Top 10 tips to keep your car running smoothly

Winter can be a troublesome time for car owners. Darker driving conditions and unpleasant weather can affect everything, from car performance to the potential for accidents. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your car is running smoothly at this time of year. A well maintained vehicle will be more pleasurable to drive and will also help to keep you safer on the roads.

 

How to keep your car running smoothly

  1. Regularly check the transmission

It’s the transmission that enables the car to move by transferring energy from the engine to the wheels. Make sure this essential function can run smoothly by regularly checking the levels of transmission fluid.

 

  1. Look after the engine

Any traditional petrol or diesel car relies heavily on its engine, which can also undergo some strenuous wear and tear. Regular engine maintenance will include checking the spark plugs, assessing the way that the PCV valve is operating and ensuring that all the filters are functioning well (e.g. air filter and fuel filter).

 

  1. Educate yourself about the engine and the oil

Most people understand that the engine needs oil and that that this needs to be changed regularly, around every 3,000 miles. However, the way you drive your car may also impact on how you need to manage the engine and the oil. For example, you might need to change the oil more regularly if you’re driving in conditions where you’re frequently stopping and starting the engine or if you’re towing something heavy.

 

  1. Check the car’s emissions

The system for removing emissions from the car is all underneath the vehicle, which means it can take a lot of heavy impact from road surfaces or weather. Make sure you have this checked once a year to ensure that it’s functioning and in tact.

 

  1. Carry out regular battery maintenance

Another essential component in the smooth running of any car, the battery needs to be regularly checked to make sure it’s secure and not vibrating, that connections are clean and that the water is at the right level.

 

  1. Ensure the air conditioning is fully functioning.

The car’s air conditioning system delivers warmth in winter and cool in summer – have this regularly checked so that at least driving conditions inside the car are controlled.

 

  1. Check your manual for a brake maintenance schedule

Different cars may require different approaches – stick to the schedule for your specific make and model to avoid expensive repairs further down the line.

 

  1. Know what to look out for when it comes to brake problems.

For example, grinding sounds may mean you need new brake pads.

 

  1. Get a mechanic to check the cooling system

They will look for wear and tear to hoses, coolant levels and dirty coolant fluid in the system needs to be replaced by clean.

 

  1. Get your suspension inspected regularly

Especially if you’re noticing problems, such as steering vibrations or unusual noises when driving, it might be time to get a mechanic to do a full suspension and steering check.

Keep your car running smoothly this winter with these 10 tips and enjoy a better (and safer) driving experience.

Get in touch for more tips and advice today.

Start the new year right with Diamondbrite

Whether New Year’s resolutions are your thing or not, there’s one decision that we can all make this year that will reap ongoing rewards: to better look after the car. Diamondbrite has many benefits for your car – and it doesn’t stop there. If you have a boat, a caravan or a bike then you can enjoy the same advantages too. If you’re looking to start the new year right then it makes sense to do it with Diamondbrite.

 

What is Diamondbrite?

It is a waterless wash and wax system for a number of different types of vehicles. If you’re sick of using a sponge and water, or just not seeing the results you’d hoped for from that method, then Diamondbrite is a great alternative. It helps to shine and protect the entire vehicle, from wheels to bodywork, and can also help to make paintwork shine. Diamondbrite works by surrounding dirt particles on the car, boat, bike or caravan and gently detaching them so that the end result is impressive, scratch-free cleaning. It’s not only very effective but also kinder to the environment too – Diamondbrite is biodegradable.

 

The benefits of Diamondbrite

For cars

Most cars today have been finished with water based paints and while these are better for the environment they don’t excel at longevity. The paint on your car can quickly fade, leaving it looking less than new and impressive. However, by using Diamondbrite you can preserve that showroom-fresh colour. Using Diamondbrite on your paintwork creates a tough durable glaze that will protect it. If the application is carried out by an approved Diamondbrite applicator then the end results will also be covered by a guarantee.

 

For boats

The Diamondbrite Marine range is specifically designed to help meet the challenges of sea-going vessels. Boats are not cheap to buy and are subjected to some very tough conditions. Regular use of Diamondbrite Marine can help to provide protection for boats, as well as simplifying and shortening the process of cleaning and maintenance.

