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car repairs northampton economical driving

Car Repairs Northampton: Economical Driving

Does driving economically affect car parts? Our Car Repairs Northampton team advise…

When purchasing a car, many people now consider the fuel efficiency and how many miles per gallon of petrol or diesel the car could potentially run at. These same people, as well as many others, will have some knowledge about how to drive economically, which can make fuel last as much as 15% longer.

Those with a very keen eye will know that driving at 80mph uses 25% more fuel than at 70mph, driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than at 60mph and driving at 60mph uses 15% more fuel than at 50mph. That’s a lot more fuel between 50mph and 80mph. This means more miles for your money, so it pays to treat your engine kinder. It’s also better for your car parts and our car repairs Northampton team will tell you why…

The three universally accepted ways of driving economically are:

Have a car servicing regularly to maintain engine efficiency.

Use the right specification of engine oil.

Check tyre pressure to avoid rolling resistance.

After these three methods, there are dozens of other ways of driving economically, but for this purpose, we will take the accepted notion that driving economically means driving at comfortable speeds, accelerating and decelerating gently and changing gear carefully.

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Driving at high speeds is not bad for your car, however hard acceleration on a cold engine can be. High RPMs on a cold engine will stress your car parts. It is a common mistake that sitting and idling the engine for a few minutes will warm the engine up, this is not necessarily true; it also wastes fuel. Driving the car below 3000rpm will warm the engine up and allow the combustion process to reach maximum efficiency within minutes. Basically, don’t drive off too quickly!

Whilst driving at high speeds is not bad for car parts, hard braking is. Hard braking is far more likely to occur during high speeds, as at lower speeds the driver is in more control of braking distances.

Driving short distances is surprisingly bad for your car parts. If the engine does not have a chance to warm up properly, the combustion process never reaches proper efficiency, which is damaging to various components. In theory, an older car with low mileage will be better looked after, however if this is the result of infrequent and short trips, the engine could be very damaged. Many car manuals suggest one third of trips to be city drives (stop-and-go over short distances) and two thirds to be motorway (consistent higher speeds and engine exercise).

Driving economically means you are less likely to excess the red line on the rev counter. While it may sound nice to rev the engine nice and loudly, what this is actually doing is pushing the engine to its upper limits, which may cause imbalances or parts failures. Driving at a medium RPM keeps the engine happy and comfortable.

Driving economically may also protect car parts in another way, related to revving. Often over-revving occurs when the car is in a low gear and is attempted to be driven at a fast speed, more often than not when coming down the gears too quickly. Alternatively, driving at a low speed and selecting a high gear is likely to strain the engine around the crank, as it can’t generate enough power. Many people are surprised to know that high mileage is less damaging to the engine than moving up and down through the transmission unnecessarily.

So there you have it, our car repairs Northampton team’s guide to economical driving.

Be safe out there!

Northampton Car Owners De-Icing Guide

Northampton Car Owners: De-icing Guide

Many of you may be waking up this morning to find a fine membrane of ice blanketing your car.

This is a minor grievance for many Northampton car owners, and causes thousands of people to be late for work, trying a variety of methods to clear their windows and mirrors.

As you stand there in the cold street, watching your breath dissipate in the morning air, you should know the correct way to de-ice your car to avoid causing damage. Remember to fully de-ice the windows, because nobody like a ‘tank commander’!warning northampton car owners tank commanders

Seven De-Icing Rules For Northampton Car Owners

Rule number one: Do not pour hot water on your windscreen; this can crack it or make existing chips worse. Use lukewarm water gradually to melt the ice.

Rule number two: Get the engine running to warm up the inner mechanics of the car, which will in turn heat up the vents and de-ice the windows from the inside.

Rule number three: De-icer spray can really help in these situations, so it’s a good idea to keep a bottle in your vehicle. Don’t forget to use this on your mirrors too.

Rule number four: The classic ‘credit card’ scraper trick is an ancient mistake when trying to de-ice your car. Two reasons it is a bad idea is that it can scratch your windscreen and also the ice can lower the temperature of the plastic, making it more likely to snap. Use a proper scraper.

Rule number five: Keep your windscreen wiper off until all the ice has been removed, then use the wipers to push all the loose ice off the glass. New wiper blades will make this easier.

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Rule number six: Don’t drive off until all the windows and mirrors are clear. Just scraping the middle of the windscreen is dangerous and inadvisable. We want safer roads for all Northampton car owners, and nobody likes what is known as a ‘tank commander’, someone who drives with just a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. If you are brave enough to do this, don’t be surprised when the police pull you over! #NoTankCommanders!

Rule number seven: This preventative method is rather obscure, but some people swear by it. The night before an expected frost, cut an onion in half and rub it over the outside windows (click here to see one of our team attempt this!). It may make your car smell slightly, but it should stop ice from forming. Additionally, you can tie plastic bags over the wing mirrors to stop ice forming on them; just remember to take them off before you drive away!

Northampton car owners, have these tips helped you? Tweet us @InTownAuto