Winning results by selling your van

Meet Sarah Wallis. Sarah is fanatical about entering competitions – she enters them on line, via post, over the phone and via text, all with the hope of winning.

Recently, when Sarah was just about to go out, she got a phone call announcing the fantastic news that one of the competitions she had entered had been successful and that she had won a top of the range new van! Now, while Sarah jumped for joy, she was also presented with another issue – the issue of her 10 year old ford fiesta van that was sitting outside – what was Sarah to do?

That’s where m3commercials came to the rescue. Selling her van couldn’t have been easier for Ms Wallis.
m3commercials vanried out a light inspection to confirm it’s value. This took place at Sarah’s home address but equally could be undertaken at our site in Camberley.

Everything was in order and within an hour Sarah had sold her van, money transfer included.
m3commercials are the trusted name in private van trades and provide you with a quick, easy way to sell your van and get the payout that same day! Like Sarah Willis you only need to take three simple steps to sell your van today;
– Get a valuation – either online or by phone
– Book an appointment for a quick vehicle inspection
– Provide bank details and receive payment

In theory this can all be done within the hour – so if you want a guaranteed, hassle-free way to sell your van today then call m3commercials now – 01276 28001

We use the FPS system (Faster Payment Service which is accepted by all the major high street banks) to make payments via bank transfer.

This is the easiest and most secure method, protecting you from the risk of vanrying around cash or waiting for a cheque to clear.

The transfer is made immediately and, unless specified in the terms of the sale, m3commercials will not take ownership of the vehicle until the payment has cleared in your account. The whole selling process is often completed within an hour, making your life much easier and putting money in your pocket just when you need it.

So there you have it: a fast, secure and efficient way of selling a van. For Sarah, she wanted to sell her van because she’d won a competition, but maybe you’re starting a family and need to sell your two seater or are downsizing as the kids are leaving home or there’s no longer a need for a personal chauffeur to after school clubs or collect them from school. Whatever your reasons for selling your van – we take away the hassle and, just like Sarah, you will be winning too!

Inspections Show Most Vehicles Need More Care

16427616621 bb62355888 Inspections Show Most Vehicles Need More Care
Source: Flickr

Do you have your vehicle’s oil changed every 3,000 miles? Do you regularly check the air pressure in your tires or have them rotated on a set maintenance schedule? Are your vehicle’s fluids checked regularly?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you’re not alone.

According to the Car Care Council, 87 percent of vehicles inspected during National Car Care Month earlier this year failed one or more aspects of the annual inspection.

“Compared to the 90 percent failure rate last year, the 2004 inspection results indicate that the motoring public is beginning to understand the importance of maintaining their vehicles and is starting to take action to reduce vehicle neglect,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “While we are thrilled to see the numbers decrease, an 87 percent failure rate is too high.”

Even if you aren’t mechanically savvy, there are things you can do to keep your car in safe and working order.

Checking your car’s fluids is the first step in keeping it running smoothly. Low fluid levels can affect the safe driving performance of the vehicle and damage internal parts if not properly maintained. Twenty-three percent of cars inspected had low or dirty power steering fluid while 26 percent of vehicles had low brake fluid.

Checking tire pressure and tread depth is equally important. During the Car Care Council’s inspection, 25 percent of the vehicles were found to have improperly inflated tires and 10 percent of the tires had worn tread and were in need of replacement.

Low tire pressure decreases gas mileage and tire life, and tires with worn tread are at greater risk of losing traction on wet roads. Check tire pressure every time you fill up the gas tank.

Many roadside breakdowns can be avoided by motorists periodically checking their cars belts and hoses and replacing them when worn. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in 25 percent of the vehicles inspected, and 12 percent of the vehicles required at least one new hose.

Drivers also should pay attention to the condition of their car’s battery, air filter and vehicle lighting (such as brake lights, tail lights, headlights and turn signals).

Banish Boredom With Water Sports

15812668403 35f458bf1e Banish Boredom With Water Sports
Source: Flickr


Been there, done that.
Even the most ambitious hobbyists may find it hard to put a new spin on their favorite sport. Why not check out something new -like learning your way around a personal watercraft?

Personal watercraft (like the popular Kawasaki Jet Ski brand) have become hotter than ever and, compared to most boats, are less expensive to own and easier to operate. While the idea of motoring around the water on one of these machines may seem a little daunting at first, it’s easy to learn with proper instruction.

