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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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.

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 ways you can show some love to your car

Blog post header imageIt’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re single or taken, you’re probably not forgetting about your #1 Valentine who’s there for you during all the important journeys of life.

In celebration of our love for cars, we thought of sharing some TLC car care tips that may extend the life of your special one. Your car will love you for it!

5 ways you can show some love to your car

  1. Check how it’s doing
    Just like your loved ones, your car also needs some attention from you. Spend a little time with it checking the tyre tread, tyre pressure, wiper blades and fluid levels such as oil, water and anti-freeze. Here’s some essential checks you can do.
  2. Make it feel beautiful
    Most of us might not be using our cars as much as before so a car wash (or even a vacuum of the interiors) could be the perfect gift for your vehicle. Added tip: keeping your car clean and tidy and in great condition will also help reduce depreciation!

  3. Get rid of the distractions
    Take some time out to clear all the unnecessary clutter – your relationship with your car doesn’t need any distractions. You could also install a new car air freshener to spice things up!

  4. Be gentle with it
    Sometimes a hug is all we need to feel better. The best way to extend a warm hug to your car is to go gentle with the brakes and a lighter foot on the accelerator.
  5. Treat your car to a special date
    If it’s been a while since your car last had a full service you could show some love by sending it for a full service. You can book a mechanic on our network to come to you so your car gets the love it deserves.

If you are concerned your vehicle may have become unsafe, unreliable or something has happened to it, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.

How to make car travel COVID-safe

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Car travel right now looks a lot different than before. We all miss the weekend getaways and family trips, but until it is safe to do, we need to ensure we’re being responsible and staying safe.

With the whole of the UK in lockdown, according to the government guidelines, only travel for work and other exemptions are still allowed. Rules vary for different parts of the UK so make sure to check them before travelling.

If you do have to travel for essential trips we put together some tips to help you stay safer while travelling in a car.

Top tips to make travelling by car safer during COVID

  • Sanitize and clean:
    If you’re travelling in your own car, remember to regularly clean ‘high-touch’ surfaces that include the steering wheel, door handles, stereo controls, etc. Use a cleaner approved for the surface you’re cleaning, on a microfibre cloth to disinfect these surfaces. Sanitiser sprayed on a cloth can also be used to wipe down and sterilise the interior of your vehicle.Always remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after your journey to reduce the risk of catching the virus. Pro tip: the chorus of Jolene by Dolly Parton is the perfect 20-second hand washing reference!
  • Space out and mask up:
    A car is a small space so we might forget to keep distance when travelling in a car. When travelling in a taxi, avoid sitting on the front seat and opt for the seat diagonal to the driver’s seat instead. And of course, when you’re not in your own car, always use a face covering.

  • Check if your car is safe to drive:
    If you haven’t been using your car as often due to the lockdown, it is important to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy before you drive. Most car breakdowns can be prevented with basic vehicle checks.  Here are five essential car checks you can do.

Keeping in mind government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we offer contact-free car repair services to keep you (and mechanics) safe at this time.

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Have you checked up on your battery?

We’re in the fourth week of national lockdown which means most of us are keeping safe by staying home more. That will likely mean you are not using your car as often, or only making short journeys. This can in turn mean that your car battery is not being charged regularly and fully, increasing the potential for damage to your battery. Batteries do not like being left discharged as it damages them and reduces the storage capacity.

SIGNS YOUR CAR BATTERY MIGHT NEED REPLACING

  • Engine is beginning to turn over more slowly on startup
    When a battery becomes weak, the actual power it has to turn the engine (known as cold crank performance (Amps) or CCA for short) drops down and that will manifest itself in the engine turning over slower than before when the start is initiated.
  • Rapid clicking sound on startup and the engine not turning
    This is a sure-fire sign of battery deterioration. The battery has enough power to fire the starter motor solenoid, but not enough to actually turn the engine.

BATTERY TESTING

Whilst a battery may show 12v+ if tested with a multimeter, it’s the actual power that is important. Battery power is measured in Ah, which is why the label will clearly state the Ah figure and in most cases another figure as just ###A. This is the figure of the CCA and indicates how the battery will perform in cold start conditions. A higher figure indicates the battery will turn the engine quicker and for longer until the engine starts.

A battery with dead cells or poor power capacity will often charge quickly, however that is because only a small percentage of the storage is actually being recharged. So it will show 12v as mentioned, but the actual power is diminished and the battery requires replacing.

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For further information on batteries, please visit https://www.clickmechanic.com/help/articles/285/battery-replacement

If you’re not sure if your battery needs replacing or not, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.

We’re also offering priority bookings for key workers at this time.

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4 easy steps to defrost your car windscreen

A recent TikTok video went viral showing a person using boiling water in a bag to defrost a windscreen. While this may seem like a quick hack, it can prove to be dangerous and may lead to cracking of the windscreen.

So before you make that essential trip to stock up on some groceries, here are some helpful tips to safely defrost your windscreen:

  1. Before starting your vehicle make sure your wipers are turned off, as they may be stuck to the windscreen
  2. Start up the engine and use the interior heater blower to warm up the windscreen from inside, it will help to slowly but safely defrost the windscreen. If you have them, also turn on the rear window heater and heated mirrors to help defrost the rear window and mirrors.
  3. Clear any snow off your car with a soft brush, then use an ice scraper and de-icer to remove the frost from the windscreen and windows on the outside as the heater warms up the windows from the inside.
  4. Wait until all the frost and mist has cleared before setting off.

And remember:

  • Avoid using any sharp objects such as credit cards to remove the frost which could cause damage to the glass. Always keep a dedicated car ice scraper to de-ice! Do NOT use hot or boiling water to defrost your windscreen or windows, it could crack the glass!
  • If you know you’re going to use the car the next day on a cold night, cover the windscreen with a dedicated windscreen frost protector.
  • Do not leave your car running unattended to keep your car safe from thieves.

If you have any concern that there may be something 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.

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Do you have these winter essentials in your car?

You’ve probably brought out your favourite pair of gloves and your best winter hat but what about your car? With a drop in temperature, you and your car need a bit of extra care during winters too. Here are a few winter essentials you should consider keeping in your car during winter:

  • Ice scraper:
    This one’s a must-have! Even in temperatures above freezing, the surface of your car can develop frost. With an ice scraper, it’s important to clear the windscreen thoroughly before driving to aid visibility. Also, it should help ensure your wipers don’t wear out quickly. Keeping a snow brush handy is a good idea, too.
  • Screenwash:
    It’s worthwhile checking and replacing your screenwash if needed – this acts as an antifreeze agent for the wash wipe system. If there are frosty conditions then de-icing the windows is the first thing to do before setting off. Keeping your windows clean whilst driving is the second step. To do that it is worth ensuring your screenwash is topped up.
  • Power bank charger:
    You don’t want to be left stranded without a working phone! Ideally, you’ll always have a car charger handy, but having a power bank in your car is beneficial in case you can’t use the USB or charging port.
  • Water and non-perishable snacks:
    It’s always a good idea to keep some snacks in your car. Especially during unpredictable weather conditions that might cause a delay.
  • Warm blanket:
    Temperatures this time of year can drop below freezing so it’s smart to store a blanket in the boot, especially if you’re planning long trips. In the event your car breaks down, you have something to keep you warm until help arrives.

If you’re unsure your car is ready for winter conditions then get a Vehicle Health Check or a Service to get your car ready for the weather coming up. Checking the battery, fluids, wipers and tyres is critical during these colder months of the year.

If you want to book a serviceit’s super simple; select your car, fill in your postcode and we’ll provide you with an instant price.

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