When you get a new car, whether it’s fitted with a VW turbo or otherwise, it can be hard work trying to figure out just what all the little lights mean on the dashboard. But luckily help is at hand in the form of a new app from the AA, which helps motorists identify the different symbols so they know what to do.
The app also allows people to report and track a break down so they will be able to tell how long it will take for the AA patrol to arrive. Other features include traffic updates and route planners, as well as reminders for tax, MOT, insurance and service dates. Enhanced features include a parking space finder and a fuel price checker.
Research from the AA has found that over one in eight drivers don’t have a handbook in the car, yet the organisation attends 17,000 warning light-related calls each month.
“Although most warning light symbols are standardised, many are not and with some car dashboards resembling the Starship Enterprise, it’s no wonder that some drivers are left bewildered,” AA patrol of the year Max Holdstock said.
This comes after Gocompare.com found that 1.2 million people have either had an accident or a near miss because of being distracted by what’s on their dashboard, or other in-car media. What’s more, just 44 per cent of motorists believe that driving aids make it easier to be on the road.
Those aged between 18 and 24 were the most likely to be distracted by gadgets on their dashboard, it was found.
Electric vehicles (or EVs) appear to be increasingly popular among today’s teenagers, with new research revealing that those aged between 14 and 17 believe that their first car will be an electric one, those considering Skoda turbos may be interested to hear.
Conducted by Go Ultra Low, the study found that 81 per cent of people aged 14 years old plan to make their first car investment an EV, with this demographic saying that their generation typically associates these motors with cleaner air and lower CO2 emissions, the Daily Express reports.
“It’s really encouraging to see how popular electric cars have become among British teenagers, the next generation of first-car buyers. Our research shows that younger consumers are more drawn towards environmentally friendly purchases, including when planning which car they’ll drive when they get their licence,” head of Go Ultra Low Poppy Welch was quoted as saying.
She went on to add that their way of thinking does in fact make sense, since EVs can drive for long distances and are cheaper to run, so they’re the right choice for anyone looking to buy their first car.
This week (October 13th), 12 places around the UK have just launched a bid for a share of government funding to the tune of £35 million to become one of the first official Go Ultra Low cities. Those awarded this status are expected to see thousands of new ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) on the roads in the next five years.
Proposals include EV carpools, a car scrappage scheme to replace traditional vehicles with these ULEVs, shared bus lanes for vans and plug-in cars, and LED street lights that also serve as charge points.
Are you such a big fan of Peugeot turbos that you’d pick your car over the chance of a romantic tryst with a mystery woman? A new Irish dating show is putting contestants to the test with this very conundrum – with some controversial results!
The Irish-speaking programme, titled ‘Pioc do Ride’ or ‘Pick your Ride’ in English, asks singletons to select a suitor based on their car. Three potential dates, whose faces are obscured with a racing helmet, stand by their respective vehicles while the main contestant chooses their favourite.
However, there’s a twist – as one unlucky lady discovered when the show first aired. While the contestant makes the initial pick, it is then up to their selected date whether they want to spend €250 prize money on a romantic dinner or use it to splash out on upgrades for their car.
Singleton Corey Hannah went on the show to find love, and she picked Liam Antaine because of his sporty Peugeot 306 diesel, according to the Daily Mail. Unfortunately for Corey, when given the opportunity to take her out for the night, Liam instead opted for the voucher to upgrade his motor.
He revealed that the car was actually his mother’s, adding: “I don’t think mum would be too happy with me if I go home without the €250 voucher.”
While there wasn’t a happy ending for the pair, Corey took to Twitter to show there were no hard feelings.
“Well, that’s it. He chose the car … I’m still single,” she wrote.
A GoFundMe page for Corey has since been set up with the aim of collecting €250 in donations for the unlucky-in-love contestant.
Now’s the time to prep your Seat turbos to ensure your car is winter ready. There’s nothing worse than breaking down in bad weather but with a bit of preparation, you’ll make it through to spring in one piece. Here are a few top tips to help you in this regard.
Make sure that your car is serviced regularly throughout the year so you know it’s in good condition. You should also check the oil level and tyres for tread depth, as well as making sure your hazard lights are working.
