Replacing the brake pads on your car

Brake pads are an item that will often need replacing on your vehicle. Depending on how often you drive your car, your driving styles and the type of driving you do will all effect how often you need to replace your pads. For example, a car that is driven a lot of motorway miles that does not involve much breaking may not need to change their tyres as much as someone who has done the same mileage but round town driving.

You may not realise that your brake pads are very low until you take the car for an MOT as often we get used to how our cars drive and may not realise that it is taking longer to stop. You may also discover a squealing sound or grinding sound when you apply the brakes. This is because your pads have a noise warning on them which will make these sounds when the pad wears down to that level. At this level you need to change your pads as soon as possible. If you have been driving with worn pads for a while you may find that you also need to change your brake discs too.

BMW X3 used car review

If you are looking to buy a second hand 4 x 4 then the BMW X3 is a great choice. Whether you are looking for something that is only a few years old or over ten years old, the X3 has been a popular choice for some time. There are a number of different types of 4 x 4 vehicles or SUV’s on the market and it can be hard to know which one is right for you If you are serious about going off road or need something that can handle driving down tight dirt tracks then you may decide to go for a Land Rover or a pick up style truck. These vehicles can cope well with a number of different terrains and are usually quite hard wearing. They do tend to hold their value through so if money is tight, these may not be an option for you. Often older models do drop a bit in price but if you are paying anything less than about six thousand pounds you will usually be looking for something that has done in excess of 130,000 miles. If you are buying a vehicle that has done this many miles it is likely that it will need some money spending on it and many parts may need to be replaced in the near future.

The X3 has it all, it has the four wheel drive and off road handling you would expect but also offers comfort and great motorway driving experiences too. This SUV is not the best for going off road but can handle bumpy roads and terrains that a normal hatch back may struggle with. It has plenty of leg room for passengers and the boot space is perfect for those looking for something that will easily carry the weekly shop. They come is a range of engines such as the 2.0 litre diesel and 3.0 litre diesel which are surprisingly economical. The insurance may be a little higher on this than your standard family saloon but if you have no claims bonus and have been driving for a while, it shouldn’t break the bank.

Before buying any used car it is import to do your research, you need to find out if the vehicle has been looked after. Check if it has any service history and when the last one was carried out. You should also look at previous MOT’s to find out if there are any advisories that may need to be rectified this time round. Even with full service history and clean MOT’s there is no guarantees that something will not go wrong, which is why it is always a good idea to get the vehicle checked over by a mechanic or pay for an AA check before purchasing.

Taking your car to a gear box specialist

As your car gets older, gear box problems become more common.

If you notice that you are starting to have problems with your gear box then you may want to take your car to a gear box specialist. Most garages will be able to look at a gear box for you, but often you will get the work completed quicker if you take it to a specialist who knows exactly what to do. You may think that a specialist will charge a lot more than your usual garage but this isn’t always the case, In fact, sometimes they may even charge you less as they are more experienced in gear boxes and therefore don’t need to spend so much time investigating the issue or fixing it.

If you think you need a new gear box, you can be looking at spending in excess of a couple of thousand pounds. Some specialists will actually rebuild the gear box for you saving you potentially a lot of money. Be sure that if you are going to go for a reconditioned gear box, that you get a decent warranty with it as you do not want to be forking out for another one a few months down the line.

Should you go electric when it comes to choosing your next car?

If you are considering buying a new car this year then you need to decide if you want to go for an electric car. You may choose an all electric car or a hybrid car that is part fuel and part electric.

The main issue lots of people have with electric cars are that the battery doesn’t last that long and therefore doesn’t allow them to travel that far without them having to recharge it. With charging points still often quite hard to find especially in rural areas, you may have your journey disrupted.

For this reason, many car manufacturers have been looking at ways in which they can improve the battery to allow the electric vehicles to be able to cover more miles before they need to be charged again. Recently engineers have managed to create a battery that can run a lot longer and fully charges in ten minutes. This could be a game changer for the future of electric cars and make them a lot more appealing to many people.

The fact that electric cars are so much more eco friendly than petrol or diesel cars, and that alone can be enough to make some people opt for them.

Do you know the rules around number plates?

All cars in the UK have to have a number plate displayed on the front and back of a car. Did you know that there are very tight rules and restrictions on what your can and cant do with your numberplate?

 The numberplate on the front of your car needs to have a white background. Anything other than a white background is not allowed and can land you with a penalty. The plate on the back of the vehicle needs to have a yellow background. All the numbers and letters on the plate need to be printed in the standard font that is allowed and italics are not permitted. You can however have 3D letters in this font if you wish.

Some people choose to buy a personalised number plate for their car. Although they can choose what they want the plate to read to an extent there are still tight restrictions on the way the numbers and letters have to be displayed. Some people try to use screws and black caps to make a letter look like another one on their number plate but this is illegal and could land you with a fine. To get a new plate printed you have to take ID and proof that you are the registered keep to the place where you want to get them done. They will be able to advise you on what is and isn’t allowed.