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Keeping a car clean will give a sense of pride

Everyone protects their car by getting a motor insurance quote before taking out insurance. Keeping the car as clean as possible will mean the investment is always looking good. Valeting a car properly can take a few hours using a wide range of chemicals and implements.

Before washing the engine make sure that any electrics are covered up, otherwise there is a risk of getting sensitive parts of the engine wet which will result in the engine not starting or electric failure. When washing the engine use a good engine degreaser and cover the engine, including the rims. Leave it for a few minutes to settle before rinsing it off. It is not recommended to wash the engine of a car if it has an electronic management system, because if any water gets into the sensors around the engine it will result in false readings on the cars on-board computer.

If the car is washed properly it will make polishing it much easier, and the polish will also last a lot longer. If there is one available, use a pressure washer to wash under the wheel arches and underbody. With some pressure washers it is possible to add a detergent which will remove dirt quicker. Anyone without a pressure washer can give the car a good car shampoo and then use a hose pipe with a spray attachment. When washing the car remember to have all the doors shut. When the car has been thoroughly washed it is a good idea to apply a rinse aid which will help the car to dry. Then spray some more water over the car which allows the rinse aid to start working.  Use a clean damp cloth to dry the car.

There are many different kinds of polish available, but the most effective and most professional are the cream type that pour onto a cloth. Best results are achieved by applying the polish onto a damp cloth. This will stop the cloth soaking up the polish before it even reaches the car, and also makes applying the polish much easier. Never pour polish directly onto the car as it could mark the paintwork. Only use a thin coat and allow it to dry before buffing with a clean dry cloth.

To make the windows glisten, use a good cream glass polish. Make sure the windows are dry and using a small dry cloth apply some glass polish onto it and rub hard onto the windows. Then allow the polish to dry before removing it with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure both inside and outside windows are polished. For the wheels make sure the tyres have been washed and are free from dirt. When the wheels are cleaned use an aerosol which contains a foam mixture to spray onto the tyres and leave for a few minutes, this will give excellent results. Getting car upholstery clean can be a very time consuming job. The easiest way is to vacuum the upholstery using a wet vacuum which will wash and clean the seats, carpet and boot. All internal plastics and the dashboard must be cleaned with a cloth and an interior cleaner to remove the dirt making sure the entire dashboard and plastics are dry and free from any dust.

Korean leg of Formula One championship will be vital

As the Formula One circus reassembles in Korea this weekend, the tightest race for the championship seen for many years gets closer to the finish line.

With just 31 points separating McLaren’s Jenson button from Red Bull’s leader Mark Webber the scene is set for a grandstand finish. This weekend could be particularly exciting as no-one is sure how the track will drive as it is brand new.

With just three races left, this weekend’s duel in Seoul, Brazil in early November and then the final round at Abu Dhabi in mid November it means that a maximum of 75 points can be obtained by any driver. This means that only the drivers in the current top 5 can win but also that any one of the five could easily win.

Webber, from Australia leads, Fernando Alonso from Spain who represents the Ferrari team is in joint second with Webber’s German team mate Sebastian Vettel and just slightly off the pace come the two Brits Louis Hamilton and Jensen Button.

There really is no room for error and for the two Red Bull drivers, neither of whom has ever won the drivers’ championship, the thrilling finale to the season will see more and more pressure exerted on them by their expectant team of engineers and designers in the Red Bull-Renault Pet Lane. To say nothing of the tricks the more experienced trio of drivers on their heels will try as the season culminates.

After their 1-2 finish in the Japanese Grand Prix a fortnight ago the Red Bull team must fancy their chances of emulating the feat in Seoul but the new track, which has only just been passed fit for purpose in time for this weekend’s event. It has three long straights on the circuit and McLaren’s two Brits fancy this will be in their favour.

The drivers and their cars, none of which will ever have been the subject of a motor insurance quote, will be cheered on by thousands of Korean motoring fans eager that their own Grand Prix has a definitive effect on the outcome of the championship. A win for Webber could well see him become hot favourite but the pundits feel the championship may well be decided in Abu Dhabi.

Mansell still cornering too fast

Seeing Nigel Mansell OBE on a TV advert crashing scalextric cars and being told to search for a motor insurance quote online, reminds us that the great man is still the most successful Formula One driver the UK has produced.

