I don’t think anyone would disagree that air conditioning (AC) systems are pretty simple to operate. You turn them on, cold air blows out and soon the inside of your hot car is comfortable. Not much to it. But have you ever wondered how this all works? Just exactly how do you make this “cold air” anyway?

Making cold air

Let’s start with Concept #1. The AC system in your car doesn’t “make cold air,” what it does is “removes the heat from the hot air.” Another way to look at this is that there is a spectrum of temperatures. Objects range from very cold to very hot. If you want to make something hotter, just add heat. Want to cool it down, then remove heat. So what air conditioners do is “remove heat from the hot air.” Here’s how.

How AC works

Let’s illustrate the typical automotive AC process with a diagram. The compressor (Item 4 on the diagram) compresses a gaseous refrigerant to a pressure of about 200 to 250PSI. The condenser (Item 1 on the diagram) acts like a radiator by giving off heat. This happens inside your engine compartment. When this heat is released, the refrigerant gas turns into a liquid.

From the other side of the condenser, the “Liquid Line” connects to the Orifice Tube (Item 2 on the diagram). At the orifice tube, the liquid refrigerant squeezes through a narrow passage yielding a temperature and pressure drop. After the liquid passes through the orifice, it gets cold and this cold refrigerant flows to the evaporator (Item 3 on the diagram).

The evaporator is also set up like a small radiator with the refrigerant circulating thru it. A fan pushes air across the cold evaporator which removes the heat from the air. The cold surface of the evaporator also condenses humidity out of the air which it allows to drain under the car.

At the outlet of the evaporator an accumulator (not shown) is used to store liquid refrigerant that may have made it thru the evaporator. The Suction Line at the bottom of the diagram connects the outlet of the accumulator and to the inlet of the compressor. This restarts the loop at the compressor.

About Refrigerants

The fluid inside the tubing of your car’s air conditioner is called the refrigerant. The technicians at Kims Chevrolet of Laurel, a local Chevrolet dealer in Laurel, MS, schooled us on the finer points of automotive refrigerants.

Two types of refrigerant have been used in cars and trucks: R-12 Freon and R-134a Freon. R-12 was the original refrigerant that’s been used since the 1940s. worked great but R-12 is chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and this has been shown to attack the earth’s ozone layer, contributing to global warming.

In 1990, The Clean Air Act agreed to cease production of R-12 refrigerant. The result is that all vehicles starting from 1994 and on came with R-134a refrigerant. R-134a is tetrafluorothane which is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC). HFC refrigerants work almost as well as R-12 but are far less harmful to the ozone layer.

Refrigerant Oils

It is important to know that oils circulate along in your AC system along with the refrigerants. And R-12 and R-134a each use a different type of oil. Mineral Oil is used with R-12 refrigerant and synthetic polyalkyline glycol is used with R-134a refrigerants. Your mechanic will know this.

What you can do to keep your AC system healthy

There are a couple of things that you can do to keep your car’s AC up to snuff. First, run the system a few minutes at least once a week no matter how hot the temperature outside might be. Yes, this means even in the winter, here’s why: this ensures that the many hoses, valves and pumps throughout the AC system are kept well lubricated by the refrigerant oil we discussed above.

Second thing to do is whenever you have the car serviced, make sure you ask the mechanic to check the refrigerant level and top off the system if necessary. The air conditioner is not always included in a standard log book service, so it can be easily neglected during servicing. You mechanic will connect up a set of special gauges to your AC system and they will be able to see how much refrigerant is present and what pressure it is at.

One last thing, it is good practice to get a full air conditioning service at least once a year. Try and do this before the hotter months start, for obvious reasons!

It’s an odd problem but cars that are powered by internal combustion engines can develop an issue called a “vacuum leak.” It’s a situation where a hose or engine gasket fails and outside air gets pulled into the engine while its running. This doesn’t sound very harmful (and it’s not really) but it can make an engine run roughly and can affect your gas mileage.  Sometimes you can hear a vacuum leak “hissing” when you have a vacuum leak but most of the time it will cause the computer in your car to turn on the Check Engine Light (CEL). In general, fixing a vacuum leak is something that you leave to your mechanic but they are worth learning about. You never know when a mechanic is going to say to you, “you’ve got a vacuum leak that I have to find” and when that happens you can nod your head knowing more than a little about what he/she is referring to.