 

For motorcycles

Riding a motorcycle can have a heavy impact on the bike itself, whether that’s from the roads or the environment. Diamondbrite Motorcycle offers two specific solutions for bike owners, one a Fully Guaranteed complete Fluorocarbon Polymer paint protection system that is workshop applied, the other a standalone range of clean and protect products that can be used independently of the paint protection system.

 

For other vehicles

From caravans to other expensive leisure vehicles, there are many ways in which Diamondbrite can provide protection this year. For example, atmospheric pollutants can erode paintwork but Diamondbrite can provide the protection to keep it in tact and looking bright. It can also help to minimise or avoid the damage that can be caused to the surface of paintwork by microscopic particles coming off the road or the surrounding environment. If you’re looking to protect an investment you’ve made in a vehicle, Diamondbrite is an easy way to help you do it.

 

Whether you have a car, boat or caravan, if you’re keen to start the new year right then it has to be with Diamondbrite.

Don’t let your tyres get tired!

Looking after your tyres is essential for safe driving – when tyres are worn down or damaged they can make a car difficult to handle and cause accidents. There are many reasons why tyres end up worn down and this can often happen a lot more quickly than anticipated.

From age to wheel alignment or driving on difficult surfaces, a whole range of factors can have an impact on the condition of your tyres. These are some of the things you can do to ensure that your tyres remain in great condition and support safe driving when you’re on the road.

Maintain consistent tread depth

The depth of tread on tyres is important because, as the tread on your tyres wears out, the breaking distance increases. Ideally, you should aim for the shortest possible breaking distance, especially in winter, so that your car can be responsive to conditions on the road. Maintaining tread depth at 3mm will ensure optimum braking performance.

If the depth of the tread drops beneath 1.6mm then you could face penalties or fines, as this is the legal minimum. The easiest way to measure tread depth is with a tread depth indicator but you can also use a 20p coin. Place the coin in the main tread groove of the tyre and if you can’t see the outer border of the coin your tread depth is too low.

Look for obvious damage

One of the easiest ways to keep your tyres in good shape is to regularly check for obvious damage, such as gashes or bumps. These could be caused by anything, from road surfaces to potholes, and can be dangerous if left and not dealt with. If you’ve had an emergency incident, such as making an emergency stop, then it’s also a good idea to have the tyres checked over afterwards to ensure that they haven’t been damaged or worn down as a result.

Keep an eye on tyre pressure

Tyre pressure requirements can differ depending on the type of car – and some manufacturers will recommend different pressures for the front and back tyres. It’s important to ensure that you know what is recommended for your car (this should be in the vehicle handbook) and that you check regularly to ensure that this is being maintained. If you don’t keep an eye on tyre pressure then there are a number of issues that could arise.

Safety issues

If your tyre pressure is low, the tyres may overheat and this can make it difficult to handle the car on the road.

Increased cost

As tyre pressure decreases, rolling resistance increases, meaning that more fuel is necessary to maintain the same speed. Tyres not at the correct pressure will also have a smaller contact patch, which can lead to uneven wear and the need to replace tyres more often.

Poor fuel efficiency

You can only sustain optimum fuel efficiency with tyres at the correct pressure. This will also help to reduce CO2 emissions.

Winter is a crucial time to make sure that every part of your car is well looked after, especially such an essential component as the tyres.

Get in touch for all your winter car needs today.

Stay safe when driving this Winter

Winter can be a challenging time for even the most experienced of drivers. Whether you’re used to snow and ice or you find yourself getting nervous as the temperature drops, preparation is key. From morning fog through to rain and hail, no matter what the winter driving conditions might be, with a little preparation you can still stay safe on the roads.

Use screenwash and ice scraper

On really cold mornings and evenings, screenwash can help to stop your windscreen from freezing over and being completely opaque. Remember that you can damage your water pump if you’re using only water or screenwash that freezes at just a few degrees, as this will allow everything to ice over. So, make sure you have some pure screenwash – or screenwash tables – to hand to deal with cold or icy conditions.

