In the news this week…

In the news this week…

Porsche pay Facebook tribute

Porsche have celebrated reaching 5 million Facebook followers by granting their fans the chance to collectively design a new Porsche 911.

Offering up a whole range of different spec options, the German car giant took the latest 991-series 911 Carrera 4S and let the fans decide what to put inside it, with the most popular options being chosen.

With Facebook-style metallic blue paintwork, the Porsche features a sporty white centre stripe running up the bonnet and sill guards emblazoned with the words ‘personally built by 5 million Porsche fans’.
So what did the fans pick?

Well, they opted for the Aerokit Cup for a lower front bumper and more pronounced fixed rear wing, and the white, sporty 20-inch Carrera S wheels. And underneath, the fan-built car features the Porsche Sport Chrono package and a sports exhaust.

Pretty powerful stuff.

It looks like Porsche are really following their social media closely. This marks the third occasion that Porsche have created a customised car to celebrate their online following.

In 2012, to mark their 2 million followers, they created a one-off Porche Cayman S which featured pictures of their Facebook fans, and in 2011 they ran a Thank You campaign, incorporating the names of their 1 million fans into the white and purple bodywork of a GT3 R Hybrid.

Teasers of Subari BRZ STI leaked

It’s been a long and quiet wait, but the Subaru BRZ STi has finally been confirmed after it was announced a few years earlier.

Well, sort of.

Subaru have released a few teaser images of the long-awaited performance car. Unfortunately, they really don’t give much away.

It looks like Subaru are keeping things close to their chest, and we’re still left guessing as to how the new STi model will differ from the original.

Talk about just what we’re to expect under the bonnet is still hotly debated.

Disappointingly, sources indicate that the STi won’t feature a turbocharged engine due to limited space, and it’ll instead achieve its increased 7,500rpm rev limit with exhaust and intake modifications – but as yet, we really can’t be too sure what Subaru are planning.

Still, it’s nice to know the STi hasn’t been forgotten about!

Avoidable mistakes: 5 things you didn’t realise were damaging your car!

Avoidable mistakes: 5 things you didn’t realise were damaging your car!

Sometimes we just have to own up to the truth: we were in the wrong.

We scratched the alloys because we’re no good at parallel parking, or we bumped into the car in front because we were too busy messing around with the radio station to notice it.

Fair enough.

These things were our own fault – and we can recognise them as being entirely down to a lack of driving experience, or a lapse in concentration.

But what about our deeply-engrained driving habits?

What about those actions we take, unthinkingly, each and every time we drive?

Could they be damaging our cars in ways we never suspected?

Let’s look at some driving behaviours and routines that could cause damage to our vehicle in ways we never suspected…

1. Heavy keys

Is your car key attached to a key ring that’s full with a hundred other different keys?

If it is, you might want to think about getting rid of a few of them…

Your bunch of keys will probably be heavy, and the weight – coupled with the movement generated from driving – can put unnecessary strain on the tumblers inside the ignition.

Too much strain and you’ll break them – and a broken ignition means that you’ll be left with a non-starting car.

Those who don’t have central locking and use their keys to open the car door should also be careful, since a large bunch of keys can cause scratches to the paintwork around the lock.

2. Idling

Stuck in traffic? Parked up at the side of the road waiting for someone?

Don’t leave the engine running.

Idling means that the engine doesn’t operate at the most efficient temperature, and so the fuel in the engine is only ever partially combusted.

Excessive idling can cause a build-up of fuel residues which would normally have been burnt off, and these residues can damage engine components.

3. Petrol station refilling

You might think the sight of a petrol tanker parked up on the forecourt, refilling the garage’s supply of fuel was a good thing.

As it turns out, it isn’t…

During refilling, the entering fuel can stir up sediment that’s built up inside the underground tanks, and if it makes it into your car’s tank, this sediment can cause damage to your fuel injectors and clog your fuel filters.

So if you see a petrol tanker, it might be an idea to keep on driving to the next garage.

4. Not paying attention to the road

When we talk about not paying attention to the road, we’re not talking about the traffic – we really mean the road!

We’ve all run over a pothole before, but driving over one too many holes in the road could start to affect the car’s wheel alignment.

