Cheap 2 Tonne Swivel Head Car Jack

2 Tonne Scissor Car Jack (In red) with a convenient swivel head. Two Tonne weight capacity makes this jack more than capable to be able to handle the load from most cars the fall within the hatchback, saloon, estate, and even bigger sized vehicles without any problem what so ever.


A BMW X5 is listed as OK for this jack to be able to safely jack up. But you should probably check first on the manufacturer's website / forums for any vehicle that's similar to an X5 in size and weight just to be on the safe side because some (most) BMW X5's weigh in excess of 2 Tonnes.

And although you will only be jacking up one side, it's better to be safe and buy a more suitable, higher maximum weight limit (3 Ton) jack. Trolley / Hydraulic etc. However, for all cars smaller and lighter this is an excellent Scissor jack. The price is very affordable.

Take into consideration that a car jack is not the cheapest / lightest item to post and it works out that you are basically paying a tenner for this jack, and that is a really good bargain for a 2 Tonne jack. The jacking height of this Scissor Car Jack starts at 4.5 Inches and goes up to a maximum jacking height of just under 16 Inches. You also get a free key ring with this jack.

Emergency Car Jump Starter + Power Pack

You know an emergency car jump starter is good when you read through the reviews and see that there are people who work in the car industry, like mechanics and roadside assistance that are saying that the RAVPower 500A Vehicle Jump Starter is the product that they use on a daily basis.

So you can be confident that if or when you need to jump-start your car this product won't let you down. For the past few years Portable Car Jump Starters have been shrinking in size, and now in 2019 they are very small. Advancements in technology have allowed manufacturers to get them down in size so much that older generations can't actually believe that this little thing can jump-start their car.

The older generations remember the jumpers of the past that were almost the size of a shopping trolley. Even by today's standards, the RAVPower 500A Vehicle Jump Starter is one of the small ones. It's very easy to use, but just in case something does happen to go wrong, it has an in-built protection system that prevents any damage from occurring to the car battery or the portable jump starter itself. This jump starter will work with any car that uses a 12 volt battery and has under a 5 Litre engine.

 The RAVPower Jump Starter has two iSmart USB ports for the easy charging of many electronic devices. It has a massive 12,000 mAh built-in battery power pack, which is enough power to jump-start a car easily 10 times, and also charge your mobile phone and computer tablet and still have some power left. It also has a built-in LED torch to be used in an emergency situation or to provide a light source when jump starting the car at night.


Check out the new Guluman 800A Peak with a 16800mAh battery pack. Another feature of this product that is very useful, and one that you will definitely be thankful for if you ever need to use this item in an emergency situation is that the RAVPower Jump Starter comes complete with a car charger.

So if you're out on the road and access to a mains plug to give the RAV a charge is a no-go, you can just plug it into your cigarette lighter / auxiliary socket and recharge it. This is an excellent feature if you have been using the RAVPower power pack on the road to jump-start a few cars, charge a few phones, and now its low on power. Simple, just plug it in and charge it up to full power again.

The RAVPower 500A Vehicle Jump Starter with power bank comes complete with the RAVPower 500A unit, mains charger, cigarette lighter / auxiliary car charger, USB lead, how to use instructional manual, red + black crocodile clips / car battery connectors, and a neat little storage case. The RAVPower 500A Vehicle Jump Starter with power pack also comes with a free 18-month warranty.

It's quite cheap as well for a high quality jump starter, and makes a great safety investment. Looking for the number 1 best-selling car jump starter? Check out the 1byone portable car jump starter with power bank.

RAC635 Digital Car Tyre Pump / Inflator

The Ring RAC635 is one of the cheapest tyre inflators you can buy that offers this level of automation. All you have to do is screw the air hose connector on to your car wheel tyre valve, set the unit to your desired tyre pressure / PSI level by literally turning a knob that's on the front of the unit, pressing the power button (On), and that's all you need to do.

The Ring RAC635 compressor will pump up the tyre to the manual or pre-set PSI level you have chosen and then very conveniently automatically turn itself off once the task is complete. It's a fool-proof operation, and it's designed that way so that even drivers with limited or no knowledge about cars, especially when it comes to pumping up tyres, can independently carry out this procedure without a hitch.

The previous model Ring Tyre Inflator, the RAC610, also has the option to inflate tyres using similar automation. Although, the RAC635 is slightly easier to set due to the turning of just one dial. But in saying that, once a PSI is known they are both very easy to use because you can store (pre-set) a tyre pressure in the memory bank of the inflator so that it remembers it for next time.

The RAC 635 with digital read out. This model has a 3 minute average inflation time

Both models have won awards, and both are suitable for car tyres, motorbike tyres, and bicycle tyres. The two models are powered by your cars 12v DC cigarette lighter / auxiliary socket. And they each have a clear blue digital screen (although the 635's is bigger), extra attachments for pumping up other items like footballs, carry case, and built-in white and red LED lights. Red to be used for emergency / warning light and white for making pumping up tyres in the dark do-able without the need for another light source. The price difference between the two models is minimal.


The Ring RAC635 is the upgraded model and does have some slightly better features. It inflates tyres a little faster. From a tyre being completely deflated, up to 35PSI in less than 3 minutes. All cables are longer. The power cable is 3.5 meters and the air line is 70 centimeters. And the RAC635 comes with 3 extra attachments rather than two for the RAC600. The PSI limit of the RAC600 is stated as 100PSI. However, as written about already in the RAC600 review on this website, that limit is slightly exaggerated. The RAC635 has a maximum PSI level of 80 PSI, but that is considered by most to be a more accurate representation of the products compression limit.


