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How do you sell a classic car?

When it comes to selling cars, there’s a number of different ways to do it. The method you use to sell your car is entirely up to you, it depends on:

a) how soon you want the car out of the way
b) how soon you want the cash in your bank
c) how much effort you want to put into preparing the car
d) how much time you have to deal with prospective buyers

We’ve outlined the different ways to sell your classic car below.

Want some help selling your classic car? You’re in the right place. Find out more.

Selling your car privately – Pros and Cons

Pros – Complete control of the sale, the car stays with you
Cons – Lots of work to prep and photograph the car, people coming to your house, risk of bad offers and time wasters. Can you write…? Will your words and photos do the car justice?

For some classic cars, a small ad in the back of your owners club mag might be all it takes. For other cars, channels such as Autotrader and Gumtree will work, but be prepared to do all of the grafting yourself. This means cleaning the car, photographing the car and dealing with all the enquiries. Do you really want prospective buyers coming to your house, scoping out your garage and offering you half the asking price?

Some of these classified sites are free, and there are some good ones… though big sites that suit modern cars like Autotrader aren’t suited to classic cars.

We have had successes with selling cars privately this way, but we’ve also had some awful experiences. If your car is valuable and desirable, we don’t recommend it.

To get the most money for your car privately, you’ll need a good description and some excellent photographs. We can help with both.

Selling your car on eBay – Pros and Cons

Pros – eBay has a huge reach
Cons – No guaranteed sale, buyers coming to your house, lots of silly enquiries

eBay is an online auction website that charges a fee to list the car, then a final value fee. Buyers can bid online, but be warned… There’s no guarantee they will show up.

In our experience, eBay used to be great – but these days it seems to take 2, 3 or 4 attempts for an auction to finish and an actual buyer to turn up.

It’s not cheap to do, it’s stressful and can be down right frustrating. You’ll spend your evenings answering the same questions over and over, regardless of how much or how little you put in the description. It can be done with eBay, but honestly… We don’t bother anymore.

Still keen to sell your car on eBay? Contact us for help and we can guide you through it.

Selling your car at auction – Pros and Cons

Pros – Its easy. Just drop the car off. You set the reserve.
Cons – Expensive, fixed dates for sales might work against your timeline.

The buzz of the auction hall, the smell of cheap coffee and bacon sandwiches… The classic car auction is a great way to sell your car and guarantee you’ll get the money if it sells. With an auction, there’s no comeback for the buyer if the car blows up after a sale (use that as a buyer beware just as much as it’s an advantage!).

Most auction houses will do the description and photos for you, saving you the effort. Some are better than others at this, and also at marketing their sales. There are auction houses that we rate, and some that we hate, so ask us first! We won’t name names here.

When it comes to values, the auctioneer will discuss the figure he thinks your car will achieve, and where to set the reserve price. They will have a good idea for where the bidding will fall on the day for your car and it’s condition. Be wary though – remember they want cars in the sale just as much as you want to sell it, so watch for false promises. As we said previously, some auction houses are better than others.

Although classic car auctions are popular, the values of cars can go both ways. Sometimes a car will sky rocket past it’s estimate and get carried away with the ‘auction room buzz’, selling far higher than the market value, but let’s be honest… people attend classic car auctions to get a bargain. So expect to be slightly down on the ‘agreed value’ your insurance company thinks it’s worth.

For all of the benefits a classic car auction offers, you’ll pay handsomely. Expect to pay an entry fee for the car, as well as a commission on the sale. There’s also a Buyers Premium, so wherever the hammer falls, it’s the auction house that wins!

As a rough example, the last car we sent to auction came out as follows:

Auctioneers Estimate – £7000 to £9000
Top bid on the day – £6,250 (It was rusty…)
Price with Buyers Premium – £6,750
Entry Fee + Commission – £90 + (6% + VAT) = £450 = Total Cost of £540
Total Returned after fees – £5,710

Not sure if a classic car auction is for you? Contact us.

Want to read more about our experience with auctions? Like the time we bought a classic car the media had been hyping and due to a disastrous series of events got a check from Brightwells Auctioneers for just £60? Or the time we invested £4,000 in a Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG to end up with just £1,500? Or the time we got carried away, lost track of who has bought what and had to move 9 cars in an evening? Or the time we bought an Audi S4? Click here.

Still keen to sell your car at an auction? Contact us for help and we can guide you through it, and to choose an auction house.

Selling your car in a specialist online auction – Pros and Cons

Many auction houses have now adopted the eBay formula, operating online auctions. There are a number of operations that do this, and it does seem to be growing in popularity. You’ll pay a fee to list the car, but the best auctions will send a photographer to shoot the car, and assign a proper writer to describe it.

The auction will have a defined end date and start date, but you’ll coordinate viewings from your house, just like a private sale. Think of it like a private sale, but with no fixed price, and a whole lot more marketing.

With a physical auction you can wash your hands of the car as soon as you drop it off, but with an online auction like this, you risk having the buyer come back to you if there’s issues with the car. You’ll be doing the handover and the auction house still take the fees.

