Category Archives: Automotive

Software in the Driving School industry

Software is everywhere these days – It doesn’t matter what industry, there’s always a need for it. A company in the in the United Kingdom called SpeedyTests have created software which monitors the availability of driving tests. Unfortunately, for the people of the UK – There is a four, yes four-month waiting list to take your test. The issue is, people have busy lives. Most people wishing to take their driving test are between the ages of 17-21. Therefore, they’re in class, at work or training as an apprentice. Meaning, they can’t check for earlier dates all day long – but at the same time, they can’t wait four months each and every time they fail. Averagely, it take 2-3 attempts to pass the UK driving test – which equates to nearly a year alone being placed on waiting lists.

How it works

Learner drivers sign up to SpeedyTests and choose which dates they would be available to take their driving test. When this is done, they choose how frequently they would like the software to check for earlier tests. The options are: Every 5, 10 or 20 minutes. Now, they pick which days are out of bounds, and if they would like SMS notifications, or if they would like the software to automatically book the first test is finds. The pricing plan is 16.99, £19.99 and £22.99.

What next?

The client just sits back and relaxes, when the software finds a driving test which fits the preferences given by the client, an automated text is sent out. All the client needs to do is reply with the word ‘book’ and the software will automatically book the test for them. If they don’t like the test which has been offered, they simply ignore the text.

Summary of the business plan:

The business plan is very clear. If a service is lacking, there’s always room for a replacement. SpeedyTests (CarrotBoy Ltd.) saw a gap in the market, and seized the opportunity.

Summary of the software:

It seems reasonably simple process, we aren’t sure if it is done through an API or an alternative method.  We think the software is written is C# as the domain is hosted on a windows dedicated server.

Area for improvements

Possibly a free trial, most software companies now a days offer a free trial.

Another thing I thought of was targeting driving schools more. So far, the service is only B2C, I think the software could expand to B2B and really thrive with big driving schools.

Social Media presence – Although the company is quite new, not much effort has gone into their social media, with their target audience being young adults, you’d think that this should be a priority.

Overall review:

I will certainly be trying this out myself, it’s such an innovative idea which solves an issue. I have a family member who lives in the UK who would love to try their service. (They have experienced first hand how terrible the waiting times for a cancellation are).

How to be Automotive Marketing Strategies

What good is your marketing campaign if it leads to an empty lot and silent telephones? Whether you’re an established player or an amateur, who’s just entered the industry, if you do not regularly review your marketing strategies and market position, you might as well be throwing huge amounts of cash without any measurable results.

Being one of the world’s largest industries, the automotive industry is rapidly changing and constitutes of complex supply chains and demands. Automotive dealers aren’t immune to such demands and are under more pressure than most other business owners. Therefore, it becomes vital to propagate their ultimate selling proposition to their customers, potential and existing alike, through sophisticated channels the modern buyers are accustomed to; the prime being the digital world. As much as 90% off all the automotive shoppers begin their car buying journey with the internet. Majorly most of the potential buyers regularly check their emails and most of all on their mobile devices. Such metrics clearly show the need for effectual digital marketing strategies.

Internet is a no-pressure form of research and ensures that the buyers know what they are going to get, would end up paying, and all the purchasing terms, well before entering any dealership. On the other hand, internet lets a brand come across as an involved and forward-thinking company with effective and attractive digital marketing strategies. It’s a win-win situation for both the buyers and automotive dealers.

