Tag Archive for Engine Oil

Winter Car Care Guide

Winter Car Care
Oh, hello Abigail. Power cuts, schools closed and ferries cancelled. We think it’s safe to say, that after a good run, winter has finally arrived. And with it comes the need to run through the routine winter checks to ensure you keep motoring safely over the winter months.

Winter Checks

When conducting your winter check, pay attention to:

Tyres: Up to 25% off Selected Tyres

A complete new set of winter tyres (where the rubber is optimized to stay flexible during cold snaps as opposed to regular tyres which turn hard and slippery) might sound expensive. However, in reality, if you spend a lot of time on the road during the winter months it’s a worthwhile investment. And besides, while you’re driving around on the winter tyres, the regular set isn’t being used and worn down. Even if you don’t require winter tyres, it might be worth considering changing your tyres if you haven’t done so for a few years.

Battery: Up to 30% off Batteries

While it’s always advisable to have a professional check your battery, there are a few ways even a novice can carry out a routine check and maintenance. Look out for corrosion on posts and cable connections and scrape away where necessary. Give the surfaces a clean and re-tighten all connections. If you can remove the battery caps check the fluid level monthly. If you haven’t replaced the battery in the last three years, you should consider doing so.

Wiper Blades: Up to 20% off Wiper Blades

Rubber-cladded wiper blades are best suited for scraping ice from the windscreen. In addition to this, ensure you have refilled your windshield washer reservoir with wiper solvent and keep plenty on hand. You can really go through it in large quantities during the winter months.

Replenish Fluid Levels: 

Be rigorous about changing your car’s fluids and filters during the winter months. Your car’s older engine will thank you for it! Remember to change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Use the recommended oil viscosity range for winter. 5W-30 motor oil flows quicker in cold weather than 20W-50. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend 5W-30 oil for year-round protection.

Tyre and Snow Sock Guide

Fitting your snow socks is easy, once you have the correct size. To calculate your snow sock size, you will need the width, profile and diameter of your tyres. On the side of each tyre, you will see a sting of letters and numbers as above. Simply note the width, profile and size.

Our snow socks are sold in four sizes – S, M, L and XL.
S size
M size
L size
XL size

Rejuvenating Your Car (Part 2 – Fluids)

Car DIY - Changing Car Fluids

Last month we looked at ways of rejuvenating your old motor. We discussed ways of superficially sprucing up the car – cleaning tips, interior and exterior styling options, accessorising etc.

This time around however, we’re going to focus on the actual performance of the car and affordable ways of ensuring your vehicle keeps running smoothly.


Flush out your fluids

This is one of the most essential and cost effective ways of protecting your car against break downs and an assortment of mechanical damage. It’s a straight-forward job even for a novice. And the more you do it the easier it becomes.

  1. You can start by consulting your car manual (if you still have it – if you don’t you might want to invest in one HERE). The manual’s, while not essential, at least provide a guide for checking and changing fluids – you can then mark the dates in your calendar to ensure the job gets done wNext hen it needs doing.
  2. Park the car on a flat surface and pull up the handbrake.
  3. Open the car bonnet.
  4. Once the car has cooled down and the oils have drained (give it an hour to be safe) you can check the ENGINE OIL. Pull the Oil Dipstick fully out and wipe clean to ensure a clear reading. Put the dipstick back in and remove once again to read the oil level. The dipstick has a number of marking indicating differing oil levels. If low add an appropriate amount of engine oil.
    1. It’s also worth noting the engine oil colour –Clean = clear / golden, whereas Black / Brown indicates dirty engine oil. UIf the oil is cloudy it might point to contamination (possibly with coolant). This could be down to a blown head gasket in which case you should bring the car to a qualified mechanic.
    2. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you change your engine oil every six months.
    3. If you are going to change your oil (or fluids) an OIL VACUUM PUMP is a handy tool.
  5. Next check the TRANSMISSION OIL, which is responsible for greasing the gear system. It’s part of a closed system so you shouldn’t ever be low on it. You just want to check that it’s clean. You will need to have the engine running. It is the second of the two dipsticks. Follow the same steps you did for checking the engine oil.
    1. FYI: Transmission Oil is reddish in colour and does not need to be replaced as much as engine oil. Brown / Black transmission oil should be replaced.
  6. BRAKE FLUID – Again, like the Transmission Oil, the Brake Fluid is a closed system. Locate the brake master cylinder (it’s generally on the driver’s side of the car by the rear of the engine compartment. It has a plastic reservoir and rubber cap with metal tubes emanating from the cylinder.
    1. Low brake fluid is never a good sign – cars aren’t designed to consume a lot of the stuff – so it could point to a brake line leak, or worn brakes. Low fluid might necessitate a car check-up as a car low on brake fluid might not stop!
  7. POWER STEERING FLUID – The power steering fluid is responsible for keeping your steering smooth. When it starts to run low you may begin to hear a slight groaning noise from the wheel.
    1. Locate the reservoir – you can usually check the level by looking at the reservoir. This fluid does not generally tend to run low, so it levels have dropped significantly then it might be worth checking with your mechanic.
    2. The need to flush and replace is rare, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the level topped up.
  8. COOLANT ANTIFREEZE – Responsible for keeping your car running cool. Low levels of coolant result in the car overheating. It’s located in the car’s radiator.
    1. Remove the radiator cap once the car has cooled down.
    2. You should a line inside that indicates where the coolant should come up to.
    3. Be sure to add the same coolant that’s currently in the car.