Once you’re on the water, there are plenty of ways to mix up your time so that you’ll always look forward to the next outing. Try these simple suggestions for making the most of your machine:

* Many towns have local personal watercraft clubs that offer tons of activities. These organizations host family oriented events and provide groups with which to go exploring.

* Get friends and family in on the act by towing them around on water skis, wakeboards or inner tubes at nearby lakes.

* Renting a houseboat? Take along your personal watercraft for exploring coves, cooling off during the hot noontime hours or making quick trips dockside to stores and snack shops. Your personal watercraft can provide just the transportation you need when it’s necessary to make contact with the rest of the world.

* Feeling adventurous? Put on your explorer cap and check out that slightly remote river that you have always wanted to hit. Take a day-long run – there are mysteries and memories to be found on hundreds of rivers nationwide.

* Whether you’re on the East or West Coast, there are endless marinas and bays to explore on your personal watercraft. Keep things interesting by visiting a new spot each time you ride.

* For the environmentally minded, the good news is that these machines are also safer for the planet. The Kawasaki Jet Ski STX-15F, for example, is powered by a high-performance four-stroke engine and has earned the highest “Three-Star Ultra-Low Emission” rating, abiding by the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest standards, as well as the California Air Resources Board standards for 2008.

Isuzu Rodeo at Royal Welsh Show

The Isuzu Ltd. in the United Kingdom has surely made sure that the new Isuzu Rodeo Denver Max 2.5 would be known by the motoring public in the mentioned region. And with the assistance of local dealers in the area, this new vehicle would be made available for viewing and for discovery at the Royal Welsh Show this coming 24th of July up until the 27th of the same month.

Although aftermarket parts for Isuzu Rodeo would not be available at the said show, interested show goers could surely find time to go through the new Isuzu Rodeo model. In fact, at the mentioned show, visitors and guests could discover and see for themselves just what this new vehicle has to offer. And yes, the company has also presented to the public a new deal that most Isuzu owners would surely not want to miss. All customers are actually offered a free upgrade on all 3.0 Isuzu Denver Max models. Come to think of it, customers and Isuzu owners would surely save around $2,000.

What is the Isuzu Rodeo, you may ask? Well, this vehicle also is known as the Opel Frontera, Vauxhall Frontera, as well as the Holden Frontera. Different names may be confusing but all these only refer to the Isuzu Rodeo. Manufactured by the Isuzu auto manufacturer, this vehicle has certainly been in production since 1991. It took the spot that used to belong to the Isuzu Ascender and this new vehicle has been made to be a midsized sport utility vehicle. It has most certainly been built as a wagon that holds four doors. Competition in the auto market for this SUV includes the Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Xterra, as well as the Jeep Liberty.

And according to Kenyon Neads, “Isuzu UK are delighted, yet again, to support the Royal Welsh Show and Welsh Farming. The Rodeo is particularly popular with the farming community due to its torquey engine and its bullet proof reliability.” Neads is the brand manager for Isuzu UK.

Temperature Sensors – Replacement Time Again?

15927987639 5fe9013394 Temperature Sensors   Replacement Time Again?
Source: Flickr

When people in the office talk about temperature sensors they are almost certainly talking about part of a car emission control system. The engine control system adjusts the fuel and air-flow to the combustion chambers of an internal combustion engine depending on its temperature. If the temperature sensor is faulty, then the engine will not run correctly, if it runs at all.

Older drivers may remember the manual choke control that you pulled out to start the engine when it was cold, and how this was superseded by the automatic choke. Somehow the manual choke never went wrong, unlike its new and allegedly better replacement.

Temperature sensors are one of the most frequently replaced parts in an automobile.

Temperature sensors away from the world of motoring are designed to measure the temperature at different stages of a chemical or other industrial process and feed back that data to a control center. Pyrometers are specialist temperature measuring devices with a very fast response time and a very high operating temperature range.

Pyrometers may have a response time as low as 5 milliseconds and can measure the temperature without contact with the material. These features mean that a pyrometer is essential where a manufacturer wants to measure the temperature of a rapidly moving steel rod or even of a molten steel stream.

A pyrometer works by analysing the thermal radiation emitted by a hot object.

All black bodies emit radiation of the same frequency at the same temperature. An optical pyrometer the frequency emitted by an electrically heated filament is matched with the frequency of the radiation emitted by the hot object/material under test. When the two match they are the same temperature. The temperature of the filament is obtained by referring to tables of data and operating conditions.

In a radiation pyrometer the radiation emitted from the object/material under test is detected using sensor such as a thermocouple.

