Maintaining your car

Expert advice: how to tell if your car has worn wheel bearings

wheel bearings
Inside this hub are bearings to ensure the wheel turns as smoothly as possible (Picture iStock/Psisa)

Car wheels look so simple, surely there can’t be much to fail? Actually plenty can go wrong from ropey balancing to worn or even broken wheel bearings. It’s often tricky to figure out what is and isn’t wheel bearing trouble but there are some giveaway signs. Read on to find out if that might be the problem with your car.

How do you know you’ve got a worn wheel bearing?

Continue reading

Christmas presents for cars and car lovers

christmas presents
Christmas present shopping this year might look a bit different. Read on for some great present ideas for car fans (Picture iStock/Kazakiki)

It’s time to think about Christmas presents for the car lover in your life. Or perhaps rewarding your car for all its sterling service by buying it a present. Whoever you’re getting the gift for, you might need some inspiration. And that’s what we’re offering, with a handful of present ideas for all budgets.

Ice scraper glove

Continue reading

Drivers who need an MOT warned to book early to avoid test backlog rush

test backlog
Drivers are being warned of an MOT backlog over the next three months (Picture iStock/FG Trade)

Car owners whose MOT falls in the coming three months should book their test early. Garages are experiencing a surge in demand for MOTs, creating a test backlog. There are fears some drivers may struggle to get their car tested in time.

The extra demand is thanks to the MOT extension brought in at the end of March 2020. Experts believe there could now be nearly twice as many drivers looking to have MOT tests done in November, December and January. This will make garages much busier than usual.

What happened when MOTs were delayed

Continue reading

Expert advice: prepare your car for cold weather this winter

prepare your car for cold weather
Give your battery some TLC, and it’ll pay you back in spades (Picture iStock/JoeBelanger)

Updated 02 December

Winter is well and truly here, so now’s the time to prepare your car for cold weather.

If you can, the best way to get your car ready for winter is to take it in for a service. But if your scheduled service isn’t due, here are some important tips that should ensure your car won’t let you down when the going gets cold.

Why your battery needs some love

Continue reading

Expert advice: how to tell if your car has suspension trouble

suspension trouble
Car suspension is complicated and hard-wearing (Picture iStock/kvsan)

The suspension on our cars is a very hard-working piece of kit. And it’s one we take for granted – until we experience suspension trouble. While we’re driving forwards, the suspension is constantly in motion too, coping with undulations in the road surface and other forces on the car.

It’s the suspension that keeps the car’s road wheels in touch with the ground when we go round corners. And it’s the suspension that helps to insulate the driver and passengers from the outside.

Unsurprisingly with something that’s so busy, cars can suffer suspension trouble. And the number of potholes on our roads seem to be making suspension trouble more likely. Read on to discover how to diagnose it.

Signs of suspension damage

Continue reading

Car washing in hot weather: our dos and don’ts for the best results

car washing in hot weather
Try to wash your car one panel at a time when the weather’s hot (Picture iStock/rclassenlayouts)

Car washing in hot weather, or even on a warm sunny day for that matter, can become a long, drawn out and frustrating process. Even sunshine on a relatively cool day can cause trouble when you want to clean your car.

Cars heat up astonishingly quickly in the sun. According to researchers at Stanford University in the US, on a day when the temperature is just 20 degrees C, a car’s interior will get to 38.9 degrees C within 30 minutes. If the outside temperature is 24 degrees C, it will reach 42.9 degrees C in 30 minutes.

The car’s mainly metal bodywork soaks up heat just as effectively, causing water to evaporate quickly as soon as it’s spread over your motor. The result will leave a dirty tide mark of combined shampoo and dirt. And when you do manage to rinse that off, it’ll dry quickly again, leaving spots on your paintwork from impurities in the water.

How to wash a car on a hot day

Continue reading

Expert advice: summer car checks for a safe, reliable getaway

summer car checks
Carry out our checks to help ensure a trouble-free trip (Picture iStock/Solovyova)

Now’s the time when most of us are either going away or preparing for our summer break. And it’s when our cars come into their own as a trusty family workhorse. Below are six basic summer car checks you can carry out. They’ll only take a couple of minutes and will ensure your car performs safely and reliably while you’re away.

If you’re worried about anything, don’t hesitate to book your car in for some professional attention. Alternatively, you could take your car for one of Green Flag’s free vehicle health checks. But in the first instance, read on to see the six summer checks I think you should perform.

Pump up your tyres

Continue reading

Quiz: How should you look after your car?

You should regularly check the oil level in your engine (Picture iStock/Moyo Studio)

One in 10 UK drivers say they never perform any kind of safety check on their vehicle. And 14 million licence holders check their cars once a year or less. Those are the shocking findings following some recent research by Green Flag and road safety charity Brake.

If you want to test your knowledge of car maintenance, why not try our quiz? It’s fun and it’ll help give some tips and pointers for what you should do to keep your car in top shape.

Continue reading

Expert advice: all about replacing an engine’s timing belt

timing belt
Here’s what your timing belt looks like inside the engine (Picture iStock/Warut1)

The cambelt or timing belt is an integral part of many engines. It also needs replacing on a regular – if thankfully not too frequent – basis. Read on and I’ll explain why the cambelt is so important, how you know if your car has one (not all do) and why replacing them is an absolute must-do.

Why is the timing belt so crucial?

Continue reading