Exactly where is this vacuum?

Vacuum is generated when an internal combustion engine is running. Internal combustion engines suck in atmospheric air to ignite (along with gasoline) in the engine cylinders. It is during the first part of this process (the sucking air in part) where a vacuum is created.

Long ago, engineers knew that having a source of vacuum in a car was useful. You can use it to activate things (such as heating systems), to power things (such as power brakes), and to monitor engine conditions (such as air/fuel ratios). It’s a pretty useful power source that is commonly used.

But problems occur when the vacuum of an engine is disturbed by leak. This can happen when gaskets fail, plastic parts break, or when vacuum hoses get old and cracked. At Kims Chrysler of Laurel, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Laurel, MS, they say sometimes it happens when someone simply dislodges a hose when repairing another issue under the hood.

The symptoms

Vacuum leaks can cause a myriad of problems with cars and trucks. To start with, you may have engine problems that are immediately obvious; things like hard starting, misfiring, rough idle and stalling are all possible symptoms when you have a vacuum leak. You may also have less obvious problems such as poor fuel economy or poor acceleration. As we mentioned above, often the CEL comes on. Although it is rare, if the vacuum hose was damaged or unplugged on your vacuum brake booster, you may even find that your brakes don’t work very well.

DIY

In most cases, it is best to have a mechanic troubleshoot a vacuum leak but if you want to take a crack at it. Here’s a few tips:

First, open the hood and look at all the vacuum hoses routed around. If you have an older car, you may find one that has slipped off its coupling or has cracked. Underneath the hoods of most cars today is a plastic sticker that has a diagram of the emissions control system. It will show where all the emission hoses are routed. This is a good map to follow when looking for problems with vacuum hoses because emission hoses are often at fault.

The next thing to do is start your engine and listen. Although engines aren’t exactly quiet under the hood, sometimes you can hear a vacuum leak because it emits a distinct hissing sound. This is usually one the first things a mechanic will do when they suspect an engine leak.

Get a Professional

If those simple procedures don’t work, honestly, it’s time to have a professional mechanic look at things. Not only do they have years of experience troubleshooting this sort of thing, they have specialized tools to help them. They also have car lifts that are really handy when you are fixing this sort of thing.

You probably know what sparkplugs are. If not, here’s quick definition: “spark plugs are devices for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the cylinders of a spark-ignition engine.” Much clearer now, eh?

OK, seriously, if you have a gasoline-powered car, lawnmower, chainsaw or anything else with an internal combustion engine, chances are that it will have one or more sparkplugs in it. They are usually easy to spot because they are white porcelain rods attached to a long, black ignition wires. See the image below. Nothing else on an engine quite matches that description.

Spark plugs have been around for over 100 years and still perform the same function that they originally were designed for. In fact, a sparkplug from the early 1900s looks almost the same as the one they make today. In this article, we will take a deeper look at these devices.

Spark plug function

Spark plugs perform a relatively simple function: to fire the air/fuel mixture in an engine. Here are the details: A spark plug is connected to the high voltage electricity generated by an ignition coil. As current flows from the coil and down into the spark plug, a voltage develops between the central and side electrodes on the tip of the spark plug. Initially no current will flow but as the voltage rises further it begins to change the structure of the gases in the gap. Once the voltage exceeds the dielectric strength of the gases, the gases become ionized and electricity jumps across the gap. This “spark” then ignites the air fuel mixture in the cylinder which drives a piston down.

We learned something interesting from our subject matter experts, Don Vance Chrysler of Marshfield, a local Dodge, Chrysler Ram, Jeep dealer in Marshfield, MO. First, in the old days spark plugs required voltages of 12,000–15,000 volts or so. Today they put out 25,000 – 30,000 Volts. This is so a powerful spark is developed that jumps across the electrode gaps. Now here’s the interesting part: as the current of electrons jumps the gap, it raises the temperature of the spark to 60,000 K. This is 6 times the surface temperature of the sun! This intense heat in the spark channel causes the ionized gas to expand very quickly which quickly ignites the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder.