Faulty wheel alignment can cause the car to veer dangerously to one side, and it can lead to premature tyre wear and result in a lower fuel mileage.

5. Listening to fast music

OK, so listening to fast music might not cause direct damage to your car – but it’ll increase your chances of some form of damage occurring.

One researcher took 28 students and placed them each in a driving simulator. As they drove music from a variety of different genres was played, from slow tempo ballads to fast-paced dance.

The study showed that those who listened to fast music in the car were twice as likely to be involved in an accident as those who listened to slower music.

So turn off the techno and try the Chopin instead.

5 tips to prolong the life of your car

5 tips to prolong the life of your car

Here at Sell Your Problem Car ® we come across expensive-to-fix car problems all the time.

Some are caused by road accidents, and others because of unforeseen engine failure – but you’d probably be surprised at how many are caused by careless driving habits.

So let’s take a look at 5 simple driving and vehicle care tips to prolonging the life of your car. Keep your car in a better condition for longer and avoid any paying for unnecessary repairs.

1. Avoid speeding

If you have a new car, it’s important to be patient during the ‘break-in’ period. This tends to last for the first 1,000 miles or so, and you should go easy as your car adjusts to being on the road for the first time.

Decrease the chance of premature wear by accelerating lightly. Don’t exceed 3,000 rpm and try not to drive the car any faster than 55 to 60 miles an hour, which is the engine’s optimal cruising speed.

2. Stop riding the clutch

This is one of those driving habits that many people find themselves falling prey to – but most aren’t aware of the unnecessary wear and damage they’re causing to the clutch.

Holding the car with the clutch while you’re waiting in traffic, or resting your foot on the clutch and keeping it partially disengaged greatly increases the wear that the clutch receives, which in turn decreases the clutch’s lifespan – and a new clutch could cost several hundred pounds to replace.

So if you’re stood still, use the parking brake and switch to neutral.

3. Read the car’s manual

Your car’s manual actually contains a surprising amount of information about recommended maintenance scheduling and which products you should be using (i.e. which oils are recommended).

Ignore this advice at your own peril.

A quick flick through could save you some extremely costly problems down the line.

4. Maintain tyre pressure

Regularly checking your car’s tyre pressure is important – but it’s not something we do nearly enough.

Check to see the correct tyre air pressure (you’ll find your manufacturer’s recommended pressure on the sidewall of the tyre) and be careful not to adjust the wheel’s pressure by any more than 25% outside of the baseline.

A common misconception is that putting more air into the tyre will help to protect it against road impact. In fact, over-inflating you tyres can be worse than not having enough air pressure, since they’ll transfer more energy from an impact to the wheels, potentially damaging them.

5. Wash and wax your car

Rust damage can be extremely expensive to fix – and it can form and spread very quickly, so it pays to act fast.

Ideally, try clean your car every two weeks and wax every four to prevent any rust from developing. If it’s wet, and there’s lots of salt on the roads, you might want to think about washing it more often, since salt actually speeds up the rate of rusting.

And if you notice a small problem in the paintwork, don’t let it develop. Get it treated as soon as possible before things get too costly.

In the news this week…

Crisis over F1 tyre safety

Severe tyre blowouts suffered by four drivers at last weekend’s Silverstone GP have left drivers and teams concerned over the safety of the sport.

Silverstone is known as a particularly demanding circuit that’s tough on tyres, but tyre failures are amongst some of the most lethal car failures for F1 drivers.

Lewis Hamilton has called for action to be taken after the tyre failures, which he’s described as ‘unacceptable’, and 13-time Grand Prix winner, David Coulthard, has taken a similar stance, calling the tyre failures ‘driver killers’.

Pirelli has issued a statement which attributes the failure of the tyres to the practices of the F1 teams themselves.

In order to better manage tyre wear and limit pit stops, teams have been removing worn tyres and later mounting them on the opposite side of the car.

This, Pirellis has said, is largely responsible for the blowouts, which only occurred on cars with tyres fitted on the opposite side.

Despite this, Pirelli will be making changes ahead of next week’s race at the Nurburgring, changing the internal belt – which is usually made from steel – to Kevlar.

