Get Your Wipers Right

As a retired air traffic controller I think I have a very high level of spatial awareness, but there is one simple task that always blows my mind, even though I have done it many times, and that is replacing windscreen wiper blades. If I am not meticulously careful I manage to put them on upside down or back to front, so here is an AA video to help you if you have the same problem.

One additional tip is that when you have removed the old blade, carefully put it down on the (protected) bonnet exactly as it came off and then match the orientation of the new blade to the old one.

I just changed mine and the improvement is amazing, even though there was no apparent wear to the blades. The cheapest source of genuine Mazda wipers is, as usual, MX5Parts. Click on the logo:

The Great Insurance Scam

Honest motorists are facing soaring premiums as a fraud epidemic sweeps the country, causing insurers to secretly blacklist certain postcodes. We have seen a record 40% hike in premiums over the past year, with the average annual comprehensive policy forecast to break the £1,000 barrier within 12 months. Insurers say a major reason for this increase is fraudulent claims that are estimated to cost £2.7bn a year, adding £44 to your annual premium.

Insurers are raising prices even further because of high concentrations of fraudulent claims, and brokers say some insurance firms are refusing to cover motorists at all in certain areas. Common frauds include staged accidents, bogus injury claims — whiplash being the most common — and fronting, where parents cut costs by claiming they are the main driver on an insurance policy for their child’s car.

So what can you do? The government is going to outlaw  the sale of personal details, which will help. I got a text message an hour ago asking me to claim for my accident, is that the one I had in 1975?

The best course of action is to find out how to get a good deal by visiting the “Car Insurance Explained” website which is packed with really useful information. Get tips on how to get the cheapest quote, learn about multi-car policies, excesses, ten month policies and lots more! Click on the logo:

Winter Tyres – Made Your Mind Up Yet?

Don’t Try This At Home!

Take another look at this earlier post, which gives more help in choosing the best tyres for cold conditions, by clicking on the  photo:


Clarkson Cobblers

You may think you look good in your convertible. But unless you are Pierce Brosnan, which you are not, you actually look like a tool”

So wrote Jeremy Clarkson in a lengthy article in last week’s Sunday Times. Here is some more:

“You may dream of driving a convertible car through the mountains of southern France on a beautiful summer’s day. But, having done this sort of thing on many occasions, I’m able to tell you that you will arrive at your destination with a comically red nose and a shirt that appears to have spent the past few months at the bottom of a stagnant pond.”

“What message are you giving out? That you are carefree? That you are young at heart? That you are available? But you aren’t. You’re middle aged and a bit pathetic, and if people are looking, they will laugh at you. Once you are past the age of 27, you can drive alfresco only when it is safe to drive naked. In other words, when no one is looking. To sum up, then, driving a convertible is uncomfortable and will cause other road users to think that you are a prat with manhood issues.”

I am well used at Jeremy’s rants after all these years and I just ignore him. At 66 I probably look incredibly silly in my MX5 with the roof down, but I couldn’t care less! However Ken Holland from Teignmouth in Devon felt strongly enough to write this pithy response:

“Jeremy Clarkson has just perpetuated every urban myth that surrounds driving a convertible car. Having owned three Mazda MX-5s over the past 10 years, I read the feature with a slack jaw.

I have never arrived at a destination with a comically red nose or stagnant-pond shirt: I’m usually cool, refreshed and very relaxed. I have never got frostnip on my fingers (the heater works very well), and driving topless on a frosty day is a wonderful experience (the Scott of the Antarctic wardrobe doesn’t get a look-in). My wife doesn’t get her hair messed up by the wind: the seats are low, and we have a wind-blocker behind the seats. I don’t drive around in a convertible to look good (probably the biggest urban myth of all): I drive a convertible because I enjoy the benefits of fresh air and the feeling of freedom.

I have no wish to appear carefree or young or available, and I happily admit to being middle-aged. I drive a convertible with the top down because I enjoy it, I feel better for it and it gives me great pleasure. It’s comfortable, reliable, cheap to run, fun to drive and puts a smile on my face. The perfect car, really.

Jeremy actually agrees: the MX-5 is “a car designed to thrill and excite and put a massive smile on your face at the sort of speed that won’t mess up your girlfriend’s hair” (Clarkson, August 16, 2009).”

Well said Ken!

Which? Loves the MX5

“Which?” magazine takes a quick look at the Mazda MX5 and is completely bowled over!


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