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Winter Driving Essentials: Be Safe with MotorNuts

October has so far brought plenty of bad weather with it and there's more predicted to come hot (or rather COLD!) on its heels as winter approaches ever closer. Driving in the colder months isn't generally much fun and, when your vehicle lets you down, then NOT driving isn't much fun either. Luckily, MotorNuts is right by your side with our superlative collection of winter driving essentials.

There are hundreds of items to discover in our collection of winter driving essentials and here are three of the best...

POLYGARD Arctic Screen Wash

Winter temperatures in UK have often dropped below those recorded in Arctic regions at a similar time so the name of this efficient formula is no joke. A highly concentrated glass cleaner designed to de-ice and protect in extremely low temperatures down to -20°C, POLYGARD Arctic Screen Wash is a fast-acting, non-smear formula guaranteed to give crystal clear results.

Available in a multitude of pack sizes from a single five litre bottle to a pallet of 16 containers each containing 25 litres (for a total of 400 litres!), finding the right amount for your requirements is easy. Sometimes, elbow grease is needed for stubborn windscreens so don't forget to check out our range of ice scrapers!

COMMA Super Coldmaster Antifreeze & Coolant

Designed and manufactured by one of the world's largest independent oil companies that has been established since 1965, COMMA Super Coldmaster Antifreeze & Coolant is one of the best ways to protect vehicle engines from freezing as well as corrosion and overheating. The formula is available in many pack size options and in concentrated or ready-to-use form.

MICHELIN Easy-Grip Snow Chains

Available in a range of tyre sizes and to suit most vehicles, MICHELIN Easy-Grip Snow Chains are easy to fit, allowing you to continue driving safely on snow- and ice-covered roads in no time. The chains deliver the maximum possible traction and are available from MotorNuts at an extremely competitive price.

Drive safely this autumn and winter with MotorNuts Driving Essentials: check out the full range on our website.

Posted in News, Advice on .

Space Saver Wheels & Pothole Puncture Perils!

The number of potholes on Britain's roads is at an all-time high, with more than a 50% increase in reports between 2017 and 2018. Drivers have been warned by the AA that hitting a pothole, even at a 'relatively low speed', can cause serious damage to the wheels and tyres of a vehicle.

As most new vehicles do not come with a spare wheel, (instead relying on tyre slime or foam sealant as a 'replacement'), all drivers are advised to invest in a space saver wheel. MotorNuts supply space saver wheels from trusted company RoadHero and, like every other product on our website, you're guaranteed a competitive price.

Available for most major makes and models of vehicle, RoadHero space saver wheels fit neatly and securely into the storage space located beneath the floor of the vehicle's boot. Designed to reliably deliver a temporary solution to the problem of a damaged wheel, allowing you to continue your journey home or to where the original wheel can be replaced, the space saver wheel is an intelligent investment.

Each RoadHero space saver wheel is supplied by MotorNuts with a wheel brace and a jack, ensuring you have everything you need for quick, easy and fuss-free fitting. With our compliments, you'll also receive a convenient, purpose-designed storage bag so the whole kit is kept together for when you most need it.

If you can't see a space saver wheel for your vehicle on our website then don't despair. just get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable team and we'll do our best to source one for you. Have more questions? Check out the RoadHero space saver wheel FAQs page on our website.

Posted in News, Advice on .

Choosing the Right Engine Oil

To a vehicle, oil is just as important as fuel: without it, the vehicle isn't going anywhere! Engine oil provides essential lubrication to the many moving parts of a vehicle's engine, reducing friction and associated wear and tear. It also helps to clean the engine of sludge and varnish deposits, ensuring that the vehicle runs smoothly and avoiding costly repair work.

There are many different variants of engine oil, each suited to particular applications. All of the variants begin as simple crude mineral oil, which is refined with synthetic bases and additive to create suitable viscosities and blends. Finally classified as semi- or fully-synthetic, the finished product is designed to meet the requirements set by different car manufacturers. Not using the recommended oil can even invalidate a vehicle's warranty.

