Category Archives: Motoring Advice

Pass first time: How to avoid the most common MOT fails

Nearly 50% of all cars that fail an MOT do so because of small faults that could be avoided by simple, at-home car maintenance. These problems are easy to correct, and fixing them before taking the car in for its MOT could help you pass first time and avoid garage costs.

To help, Ring, the automotive specialist in bulbs, wipers, battery care and tyre care, has some advice on the simple things that can be done to avoid an MOT fail.

 

  1. Lights and signalling – 17.8% failure rate

4.5m cars fail because of lamps, reflectors and electrics every year. Doing a quick bulb check before you take the vehicle to the garage could avoid an MOT fail. Make sure you check all the exterior bulbs – this includes the side light, indicator, tail light and number plate lights. The registration plate lamp being out accounts for 4.5% of MOT fails.

When it comes to headlamps, there are plenty of options out there, including upgrades to help bulbs last longer or put more light on road for safer driving. We recommend you always replace bulbs in pairs, to ensure the light output is equal from both headlights. Ring stocks a range of bulbs, including long life versions, and for headlamps, try the new Xenon150 bulbs (nationwide – SSP £39.99), which put up to 150% more light on road without compromising on life.

 

  1. Tyre condition – 7.5% failure rate

Well maintained tyres are essential to ensure safe driving – and neglecting them could mean a failed MOT. The legal requirement for tyre tread on passenger vehicles up to eight seats is 1.6mm, but studies show that when the tread drops below 3mm, stopping distance begins to be significantly affected.

Checking tyre tread is easy and requires a simple depth gauge. However, to ensure your tyres are both safe and helping cut down fuel consumption, drivers need to check the pressure as well. For adigital gauge that gives accurate readings on a large backlit screen, records the correct pressure and has an integrated LED light, Ring suggests the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth Gauge. This is easy to store in the car and easy to use, wherever you are. Available nationwide, SSP £24.99.

While there is no legal requirement for tyre pressure, under- or over-inflated tyres will reduce the traction between the tyre and the road, making driving less safe and less fuel efficient. For easy pressure top ups, try the Ring RAC635 Digital Tyre Inflator, with preset for accurate inflation. This industry-recognised inflator can inflate a 13” tyre from flat to 35PSI in under 3 minutes – making tops up quick and simple.

 

  1. Driver’s view of the road – 6.8% failure rate

Cracks in the windscreen and worn wipers are a big reason for vehicles to fail. As wiper deteriorate gradually, drivers often don’t realise they are no longer clearing the windscreen effectively. Choosing and fitting the right blade can seem tricky, but Ring’s new range of Ultravision Wiper Blades (SSP £9.99 to £13.99) make blade selection easy. The unique, patent-
pending clip fits 95% of the car parc, meaning that drivers just need to know the blade length for their vehicle to select the correct blade. The clip adapts to fit the seven most common wiper arms.

Henry Bisson, Marketing Manager at Ring, says, “Motorists could be making savings by carrying out basic checks and maintenance at home, but often they don’t realise that these minor faults could cause an MOT fail. What’s more, having well-maintained tyre, blade and lighting are driving safety essentials, so making sure they are regularly checked and replaced when necessary is critical.”

Ring’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Don’t know what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Not looking forward to the panic of last minute shopping? Take a breath – Ring has collected a few ideas so that you can give them what they want this Christmas, and they can use them well into 2018.

RIL80 – Extendable LED Lamp

Everybody has a DIY enthusiast in their life. Whether they enjoy fixing up cars or want to take their plumbing problems into their own hands, a trusty portable light is the ideal tool. The RIL80 Extendable LED Lamp also has a torch that can be angled up to 90° and placed onto any magnetic base for hands-free use.

RMS20 – 3 Way Smart USB

If you know someone who loves to go on road trips with friends, or would like to keep the kids occupied in the back of the car, Ring’s 3 Way Smart USB is an ideal gift. With three sockets, no one needs to be fighting over a charger, and the Smart Universal Fast Charging Technology charges any mobile devices at an optimal rate.

RAC630 – 12V Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light

Whether a cycling enthusiast, a parent whose kids love to play sports outside, or someone that drives around frequently with soon-to-be flat tyres, a digital air compressor could be the perfect gift. Inflating a tyre to 35psi in under three minutes, this 12V Automatic Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light can save anyone a tonne of time if they want to get back on the road quickly, or get their kids back out and playing.

RSC612 – Smart Charger

All vehicles have batteries that need some care. Whether it’s a motorhome, a 4×4, or a classic car, you can’t go wrong with a Smart Changer. For comprehensive battery care, whatever the vehicle, the RSC612 Smart Charger is a motoring essential. This one device will diagnose, recondition, service and charge vehicle batteries to makes them last longer, work better and be more reliable. It can be used on lead acid, gel, EFB, AGM and calcium batteries on vehicles up to 5.0L in size, including those with STOP/START technology.

 

RBGDC200 – Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera

If you have a loved one who has just passed their test, a dash camera could capture all of their first driving moments, as well as help keep them safe. The RBGDC200 Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera automatically switches on when you start the engine – so you never miss a thing – and turns off once you park up – meaning no risk of it draining your battery.

Winter Car Essentials

Winter Car Essentials

The unstable weather conditions around this time of year consistently cause problems for drivers. Whether your car is prone to be breakdowns or the roads where you live are hazardous in the snow, be prepared for anything this winter with Ring’s Winter Car Essentials.