In terms of costs, expect to pay around 5% depending on the auction house. We know of a few, and more are popping up all the time. Want to discuss selling your car this way? Get in touch.

Pros – Reach a wider audience quickly, cheaper than a physical auction, likely to find a buyer if one exists, take advantage of large marketing reach of auction house
Cons – No seller protection, you’ll still be hosting the sale at home

Selling your car on consignment with a dealer – Pros and Cons

Pros – Professional marketing, achieve a good price, some dealers offer warranties
Cons – Can be expensive, no guarantee it’ll sell, car stays with the dealer (which is both a pro and a con – what if the dealer goes bump?)

As you browse through the pages of classic car magazines, you’ll see a huge range of classic car dealers offering cars for sale. Did you know that many of these aren’t owned by the dealers themselves? Instead these cars are sold on consignment, owned by a customer and sold on their behalf by the dealer.

This is a good way to sell a car if it’s valuable, but the fees can be hefty. A good dealer can charge anything from 5% up to 25%, depending on the car and the price. For some people, this is still a good solution. It means all you have to do is get the car to the dealer, and they’ll take care of everything – right up until the point you get a cheque (or more likely bank transfer). A good dealer should be able to put together a stellar car description, a professional set of photos and some superb marketing for your car, but a bad dealer will do none of the above. There are good ones and bad ones out there, so choose carefully.

Still keen to sell your car on consignment? Contact us, we know a few people who can help.

5 Signs You Need to Overhaul Your Engine

If you notice that your engine’s beginning to fail, your car may need an engine overhaul. When your vehicle’s engine gets overhauled, a mechanic will usually disassemble, clean, inspect, and repair it if necessary. Depending on your engine’s issues, getting an overhaul is better than entirely replacing it, saving you from the costs of buying a new engine.

Before you go to your localauto shop and have your vehicle placed on a2-post automotive lift to work on your engine, it pays to know the common signs that it only needs an overhaul and not full replacement.

To make it easier for you, here’s a list of common signs that your vehicle’s engine may need an overhaul.

White Smoke is Coming Out of Your Car’s Exhaust

When your vehicle starts releasing white smoke from its exhaust, this may be a sign that the motor inside the engine is burning inside its compartment. This factor can lead to low levels of oil, slowing down the performance of your car altogether. When you leave your vehicle like this over time, it can damage the motor’s piston liners and rings, affecting the engine’s function even more.

The best solution for this is to have the cylinder of your engine replaced through an overhaul, restoring its optimal performance.

Knocking Sound

If you hear knocking sound every time you rev up your car, this can mean that the balance of air and fuel inside your engine is not right, making your vehicles’ fuel consumption unstable. The common cause of this can be a clogged filter or fuel hoist screen that can result in oil leaks and fuel-burning inside its chamber. When you leave this alone, it can damage your car’s piston wall and cylinder because of the lack of lubrication on these parts. The best solution to this is to have your engine’s filter changed, regularly change your oil, or have regular engine check-ups through an overhaul.

Excessive Consumption of Fuel

Fuel for cars tend to be pricey, and when your car’s fuel economy starts to become unbalanced, it can leave a massive dent in your wallet. The common reason for excessive oil consumption is when your spark plugs get damaged, negatively influencing your vehicle’s fuel economy. There are several ways you can enhance your car’s fuel efficiency, but having your engine checked is the best solution.

Burns Oil too Fast

Although getting new oil for your car is normal for its regular maintenance, if you see that your engine is going through oil too fast, it’s time to overhaul your engine. A sign that your car may be using too much oil in a short period is if it consumes 1 quart of oil for every 1,000 miles.

Damaged Valves

When your engine’s valve fails to close properly, the combustion fuels go past through the valve seat, making the engine’s valve head overheat and curve inwards. When this happens, the backflow of hot fuel builds up carbon in the engine’s stem guide area, producing cracks on the valve head, damaging it further. Damaged valve heads can destroy your car’s engine overall condition, so it’s best to have your engine overhauled when you see this sign.

If you’re experiencing any of these performance-related problems with your car’s engine, an overhaul can provide a breath of new life into your engine, getting your rig back on the road quickly.

Stay Safe – How To Disinfect And Properly Look After Your Car During The Pandemic

We are now living in a post-lockdown world, and with infection rates on the rise again, it’s essential to make sure that everyone is doing their bit in the fight against the pandemic, and to prevent the  spread of the virus even further. 

While everyone remains extra vigilant of their hygiene practices, including washing hands and wearing masks, it’s crucial not to forget about your vehicle. Most vehicle owners tend to spend a lot of time in their cars; whether that’s going to work every day, to the shops, or an important appointment, and it is crucial to make sure that it is a clean environment for you and your friends and family. 

Clean car, clear mind

Even though nothing will physically happen to your car, SUV or Lorry, should the virus happen to find itself on board as a passenger, if not cleaned thoroughly, your auto vehicle can quickly turn into a hotspot for the virus and propel the spread even further. 