Most owners of modern vehicles should be using synthetic engine oil, which has a longer life than it's semi-synthetic counterpart. Synthetic engine oil is more equipped to deal with high temperatures and extreme pressures, extending by significant margins the required interval between services. Semi-synthetic engine oils are cheaper but do not last as long and are typically used only in older vehicles.

Most vehicles are manufactured to use oil of multi-viscosity as opposed to the less common single-viscosity variation. The viscosity of an oil is identified with a number placed before a letter 'W', with another number following (e.g. 10w-40): the lower number indicates a thinner, more easily-flowing oil. The number preceding the 'w' represents oil performance at low temperatures while the number after the 'w' shows performance level at higher temperatures.

MotorNuts is a proud supplier of an extensive range of engine oils, produced by top brands including Millers Oils, Castrol, Granville, Mobil, Lucas and Comma. We have made it easy to find the correct oil for your vehicle but if you need further assistance then just give the expert MotorNuts a call and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Posted in News, Musings of a MotorNut, Advice on .

Diesel Additives: The Forte Triple Treatment Kit

Vehicles that run on diesel require specialist care to ensure that their engines are always in tip-top condition. Here at MotorNuts, we supply a comprehensive collection of diesel treatments and additives from top brands like Millers Oils, MPEX, STP and Forte. In this edition of the MotorNuts blog, we look at the complete diesel detox delivered by the Forte Diesel System Triple Treatment Kit.

The Complete Diesel System Treatment Kit by Forte contains three quality additives, each designed to treat a different aspect of a diesel engine. The kit contains:

DPF Cleaner & Regenerator

Specially formulated to combat soot buildup caused by start-stop driving, this product makes use of a catalyst that adheres to soot particles during the combustion process. After treatment, the particles in the soot filter area will burn at lower temperatures, which helps to regenerate the filter during start-stop driving where exhaust temperatures are low. Stability of the DPF system is improved and soot emissions are actively reduced.

Diesel Turbo Cleaner

Incomplete combustion leads to particles adhering to an engines variable vanes, causing them to stick and reducing the power and efficiency of diesel engines. Forte Diesel Turbo Cleaner, which is compatible with all diesel engines, helps to clean variable geometry turbos without any need for dismantling and also cleans EGR valves.

Advanced Formula Diesel Treatment

The final element on Forte's Diesel System Treatment Kit both cleans and lubricates the entire fuel system, improving overall engine efficiency and power. This reduces downtime and the need for replacement of engine components, whether the engine uses a direct or indirect injection system. Black smoke emissions are lessened, injector spray patterns are restored and fuel pump life is extended, without affecting the diesel fuel's cetane rating.

Check out the entire MotorNuts collection of diesel treatments and additives on our website. Happy driving!

Posted in News, Product profiles, Advice on .

Everything you need to know about Colour Matched Paints

Q – I don’t know my paint code but I need a touch up?

A – We access your paint code using our mixing system - simply enter your vehicle reg, which will bring up the make, model and colour, place your order and we will do the rest

Q – Where can I find my paint code?

A – Your paint code will be in your vehicles hand book and can also be found on a sticker or plate on the car; usually located inside the door frame, under the bonnet, in the glove box or wheel well. You can also check out the handy paint code finder from our paint partners at MPEX.

Q – Can you just get paints colour matched for cars?

A – As well as cars we can match paints for bikes, motorcycles, commercial and agricultural vehicles: we have over 77,000 colours including RAL, BS and pantone shades

Q – I have a classic car, can I get colour matched paint?

A- We can still match paint colours for classic and vintage vehicles but not by registration look up. In this instance we would need you to check for your paint code, or know the colour name... any queries you can ask our expert team who will be happy to help.

*if you have a Rover and for some other older vehicles we would need your paint code

Q- Which size paint is best for which type of scratch?

A – For respray’s obviously an aerosol is what you need, for scratches and chips you can choose either a 100ml pot touch up with a fine brush or a 20ml pen with a needle point pen and super fine brush. The pen is ideal for fine detailed scratches, scuffs and stone chips as the needle point allows just the right amount of paint to be applied and sits nicely in the scratch.

Q – Do I need to use a primer and lacquer?

