Author Archives: Justin Smith

About Justin Smith


11 Ways to Help Keep Your Car Clean This Winter

man cleaning car interiorWinter is well and truly here. There is no getting around it, all we can do is deal with the multiple implications of the cold. You might think that the warm cabin of your car is something of a sanctuary in the face of the freeze, but if you don’t take the proper precautions, you could drag a slice of ice into the compartment with you.

Never fear because we have some practical tips that could help you stay on top of the battle against the elements during the colder snaps. Use our advice to make sure that you do not fall foul of water, salt, snow and all the other wintertime wonders that haunt us at this time of year. Continue reading

10 Great Winter Cars… That Won’t Break the Bank

car in winterDon’t be deceived. Until March is safely behind us in the rear-view mirror, we are not out of the winter’s cold grasp. When the snow comes down and the slush then freezes overnight, whole traffic systems can slow down and that’s with the support urban gritters. If you live in the country then conditions are often doubly treacherous, making motoring a potential nail biting scenario, if you could only release your cast iron grip on the steering wheel.

Of course, certain cars measure up better in cold weather than others and can add a whole new dimension to motoring in the winter. However, no-one wants to break the bank, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the best seasonal runners that can be found on the second-hand market for less than £5K. Continue reading

De-Icing Your Windscreen

windscreen-wiper-winterWinter mornings are here and stretching out their icy fingers over the pavements, streets and the windows of your car. Even though your mum and dad might have sworn by a hot douse from the spout of a kettle, this might not be the best for the long-term health of the windscreen. More ad-hoc methods are equally fraught with danger. Credit cards can scratch the surface of the glass or the hairdryer in the street method might require a load of extension cords that could prove a trip hazard or even see you get electrocuted.

Even though it might seem like a simple process to some, there are always ways in which you can maximise cleaning power whilst minimising the overall fuss of clearing ice from your car windows. In this article we defrost some of the best tricks in the books, allowing you to warm up your de-icing skills. Continue reading

Checking & Topping Up Your Coolant

topping up coolantAs you might have guessed by the name, coolant or anti-freeze plays a vital role in your car’s engine, especially in cold weather. Not only do you need enough of this fluid to stop your vehicle from seizing up when it’s freezing outside, you also must make sure that this fluid remains in a good condition. Continue reading

Saab 9-3 common problems

Saab logoThe Saab 9-3 is a popular, high quality executive car. If you like efficient motoring that puts a lot of power underneath the pedal, then this is a great place to start. Originally unleashed on the motoring public back in 1998, various iterations of the vehicle have featured a range of power systems including 1.8t BioPower and 2.8T V6 Diesel engines.

You should be able to find a good selection of Saab 9-3s available on the second hand market when looking for a used car. This solid car is a great choice for reliable motoring and with special editions like the Viggen still kicking around, you can even find something a little more collectable within the range.

It’s always advisable to be cautious when purchasing any second hand car – and with our common problems guide you can stay alert to some of the most prevalent issues affecting the Saab 9-3. Continue reading

Peugeot 406 common problems

Peugeot BadgeThe Peugeot 406 was first produced by the French manufacturer in 1995 and remained part of their European range until 2005. It was available in a number of styles and engines including economical 1.6L petrol and more powerful 2.9L V6 petrol models. With saloons, estates and coupe variants, there was something for everyone in this updated version of the 405.

There are still plenty of 406s out there on the UK roads and thanks to the popularity of this car, it is still possible to find many in good working order. However, as with all second hand cars it is best to err on the side of caution. Use our handy guide to make sure that your potential purchase is free from faults and that it won’t end up costing you more down the line. Continue reading

Name that Tune? How to Diagnose Faults from Car Noises

Car making noiseIt’s time for us to take a look at the sonic symptoms of various car issues, particularly when braking, cornering or even putting your foot down and accelerating. It’s always worrying when you hear an unfamiliar sound coming from somewhere in your car and you’d be forgiven for thinking that if you don’t do something about it the problem might grow. As a result noises cause anxiety and can even distract you from keeping your eyes on the road. Continue reading

Seat Alhambra common problems

Seat AlhambraThe Seat Alhambra is one of those cars that possibly doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Originally hitting the streets in 1996, it was revised in 2010 to bring it up to date with all new modern looks and features. Available in choice of 6 speed manual or 5 speed automatic models with a range of engines including a powerful 2.8L VR6 20 valve petrol model, this car offers great motoring, awesome space and an attractive rate of economy.

Overall this Seat is one of the best cars we have looked at during our run of common problem articles. During its tenure on the UK roads there have not been any recalls, which is a testament to the build quality of this motor. Still, nothing is immune to trouble and even though the Alhambra is a bastion of reliability, you can arm yourself against buying a lemon with our handy guide to often occurring problems. Continue reading

Ford Fusion Common Problems

Ford badgeThe Ford Fusion is a popular mini multi-purpose vehicle that owes its heritage to the unbelievably ubiquitous Ford Fiesta. After a launch in 2002, it saw a ten year production run in Europe with several different editions giving a choice of 4 speed automatic, 5 speed semi-automatic and 5 speed manual cars available across 1.4L and 1.6L engines.

A number of revisions were made to the range, introducing more stylish body trim and comfort features. When it comes to on the road reliability, it has that Ford feeling and parts for the car are plentiful and cost effective. This doesn’t however mean that it is a completely safe buy, and in this article we explore some of the most common faults. Continue reading

Skoda Fabia common problems

Skoda FabiaFast, nippy and full of fun. The Skoda Fabia is one of those little cars that everyone wants and with good reason too. First appearing on our roads back in 1999 it is the natural evolution of the Felicia and gives you affordable, super-mini style motoring, perfect for those on a budget. All of the models available have a definite slant towards fuel economy over top speed and power making this a true quality urban run-around.

Renowned in the industry for its reliability, there’s not too much for us to put into this common problems, but then no car is completely immune to faults, and the Fabia is certainly no exception. Use this article to make sure you have all the information before you go ahead and start looking at second hand Fabias. Continue reading