While the convenience of modern automobiles has undoubtedly transformed our lives, it’s crucial to remember that safety should always be a top priority. One simple yet often overlooked practice that can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety on the road is leaving your manual car in gear when parked.
Let’s explore the importance of this seemingly small action and why it can have a big impact on your overall driving experience…
Preventing Unintended Movement
Leaving your car in gear acts as a safeguard against unintended and potentially dangerous movement. Whether you’re parked on a slope or a flat surface, leaving the vehicle in gear (especially when facing uphill) prevents the vehicle from rolling away if the handbrake fails or if there’s an issue with the brake system. This simple step can save you from an unexpected and hazardous situation.
Enhancing Handbrake Effectiveness
While the handbrake is designed to secure your vehicle in place, leaving your car in gear can complement its effectiveness. The combination of the parking brake and being in gear adds an extra layer of protection, reducing the risk of your car rolling away even further. This dual approach ensures a more secure parking setup.
Ensuring Road Safety
Unattended rolling vehicles pose a risk not only to your property but also to others on the road. A car that rolls away unexpectedly can lead to accidents, property damage, and even injuries. By making it a habit to leave your car in gear, you contribute to creating a safer environment for everyone.
Leaving your car in gear when parked can have a substantial impact on your safety, the safety of others, and the longevity of your vehicle. By making it a habit to leave your manual car in gear, you contribute to a safer and more secure driving experience. Remember, it’s the small actions that can make a big difference on the road. Drive safely, and always prioritise your well-being and that of those around you.
The annual MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership in the United Kingdom. It ensures that vehicles on the road meet the minimum safety and environmental standards set by the government. An MOT assesses various components, including lights, brakes, tires, exhaust emissions, and more. If your vehicle passes, you receive a certificate, allowing you to legally drive on UK roads. Failing the MOT test, on the other hand, triggers a series of events that necessitate prompt attention. So let’s take a look at what happens if you fail an MOT test…
When your vehicle fails its MOT, it is deemed unroadworthy until the identified issues are resolved. This means you cannot legally drive it on public roads until the necessary repairs have been made and the vehicle successfully passes a retest. Attempting to drive without a valid MOT certificate could result in fines and penalties.
Addressing the Issues
Once your vehicle fails the MOT, it’s essential to address the identified issues promptly. You have the option to have the necessary repairs carried out by the garage that conducted the initial test or choose another authorised facility. It’s crucial to obtain a detailed breakdown of the issues, costs, and a timeframe for the repairs.
Car MOT History
An MOT fail will also be added to the car’s MOT history. This data is maintained in a central database in the UK and is accessible online. Anyone with the vehicle’s registration number can check its MOT history. This record includes details of previous MOT tests, results, and any advisory or failure notes. This database is a valuable resource for both vehicle owners and potential buyers, offering transparency and insight into the condition and history of a particular car.
After the necessary repairs have been completed, your vehicle must undergo a retest to ensure that the identified issues have been rectified. Many garages offer a free or discounted retest within a specified timeframe. However, it’s advisable to confirm this with the garage before proceeding.
Failing an MOT test may initially seem daunting, but understanding the consequences and taking prompt action can help navigate the situation effectively. By staying informed and proactive, you can mitigate the impact of a failed MOT and continue enjoying the freedom of the open road.
In the UK, ensuring your vehicle has a valid MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate is a legal requirement to ensure roadworthiness and safety. Yet, many drivers may wonder about the consequences of driving without a valid MOT.
Before delving into the repercussions, let’s understand what an MOT test entails. The MOT test is an annual inspection that assesses whether a vehicle meets the necessary safety and environmental standards set by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). It examines various components, including brakes, lights, exhaust emissions, and more, to ensure a vehicle’s roadworthiness.
Legal Implications of Driving Without a Valid MOT:
Penalties and Fines: Driving without a valid MOT certificate is a serious offence in the UK. If caught, you could face a fine of up to £1,000. This hefty penalty highlights the importance of ensuring your vehicle has a valid MOT at all times.