A – A primer is only required if your chip or scratch goes down to the metal and if any rust is present. A lacquer is recommended in most instances – especially with metallic paints. It should be applied 24 hours after the coloured coat and will give a perfect finish.

Q – How do I get the touch up to look its best?

A – The key to applying a successful touch up is smooth, light strokes and building up layers to the original paintwork level - leave to dry for 10-25 minutes between coats or 24 hours before lacquer.

Q – Can you mix pearlescent paints?

A – Most modern paints are metallic and many are pearlescent and we can mix 99% of pearlescent paint codes. There are a few tri-colour mixes that cannot be matched.

Posted in News, Advice on .

Antifreeze verses Coolant. What’s the difference?

MotorNuts Car maintenance guides. Let our technical MotorNuts keep your car in tip top condition.

Antifreeze verses Coolant. What’s the difference?

So what is the difference between Antifreeze and coolant? (Which to further confuse things is also known as summer coolant).

Your car has been out on the drive all night and the temperature has dropped to -9°C yet the car starts first thing in the morning, even if you don’t. Or maybe this summer you have driven to the Cotê D azure it has been a constant 35°C all day and yet you drive all day without the engine overheating.

Admittedly these are things that most drivers take for granted, after all this is just what cars are designed to do isn’t it?

Well yes and no, but in each of the above situations you can thank your engine coolant additive for this wide range of performance.

Antifreeze is a bright green or yellow chemical that is mixed with the water in your cars engine, radiators and cooling system, it is there to stop your engine from freezing or overheating.

The Technical bit

Antifreeze or coolant is a chemical, usually either Ethylene glycol or propylene glycol which, when added to the water in your engine changes the freezing point and the boiling point of the water. (there are other chemicals used as antifreeze, but we will stick with these two)

With the correct mix of chemical, which is often recommended as 50% water to 50% antifreeze (sometimes referred as 50/50) the water freezing point moves from 0°C to approximately -35°C.

Ok I hear you say, but why antifreeze in the heat of summer? Well, the boiling point of water is also affected by this mixture of chemical and water and increases from 100°C to just over 125°C at a normal engine system pressure of 15lb/in² this is sufficient, in a healthy engine, to stop the coolant from boiling. So, there you are, the same chemical will stop freezing and boiling, by how much will depend on the mixture levels dependant of the mixture levels. 50/50 being the recommended minimum but in some vehicles, it is quite normal to have waterless cooling so ask us if you are not sure.

There is another important characteristic of antifreeze or coolant additives. This is mainly associated with effects of corrosion and sludge creation in your engine waterways, pipes and radiators. Corrosion and sludge will occur if you are using only water as the coolant for your engine. Most modern antifreeze agents include other chemicals to improve heat transmission and reduce corrosion, the chemicals included will depend on the engine’s design and materials. Aluminium engines will require a different antifreeze from iron or steel blocks and engines using a cylinder liner.

That antifreeze doesn't just prevent freezing it is an important component to extend the life of your engine and ensure problem free motoring.

If you are in any doubt about the antifreeze/­coolant you need for your car just give our MotorNuts Technicians a call on 01254 778255 or use our free advice link on any page of the motornuts.co.uk web site and ask a MotorNut we will be happy to help selecting the right antifreeze for your car.

It is worth buying an antifreeze tester from about £12 to check the mixture levels.

We at MotorNuts stock an antifreeze to match the needs of all the modern major car, van, truck and motorcycle engines, including CastrolCommaGranville and Prestone antifreeze/­summer coolants as well as BlueCol specially formulated for classic and vintage vehicles.

 

Posted in Advice on .

all about oils and engine fluids

The expert team at MotorNuts recommend that you should check your engine oil, antifreeze and fluids around once a month and especially before a long journey.

There has never been a better time to top up your oils and fluids as we have gone Nuts and have 10% off across the whole range.

·        Engine oil

Firstly engine oil - choosing which oil may seem very confusing - is it fully synthetic, semi synthetic, and then there is the numbers (viscosity’s) – where to start?

Don't go Nuts... simply enter your vehicle registration in our look up and that will narrow the search to what is recommended for your vehicle, and this information is also in your manual or handbook.