Just in case you get stranded, always keep a torch, blanket, high-vis jacket, first aid kit, chocolate and other non-perishable food, a triangle sign and a spade in your boot. Keep warm clothes in your car as well.
Be aware that your stopping distances may be lengthened in bad weather. If the road is icy, avoid accelerating or braking sharply and keep a good distance from any cars in front. However, you should try and avoid making unnecessary journeys in your car during bad weather.
Car breakdown policy
If you haven’t got this already, make sure your breakdown cover is in place before the winter hits. This will mean if the worst does happen you can rest assured that someone will come to help. Benefits of this kind of cover include help reaching your destination and roadside repair and recovery.
You’ll make it through the winter on the road just fine if you take a few precautions. Which of these can you check off your list already?
How long do you wait before you take your VW turbos to the garage to be checked over if you think there’s a problem? According to new research, 21 per cent of drivers wait half a year or more before they have any issues checked out, while 12 per cent will actually drive in a vehicle that’s been having problems for up to a year.
Conducted by BookMyGarage.com, the survey also found that more than a quarter of people will miss their annual service, with the most commonly ignored problems emerging as illuminated engine management lights and worn wheel bearings, the Daily Express reports.
Although these are relatively inexpensive to have fixed, if drivers wait the delay could see the bill increase as more damage is incurred.
Director of BookMyGarage.com Karen Rotberg was quoted as saying: “Drivers are not only putting their cars at risk of further damage, caused by existing problems worsening over time, which is likely to result in more significant bills, but in some cases they will be putting themselves, their loved ones and other road users in serious danger.”
By having your car serviced every year, you are more likely to catch any problems early on – which means they’ll be easier to fix. Furthermore, a car that is well maintained is much more efficient so you’ll find that you save cash on fuel into the bargain. When you buy a new car, make sure you read through the service manual as this will tell you how often the motor needs servicing and how often tasks like oil changes should be carried out.
Drivers with car turbos who are looking to save money on their petrol will be glad RAC has released advice on how to drive their vehicles more efficiently.
Simon Williams, spokesman for RAC, said: “These tips can really make a difference and, applied with good technique, can help to make you a better and safer driver.”
One of their tips is to use the highest gear possible for the slowest speed. For instance, driving in fourth gear when at 30mph, instead of travelling in third gear. As soon as you go above 30mph, it is wise to move on to fifth gear.
It advised against using cruise control or travelling at a consistent speed as this does not achieve a high miles per gallon (mpg) figure. Drivers should avoid slowing down and accelerating again repeatedly as this uses more fuel.
Making the vehicle lighter is a good way to cut down on fuel consumption, either by taking items out of the boot or off the roof. RAC found an empty roof rack can impact fuel consumption by ten per cent.
To achieve fuel efficiency, it is wise to be efficient with your journeys, RAC suggested. Instead of making several short trips, it is better to combine your outings into one longer journey so the engine does not have to repeatedly warm itself up.
Other pieces of advice were to use a gentle right foot to avoid heavy acceleration, and be conservative with how much air conditioning you put on.
TV presenter Rebecca Jackson suggested listening to the engine so it does not rev excessively without “labouring too much either”.
These tips come despite a drop in fuel prices lately, with RAC’s Fuel Watch reporting that costs for petrol had declined by 3.96p a litre in August this year to 112.42p on average. This was sparked by new oil prices of $41.87 (£26.77) – the lowest level for 12 months.
If your car insurance for your Volkswagen turbo is up for renewal, you might be well placed to try and haggle so you can sort yourself out a sweeter deal.
According to Consumer Intelligence, 54 per cent of motorists were able to arrange a price cut for themselves after questioning their renewal quote. Despite this, however, it was found that only 38 per cent of drivers actually call their insurers to query their quotes, so there are many on the roads who are missing out on potential savings of up to a tenth.
“Insurers are generally receptive to renewal premiums being queried and will offer reductions to try and keep customers and the savings can be substantial at more than ten per cent. The benefits of switching are not always obvious as generally customers prefer to stay loyal and indeed our research shows that it would make more sense for insurers to offer their best price straight away rather than haggling,” chief executive of Consumer Intelligence Ian Hughes said.