Spark plug construction

A spark plug has a metal-threaded jacket which is electrically isolated from a central electrode by a porcelain insulator. The diagram below shows a cross-section of an older spark plug. The metal jacket is designed to withstand the torque of tightening the plug and also serves to remove heat from the plug assembly. Plus, it is the ground for the sparks passing through the central electrode to the side electrode.

The metal shell is screwed into the engine’s cylinder head. A central electrode protrudes through the porcelain insulator into the combustion chamber, forming one or more spark gaps between the inner end of the central electrode and the inner end of the grounded threaded shell.

The top of the spark plug contains a terminal to connect to an ignition wire. The exact terminal construction varies depending on the use of the spark plug. Most standard spark plug wires snap onto the terminal of the plug. The white section of a spark plug is an insulator typically made from sintered alumina, a very hard ceramic material. Its major function is to provide mechanical support and electrical insulation for the central electrode.

Because spark plugs thread into the cylinder head of an engine, seals are required to ensure there is no leakage from the combustion chamber. The external seal is usually a crush washer, but some manufacturers use the cheaper method of a taper interface and simple compression to attempt sealing.

The old days

At one time, it was common to remove the spark plugs from a car engine, clean any deposits off the ends, and file electrodes to restore the sharp edges. This was one of the maintenance items performed during a “tune-up.” And when the plugs accumulated some 30,000 miles of use or so, they were replaced.

The development of noble metal high temperature electrodes (such as yttrium, iridium, tungsten, or palladium) has eliminated the changing of spark plugs every 30,000 miles. This is because the center wires are smaller, and have sharper edges that will not melt or corrode away. The result is that today’s spark plugs last up to 100,000 miles before replacement.

America is a country that is practically defined by car culture. Over the last century, cars and trucks have had a profound effect on not only what we do and where we live, but on the infra-structure of our entire country.  With a society that is so car-related, its little surprise that they play starring roles in our motion pictures too. Today, there are a lot of “car movies.” In fact, they probably number in the thousands if you count independent and foreign films. In this article, we will look at a few of the best known ones.

American Graffiti

American Graffiti is the film that George Lucas made before Star Wars. Based in Southern California in the late 1950s, American Graffiti is a car film celebrating all aspects of car culture with young love, rebellion and coming of age themes all thrown in. Ron Howard holds the starring role, but Harrison Ford, Suzanne Summers, and many others make their first appearances in this film. If you were a teenager in the late 1950s, this film will take you back to your youth.

Back to the Future

Any list of car movies would be incomplete without the inclusion of Back to the Future. Playing a central role throughout the film is a Delorean DMC-12. Today, Deloreans are valuable classic cars but when Back to The Future was made (1985), they were just oddball vehicles from defunct car company. Nonetheless, an eccentric inventor (Christopher Lloyd) modifies a DMC-12 into a time machine. It wouldn’t be a mistake to say that this is one of the greatest family movies of all time.

Christine

Christine is a perfect example of a car movie that doesn’t just utilize a car in the plot, the car is the plot. The central character is an old fifties car. Our friends at Bodwell Chrysler of Brunswick, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Brunswick, ME, identified it for us. “Christine” is a 1958 Plymouth Fury, but not just any 1958 Plymouth Fury because this is a Stephen King story; it’s a 1958 Plymouth Fury that has an attitude and stalks humans to kill them. This is one of Stephen King’s best films, it’s a true horror classic.

Gran Torino

Gran Torino is about way more than the titular car. It’s an examination of present day America and the ways that different generations co-exist. Clint Eastwood both starred and directed this movie. While there are no thrilling car chases to keep you on the edge of your seat, a Ford Gran Torino is a focal element in the plot. Watching this one will get you to thinking a lot about life and the interactions that define it.