Reviewers have left comments stating that this item has inflated to 65 - 70+ PSI without a problem. One thing to be aware of if inflating 1 + tyres from flat in the same sitting is the depletion of power it may have on your car's battery. To not end up with a flat car battery its recommended that you use the  Ring RAC635 tyre inflator while the car's engine is running to prevent any issues with a flat battery arising.

Sealey VS166 Spring Hose Pliers

Have you ever tried to do some work on your car (such as replacing a heater valve), without having the right tools at hand, that involves loosening or removing spring hose clips. It can be really hard work when all you have at hand is a normal pair of pliers. I went through this myself once when replacing a Sealey VS166 Spring Hose Clip Pliers (Pictured below) are a great little companion.


They will work on most small to medium-sized hose clips of light to medium pressure that are of either the tag or wire variety. The Sealey VS166 Pliers also have a ratchet feature which enables the user to lock the pliers in place with the hose loosened in order to be able to move the hose clips around or totally remove them if necessary.

If you are just looking to buy a pair of hose clip pliers to use just once now and again and don't want to spend much money then the Sealey VS166 makes a good purchase. However, for higher pressure clips a more heavy-duty tool should be considered. A more durable tool would be much more suitable for higher pressure clips.


If you want a tool that can do it all, both small and big, and you want something that's excellent quality and going to last a long time, the Draper 89793 Remote Hose Clip Pliers are one of the best pairs available for the money (Pictured above). The Sealey VS166 are decent, but the Draper 89793 pliers are heavy-duty and can remove any car hose clip with ease.

They also have the locking mechanism which locks in place while the hose clip remains open for easy adjustment or removal. The remote design of the Draper 89793 makes it super easy for getting to hose clips in those hard to reach areas, like coolant hose clips. An excellent tool.

12V / 24V Car Aux Battery Tester

This 12V 24V Car Cigarette Lighter Battery Voltage Meter Tester is a great little gadget that is very useful to have handy all year round, but essential to have in the winter time. More car battery's fail in the winter than at any other time in the year. A healthy battery that holds its charge like it should, has much less chance of letting you down. That's why its wise to keep an eye on its voltage reading.

This isn't really something that needs to be done on a daily basis, unless you are already experiencing battery / electrical issues, but a check every now and again is definitely a must, or should-do procedure to prevent from being caught out. If you leave your car sitting for long periods without being started or driven you should check the battery voltage more regularly. Also, if you've bought a used car and you are not aware of when the battery was last replaced it would be wise to check the car battery quite regularly in that situation. This item makes it cheap and easy to do so.

Some people prefer to check their car battery more than others. The good thing about this 12v 24v Digital Car Battery Voltage Meter Tester is that it makes checking your battery voltage level an extremely easy task to perform. Checking the battery voltage daily with this item is no problem. It's as easy as just plugging the meter into the Cigarette Lighter / auxiliary and looking at the digital screen for a reading.

What voltage reading means the car battery is OK? Anything from 12V -12.6V (When the car is not running) is considered a healthy battery. The reading will be higher if you check the battery when the car is running. That's normal.

There are many other products on the market that are more expensive. Some similar to this one that use the Cigarette Lighter / auxiliary and some where you have to pop the bonnet and attach the item / clips to the car battery. Some of these types of testers, like the Sealey 6V/12V Battery Drop Tester, are definitely better made and do have a few advantages.

One is that they can be used to check any car battery, whether it's inside a car or sitting on the work bench in your garage. But, if you're someone who just wants to check your own, already installed, car battery from the comfort of your car (No messing about under the bonnet etc) then this item is perfect. And this low price point, it makes this item such a great bargain. The customer reviews are mostly positive.

A very inexpensive way to test your car battery. You could spend more money on a more expensive, high quality item but this one is an excellent cheap alternative that does the job very well. Another superb item well worth keeping in your car just in case of an emergency (Car won't start due to a dead battery) is a portable car jump starter. Check out the 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter with power bank review post on this website.

1byone Best Portable Car Jump Starter

The winter is almost upon us. More car battery's fail in the winter than at any other time of the year. The call-out rate in the winter that breakdown companies like AA and RAC receive for flat battery's is staggering. With the 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter With 9000mAh Power Bank you will not be one of the people who fall into that category.

Sadly this model is now sold out. but check out this excellent alternative, the DBPOWER DJS50 portable Jump Starter, which has a massive 600A Peak and 18000mAh. This really is a remarkable, must have item. Just think of how many situations you could find yourself in where your car is parked for long periods without being started.


You could go on holiday, be working long hours, left the lights on unknowingly, be in the middle of no mans lands, or just find that your car won't start due to the battery being near the end of its lifespan. Pictured above: The main component of the 1byone Jump Starter. It's 9900mAh powerpack.

There are literally hundreds of different situations you could find yourself in where having this item handy is a god send. The 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter (with power bank) will "Jump Start" almost any car. Recommended for Diesel vehicles - 2.0L and under, and Petrol vehicles - 4.7L and under. It even works with Gas powered vehicles.

Looking for something much more powerful, and with a larger battery capacity - Take a look at the highly recommended DBPOWER DJS50 (600A) with 18000mAh. Being a DBPOWER owner myself I can honestly say that my model, which is an older version of the one recommended above, has gotten me out of trouble on numerous occasions and still works just as well as when I first purchased it around 4 years ago.