Insurance Implications: Driving without a valid MOT also invalidates your insurance. If your vehicle is then involved in an accident, you will be left with potential legal and financial repercussions.
Potential Vehicle Impoundment: In some cases, if you’re caught driving without an MOT, authorities have the power to seize and impound your vehicle. You vehicle may then remain impounded until you can provide a valid MOT certificate.
Impact on Safety and Roadworthiness: Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT poses risks not only to yourself but also to other road users. An MOT ensures that your vehicle meets essential safety standards, and driving without it can put everyone’s safety at risk.
What to Do if Your MOT Has Expired:
If you realise your MOT has expired, it’s crucial to take immediate action:
Book an MOT Test: Schedule an MOT test at an authorised testing centre. Ensure your vehicle meets all necessary standards before driving it on public roads.
Avoid Driving: It’s illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads without a valid MOT unless you’re traveling to a pre-booked MOT test.
Be Proactive: Keep track of your MOT’s expiration date and schedule a test well in advance to avoid driving without a valid certificate. You can keep track by downloading the Rooster app where MOT, tax and insurance reminders are shown.
Driving without a valid MOT in the UK can result in severe consequences. These include fines, invalidated insurance, and potential safety hazards. It’s crucial to prioritise regular vehicle maintenance and ensure your MOT remains up to date to comply with legal requirements and guarantee the safety of yourself and others on the road.
Remember, safety should always be a priority when operating a vehicle. Staying compliant with MOT regulations is a fundamental part of ensuring roadworthiness and minimising risks.
We took a look at some of the obscure driving offences that you might not expect and how much you can be fined for them. We posted this on our TikTok page and it had a lot of love so we thought we would share it here too! See the TikTok video here. Now let’s take a look at the 11 unusual driving offences and how much you could be fined:
Deliberately splashing pedestrians
Splashing pedestrians may seem tempting to some drivers behind the wheel when passing a large puddle from rainy weather. However, doing so could leave you with a fine of up to £5,000.
Driving without your glasses
If your licence has a code that includes the rule to follow on wearing your glasses while driving, you could be charged with a £100 fine for not doing so. This fine could also be increased to £1,000 in court.
Obstructing emergency services
It is important to allow any vehicles from the emergency services through in an emergency, where safe to do so. As a result, anyone caught purposely obstructing vehicles from the emergency services could result in a fine of up to £5,000. If it is unsafe to allow them to pass, please do not do so. Always drive within the law, including while allowing emergency vehicles to pass.
Flashing your headlights
If you were to spot a temporary police speed trap, you might react by flashing your headlights to warn other drivers. However, by doing this, you would be obstructing the police. This means you may be punished with a fine of up to £1,000.
Using an unsecured sat nav
Whilst sat nav’s are a very important piece of equipment for drivers, it is important for them to be properly secured to prevent the driver being distracted or injured while driving. If you do not secure your sat nav or smartphone properly, making sure it does not cover any part of your windscreen, you risk a fine of £200.
Sounding your horn
Many drivers use their horn to show their frustration while driving, however it is actually illegal to use your car horn while stationary in traffic unless alerting another driver of a potential danger or hazard.
If you are caught beeping your horn in traffic that is not moving for frustration and not to alert a danger, you may be fined £1,000.
Leaving snow on the roof of your car
Leaving snow on your car roof risks an accident if the snow were to fall and block your view or another driver’s. This is both dangerous driving and driving without due care or consideration of others.
This could result in a £60 fine and your licence being hit with three penalty points.
Having an unsecured pet in your car
Traveling with pets in your car is not against the law, but it is crucial to ensure that they are safely secured, either within a carrier or by other means.
If pets are allowed to move freely inside the vehicle, the driver may face distracted driving charges, leading to a £100 fineand three points added to their license.
Not updating your address
Ensuring that your official records are current might appear self-evident, but it’s crucial to take the necessary steps.
Neglecting to update your address on your driving license could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Having a hanging air freshener in your car
Placing an air freshener in a convenient location at the center of your car might seem tempting, but it comes with significant risks.
