you have noticed that the engine is taking longer to start or is noticeably slower to turn over, it may be worth considering a new battery now rather than risking it.

  3. Check the engine oil & repairs

    Whilst the engine oil’s main function is to keep all the parts running smoothly, it also contributes to keeping your engine cool. The engine oil disperses the heat that is generated by the engine as it runs. Remember, an engine low on oil can overheat and will not lubricate effectively. So don’t forget to check that, when cold, the oil is between the Min and Max on the dipstick. If you are low, top it up, but keep re-checking and avoid overfilling.

  4. Auxiliary drive belt(s)

    Traditionally called the fan belt or serpentine belt, this is the only belt that you can see in the engine bay. Make sure there are no threads hanging off and that it feels tight if you push against it. If it is loose, you may need a new tensioner and if there are threads hanging off, it can indicate you need a new one. Do it before a long journey as a break can mean you lose the battery charging, power steering, air conditioning etc.

  5. Tyres

    Check the tyre pressures are correct, not only for the vehicle but also that they are adjusted to the recommended level for the additional load if appropriate. Details of this will be in the vehicle handbook but are usually also on the vehicle itself, on the door or door frame or inside the fuel flap. Also, make sure they have plenty of tread!

  6. Screen Wash
    Top up the screen wash reservoir. Make sure the spray pattern is good and that the wipers clear the screen effectively without smears – this is the UK after all so it is bound to rain when you are away!

Vehicle Health Check is a great way to ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Head to our website and a vetted mechanic can carry out a contact-free service at your choice of time and date.

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5 ways to minimise the effects of car depreciation

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Did you know that new cars can lose around 20% of their value in the first year after it was bought, and will lose around 50% of their initial value in the first three years of ownership? In fact, cars lose value the moment they’re driven off the dealer forecourt.

While there’s not much you can do to fully prevent depreciation as a car owner, however, there are a few ways you can maximise the resale value of your vehicle.

5 ways to minimise the effects of car depreciation

  1. Pay Attention to the Mileage

    One way to limit depreciation is to keep the mileage under the average miles per annum. The more miles you have on your odometer, the more likely it will be that it will depreciate in value.

  2. Clean Up

    Make it a part of your routine to keep your car clean which will prevent building up of grime and unpleasant odours inside the car. Keeping your car clean and tidy and in great condition will help limit depreciation.

  3. Avoid Non-Standard Modifications

    As exciting as an aftermarket body kit or a new set of aftermarket alloy wheels may sound, it can tend to narrow down the pool of potential buyers for your car in the future, making it harder to sell and most likely driving down its value.

  4. Maintain Your Car

    A full service history gives potential buyers peace of mind. Remember to keep all your car documents including service records and receipts. The recommendation is that drivers should service their car every 12 months or every 12,000 miles. However, you should check your owner’s handbook for the vehicle and follow the advice it gives on servicing. At ClickMechanic, we provide three levels of servicing – an interim, full or major service.

  5. Research Before Selling

    If you’re looking to get the best price for your car, considering doing a bit of research to see what’s the best time to sell your car. For example, convertibles tend to be in higher demand during the summer months.

BONUS TIP: If you’re planning to buy a used car soon the first step is to make sure you buy the right car. Keep in a mind a few factors such as the number of previous owners – the fewer, the better! Although older cars are cheaper, more often than not, a newer model will hold more value when it’s time to sell it off. It’s also important to do a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a professional to make sure you’re making the right investment. ClickMechanic can help with a Pre-Purchase Inspection, with three different levels of inspection to suit your needs.

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5 Reasons You Should Service Your Car Regularly

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As a driver, you’ve probably wondered, “my vehicle drives fine, do I really need to service it?” or “I passed my MOT, why should I service my car?”

Just like regular health checks for your body, your car needs a check-up too. Car manufacturers recommend regular service checks to help maintain the safety and overall reliability of your vehicle.

As a rule of thumb, the recommendation is that drivers should service their car every 12 months or every 12,000 miles – whichever comes first – depending on what type of service you require. However, you should check your owner’s handbook for the vehicle and follow the advice it gives on servicing.

