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How to save money on fuel costs

Whether you fill up the car once a month, once a week or – if you’re putting in some serious mileage – every day, you can’t fail to notice the fluctuations in the price of fuel at the forecourt. And while you may take your own lunch to work to cut back on your spending, how often do you consider ways in which you can slash your fuel bill? We’ve got some clever ways to make sure your driving is as economical as possible.

Maintenance is key

Look after your car and not only will it be less likely to break down, but it will also run more efficiently. It’s simple to check the tyre pressure and getting it right can improve fuel efficiencies.

So check your car’s manual for the correct pressure. A good deal of petrol stations have equipment to check the pressure on each tyre and to inflate it if necessary.

So check your car’s manual for the correct pressure. Many petrol stations have equipment to check the pressure on each tyre and to inflate it if necessary.

Adjust your driving style

Being a speed demon will ensure your car burns a lot of fuel quickly, so keep your speed steady. Experts also agree that moving into a top gear as quickly as possible and avoiding excessive acceleration will also minimise fuel wastage. Try to read the road ahead so you can brake or speed up more slowly to save those pennies.

Lose the excess weight

If you want to save, then put your car on a diet. Remove any unnecessary weight from the car to lighten the load and reduce drag. This could include roof bars, roof boxes or items in the boot that aren’t needed. If you drive at 75mph with an empty roof rack, the Energy Saving trust estimates you’ll add 16% drag, while a roof box will add 39%. This extra drag will affect your fuel efficiency.

Dress For the weather

If it’s cold, wrap up, and if it’s hot, then ditch the layers. This isn’t about looking good, but about avoiding adding additional strain on the fuel tank. Using the air con or the heating in the car will increase fuel costs. Likewise, having a window open will increase drag, so the best plan is to dress appropriately for the weather to avoid having to artificially adjust the temperature in the car.

Plan your journeys

Your car will be far more fuel efficient if you plan your trips carefully. A warmed-up car will operate at its most fuel efficient compared to a cold car. So rather than popping to the Post Office in your lunch break, why not stop on the way to or from work, to avoid having to start the car from cold. If you have multiple errands, try to do them all in one journey.

Map your refuels

Finally, use an App to locate the cheapest fuel in your area. You may find that it’s cheaper to fill up at that petrol station round the corner from your workplace, than using the one at the end of your road. That’s not to say you should fill up somewhere cheap – which would defeat the object in the first place – but keep an eye on the fuel tank and fill up as cheaply as you can, even if you’re only half empty.

  • car hacks

Car hacks that actually damage your car

You might be using household items to solve any issues rather than going to a mechanic, or maybe you’re trying something new to impress your friends. Either way, we look into some of these hacks to see how truly damaging and expensive they are.

Eggs in radiator to solve leaks

The assumption behind this solution is that the egg white and yolk solidify when added to the heat, so the cooling system pulls the eggs to the leak and plugs it. The truth is, however, you can’t put fluid straight into the radiator with the majority of modern cars. As a result, there is no assurance that the egg will get to the leak. The egg is more likely to clog your cooling system than benefit your vehicle. Rather than repairing a leak, you can purchase a new cooling system or if your car radiator is leaking, you can look for a garage to fix it.

Repairing a dent with boiling water

According to many, this trick can make the panel flexible so you can simply push it out from the outside. In reality, though, this is only possible if the dented panel is made from plastic. You’re more likely to burn your feet with boiling water than repair any dents.

Using nail polish to remove scratches

Some suggest that if you buy nail polish in the same colour as your car, you can easily cover up any scratches it may have. In fact, coordinating colours is a little more difficult. When dry and exposed to natural light, the nail polish colour will look completely different to the colour in the bottle. If you want to fix any scratches on your car, get a professional to do the repairs for a sleek and refined look.

Removing rust with Coca-Cola

Many claim that because Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, it can react with rust and dissolve it. As a result, this will leave a surface shiny and new. The truth is that the quantity of phosphoric acid in Coke is negligible, around 0.2% by volume. To have a greater effect, you would need to submerge the rusty material for days. If you want to get rid of rust, there are several commercial products available for you to use.