Since your windscreen must remain free of obstructions, using an air freshener that hampers your vision while driving could lead to a fine of £2,500.
Having a dirty or obscured number plate
Regardless of whether it occurs accidentally or not, having a number plate that is dirty or obscured, rendering your vehicle registration number partially or entirely unreadable, constitutes an offense under the Road Vehicles Regulations (2001).
Ensure your registration plate is clean and free of mud or dirt to avoid facing a fine of up to £1,000 for violating this regulation.
These were the 11 unusual driving offences and how much you could be fined. For more driving and car related posts, take a look at the Rooster Blog.
Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s essential to know what to do if you crash your car. Whether it’s a minor bump or a more severe collision, staying calm and following the correct steps can make a significant difference in ensuring everyone’s safety and handling the aftermath effectively.
Step 1: Ensure Safety
Check for Injuries:
First and foremost, check yourself and your passengers for injuries.
If anyone is hurt, call 999 immediately to request medical assistance.
Move to a Safe Location:
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe spot away from traffic to prevent further accidents.
Turn on hazard lights and use warning triangles to alert other drivers.
Step 2: Exchange Information
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. Here is the information you should to get:
Insurance policy details
Vehicle make, model and colour
Collect Witness Information:
If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information in case you need their statements later.
Step 3: Notify the Authorities
Report the Accident:
Call the police and report the accident, even if it’s minor.
Follow their instructions and provide accurate information.
Step 4: Document the Accident
Use your smartphone to take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant road signs or signals.
Write Down Details:
Document the time, date, location, weather conditions, and any other relevant details.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and report the accident.
Provide all the necessary information and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
Step 6: Seek Medical Attention
See a Doctor:
Even if you don’t feel injured immediately, it’s advisable to see a doctor.
Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and a medical evaluation can help.
Step 7: Get Your Car Repaired
Choose a Repair Shop:
Contact your insurance company to get a list of approved repair shops or choose one of your preference.
Get repair estimates and inform the insurance company of the estimated quotes. Then work with the chosen shop to fix your vehicle.
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and unsettling experience, but knowing what to do if you crash your car can help ease the process. Remember to prioritise safety, gather necessary information, and follow the proper steps to report the incident and get your vehicle repaired.
By following this guide, you’ll be better prepared to handle a car accident in the UK and navigate the post-accident process efficiently. Most importantly, stay safe.
One of the decisions you face as a car owner is the option between cheap petrol vs. premium fuel. Price is a significant factor for most drivers, but choosing the right fuel can also impact its performance and longevity. Let’s delve into the key questions surrounding the choice between cheap and premium petrol, as well as the debate surrounding E10 fuel.
Is it Worth Traveling to Get Cheaper Fuel?
The price difference between petrol stations can sometimes be substantial, leaving many drivers wondering if it’s worth traveling to get cheaper fuel. This depends on various factors, such as the distance it takes to reach a cheaper station and your car’s mpg. In general, driving long distances solely to save on fuel costs might negate the potential savings. However, if you have a cheaper petrol station conveniently located along your daily commute, it may be worth making the switch.
Is it Worth Paying More for Premium Petrol?
Premium petrol often comes with a higher price tag, leading drivers to question whether the extra cost is justified. Premium petrol typically has a higher octane rating, which can benefit certain high-performance engines. If your car’s manufacturer recommends or requires the use of premium fuel, it is essential to follow these guidelines to optimize your vehicle’s performance and efficiency. However, if your vehicle’s engine is not designed to take advantage of the higher octane, using premium petrol may not provide significant benefits over regular petrol.
Is Premium Petrol Better than E10?
E10 is a type of petrol blended with up to 10% ethanol. It is touted as a greener option, but its impact on engine performance/fuel efficiency is a subject of debate. E10 can be less energy-dense than regular petrol, which means it might lead to slightly reduced mileage. However, modern car engines are generally designed to handle E10 without any issues. On the other hand, premium petrol with its higher octane rating can enhance engine performance in specific vehicles, particularly those with high compression ratios or forced induction systems.