Show Me – Tell Me: The New Technical Checks of the Irish Driving Test.


The latest round of changes to the Irish Driving Test were implemented on, Feb.14th 2005, as part of a chain of E.U.Directives.

Test Candidates are now required to have a basic level of mechanical knowledge, which any good professional School of Motoring would have been teaching from day one in any event.

The car of today is a very different beast compared with its grandparents and any driver, young or old, should have a range of skills that enable them to identify problems and take the necessary remedial action.

The Driving Examiner will select three questions at random from a list of technical aspects which will include opening the bonnet. While it is not exactly space technology, the ability to identify this range of equipment and to describe how individual checks would be performed, does require some thought and a little practise. Some of the equipment will have accompanying warning lights on the instrument panel some does not, so some of the requirements will already be known (hopefully!)

Candidates will be asked to explain how they would perform checks on three out of the following list:-
Engine Oil: Coolant: Steering: Brakes: Horn: Indicators: Lights: Tyres: Reflectors: Windscreen washer.

The under the Bonnet checks relate to:-Power Steering Fluid; Brake Fluid; Engine Oil; Engine Coolant; and Windscreen washer Fluid. In a newer car all of these pieces of equipment are easily identifiable by coloured tops to the various reservoirs, which have an easily recognisable icon painted or etched into them. The location of these five essential items does vary a little from model to model so if you have changed your car in the lead up to the Driving Test then spend a few minutes double checking.

In the event of very bad weather (rarely a feature of the Irish climate) it is unlikely that the Examiner will ask for the bonnet to be opened but since he or she has already spent time outside the car, checking brake lights and indicators and paperwork, it’s not impossible. If he or she is a fisherman or a boating enthusiast then a few drops of rain will be water off a duck’s back. Just keep an eye on the weather and ensure that your heater or demist controls are pre-set .Two persons in the car during rainy weather will mist up the windows extremely quickly and the candidate needs to be equally deft with the controls.

Questions on brakes will cover both the footbrake and handbrake, and on steering will deal with cars that both have power steering and those that don’t .Of course there are still a few older cars out there without P.A.S. It’s worth adding to the list , one more item of importance to the Driver—that of the Alternator and it’s drive belt .The fact that all the above need to be demonstrated on the Driving Test should not detract from the need to perform these checks on a regular weekly basis. It is precisely because of the importance of all these pieces of equipment and their monitoring, that it was deemed essential to include them in the scope of the Driving Test.

Show Me –Tell Me……..Below is an example of the question and answer technique to one of the Test Questions .The full questions and answers will be provided in another follow up article and on the Astral School of Motoring website shortly.

Checking the Oil Level.
“Show me the Oil filler cap and tell me how you would check for the correct level of Oil in the Engine”…Examiner
“Here is the oil filler cap and to check the oil level I would first withdraw the Oil Dip Stick, wipe it clean and then replace it momentarily. I would then withdraw the dip stick again and ensure that the level of oil showing was between the minimum and maximum marks on the base of the dip stick, preferably nearer the maximum mark. In the event of the oil level being lower than the half way mark I would top up to the maximum level”…Candidate

This latter sentence has been put in for good measure since it’s not much good knowing how you would check the oil if you didn’t then follow through on the result!

Since all equipment in your car needs to be in tip top shape and regularly inspected if we are to stay safe and avoid accidents, look on the acquisition of these technical skills as two sides of the same coin ….Safety and Economy .If you look after your equipment you will be both safe and economic. In a number of future articles we will explore the advantages of correct techniques and the impact they will have on your safety AND your bank balance.

Tools Women Can Use to Impress Their Auto Technician

Trust, reliability and good communication are not just key ingredients to a healthy and successful relationship with your significant other. They are also instrumental to a balanced and sound relationship with your automobile and its technician.

At some point in a vehicle’s life, most women will have to take their automobile to a repair shop because it has, unfortunately, let them down.

AAA, North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, is helping women motorists jump-start their awareness in automotive maintenance with a checklist they can use to boost their car care confidence and automotive self-reliance.

“If women put off visiting an auto repair shop because of fear, it could be a recipe for disaster,” said John Nielson, director of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair program. “The more you know about your vehicle and how it operates, the better.”

AAA offers the following tips for women:

* Become familiar with your automobile’s maintenance schedule. This information is provided in the owner’s manual of your vehicle.

* Don’t wait for your car to break down to identify a repair shop. Be proactive and research where you want to take your vehicle when it’s time to be serviced.