Cleaning your interior with kitchen oil

We’ve all heard that instead of spending a lot of money on cleaning your car’s interior, you can instead rub your dashboard and seats with olive or vegetable oil. It is true that this method will make your plastic and leather surfaces will look shiny and be revitalised. However, when the oil decays in warm temperatures, it will get sticky and begin to smell. A better way to clean your interior is using seat wipes and upholstery cleaners.

Repair windscreen chips using super glue or clear nail polish

Some say that this trick will stop the damage from spreading by filling the borders surrounding it. In reality, both substances are too liquid to remain in the chip until dry. This makes it impossible to apply unless you can park on a steep enough hill that your windscreen is exactly level. Also, the superglue becomes cloudy when dried. So you might have to get a new windscreen to pass the MOT. Instead of using this hack, go to a professional to get your windscreen chip repairs done. This will keep your car safe and fully functional.

Need a new car instead of constant repairs?

Not to worry, check out one of our cars at auction. It’s easy to sign up, and bidding can all be done online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person though! If you have any other questions, get in contact with us.

  • car long journey

Preparing your car for a long journey

With the continuing ambiguity about whether we can travel internationally without significant quarantining, 2021 seems to be the year of road trips. As a result, rather than relying on an aeroplane, many drivers turn to their vehicles. We look at what you need to prepare to be safe on long journeys. The trick is preparation.

Check the battery

The most frequent cause of breakdowns is a problem with the battery. With many drivers’ commutes on hold, many of us haven’t driven as much as normal. As a result, the battery would not have been charged on a daily basis. Car batteries usually have a lifespan of five years. Temperature extremes (both cold and hot) put pressure on the battery’s cells. You can purchase battery tests or just take your car to your nearest garage and get it checked. Then, you’ll know it won’t leave you stuck. If you’re travelling in a caravan, make sure the leisure battery is in good working order.

Check your car’s fluid

Having your car serviced soon before going on a road trip will alleviate the stress that everything is in working order. If your annual servicing isn’t scheduled at a good time, you can easily inspect your vehicle’s fluids yourself. Oil is arguably the most essential of these. However, brake fluid and coolant are equally important. If you’re not sure where these are, consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Ensure tyres are inflated

A flat tyre will completely derail your day. Having tyres that are well inflated and have more tread depth than the legal 1.6mm will help with this. Correctly filled tyres will not only save you money on gas, but they will also last longer and are more resistant to punctures. Check the age of your tyres too. Four digits can be found in a panel on the tyre which show the tyre’s production week and year. 3417 denotes the 34th week of 2017. Examine caravan and motorhome tyres for cracks created by ageing.

Prepare for breakdowns

You never know what could happen whilst on a long journey, so having a breakdown kit in the car is a good idea. If you’re stuck on the side of the road in hot weather, a bottle of water might save people from being thirsty. In an emergency, it may even be used to top off coolant. Bringing reflective jackets for those in the vehicle will help keep everyone safe if you have to wait for assistance. If your battery does go down, a series of jump leads will be able to start your engine.

Need a new car to take on long trips?

Not to worry, check out one of our cars at auction. It’s easy to sign up, and bidding can all be done online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person though! Any other questions, get in contact with us.

Why are old tyres dangerous?

There are many dangers old tyres can cause such as accidents and death. This is why from February 2021 the UK government has banned tyres that are more than 10 years old from the front axles of heavy vehicles. This includes lorries, coaches, buses and minibuses. There are currently no plans to ban old tyres from normal cars but it can still be dangerous. Find out how below.

How do old tyres become dangerous?

The older a tyre is, the less safe it becomes. Since tyres go through a strenuous life, it can impact the tyre’s structure which makes it more likely for the tyre to fail. As a tyre becomes older, the rubber becomes less pliable which makes it difficult to stop quickly. How roadworthy a tyre is, depends on various factors such as how the tyres are stored, how they are used, the road conditions, if they’re well maintained and the driving style of the driver. That’s why tyre manufacturers don’t have consistent recommendations.

What causes tyres to deteriorate?