The 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter charging an iPhone
The 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter charging an iPhone

Features of the 1byone Car Jumper with Power Bank

  • Powerful 9000mAh battery capacity
  • Spark-Proof
  • Very Safe to use
  • Fool Proof Car Jumpstart procedure
  • Charges any device which is USB charge compatible (Phones, Tablets etc)
  • Small and Lightweight for a portable jump starter
  • Built-In Flashlight (3 LEDs) with 3 different modes
  • Low self-discharge
  • Great build quality
  • Carry Case
  • Mini Screen to show how much power is left + amp output for various devices (e.g Mobile phone)
  • 1 Year Warranty (Limited)
  • Car charger + Mains charger supplied

So how does it actually work?

Well, it's basically a super high-capacity lithium battery pack that has a respectable 9000mAh. Once charged it is able to store all its power reserves for an extremely long time without losing anything, making itself readily available for when you need the power to get your car started. This isn't just a one hit wonder either. It won't start your car one time and then be all out of battery.

As a conservative estimate, if the 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter is fully charged it can start your car easily 10 -15 times without having to be charged again. And even better, it's super quick at charging your car battery taking around 30 seconds to give you enough power to start the car and be on your way. In fact, 10 - 15 times isn't 100%  correct, it can start your car an unlimited amount of times because of a clever built-in extra feature. If you want to know how it does this read on below.

How Do I Jumpstart my car with it?

The process is very easy. Just attach the clips to the battery (Removal of the car terminal connections is not required), plug the mouse adapter (Comes with the unit) into the 1byone Portable Car Jump Starter, turn it on, then go and turn on the cars ignition, wait 30 seconds as it counts down on the 1byone mini screen and then remove the mouse with the engine still running. That's it, job done. See the picture below.

As stated in the features above, the 1byone is a multi-function Portable Car Jump Starter that is capable of charging many different electrical items. It's a portable power bank. If it can be charged via USB port this item can charge it. Mobile phones, Tablets, Laptops, Gaming devices, anything. Another clever feature with the 1byone is that once you use it to jump-start your car it actually re-charges itself from your own car battery in a matter of a few seconds. There are many other Portable Car Jump Starters out there that do have a bigger battery power bank capacity than the 1byone. But the 1byone Jump Starter is the number one best seller for a reason.

Other Jump Starters To Consider

When this post was written the 1byone was the best-selling Portable Car Jump Starter With Power Bank. But in recent months there has been a surge in competition and some great products have popped up in its place. That's not to say the 1byone isn't one of the best out there. However, taking the number one spot is the Anypro 600A Peak 15000mAh Jump Starter.

Anypro 600A Peak
Anypro 600A Peak 15000mAh Car Jumper

It's the same price as the 1byone but has a massive 15000mAh power pack compared to the 9000mAh that the 1byone has. The Anypro is very capable and extremely versatile. It can easily jump-start cars, and even start bigger vehicles like Vans. Can safely start a 3 litre diesel. It can also charge electrical devices and has an LED light / torch for emergency use or for operation in darkness.

What's in the box?

  • Anypro car battery jump starter unit
  • Jumper leads
  • Phone charge cable
  • Laptop charger
  • Laptop adaptors
  • House charger
  • Car charger
  • Welcome card
  • Free 12 month warranty

DBPOWER DJS30 and Brothers

The DBPOWER DJS30 is another cost-effective contender. The reviewer rating for this model are shockingly good. It has 600A Peak and a 16500mAh battery pack. Again, a huge power reserve, and lots of added extras for a very good price. It's capable of starting most cars, and comes in cheaper than the two talked about above. The DBPOWER DJS30 comes with crocodile clips, car chargers, home (mains) charger etc. But the thing that really makes this jump starter stand out, other than the superb customer reviews, is the super long 3 year warranty!

The DBPOWER DJS30 with its many accessories

In fact, all of the DBPOWER portable jump starters come with a three-year warranty included. There are few similar products from DBPOWER in the range that varies in peak current and battery capacity. Those include: The DJS10, DJS20, DJS30, DJS40, and now, as recommended above, the DJS50. The best one for the money in 2018 /2019 is the DBPOWER DJS50, as it has the highest peak current and battery capacity.

But if you're on a tight budget and need a quality jump starter for the cheapest price possible, the DJS40 is a great choice. It runs at 300A Peak and has a 8000mAh battery pack. This is adequate for jump starting an average sized car and charging various devices like phones, tablets etc. A good cost-effective solution. The products on this page are some of the best out there for the price. Rated extremely high. All of them will serve you well.

How To Open a Toyota Yaris Bonnet

Simple things can sometimes be confusing if you've never seen or had to use them before. How do you open the bonnet (Hood) on a Toyota Yaris. Well, it's quite similar to the Nissan Micra. First, look down to where the accelerator pedal is located, then look to the right side (Left side for USA) at the plastic panel surround at around the height of where your shin / knee is located and you will see a lever that has a picture of a car with its bonnet (Hood) up.

See the picture below which has the accelerator pedal present to give you a better idea of the location. Click the image to enlarge. Get your fingers underneath the lever and pull it towards you. This will pop the bonnet onto its latch.


After that has been done go to the front of the car and release the bonnet from its latch. This is done by feeling under the space you have just created by popping the bonnet on to the safety latch. The lever you need to push is located in the middle of the bonnet, but slightly to the right. See the pictures below. When you locate this lever it needs to be pushed up from the bottom. This will release the lock from its latch and the bonnet will be freed. Now the bonnet can be opened.

