Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tips for winter night driving

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To ensure the safety of all drivers and cyclists during this season, we’ve compiled some useful tips for drivers this winter to help plan and prepare for journeys.

Vision
Keep the windscreen and other windows clear – if your vision is obscured through dirt, snow or even sticker-infested car windows you could face a hefty fine. Clear snow from the roof as well as from windows as this can fall onto the windscreen obscuring your view. It can be a hazard to other road users as well.

Ensure the headlights and tail lights are cleaned to remove dirt. It might seem like common sense, but having a clean windshield makes a huge difference in night driving. It’s not just the outside of the windshield. Clean the inside as well. Chances are, you’ve touched the windshield with your hand when wiping away condensation in the winter or a little water has just pooled up. When the windshield is a bit smeared, it creates a halo-effect around lights and makes it difficult to see.

If you have a long night drive ahead, check all car lights before setting off. Check that the indicators, rear lights, brake lights, sidelights, headlights and main beams are all functioning properly. Should a headlight fail or not found to be working correctly, replace as soon as possible.

Bulbs should be replaced in pairs. Replacing both will give consistent light output between the corresponding lamp units. Regularly clean your lights and windows.

Make an extra effort to look out for other road users. Pedestrians on country lanes without pavements; and cyclists, they’re all much harder to see at night.

Tips to prevent a flat battery
Lights, heaters and wipers put high demands on the car battery. If your driving is mainly dark rush-hour trips, the battery will give out eventually.

Batteries rarely last longer than five years. Replacing one near the end of life can save a lot of time and inconvenience at the roadside.

A battery left idle for a long time will naturally discharge. If not seen to the discharge will be so extensive that the battery will need to be replaced.
The battery terminals and connections should be cleaned. Dirt or moisture increases the rate of natural discharge
Traditional Lead Acid batteries should have their electrolyte checked and if needed topped up with distilled water.

Brit motorists still believe kicking a tyre tests if it’s road-worthy

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Many motorists admit they don’t know correct methods of telling if car tyres are safe enough to be used according to a recent poll reported in a national newspaper.

Apparently a third of drivers believe that kicking a car tyre will help to reveal if it is properly inflated.

Nearly a quarter who took part in the poll admitted they didn’t know how to check if a tyre’s tread is legal, despite built-in markers.

Tyres are the only point of contact a vehicle has with the road. It is therefore vitally important for motorists to check their tyres regularly.

It is vital that tyres should be given a thorough inspection at least once a month, to check for any embedded objects as well as tyre depth and pressure.

Maintaining correct tyre pressure has benefits other than safety. Under or over inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Under inflated tyres increase the rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed.

Correct tyre pressure also benefits the environment by maintaining optimum fuel efficiency, and reduces CO2 emissions.

Keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended level and check you have at least 3mm of tread. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6mm*, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres.

At 1.6mm in wet weather it takes an extra car length (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

To help motorists maintain optimum tyre pressure, Ring Automotive has a range of air compressors. These compact air compressors can easily be stored in the car to check and inflate checks your car tyres as part of your overall car maintenance before a journey. Alternatively, you can use one of Ring’s tyre pressure gauges.

To help you check your tread depth Ring’s range of tyre pressure gauges includes tyre tread depth gauges, ensuring you never exceed the minimum limit of 1.6mm.

Brighter Profits with Xenon HID Bulb Fitting Guides.

The major advantage of upgrading to xenon HID technology is the greater output of light. Xenon HID bulbs are up to 3-4 times brighter than standard halogens. At night this is crucial because the lack of visibility is the major cause of vehicle accidents during night driving.

Unlike conventional auto bulbs, HID bulbs have no filament which are susceptible to vibration. Instead there is a glass capsule in the centre of the bulb containing Xenon gas. Two metal electrodes sealed into the glass capsule enables a high voltage to arc across, igniting the Xenon gas which produces the light. Therefore xenon HID bulbs can withstand a greater amount of vibration and shock from the road.

With the aftermarket experiencing an increase in demand to replace Xenon HID bulbs, it is important that mechanics maximise this sales opportunity and understand how to safely fit Xenon HID bulbs.

Research by Ring has found that while there are mechanics who are confident at fitting Xenon HID bulbs, there are still a lot who misunderstand Xenon HID technology and do not want to approach fitting them.

To provide clarity and improve confidence, Ring has produced a Guide to fitting Xenon HID bulbs and is accompanied by a Xenon HID Fitting video.

The high start-up voltage is potentially hazardous and is understandably the main concern for mechanics.
But rather than refer car owners back to a main dealer, mechanics, by following either guide can change Xenon HID bulbs safely.

The guide take mechanics through a step by step easy to follow procedure, starting with preparation and ending in testing.

By having the skill and confidence to fit these, mechanics and garage owners benefit by not losing a customer to a main dealer or another garage that can replace HID bulbs. Secondly, fitting them increases a garages sales margin.

Cost of replacing 2 H7 at retail prices is – £18
Cost of replacing 2 HID bulbs at retail is – £199.

By just replacing two HID bulbs the additional revenue is £181.
They should be always be replaced in pairs due to the unique colour temperature variance with Xenon HID Bulbs.