Give Your Car a Winter Health Check

The most challenging season of all is winter. Read on for our Winter Maintenance Tips.

Windscreen 

More than likely you will wake up to ice on your windscreen during the winter months. Do not be tempted to use a quick fix (jug of hot water) as this may crack your windscreen or worse.

Give yourself plenty of time, set aside 10-15 minutes extra in morning so you can fully de-ice and de-mist your vehicle. Stock up on de-icer and make sure you have a windscreen scrapper at all times, your car can freeze over quicker than you think in low temperatures.

Ensure you have full visibility before setting off, being safe is more important than being on time and causing an accident due to poor vision. Don’t forget to top your screen wash up regularly and check your wipers for damages.

Oil Levels 

Check your oil levels weekly, making sure the oil levels are between the maximum and minimum points at all times. This will help ensure no damage or wear is being caused to your engine from friction and heat.

Whilst checking the oil level also check your other fluids; screen wash, coolant etc.

Battery Levels 

The AA reported attending to an average of 1,150 breakdowns every hour in winter last year, with flat batteries being the most common reason for breakdown assistance.

The use of heaters, headlights, interior lights and other electrical components over time will cause strain on the battery itself. Be sure to switch off interior lights and headlights when they are not needed and make sure all lights are off when leaving the vehicle. After de-misting  the interior, turn heaters off to also help maintain the batteries life.

Tyres 

As the road conditions change in winter and across the seasons in the UK your vehicles tyres are increasing important to your safety. The AA recommends motorists have no less than 2mm of tyre tread all year round and preferably a minimum of 3mm in the winter.

If you are unsure of your tyre treads you can check them yourself or visit your nearest garage who may check them for you. It is also important to keep an eye on your tyre pressures and maintain the recommended PSI stated in your handbook. Blog divider

Review: Renault Megane

Make and Model:

Kia Sportage 4 CRD1 

Engine Size:

2.0 CRD1 6 speed

Overview:

The Kia Sportage is a lot of car for your money. It is large inside and out, stylish and comfortable. At times it can feel slightly ‘boxy’ but it makes up for that by offering generous amount of space, gadgets and nice features.

First Impressions – Exterior:

The outside design is quite typical of a modern SUV / Crossover – but a lot larger. It has a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing shape and to keep the vehicle somewhat masculine and not too curvy, when viewed from the front is slightly square.

It is also relatively tall and the average person will undoubtedly have to step up and into the car, this adds to the spacious feel. 

First Impressions – Interior:

The interior was well executed, with all of the controls within easy reach.

It was impressively well-equipped with technology, the amount of information it provided was rather overwhelming but that is down to personal preference.

Both the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat had electronic adjusters and another charming feature, both seats were heated. The seats themselves are really comfortable and have adjustable lumber support – It really did feel like you were driving from an armchair.

The built in Sat Nav was simple to use and extremely helpful for example it noticed the fuel was low and asked if I wanted to go to the nearest garage – very handy!

It also had a DAB radio and media player which supplied excellent sound all around the vehicle. All of these operations were accessed by an 8” touch screen which sometimes needed to be pressed twice to get recognition but the overall experience and the ease of use made it an impeccable gadget to have.

The roof was full length glass with tilt and slide open options, this let in a great deal of light and air and added to the feel of there being ample room inside. The boot also had major advantages, it was wide as well as tall so perfect for family trips or lots of luggage.

Performance:

The car is deceiving but in a good way, it looks heavy to manoeuvre due to its size but is actually surprising light to drive, which makes a change to other SUV type vehicles. The drive felt positive and overall the vehicle was very responsive to different road conditions.

Practicality:

The car is best suited for those with large families or people with a requirement for lots of interior room.

Due to its sheer size, it makes narrow parking (even with the reversing camera) quite a challenge. However, the driving position is noticeably high above other vehicles so all round vision is very good.

Rivals:

Nissan Quashqai, SEAT Ateca, Renault Kadjar and Hyundai Tucson

Overall Thoughts:

The overall interior space, user friendly gadgets and comfortability are added bonuses to the sportier feel it presents on the road. The Kia Sportage is undeniably a worthy contender in the SUV/Crossover market.

Score (out of 10): 

500x review score

The All-New Mazda 2

This high level spec hatchback is bursting with energy, character and it’s striking new design is turning heads.

Whether you are on the motorway or commuting within the city this super hatchback offers exceptional MPG (83.1mpg) and CO2 (89g/km) and reaches 0-62mph in 10.1 seconds.

interiorblog.jpg

The Mazda2 is premium in look and feel, it is also jam packed full of technology fitted as standard. Such as; SAT Nav, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Touchscreen, Smart City Brake Support and SKYACTIV Technology all centred around the driver cockpit to ensure a comfortable driver experience.

If you are interested in having the Mazda2 become a part of your fleet contact us on 01527 571605.

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Come join us at Fleet Management Live 2016

We are excited to be exhibiting at Fleet Management Live at the NEC in Birmingham and to be showcasing our new branding!

We would like to invite you to join the team for a catch up and to find out more about our new products and services at the event on 19th and 20th October, 2016.

Our core values are a way of life for us, along with developing relationships with our clients based on trust. We pride ourselves on continually improving our service and providing consistently high levels of customer satisfaction, which has been recognised in our recent ‘FN50 Customer Service Team of the Year Award’.

We would love for you to join us for a light lunch from 12:00pm until 1:00pm or for afternoon tea from 2:30pm until 3:00 pm on Stand E14.

For your free badge to enter the exhibition register here. We look forward to seeing you.

Who will be available on the day?

20    5

       Sales Director Lee O’Connell               Operations Director Jacki Stevenson

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Top 5 Tips For Autumn Driving

With the seasons changing the sun will be positioned lower in the horizon when travelling during rush hour and other times throughout the day. We all know far to well in England there can be a mixture of icy roads and morning dazzle so we need to be prepared.

Here are our 5 top tips to prepare for the autumn weather and stay safe.

1.Low Sun

Keep the interior and exterior of your windscreen clear from mist and smears, this can help reduce being dazzled by the sun. Make sure you always have a pair of sunglasses to hand and use the sun visor to assist you. If the sun is too bright slow down safely and promptly or find a safe place to stop.

2.Check your bulbs

Remember to check all your lights and not just your head lights, that includes break lights, fog lights, indicators front/back and number plate lights. England can be deceiving, autumn may throw in some winter weather and fog so better to be safe than sorry.

3.Tyres

Check you tyre tread and pressure regularly especially before a long journey. The recommended minimum before replacing tyres for winter is 4mm*

If your tyre tread is on or approaching the 4mm level we recommend replacing before the cold weather takes hold.

Did you know the RAC recommend a overall minimum of 3mm tread depth for tyre replacement whatever the conditions as stopping distances dramatically increase once on or below 3mm. They also reported the stopping distance between 3mm and 1.6mm (the legal minimum) can increase by as much as 44% when breaking in wet conditions.

4.General car maintenance 

Check the battery, oil, filters and wiper blades for any repairs/replacements or top ups. All of these should be checked on a monthly basis to avoid running out mid journey.

Air filters are usually replaced every 6months so if yours haven’t been replaced in a while it may be worth thinking about changing them.

5.Don’t panic

If you breakdown remember to stay calm and wait in a safe place away from the road and vehicle.

Autumn temperatures can dramatically vary so think about packing extra clothing, a high-vis or blankets in the boot just in case.

Before exiting the vehicle put your coat on preferably a reflective jacket, warning lights/ hazards and exit the vehicle from the curb side door so not to expose yourself to passing traffic and wait at a distance for roadside assistance.

*Source: Continental Tyres

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