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Used Car Review: Mercedes W211 E Class
Steve gets behind the wheel of a 3rd generation E class to see whether it is a used car gem.
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Fitting a sunstrip
Sunstrips can be aesthetically pleasing and very useful. The concept actually originates in the 1970s, where certain cars would be fitted with a green tint across the top of the windscreen. Then in the 1980s and 1990s, it was quite common to see racing cars being fitted with sunstrips to not only block out the sun but also provide extra sponsorship space on the vehicle.
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Spark plugs guide and fitting
Spark Plugs are a small, yet vital part for the running of your engine and they can also tell you what condition the engine is in. In addition, spark plugs are both cheap and easy to replace as well as being a regular serving item. The most seen types of spark plug conditions are seen below as well as what they could mean you’re your vehicle.
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Understanding your tyre sidewalls
The language of tyres can seem a complex, and one few drivers understand. When choosing tyres drivers are guided by the tyre shop, and most drivers understand which Brands are premium, mid-range or budget and how to check tread depths. However the tyre sidewall gives you a lot of useful information, you just have to understand the hieroglyphics.  

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Fitting an auxiliary fuse box
Having an auxiliary fuse box can be beneficial to those who intend to modify their vehicle, either for work or pleasure and who intend to add additional electrical components such as exterior/interior lighting, stereo upgrades and alarms to name but a few.
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Fitting a battery master switch
Car security has come a long way in the last twenty years thanks to improved locks and immobilisers, however with the introduction of keyless entry and keyless ignitions car theft is sadly on the increase.
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Age defying Volkswagens
Steve looks through five Volkswagens that lasted longer in production than you might think!

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Potential Noughties Classics
The start of the millennium is shockingly 18 years ago now, and since those wild parties and concerns over computer meltdowns, various special run of the mill cars were born. Steve runs through 12 cars in no particular order introduced in the Noughties (2000-2009) which he feels could become classics.
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Morgan Motor Company
We headed for a look around the various factory buildings where everything is produced, excluding the engine and gearbox which are brought in from other manufacturers. The first part of the build process is the manufacture of the chassis which is built with a combination of wood and steel for all models, excluding the Aero which uses a combination of wood and aluminium. During this phase of the build process the engine, gearbox, suspension, brakes, wiring and wheels are added.
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Delorean Motor Company
On August 12th 2015 I was lucky enough to visit the former DeLorean Factory in Dunmurry-Belfast and was surprised to find that the site is still being used in the manufacture of car components for no other that Peugeot and Citroen. I visited the site on a Sunday and as such it was much like a ghost town which how it must have felt shortly after DMC demise and closure in 1983.



On looking around the various factory units it was amazing to still see some of the original DMC-12 production line equipment still hanging from the ceilings and which sit redundant and forever waiting. I look round and try to picture what the site would have looked like in the heyday of production and feel a sadness that the production was cut short.






Unfortunately I did not get a chance to look at the historic Delorean test track due to a lack of time which was real shame as it is under threat from being built on. Nor did I get to drive up to the famous Delorean House as it is a private residence which had subsequently sold the year before.

I do hope that Belfast stops any proposals of housing on the Delorean test track, as it would be a great loss to Belfast due to the history the test track and the rest of the factory complex holds for city.
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MG Longbridge
On the 9th August 2015 I had the fortune of visiting the historic MG factory at Longbridge in Birmingham, and on arrival we waited for our guide in the MG Showroom which gave me a chance to have a look over the MG3 and MG6. Our guide then met us and took us across to the main buildings where we were shown into a room and learnt the history of the MG brand and SAIC future plans for the marque.


After the presentation the real fun began and we were shown a faithful reconstruction of Morris office and then moved onto the Technical Centre. As no surprise we were not allowed to take any pictures, but we were show an MG3 turbo prototype as well as the CAD/CAM machines as well as the engine test facilities. The test facilities at Longbridge design and develop the engines and suspension for European MG3s and as such they differ from their Chinese siblings.


We then moved onto the heart of the site where we saw the build process for the MG3 but I must confess the conveyor belts and production lines were silent on the day of our visit as production only occurred two days a week. We were also informed that the cars arrive from China to the UK as Complete Knock Down (CKD) kits and reassembled at Longbridge. The silence was eerie but I was just pleased to see the factories still being used for their orginal purpose instead of just idling.










The final part of the tour was to be shown MG’s private collection of prototypes and historic vehicles which included some limited edition models and key successes such as the Mini, TF and Austin Healey. Overall the factory tour was a great day out and a real insight into the current operations of MG.   