You’ll also need a good quality ice scraper. Although all of us have, at some point, used whatever we had to hand (e.g. credit card or cardboard box), these just aren’t as effective as a proper scraper. It’s an investment you won’t regret.

Buy snow chains

Even in the UK, snow chains can come in very useful during the winter months. Cars here are not designed to cope with snow but we do get at least a little snowfall every year – and some areas get a significant volume. Especially if you live in the countryside this could be a worthwhile investment. Innovation means that there are many more lightweight options today that you don’t have to worry about damaging your alloys while using.

Regularly check your tyre pressure

In colder conditions tyre pressure tends to drop and this can be problematic for safe driving. So, it’s important to regularly check the pressure of your tyres during the colder winter months – at least every two weeks. You may even want to invest in a tyre pump for your home so that you don’t have to go to the nearest petrol station to deal with tyre pressure drops.

Consider a shovel

Only really required during the depths of winter and/or if you live in a very remote area. However, having a shovel in the car can be a lifesaver in really extreme weather. Keep one in the boot during the coldest months so that you can dig out yourself, cars and people, if required.

Always have an emergency kit

Warm clothes, some food and drink, a back up phone charger, torch and blankets are just some of the items that could be useful if you have an emergency situation while driving. Even if you’re just stuck in a traffic jam in the cold, warm blankets and food can be a lifesaver.

Don’t rush

Allow yourself plenty of time when making journeys in bad winter weather as it’s often when we’re rushing that accidents happen. Even if you’re late for something important, slow down and take the time to drive properly – nothing is worth the damage of an accident, both to you and your car.

Get in touch with Jewelultra today for all your car needs.

Winter Car Care Tips

Winter is a challenging time for car owners. Wet roads, freezing temperatures and stormy conditions mean that your car needs to be in peak condition to ensure you have a safe drive, every time. Given the seasonal pressures of winter on any vehicle, even more care and attention is required at this time of year.

Prioritise battery care

This is the season when batteries cause issues because they’re subject to cold temperatures but also have to do more – for example powering the lights during daytime hours, as well as night. If your battery is causing issues then don’t wait to get this looked at.

Don’t skip the services

According to the AA, up to half of the issues that people experience with their cars at this time of year could be prevented with regular servicing and maintenance. So, look out for winter deals and discounts and if you haven’t had your servicing done yet for this year, make it a priority.

The condition of your tyres is key

If they are not in good condition this will affect your ability to steer the car and to brake properly. Check tyre pressure regularly and ensure that you’ve got tread depth of at least 3mm in the winter months.

Make sure the anti-freeze in your engine coolant won’t freeze

The way this is likely to happen is if you’ve been topping up the engine coolant with too much water during the warmer months of the year. Your engine coolant should be a combination of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. If it does freeze then you could get issues with the engine overheating.

Clean and prep your windscreen

Check the wipers are in good condition and replace if necessary. Top your screen washer up with antifreeze and give the windows a good clean. Be proactive if you spot any chips or cracks, as these can quickly get worse in cold weather and freezing temperatures.

In darker days lights are even more important

It’s not just darkness that can cause issues if your lights aren’t working property but conditions such as fog too. Check all your lights, from fog lights to headlights and indicators – clean them and look for any broken bulbs.

Hope for the best prepare for the worst

If you do break down in winter weather you need to make sure you’re prepared. Pack a ‘breakdown kit’ in the car, including a torch, blanket, shovel, food and drink, scraper and de-icer and screen wash. A portable mobile phone charger can also be useful.

Be mindful when you’re traveling in winter

Check the forecast and alter your plans if the weather looks like it’s going to be extreme. It’s always crucial to make sure you don’t have to rush so allow extra time for travel at this time of year – that’s when driving mistakes can happen.

Winter car care is all about being prepared. If you’re ready for the cold weather then you don’t need to worry about being out on the roads in wintry conditions.

For more winter car care tips and advice, get in touch with Jewelultra today on 01622 815679.

