The Top 5 Car Repairs to Expect This Christmas and How Likely You Are to Face Them!

Christmas is only a few weeks away and it’s already looking to be a rather wet one! Yet, whilst many dream of a White Christmas filled with snowball fights and picturesque scenery, it is worth remembering that the colder or even freezing temperatures can be a killer for your car. Each winter, countless motorists face a variety of car issues and fear the potential cost to repair. This is why we have analysed our own data to find the most likely repairs which UK motorists will encounter over the winter. Read on to find out how you can prolong the most popular repairs and save money in the long-term.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Many motorists forget to take care of their vehicle at this time of year. Cold conditions can cause an array of expensive problems for your car and, with a little TLC, potential repair bills can be reduced and the repairs themselves may last longer.”

1. Wing Mirror Glass Replacement

Increased odds of its breaking at Christmas: 4.3x

Signs you need a wing mirror replacement:

– Glass is broken/scratched
– Casing is broken/scratched

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

On the icy roads, many motorists will struggle to control their vehicle at times and as such, they are far more likely to clip their wing mirrors or even slide into things. In fact, drivers are actually more than 4x as likely to damage their wing mirror glass in the winter compared to the rest of the year, so it’s a very common problem.

The only remedy for this would be to take more care on the road and reduce speed when necessary. Damaged wing mirror glass should be replaced as soon as possible, particularly if it restricts your vision.

2. Battery Replacement

Increased odds of its breaking at Christmas: 1.8x

Signs that a battery replacement is imminent:

– The car’s engine will turn over slowly prior to starting or will not turn over at all
– 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:

Despite lasting longer in the colder climate, winter’s freezing temperatures actually causes the battery to lose power. The colder environment means the engine will require more power to start up and continue to run. This is why the winter will usually finish off an old (5 years plus) or struggling battery.

You can prolong your battery’s charge by switching off electrical items such as the heater blower, the headlights and the rear screen demisters for a few minutes prior to switching the engine off. Short journeys during winter will also place additional strain on the battery, so bear that in mind when popping down to the shops! If you’re unsure of its current condition, have the battery checked professionally.

3. Coil Spring Replacement

Increased odds of its breaking at Christmas: 1.7x

Signs your car needs a coil spring replacement:

– The car will bounce excessively after driving over a bump
– The car leans to one side or one corner is lower than the others
– You may feel a difference in the car’s handling
– You may hear odd noises, such as a banging or even a ‘twang’ when turning the steering

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

The coil springs act as support for the shock absorbers. They smooth out any bumps or irregularities you encounter on the road’s surface and, as such, they will eventually wear over time. They are also made of ferrous metal, meaning they will suffer from corrosion. Most coil springs are coated in a plastic sleeve, however, this sleeve will suffer from nicks and scratches from road debris, which allows water to seep in and erode the metal.

During winter, the metal becomes brittle and will be more likely to break under shock, such as from speed bumps and potholes. This can lead to expensive damage if a worn spring reaches this stage, so it should be seen to as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms. Regularly washing debris off of the springs with a hose can help to prolong them.

4. Alternator / Alternator Belt Replacement

Increased odds of its breaking at Christmas: 1.6x/1.3x

Signs the alternator belt or alternator needs replacing:

– A battery warning light has appeared on the dashboard
– The dashboard/interior lights are not as bright as usual
– The battery does not charge or has run flat
– A squealing or screeching sound comes from the engine

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

The alternator charges the car’s battery, which in turn powers all electricals. As such, it too takes additional strain in the colder months when more power is needed to run the vehicle. The first and major indication that something is wrong will be the sight of a small red battery sign on your dashboard. This warning light should illuminate when you switch the ignition on and then go out when the engine is running. Should this light become slow to extinguish, that could be a sure sign that the alternator is on its way out.

In essence, there is little that the general car owner can do to prolong the lifespan of an alternator. However, it is important to give it the best chance of working efficiently by avoiding deep water and ensuring that the belt which drives it is in good condition. Should you start to hear a “squeal” on start-up or when driving, the belt may require adjusting or even replacing.

5. Starter Motor Replacement

Increased odds of its breaking at Christmas: 1.3x

Signs the starter motor 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:

As the name suggests, the starter motor starts the car – which is known to be a common issue during the wintertime. This is because, in a colder climate, more energy is needed to turn the starter motor and power the engine, putting additional stress on both it and the battery.

The starter motor will, once again, wear with time, and as it is for all repairs in this list, it should be replaced as and when necessary in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. Like the alternator, there is little you can do to generally prolong the life of a starter motor. However, if your vehicle is reluctant to start, avoid continually trying to run the starter motor without giving it a chance to cool down. For guidance, you should only use the starter motor for 30 seconds and then let it cool for 30 seconds before re-trying it. You should also, once again, avoid deep water, ensure that your undertray is secure and check that your battery is in good condition to give it the best possible power source to use.