·        Transmission / gearbox oil

Next up - transmission or gear box oil, it is the lesser known sibling of engine oil however equally important for gearbox and axle longevity. Most manufacturers recommend changing the transmission oil between every 30,000 and 60,000 miles.

·        Antifreeze and coolants

Antifreeze and coolants are next. These are essential to maintaining the engine temperature so it doesn’t get too hot or too cold and so is especially important to keep on top of in winter.

·        Brake and Power Steering fluids

The final under the bonnet check is brake fluids and power steering fluids, essential for obvious reasons and easily checked and topped up.

·        Treatments and additives

The MotorNuts team also recommend treatments and additives as they can fix a variety of engine troubles and help avoid costly repairs.

 By simply adding them to your fuel they can work through your engine to clean build ups and maintain performance as well as maximising fuel economy and reducing emissions – we especially recommend running them through before your car goes for its MOT.

 

Posted in Views, Advice on .

Ten top tips for driving in Europe

With your UK driving licence you can legally drive in any European country – and so many of us do with Brits regularly taking their cars to France, Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond, especially for their summer holidays.

When you are driving over seas there are a few essential things you need to take in order to meet their laws, these may differ slightly from country to country but there are some standard requirements for driving in Europe.

 If you fail to meet the laws of the country and aren’t carrying one of the compulsory items they will issue on the spot fines...which is not what you want to be spending your Euros on!

1)      Full driving licence

You need to have both your photo card and your original paper driving licence with you as well as details of your insurance. If you don’t have the photo card licence then you need to carry photo ID (passport) with you in the car as well.

2)      GB sticker

You must display a GB sticker or have a GB plate – these can be bought as stickers, or magnetic badges or you can have it printed on your registration plate -  some countries (Switzerland for example) require both.

3)      A warning triangle

A warning triangle needs to be carried and be handily accessible - if you’re driving in Spain or towing a caravan you need two.

4)      Reflective vest

A reflective vest or high vis jacket must be carried and used in all breakdown situations.

5)      Headlamp adaptors, convertor kits or beam benders

These are the stickers that should be applied to your headlights and we would recommend applying them when getting on the ferry so you are compliant as soon as you disembark in your destination country. It is to make sure that you don’t dazzle other drivers based on the fact that we are driving on the other side of the roads.

6)      First aid kit

A first aid kit is compulsory in Austria and Croatia and advisable in the rest of Europe

7)      Spare bulb kit

These aren’t compulsory but are advisable anywhere you go, if any bulbs go whilst your abroad it is much easier to be prepared rather than risk penalties – or finding a foreign car accessories shop.

8)      Breathalysers

Breathalysers are a legal requirement in France...well they do make a lot of wine?! They are also advisable anywhere you go on holiday and plan to drive as different countries have different units as the legal limits.

9)      Fire extinguisher

Again fire extinguishers aren’t law but are definitely advisable to have in your car at all times, especially when in unfamiliar territories.

10)   Daytime headlights

In Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland you are required to have your daytime running lights – or standard headlights on in the day regardless of weather or driving conditions.

Whilst a UK driving licence is all you need – not all countries allow 17 year olds to drive; in fact in most of them including France, Spain, Italy and Germany you have to be 18.

We would recommend that where ever you are going to be driving on your holidays you should check out the specifics for that country, as there will be more detail on toll roads and general driving etiquette that will be useful.

As a reminder the speed limits for motorways in Europe are always set in km/h and are: 120 or 130 km/h - 80mph then for rural routes is 90 km/h - 55mph and for urban roads 50 km/h or 30mph.

So whether you are travelling by autoroute, autobahn, express ways, high ways or motorways on your holidays, make sure you comply – we have these handy European driving abroad kit on offer now that will tick all the boxes. 

Posted in Advice on .

Scratched your car?? Don’t go Nuts – here’s our simple step by step guide to scratch repair.

Scratched your car? Don’t go Nuts – here’s our simple step by step guide to scratch repair.