The Italian Job

Not the 2003 remake, we recommend the original 1969 movie. It stars Michael Caine and has a soundtrack by Quincy Jones. Caine plays a London criminal recently out of prison looking to score just one last big job in Italy. His plan is to steal $4 million dollars from the mob in the city of Turin. This is a film for car buffs: there are Lamborginis, Aston Martins and other exotics screaming around Turin. The starring automotive role however goes to a fleet of three Mini Coopers (not the recent BMW versions but original, British ones.)

As soon as you have little ones, the days of driving a small, compact, high-speed vehicle are over. After all, you have your children’s health and safety to think about. You also have to ensure that getting them into the car and through a journey is as quick and comfortable as possible. So, what should you really look out for when considering a new vehicle for you and your family? Here’s a checklist of things to check out before putting down a deposit or signing up to a finance plan.

Road Safety

Safety first! When it comes to getting your brood from A to B you want to ensure that they are sufficiently protected if the worse were to happen and an accident were to occur. So you want the safest set of wheels possible. While advances in technology and knowledge of the human body consistently come about, more and more manufacturers focus on improving their vehicles to accommodate for potential risks, problems and conditions. But some excel in this area more than others. Do your research and find vehicles that have the best quality safety features on the market. These can include effective airbags (with passenger airbags that can be deactivated if there is a child seat in the front), antilock brake systems (or ABS), traction control, electronic stability control, and specialist safety belt features such as low anchors and tethers for children (otherwise known as LATCH). There are plenty of new features available on the market too, such as brake assist, forward collision warnings (FCW), automatic engine braking (AEB), pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. These features not only prevent accidents from happening in the first place, but if accidents do occur, you’ll have a better chance of standing your ground in court when represented by a professional car accident attorney.

Room

 

Once you have whittled down the list of vehicles that meet your safety expectations, it’s time to check which has the most room. You need sufficient seats for all of your family members and space for child car seats as well as luggage (as we are all aware, kids come with a whole mass of toys, cleaning products and other items whenever they leave the house). If you are planning on expanding your family (whether with the addition of more children or pets), you may want to invest in a vehicle with excess space, as this will save you from having to sell your motor and invest in a new one down the line. Five doors (at least) are preferable, as this allows you to get everyone into the vehicle and securely clipped in much more easily. A large boot also means you have more space for groceries, luggage, and other items.

 

Added Extras

 

If you have specific preferences, there’s likely to be a vehicle with the apt modifications to cater to your wants and needs. Perhaps having drink holders makes things a bit easier when visiting fast food drive throughs. Maybe you frequently take longer trips and in car entertainment would be preferable to occupy the children? Some vehicles can have small television screens installed in the back of the driver and front passenger seats. Always ask, as there may be something out there that is perfect!

 

Now you know what to look for, start doing your research. It’s always best to have a few ideas in mind before entering a dealership or searching second hand vehicles.

Technology and motoring have, in recent years, married perfectly together to create huge boom in cars that are upgraded to the max. It can be very expensive to buy a new car perfectly kitted out with all the latest gadgets. Thankfully, you no longer have to do that. So many manufacturers and companies out there are developing gadgets to mix up the features your car has.

So, it’s for this reason that we’ve put together a list of the best gadget upgrades your car can have so that you are driving toward the latest and greatest trends. Avoid being stuck in the past with your vehicle and check out these upgrades today:

  • Alexa. You’ve seen the adverts, you’ve read the news: Amazon’s Alexa is now car compatible. This dock plugs into your car so you can control it with just your voice. Ask directions, start the music from your favourite bands and simply ask the nearest restaurants; Alexa has the answers on the go with you!
  • Bluetooth. A feature of phones for many years, Bluetooth and iClever can now allow you to connect your phone to your car. A magnetic disk to mount your phone on can also be bought, helping you to answer your phone without breaking the law or getting too distracted as you drive.

Scanners. If you’ve not heard of them, you really need to take a look at which OBD2 scanner to choose for your car! These nifty gadgets can help you to figure out what is wrong with your car when that annoying warning light pops on the dashboard.