Circled in red: Push the lever up

 Be aware that once this front latch is pulled up and released, the full weight of the bonnet will be in your hands. Just be aware of that and don't crush your fingers. See the pictures enlarged for the location and alignment of the bonnet latch if you are unsure. Hope this helps you out.

Ring Automotive 240v RAC610 Inflator

One of the most popular analogue tyre inflators, the Ring Automotive RAC610 Analogue Tyre Pump Inflator doesn't have all the bells and whistles that some of the digital Tyre Inflators / Compressors have, but as far as buying a no-nonsense, affordable tyre inflator goes this one is hard to beat. It's reliable, dependable and it costs very little to buy.

There have been a few complaints regarding to what pressure level of tyre it can pump up to such as caravan tyres, bigger vehicle tyres etc, but if you are buying this to pump up car tyres there won't be any issue. It has a maximum of 100psi as stated by the manufacturer, which is more than enough for pumping up normal car tyres.

The RAC610 is powered from your auxiliary / cigarette lighter DC (240v) socket. The power cable is just under 3 meters in length making it long enough to be able to inflate all tyres on most cars comfortably up to a saloon model in length. With SUV's and 4 x 4's included. Although the bigger and heavier the vehicle the longer it will take pumping up the tyres. The tyre connector (Air line) hose is just under 19 inches.


The Ring Automotive 610 takes around four and a half minutes to pump up each car tyre from flat and reads in the following units of pressure: PSI, BAR, kg/cm2. It has a pressure gauge needle to tell you what pressure you are currently inflated to. This read out is said to be pretty accurate. The Ring RAC610 also connects to the tyre valve by screw in (threaded) rather than push down and clip to the side. Much more reliable and stable.

Very low  priced, the RAC610 Analogue Compressor really is great value for money and beats slogging away with a manual foot pump hands down. And considering that a manual foot pump costs around £5 to buy, the RAC610 makes a sensible back up purchase of a very handy product that comes in nicely below budget. It also works with bikes and other items like beds, balls etc. (Different attachments are provided). See below.


Please Note: As an average, it would be wise and more realistic to expect the RAC610 to inflate to a maximum of around 50psi - 60psi, as 100psi for this item does seem exaggerated. If you need something that's still cheap in price, but more heavy-duty with more inflating power take a look at the AIR COMPRESSOR INFLATOR 12V 140PSI. Still cheap.

What the Ring Automotive RAC610 doesn't have. It does not have a light source built-in to help when inflating tyres in the dark. No digital screen (analogue), and does not come with a protective case. But It does have a storage compartment in the base for easy storage of the power lead (Pictured above). Great item with excellent reviews.

Draper 20486 6V / 12V Battery Charger

Simplicity and great quality for a reasonable price are two of Draper's best aspects. The Draper 20486 4.2 A battery charger has both in big quantities. It very easy to operate having just a few simple switches, and it is cheap to buy. For the price this is one of the best battery chargers because being able to charge 6V and 12V (up to 45Ah) battery's it can handle everything from small vehicles like motorbikes and small cars, to bigger vehicles like vans and tractors.

Draper 20486 Battery Charger 6 Volt 12 V 4.2 A
 The Draper 20486 can be found for sale here (UK)

But be aware: If your charging a bigger volt battery that is basically flat it will take a considerable amount of time to charge fully.

This battery charger is mains operated. It's recommended that you disconnect the battery from its normal plus and negative terminals before placing the crocodile clips from the Draper 20486 on to the battery. This is to prevent doing any damage occurring to the car electrics and battery. Some people take the car battery completely out of their car and charge it indoors.

This is the safest option, but as long as you disconnect both car battery terminals (positive and negative) and keep them well out-of-the-way when charging you should be fine. The Draper 20486 is a great item with great build quality and should serve you well for many years. It's also super quiet when in operation. Reviews are excellent. If you need something that has a higher maximum of 55Ah take a look at the Draper 20487 Battery Charger (5.6 A).  Both are great chargers for their cheap price tags.

6 AMP 12V Mains Car Battery Charger

This 6 AMP 12 Volt mains operated car battery charger makes charging your car battery a fairly easy task to complete. The unit has a series of lights that help you to easily tell where your battery is in the charging process. The lights go up in levels, starting at Min and going up to Max. In between are other lights that show in percentages how charged your battery is. Starting at zero, then going up in increments, 50%, 75%, 100% etc. This unit is very versatile. It can charge all sorts of vehicle batteries, not just cars. Bikes, Boats, ride on lawnmower batteries, and also bigger vehicles such as medium to large-sized vans.


This is a well-built car battery charger for the price. It features a built-in short-circuit protector which will protect your battery health by turning the unit off if there's any sign of trouble. It provides close to 3 meters in length with the power lead and clip on wires combined. If that's not long enough you can always use an extension lead.

Correct Usage

Some people are curious as to whether you need to disconnect the car battery terminals before placing the connectors from the charger on to the car battery charging points. Yes, you do have to totally disconnect both connectors (Positive + Negative) before attaching the leads to charge the car battery. Also, it's not wise to place this item on charge and leave it unattended for lots of hours or days on end.


That could be dangerous, so make sure you check on the charging process every hour or so. Some people do take the car battery out of the car and charge it in their house or garage. While that is a very safe option, as long as you have both car battery leads (Terminals) well out-of-the-way its fine to leave the battery in the car when using this charger. Overall a good, well made car battery charger for the price. And a smart item to have handy with the winter approaching.