As most vehicles tend to be private property, it can be easy to become complacent, especially if it’s only you, or the same family members or friends as passengers. However, it’s important to disinfect your car the same way you would your hands. 

With infections spreading, there is no way of knowing if you or one of your passengers doesn’t bring it back into the car, whether on your mask, hands, or clothes. Take the time to cleanse and sanitize your car with these simple steps.

Know the difference

You may think that because you wash your car often that you’re safe and have nothing to worry about, but it is vital to know the difference. Cleaning with soap and water physically removes germs, but does not kill them. That’s why in times of the pandemic, it is important to sanitize and disinfect using chemicals to kill viruses as well as bacteria and fungus, lowering the number of germs and, therefore, the risk of further spreading the virus.

What to use

While they are easy to get hold of, avoid using cleaning products that are particularly harsh, such as ammonia-based cleaners. These will break down the vinyl on your dashboard and can cause other materials in your interior to become brittle, faded or stained, and sticky when under light and heat. 

Isopropyl alcohol is safe to use on most interiors and vehicle surfaces and is known as a proven disinfectant. A two-in-one, it kills viruses and bacteria while also removing stains and smudges. Just be vigilant when using it on leather seats and surfaces, as it could potentially cause some problems and damage.  

Soap and water are also beneficial when used correctly. They can get rid of the virus in precisely the same way as when washing your hands with soap – a highly proven and effective way to protect yourself against infection. No matter which product you choose to sanitize and disinfect, make sure to give it time to take full effect, as some require several more minutes of application than others. 

Disinfect 

Spend extra time disinfecting and cleaning the steering wheel, since this is one of the dirtiest places and most-touched surfaces in the entire car, and use disinfecting wipes to clean all surfaces such as the controls for the radio and indicators. Other frequently-touched vehicle surfaces that require special attention include the brakes, gearstick, armrests, and cup holders, as well as the door handles. These areas get touched more often than you think and could be potential hotspots for the Coronavirus.

Watch out for, and replace, your ventilation system filters, particularly if they are a microfilter, as these are very effective when it comes to trapping airborne pathogens and viruses such as Covid-19. 

Lastly, remove the residue with a clean, soft cloth to avoid surface damage and dispose of it quickly and safely.

Social distance

Even in your own private vehicle, social distancing is key if you are not in quarantine or self-isolation and depend on your car to get around. A car is an excellent way to maintain this distance as opposed to public transport; however, if you find yourself with passengers, things become slightly trickier, especially in such a close environment. 

If you have to share your car with other people, it is advised that you avoid all physical contact with your passengers, which includes shaking hands or hugging. As you can never be too safe, to adequately protect yourself, it is advisable to wear a facemask while in the car with other people at all times. However, this wouldn’t be required with other members of your household. The mask will protect you from anyone who might need to sneeze or cough, but if a face mask isn’t possible, do so in your arm or tissue and ask your passengers to do the same. If at all possible, ask your passengers to sit in the back to protect them and yourself just in case and don’t drive if you are displaying symptoms or feeling unwell. Remember to follow any guidelines regarding driving during the pandemic in case you are restricted to a certain number of passengers, or those you live with only. 

How to maintain a virus-free vehicle 

Once you have disinfected your vehicle, it’s essential to keep it that way. Wash your hands as frequently as possible even once you have finished cleaning, as otherwise, you will be putting the germs right back onto your clean surfaces, rendering your cleaning efforts useless. Make sure to wash them before entering the car and after vacating to reduce the virus’s chance from entering.

If it isn’t possible to wash your hands with water and soap, keep some hand sanitizer in your car so that you have it with you at all times, and also buy sanitizer for vehicle to keep your car protected. 

If you suspect that you have had someone with Covid-19 in your vehicle or someone who may have had contact with someone who has the virus, disinfect all surfaces immediately and call your doctor. The virus can survive for hours at a time on surfaces, so it is best to be prepared and cautious if you think that your car might have been exposed. 

Maintaining good hygiene is key to preventing further infection cases, and your car and surfaces are no exception. While unfortunately no amount of vigorous cleaning can guarantee that you won’t catch the virus, all of these suggestions are a step in the right direction when it comes to helping minimize the spread and your risk, as well as the risk of your loved ones. 

What Social Media Can Do For A Motoring Enthusiast Like Yourself

Social media has become a huge part of the past few generations’ lives. It used to be a small online platform where people could share a few things about themselves and potentially meet people from all over the globe with similar interests. It’s now something that people need to do in order to get through the day, seemingly. Businesses need it, everyday people on the street need it so that they can keep up to date with the news and gossip of the world. It’s also a great way of contacting someone if their phone, etc. cannot be reached adequately. 

A fabulous thing about social media is that, these days, it acts as a central hub for almost everything you need to know about things in life. The internet is one big encyclopaedia, and social media is like a condensed version of it – a version that allows us to find news and opinion in a matter of seconds, using just a few keywords. If you can’t find the info you’re looking for right away, then you can just get in touch with someone who has real expertise in the field of choice. 