Does Premium Fuel Make a Difference?
Using premium fuel in a car designed to take advantage of its higher octane rating can alter it’s performance. Vehicles with turbocharged engines or high-performance sports cars may see improvements in acceleration, throttle response and overall power output when using premium petrol. However, for most regular, non-high-performance vehicles, the difference in performance may not be noticeable enough to justify the higher cost.
What happens if you put the wrong fuel into you car?
Putting the wrong fuel into your car can be a distressing and costly mistake. See our blog post here to find out what happens if you put the wrong fuel into your car.
The choice between cheap and premium petrol ultimately depends on your vehicle’s specifications and manufacturer recommendations. If your car requires premium fuel, it’s essential to use it for optimal performance. However, if your vehicle is designed to run on regular petrol or E10, there may be no significant advantage to using premium fuel.
When considering whether to travel for cheaper fuel, it’s vital to weigh the potential savings against the additional distance. In the end, striking the right balance between cost and performance is key to keeping your car running efficiently.
Looking for petrol stations near you that show the fuel prices? The Rooster app now features a “cheap fuel finder” which shows the top 10 cheapest fuel stations within 10 miles. Get the app today.
When it comes to ensuring your vehicle’s roadworthiness and safety, the MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a crucial aspect. Each year, countless vehicles fail their MOT for various reasons, often leading to costly repairs and inconvenience for the owners. So let’s explore the most common MOT fails and how to avoid them, ensuring your vehicle likelihood at sailing through the MOT test with flying colours.
One of the primary reasons vehicles fail their MOT is due to faulty lights and signalling systems. Before taking your car for the MOT test, take the time to inspect all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, indicators, and fog lights. Replace any blown bulbs and ensure they are correctly aligned to avoid any unnecessary failures.
Worn Out Tyres
Tyres are another common reason for MOT failures. Check your tyre tread depth and ensure it meets the legal requirement of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. You can use the 20p hack for this, see here! Additionally, check for any visible damage or bulges on the sidewalls. Regularly maintaining and rotating your tyres can also prolong their lifespan and prevent uneven wear.
Windscreen and Wipers
A chipped or cracked windscreen in the driver’s line of vision can lead to MOT failure. Inspect your windscreen for any damage and have it repaired promptly. Additionally, check your wipers for wear and tear, ensuring they effectively clear the windscreen during rain. Replacing windscreen wipers is one of the lowest car maintenance costs, so be sure to replace when necessary.
Brake System Issues
The braking system is a critical safety component in any vehicle. To avoid MOT failure, regularly check your brake pads, discs, and brake fluid levels. Squealing or grinding noises while braking are warning signs of worn-out brake pads. Address any brake-related issues promptly to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy.
Faulty suspension systems can lead to MOT failure and compromise the handling and stability of your vehicle. Regularly inspect your car’s suspension for leaks, worn-out components, and damaged shock absorbers. If you notice excessive bouncing or uneven tire wear, it’s time to have your suspension checked and repaired.
Exhaust emissions are thoroughly tested during the MOT, and high emissions can result in failure. Regularly service your vehicle and ensure the engine is in optimal condition to minimise emissions. If your car emits visible smoke, it may indicate a more severe problem that needs immediate attention.
Seatbelts and Seats
Non-functional seatbelts or damaged seat anchors can lead to immediate MOT failure. Test all seatbelts to ensure they retract and latch correctly. Also, check for any tears or fraying. Inspect the seats for stability and ensure they are securely bolted in place.
Keeping your vehicle in excellent condition is essential not only for passing the MOT but also for your safety and that of others on the road. Regular maintenance and proactive inspections can go a long way in preventing common MOT fails. Address any issues promptly and enlist the help of a professional mechanic if needed. By following these tips and staying on top of your vehicle maintenance, you’ll increase the chances of your vehicle passing the MOT test with ease. This will provide you with peace of mind and ensure your road safety. Thanks for reading The Top Most Common MOT Fails and How to Avoid Them!