Dealers should:

  • Know the competition: Researches are conducted to address strategic questions and internal needs; keeping a close eye on competitors, their marketing successes and failures, where the competition is headed. These are some of the questions you need to address.
  • The demand: It makes little sense to open up a store and later realize that no one’s wants it. Stay current with what the customers are looking for with the right inventory mix, and tools.
  • Determining the digital mix: As an automotive dealer, it’s important to know which mix delivers the best of your brands. For sales and services, use email marketing; search engine optimization, search engine marketing and blogs for brand development and increasing organic presence and so on.
  • Cross-device marketing: Ensure that your website and marketing campaigns are well-optimized for all the devices.
  • Making it transparent and personal: Everyone who is well versed with internet buying will become wary of your service if it doesn’t include price and photographs. Also, stock images would get your dealership dropped from consideration. Real pictures and videos provide a direct connection with the vehicle. It’s important to bring all the vehicle details above the fold; the manufacturing year, make and model, mileage, interiors, amenities, etc. Further, personal descriptions would get the customers excited and also tells them why the vehicle is best-suited to their needs.

Apart from the above mentioned digital strategies, include the following in your marketing mix:

  • Express deliveries and pickups: A great way to convey how you value your customers’ time.
  • Exchange policies suiting your dealerships.

Keep your inventory and dealership fresh with strong research and great planning and add value to your outcomes. Regularly evaluate your target market and communicate with you prospective buyers for a competitive edge over your competitors and to maximize your revenue.

Ways To Import A Car Properly

Buying a car can be a wonderful task individuals can do since they can check out numerous car models and brands. However, there are cases when individuals want a car that can be hard to find. Because of this, they end up importing a car. In order to properly accomplish this project, it is essential to know how to improve a car properly. And, below are some tips you can consider.

Go online

When importing a car overseas, the first thing that individuals can do is to go online. Of course, there are numerous services individuals can find online. And, individuals can find companies that can help you import cars easily. However, it is important to talk to company representatives properly to ensure that the task of importing a car can be accomplished properly.

Know about import rules in your country

It is also important for individuals to know about import rules and regulations in their country. As of now, countries have different rules and regulation in importing cars. So, it is best to know these rules to help you create a plan in importing cars properly. Not to mention, it is imperative to follow all rules to avoid legal lawsuits that can affect your finances as well as your project.

Check transportation options

After dealing with importing rules in your country, it is now time to check transportation options. Individuals can opt for different transportation options. But, individuals need to consider risks involved which can damage the car. Because of this, it is ideal to get an insurance. Getting insurance for your cars will allow you to make sure that any damages caused by transportation can be covered by the company. As a result, you are rest assured that logistics companies can safely deliver your cars.

Evaluate transportation costs

With regard to logistics, it is also integral to evaluate transportation costs. As mentioned above, individuals can opt for numerous options. However, these options come in different rates. Therefore, you need to step back and evaluate your budget to help you get rid of other expenses throughout the process.

Work with importers

Finally, in case that you are still having difficulties in importing the car you want, individuals can also work with importers. Importers are experts in transporting cars in different countries. These experts are also knowledgeable about rules in almost any country which can make your project a lot easier.

These are only some of the things individuals can consider to help them import cars easily, safely and more efficiently.

Best Tips to Help You Drive Safely in the Rain

Driving in the rain is not as easy as walking. Driving during a heavy shower or ghastly winds may not cause fear in the drivers’ mind, but none of them can ignore the challenges associated with it. Adverse weather conditions are sure to increase the potential risk of falling into a grave danger and cause a situation for you along with your family. Evidently, driving in such conditions requires your undivided attention.

Enrolling for driving lessons may help you remain prepared for emergency situations and make you confident to drive in inclement weather. Moreover, you should be well accustomed with the possible downturns that may come in your way and take necessary safety precautions. Here are some quick tips for driving in the rain.

· Turn on wipers: This is possibly is the foremost thing you should do when it starts raining abruptly. It not only helps in keeping your windshield clean but increases your visibility. It will be wise for you to replace the wipers every year for preventing any unwanted occurrence. Moreover, it is advised to use hydrophobic washers that will make the water drop.

· Switch on the headlights: Turning the lights on is the other essential thing you need to do as soon as it starts pouring even if there is daylight.

· Drive slow: It can prove to be foolish on your part to keep a high speed while it is raining. High speed will increase the chances of the skid and ultimately lead you to meet with an accident. To ensure your traction with the wet roads, you must slow down your speed.

