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      How to Prepare Your Car For The Winter

      How to Prepare Your Car For The Winter

      Just as you prepare yourself in the morning according to the weather, so too must your car be prepared in a similar fashion; now I’m not saying you need to put underwear on your car to keep it warm but a little due care goes a long way towards ensuring your cars longevity and safe working state.

      Below is a list of helpful things to do to your car before winter sets in.

      1. Antifreeze – If we liken it to the body then we could say that having no antifreeze in your car in the winter is like not wearing a hat in the winter. It might be ok or if it gets really cold, your ears might fall off. This leads to all sorts of complications. If you just have water in your radiator then you are at risk of damaging the radiator and possibly the engine, leading to a potentially hefty mechanics bill. Without antifreeze the water in a radiator expands and cracks the filaments leading to leakages and if this is not spotted can lead to overheating of the engine and further complications. Ensure that you get the correct mix of water and antifreeze  – consult the manual or the back of the antifreeze bottle.

      2. Wiper blades and fluid – Poor visibility through smearing on the windscreen is often caused by salt on the roads. Check your wiper blades and fluid levels to ensure you don’t get caught out with the dreaded white smear across your windscreen on a trip out. To check the wiper blades – simply pull the wiper away from the windscreen and check the rubber for tears or pitting. If the rubber has a rough feel down the blade then they will need replacing which is cheap and easily done.

      3. Bulbs – With the days getting shorter in winter we find ourselves driving more often whilst it’s dark. It’s important to check our light bulbs as often as possible. Be diligent. Check them every time if possible.

      4. Oil Levels – Low oil levels, especially in winter, can lead to a lot of wear and tear on your engine. You can often hear the engine labouring a little and sounding rough when you start in the mornings when it’s cold. It pays to take it easy until the engine has warmed up. Don’t be tempted to put your foot down before then engine and oil has warmed up as this is when most wear and tear happens. This issue is only exacerbated when there is too little oil so ensure that the engines is topped up to the top notch on the bottom of a dipstick. You can typically find the dipstick by looking for a brightly coloured end of a stick. If you’re unsure then consult the owners manual.

      5. Battery – With the increased load on the battery with the heaters, lights, de-misters and windscreen wipers, it is very important to ensure your battery is up to the job. The battery is charged as the engine runs but with the increased work it has to do in the winter months it leaves it that little bit more worn out each year. If you haven’t replaced your battery in 6 years then doing it at this point certainly wouldn’t be premature.

      6. Tyres – Check your tyres for bald patches, excessive wearing on any one side of the tyre, and bulges. Any of these characteristics can lead to accidents so get them replaced if they’re showing signs of wear and tear.

      7. Servicing – winter takes its toll on your car so mitigate this risk by getting your car regularly and thoroughly serviced. Doing a service before winter ensures everything is working as it should be and is in tip top condition for the harsh weather conditions ahead.

      8. Winter Safety Kit – a few simple provisions can make all the difference if you break down. Pack a winter bag and keep it stored in the boot:

      • Waterproof jacket
      • High vis jacket
      • Torch
      • Screen wash
      • Engine Oil
      • Food (long use by date)
      • Scraper
      • De-icer
      • Fully charged phone or in -car charger
      • Jump leads

      Drive with extra care and attention, slow down and stay in control to prevent accidents. Watch out for puddles on the motorway.

      9. Prepare for longer journeys – leave ahead of time and avoid rushing. Ensure you’ve plenty of sleep the night before and if you feel tired then take a break and get a coffee.

      10. Correct cover – Running the risk with third party only or third party fire and theft leaves you at risk of potentially large expense should the worse happen. Contact Acorn if you wish to discuss the comprehensive car insurance we offer.

       

      How To Instil Trust In The Motoring Trade Industry

      How To Instil Trust In The Motoring Trade Industry

      Trust isn’t easily earned and when lost it can be very difficult to get back. It’s vital that you build and maintain trust with new and existing customers to help you grow your business but how does one go about that?

      Let’s take a look at what action you can take to improve customer trust in your motor trade business.

      1. Listen To Your Customers – Take the time to listen carefully to all your customers. Respect their time as every customer is different, this means you need to be flexible and patient in helping them to find the deal that is suitable for their needs. This can make a big difference in meeting your customers’ expectations.

      2. Providing Customers With Greater Control – In a survey of car buyers, 25% of respondents felt that the dealer had more control in arranging their finance than they did. It’s important to help your customers feel as though there isn’t any pressure to agree on a deal. If they feel the finance package you offer isn’t suitable for them. Try to be accommodating and offer to help them find alternative finance. This can be mutually beneficial for your business and the customer, by finding the right finance the customer can feel more in control, you could build a trusting relationship and potentially close that sale.

      3. Promote And Request Customer Feedback – For every customer that makes a purchase from your motor trade business, you could ask them to provide you with a short testimonial or to complete a short survey. Over time you could gain a healthy number of testimonials which you could use to display on your business premises and your website for customers to read. Even if you receive some negative feedback, this can be an opportunity to put things right and reduce the likelihood of an incident reoccurring again in the future. To improve transparency further you could even request and promote customer feedback through an third party like Trust Pilot or Reviews.co.uk.

      We do exactly that with our customers and we know that it helps both them and us stay on track.

      4. Make Contact Easy – After you’ve sold a vehicle, it’s essential that if any customers return with questions or vehicle issues, that your contact details such as an email address and telephone number are easily accessible. Whether this is online or on a client card in the motor trade premises. The after-care service for many customers is the true test of a motor trade business’s customer service. Providing a helpful and consistent customer experience can breed confidence that you’re good to do business with. Failure to resolve problems can lead to customer frustration and a lack of trust, which can harm your chances of repeat business in the future and can generate poor word of mouth.

      5 – Motor Trade Guides – Are you looking to improve more than just customer trust in your business? Then we as providers of motor trade insurance have a range of handy guides that may be of interest to you.