Honda storms to double 1-2 as Cammish clinches first BTCC victories in supreme style

  • Halfords Yuasa Racing steal the show at Brands Hatch with double 1-2 successes

  • Dan Cammish caps off maiden BTCC campaign by breaking duck with two wins

  • New-for-2018 Honda Civic Type R (FK8) collects four wins and 13 podiums in debut season

Halfords Yuasa Racing brought its 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season to a spectacular conclusion at Brands Hatch as Dan Cammish twice led home Matt Neal in a pair of perfect 1-2 results to break his BTCC victory duck.

On a landmark day for Halfords Yuasa Racing and the new-for-2018 Honda Civic Type R (FK8) at the culmination of the series 60th anniversary season, a peerless performance saw Cammish and Neal complete a formation finish in race once before the pair repeated the feat in race two.

Qualifying on the front row, Cammish shadowed Brett Smith through the opening lap before launching his attack into Paddock Hill Bend, nosing ahead into a lead he’d retain to the chequered flag for the first win of his burgeoning BTCC career. With Neal succeeding in working his way into second place behind his team-mate, Halfords Yuasa Racing celebrated its first 1-2 of the season.

Dan Cammish said: “It’s been an incredible day for myself, Honda and the entire Halfords Yuasa Racing team. Standing on top of the BTCC podium for the first time is a moment I will never forget, so to do it all over again with Matt alongside me in another 1-2 just makes the achievement all the sweeter. Everything came together in race one and the Civic Type R performed perfectly, but we thought it’d be a tough ask to win race two with the ballast on-board. However, I got my foot down early to make hay and I was able to hang on to the end. It’s a wonderful way to conclude my first season in the BTCC, one that gives me huge motivation heading into the off-season. Congratulations to Colin Turkington and Team BMW for their title win today.”

With a front-row lock-out their reward in race two, Cammish and Neal shrugged off their maximum success ballast to hold position early on. From here, a tenacious Cammish skilfully negated the limitations of the weight to complete a lights-to-flag, back-to-back victory as Neal doubled the delight once more by completing another 1-2.

While mid-field skirmishes contributed to Neal and Cammish finishing down the order in their final outing for 2018, it did nothing to dampen spirits as Honda and Halfords Yuasa Racing head into the off-season carrying huge momentum.

Complementing his title-winning success in the Jack Sears Trophy, Cammish’s double victory multiplies Halfords Yuasa Racing’s 2018 victory tally to four, including Neal’s historic ‘Diamond Double’ success at Snetterton in July, plus two pole positions and 13 podiums.

Matt Neal commented: “I cannot think of a better way to complete our first season racing the Honda Civic Type R [FK8] and I am especially delighted to see Dan on top of the podium, not once but twice! We really wanted a good result to take into the off-season and a double 1-2 result is exactly that. It’s been another fantastic BTCC season but today demonstrates exactly what Honda and Halfords Yuasa Racing is capable of with this new car, which gives me a lot of encouragement for the future. More than anything, we wanted to win it for a key member of our team that we have lost, so that one is for you Wainy (Mark Wain – longstanding Team Dynamics member, who sadly passed away two weeks ago). Finally, a huge congratulations to Colin and BMW for clinching the BTCC title, what a brilliant season he has had.”

In the final drivers’ classification, a closely-matched Neal and Cammish end the season ninth and tenth respectively, with Honda sealing runners-up spot in the manufacturers’ reckoning and Halfords Yuasa Racing second in the teams’ standings.

Honda warriors shows fighting spirit as Cammish secures Jack Sears Trophy

  • Dan Cammish takes unassailable lead in Jack Sears Trophy

  • Brilliant fight-back earns Matt Neal strong finish on unlucky day at Silverstone

  • Honda holds onto second in Manufacturers’ standings

A charging double top ten finish in race three from Honda duo Matt Neal and Dan Cammish ensured a positive conclusion for Halfords Yuasa Racing at Silverstone during Rounds 25/26/27 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, as Cammish successfully secured the coveted Jack Sears Trophy in his rookie season.

With the BTCC’s traditionally tight margins in evidence once more during qualifying around the 2.638km National configuration of the iconic venue, Neal and Cammish had given the Team Dynamics-backed Honda squad reason to be positive of a podium challenge after claiming sixth and 11th on the grid respectively.