This comes after previous Consumer Intelligence research showed that thousands of people believe that their car insurance policies are hard to understand and lack transparency. Complaints relate to a failure to explain how the policy works and what people are actually covered for, with nearly a quarter of those asked saying they want to be able to manage their policies and make claims over the internet.
Demand was also apparent for insurers to offer call centres based in the UK, with one in ten motorists backing this idea.
Rude number plates are becoming increasingly common on UK roads, new research has revealed, thanks to the use of slang words like ‘FML’, R0FL’, M1LF’ and ‘WTF’… so keep your eyes peeled for these the next time you take your Ford turbo for a spin.
According to Confused.com, 34 per cent of people would be deterred from buying a car if the plate was offensive and the DVLA actually recently detailed combinations of letters and digits that would be prohibited to help keep the roads clean, including references to alcohol, religion or anything of a sexual nature.
With regards to the naughtier plates out there, opinion appears to be divided. In all, 36 per cent think that rude plates should be banned, while 25 per cent say they make them laugh. And eight per cent think that there should actually be more rude plates on cars to help cheer drivers up.
“Anyone buying a number plate should consider the purchase carefully; whilst they might think it will add value to the car when it comes to selling it, it’s not surprising to see people can be put off buying a car with a private plate,” spokeswoman Kate Rose said.
You can buy new registration numbers from the DVLA or you can also bid on them at auction, with sales taking place around six times a year. Reserve prices start at £130, which may be the way to get your hands on the plate of your dreams.
Alternatively, you can arrange a private sale between a motorist or a dealer – but make sure you get the V778 certificate or retention or the V759 certificate of entitlement as well.
A car immobiliser developed by Megamos found on millions of vehicles is vulnerable to hacking attacks, with researchers saying that the encryption system can be cracked – so bear this in mind if you’ve just invested in new Citroen turbos and this anti-theft gadget… you may not be as protected as you think.
The study, conducted by Radboud University in Holland, found that by listening in to the radio chip in the car key and the crypto system hackers were provided with information about which secret key was being used to mix the data up. The researchers were in fact able to find which crypto key was being used in about half an hour, the BBC reports.
Apparently, it will prove difficult to fix the flaws in the current system for the Megamos immobiliser as it will mean replacing the radio chips found in the car keys, as well as the hardware in cars that are affected. Vehicles from Porsche, Volkswagen and Honda all make use of this seemingly weak system.
Although this study was conducted in 2012, publication of the results had been banned up until now after an English court ruled that it should be withdrawn, at the request of Volkswagen. The car manufacturer eventually agreed that the results could be published after the authors of the study removed one sentence from their findings, which described the component of the calculations relating to the chip.
“It is frustrating that so much time, money and effort has been wasted. This is not an incentive to report defects only to the manufacturer concerned,” head of the Digital Security Group in Nijmegen professor Bart Jacobs said.
The top ten car brands that people want to own have been revealed, with Audi coming up trumps, followed by BMW and Mercedes – so if you’re looking for a new turbo and already drive one of these three vehicles then you’re definitely ahead of the curve.
Compiled by Gocompare.com, the study found that 39 per cent of people want to own an Audi, while 26 per cent would like a BMW and 25 per cent could see themselves behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz.
Jaguar, Volkswagen, Ford, Range Rover, Porsche, Lexus and Toyota made up the rest of the list.
However, while cars from German manufacturers emerged as the most desirable, it was also found that people at the wheel of a BMW, Mercedes or Audi were also widely considered to be the worst drivers around… so bear this in mind the next time you take to the road!
Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesman for Gocompare.com, said: “If any aspiring Audi, BMW or Mercedes owners who took part in our survey do get to own these cars, they will remember their driving etiquette and help overturn these brands’ unfortunate reputation.”
You may well think that you’re a good driver and are courteous to others on the road, but if you passed your test a long time ago there may be a few rules that you’ve simply forgotten. The best idea would be to refresh yourself with the Highway Code from time to time, which you can find on the official government website.