So, with all that said, let’s say you aren’t really all that social media savvy right now. What can creating an account on a particular platform do for you as a fan of the motoring world? Well, it can do so much for your contentment, income, and overall satisfaction in life. Let’s hop into more detail about this strange and wonderful online world.

It Can Inspire You

When you see certain posts and articles on an online platform, it can make you want to be a part of it all. You scroll through things that people are doing, and it makes you feel as though you should be living your life in such a way. It’s been coined ‘FOMO’ a lot of the time – this means the ‘fear of missing out’ if you haven’t already heard of this. It’s not all about fear and envy, though, as it gives people the motivation and inspiration they need to make a move. In this instance, you could see someone travelling around the country (or the world) and immediately rush to buy a van (click here for more info) in order to get going yourself. It’s like you live vicariously through someone else and look at everything they do.

Education  

Social media can teach you about so many things in life. If you don’t know the first thing about cars or you feel as though you want to know even more about the formalities such as insurance or different laws, then social media will be packed full of articles and opinions from all kinds of people. It’ll give you the latest news as well as straight-up general knowledge, and it’s so easy to access.

You Can Meet All Kinds Of People

There will be people on your wavelength scrolling through social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. While it is best not to spend hours on these apps, it’s okay to do a little every now and again. You might even meet someone that becomes very valuable in the future. Perhaps a friend, business partner, or even a special someone could come from it.

It Can Keep You Occupied For Hours

As we mentioned before, you can stay on there for quite a while! Obviously, you don’t want to be staring at a screen for too long, but you can engage with so many different pieces of content. You can learn so much and take in so many experiences all from the comfort of your own home. There are hours and hours of content to indulge in.

You Can Make Money!

You can quite simply create a social media page and get yourself a big following. From then on, you could use that following to make money from selling products or services in the motoring world. You could also become somewhat of an influencer that promotes products from others if that’s something you’d be interested in. Social media gives people the chances to create businesses from very little nowadays – it’s quite extraordinary.

Memories Can Be Documented 

If you head somewhere on a trip or do something wonderful with your car, then you don’t have to worry about forgetting if you log it all down on social media. The internet won’t forget – whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is yet to be decided, of course. Platforms like Instagram allow people to create a sort of photo album or journal and share it with the world.

Genius Gift Idea For Automotive Enthusiasts

Sadly, it’s not always possible to get the car lover in your life the classic GT6 they have their eye on, or the latest Tesla to hit the market. However, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore either love of cars when choosing an appropriate present. In fact, there is a whole range of gifts perfectly suited to the car lover. You will even find some suggestions on the best ones below. 

A hamper with a twist 

Hampers of all kinds can be given as gifts. However, if you want to make the auto enthusiast in your life happy, you need to forget the choccies and booze and fill them up with something else instead. 

Of course, we are talking about car care products, which can actually be surprisingly expensive. Something that means the best quality ones is often received gratefully as a gift. In particular, look out for interior and exterior cleaners so they can detail the car themselves. Oh and throwing in some decent microfiber cloths, and some hydrophobic wax is an excellent idea. The reason being that the latter will keep their ride looking as clean and shiny as possible for the longest time. 

A classic car phone case 

Another fantastic idea for a gift for the automotive lover in your life is a phone case. Of course, we aren’t just talking about any old phone case here, but one that clearly represents their love of cars. 

The good news is that there are items like these UK designed and manufactured phrase cases resplendent with automotive art of both modern or classic vehicles. They even have a range displaying race cars for the Indie 500 fans, so there is bound to be something suitable for all tastes. 

A decent set of tools 

One thing that car enthusiasts are particular about is maintaining the vehicles that they love so much. With that in mind, a decent set of tools could be just the right gift for the auto lover in your life. 

Be sure to look for specialist mechanics kits that contain sprockets and wrenches. Also, if you can invest in a set that comes neatly packed away in its own box, as these are much easier to use as the recipient will have everything they need to hand. 

A dashcam 

Next, if you are looking for a gift that will bring a smile to a car lover’s face, then why not consider a dashcam? Of course, these are excellent because they can help to keep the recipient’s car and the driver themselves safe. The reason being that many people adjust their driving behaviour around vehicles that have a dashcam visible. 

Additionally, they are excellent for resolving disputes and insurance claims if the worst does happen, and the recipient’s car is involved in an accident. The great thing about this option is that the price of dashcam has recently decreased a great deal so you won’t have to spend your life saving to get a really good, gift-worthy one! 

Is this evidence of Big Cats roaming Warwickshire and Worcestershire? UK Big Cats

Is this evidence of Big Cats roaming Warwickshire and Worcestershire?

There is often discussion of Big Cats roaming the UK, from the Beast of Bodmin to the Beast of Dartmoor to the Surrey Puma and the Leicestershire Lion. Are they out there? Who knows…

but what on earth killed and ate this deer?! “Something hungry”, said Mrs Good Shout, without batting an eye. Meanwhile ferocious beasts are prowling the undergrowth looking for their next meal. Leave them alone, I say, they’re not hassling anyone. Unless you’re a deer.