Since tyres are made out of rubber, it can lead to the deterioration of tyres as they age. The materials weaken and break down which results in the tyre hardening. As the materials become more brittle, it can lead to the tyre cracking. Also, extreme temperatures can cause tyres to deteriorate over time, leading to tyres expanding and contracting constantly. This movement can significantly weaken the tyre’s structure, leading to cracks.

How can I tell how old my tyres are?

The date your tyre was made is stamped on the tyre. You can find the writing on the sidewall, with DOT in front of it. You will see 4 numbers. The first 2 numbers are for the week of the year and the last 2 numbers are for the year. For example, 0221 means the second week of the year, which is in January, in 2021. If your tyre has cracks, it will be an MOT failure because it could cause a dangerous blowout. So it’s always best to check your tyres every so often.

Are your tyres not the only thing you need changing?

Not to worry, simply check out one of our cars at auction. It’s easy to sign up, and bidding can all be done online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person though! Any other questions, get in contact with us.

  • car cleaning

Why keeping your car clean is important

Spring is here and the flowers are blooming. However, odds are your car isn’t looking too perky right now with a grimey thick layer of dirt wrapped all around the vehicle. With good weather on the horizon, now is the perfect opportunity to give your vehicle a nice spring clean car wash. We go through why it’s important to clean your car and how it can help you.

Salt on roads affect cars

Over the winter, local officials apply salt to the roads. This is to avoid a layer of ice forming in freezing conditions. That’s perfect for us, but not so much for our engines. When we drive over it, the salt dissolves in the moisture on the asphalt and is flicked off by the tyres. This coats the lower sections of the bodywork, within the wheel arches, and the ground under the vehicle in salt. This then continues to work on metal, searching for any points of weaknesses.

Corrosive rainwater

Rainwater is more corrosive than normal water. It absorbs contaminants from the atmosphere when it falls from the sky, especially in contaminated urban and industrial areas. These toxins, which are often acidic in nature, settle on the car’s paintwork as it lands on it. You must remove the acid rain buildup before it chips away at the protective coat that maintains the paint’s glossy look.

Cleaner car means safer car

Your vehicle will have been pelted with mud and moisture during winter. This can coat the glass as well as adhere to the paintwork. This makes it very hard to see, particularly when the sun is low in the sky. Wash the car and scrub the windows inside and out, and you can see hazards even faster.

Find damages to your car quicker

Damage is much more difficult to detect when the vehicle is dusty. This may be windscreen chips, bodywork dents, or other paintwork destruction. A windscreen chip that is outside of the wiper’s sweeping area can be fixed, but a crack cannot. It’s much cheaper to get paintwork chips or other bodywork damage repaired before rust sets in.

Increase car value

The better a car’s condition, the more it’s worth. According to used car valuation analysts, washing a car will increase its value by up to 10%. This depends on how much the car is worth initially.

Increase your fitness levels

A spring car wash is an excellent total-body workout. You’re reaching for higher places, such as the roof and to wash sections lower down, such as the pedals, you must bend and squat. And if you’re washing or drying, your arms are having a nice workout. You’ll be fit in no time.

Does your car need more than cleaning?

Not to worry, check out one of our cars at auction. It’s easy to sign up, and bidding can all be done online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person though! Any other questions, get in contact with us.

Auctions every Tuesday and Thursday evening starting from 6:30 pm

Welcome to Letchworth Motor Auctions

Letchworth Motor Auctions are dedicated to providing the best and most affordable auctioning service in Hertfordshire. We specialise in both trade and private vehicle auctioning and auction a huge range of cars, vans and commercial vehicles.

If you are looking to buy a vehicle then you won’t find a better variety and choice at incredible prices. If you are selling then you won’t find an easier, more hassle free way to get your vehicle in front of hundreds of potential buyers.

Our friendly team are more than happy to help with any questions you may have and will talk you through the process if you are completely new to auctioning.

We are members of the National Association of Motor Auctions.

 All our vehicles havegraded inspection reports.

Trading Address: 608 Jubilee Trading Estate, Jubilee Road, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6 1NE
Registered Address: 35 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DB United Kingdom
Company Reg Number: 7731811 | Vat Number: 132687603