Nigel Ernest James Mansell was born in 1953 and took up racing cars in the mid seventies. Before that he had been a Special constable in the Devon and Cornwall Police force and worked as an aerospace engineer in his formative years of motor sport driving. A successful spell of Kart racing saw him move on to Formula Ford racing in 1976, his early success persuaded him to pack in his full time job and concentrate on becoming a professional driver. A few weeks later he managed to break his neck in a collision and though doctors warned him he would not drive again he was behind a steering wheel within days. He won 6 races of the 9 he entered that season and the following season saw him win three quarters of the 42 races to become 1977 British Formula Ford champion.

History shows that he didn’t let the broken neck or for that matter poor financial backing hinder his progress through the ranks of Formula Three and onto his great exploits in Formula One and the Indy Car World Series. He became the only man to hold both Formula One and CART world championships at the same time.

In 2010 he eventually got the chance to take part in the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race. Apparently he was to take part in the 1982 race but his boss at Lotus at the time Colin Chapman thought it was too risky and paid Mansell the £10,000 race fee he would have earned, not to race. It was something of an inglorious debut though as he suffered a tyre blow out that took him straight into the barriers and wrote off the car.

The great pity for Mansell was that the two other members of the three man team were his sons Leo and Greg. They were hoping the car would put in a good performance to ensure backing for the project in future years. It now seems that the Ginetta Zytek car will be back with the Mansells next year and hopefully they will have better luck.

Car insurance premiums out of control

With the cost of car insurance soaring motorists in the UK must be left wondering if honesty is the best policy.

Figures from the latest car insurance price index (CIPI) survey suggest that the average price of a policy is £650, a rise of over one third compared to last October. So where should motorists start looking when they hunt around for a motor insurance quote. There doesn’t appear to be an easy answer to that question. The CIPI is made up of three major players in the market, EMB, The Consultancy and Confused.com. Between them they should have a finger on the pulse of the market and so should not be too far out with their figures.

Young male drivers seem to be faring worse with an average 11% increase in the last three months, enough to push the average policy for a 17-20 year old male up by £280+. Young female drivers fare slightly better but no-one is getting off lightly.

Many motorists often consider insuring a second family car, third party fire and theft (TPFT) to save money but that avenue now seems more like a one way street now. TPFT premiums have risen over 11% in the last quarter and over 50% in the last year making it barely worth taking the risk. And that is the crux of the matter.

More and more drivers don’t bother getting insurance and prefer to take a chance on not being caught, which in turn means higher costs for Honest John. Further to this the National Fraud Authority suggests that false motor insurance claims amount to over £2 billion. The claims for bodily injury claims have metaphorically almost gone through the roof and are literally a pain the neck for many of the big insurance companies.

With the cost of car insurance seemingly on a never ending upward curve, perhaps one way to save cash is to ditch the second car and opt for an any driver car insurance policy, but beware. Insurers are already hiking the premiums on insured plus one policy faster than any others. According to the report these policies have risen 65% for men and 60% for women. Possibly because insurers believe families are using this method to cover young adults in the family home.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. New tough EU solvency rules mean that financial institutions must abide with the new Capital Adequacy Ratios, which basically means they will have to keep more money in the bank. And where do we anticipate that cash will come from?

Jaguar success greeted by car makers universally

It comes as no surprise that a Jaguar car is the star of the opening week of the Paris Motor Show but the vehicle is far from what one would normally expect from the manufacturer.

The Jaguar C-X75 Supercar has undoubtedly been the big hit of week one in Paris. With a top speed of over 330 kph and acceleration of 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds the C-X75 can never been viewed as tardy. It may come as some surprise then that the model is powered by batteries. The electric car has wowed motoring journalists and the public alike and although the supercar is just an experimental model, car manufacturers around the world are delighted with the response.

Car makers such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, General Motors and Renault view the enthusiasm that has greeted the Jaguar as very good news, for the first mass produced electric cars will be making their debuts on the world stage next year.

The Nissan Leaf, General Motor’s Ampere, Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV (which will be marketed in Europe as the Peugeot iON or Citroen C-zero) will all be unleashed in great numbers next year. Not surprisingly the car makers are more than a little nervous about the reception they will receive from consumers who are being battered by job losses and austerity measures.