If we get a whole load of deer and rabbits commenting saying ‘CULL THEM ALL’ then we will be forced to switch off comments for this post.

Could the real Bagheera please stand up?

Seriously though we sent the photos of this kill to UK Big Cat Exppert Rick Minter and he is quite sure it’s a dead deer. Jokes aside though he did note that it has hallmarks of a big cat, probably the deer was hit by a car and then dragged into the undergrowth by a big cat to feast on. We suspect the cat was protecting the kill before being spooked by a car, hence it got left at the side of the road.

Don’t believe Big Cats are out and about in the UK? Check out Big Cat Conversations, there’s some hair raising stories that’ll fascinate the pants off of you.

Cheers for reading.

Slash Car Running Costs: 5 Easy Tactics

Everyone knows that buying or leasing a car can be an expensive experience. However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay out your life savings all over again when it comes to running your vehicle. In fact, there are some pretty simple ways you can save money on running your car. Keep reading to find out what they are. 

Save on fuel 

If you don’t put fuel in your car, it isn’t going to get very far. However, petrol can be one of the most significant expenses that you need to consider. Of course, one way to keep this cost low is to make sure that you go avoid premium fuel options. In fact, unless your car manufacturer states explicitly that your vehicle requires them, you will be much better off with a regular fuel anyway. 

Additionally, you can save a decent amount of fuel over the year by carefully choosing where and when to fill up. That means doing your research and finding the cheapest petrol station locally, something that will change from day to day. 

Picture sourced at Pixabay – License CC0

When planning a trip, also be sure to schedule in stops at points where you have access to cheap fuel, as this can save you a fortune! Finally, do not forget to sign up for a reward card when purchasing your fuel. The reason being that you can use it to help offset the cost of petrol over the year. Something that makes it a free and easy way of saving even more money. 

Lower your insurance costs 

Another high running cost for vehicles is insurance. That is the protection you pay for in case of accident, injury, or damage. Unfortunately, sometimes the price of your insurance can be vast. Especially if you don’t have the best driving record or your car is one that is regarded as a significant risk. 

The good news is that it is still possible to find car insurance at a reasonable rate, and you don’t have to spend hours online shopping around to do it either. In fact, some car insurance providers will do the comparison part for you. Something that means all you need to do is reap the savings they can provide. 

Economical tyres

 The tyres you choose for your vehicle matter for many reasons. One of these is because the right ones can help reduce your fuel costs. The reason being that the correct tyres, appropriately inflated, can maximize the contact that your vehicle has with the road. This is something that increases the amount of drive it can get and therefore, can reduce fuel usage. 

Drive better 

Finally, remember that the way you drive will also affect how much it costs you to run your vehicle. In fact, by driving defensively and thinking a few steps ahead, you can gain many benefits. These include not only improving the safety of your journey but reducing the cost of it as well. The reason is that with more time to think and act, you will waste less fuel stopping, starting, and making emergency manoeuvres. 

Buy a Quality Car

If you buy a low quality car with a cheaper price tag, you may find that you end up spending more in the long run with repairs. Buy a good quality car like BMW Cars so you can rest assured that you won’t face these costly problems down the line!

8 DIY Car Maintenance Tips For Beginners

8 DIY Car Maintenance Tips For Beginners

The love between a new car owner and his/her automobile can easily be compared to that between new love birds. And just like any other love-based relationship, it takes time, effort, and money to maintain and keep it going strong. Unfortunately, as much as that love may always be there, the money for maintenance may not. 

But did you know that you could save a lot of money when it comes to car repairs and maintenance? All you need to do is to know the basic things you can do yourself without needing to visit a mechanic. So, in this article, we will take a look at some maintenance tips you can do on your own even if this is the first time you own a car.

  1. Replacing the air filter

You do not need any special tools to check the air filter, and it should take you no more than 10 minutes to start and finish. Always ensure that you get a new filter every 12,000 miles or 12 months. You have the option of leaving your car with your mechanic to change your filter (which will probably take a whole day) or can take just 10 minutes of your time to do it yourself. To do the latter, locate the air filter under the hood of the car. It usually takes the form of a black rectangular box that comes with metal clips at its side. Be sure you visit your owner’s manual to guide you locate it. Once found, open the casing and observe closely how the filter fits inside and which direction it faces. Next, remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. Be sure to place it the same way the old one was. Finally, close the clips on the side. 

  1. Replacing the windscreen wipers

Just like the air filter, you do not need any professional tools when replacing your windshield wipers. Plus, it should not take you more than 15 minutes to complete – unless you want to leave your car with the mechanic for the whole day (if you’re lucky). Don’t fall for those free windshield wipers installations that require you to first purchase an expensive windshield wiper. You can do it yourself. Be sure to change your windshield wipers once every 12 to 6 months. The setup of wiper blades differs from one automobile to another. Thus, be sure to have your manual with you. First, lift the blades just like you would when washing the windshield. Then remove the blades and observe how they are connected to the metal arm. If you notice a tab located on the underside of the wiper, push it to release the old blade and then attach your new blades. But be careful you don’t scratch the windscreen or bend the wiper arms. Also, make sure all the blades are well aligned, secure, and tight.