· Eyes on the road: You are required to be extremely focused while you are driving in the rain. Turn off the music if possible and stay glued to the road ahead. Moreover, it is the best time to drive utilising both of your hands.

· Don’t smash the brakes: An essential tip you can follow is to not be harsh the brakes whenever you want. If you do it often on the wet roads, you may end up sliding or skidding forward. You may lose control as you wallop the brakes. Moreover, as you smash the brakes hard, your car brakes will be filled with water and cause malfunction as well. Slowing down the accelerator is a better option for such occasions.

· Maintain safe distance: It is mandatory that you don’t act smart and try to speed up when there is too much traffic. Keep at least 5 feet distance from the car in front of you. Leaving the required space in front of the car will help you to avoid accidents.

· Take slow turns: Drive as slow as possible while you are taking turns. Making sharp turns during rain may lead you to skid and meet with an unexpected accident. According to the experts, you need to decrease the speed of your car for about a third, while it starts raining.

You may also try wearing polarised glasses for obtaining better visibility. Following the guidelines of driving learning schools will help you in acquiring necessary knowledge regarding driving in adverse climate.

This Warning Signs That Indicate Not To Buy Used Cars

There are a lot of websites that promote buying and selling of used goods. This is a good way to get rid of things that are not required and also buy the things that one needs at a subsidised rate. One such used item that has become extremely popular among people is cars.

However, if you are planning to buy a used car, there are certain pointers that you must keep in mind and certain warning signs that you should be careful about. So, here are a few warning signs that you must be careful about when buying a used one:

Absence of repair records – If you are buying a used car and the seller fails to show you the correct repair records, it is a clear sign that you should stay away from the vehicle and not purchase it as it indicates that it has not been serviced properly.

Neglected Condition – If the car you are planning to buy has dints and dents, stains and smells, then it is quite clear that the seller has not been treating it properly and wants to get rid of it. So, you must refrain from buying such a vehicle that is in a poor condition.

Evidence of mechanical band-aids – If it is too much tidied up and too clean, then you must beware and keep your eyes open as it indicative of the fact that the seller may be trying to hide a major defect by making up for it by keeping the other parts of the car super clean.

Cars with High-Performance – Although it may look very appealing to buy, it is recommended that you do not fall into the trap of buying high-performance ones. This is because such cars focus more on the performance rather than the comfort. Comfort should come first and thus, you must steer clear of high-performance cars.

Smokers – It is recommended to not buy a vehicle from a heavy smoker because it may stink highly of smoke as the smell of smoke does not really go away. Also, you may become susceptible to diseases due to the smoke.

Damage due to accident – It is recommended that you do not buy any car that has been involved in an accident as it is an indication that the car has already been repaired once and is not as strong as it was before and thus, is damaged.

So, look for the above pointers when buying a used car and if you see that you come across any of these then do not buy the car.

Kind Things of Auto Repair Services Are Important in Winter

As the temperatures get colder, we start thinking about winter weather. It is important to know what auto repair services are needed before the snow starts flying. In addition to taking care of needed auto repair issues, there are several maintenance checks to think of, such as:

• Antifreeze — Your radiator is filled with antifreeze to protect your vehicle through the winter. The correct ratio of antifreeze and water in the tank is generally 50/50. Have your radiator inspected to be sure that it is full and that it has the right antifreeze/water ratio.

• Tires — Your tires have to work extra hard during the winter, so it is important that they be in good condition. Your safety may depend on it! The tire tread depth should be 2/32 inches to be safe, says the National Highway Safety Board. If your treads are less, then you should consider replacing your tires, possibly snow tires. Another thing to be aware of is tire pressure. During cold temperatures, air contracts and your tire pressure may be lower than usual.

• Windshield Wipers — There is a lot of frozen precipitation that ends up on your windshield. To see clearly, you need to have windshield wipers that are in top working condition. Consider replacing yours before the winter season starts. There are some models that are especially made for snow, ice, and salt.