  • SatNav. It’s an oldie but a goody; satnav units have been around for a while but are constantly being upgraded with the latest and greatest information about the world around you. Most people deal with GPS on their phones, but a separate satnav can be a better option for your vehicle, especially on a road trip.
  • DashCam. You’ve seen the police chase shows, but don’t worry, we aren’t inferring you’ll be in a road chase any time soon. A DashCam has so many uses and backing you up in the case of an accident can mean a DashCam can give you extra insurance in case anything happens on the road.
  • Car Finder. You know when you head to the parking lot and have no idea where you last parked up? It’s actually a problem for a lot of people. Thankfully, you can buy these car locators on Amazon and be able to find your car in a moment!
  • Car Bin. There’s nothing worse than trying to drive in a car cluttered with wrappers and empty bottles. This handy little car bin is perfect as a way to organize your vehicle and keep things tidy. Technological? Nope, but definitely handy!

Your car is somewhere you should feel safe and keeping it looked after is going to make such a difference to your driving experience. You can upgrade your car without spending thousands on a new one, so go for it!

The family car market is a hard one to crack. Families need space but don’t want a huge petrol guzzler. They want efficiency but don’t want to spend too much, and they want their car to look nice and have some modern gadgets, without being flashy or over the top. Above all, they want safety. Family cars have been growing in popularity and advancing hugely over the last few years, and 2018 looks set to see some fantastic cars dominate this competitive market. Here is a look at some of the best family cars to look out for if you are considering an upgrade in 2018.

Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR is Toyota’s version of the increasing popular Nissan Qashqai, but does it compete in terms of quality and safety? The early signs certainly look good. The C-HR is roomy enough for a family, although perhaps a little short on height. It has a combined 1.8-liter engine and an electric motor which make for a powerful drive which handles well but is also available in 1.2-liter petrol.

One area that family cars need to do well is comfort. When you’re trying to get a baby to sleep, you don’t want a bumpy ride. While the 1.2-liter petrol only C-HR offers an incredibly smooth drive, the hybrids extra weight means it does lack somewhat on comfort.

While there can never be guaranteed safety on the road and there’s always a need for an affordable DUI lawyer, the Toyota doe it’s best to protect families and comes with all of the latest safety features.

Skoda Fabia Estate

The Skoda Fabia Estate has two huge advantages over other family cars. First, it somehow manages to be an attractive family car and have a massive trunk. You could quite easily fit a pram, suitcase and other family paraphernalia in without much of a squeeze. Second, price. Coming in at around $13000 the Fabia is significantly cheaper than some of its rivals.

The 2018 Skoda Fabia comes complete with pretty much every safety add-on going and has achieved a EuroNCAP 5-star rating, which is rare.

VW Golf

The VW Golf has long been a family favorite, and there’s absolutely no sign of this changing in the near future. The latest incarnation of an ever-popular car comes in petrol, diesel, hybrid and full electric, so there’s an option to suit everyone.

The downside of the VW is that it’s a little more expensive, but it still has excellent space for such a compact car and offers excellent fuel efficiency with fantastic safety features.

Skoda Superb

The Skoda Superb is another brilliant family car offering from Skoda. This car is again a more affordable option and offers lashings of space. One feature that really stands out is the amount of legroom provided to back seat passengers. This could make it the ideal choice for families with long-legged teens that struggle to find comfort in other family cars.

When you’ve got a family, there is much more to consider when buying a car. These 4 cover all of the basics well while offering some fantastic extras. Any of them would make an excellent family vehicle if insured correctly.

For many people, a car is not just a luxury item — it’s an important asset for their employment, the very thing they depend on to fund their lives. Cars have become ever-more vital in recent years, as people take to the roads in a bid to earn a living by driving.

In the past few years, this has become even more prevalent. Uber were not the first company to allow ordinary people to become taxi drivers, but they are by far the biggest and most recognized. Uber have a presence in major cities throughout the world, but news has recently broken which suggests there is trouble brewing.