  1. Save money on potential repairs in the future

    The technician checks various parts of the vehicle for any signs of wear and tear or if any parts need attention. Having minor issues identified and dealt with during a service can prevent them from escalating into major repairs in the future.

  2. Make your car last longer

    A well-maintained vehicle will reward you by being more reliable, and typically it will last longer as well.

  3. Save money on fuel

    Carrying out regular maintenance and servicing can help improve the efficiency of your vehicle and bring down fuel consumption. Even something as basic as having your oil changed on schedule can positively impact overall fuel economy.

  4. Safety

    The technician will carry out a range of checks depending on the service level chosen; ClickMechanic offers an interim, full or major service for your car. These checks are an important part of any service alongside any routine parts replacements and fluid top ups as they can help identify key areas on the car that require further attention.

  5. Resale value of your car

    Buyers of used cars will likely be questioning the history of a vehicle before making a purchase. Any vehicle that has a comprehensive service record will typically have stronger sales potential than a car without a service history.

If you’re looking to book a service, ClickMechanic can help. To place a booking, head to our website and a trusted mechanic can carry out a contact-free service at your choice of time and date.

ClickMechanic offers discount on motor trade insurance via new partnership with Road Runner

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ClickMechanic, an online marketplace for car repair, is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Road Runner, a specialist motor trade insurance company. Through this alliance, ClickMechanic will offer mechanics on their network access to Road Runner’s wide array of flexible and competitive trade insurance policies, with additional discounts available to ClickMechanic.

ClickMechanic is committed to ensuring that its members receive support and access to the right resources that they need to grow their businesses. This initiative is another step in the right direction at making various aspects of running an auto repair business easier for mechanics.

The partnership will benefit mechanics and independent garages on ClickMechanic’s network in a number of ways. It will provide them with access to a discount with Road Runner and additionally, mechanics will have quick and easy access to a market-leading portal for rapid policy and vehicle management facilities which enables flexibility when they need it.

Moreover, Road Runner’s mechanic customers will have the advantage of joining ClickMechanic’s network of mechanics for free and will also benefit from this partnership by having their applications fast-tracked, making the onboarding process quicker and easier.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “After what has been a tumultuous year for all, we are truly excited to offer the benefits of this agreement to the mechanics on our network. Supporting the UK’s mechanics is at the very core of ClickMechanic’s principles and we hope to see this partnership help mechanics grow their business.”

Louise Velez, Head of Road Runner, said: “We’re really pleased to be partnering with ClickMechanic to enhance our offering for mechanics. After a difficult 12 months for mechanics, we believe this partnership will play a small part in helping them get back on their feet through the discount and deals available. We want to show the industry that at Road Runner, we’re with you.”

 

As a member of ClickMechanic, mechanics can receive two months of free insurance* with Road Runner.

 

Planning to buy a used car? 4 tips to keep in mind!

Header imageCar dealerships in England and Wales opened their doors, a week after Scotland, to the public for the first time in 3 months on April 12. Dealerships, including used car dealers, are allowed to open with social distancing and other COVID-safe guidelines in place.

If you’re looking to buy a used car, it’s important to make sure you are fully informed about the condition of the vehicle.

Here are 4 tips to keep in mind before you make the purchase.

Checking a used car before buying:

  1. Keep your options open

    The first step is to research the resale prices for the car model you have in mind. Make sure you shop around and find a couple of cars of the same model for sale and arrange to view them. That way you can compare the condition of each of the cars and get a feel on whether they are worth the money. It’s a good idea to check a few cars, instead of going for the first car you see.

  2. Checking vehicle details

    The DVLA has a free online vehicle information checker. You’ll need the registration number of the vehicle to access this. The information provided should match the seller’s information. The checker will also provide past results of MOTs done in England, Scotland or Wales since 2005 where applicable.