  1. Changing the spark plugs

Arm yourself with a socket wrench or ratchet, a spark plug socket, and a 12-inch socket extension to take on this activity. Changing the spark plugs may sound or look like a complicated job, but it is quite easy. It should take you about 20 to 30 minutes to replace them. Before doing anything else, check your owner’s manual to be sure when it is best to replace your spark plugs. Then make time for yourself to do the changing because you don’t want to rush through this. First, find the spark plugs attached to the thick wires with rubber covers. There could be between five and nine plugs, depending on the number of cylinders the car has. Next, remove the first plug with your spark plug socket and socket extension. Remove the first plug only and avoid removing all the plugs at the same time. Now, install the new plug and tighten it with your hand first. Once done, tighten it with the wrench, being careful not to overdo the tightening. Then, re-attach the wire and repeat the same process for the rest of them.

  1. Changing the oil and oil filter

To do this, you need a funnel, an oil pan, an oil filter wrench, and a ratchet. This should take you about 35 to 45 minutes to finish. Your oil should be changed every 5,000 miles or even less, and fortunately, you can do it yourself. Bear in mind never to attempt changing the oil when the engine is hot. Also, you will need to jack up the car a little to make sure you’re more comfortable. First, slide under the car to locate the oil pan. Next, unscrew the plug to drain the old oil into a pan and replace the drain plug. Now get back to the engine and use your oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter. Use a bit of motor oil to lubricate the gasket on your new oil filter. Pour the new oil into the new oil filter, filling it only about two-thirds. Fix the new filter oil, screw it and tighten by hand only. Now use your funnel to fill your engine with your new oil. Check the level of the oil by using your dip-stick to be sure you have filled enough.

  1. Battery maintenance

Armed with rags, a wire brush, corrosion removal fluid, and some wrenches, this should take you about 20 minutes to complete. A good connection is all your battery requires to keep your car running – all things being equal. Inspect the condition of your battery regularly to know when it is time to do some maintenance. Start by removing the terminals of the battery, beginning with the negative first. Now, clean the posts using a mixture of baking soda and water – that is if you cannot afford a professional cleaning product. Apply the mixture to the posts and use a wire brush to clean them vigorously. Once done, rinse the cleaning mixture off the posts with just a little water and dry it with your rag. Now replace the terminals of the battery. 

  1. Radiator flush

This should take you no more than 30 minutes to complete. You will need the following; a used coolant receptacle, a funnel, a coolant, a radiator flush solution, and a wrench. For your car to work properly, your radiator and cooling system should be clean. One of the best ways of cleaning it is by flushing it once every year or a couple of years, depending on the automobile. First, be sure that the car engine is not hot before starting. Locate the drain plug of the radiator with the help of the car manual. Position your used coolant receptacle to receive the draining old coolant. Once completely drained, replace the plug and release the radiator cup. With the aid of your funnel, add the radiator flush cleaning mixture, after which you can fill the rest of the radiator with water. Once done, you can replace the cup of the radiator and start the car to let it run for a while. When it gets to its normal temperature, turn the heater on to the hottest level and allow the car to run for about 10 minutes. Now turn off the car, allow the engine to cool down completely, and drain the content in the radiator. Finally, refill it with fresh coolant.

  1. Fuel filter replacement

To replace your fuel filter yourself, you will need a form of eye protection, some rags, open-end wrenches, new fuel line washers, and a new fuel filter. The procedure should take you no more than 30 minutes to complete. This procedure can be very dangerous for you and your car. So, if you have no experience in it, it is better to leave it to the pros. Start by making sure to relieve any fuel system pressure and disconnecting all the fuel lines from the filter. With the help of your wrenches and a rag, loosen the bolt. Slide off the fuel line and use the same process for the second side of the fuel filter. Now remove the fuel filter and change the filter washers. Fix the new filter the same way you removed the old one and re-install the fuel pump before trying to start the car. Other kinds of maintenance, such as engine performance, should be left to the professionals. You can visit enginecarbondetox.co.uk for issues related to carbon buildup in the engine. 

  1. Replacing the brake pads

Your car’s brake will need replacing about every 20,000 miles. To do this, you will need the following tools, a hammer, an adjustable or open-end wrench, a C-clamp, and a lug wrench. Replacing a brake pad should take you not more than an hour. But if you’re uncertain about doing it yourself, then get a pro to handle it. To start, lift your car and let it sit safely on jack stands. Now, break the lugs on the tires and remove the wheels one after another. When removing the brake clipper allow the brake pads to slide out through at the top side. Remove the bolts on both sides of the clipper and pull the clipper upwards. Now slide the brake pads out. Next, fix the new pad and secure it with the retaining clips. With your c-clamp, compress the brake piston and tighten the clamp. Finally, re-install the brake calliper. 

