Maintaining your car

Expert advice: cold-cheating winter kit to carry in your car

winter kit
Having a glove with your ice scraper will prevent frost-bitten fingers (Picture iStock/AlenaPaulus)

Around this time of year I always think about winter and what to carry in my car to make life simpler and safer. Compiling a winter kit of equipment to carry in the cold months is easy. It might help you out when temperatures plunge and it could be a life saver if you get stuck in snowy conditions.

Make de-icing a bit nicer

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More than half of car tyres are underinflated. Check yours today

underinflated tyre
Underinflated tyres can be dangerous and costly (Picture iStock/PattyC)

With winter approaching, tyres will play a critical role in how cars handle in colder conditions. New research by transport charity TyreSafe has found that 57 per cent of vehicles on UK roads have underinflated tyres.

Tyres determine how well a vehicle stops and steers. In slippery winter conditions, all the safety technology a modern car is fitted with will be pointless if it’s driving on underinflated tyres.

Here we look at why it’s so important for your tyres to have the correct amount of air in them.

Underinflated tyres wear more quickly

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Expert advice: what is a cabin filter and how easy is it to change one?

cabin filter
Replacing the cabin air filter is often an easy job (Picture iStock/MihajloMaricic)

If you get a funny smell whenever you turn the ventilation on in your car, you might need to replace the cabin filter. Here I’m going to look at what the cabin filter is and how it might be easier than you think to replace yourself.

What is a cabin filter?

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Fuel shortage advice: how to use less petrol while driving

The fuel shortage is causing queues and chaos all over the country. Right now, we’re encouraging all drivers to make sure they only hit the road if they’re certain they have enough fuel to make the trip.

If you are heading out, you’ll probably want to use as little fuel as possible. Well, just follow these steps and you’ll get the most out of the fuel you’ve already got.

1. Slow down and stay steady

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Highways England’s handy advice before you hit the road this summer

Summer is well and truly here, and we’re all excited to get in our (air-con filled) cars and hit the road for a holiday or day trip.

But, a lot of vehicles haven’t been on the road much over recent months. This can have a pretty damaging impact on their batteries, tyres and more.

That’s why Highways England has put together some simple advice to help all drivers give their motors some TLC.

(Oh, and if you have a Green Flag policy, make sure you read through to the end for something very helpful and totally free…)

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Quiz: How well do you know car dashboard warning lights?

Quiz: How well do you know your car's dashboard warning lights?

Take the quiz and see whether you can identify our dozen dashboard warning lights.

We learn how to drive, repeat the mantra ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ and remember what road signs mean. But how many drivers know their car’s dashboard warning lights? 

It’s important to heed any warning flagged up on your dashboard. Typically, they give drivers the opportunity to have a mechanical or electrical problem investigated and repaired by a garage, before it becomes serious enough to cause lasting damage to a car.

So, it’s well worth knowing what those warning lights mean. Take our quiz now to see how much you know.

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Expert advice: Are tyre inflation kits really the future for drivers?

tyre inflation kits
Tyre inflation kits use a compressor (above) to fill the tyre with sealant (Picture iStock)

You might have noticed your car doesn’t have a full-size spare wheel and tyre. On more modern motors you might not find any kind of spare wheel at all. Instead, many cars come with tyre inflation kits, sometimes sometimes known as mobility kits.

We’re called out to an awful lot of punctures so how effective are these mobility kits?

What is a mobility kit?

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Expert advice: car hacks that it’s best to avoid

Is cleaning inside a car using cooking oil really a good idea? Read on to find out (Picture iStock/welcomia)

We’ve all spent time looking at car hacks that will make our life easier. It might be using a common household product instead of going to a motor retailer. Or perhaps trying something wacky, either as a last resort or so you can tell your mates.

But how many of them really work? We’ve taken half a dozen popular car hacks that you might be tempted to try. The trouble is, if you do, they might cost you more than you would have paid to get a professional in, or buy the proper product for the job.

Put an egg in a leaking radiator

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COVID-19 lockdown easing – prepare for May and beyond

Back in May, COVID-19 lockdown measures eased, and we’re expecting further easing of measure in the near future. Many of us are excited to get back on the road, see friends and family, and maybe even enjoy a summer staycation.

But, before you hit the road, it’s important to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared. Here’s some handy advice.

Give your vehicle a proper check

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