  3. Take it for a test drive 

    Driving the car can help highlight problems that you would simply just not notice when the car is stationary. Strange noises like squeaks or clunks can indicate that there is something wrong with the car which usually warrants further inspection. Check our guide on test driving a used car for more tips on how to make the most of a test drive.

  4. Get a pre-purchase inspection

    Before you commit to buying the car, it is recommended that you have a pre-purchase inspection carried out by a professional. After all, it is a significant investment and you’d want to ensure you’re aware of any potential issues the vehicle might have. The technician will conduct a thorough, unbiased review of the vehicle’s condition and will help you understand if you’re getting good value for money.

ClickMechanic can help with a Pre-Purchase Inspection, with three different levels of inspection to suit your needs. A pre-purchase inspection report will be sent to you which thoroughly outlines the condition of the car so you can be confident you’re making the right purchase.

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5 signs that your brakes need attention

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Your car’s brakes are one of the most important aspects of safe driving. At the moment, most braking issues are due to vehicles being stood for a number of months which is due to corrosion to the brake discs. Another common issue is seized parking brakes, especially vehicles with rear drum brakes or drum parking brakes.

Maintaining your brakes is critical to staying safe on the road so it’s important to know the signs when your car might need new brake pads, shoes, drums or calipers.

  1. Brake system warning lights appear on the dashboard
    A number of vehicles have sensors on the rear brake calipers that illuminate the brake pad warning light when the pads (or discs) are coming to the end of their service life. It could also mean brake fluid is low. If the brake light turns on, always get a professional to check your brakes and recommend next steps.
  2. Brake Noise When Stopping
    Noise when braking is common, and it can often mean that your brakes are dirty or that your brake pads are worn down. However, if you hear a loud squeak or a scraping sound then it’s probably because your brake pads or shoes have worn down. If this is the case you should get it inspected by a mechanic urgently as it can affect your ability to stop safely.
  3. The Pedal Feels Soft When Braking
    This is often caused by a lack of braking pressure. You’ll need to press the brake pedal further to stop the vehicle which means it will take longer to come to a halt. This implies there is an issue with the brake hydraulic system so be sure to get a mechanic to check this out for you.
  4. The Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking
    A shaking steering wheel is usually a sign of a warped brake disc. Often the issue can be fixed by having the brake discs and pads replaced, but always check with a professional first.
  5. The Car Pulls To One Side
    This can happen due to a number of issues including damaged brake linings, fluid contamination, failing wheel cylinder, seized brake caliper or even a failed suspension component. In this case, a braking system inspection would be required to identify and fix the problem.

If you’re having trouble with your brakes, or if you are not sure what is wrong with your car, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.

Alternatively, to place a booking head to our website and a trusted mechanic can carry out a contact-free repair at your choice of time and date.

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Is it time to replace your windscreen wipers?

When we think about car maintenance, windscreen wipers are probably not the first thing to come to mind. As far as car safety is concerned, this is one of the most important tools to ensure an unobstructed view for the driver.

Windscreen wiper blades of your car are used to clear the water from the screen during rain, and also to clear snow, debris and dust when used with the vehicle’s washer fluid system.

Windscreen wiper

Signs your windscreen wipers might need replacing

  • Streaks and smears
    You may start to see streaking and smearing across the screen during their operation. Sometimes this can be caused by debris that can be cleaned easily, but take a closer look at the rubber to see if there are any signs of it being worn out.
  • Unusual noises
    Windscreen wipers are generally silent. You may sometimes hear a squeak or screech which could mean it’s improperly fitted or in some cases is an indication of worn-out blades.

  • Skipping
    This usually happens when the wipers are unused for a prolonged period of time which can cause improper contact of the rubber with the windscreen.
  • Other irregularities
    In this case, you may notice that the leading edge of the blade has started to come adrift from the main body of the blade.

The lifespan of wiper blades depends on the quality, weather and extent of usage but can get worn out in 6-12 months. Make sure you keep an eye on any signs of replacement mentioned above to avoid causing damage to the windscreen. These are a few tips and tricks on how to take care of your wipers.

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