 
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Brexit: what it means for the British car industry
The entire automotive industry talks nervously of disruption. Autonomy, China, electric vehicles… these days it’s a case of pick your threat.
In the UK, however, disruption is coming much faster and from a much more traditional source: politics. Brexit and, to a lesser extent, the decline of diesel are probably the two biggest forces acting on our industry right now, and the fate of both, by and large, lies in the hands of the Government and its opposition.
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The Golf Mk4, another future classic?
It’s now 20 years since the first Golf Mk4 was registered in the UK, and to mark the occasion Steve reviews whether or not the fourth generation Golf could be considered a future classic?


The fourth generation Golf was introduced to the UK in mid-1998 to replace the aging mk3 model and was available in 3 or 5 door hatchback, estate or cabriolet even though the latter was just a facelifted Mk3 Golf convertible which naturally confused buyers. The Mk4 Golf brought with it various improvements over the outgoing model as it was both longer and wider than the previous model as well as being taller which all improved the cabin space. One key improvement over the mk3 variant was the fact the mk4 Golf body shell was galvanised to prevent against rust and backed up with a 12 year perforation warranty. This was a big thing as the mk3 became notorious for rust, so much so it equally matched with the Ford Escort and Ford Ka on the amount of rust issues that developed.
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Kia Niro
Steve sets to find out whether Kia’s first attempt at a compact hybrid SUV is a good one, and whether you should consider purchasing one

The word Niro is an interesting one because it is pronounced the same regardless if its spelt Niro or Nero. Why is this relevant to a car review I can hear you ask? Well the word Niro/Nero will mean different things to different people. For example coffee connoisseurs will think of the coffee shop, to Trekkies they’ll think of the baddy in the 2009 Star Trek franchise reboot film and for me I think of Kia’s new  compact SUV. This also brings me nicely to my photo location which is the National Space Centre in Leicester, which I have chosen as a nod to the Trekkies but also as the Kia and the Space Centre have something in common – the focus on the future.
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Motoring Guide to Driving Abroad
So, you have decided to take the plunge and take the family abroad by car....but do you know really the pleasures and pitfalls of driving abroad?

Driving abroad is generally one of the best ways of experiencing all of what Europe has to offer and is generally completely stress-free because of empty roads, wonderful scenery, much less traffic and cheaper fuel costs.

On the slightly pessimistic but realistic side of the coin, there are several rules and regulations that are different to the UK and must be observed to avoid fines.

We have listed some of the Laws and Hints & Tips you should know prior to setting off on your road trip.
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Buying a Used Car
What to look for when buying a used car - Used Car Buying Checklist

So you're looking at a second-hand car but don't know what to look out for, read our guide and print a copy to take with you when viewing potential purchases....you could save a fortune!
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Mazda 2
After the success of the previous Mazda 2, Steve is set to find out whether the current model can build on the reputation.

 
The Mazda 2 is now into its third generation here in the UK and marks a step forward for Mazda, as it is the first small car in over 20 years that Mazda has designed and built without using Ford Fiesta underpinnings. The current model, released in 2015 has also moved away from the curvy lines and bubble shape of the previous model and has adopted a sharper front end partly in thanks to a raked bonnet angle.
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Car Review: Ford Kuga (mk2)
SUV’s are forever increasing in their popularity with motorists and Steve reviews whether Fords mk2 Kuga is a serious contender with the buying public.
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Post in Deals to be had
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Lexus LC500 Review
The LC500 is available as a 5.0 litre V8 which is bred from the race-track or if you are after something a little less aggressive and eco-friendly then look no further than the LC500h which is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 and hybrid motors.
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Faraday Pouch
Following on from our report on faraday pouches, Steve reviews whether or not they make a sensible purchase with a long-term test.

Keyless entry and keyless ignitions have become a convenient edition to most vehicles in the last ten years, however, this has allowed the criminal fraternity to capitalise on this through theft of motor vehicles or theft from motor vehicles. Criminals have been able to obtain the key code for vehicles by using devices which can trick the car in thinking that the key is nearby and thus allowing the criminal access to the vehicle. 
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You may be ready for this year's Summer Holiday, but is your car?
You may have waited all year for this holiday, but what are the potential consequences of not having your car checked over or serviced before you head off to the Airport or especially if driving abroad? – breakdown misery, lost holiday time, unexpected costs incurred, disappointed children…the list goes on!
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Suzuki Swift (Mk2)
With its cute and curvy looks, Steve reviews whether the second generation Suzuki Swift makes a good used car purchase in a very competitive market sector by driving a 1.5 petrol GLX model
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MG3
I intended to find out by test driving the new MG3 which is a new small hatchback and designed to bring the MG back to the masses. The MG3 I had on the test drive was the top of the range Style model with a price tag of £11,695. With any new car in this highly competitive sector first impression count and the MG3 does not fail to disappoint.  
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