However, Neal’s hopes of Silverstone silverware in any of the three races were all but scuppered just two laps into the first encounter of the day when he was innocently collected by a wayward rival spinning into the path of his Honda Civic Type-R (FK8) at Becketts.

Consigned to the garage after suffering terminal rear suspension damage, with Neal’s race two grid position reflected in his early retirement from race one he was forced to push forward from a lowly 29th on the grid.  Undeterred, Neal demonstrated sheer determination to scythe his way back to the points in 14th.

It was momentum Neal proceeded to carry through into the final outing of the day, the three-time champion suggesting what could have been with the benefit of better fortune by clawing his way back into contention for a hard-fought seventh place, a mere three seconds from the win. Neal commented: “It has been a positive end to a weekend that could have delivered a lot more. Unfortunately, the incident in race one set the scene for the remainder of the day and the fact it was entirely out of our control just makes it all the more frustrating. Nonetheless, we worked hard as a team to get the car ready for race two and it’s satisfying to race back into the points from the back of the grid. We carried that momentum into race three as myself and Dan worked our way through the traffic. If there were a few more laps available I am confident we would have taken at least three more places. On a positive note, the Civic Type-R felt quick all weekend so I am already looking ahead to the final round at Brands Hatch where the Halfords Yuasa Racing team will look to end the season on a high!”

Cammish, meanwhile, progressed from the sixth row of the grid to secure tenth place in a tightly-contested first race of the day before a battling performance using the mandatory hard tyres saw him take the chequered flag in 15th during race two.

Like Neal though, Cammish saved his best for last as the pair worked together to make gains through the order with the rookie racer following his team-mate home in eighth position.

His triple-scoring efforts mean Cammish is the winner of the illustrious Jack Sears Trophy for 2018. Named in honour of the series’ inaugural champion in 1958 and eligible to drivers who began the season having never achieved a BTCC podium, Cammish quickly established himself as the driver to beat by stepping on the rostrum as early as round two, a feat he’d repeat on three further occasions.

Cammish said: “It’s terrific to seal the Jack Sears Trophy in my rookie BTCC season. The drivers that have won the title in previous years have gone on to achieve great things so I hope this will be the first of many big BTCC trophies with my name on! As for the event overall, it was a tough day at the office but with plenty of positives to take away. I don’t think we did very much wrong this weekend but the small margins of the BTCC around a circuit with only four corners worked against us at the crucial moments. Nonetheless, when we get the Civic Type-R into its sweet spot as we did in race three then it shows how competitive we can be, which only makes me more determined to prove it at the final round.”
In the overall drivers’ standings, Neal holds down ninth position with Cammish in 11th position, with Honda consolidating second in the manufacturers’ championship and Halfords Yuasa Racing sitting third in the teams’ classification.

Jewelultra demonstrates all-new bodyshop products at Automechanika Frankfurt

Jewelultra, the leading supplier of vehicle paint and interior protection products, will be hosting live demonstrations of its new bodyshop products at Automechanika Frankfurt (stand E65, Hall 11.1).

The demonstrations will focus on Jewelultra’s two new bodyshop compounds – One Cut and One Finish. The two-step system removes scratches and swirls and leaves a high-gloss polished finish, saving time and money compared to conventional three-stage systems. The company will also use the show to launch two new retail products – Diamondbrite Headlight Restorer and Diamondbrite One Shot Screenwash, with exclusive deals on selected products available to show visitors.

Lance Boseley, Marketing Manager at Jewelultra said: “Appraising bodyshop products properly is always best achieved through a hands-on demonstration. One Cut and One Finish really stand apart from the competition thanks to their outstanding performance and usability, so we’re really looking forward to demonstrating those characteristics on our Automechanika stand.

“We will also be available to chat to visitors about our new Diamondbrite retail products – One Shot Screen Wash and Headlight Restorer – as well as discuss distributor opportunities.”