• Washer Fluid — While you are inspecting your wipers, check the level of washer fluid. It is invaluable to get the mud and slush off of the windshield. Fill up the reservoir and have an extra gallon of washer fluid on hand for emergencies.

Ask your auto repair technician to check out the following items in your vehicle:

• Battery — Nothing is more frustrating than to get into your car and find that the battery is dead. Your auto repair specialists will check your battery for power. If your battery is older and has low power, you should consider buying a new one. Your mechanic may clean any corrosion around the posts, which can be the cause of auto electrical problems.

• Plugs and Wires — These should be checked for wear and cracks. Damaged spark plug wires can decrease your gas mileage and cause engine performance problems. If they are cracked, have them replaced. You should get a new set of plugs when changing the wires.

• Brakes — You do not want to have brake problems when you are traveling on icy roads. Have your mechanic check your brakes and rotors to make sure they will last through the winter season.

• Oil — Oil keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly. Check the oil level frequently in colder weather. Most vehicles do well with an oil change every 3,000 miles. Be sure that you are using the oil grade that is appropriate for your vehicle. The oil filter should also be changed when you change the oil.

Being on the roads is a necessity for most people. To keep yourself and your family safe on winter roads, be sure to have your vehicle inspected and serviced as needed. Auto repair technicians are always ready to help you get your vehicle in great shape.

Some Factors To Consider Before Servicing Your Car

Regular servicing of vehicles is as essential as filling fuel in it to enjoy smooth driving from it. But there are lots of motorists who consider maintenance of their car as a tedious task and do not pay attention towards it and realize its relevance when they are not able to drive their car for reaching their preferred destination at the time which they had decided to reach on.

This sometimes sounds surprising and unusual that how a person, especially the driver of a car can forget or ignore the service of his vehicle. This is mainly because of the myth prevailing among lots of owners who consider car servicing stagnated mainly with checking the level of engine oil, regular cleaning, filling fuel and checking the pressure of tyres.

Therefore before proceeding ahead, always keep in mind that car servicing is not restricted only to above mentioned checklist, but involves the checkup of different parameters such as a check up of engine, clutch & gearbox, braking system, etc. which are necessary to be performed once you have driven specified kilometers by your car, whether it is during the year or after that.

So, now after going through the importance of car servicing it becomes imperative for us to look after the factors that should be kept in mind before visiting any garage:

Types of Services: It is one of the important factors to check before visiting any garage that what type of services they offer, because there are some centres that expertise in offering services only to mid-sized cars. Whereas there are lots of stations who offer services of all types of cars by the technicians that are accredited by the manufacturer to conduct the service of their vehicles. Let us assume that you own BMW then you can get your BMW serviced from authorized BMW service centre without any second thoughts as they are registered by the manufacturer and have access of database to update the records of car service, tuning, repairing etc.

Infrastructure of the Service Station: Most of the people believe that all car service centres are same, but this is not true to the huge extent because authorized service centres are equipped with all latest computerised equipments that are used nowadays, and have separate areas for inspection, servicing, cleaning, washing of vehicles and also the waiting area where their clients can wait and have a look towards the servicing of their car, if they wish to. Moreover, licensed garage also displays the certificate of its accreditation from the manufacturer permitting him to look after the maintenance of car manufactured by them.

Charges: Finally, last but not the least you should get the estimate of your vehicle before giving it for servicing so that at the time of payment. For example, when you get your car serviced from the authorized garage they will charge fix price for every task varying from changing of engine oil or replacing the damaged part of your car with genuine part as quoted by manufacturer.

Do You Need Car Radiator Repair

Your car’s radiator is very important because it prevents the engine from overheating. Every time you drive your vehicle, your engine produces high levels of heat. Without a properly-functioning radiator, your vehicle’s heat levels cannot be managed, which can lead to serious safety issues and automotive damage. Continue reading to learn more about car radiators, and the common signs that suggest it needs to be repaired.

