Category Archives: car care

Taking care of your car keys

lost car keysIt’s February – the month to love our cars and all about them, we say.

It’s all too easy to lose your car keys so it can be a shock to discover that a replacement typically costs between £30 and £50 for a blank electronic remote with a blank transponder (the clicking gizmo) and a blank key blade from online suppliers.

You then need to allow around £20 – £30 to programme it and cut the blade.

The cost is likely to be higher from a main dealer, typically £70 – £150.

So it makes sense to take care of your car keys and have a secure place for them in the house, away from outside doors and prying eyes where they might be seen and/or stolen.

Please also bear in mind that your car key battery doesn’t not last forever either so here are some common sense tips to help you avoid getting locked out of your car.

Car Key Care Tips

1. Make sure you replace the key battery every two years, including the battery in the spare key if you have one.

2. If you don’t already have a spare key, make sure you get one and keep it safe – a failed or lost key will cost much more in vehicle recovery.

3. Each autumn on a dry day before the first frost use some lubricating spray on the keyhole, such as a 3-in-1 oil or GT85 Teflon spray. This will help keep the small parts in the lock dry and help those parts to move freely.

4. The lock can freeze in winter if there is water or condensation in it. Place a hot water bottle over the lock for a few minutes and then use WD40 or GT85 to disperse the water and reduce the risk of it freezing up again.

5. A frozen lock may also mean that the rubber seal is frozen on the door frame and if you pull too hard at it you may risk pulling the rubber apart. To prevent this, it’s suggested we apply some chalk dust on to the rubber. This is an important step to carry out when you’re oiling the locks each autumn.

6. Looking after your car keys and locks may seem trivial, but a ‘lock out’ is a severe irritation and you will have no other choice but to call for professional and costly help.

This is the sort of advice, information and support that FOXY Lady Drivers Club provides members with, in addition to VIP insurance, car buying and garage offers as well as a female friendly approved business network of garages, dealers and tyre centres across the UK. Why not join us today?

How do I love thee…

My apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for the title here…show-your-love

Like you, your car wants to look its best at all times and to feel loved. So seeing as February is the month of love and we women love our cars for the independence and safety they represent, how can we lavish seasonal attention on them in return to demonstrate that affection?

Let me count the ways…

Here are ten ways to show your motoring love for your car…

1 Your car likes to be clean! I am convinced it drives better afterwards. It was clean when you bought it. Give it an early Spring clean and polish to remind you why you fell in love.

2 It also used to be neat and tidy inside. Then life happened. But it’s still possible to restore order. Polish the windscreen, give things a thorough vacuum and encourage the children to take responsibility for their rubbish. Good luck on the last one Mums!

3 Given a choice, wouldn’t you prefer to smell nice rather than stale and oily? What not buy your car a Nia Car Fragrance as a Valentine’s gift? Or a Yankee Candle freshener… but not one from service stations please.

20p tyre check

4 Check your tyres NOW. It only costs 20p and it’s so easy to do, so what’s the problem? Imagine the shame of failing a police check or being involved in an accident simply because you couldn’t spare 20p.

5 Diarise your car’s birthday MOT in advance. Check the normal suspects like lights and windscreen wipers. Your car wants to pass remember. And there’s no need to hurry to the garage at the last moment. NB: You can have this done a month beforehand without affecting next year’s date.

6 Look at your car’s handbook and check when it was last serviced? When should it next be serviced? Let’s face it, if it hasn’t been serviced for a year you don’t sound as if you DO love your car and it knows this. Whereas a beloved car (if only treated to fresh oil and a change of filter on an annual basis) is likely to be a happier runner and will repay you in terms of longer life. It’s also less likely to let you down when you need it most.

7 Take your motoring pride and joy somewhere special so you can show it off. A venue like Goodwood or a hotel spa or afternoon cream tea perhaps? A long drive is good for a car, especially one that rarely gets the opportunity to show its mettle when used to local school runs or similar. But if champagne is on the menu, best to give your car a day off and either get a friend to drive or take taxis!

8 If your poor car has collected a range of reversing dings, trolley dents and alloy wheel scuffs no wonder it looks and feels miserable. So why not get them all fixed in one and give it a new lease of life? You need a good cosmetic repairer to do your car justice though and ideally a FOXY Lady Approved one. You’ll both feel proud afterwards and nobody will be able to cast aspersions on your driving ability!

9 The ultimate car gift in February would probably be a dash cam to show your cherished car that you care. Most insurers will rate you (and your car) more favourably because this will help prove accident liability. Which is unlikely to be down to you of course, but you just might want to prove this to insurance doubters…

10 However if your treasured car has had its day and reached the end of its affordable life, there’s no point in being too sentimental here. You’ll need another one pretty quick. Given a choice, we say go for the one with as many safety gizmos you can afford. In this way your car knows you intend to love and care for it as you would your family.

Finally you’ll need a name for your car if it hasn’t one already. Mine is called Romeo (based on the RMY of ‘his’ numberplate) so there can be no doubt about my genuine affection for my mobile home and office extension on wheels. And if I do feel the need to remonstrate at any stage, talking to Romeo by name always helps me calm down…

Happy Valentine Day to all car lovers!