If you are unsure whether something is wrong with your car, speak to one of our experienced inhouse mechanics by using our free phone consultation service.

Happy driving!

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You Would Need to Drive 2,000 Miles or from London to Edinburgh Almost 5 TIMES to Burn off the Average Christmas Dinner!

Christmas is now just around the corner and countless Brits are already anticipating driving home, followed by guilt-free snacking! Although, not many realise just how far you would have to drive to earn that festive food. In fact, we’ve calculated that driving for roughly 35 hours, or from London to Edinburgh almost 5 times, would burn the equivalent number of calories to a full Christmas dinner for a man. Indeed, at just shy of 2,500 calories for the whole meal, a woman would have to drive even further, at almost 43 hours behind the wheel! Read on to find out how many miles you would have to cover to earn each part of your Christmas dinner!

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Over time, a driver can burn a fair amount of calories behind the wheel. So if you have a long drive home this Christmas, you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re straight into the nibbles on arrival. That being said, Christmas dinner is no ordinary meal and a motorist would have to accumulate some serious mileage to earn it!”

Meats – Drive from London to Dundee

Calories from Meats:

Turkey – 266 kcal, Pigs in Blankets (4x) – 160 kcal, Stuffing (x2) – 122 kcal

Total: 548 kcal

Whilst turkey is thought to be a healthy option, the calories soon mount up as we attempt to get our fair share. The combination of traditional pigs in blankets and stuffing also add a substantial number of calories, totalling up to more than the turkey itself from the above example!

Burning off an average of 70 calories per hour behind the wheel, it would take a man almost 8 hours, or driving from London to Dundee, to afford the Christmas dinner meats. Whereas women burn about 57 calories on the road every hour, meaning they would need over 9 and a half hours!

Vegetables – Drive from Manchester to Liverpool

Calories from Vegetables:

Carrots – 22 kcal, Parsnips – 26 kcal, Sprouts (x6) – 21 kcal

Total: 69 kcal

Unsurprisingly, the vegetables contribute very little to the total calorie count of the Christmas dinner. In fact, it only adds roughly 70 calories on top, and that’s if you can handle 6 sprouts! Of course, it’s a different story if you begin to smother the vegetables in butter, but as it is, steamed or boiled vegetables can be eaten in excess with little calories consequences.

For this reason, the average man would only need to drive for about an hour to burn this off; the equivalent of driving from Manchester to Liverpool. For women, 1 hour and 10 minutes of driving would be necessary. Some will easily accomplish this figure during the daily commute to work!

Sides – Drive from Cardiff to Leeds AND BACK

Calories from Sides:

Roast Potatoes (Cooked in Vegetable Oil) – 400 kcal, Yorkshire Puddings (x2) – 96 kcal, Gravy – 24 kcal, Cranberry Sauce – 46 kcal

Total: 566 kcal

The roast potatoes are arguably one of the most dangerous things on the plate during Christmas dinner. They are delicious, easy to eat and there always seems to be leftovers for seconds! However, they are also heavy in calories; even one small roast potato, cooked in vegetable oil, is 80 calories. So eating a large portion of them will easily shock in terms of calorie intake, especially if cooked in goose fat!

Toting up to slightly more than the meats, a man would need to drive a round trip from Cardiff to Leeds and back to deserve this part of the Christmas dinner. It would take just over 8 hours behind the wheel to burn off the calories, whereas a woman would need almost 10 hours in the driver’s seat – or driving from Norwich to Exeter and back.

Pudding/Sweets – Drive from Plymouth to Inverness

Calories from Pudding/Sweets:

Christmas Pudding – 285 kcal, Custard – 114 kcal, Selection of Cheese (Inc. Stilton, Cheddar and Camembert) – 181 kcal, Quality Street Chocolates (x3) – 132 kcal

Total: 712 kcal

And then there has to be room for dessert as well, which we all know won’t help the calorie situation! In fact, the traditional Christmas pudding with custard will roughly add another 400 calories on top of the meal. Not to mention the expected pecking at cheeses and chocolates will inevitably contribute!

To earn this dessert, the average man would actually need to drive from one end of the country to the other. It would take more than 10 hours on the road, or driving from Plymouth to Inverness, for a man to burn this energy off. For a woman, a shocking 12 and a half hours of driving would be needed to work through the 700 calories.