The fear over the safety of the tyres occurs just two weeks after Pirelli and Mercedes sparked controversy for their mid-season tyre testing, after Red Bull and Ferrari racing teams brought the legality of the tyre development into question.

High demand for Ford Fiesta ST

It looks as though Ford have got things right with their new Ford Fiesta ST.

The waiting list for the sporty new hatchback currently stands at 3 months, after unexpected interest catches production off guard.

In fact, over half of Ford’s annual production of Fiesta STs was sold within just 3 months of the car’s official launch date.

Powered by an impressive 178bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol, with sporty and subtly-aggressive looks, it’s not so difficult to see why people are snapping them up.

But it’s not all about the aesthetics.

At £16,995, the Fiesta ST is also one of this year’s cheapest hatchbacks – that’s around £2,000 less than its main rival, the Renaultsport Clio 200, which went on sale back in June.

New world land speed record set

Driving an electric Le Mans prototype racer at an average speed of more than 200mph, Lord Paul Drayson has set a new land speed record for a ‘sub-1000kg electric car’.

, recorded a top speed of 204.285mph, smashing the previously held record of 175mph.

With a top speed of 204.185mph, the former Minister of Science, businessman and amateur racing driver smashed the previously-held record of 175mph.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world electric vehicles can be fast and reliable,’ said Drayson, who you can see in action below…

‘Why won’t my car start?’ – The 7 most common reasons for engine failure

Car engines are complicated pieces of engineering, so there could be a whole host of issues responsible for preventing your car from starting when you put the key in the ignition.

But some engine problems occur more frequently than others, so let’s take a look at the 7 most common causes of engine failure, and find out why your engine isn’t turning over.

1. Fuel pump failure

Fuel pumps are responsible for supplying the injectors with pressurised fuel which aids combustion, but their failure is one of the most common reasons for a non-starting engine.

Fuel pump failure can occur at any time, but running a car on less than ¼ of a tank of petrol for extended periods – or running out of fuel entirely – can cause premature damage.

2. Clogged fuel filter

Fuel filters can clog, so they should be replaced every 12,000 miles or so.

If you have a clogged or dirty fuel filter, the fuel may not be able to reach the engine, which prevents the engine from starting.

3. A problem with the timing belt

The timing belt (or cam belt) is the toothed rubber belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft. It controls the engine timing and makes sure that the valves and pistons don’t collide when the engine is in motion.

Over time, timing belts are prone to wear and can fail, causing the engine to operate out of sync. Owner’s manuals might disagree about how often a timing belt needs to be changed, but you should really check and replace one after covering somewhere in the region of 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

4. The battery’s dead

Car batteries are like any other kind of battery: they don’t last forever. They can fail and be drained of power if the cars lights or radio are left on while the car isn’t running, or if the car hasn’t been used for a while.

5. …or it’s corroded

Battery corrosion typically occurs when there are loose connections on the battery terminals, or when gases from inside the battery escape (whether though faulty or cracked battery caps or punctures in the battery itself).

Electrical resistance develops as the corrosion builds up, but by removing the negative and then positive terminals from the battery, the corrosion can be scrubbed away with a stiff brush.

6. Electrical problems

Even small fluctuations in voltage can cause damage to the engine’s computerised controls, and poor electrical connections could also be responsible for an engine failing to start, so they should be checked to make sure they’re not loose.

7. Distributor cap

Since the distributor cap carries voltage it can become worn, clogged and dirty, and prevent the engine from turning over.

Check your distributor cap for cracks, signs of fire damage or a build-up of dirt. It may need cleaning or replacing entirely.

In the news this week…

José Froilán González dies, aged 90

Argentine Formula 1 driver, José Froilán González – the man behind Ferrari’s very first Formula 1 victory – has died this week, aged 90.

The son of a car dealer, González was born in Buenos Aires on October 5th, 1922, and travelled to Europe in 1949 to begin his racing career for Maserati.

A year after his championship debut at the Monoco Grand Prix in 1950, González (pictured above) had switched allegiance to Ferrari and powered his 375 F1 to victory at Silverstone in 1951, crossing the finish line to the applause of over 50,000 spectators.

Current Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said, “Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend.”

BMW 4 Series Coupe