* Gather recommendations and opinions from friends and family about auto repair shops. This will help streamline the decision-making process.

* Check with local consumer agencies to identify if the repair shop in question has any unresolved disputes.

* Find out if the shop employs ASE certified automotive technicians that are experienced working on the type of car you own.

* Select an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility. These shops undergo an extensive investigation before being allowed to enter the program and AAA is confident that they will provide competent and professional repairs.

* Communicate your vehicle’s symptoms effectively by using simple everyday language or demonstrating the problem during a test drive with the technician.

Road Safety Guides – What To Do If You Break Down

16239772356 c24ef245f2 Road Safety Guides   What To Do If You Break Down
Source: Flickr


If your vehicle breaks down, think about safety, first: Here’s a straightforward safety guide from GEM Motoring Assist, the leading UK driver based road safety association.

Consider your own safety

– get your vehicle off the road if possible

– ensure your passengers are safe and that animals are kept under control.

Warn other road users

– warn other traffic by using your hazard warning lights if your vehicle is causing an obstruction

– put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing them, but never use them on motorways as this may put you in danger from oncoming traffic

– keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor

– do not stand (or let anybody else stand) between your vehicle and oncoming traffic

– at night or in poor visibility do not stand where you will prevent other road users seeing your lights

– wear a reflective/fluorescent jacket or tabard.

Calling for help

– do not use mobile phones if there is a danger from petrol spillage or fumes

– contact the emergency services by dialing 999 or 112 (new international emergency code), or if you are a member call GEM Motoring Assist Breakdown Cover or other breakdown organisation

– give clear instructions of your general location: road number, direction of travel and specific local landmarks will aid your rescue

– also tell them your vehicle type and colour, registration number and how many persons are in the vehicle

– an indication of the cause of the breakdown will also help

– when help arrives, ask for proof of identity.

On Motorways – safety first

Leave the motorway at the nearest exit or pull into a service area. When this is not possible:

– use your indicators or hazard warning lights and pull on to the hard shoulder. Stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned to the left

– try to stop near an emergency telephone (every mile on the hard shoulder) with the front passenger door as close to the phone as possible

– you must leave the vehicle by the left-hand passenger doors

– wear a reflective/fluorescent jacket or tabard

– do not cross the carriageway to reach a closer phone it is safer to wait on the verge. (Remember, 10% of motorway accidents are collisions with vehicles parked on the hard shoulder.)

– do not leave the keys in the car. If possible, lock all the doors except the front passenger door, which you should leave fully open so you can get back in quickly if needs be

– keep passengers away from the carriageway and children under control. Make sure children are safe – do not leave them in the car by themselves

– if you are an elderly or disabled person, or have small children with you, you may decide it is more sensible to stay in the vehicle. If so, park it as close to the verge as possible

– you must leave animals in the vehicle, with windows only far enough down to let in air. Only let them out of the vehicle in an emergency, but keep them under proper control on the verge

– do not attempt even simple repairs and do not leave the car bonnet open.

On Motorways – getting help

– walk to the nearest emergency telephone, following the arrows on the marker posts every 100 metres at the back of the hard shoulder. Calls are free and connect directly to the Police – they will know where you are. Stand behind the phone and watch out for passing traffic, or anyone approaching you

– give full details, also inform them if you feel vulnerable. Tell them the number of your breakdown organisation, your car registration and the number shown on the nearest marker post

– return and wait near your vehicle, preferably behind the barrier on the motorway embankment

– when help arrives, ask for ID and check that the breakdown person knows your name

– NEVER get into a car with a stranger or try to hitch a lift

– if someone offers help, stay inside your car with the doors locked (keep windows partially open) and ask them to phone your breakdown organisation for you

– if a car stops while you are waiting for help and you feel uneasy, stay in the passenger seat of your car and lock the door. Phone the Police and give them the car’s registration number

– when rejoining the motorway, always increase speed on the hard shoulder and watch for a safe gap in the traffic.

Top 10 tips to save money on your car insurance

16088187419 ce5a9c02b2 Top 10 tips to save money on your car insurance
Source: Flickr


If you’re fed up paying too much for your car insurance duck2water (www.duck2watercarinsurance.co.uk) have put together the top ten ways you can reduce your premium without reducing the level of cover:

1.Buy online
Buying online can save you time and money. Companies who spend millions of pounds on advertising or run large call centres have to cover these costs somewhere, and they do so by adding these costs onto the price of your insurance premium. Although online insurers do have overheads, they are much less than high street and telephone insurers, which means they can offer car insurance at up to 60% cheaper than other companies.