The Rover P6 National Day and Why We Love Old Cars

This post was written by Geoff Thompson, a person who is in no way affiliated to, on the pay roll of, related to, involved with or even known to Good Shout Media. Sort of.

Guest Post:

The Rover P6 is an iconic British saloon car introduced in the late 1960s and supported by a number of well-established car clubs. The P6 Rover Owners Club is one of them, and their collective love of this four-door sedan peaks at the P6 National Day, held at Rufford Abbey Country Park, in Nottinghamshire. Tasked with reporting on the event from the inside, a classic car insurance company gave me a rental car, a pen and a free ticket. The gig was on.

Armed with nothing but a McDonalds coffee and the very best press credentials; I opted to bypass the queue of traffic that had already amassed along the A614 and instead drive the incorrect way down the English Heritage Property’s one way system. I intended to sneak past the waiting classic cars and talk my way into the staff car park – after all, when you’re documenting an event for a prestigious publication (and I was), there are liberties to be taken.

As soon as the car park attendant saw me, I knew the plan was flawed. The poor chaps mind was blown. No one had ever tried to drive the wrong way down an English Heritage Property’s one way system. I slowed to a crawl and dropped the passenger side window, leaning forward to address him as he stepped out of his booth. He locked eyes with me, waiting for the moment of glory when this sunglass wearing, rental car driving psuedo American would stop the car and experience a verbal dose of British car parking etiquette the likes of which Rufford Abbey had seen before.

I leant further forward and opened my mouth to speak… then cruised past him with the window down at 3mph. The look on his face said it all; there wasn’t any training for this. No one had ever lowered the window to talk and then gone right by without saying a word, it simply wasn’t the British way. He started to slump to the floor but the access road kinked to the right and with trees on both sides, I soon lost sight of the scene.

Continuing the wrong way down the access road, I abandoned the rental in the staff car park. Panicked looking green uniformed park wardens were sprinting towards the main road and clutching handheld radios, so I hid the car in a bush and continued on foot.

Rufford Abbey is a 16th century monastery, which was converted into a residence at some point in its I oh didn’t really care, the sun was shining, the cars had arrived and the cafe was open. One black coffee later and I was amongst over 50 classic Rover cars, blending into the crowds with my sunglasses and straw hat.

I’d been sent to Rufford Abbey by a British motoring title to write about the history of the Rover P6, but my main interest in the article was ‘Rover people’. What makes them tick? What is it about these rusty, badly made yawn boxes that make people want to join owners clubs? I’d also been asked to nominate a car for the ‘Visitors Choice’ award, although after what happened at the Land Rover show I was under strict instructions not to nominate the rental car.

The long access road leading down to the Rover P6 cars and the Abbey itself was lined with all manner of classic and modern show cars. Although the array of vehicles on display was impressive, it was nothing compared to what was going on behind the cars – the deck chair and picnic display.

Lightweight, folding camping chairs took precedent, with a smattering of older, wooden framed canvas deck chairs in for good measure; but the concours worthy folding chair with optional roof was a sight to behold, so I promptly made a note of the make and model on my piece of paper and nominated it for the ‘Visitors Choice’ award.

No darling, they’re not all the same” a well-dressed man replied to his equally well-dressed wife as they browsed the Rover P6 display. At this stage I thought she had a valid point.

The P6 fraternity were congregated in the main arena, where 50 or so of the seemingly identical cars were gathered, but my prey were all lined up along the main entrance road, parked in the shade of the trees. Ah ha, I thought. Here we go… The Real Rover People.

Nearest to the P6 circle were a trio of Rover 75s, four MGFs and two Rover Coupes. I got chatting to one of the owners.

Well I’ve got a Coupe, a 75 and a 25, but I’d really love a 45 quipped one, when asked what his dream car would be. Dream car. A Rover 25. Who are these people?! The Rover 25 was a hashed together design job based on an ancient platform and leftover running gear. The Ferrari F40, on the other hand, wasn’t.

“7” replied his friend, when asked how many Rover Coupes he currently owns. “And I’m always on the lookout for a bargain Coupe”. Knowing full well that a taxed and tested Rover Coupe can be bought for only slightly more than I’d just paid for a Panini and chips, I silently wondered what he considered a bargain, and why anyone would deliberately buy one of these cars, let alone seven of them.

A man in a hat was talking to a man with a beard about why the Rover 800 was better than a BMW 5 Series, whilst stood next to a Rover 75 with a plastic BMW badge stuck to the engine cover. This new world of appreciation of the mediocre was confusing me, so I slumped into a late model, wooden framed, canvas deckchair to ponder my findings.

How can there be so much love for these seemingly mediocre cars? How can it be that cars that were so average develop such a cult following years after the presses have stopped?