London vs. Uber

London, England, has had a love/hate relationship with Uber since it began to operate there. The famous black cab drivers in the city hated Uber, insisting it was unsafe and unfair competition. Black cab drivers have to go through rigorous training to work in the city; they did not respond well to anyone being able to call themselves a taxi driver with nothing but an app and a sat nav to support them.

This animosity has long been brewing and there are vocal supporters on both sides. Some say that Uber has made taxis accessible to people who cannot afford the — admittedly high — black cab prices. Those on the side of the black cab drivers insist that Uber is unsafe, that the drivers are unqualified, the cars uninsured. Rather than meticulously-maintained and iconic black cabs, people have been able to browse used cars for sale, make a choice that fits their budget, and then call themselves “cabbies”. This fact is not appreciated by the black cab drivers, who pay a large amount to rent the vehicles they use for work.

Uber has doubtless provided employment opportunities for those who might otherwise struggle for work. The fact that you only need a car and a few gadgets has made it a viable choice, and it’s one the Brits have been taking. Uber claim that they have 40,000 people working in their fare-based system.

The two sides of the argument have been butting heads for a number of years — but recent developments suggest that the black cab drivers may have won. Not only does this matter to the Uber drivers in England, but could potentially have a knock-on effect throughout the world.

So What’s Happened?

Transport For London (most commonly abbreviated to TfL) have announced they are suspending Uber’s right to operate in the city. TfL claim that Uber breach a number of guidelines, and says they lack corporate responsibility to deal with the issues the company has created. There have been numerous reports of Uber drivers being involved in sexual assault cases. TfL also protest Greyball, a system that allows their drivers to obscure their drive records from the authorities. As a result, the Uber licence to operate in London has been suspended. This is as huge as it sounds; effectively, TfL are kicking Uber out of England’s capital.

The news has been joyously received by the black cab drivers, many of whom claim that Uber cost them their livelihoods.

The reaction from the British public has been more mixed. Londoners claim that black cabs are expensive, inconvenient, and don’t offer the journey flexibility that Uber did. They also dislike the fact that black cabs cannot be booked the way Uber can, potentially leaving people alone at night desperately trying to flag down a cab.

London is the first city in the world to ban Uber, though plenty of other cities — including in the USA — have spoken about their dislike for the company. Could this just be the first wave that is going to bring Uber down? And is it still going to be possible to make a living by driving your car?

Future Employment Prospects

Without a doubt, if you have considered using your car as a taxi by joining Uber, now is probably not the time to do it. Uber is relatively easy to sign up to, but their future is looking precarious.

So what are the options?

If you want to drive for a living and are cautious of Uber due to these recent developments, here are a few suggestions:

 

  • Become a licensed taxi driver through a reputable minicab company. This is more expensive to enter and will require a change in your car insurance policy, but it’s far more viable than the “gig economy”. Minicab drivers are usually paid a fixed wage, rather than being reliant on fares.
  • Contact the pharmacies in your area to see if they require prescription medication deliveries. You will usually have to pass a background check, but this is a great choice if you have your own vehicle and know your local area well. There is a growing demand for this service, which allows patients to receive their medication even if they are housebound.
  • Delivering court summons. Court summons’ documents still have to be delivered in person, which gives you the opportunity to drive between appointments and have a flexible schedule. Contacting your local court to see if they are hiring is your best bet.
  • Leafleting is often seen as a student job, but it can actually be lucrative if you can be quick moving from house to house. You can usually find leafleting jobs online, or check local directories to see if there are any possible jobs listed. The work is rarely regular enough to rely on for a full-time income, but it could be a nice driving-based way of supplementing your dayjob.


As For Uber…

There are alternatives to Uber that you could try if you’re determined the app-based gig economy is one you want to be part of. It’s also worth remembering that Uber are appealing London’s decision, so this might only be a temporary fright in their otherwise dominant business plan. If you want to drive your own vehicle for a living, then it seems like this is still going to be a viable job opportunity — provided other cities choose not to follow London’s lead.

The thrill of passing your driving test and finally purchasing your first vehicle is one which cannot be replaced. It is a moment of immense pride in your achievements, and excitement for your newfound independence. But then, one word comes crashing in and ruins your childlike excitement: Insurance.

