At Perfect Touch we continually strive to offer the best service by being one step ahead, every step of the way. Thats why we wanted to share some useful tips for driving in the UK’s Winter road conditions
Watch the latest video on choosing the right tyres below – video by Auto Express
Follow these simple points below to help:
- Antifreeze – check coolant level regularly and, if required, top-up with a mixture of the correct type of antifreeze.
- Battery – the most common cause of winter breakdowns. A battery more than five years old may struggle in the cold – get it checked and replaced if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned failure.
- Fuel – keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
- Lights – check and clean all lights regularly to make sure you can see and be seen clearly. Carry spare bulbs.
- Tyres – should have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. Consider winter tyres for improved safety. Check pressures at least every fortnight.
- Windscreen – reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the screen clean inside and out. Now is a good time to renew worn wiper blades.
- Screen wash – use a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather.
- Locks and door seals – stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals. A squirt of water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help stop them freezing.
We can help prepare your car for winter by carrying out many of the points above such as replacing bulbs and topping up fluids, but also by supplying and fitting a set of winter tyres.
If you are reading this article then perhaps you are a BMW owner?
VANOS is the name BMW give their variable value timing mechanism,
we wanted to simplify this subject and help you to better understand BMW VANOS.
So what are the symptoms of BMW VANOS failure or deterioration?
- Lower power levels
- Increased fuel consumption
- Engine surging
- Idle Hic-cups
- Engine hesitation
- Noisy engine – Normally shows up at about approx. 3,000 rpm
- Increased oil usage
There can come a point when the only way forward is to replace or refurbish the unit whether a single or double VANOS, this involves specialist tools and experience, a job not for the faint hearted.
By definition this job takes time, specialist tools and specific understanding of BMW VANOS in particular. Please take a look at our time lapse video showing Dan Brooks, Senior Technician at Perfect Touch, refurbishing a client’s VANOS on his M3 (E46). It also shows what it takes to get the job done from beginning to end in less than 3mins.
So what does all this do for the car?
A return of power and smoothness, which is what BMW enthusiasts really love about that legendary straight six engine, plus most importantly a returned enthusiasm for your car.
To find out more about BMW VANOS repair and refurbishment please call Gabs on 01992 443900, he would be delighted to talk you through the process or just help you work out what is next for your BMW.
Please Note – other manufacturers also use a form of Variable Valve Timing, for example Honda’s VVT and Porsche’s VarioRam/VarioCam.
Although we never experience really severe snow or slick ice in the UK its worth being ready if and when it does strike. We’ve put together some top tips for driving this winter.
Preparing your car for winter – We recommend checking the engine coolant, tyres (correct pressure and tread) and brakes
Get your air-conditioning re-gassed – Air-conditioning is just as handy in cold weather as it is in hot weather. In Winter it is used to clear/de-fog your windscreen and prevent it from misting up while driving.
Invest in Winter tyres – often overlooked is the use of high performance Summer tyres on many of today’s cars. Investing in some tyres specifically for Winter/wet driving really could make the difference
Take advantage of our FREE 45 point healthcheck – we offer a FREE 45 point healthcheck for your car which will highlight any issues that are deemed necessary to rectify now to either fix an existing fault or to prevent problems later on.
Remember to drive safe at all times – don’t hesitate to call us if you feel there is something we can help with (01992 443900)
Shield yourself from unexpected repair costs with Perfect Touch and the RMI
This scheme is a great way to help spread the cost of servicing and repair costs for your car. Its simple to get started and use.
- Pick up a leaflet from us containing your temporary membership card and details of how to register online
- Register online with the registration number(s) of the car(s) you wish to add to the plan
- Set up a direct debit to start saving into the plan. This can be stopped, started or altered at any time
- A permanent membership card will be sent out carrying your unique membership number
- When you car needs repairs, routine servicing or even an MOT simply bring your car to Perfect Touch or any other IGA/TMG approved garage
- Choose what proportion of the fund is used to cover the agreed costs
- You can log in to your account at any time to see balances and transactions performed
This sounds like a great scheme to us and we are pleased to be able to offer this to all of our customers right away.
Why not give Gabs a call in the office to find out more and for help signing up to the scheme – 01992 443900
In this section we aim to give you some advice around used car warranties
Should I buy a used-car warranty?
We believe it really depends on your circumstances but some digging reveals some shocking truths – mainly surrounding the minefield of Terms and Conditions within each policy.
There are a number of companies offering used-car warranties and while we won’t name any here, a simple search on Google will show you a number of well known names, you may of even heard of them.
What are my other options? After your car’s manufacturer warranty has expired you may be able to get extended cover from the manufacturer or even the franchise you bought the car from, these are often more competitive than the 3rd party companies out there in terms of exclusions, but cost-wise they can be very similar.
Some research reveals that used-car warranties can cost more than 10 times the average annual repair bill for a typical family car. For example in a recent Which? article a four-year-old Honda Civic 2.2 i-CDTI has an average annual repair cost of just £53, this compared with a 3rd party warranty for a wallet-crushing £642.65!
Here’s some of the Terms and Conditions that you must watch out for:
Some policies have limits on garage hourly labour rates such as £60 per hour up to £200 per hour.
Age limit – If your car is approaching the maximum allowed age, it may not be worth buying a used car warranty.
Betterment – Watch out for these clauses. Essentially when a repair (such as a new engine) makes a car more valuble, you may have to pay a percentage of the cost, which increases, the older the car gets.
Breakdown cover – Most warranties offer this as an extra-cost option.
Claim limit – Check the limit for each individual warranty claim – ideally it should be up to the value of the car. To put this into perspective, one provider has a limit of £500 per claim!
Consequential loss – This is where the failiure of one part causes damage to another or some other loss. For example, a fuel line might leak and damage an electrical component.
Excess – A combination towards the cost of each warranty claim. Look out for percentage excess clauses, these ramp up the amount you pay as your car’s mileage increases.
Expenses – You may be able to claim the cost of expenses, such as a hotel room or hire car. Check your policy wording.
Garage choice – Can you choose where your car is repaired? Some companies have networks of ‘approved’ garages. If you go elsewhere, you may need to pay an excess labour rate.
Labour rate – Third-party warranties usually impose a limit on the hourly labour rate for repairs. These vary widely, but most won’t cover the cost of repair at a franchised dealer. If you want to use a pricier garage, you’ll pay the extra.
Mileage – Check whether there’s an annual or total mileage limit above which the warranty won’t pay for repairs.
Pre-existing faults – Any faults that your car had before the policy started may not be covered.
Regulated provider – Make sure your provider is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and you get a 14-day cooling-off period.
Servicing schedule – You must keep the car serviced according the the manufacturer’s schedule, and keep all the paperwork. Be careful about fitting non-standard parts; these could invalidate your cover.
Time limits – Some providors state that you must be with the scheme for a period of time (for example 90 days) before you can make a claim. This would effectively mean a 12-month warranty is only valid for nine months.
Warning lights – If you ignor any warning lights on your car’s dashboard and carry on driving, the provider may refuse to pay out.
Wear and tear – Items that fail becuase of wear and tear are commonly excluded. Even policies that claim to cover it, restrict cover to mechanical and electrical parts. ‘Consumables’, such as tyres and brake pads, aren’t included.
As you can see above this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are so many policies, terms and conditions that are in place, and understandably so, they simply wouldn’t be able to pay out for EVERYTHING, you have some cars cheaper to repair than others, faults that cause another fault and so on; but knowing your rights and understanding the benefits and drawbacks gives you the POWER.
So to finish, we would advise you to simply make sure you fully understand what is covered and what your paying for, shop around within this rule but be careful!