The Headlight Restorer from Diamondbrite is a clear solution that removes the tainted headlight coating and reapplies a clear coating without the need for an abrasive cloth. The screenwash is a unique, hassle-free ‘shot’ of concentrated screenwash which ensure smear-free vision but requires no mixing or diluting and is small enough to be stored in a glovebox.

All the new products have been subjected to rigorous testing in the Jewelultra laboratory and are already being used by bodyshops, valeters and service departments.

Automechanika Frankfurt is the world’s leading trade fair for the automotive service industry and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Classy Cammish upholds Honda’s podium record north of the border

  • Pole position and top three double for BTCC rookie in Scotland

  • Honda Civic Type R proves its prowess come rain and shine

  • Matt Neal fights hard for points finish on challenging weekend

A Honda driver has finished on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium at Knockhill every year since 2009, and Dan Cammish kept that proud tradition going this weekend (25/26 August) with a head-turning performance for Halfords Yuasa Racing north of the border.

Around an undulating, rollercoaster ride of a circuit that historically favours rear wheel-drive machinery, Cammish upset the formbook in qualifying by speeding to his maiden BTCC pole position behind the wheel of the new Civic Type R (FK8) – making him the best average qualifier of the 2018 campaign to-date.

The heavens opened on race day, soaking the picturesque Fife racetrack, but the inclement conditions did not deter Honda’s standout rookie, who leapt off the line into the lead at the start of the curtain-raiser and confidently held sway at the front of the field throughout the opening 11 laps.

Although ultimately powerless to resist the rear wheel-drive onslaught, Cammish clung on valiantly to take the chequered flag third – and top front wheel-drive competitor – before replicating that result in race two following a hard-fought battle. The Yorkshireman was denied the opportunity to make it a points-scoring hat-trick in race three by mechanical issues, but could nonetheless reflect upon a thoroughly impressive weekend.

Cammish said: ” “If you’d offered me two top three finishes before the start of the weekend, I would have snapped your hand off! I was over the moon to secure my first BTCC pole position, although I don’t think anybody really gave me a prayer of getting to the first corner still in front in race one – at the end of the day, physics are physics and rear wheel-drive cars launch better than front wheel-drive cars do. I got away very well, though, and I did arrive there first and then made hay for the opening few laps while the RWD boys brought their tyres up to temperature. Eventually, that advantage was negated, but to hold onto third I thought was a really good effort – for me, that was effectively a win. Race two was a pretty sensible job too in very difficult conditions – it would have been so easy to put the car in the barriers trying to be a hero for just one more place. It was obviously a shame to conclude the weekend with the problem in race three, but that doesn’t take the overall shine away.”

Hamstrung by having to carry 39kg of success ballast in both qualifying and race one, team-mate Matt Neal lined up a frustrated 21st on the closely-contested grid, before being removed from contention at mid-distance by an errant rival. From thereon in, his weekend became an exercise in damage limitation, and the three-time champion showcased his skill to rise to 17th in race two and a points-scoring 15th in the finale.

The results leave Neal ninth in the Drivers’ standings and Cammish tenth, with Honda and Halfords Yuasa Racing second in the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ tables respectively ahead of the remaining two outings at Silverstone (15/16 September) and Brands Hatch GP (29/30 September).

Neal commented: “This weekend has just gone to emphasise how important qualifying is in the BTCC, and it’s always incredibly tight at Knockhill – I was barely six tenths-of-a-second adrift of Dan, and that equated to 20 places! Yes, I was carrying a bit more weight, but that didn’t explain the whole time loss – we tried a different tyre strategy to Dan, which evidently didn’t pay off. That was then compounded by the rain, because the problem with being down the order in those conditions is visibility – you literally cannot see a thing. It got pretty lively out there, although my fun in race one ended when I was helped off the track at the final hairpin. Race two was another adventure – I almost went into the end of the pit wall at one stage – and we just lost the front tyres halfway through race three, like a lot of the front wheel-drive cars did. You need a bit of luck in the BTCC, and that’s clearly been lacking for us this weekend but on the positive side, we’ll be lighter going to Silverstone and we will bounce back.”

 

Watch the exclusive interview with Dan Cammish at Knockhill here:

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