How They Work

Radiators pump coolant through the inner components of your engine. The coolant absorbs the heat that the engine produces, and then travels back to the radiator where it is rapidly cooled. The entire cycle is continuous and constant while you drive. On a side note, coolant also doubles as anti-freeze, and prevents your engine from freezing up in cold temperatures.

Radiator Problems

Since radiators are the primary component of a vehicle’s cooling system, it is vital for them to remain in good condition. When a radiator begins to have issues, you will usually start to notice the signs. The most common signs include overheating engines, coolant leaks, low coolant levels, and sludge in the radiator. Look below for a brief description of each sign and why they occur.

Overheating Engine – The most common sign that your radiator is in need of service or repair is an overheating engine. Sometimes, all you need is some more coolant to take care of an overheated engine. But when the overheating persists, it is a sign that your radiator needs attention.

Leaking Coolant – The next most common sign that a radiator needs repaired is seeing coolant on the ground beneath your vehicle. This is usually caused by a leak in your coolant tubes or a crack in the radiator shell, and it is a serious problem that requires immediate attention.

Low Coolant Levels – If you notice that you are refilling your car’s coolant too frequently, that means your vehicle is either using too much too quickly, or you have a coolant leak somewhere. Both are serious issues that require immediate automotive repair.

Sludge – You probably won’t discover sludge in your radiator on your own. It is more likely that your mechanic will come across it during a routine service appointment or while making unrelated repairs. Sludge in your radiator means there is an excessive amount of contaminants in your coolant. The contaminants will give coolant, normally brightly-colored, to a rusty or oily color. It is commonly caused by a defective transmission cooler inside the radiator. Not all vehicles have this.

What You Need To Know About Your Car Radiator

When you drive, your car’s engine produces a considerable amount of heat. And it is the radiator’s job to eliminate this excess heat so that your vehicle can operate smoothly and safely. It is the main component to your vehicle’s cooling system, and without it, your engine would overheat and cause damage to other auto parts every time you drive.

Coolant

The radiator doesn’t manage the heat levels in your engine all alone; the heat exchange process is coupled with the utilization of a well-known, heat-absorbing liquid called coolant. Coolant must be replaced in your radiator on a routine basis in order to maintain a properly-functioning radiator and engine. Coolant is also known as anti-freeze, because it also prevents the engine from freezing up in cold weather.

How They Operate

A radiator is typically made from aluminum because it is a terrific heat-dissipating metal and low in weight. But it can be made from steel and other metals as well. Radiators work by sending coolant through the inner components of the engine to absorb heat; and once enough heat is absorbed, the coolant travels back to the radiator to be cooled down, and the cycle continues as you drive.

A Little History

Before coolant was used, water was poured into radiators. But as automotive and aeronautics industries grew in technology, engines became too powerful for just water. It would boil too quickly and damage other components of the vehicle. Commercial coolant use was introduced shortly after the Second World War, and is now a readily-available product on the market. It can withstand much higher boiling points, making it effective and economical.

Common Repairs

The most common issues with radiators are leaks. Coolant leaks can cause poor performance, overheating engines, and sludge inside the radiator. All this can damage many other areas of the car. A frequent cause for coolant leaks is broken coolant tubing. Annual car maintenance and inspection can catch small problems like this early on, before they turn into costly repairs.

Another common radiator issue are damaged fan belts. If a fan belt is defective, it will not allow the coolant to be pumped all throughout the engine block, so it is necessary to repair these as soon as possible. In minor cases, a coolant leak is caused by loose tubing. A mechanic can simply tighten the radiator hose clamps so the leak is stopped. In more serious cases, the best repair option is replacement.

About Brake Shoes Replacement For a Vehicle

Brakes are among the most important safety tools for any vehicle. Most people only look into how fast a vehicle can go, but it is equally important to consider how quickly and effectively a vehicle can be brought to a complete stop. A good set of brakes on a vehicle can draw a line between life and death in dire cases. This is why it is important to keep a look out for the wearing of your brakes and invest in good spares when opting for a brake shoes replacement at timely intervals. Here is a guide to help you understand the importance of choosing the right kinds of suit your vehicle and ensure that the vehicle has optimal stopping power at all times.