2.Drive a cheap and less powerful car
Car insurance companies calculate their premiums on the basis of the car engine size, the probability that it will get stolen and the cost of repairing it. Although smaller cars such as Ford Fiesta’s and Renault 5’s are more prone to being stolen than larger saloon cars, they are cheaper to repair or replace and are therefore cheaper to insure.

3.Build up a ‘no claims history’
Car insurance companies give discounts for safe drivers with a good no claims record. By building up your no claims history you can benefit from a reduction (up to 60%) off your premium, and this discount can be transferred from company to company.

4.Increase your car security
More security means lower risk for your insurance company and you can benefit from cheaper rates by locking your car in a garage a night, or installing an insurance company approved immobiliser or tracker.

5.Increase your voluntary excess
By deciding to pay a higher excess it also means you’re less likely to make a small claim on your insurance and are therefore considered a lower risk.

6.Obtain more driving qualifications
The Pass Plus qualification costs between £100-150 and involves taking lessons in different driving conditions such as at night and on the motorway. By becoming a more skilled and experienced driver most insurance companies reward their customers by reducing their premium. As a result, the qualification usually pays for itself within the first year of qualifying. Another option is the advanced driving test, but this can take much more time to pass than the Pass Plus.

7.Use your car less
Clearly, the more you use your car the higher the probability is that you’ll be involved in an accident. As a result people who travel hundreds of miles every week are likely to have a higher car insurance premium.

8.Don’t get on the wrong side of the law
Insurance companies don’t like motoring convictions as they mean a driver is seen as a higher risk. Certain motoring convictions are considered worse than others, for example drink driving offences mean that your premium will be double the usual rate.

9.Reduce the number of people under your policy
The more people on your insurance the more you’ll have to pay. So, if possible try to have as few drivers on your policy as feasible.

10.Live in the countryside
As a general rule, the further you live away from a city the cheaper your car insurance is likely to be. By living in the city your car is more likely to be stolen or be involved in car accident. You can save up to 50% on your car insurance by moving from the city to a rural location.

Buying A Used Car In Australia – Two Factors You Must Consider Carefully Before Buying A Used Car

16088520219 ec60934d9f Buying A Used Car In Australia   Two Factors You Must Consider Carefully Before Buying A Used Car
Source: Flickr


If you are going to buy a used or second hand car, what will be your main concerns?
What are the most important factors to consider if you wish to buy a used car?

I find myself asking these same type of questions when I was faced with a limited budget and a need to change to a newer, but used or second hand car to cut down on initial investment costs.

I have read from one car club for motoring enthusiasists that it should be the age of the car. Briefly, this car club recommended that I spend the most time to look out for a car that was about 3 years old to get the best value out of a used car which still looks good and has depreciation factored into it.

But essentially was that the main factor I should be concerned about when hunting for a good used second hand car?

Are there more important factors I should rightly spend more time to look at if I am looking for a used or second hand car?

Indeed, I was not too surprised when I read a report from the Monash University Traffic Research Centre and supported by the RACV, Traffic Accident Centre and several other motoring clubs that for anyone looking for a used car, the most important criteria in determining the selection of a used car is not its age, but is the safety the used car provides the driver and the people on the road!

In the world’s largest crash study conducted in 2006 (and updated recently in mid July 2007), results assessed the performance of 305 vehicle models in more than 1.7 million crashes in Australia and New Zealand from 1987 to 2004.

From the study, it is now possible to have a good understanding of how each car model correlated to its age would perform with regards to its crashworthiness (how much protection the vehicle provides the driver in a crash) and aggressivity (how badly the vehicle is likely to harm other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, in a crash).

By means of this study, if you are looking for a used car in Australia and New Zealand, it will be possible for you to have a general assessment of the protection the used car model will provide you as well as the potential harm it can cause to other road users in a crash.

Dr Newman who led the study reported that of the 305 vehicle models assessed, 87 provided an above average level of driver protection and 72 provided a below average level of driver protection in a crash.

With this report, it is now possible for you to check the make of your car and the model against the report to have a quick understanding of its car crashworthiness and aggressivity.

Further if you are in Australia and if you agree that the aspect of car safety is or paramount importance to you, then before you make a decision to buy any used car, check the make of your car and the model against this Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) report.

From this report there are clear indications of some superior makes and models that are standout cars, and where safety is your consideration, it will be wise to give a lot more consideration to these cars when you purchase your next used car.