Insurance is an essential, and legal, part of owning a car. It protects you against the worst scenarios and also protects the car company from having to pay out all of your bills. It is often an arduous and over-complicated process which confuses many of us, but today we are going to talk through it in more detail.

Check Rates Annually

Checking your rates each year could save you a lot of money on insurance. Going onto a price comparison site and adding your details will bring up all the current quotes for your vehicle and situation. Even if you’ve spent a year with one provider, you may find a deal which makes you switch.

Shop Around

Utilise sites such as cheapautoinsurance.co.uk to hunt down the best insurance policy for you. Whether you are a new driver or you’ve a few years no claims, insurance is still very expensive and it can cost you in the long run if you don’t do the proper research on different providers and what they can offer.

Choose The Right Car

Now, you’re never going to get a quote under $1000 a year if you are driving in a Ferrari. Even if you can afford to buy a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the insurance on the vehicle down the line. Think about the long-term implications of the car you pick, and the lifestyle you live. Take an online quiz like this: https://www.quizrocket.com/car-quiz to give you a better insight on what type of car you are looking for. The results may surprise you.

Hunt For Discounts

There’s no better way to save money on your policy and get the best deal than taking advantage of discounts. Usually, if you are a new customer, you will automatically get offers on certain parts of your policy, so take advantage while you can.

Pick A Trusted Insurer

Of course, this might seem pretty obvious, but it’s surprising how many motorists get scammed because they go for the lowest price but with a company they’ve never heard of. Make sure you stick to who you know and pick reputable providers to ensure that you feel safe and secure with the coverage you are receiving.

Review Your Coverage

Make sure that your excess amount is one you can afford and one which fits the car and lifestyle you have. Also, make sure that the liability coverage you receive is enough. Liability coverage gives you protection for if the worst happens and you are involved in a collision. You’ll be protected for damages to your car and for bodily harm too

The auto insurance industry is one that can easily be accused of resting on its laurels. It’s not much of a surprise, of course – if you want to drive a car, you have to have insurance, no matter how bad a service you experience, or how much you have to pay. It’s led to an environment where the insurance companies hold all the cars, and unless you are clued up on the bad habits and behaviors they have gotten into, it’s easy to be taken for a ride. So, if you want to save yourself some money, read on – we’ve put together a list of the biggest tricks insurance companies will play on unsuspecting drivers.

The collision insurance conundrum

Ask most people, and they will happily pay for collision insurance. After all, if you are involved in a crash, you will get some money back, right? Well, maybe not. The truth is that insurers only pay out the value of the car right now – not what you paid for it. And if you are in an old car, that amount could be covered by your deductible, anyway. In short, you will be paying for a policy that will never pay out a cent – just get the bare minimum legal requirement instead.

The small print

Be honest – when was the last time you even read the small print on your auto insurance plan? And even if you did, when was the last time you understood it? Unless you are an insurance expert, the chances are that no matter how educated you are, the language used will be incomprehensible and confusing. So, make sure you ask for a full explanation of the policy, so you completely understand what you are covered for – and what you aren’t. And make sure they know you are recording the call, too, to prompt them to give you the full story.

The coverage renewal

Another sneaky trick car insurers play is to auto-renew your current policy – often with less favorable terms than you signed up for. Watch out for those letters in the post, and make sure that you comparison sites such as cheapautoinsurance.co and others. You’ll find that insurers often keep their very best deals for brand new customers, while those on the renewal plans end up paying more.

The phone call

If something happens to your car and you end up ringing the insurers for some help, don’t assume that the sweet young lady or gentleman on the other end will be doing you any favors. If you mention the incident – at all – the chances are they will consider that call a claim of sorts. Investopedia.com point out that hey could adjust your rates, and even make it difficult for you to find insurance elsewhere because they have reported it in the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange – the tool all insurers use to work out your coverage costs. Always keep your questions and queries as generic as possible.

As you can see, some auto insurance companies can be a little sneaky. So, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls, use comparison sites to find better deals, and be careful what you say on the phone. Good luck!