Regularly checking and maintaining the engine oil level in your car is crucial for optimal engine performance and longevity. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a new driver, knowing how to add oil to your car is a fundamental skill that can save you from costly repairs and breakdowns. In this comprehensive, step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of adding oil to your car, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Gather the Necessary Tools and Supplies
Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools and supplies ready:
Funnel – To avoid spillage and ensure accurate pouring.
Clean Cloth or Paper Towels – For wiping off any spills or excess oil.
Park Your Car on a Flat Surface and Prepare the Car
Park on a Level Surface – Ensure your car is parked on a flat, level surface to get accurate oil level readings and prevent spills.
Turn off the Engine – Give your car sufficient time to cool down before attempting to add oil.
Locate the Oil Dipstick – Open your car’s hood and find the oil dipstick. It is usually marked with a brightly coloured handle and located near the engine.
Check the Oil Level – Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth, reinsert it, and then pull it out again. Check the oil level against the markings on the dipstick. If the level is below the recommended range, you need to add oil.
Add Oil to Your Car
Find the Oil Cap – Locate the oil cap on top of the engine. It is usually labeled “Oil” and might have an oil can icon.
Open the Oil Cap – Twist the oil cap counterclockwise to open it. This allows air to enter the engine, facilitating a smooth flow of oil.
Insert the Funnel – Place the funnel securely into the oil cap opening to avoid spills and ensure precise pouring.
Pour the Oil – Slowly pour the recommended amount of oil into the funnel. Refer to your car’s manual for the correct oil capacity.
Check the Oil Level Again – Wait a minute or two to let the oil settle in the engine. Then, pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it to check the oil level. Add more oil if necessary, but avoid overfilling.
Secure the Oil Cap – Once you’ve reached the desired oil level, close the oil cap tightly by twisting it clockwise.
Dispose of Old Oil Properly
Properly disposing of old engine oil is crucial for the environment. Never pour used oil down the drain or in the trash. Instead, collect the old oil in a sealed container and take it to a recycling centre or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.
Learning how to add oil to your car is a straightforward process that every car owner should master. Regularly checking and maintaining the right oil level will keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. By following this step-by-step guide and adhering to proper disposal practices, you’ll not only save on costly repairs but also contribute to a cleaner environment.
Properly maintaining your car is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. One critical aspect of car maintenance is choosing the right engine oil. Selecting the correct oil for your vehicle can significantly impact its efficiency, engine life, and overall performance. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through how to Find the Correct Oil for Your Car.
Check Your Car’s Owner’s Manual
The first and most crucial step in finding the correct oil for your car is to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The manual provides specific information about the recommended oil type, viscosity, and performance standards for your car’s engine. The manufacturer’s guidelines are tailored to suit your vehicle’s engine and are the most reliable source for selecting the right oil.
In addition to car manuals, there are many websites available in which you simply need to enter your car’s registration plate and it will tell you which oil you need.
Viscosity is one of the essential properties of engine oil. It determines the oil’s flow at different temperatures. The viscosity rating is represented by a combination of numbers, such as 5W-30 or 10W-40. The “W” stands for winter, indicating how the oil performs in cold temperatures, while the second number represents its performance in high temperatures.
For most modern vehicles, multi-grade oils like 5W-30 or 10W-40 are recommended as they offer good performance in both cold and hot conditions.
Consider Your Driving Conditions
Your driving habits and the climate in your region play a role in determining the right oil for your car. If you frequently drive in extreme conditions such as hot summers or cold winters, you may need an oil with better viscosity performance for those specific temperatures. High-performance or synthetic oils may be more suitable for extreme driving conditions.
Look for the API Certification
The American Petroleum Institute (API) assigns a “donut” symbol to oils that meet their standards. Look for this symbol on the oil container to ensure it meets the API’s criteria for quality and performance. Additionally, the API certification indicates whether the oil is suitable for gasoline or diesel engines.
