Maintaining your car

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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Preparing for a staycation by car this summer

staycation
To help you get to your destination safely, read our top tips (Picture iStock/pixdeluxe)

With continued uncertainty over whether we’ll be allowed to go abroad without extensive quarantining, 2021 is looking like the year of the staycation. And that means rather than letting the plane take the strain, a lot of drivers will be turning to their cars.

Here we look at what you need to ensure you have a dream holiday rather than a trip from hell. The key is planning. If you carry out our checks the week before you go away, it gives you options to act on them. Do them the day before your holiday and it might result in more stress than you need.

And because a lot of people will be taking their motorhome or caravan away, we’re including those too.

Start by checking the battery

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One in five MOT extension cars still haven’t had a test

mot extension
Nearly two million drivers don’t have an MOT (Picture iStock/Mark Eastham)

Around one in five of the drivers who opted for the MOT extension during the pandemic last year hasn’t had their car retested. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which oversees the annual roadworthiness checks said that around 1.86 million vehicles (19.5 per cent) still have to take their test.

It means hundreds of thousands of vehicles that are potentially unsafe could be on the road. Using a dangerous car is illegal and their drivers could be liable for a £2500 fine.

What was the MOT extension?

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Take our quiz: find out how much you know about your car tyres

Test your knowledge of tyres (Picture iStock/PeterSchreiber.media)

Our car tyres are one of the vehicle’s most important pieces of safety equipment. They’re its only contact with the road so keeping them in good condition is vital for reliable and safe motoring.

But how much do you actually know about them? Take our quiz to find out.

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