Drinks – Drive from Oxford to Middlesbrough AND BACK

Calories from Drinks:

White Wine (3x Glasses) – 393 kcal, Port – 156 kcal

Total: 549 kcal

Let’s not forget about what we Brits can drink during a Christmas dinner! Whilst the calories from alcohol will obviously vary depending on how much we decide to drink, just one 175ml glass of wine contains over 100 calories, so it soon adds up over the celebrations! Even toasting with a traditional glass or two of port will have consequences!

Based on drinking 3 glasses of wine, and 100ml of port, 549 calories will be drunk during the Christmas dinner. The average man will have to drive for almost 8 hours to equate to this number of calories; so any male motorists driving from Oxford to Middlesbrough and back this Christmas can excuse these drinks! Unfortunately, women have to drive further, needing 9 hours and 40 minutes on the road to burn through the calories.

The Top 7 Gifts for Every Car Lover This Christmas!

Christmas is now less than a month away and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to make a start on the present shopping. This grows trickier and usually more daunting every year, however, fear not if you’re looking to buy for an obvious car enthusiast; we have scoured the market to find the best ideas for you. Read on to find the top 7 gifts to suit every car lover this Christmas!

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “The traditional car experience packages are still a safe option, however, the below gift ideas are bound to impress any true car enthusiast. There’s a present to suit every taste and price range!”

1. Midi Bonnie Car – Playforever

This retro-inspired toy will actually suit car lovers of all ages. Its robust build means it can withstand even the most unforgiving of playtimes and it can also feature as a decorative piece for vintage fans. It’s available in multiple colours and the range offers several shapes and styles including a motorbike with a sidecar and even an aeroplane.

If you recognise the design, it may be because Playforever has also recently partnered with Hugo Boss to create a collaborative collection, including an inspired clothing line. You can even see the toy cars dotted throughout Hugo Boss stores!

The Midi Bonnie Car is available from Playforever from £38.

2. Tim Layzell Artwork

Why not offer your loved one a little motorist culture this Christmas? Tim Layzell has become a renowned motoring artist and sells an array of originals as well as prints. His work features alternative art styles including his own ‘pop art’ take on races as well as a range of ‘realism’ styled pieces which are designed to reflect the motoring world in the 50’s and 60’s.

These paintings would make a brilliant addition to any car enthusiast’s art collection or it would be a fantastic start for one!

Tim Layzell’s artwork is available from his own website. Originals are priced on request and prints start from £75.

3. Garmin – DriveAssist

The Garmin DriveAssist is unique in that it combines a sat nav with a dashcam. This useful piece of tech offers numerous smart features including advanced camera-assisted driver alerts and real-time services, such as live parking and weather. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision, on impact, the camera will automatically save all recorded footage and can even text a contact to alert them of the incident. Such a gift will bring any driver added security and peace of mind.

The Garmin DriveAssist 51 is available from Garmin for £309.99.

4. Chocolate Tool Kit

You can never really go wrong with chocolate, especially if it has a personal twist! This chocolate tool kit is bound to please any keen mechanic or engineer. The set comes complete with two spanners, a pair of pliers, a drill bit, nut, bolt, and washer. The parts look so real, it will almost be a shame to eat them… almost.

The Chocolate Tool Kit is available from Not on the High Street for £25.50.

5. Classic Car Parts Chess Set

If you’re looking for a truly unique gift and the price is no object, then look no further! The Classic Car Parts Chess Set combines luxury with sophistication; the steel and alloy pieces are handcrafted using recycled parts from Aston Martin, Range Rover, and Lotus vehicles.

Made in the United States, the chessboard itself is also handcrafted and the set comes with a signed certificate of authenticity. It is an elegant gift for any keen motorist, to say the least.

The Classic Car Parts Chess Set is available from Me and My Car for £1,500.

6. Micro Scalextric Set – James Bond

A classic gift for racers of all ages! Scalextric has always been a popular game to challenge friends and family to, and the modifiable track really does make each race different from the last. On top of this, Scalextric also offer themed cars and sets to suit all kinds of motoring tastes including Formula One, Touring Cars and, our choice, James Bond.

This set would be perfect for any competitive Bond fan; it includes a classic Aston Martin DB5 and an Aston Martin DBS. Being of the Micro range, it would also suit the younger racers and take up less space than the standard sets.

The James Bond Micro Scalextric set is available from Scalextric for £55.99.

7. Home Charging Station

Whilst a home charging station does not sound like a traditional Christmas present, if you’re buying for someone who uses an electric vehicle, it will certainly be a useful addition to the house. Using a home charging station will charge the car much quicker (30-60% quicker according to Energy Saving Trust), and it is safer to use than a regular plug socket.

It sounds pricey, however, the OLEV is currently offering an Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme which offers applicants grant funding to cover up to 75% of the cost to install one. It’s certainly a convenient gift for any green driver.

Home Charging Stations are available from Franklin Energy from £299 + VAT.