Check for ACEA and OEM Specifications
Apart from the API certification, some car manufacturers may recommend oils that meet specific ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) specifications. Always check if your car’s manufacturer recommends any specific ACEA standard. Furthermore, some manufacturers may have their own oil specifications, so it’s crucial to cross-reference those with the oil you’re considering.
Avoid Using the Wrong Type of Oil
Never use engine oil that is not compatible with your car’s engine. Using the wrong type of oil can lead to poor performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and, in some cases, even engine damage. It’s always better to stick to the oil recommended in the owner’s manual.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Oils
Synthetic oils, though more expensive, offer numerous benefits such as better performance, improved fuel efficiency, and longer oil change intervals. However, not all cars require synthetic oil. If your car’s manufacturer does not specify the need for synthetic oil, conventional oil may be sufficient for your vehicle.
Knowing how to Find the Correct Oil for Your Car is a vital aspect of maintaining your car’s health and performance. Always refer to your car’s owner’s manual and consider factors like viscosity, driving conditions, and manufacturer specifications. Don’t forget to look for the API certification and evaluate whether synthetic oil is necessary for your vehicle. By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure that your car’s engine stays in excellent condition, allowing you to enjoy many miles of trouble-free driving.
As the summer heat becomes more intense, having a fully functional air conditioning system in your car becomes essential for a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. One crucial aspect of car maintenance that ensures your AC system works optimally is air-con regassing.
What is Air-con Regassing?
Aircon regassing, also known as AC recharging or refrigerant recharging, refers to the process of replenishing the refrigerant in your car’s air conditioning system. Over time, refrigerant levels can deplete due to small leaks or natural evaporation, resulting in reduced cooling performance. Regassing involves adding new refrigerant to restore the system’s efficiency and cooling capacity.
Can You Do An Air-con Regas Yourself?
While some DIY car maintenance tasks can be performed at home, air-con regassing is best left to the professionals. Regassing requires specialised equipment and knowledge of the specific refrigerant type and pressure levels. It is crucial to ensure the correct amount of refrigerant is added to avoid damaging the system or compromising your safety. Therefore, we highly recommend to seek the assistance of a qualified automotive technician or air conditioning specialist to perform the air-con regassing.
How Do I Know if My Car Air-con Needs Regassing?
Several signs indicate that your car air conditioning system may need regassing. Here are a few common indicators to watch out for:
Reduced Cooling Performance: If you notice a decrease in the cooling efficiency of your AC, such as the air not getting as cold as it used to or taking longer to cool down the vehicle’s cabin, it might be a sign that the refrigerant levels are low.
Weak Airflow: Insufficient airflow from the vents, even when the fan is set to maximum, can indicate low refrigerant levels.
Strange Noises or Smells: Unusual noises, such as hissing or rattling, and unpleasant odors emanating from the air conditioning system could suggest a refrigerant leak, requiring regassing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, we advise to have your car’s air-con system inspected by a professional technician.
How Much Does It Cost to Re-gas a Car’s AC?
Air-con regassing cost can vary depending on factors such as location, type of refrigerant used, and the service provider. On average, the cost typically ranges from £50 to £200, including the cost of refrigerant and labour, but booking an air conditioning re-gas through the Rooster Insurance app can save you up to 40% on these services!
How to book an air conditioning re-gas with Rooster:
Download and sign up to our app here, select “My Garage” and click the drop down menu of the Rooster Car Care section to select “air conditioning re-gas” to compare the prices of your nearby services!
How Often Does Car AC Need Regassing?
The frequency of air-con regassing varies depending on various factors, including the age of your vehicle, the condition of the AC system, and any potential leaks. In general, most manufacturers recommend you service your car’s air-con every two years or so.
Air-con regassing plays a vital role in keeping your vehicle’s air conditioning system in optimal condition. Make sure to stay vigilant and recognise signs of low refrigerant levels to know when to book your next re-gas. Regularly servicing your car’s AC system can ensure that it continues to provide cool air during hot summer months. Stay cool and safe on the road by prioritising air-con regassing as part of your car maintenance routine.