We’ve all done it...whether the kids got too close with their bikes, you misjudged a gap – or someone else did scratching your car is annoying but luckily can be easily resolved.

MotorNuts have a massive range of car care products so we have the scratch repair process covered from start to finish – sanding to painting. Excellent products from well known and loved names including Turtle Wax and Autosol and we also have two new quality brand names from MPEX and ROAR.

For small scuffs and scratches the ROAR scratch remover is brilliant, but for deeper scratches and paint touch ups MPEX have a 5 step process in their DIY scratch remove kit. Add their primer, lacquer and colour matched touch up paint pen to the mix and it will be as good as new.

1.       First wash the area needing repair with warm soapy water, rinse and dry. Then use the P240 abrasive paper to smooth, then clean any dirt, dust and grease using white spirit and a cloth and when dry, remove any remaining debris.

2.       Mix body filler with hardener on to the mixing board provided using the white filler spreader. Mix for approximately one minute or until an even - 100 Parts filler - 2 parts hardener .

2.a) Apply the filler in a thin layer so that the surface is slightly higher of the level required. Leave to harden for 20 - 22 minutes at 20oC.

3.       After the filler has fully dried (Approximately 1 hour) sand down to required shape and the surface is super smooth using the abrasive paper wrapped around the rubber block. Start with P240, then P400 and finishing with P800 grade.

4.       De-grease the entire area using white spirit and a cloth. Make sure there is no dirt or fluff left behind.

5.       Mask the area using tape and paper provided to avoid any overspray. Start with the primer then when fully dried apply the colour then when colour is fully dry the paint is fully cured apply the clear lacquer of your choice (if required) as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

We match paint to order – we have over 77,000 colours simply select whether you need an aerosoltouch up pot or a high precision touch up pen then enter your paint code OR simply your registration number which will bring up your vehicles details and give us the information we need to mix the specific colour.

Posted in Advice on .

MotorNuts check list for getting your car ready for a long journey

If you’re going on holiday or long journeys in your car this holiday period our expert team at MotorNuts have compiled this handy checklist to make sure your car is ready for the trip.

1. Tyres - pressure and tread

Firstly you need to check all your tyres are above the legal limit – a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across ¾ of the tyre’s width. Once your car is ready and loaded to hit the road check your tyre pressures are what they’re meant to be – as stated in your handbook. And are you prepared if you get a flat or a puncture? space saver spare wheels can be a life saver to speedily get you out of sticky situation.

2. Engine oil - and fluid check 

A long journey is the perfect excuse to check all of your fluids are topped up so that includes:

·        Engine oil

·        Transmission / gearbox oil

·        Antifreeze and coolants

·        Brake fluids

·        Power steering fluids

It is also a great time to give your engine and systems a bit of TLC with one of our treatments or additives.

3.  Keep it cool

Hot weather can mean hotter cars – so make sure your coolant level is topped up (always check when the engine is cold). Whilst we are talking about keeping cool we would also recommend you make sure your air con is gassed and working, we also really recommend running an antibacterial cleaner through it to make sure it’s as fresh as it is cool.

4. Windscreen – wipers and screen wash

Check your windscreen for chips and cracks and get anything over 10mm repaired. Top up your screen wash and make sure your wiper blades aren’t smearing or squeaking... because that would be nearly as annoying on a  long journey as the unavoidable ‘are we nearly there yet’!

5. Lights

You need to check all lights are working and change any bulbs that need replacing - so that includes:­Headlights – main and dipped, Sidelights – front and rear, Indicators – front rear and side repeaters, Brake lights, Number plate, Reverse light, Fog lights – front and rear and Hazards. In many European countries you need to use day time running lights and have to carry a bulb replacement kit.

6. Keep it clean

Holidays + kids = messy car! Our top tip to avoid the inevitable food and beach mess everywhere is investing in some carpet car mats to protect your original floor and make it easier to clean and de-sand plus we have seat covers to keep the mucky fingers off the seats!

7. Travelling abroad?

To make sure you are compliant wherever you go over sees we have handy driving abroad kits with everything you need including GB stickers, beam bender headlight stickers, warning triangles and much more.

 

Posted in Views, Advice on .