Longbridge, (the spiritual home of many of the cars on show at Rufford Abbey) was originally built in 1895 and made cars on and off for over a hundred years. For over a hundred years, ordinary lives of ordinary people have been touched by the Longbridge legend. The legacy of British Leyland, Austin Rover, Phoenix Consortium or whatever it was called at the time is huge. The amount of cars that come under the collective banners of the companies really was monumental. Maybe your schoolteacher drove a Montego. Perhaps your family holidays were in a Marina, or your first company car was an Austin 1800, or you learnt to drive in a Mini. Somewhere, at some point in your life, you’ll have come across a Longbridge car.

The point is, when it comes to buying, driving, restoring and cherishing classic cars, we don’t just want to re-live and cherish moments from the past; we want to relive and cherish moments from our past. The Ferrari F40 was the poster car of my youth, but I can’t relate to it – it never reached me. On the other hand, when Uncle Martin arrived at our family home in his dark grey Rover Coupe around 1994 my eight-year-old self thought it was the coolest car in the whole world.

For all of their pitfalls, for all of the head gasket rumours and unreliability and build quality issues that are part and parcel of the British Leyland and Rover cars; the fact of the matter is that they reached a lot of people. Yes, some were rubbish cars, yes, they probably still are, but the sentimental value of a memory can’t be bought for love nor money. There are so many classics out there that the glossy magazines skip over, “but Grandad had one as his last company car and kept it until he passed away, and even though it’s a worthless Rover 216 saloon, to our family, it’s priceless”.

With all the glamour and grandeur that is so prevalent in the classic car scene, with constant updates on the latest seven figure sales and stories of vintage race cars being found in barns it’s as though we’ve forgotten why we love the things in the first place.

Over a hundred people gathered to watch the P6 Rover Club Prize Giving and raffle, and it was at this point, looking around at the crowd of assembled owners in front of a circle of 75 of the same car that I realised the well dressed gentleman had been right – they’re not all the same.

Having reattached the numberplates of the hire car, I reflected on the day. The reason we feel so attached to these rubbish old cars is because they’re memorable. Yes, it broke down, yes, the doors fell off, no it didn’t have any window winders, but at least it had character.

It’s not just the build quality and reliability that make modern cars so forgettable, we live in an age of cheap credit and for many drivers, it’s easier to finance a brand new car every two years than to keep the old family wagon on the road through successive MOTs. To so many people, the car is no more special than the cooker, or the toaster, or the freezer… just another expensive item that works until it breaks and then gets replaced.

As I let that thought linger, I stamped my foot into the carpet as hard as possible, desperately trying to coax some character out of my rented toaster. The little car didn’t moan, it just did what it was told, sped up, and took me away from Rufford Abbey. There was no drama, no tappet noise, no smell of leather, no hint of petrol in the air, and ultimately no lasting memory of the journey or the car. Was this a sign of things to come?

Only time can tell, but right now I’ve got to get on eBay to find a Rover P6 before the values hit seven figures or the park wardens bust me for breaking the cardinal rule of the Rufford Abbey One Way System in a rented toaster.

Top Reasons to Own a Jaguar

If you’re looking for a new car, whether you want a brand new model or something classic, Jaguar is a manufacturer that certainly can’t be ignored. It has so much to offer and if you want a car that’s going to exude style, it’s impossible to look past the Jaguar brand. If you want more reasons why you should consider owning a Jaguar, you’re in the right place. Here’s more about what this prestigious car maker has to offer.

They’re a Lot of Fun to Drive

One of the best things about Jaguars is the kind of drive they offer. They truly are very fun to drive for the most part. Not only do you get the feeling that you’re driving a truly prestigious car, but the actual driving experience is always incredibly smooth and elegant. There are no better words to describe it than those. The quality of the ride never seems to let you down.

Some of the Classic Models Are Stunning

Some of the classic jaguars you can find out there are simply stunning and there’s no way that can be denied. Whether it’s the SS Jaguar 100 or the F-Type, there’s no shortage of classic Jaguars you can choose from. And not all of them are particularly expensive either, so you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great Jaguar model from years gone by.

The New Models Are Beautifully Designed

The New Jaguar XE is an example of what Jaguar can do today. They certainly aren’t banished to the past in terms of designing great cars. The Jaguar brand lives on and it still has so much to offer. If you’re looking for beautifully designed cars that can hold their own against the competition, take a look at the latest Jaguar models out there. Some of their designs are simply stunning.

The Interiors Tend to Offer Real Luxury

If you’re looking for a car that offers genuine comfort and luxury on the inside, it’s hard to look past what the Jaguar brand has to offer. They really do go above and beyond what most other car manufacturers are able to offer in this department. They’re known for offering luxurious interiors and that’s not something that’s likely to change anytime soon.

They Delivery High Levels of Safety

One thing that’s often overlooked about Jaguar models is how safe they are. Not everyone realises the fantastic safety record Jaguar has with the cars it manufactures, so if you’re looking for a family car or you simply care a lot about safety, you should definitely consider a Jaguar as your next car purchase. It won’t let you down in that department.

So if the time is right for you to make a new car purchase, don’t dismiss the option of choosing a Jaguar. There are so many reasons why you might want to choose a Jaguar and hopefully the things we’ve discussed above will help to convince you of that.