Digital Screw On Car Tyre Inflator

This small, easy to use 12 Volt Digital Tyre Inflator is an excellent item for the cheap price. It has many useful and practical features that easily make it one of the best digital Tyre Inflators in its price bracket. It uses the auxiliary / cigarette lighter socket as its power source, is fairly fast at inflating tyres, and has a fairly long power lead at over 3 meters making it able to conveniently reach and inflate all tyres if / when needed.

The clear, back-lit LCD screen allows easy operation and features 3 different pressure modes, PSI, BAR, and KPa. This item also has two built-in lights, a white LED for when you need to inflate tyres at night, and a red light (flashes) in case of an emergency situation.

This model is now out of stock. But take a look at a great alternative (screw on) made by the company that deals with car breakdowns, the AA.

The white light could also be used as a general car night-light if you break down, still have power in your car battery and don't happen to have another light source in your car. This item is compact and comes in its own little carrying bag, which can be stored away easily anywhere within the car. Some people also buy this inflator in order to quickly pump up their bicycle tyres, and for that purpose it works just as well as with the car tyres.

What does it come with

It also comes with several other valve attachments for pumping up other things like footballs, bikes, inflatable camping beds (if they have the right valve) etc. So how long does it take to inflate a tyre? From flat it will take anywhere from 3 ½ to 4 ½ minutes for each tyre. Top ups literally take seconds. Reviews are mostly excellent for this inflator.

Screw On

Some Tyre Inflator / Compressors use a system where you push the connection on to the tyre valve and clip it down to the side, just like with many of the old style manual foot pumps. As you may know if you've used a normal foot pump a few times over the years, they can have a habit of the connector popping off the valve due to the pressure of the air being too much for the valve to handle because it's not secure enough due to the push and clip down system.

That is never going to be an issue with this digital Tyre inflator as it uses a screw in system that's totally secure. It screws on to the valve just like a tyre valve protection cap does. Then, once the connector is screwed on to the valve all that's needed is for you to set your desired tyre pressure on the digital read out, press the button to start the inflating process and just stand back and let the pump inflate the tyre automatically.

Auto Stop

This digital inflator will also stop automatically once the tyre has reached the desired pressure level you have set it to. It will also pump the tyre up just over the desired pressure level to counteract the small loss of air made when removing the connector from the tyre valve.

Excellent, handy item for the low price. If you want something very similar in appearance and price but branded, try the Ring Automotive RAC600 tyre inflator. Car Auto would recommend that you also have a manual foot pump as a backup along side any electrical tyre inflator that solely relies on the car for its power source. Be on the safe side.

How To Open a Bonnet On a Nissan Micra

So you've just bought a Nissan Micra and want, or need to know how to open the bonnet. This post is about opening the bonnet (Hood) on the older Nissan Micra's not the newer ones. I don't think the newer ones will be much different though. OK, lets say you are sitting in the drivers seat, on the side nearest to the accelerator pedal look down to where your thigh / knee would be located.

Then look to the side of the plastic panel surround and you should see a little lever that has a tiny picture on of a car with it's bonnet (Hood) open. Put your fingers underneath it and you will feel a lip / groove. Get a grip underneath the lever and pull the lever forward towards you and the bonnet will pop onto it's latch. See the picture below (Click the image for a close look) for the correct location of the lever if your baffled.

Nissan Micra Bonnet (Hood) Release Lever
Nissan Micra Bonnet (Hood) Release Lever
Then go to the front of the car and feel under the gap that has just been created by you pulling the bonnet lever. You need to locate the latch and push it to the left in order to fully open the bonnet. This latch is located slightly off the middle to the left. See the pictures below. Click any of the images to enlarge if you need a closer look.

Micra Bonnet latch

Micra open bonnet
Push to the left

instructions guide

And that's it. Just push the lever to the left hand side and the bonnet will be opened. Have fun under there. Hope this quick guide helped you out.

What To Check When Buying a Used Car

I know there are some of you out there asking what type of things to check and look out for when buying a used car. First off, be aware that each make and model of car will have a certain set of criteria that should be checked, kind of like common faults for that model. For example, just like how certain models of the Volvo S40 can have the common problem of a failed VVT Pulley.

Where as, that's not going to be an issue or common fault with a Nissan Micra. Best thing to do is if your going down to view a car check that specific make, model and year of car online. So for example type in on Google search: Toyota Yaris 2001 common faults and you should be able to sift through the results and find the things most to look out for when buying that specific used car make, model and year. Check for recalls also. And do a Government Vehicle Enquiry (Free) to make sure all the details are correct for the car your considering viewing / buying.

Now with that out of the way here is a quick, general list of things to check when buying a used car. It's by no means a full list or procedure, but for buying a first car, or just buying a cheap car priced between £500 - £800 it should hopefully hold you in good stead. I bought a Nissan Micra 1.0L with a family member recently and these are the basic checks that I went through when viewing and test driving the car. When viewing and driving this car it was clear that it was in absolutely perfect condition, so there were a few checks that I seen as unnecessary due to the car.being in such an unused condition for it's age.

Take someone with you. A second opinion and someone to spot things you could potentially miss is very important. Taking someone with you is also beneficial when performing some of the checks talked about below. Makes them much easier as I'm sure you'll agree.


First off, a HPI check. Whilst a car such as the silver Micra we bought, which is 14 years old might not have any outstanding finance owed, any older used car can still have been stolen, be a CAT C, or CAT D etc, so it's best to get a HPI check and have peace of mind.

