Paint protection and sealant

If you find yourself looking at a product that seems to have hundreds of competing suppliers, all advertising heavily, then you can be sure that the profit margins are high, as they are with car paint protection products. As a buyer, it’s easy to become confused, and therefore quite vulnerable. Like when buying a new […]

Fuel economy and taxation of plug-in hybrids

When Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) arrived on the UK market, people were obviously attracted by the government purchase grants, but also low company car Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) taxation, and also their impressively low CO2 emissions figures and lofty official fuel consumption statistics. Many company car users jumped on the PHEV bandwagon, reaping the benefits of that low […]

Gap Insurance

As with paint protection and fabric protection, another product that new and used car salespeople will often attempt to sell, is Gap insurance, or the less sexily named ‘Return to Invoice’ cover. You’ll not have much time to consider it, and a torrent of its features and benefits will doubtlessly stream from the mouth of […]

The Life of your Car

There were 38.7 million cars registered in the UK at the end of 2019, with an average age of 8.3 years, which is creeping steadily upwards with the recent dive in new car sales. Petrol cars are, on average, 9.1 years old, while diesel is considerably younger at 7.3 years old. By contrast, the average […]

Low cost electricity for EV charging

Part of the electric car appeal, alongside the obvious eco credentials, the purchase grants, and the tax breaks, is the apparent low cost of electricity compared with highly taxed fossil fuels. If diesel was taxed at the same rate as on-road charging electricity, it would cost around one third of what it actually costs now! […]

The Heat Pump in Electric Cars

We’ve become familiar with the terminology climate control as applied to heating, cooling, and ventilation of car cabins, and we’re well aware that the heat, when needed, comes from engine heat, and that the cooling, again when needed, comes from a form of refrigeration. That inevitably uses power drawn from the engine to operate the […]

Cylinder deactivation

Cylinder deactivation technology goes by a number of names, but the principles and objectives are virtually identical. If you selectively shut down one or more cylinders of an engine when the power demands are low, then if carefully managed, it can save fuel, and also reduce emissions. Back in 1981, Cadillac in the USA launched […]

Fuel pricing

Diesel and petrol prices have hit the headlines recently, with crude oil prices plummeting to previously unseen levels. Some days US oil companies were apparently paying to have the black stuff taken off their hands, faced with nowhere to store the oil they were producing as demand collapsed. It all generated expectations of big drops […]

Euro-6 Regulations and all that…

Let’s start with laying down some basic facts regarding Euro-6 regulation, to avoid any confusion. All new cars (including petrols, diesels and hybrids, but not pure electric cars!) manufactured since September 2014 have been required to be Euro-6 compliant… but in reality, some are more Euro-6 compliant than others, as we will now explain!   […]

NOx Control in Diesel Engines

Air is composed of approximately 80 per cent nitrogen and 20 per cent oxygen, and at normal temperatures, no conditions exist to cause the two gases to combine. But in temperatures at which combustion of diesel fuel takes place, above 1,200 degrees Celsius, three nasty oxides of nitrogen can be formed, with the highest temperatures […]