In the UK, motorists considering getting a motor insurance quote on one of the new electric cars will be desperately hoping that the £5000 subsidy promised by the last Labour Government will still be in place at the turn of the year. The subsidy will still make the Nissan Leaf for example around £18,000 which by and large will make it the same price as a normal diesel model.

It does seem that the subsidy will still be there, as governments across the globe are keen to support the new technologies that promise to reduce carbon emissions and so lessen the pollution problem in major cities. Indeed it is rumoured that the US Government only baled out GM last year because of the proximity to launch of the Ampere. US citizens will also get a subsidy from the government when purchasing an electric car, in their case it will be $7,500.

Industry experts predict governments will probably have to subsidise purchase of the new vehicles for around four years before the cars can stand alone in the market place. That is the reason why the enthusiastic reception for the Jaguar was greeted by all car makers.

Entries for Classic Car Show revving up

Throughout the UK, Classic Car owners will be preparing to cast their vote and book their tickets for a very special weekend.

November 12th 2010 will see the Classic Motor Show present some of the finest classic cars in the world to enthusiasts at the Birmingham NEC. The major event at the show will be the award of the Classic Car of the Year, and there is no shortage of contenders.

Three magazines that specialise in classic cars have invited readers to submit entries for the competition which will be split into six categories. Each category will have a winner and from these six, one will be chosen as Classic Car of the Year. The six categories are; Pre-War, Forties, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

Already an expert team of judges have been pouring over the quality of 300 entries and aim to whittle the figure down to a shortlist of 60, meaning there will be 10 cars in each section. The voting for this element of the competition will close on October 8th. The winners of each section will then take their prized possession to the NEC in November where the final winner will be selected.

The variety of cars already submitted for entry is a veritable feast of classic motoring history. So far the judges have been casting their eyes over makes such as; Aston Martin, Lancia, Ferrari, Hillman, Vauxhall and of course Ford is represented by a classic Ford Thunderbird. In the pre-war section there is a 1926 Austin Healey and a 1944 Willy’s Jeep. It is true to say that every facet of car manufacture is covered by the variety of the entries.

Although it is fairly safe to assume that the winning owners will be more than happy with their prized possessions to be declared section winners, they will receive several prizes to boot. All section winners will receive free tickets and hotel accommodation for the show. Other prizes include a specialised car cover, a watch, a pressure washer and tools to keep their classic car shiny, bright and ticking over. The winner won’t even have to get a motor insurance quote either as one of the prizes is free comprehensive car insurance as well as a very nice trophy and over £1000 in prize money.

Transport Secretary keen to get motorists on the train

The great majority of UK motorists use their vehicles for two things in particular, work and convenience. Not many of us see much point in getting a motor insurance quote, buying a car and then leaving it in the drive when it comes to getting about.

It is so much easier to start your working day from the family garage or driveway in the comfort of a warm car rather than having to dress up in several layers of clothing to combat the harsh chills associated with a typical British winter.

It is also, in most cases at least, a time saver. It is far quicker and easier to travel to work in the family car rather than walk to a bus stop or train station and then encounter some other journey that includes walking to get to work. Carrying a laptop and briefcase is much easier in a car and most motorists will also point out, especially women, they feel much safer in a car.

What then will the average motorist think of the ambitious plans announced by the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond. Yesterday he announced that, come 2011, the government will start investigating the cost of providing a high speed rail link to the major cities of England.

After many consultations the Transport Secretary has chosen to link the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds with high speed rail links. The beauty of the catapult design means that other cities such as Sheffield, Nottingham and Liverpool will either be on the line or very close to it.

The catapult design will mean that commuting to any of the major cities should be a distinct possibility for the majority of the work force in England without using a car. It remains to be seen if the Transport Secretary can get the great British public to actually embrace the thought of using public transport en masse, but with the environment/motoring debate now fully at the forefront of public awareness then who knows what the future may hold.

In a bid to help local authorities ease commuters out of their cars Mr Hammond has decided to break down the funding system for transport at local government level to just two facets. These will be a formula grant, which will allow local councils to pinpoint exactly where they want to spend their money, and a local sustainable transport fund.