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Introducing The Ultimate Guide To Car Maintenance

Introducing The Ultimate Guide To Car Maintenance

Think you’ve got a problem with your car? Here’s a new, handy interactive resource to help you to diagnose what’s wrong.

How confident are you when it comes to maintaining your car? Not very? It won’t surprise you to learn that you’re not alone.

Research from Gocompare, for example, has shown that:

  • Under half (49%) of drivers know how to change a tire (tyre).
  • Just 56% know the recommended tire pressure for their car.
  • Only 21% of motorists walk around their vehicle and do basic checks on it before setting off on a trip.
  • Only 66% of drivers have their vehicle regularly serviced.

Perhaps it’s not all that surprising — modern cars are so safe and reliable it’s little wonder many of us have no idea how to perform simple maintenance tasks on them. But actually knowing how to carry out basic car checks is one of the best ways to keep your car in ship-shape and roadworthy — and, having a little in-depth knowledge will really help if you break down unexpectedly on the motorway.

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Ultimate guide to car maintenance

Thankfully, help is at hand. If you don’t know your car jack from your tire pump, take a look at the Ultimate Guide To Car Maintenance, developed by the experts at car repair comparison website Who Can Fix My Car.

The in-depth, clickable resource covers many common car maintenance hiccups, plus how-to guides for more challenging problems, all packed with expertise from mechanics. If you want to know about low tire pressure, fix your windscreen wipers, or change a spark plug, you’ve come to the right place.

In a nutshell:

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  • Information about more than 20 common car problems
  • 5 in-depth resource sections
  • Advice and insight from mechanics across the country — as well as their favourite driving songs!

Expert mechanics

Mark Lowe, MS Autos, Bournemouth

Drew Irvine, Thomsons Auto Centre, East Kilbride

Shajib Haque, Fastlane Station, Milton Keynes

Patrick Patel, Automotive Components Specialist, Enfield

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How to use the guide

After clicking Start, just move your mouse around the car until you find a problem relevant to you. Whether it’s something under the bonnet or a problem with the tires, get the symptoms of each problem and what to do about it.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see 5 how-to guides — these are a little more in-depth, going into more detail about each problem. Find out the tools you need to do the job, read the step-by-step walkthrough and get some key dos and don’ts. Each section — from how to change your car’s tire to how to change your car’s spark plugs to how to change the battery — is brought to you by professional mechanics on the database, so you can be assured that you’re getting top-notch advice from leading professionals.

Diagnose the problem, get it fixed, and get back on the road!

It’s important to note that if you’re not confident with performing a fix properly or if you run into any difficulty, make sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

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Here’s a few titbits from the guide:

  • As we’re approaching winter, check you car’s tires are at the right pressure — this will help with grip on the roads.
  • Check your fluid levels every 2 months.
  • Check your lights regularly, particularly in the winter months.

“We spoke to our network of mechanics to get their advice on how best to fix some common car problems,” said Alex Rose, Who Can Fix My Car’s marketing director.

“It’s important to keep on top of your car — performing simple maintenance checks regularly and knowing how to fix some common problems keeps your car in check and gives you peace of mind.”

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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