Starting your car

A surprise snow storm and drop in temperatures is not an unlikely occurrence, especially with the variable weather here in the UK. Keep de-icer and ice scraper in your car and at home so you’re always prepared if the moment arises. Avoid using hot water to defrost your car as this could cause any chips or scratches on your windscreen to turn into cracks.

Make sure your wiper blades are up to scratch – it’s recommended that you change them every twelve months so that they keep your windscreen clear and your view unobstructed.

Keeping in contact

A completely charged phone is always a good idea when travelling – whether you’ve broken down or are lost, a phone may end up being your saviour. Don’t be one of those people that forgets to charge their phone before a long snowy journey, and get yourself a multi-socket and phone charger that will always be in your car.

Dealing with road hazards

When ice and snow can cover up much of the road small, sharp items, such as glass, can be hidden and cause punctures to tyres. With an Emergency Tyre Kit already in the car, you will be able to get yourself home without any need for tools or wheel changes, keeping you on the roadand moving until you can get your tyre changed.

Accidents are more likely in winter, and a dash camera may help to reduce the time taken to settle an insurance claim after an incident on the roads this winter. One with a GPS tracker will help to pin point where an accident takes place and give further information to insurance providers.

Restarting your car

It’s always a good idea to carry Jump Leads in your car in case of an emergency. In the summer months, waiting for a breakdown service may be fine, but in the cold, blustery weather, jump starting your car and setting off quickly is definitely more ideal.

If you do a lot of travelling by yourself, investing in a Lithium Jumpstarter is a great move. Small enough to fit in your glove box, and with enough power to jumpstart a 2.0L engine, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

 

 

Driving at this time of year can feel a bit nerve-wracking, but having these winter driving essentials at hand will give you peace of mind. Keep safe this winter, and happy driving!

Road accidents rise as clocks go back, insurance claim analysis reveals

Darker nights have always been seen to be more dangerous than travelling in daylight, but recent evidence suggests that the clocks changing causes accidents to rise. Insure the Box published a study this week showing the sudden change in daylight hours is making the roads more hazardous for drivers.

The study shows that after the clocks go back, the overall chance of having a car accident in November increases by 12%, especially between the hours of 5pm and 8pm where collisions have risen by 29%. These figures were produced after analysing 18,000 accident claims in October and November over a five-year period.

There are several factors that could be affecting the number of collisions that occur during this time period. As the nights start earlier, people coming home from work will feel the need to get home quicker, resulting in larger rush hour traffic, the Christmas shopping period adding to this. Another factor is recently passed young drivers experiencing night time driving at busy times for the first time. Night time driving requires getting used to and reaction times may be slower and movements jerkier.

What you can do

The first step to improve night time driving safety is to check that your bulbs are working as they should be. This includes making sure your beams are aligned so that they don’t dazzle oncoming drivers. Make sure none of your external bulbs are faulty as this could put you at risk of receiving a fine.

Performance halogens, such as the Xenon150, may also be a good investment. As well as putting more light on the road, their beam is up to 80m longer than a standard bulb, 3700K colour, making it easier on the eye as it closely resembles daylight. Road markings and signs can be seen more clearly and therefore making driving safer.

To see Xenon150 in action click here.

RING – BRAKE The Road Safety Charity blog.

At Ring, road and vehicle safety is a key feature when bringing new products to the market place. We recently read through a joint report from BRAKE and District Line all about young drivers and road safety.

This report examines attitudes and behaviour in relation to learning to drive, vehicle selection, vehicle maintenance and crash protection. The report is based on a survey of 1,000 drivers across the UK and carried out by research company Surveygoo on behalf of Brake. For other reports in the series, visit www.brake.org.uk/safedrivingreports.

Here are just a few of the statistics in this report:

“The following are basic and essential vehicle maintenance checks that all drivers should make before setting off on long journeys. Worryingly, one in seven (15%) do not check oil and water levels, or that wipers, washers, lights, indicators or brakes are working. One in ten do not check their windows and mirrors are clear or their tyres are in good condition (9% and 11% respectively). In all cases, women are less likely than men to make checks – for instance, one in five women (19%) do not check oil and water levels, compared with one in nine men (11%).”

There are more things that could be done to make young drivers aware of the small checks they should do to keep safe. We have produced various ‘How To’ videos showing motorists how to safely use our products to their cars. From ‘How to jump start a flat battery’ to repairing a punctured tyre the videos go through easy to follow steps giving all motorists confidence to undertake vehicle maintenance checks. Our ‘How to inflate a tyre’ video will show young and experienced motorists alike how to correctly and safely inflate their tyre using a Ring Air Compressor. To see the full range of videos visit our YouTube page.

We have products that can be used to carry out important safety checks highlighted in the report for example Tyre Gauges to measure tyre depth, Air Compressors to check tyre pressure & Battery Chargers to check and charge car batteries.

As a lighting company we would also urge motorists to check their vehicle lights regularly. Lighting has two functions, it helps you see, but it also helps other road users see you. Lighting is therefore a critical safety component of any vehicle. Our range of Performance Bulbs offers improved light output and enhanced styling.

The conclusion is simple, there needs to be more advice to young drivers on how to do these checks and advice on what equipment is available to make these checks less time consuming and easier to do.

For more information on BRAKE check out their website at http://brake.org.uk.

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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.