Drum vs. Disc
Disc brakes and drum brakes are the two most commonly used braking systems in modern vehicles. A disc brake has two disc pads on either sides of a brake rotor. When the brakes are applied, a caliper action forces these discs to squeeze against the rotor, which in turn slows down the wheel, eventually stopping it. These are usually found in the front wheels of modern vehicles.

The drum brakes, however, have a set of brake shoes that are set up on the inside of a brake rotor. When brakes are applied, these are expand and push against the wall of the rotor in order to bring the vehicle to a complete halt. Drums are part of an older technology and are traditionally used in the rear wheels vehicles. In both cases, the braking mechanisms use friction to stop the vehicle. Thus, brake shoes replacement should be done on a regular basis as the wear down, or at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. This is in order to ensure that your vehicle has optimal braking power at all times.

Disc brakes are considered to be safer and more efficient than their drum counter parts because discs can dissipate heat much more efficiently when compared to drum brakes. Discs are also generally more consistent in their operation. These properties make discs one of the most desired braking systems for vehicle manufacturers. However, disc brakes are costlier than drum brakes, owing to their complexity in manufacture, thus vehicle manufacturers still rely on drum brakes to do 50% of the braking in most vehicles.

Types of brake shoes
Car brake shoes are of four types, and the classification is based purely on their compositional materials. They are-

Semi Metallic Brake shoes: Like the name suggests, these types of made of a combination of metallic and organic materials in the ratio of 30:70. These are highly durable, and are among the most commonly used brake shoes. However, they do wear out the rotors faster than their counterparts under extreme braking conditions since the material does not dissipate heat efficiently.

Non Asbestos Organic brake pads: Commonly known as NAO, these are made of organic materials like glass, rubber, fiber or even Kevlar. They are quite soft and do not make as much noise as the metallic brake shoes. However, they do wear out quickly even under nominal conditions and tend to create a lot of brake dust.

Low Metallic NAO: These are Organic that are infused with trace amounts of metal such as copper or steel in order to improve braking efficiency and heat dissipation. However, the addition of metal also increases the generation of brake dust and noise when braking.

Ceramic Brake shoes: Ceramic are high end products that are made of ceramic fibers infused in filler materials. These are extremely quiet and produce virtually no dust when compared to the metallic and NAO type. They do not wear out the rotors as fast as others do. However, they are quite expensive and are used primarily on higher end vehicles.

Choosing the type of vehicle you drive and what you can afford. Generally, smaller or slower road cars can use semi metallic shoes with no adverse consequences. However, if you need to replace brake shoes of bigger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, or faster cars, you might have to invest in more expensive low metallic or ceramic.

How to choose the right brake shoes

One of the first things to consider when choosing brake shoes is your driving requirements and the type of vehicle you drive. This includes the most common types of terrain you will be driving on, the ambient temperature of where you live, how much traffic you encounter on a regular basis and the quality of the roads.

Next, you will have to think about the type of brake you will buy. For regular city traffic a semi metallic should do just fine. However, if you find the need for better/ stronger braking capabilities you will have to invest in ceramic type. If you are unsure of the kind of brake shoes your vehicle needs, you can look into the manufacturer’s specification to find an appropriate set.

Once you have decided on the type of brake shoes replacement you need. You will then have to choose from the numerous brands that are available in the markets. This can be a harrowing process, considering the number of options you have at your disposal. This is why it is necessary to do optimal research before buying brake shoes. In most cases, it is recommended that your replace the existing with the same make and model that the car manufacturer had installed. If you know a trusted mechanic, you can take his help in determining the right brake shoes for your vehicle. With a professional by your side, you will be able to find and install the right kind of brake shoes to suit your driving style and vehicle.