Paperwork: Is everything in order like the seller stated in the ad and phone call. Look through everything in detail whether that be before you inspect / test drive the car or after. Make sure everything the seller stated like MOT, service history, repair bills, V5 log book are all accounted for.

Check the basics: Check the radio works, the heaters (Air conditioning if the car has it), all lights front and back (Full beam + brake lights when the brake is applied), indicators, wipers, window cleaner spray, seat belts, seat adjustments, boot lock, door locks (Key and central locking), mirrors, spare wheel + jack in the boot and window winders if car has them.

Look under the foot well mats for rust. If the windows are electric turn the key and check they go up and down correctly. I made this mistake once myself. Didn't check the windows and while driving the car home thought I'd put the drivers side electric window down and it literally just fell into the door at an angle. It wasn't on it's track at all. Needless to say this cost me money to repair.

Look for any obvious damage on the outside of the car. Check the joins, spacing of the panels and bumpers. If they don't look right this can indicate the car may have been involved in an accident that hasn't been declared and could have been fixed cheaply. Hidden chassis damage or a weakness that's been created by a crash could be hiding out of view. Before you pop the bonnet (Hood) check both of the front spacings of the bonnet, differences between the widths can, although not always, be an indicator of an undeclared fix that may not have been fixed to a decent, or even road worthy standard.

Pop the bonnet (Hood). Don't start the car. Visually inspect the engine for any leaks. The engine should be dry. Is there coolant or oil on the engine. If so, walk away as this could be a number of different problems from minor to major and will most probably cost you money at some point. Not worth the hassle. Check all the fluid levels, especially the engine oil and engine coolant.

The engine oil should be at either max or slightly lower than max on the oil level stick. The oil should also be nice and clear in colour. If the oil is very low, really black in colour, or has bits in and looks dirty walk away. The same goes for the coolant, if it's very low or non existent walk away. Again, this can mean a number of various problems or just indicate a poorly maintained car that's not worth the hassle.

Get down on the floor and look underneath the front of the car at the engine. Are there any visible leaks / wet patches underneath. If so where is the leak coming from. Touch the leaking liquid with a finger..Is it oil, coolant, or something else like water. Has it been raining. if it has and the liquid look to be water there's nothing to worry about.

If you see a small black metal box while looking under the engine that looks to have a very light smearing of oil on, that is the gearbox oil and a light smearing (dependent on car model) is considered OK. If it's leaking oil walk away. Look at the floor where the car has been parked. Are there any fresh liquid marks on the floor directly below where the car engine has been located. If so investigate further. Other than that check for excessive rust and DIY fixes. Push down on the front of the car bonnet (Hood) and listen for any strange noises from the suspension. Is the car even (level) when looking at the car from a distance at the front.

If all seems well close the bonnet (Hood) and go to the side of the car, get down on the floor again and look under the car. Look for obvious damage, excessive rust, broken welding and seals, and DIY fixes. Is everything sealed, tidy, and secure . Check the exhaust for rust and holes, including the joints. Give the exhaust a pull with your hand, is it solid and secure.

What are the bumpers like, do they have a few scrapes..If so, what colour is the paint underneath. Does it match the car colour, if not ask the seller why. If it's a generic gray colour that's OK. Make sure you don't mistake the car colour that the car your viewing might have had a scrape with (There could be paint left from the other car) for the colour of the paint work underneath. Give it a little scratch to make sure.

Have a look at the tyres, how much tread do they have..Is the wear even across the tyre. If not do the tyres look deflated. If they are not deflated to the point of causing uneven wear it could be that the wheel alignments are out of balance. Or, depending on how many wheel treads are worn unevenly, it could mean various things, one being that the car could have been involved in an accident. Check the brake disk levels, and also look to see if they have worn down evenly. Not really a deal breaker but could cost you money at some point in the future (MOT renewal).

Now go and open the car and turn the steering wheel all the way to the left, get out the car and inspect the inside of the wheel joint. Can you see any obvious damage, Is everything joined securely, any liquid anywhere..If everything looks fine do the same inspection for the right hand side.

Now it's time to start the car. Turn the car on. One of the most important things to do here is to listen for any strange noises that occur when the car starts and is ticking over. Did the car start first time from cold. Have all the warning / management lights gone off now that the car has started. Were there any strange noises when the car was going through the key turn and ignite (Engine starting) process? Now that the car is running does it sound nice and quiet. Without putting your foot on the accelerator, Is it sitting calmly when you listen to the revs and look at the rev needle. Is the car sitting in low idle (Usually at around 1 on the rev counter) where it should be.

Please note: The idle will be slightly higher than 1 when the car has been started from cold but should soon drop down to 1 or slightly under. Let the car sit running for a while without engaging anything and just listen. Is there any weird loud or underlying noises. Is the car shaking, is the gearbox shaking or is everything nice and calm. Rev the car hard and get someone to observe the smoke that comes out of the exhaust pipe. The smoke should be clear (Grey), not dark and murky.

Once the car has sat for a few minutes check that the idle has dropped. If everything seems good, while in neutral put your foot down on the clutch. Any strange noises when the clutch is engaged? Now try the accelerator, give the car a rev, does it sound clear and responsive?

Now for the important part, the test drive. Firstly, put the car in 1st gear and apply some light acceleration (Gas), pull up on the clutch to get the bite, but keep the handbrake up. Does the handbrake appear strong enough to keep the car from pulling off? If so take up the handbrake and go for a drive. Remember to turn the radio off and don't talk too much to the seller. Just listen to the car and feel the cars responses while you drive. Go through the gears and get the car up to the speed limit.

Does the car get up to speed OK. How smooth are the gear changes. Is the response time when changing gear, releasing the clutch, and adding some acceleration on point, or does the clutch feel like it's slipping? How are the brakes, do they feel spongy and take a while to respond or are they sensitive, smooth, and quick to engage. Make sure to take the car around both right and left hand turns.

Listen for knocks coming from the front end of the car as you turn the wheel to take the corners and then straighten up. Go over some bumps, such as speed bumps, and listen for noises / clunky sounds from the suspension and the front of the car as you do so. Do a full turning circle in both directions and listen for knocks when turning the steering wheel. If you hear something strange when checking anything open the window if you think it will help you listen out for the noise better.

Remember: A noise / problem might be heard better when outside the car rather than inside with the windows up. While driving on a straight road at a reasonable speed slightly and safely decrease your grip of the steering wheel in order to find out whether the car pulls / drifts to the right or left. When it's safe to do so get the car up to at least 60mph, going through all the gears. Is it smooth and quiet, does it pull well.

If it's got one, what's the temperature gauge looking like, is it within the middle somewhere. After a decent drive on the faster roads take it to a residential street. Go round more corners and over some bumps if possible, listen to the car for bumps, knocks, and any other strange noises. Check reverse gear. Does the gearbox easily select reverse.

Go through the gears again, are any gear selections stiff even though the car is warm. Do full turning circles each way in reverse. Do an emergency stop on a quiet road. Now that the car has been running a while pull over somewhere and open the bonnet while the car is still running. Does the engine sound OK. Ticking over nicely.. Inspect the engine bay, is it still dry? No oil / coolant, or any other liquid visible on or around the engine? Look underneath the whole car and do the same checks.

Close the bonnet and let the car remain running. Sit in the car or stand close by in order to listen out for if / when the fan comes on when the car starts to overheat. This should be automatic and you should be able to hear the fan once it starts running. Turn the car completely off, wait a few seconds and then start it back up again. Listen to the car on start up and idle.

Do all the engine management, warning, and airbag lights go out a few seconds after starting the car. Rev the car a little, does everything sound good with no strange noises. Go through the gears while sitting stationary, does each one, including reverse, engage smoothly. And that's about it. Depending on the results of the tests / checks it's make your mind up time on whether you want to buy the car or not. All my checks received full marks and the Nissan Micra was bought.

Patience Pays When Buying a Used Car

Recently a family member had been looking to buy his first car. He had from between £500 - £800 to spend. He wanted something that was cheap to buy and cheap to insure and he wasn't too concerned about what the car looked like, just as long as it was a good reliable first car. With me being more experienced in car buying than he is, old muggins here was given the job of helping him find a car, and of course that also means going with him to check the car over and offer him a few tips on what to look out for when buying the car.

First things first, he asked me what type of car I would get if I had £500 - £800 to spend and wanted something reliable. Just like I recommend to everyone else in the Best cheap used cars list for new drivers post, it has to be one of the older model Japanese cars.

A Toyota Yaris, Toyota Starlet, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or a Nissan Micra. When he had a look at the Nissan Micra (Older model) on Autotrader he laughed but made his mind up that that was the kind of car he wanted for his first car. So then the searching began. Everyday he would look on Autotrader for a decent Nissan Micra. A few came up here and there that were suitable.

He phoned them up with a set of questions to ask the seller, but for one reason or another it just wasn't to be. It was either there was more to the Advert, you know the types, where the Ad sounds great but when you actually ring the seller up some of their answers just raise alarm bells like "Yeah mate the cars not registered to me and if you want to come and have a look at it it's permanently parked on the Bell Inn Pub car park".

Or there is damage to the car that can't be seen in the Advert pictures etc. With there being so many Nissan Micra's coming up for sale each week it's not worth the time, money and effort to waste time dealing with one that sounds a little suspicious. A few weeks of looking turned in a month of searching.

Then out of nowhere a really nice low mileage silver Micra 1.0L with full service history and only 40k miles came up for sale Autotrader which was within budget. Sadly it wasn't to be. The car went on Autotrader on the night of a week day and by the time we called, which was the next day in the morning, we were informed by the seller that there was already a sharp eyed buyer down there with him looking at the car. This was at 9am. The person bought the car.

I don't blame him as it was a genuine car with low miles for it's age being sold by an older gentleman that had really looked after it. My family member was quite disappointed that this car was sold so fast. But I told him to be patient and that something else would come along. But I think he was starting to lose hope because he hasn't driven since passing his test and is now at the stage where he wants to just buy a car and get out on the road driving and gaining experience.

A few weeks of looking later and would you believe it, a second Nissan Micra 1.0L, this time an even better one. If you could find the perfect used Nissan Micra for sale this had to be as close as you were going to get. You know the story that some, not all, trade sellers use when they want to attract some interest. They say "Car was owned by a little old lady and has hardly been used in recent years". Well, most of us know that's usually a lie just to pull in unsuspecting buyers, but this Micra that came up for sale really was owned by an 80 year old woman who had given up driving due to her age. This Micra is a 2001 model which had a little more than 9.4K miles on the clock when it was bought.

Amazing, it really has hardly been used. And to top it off the service history was absolutely unbelievable. It had been serviced every 400 - 500 miles (Last serviced at 8,950 miles) and it had a full MOT, with 4 brand new tyres being put on the car at the same time the MOT was carried out. The car is also in almost pristine condition inside and out.

Needless to say, we didn't want to miss out on this car like we did on the last one (Also a silver Micra) so we went down there straight away, checked through all the paperwork and gave the car a good check over and test drive. Everything was perfect, so the seller got the £800 that she asked for. A great bargain for a car that has barely even been broken in. 

The moral of this story is don't get desperate. Don't just buy any old car because your getting impatient. Hold out, keep looking and something nice will come along eventually. My family member has ended up with a great first car. His patience has paid off. I almost feel sorry for the car with it being in such an unused condition and now having to take the upcoming abuse that a new driver is going to put it through!.

A word of warning: If you do an insurance quote online for the car you're going to view, and possibly buy it would be better and cheaper for you to complete the buying of your car insurance, if / when you buy the car on a Smart phone with Internet access. This way all your information is already saved and all you have to do is use your phone to accept the quote and pay by entering your card details and the insurance is then valid, so you can drive the car away (Don't forger to tax the car also).

If you do your insurance quote online and then take the quote reference number with you so that you can phone up the insurance company and give them the reference in order to buy the car insurance they will have to go through every single detail with you again which can be costly when using a mobile phone.

My family member had £15 phone credit for this phone call and it still wasn't enough. He got cut off due to the credit running out, but luckily the insurance company (Go Skippy) phoned him back. If you have a phone contract that has the Internet included (3G or 4G) save the quote and then just retrieve it once you have bought the car and buy the insurance from your phone.

New Honda Jazz Will Cost Over £13K

The ever reliable and highly praised Honda brand releases information about its newest Honda Jazz, which is due to be available for purchase in the UK from September. Will it be as reliable as previous models, I guess we'll have to wait and see. There's no reason why it shouldn't be. The Honda Jazz is one of the most reliable cars of recent years, so the new model has a lot to live up to.

The new Honda Jazz looks great, very streamlined for such a "space cruiser looking" shaped car. Sadly, the engine doesn't really follow suite. Yes, the car looks like it could move a bit with it's futuristic body shape, but when released it will only be with a 1.3 i-VTEC engine and that only produces just over 100 horse power (BHP). And for a car that isn't exactly a Toyota Yaris when it comes to size and weight it isn't going to be that fast off the mark.

However, that's not what most people buy a Honda Jazz for. Reliability and versatility are usually enough to win most over. The Honda Jazz is a dependable car. It is a shame that there aren't more engine choices to go along with the four different trims available. The 1.7 Diesel engine (Isuzu engine) used in some of the earlier Honda Civics would have been a decent option for the new Jazz. 

Actually maybe not, as that engine does have a few faults and issues (Mostly Turbo - Sensor - Limp mode related). But then again a lot of Diesel engines regardless of make will have a few problems at some point that may be expensive to fix. Honda Diesel engines are considered to be a lot more reliable than most others out there.

Maybe just a few more petrol engine choices, or at the minimum a 1.6 engine option would be nice. More options might become available at a later date but for the initial UK release its only the one engine (1.3 i-VTEC). The 2.2i CDTI is a reliable, fairly strong engine that would have been a good choice. Prices for the new Jazz start at £13,500.

Best Car List For a First Time Driver

Passing your driving test is a great achievement. Once you pass the only thing on your mind is buying a car and getting on the road. The novelty lasts for quite a while. Enjoy it while it lasts! Depending on how much money you want to spend on your first car will determine what kind of car you will end up buying. Most people will want a really nice first car to drive around in. But for a first time driver it's not recommended.

The first car is meant to be the one that you actually "learn" to drive in. What I mean by this is: When you "Learn" to drive in your driving instructors car you are really just learning the way / method they require you to drive in order to be considered safe to drive. The better you learn that - considered safe driving style - the higher chance you will have of passing your driving test. When in reality, this is not the way you will continue to drive once you pass your test and have been driving for a few months. You will develop your own specific driving style, and it more than likely won't involve you using the ten-to-two hand positioning on the steering wheel while in control of the car.

Older Honda Civic Black

So that's what the first car should be for, the car that you actually learn your individual driving style in. And remember, most new drivers literally have no experience of driving unsupervised so it's inevitable that your going to have a few scrapes and close calls in your first car while gaining experience on the road. Your car will take a few knocks here and there.

So you should buy a car that's cheap, reliable and very forgiving! A car that you won't cry too much over if it gets a little dent or a few scrapes on the bodywork. Although I would be annoyed if the Honda Civic pictured here got a few bumps because it's a nice basic example, but you get the idea. I just didn't want to show one that wasn't as nice on this post.

Here is a short list of cars that I recommend for first time drivers. Please note: I always choose the most reliable cheap cars for this purpose, and the ones that fit this criteria best are the old Japanese cars. They absolutely offer the best value for first time drivers that want a reliable car for a low price. Of course, always make sure the car has a good service history as no car is immune from needing new consumables (like new brakes etc) or an old, non-consumable part eventually needing replacing. All cars I mention below are the older versions and most can be bought for very cheap. Well under a grand. In fact most can be found (A decent example) for around £500 - £750.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Starlet

Honda Civic

Nissan Micra

Also worth considering is the Ford KA. Apart from the rust issues and the tractor sounding engine at high mileage, Ford KA's do make good first cars. The engines are very reliable. If you have a little more money to spend consider a Honda Jazz. They are one of the most reliable cars available and was the most reliable car of 2014. They can be found for around £1000 - £2000. If you want something a bit more bigger than the cars mentioned on the list take a look at the old Mazda 323. Read more about the Mazda 323 on this website. Great car that has a unique look and character. Good luck with your choice.

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