Tuesday, 27 January 2015

WARNING! Weather Of Biblical Proportions Is About To Happen....Maybe

We're mad keen for a good (bad) weather warning here in Ireland aren't we? We love it!
Then, when the aforementioned weather of biblical proportions never happens and turns out to be little more than a storm in a teacup we love a good moan about the fact that it never happened and how the forecasters never get it right. As a nation we also really hate the snow don't we and we reeeally really love a good moan if it actually does snow!
Personally I find it all a bit odd, because I love the snow. It reminds me of when I was kid, sledging, building snowmen and having snowball fights. Even as a wee youngster the quiet, soft edged beauty of  a snow covered landscape wasn't lost on me and it's still something I find mesmerizing today. I'll never forget the expressions on my kids young faces the first time they saw snow, the little lad literally almost shat himself with excitement!...and i'm with him, it is something to be excited about.
Anyway enough of that rose tinted nonsense, back to the moaning.

Right now there's a Status Yellow snow and ice weather warning from Met Eireann for the whole of the country. We're in for about 3 centimeters, apparently "all areas are at risk" but fear not, the warning is only valid until 11pm on Thursday. I wonder what happens if it does snow and it's still around at 11.15pm on Thursday? Are we allowed to moan that there was no valid weather warning?
Anyhoo, it's all immaterial. Weather warning or not, if it does snow the entire country is going to come to a grinding halt and those of us who enjoy the benefits of life in the Capitol in particular will be enjoying the interior of our cars, whilst we're stuck, bumper to bumper for hours on end panicking that we're going to run out of fuel, so we have that to look forward to!

Final point, and this blog was genuinely never meant to be a sales pitch, I just fancied having a rant about the weather - if you live in a remote area or have steep hills to navigate and it does actually snow, it might be worth your while checking out our snow socks. They really really do work amazingly well and we're the best price anywhere online or in-store.

But more importantly, embrace the snow people! build a snowman, fall off a sledge, fire a snowball at your mate and remember what it was like to be a kid again for just a few moments :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Defrost Your Frozen Windscreen, Safely and Quickly.

Not Actual Photo Of My Car
As I strolled up to my car this morning, I was met with the dreaded frozen over windscreen. So nobody else has to struggle through this ordeal, I’m going to share some information on how I de-iced it quickly and safely.

First, I used an Ice-Scraper to remove the majority of the ice from the windscreen and then removed any loose deposits from my bonnet to prevent any ice being blown back up onto the windscreen when I drive off. Then I used my handy Holts De-Icer Spray that cost a mere €1.70 which melted the rest of the ice while I watched.

While my neighbours were throwing buckets of boiling water over their windows, I wouldn't recommend this. Glass can crack when exposed to rapid changes in temperature. If you’re going to use this method, stay with the kettle until you think the water is lukewarm and switch it off. However, there is still a danger that it will cause a crack.

Following on from this, I checked that the wipers weren't stuck to the windscreen as it could cause damage to the blades and the motor when I turn them on. Wipers are delicate and they’re only designed to remove water/rain so avoid using them to clear remaining ice or frost.

Next, I checked all the other windows and mirrors of the car, inside and out. I then turned the car on and activated the air conditioning, making sure that the vents were aimed towards the windows. Air conditioning is great for defrosting your windows quickly and prevents them from misting up.

Note: Don’t leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition. Thieves are very opportunistic and they could be on the lookout for such situations like this on cold mornings. 

I know it’s hard, but try and get up a few minutes early on frosty mornings so you’re not in a rush or tempted to risk driving with frosty windows.

Some friendly advice,

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Why women live longer than men

There are many medical and scientific reasons why women live longer than men.
Then there are these...

Monday, 19 January 2015

History Of The Honda Civic

Spanning nine model generations the Honda Civic is one of the most recognizable and best selling cars in the world. Back in early 1970's Honda were considering pulling out of car manufacture altogether after a string of lackluster forecourt performances but the Civic turned that around! The Civic's light weight, high tech and economical, high performance engines are the cornerstone of the models success.

Increasingly sporty variants of the Civic culminated in the launch of the Type R in the 1990's. The Type R was fitted with the now infamous VTEC B16a engine which produced over 100bhp per litre, a feat that most supercars of the era couldn't match.

The popularity of the Ferrari-baiting Type R filtered down to lesser, more affordable models and the Civic became the de facto car for a generation of  petrol heads and tuners such as J's racing and Spoon.

Versatility plays a large part in the success of the range. From practical, affordable shopping runabout to screaming 9,000 rpm racetrack hooligan the Civic can do it all. Honda have also had a huge amount of motorsport success with the civic, most recently winning the British Touring Car Championship in 2013.

After 40+ years the Civic still continues to feature in the top 20 best selling cars globally.
Here's a visual look back over its 40+ year history:

At MicksGarage we stock an enormous range of parts for all models of the Civic. If you need braking, steering or suspension parts, panels, lamps or trim pieces or just need a service kit to keep your Civic in tiptop condition be sure to check us out!

Survey: Which brands of oil do you want us to stock?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

MicksGarage Service Academy: How To Jump Start Your Car

Its happened to most of us, you come out of the house, shopping centre or back from the airport or wherever, get in your car, turn the key.........and.......nothing...flat battery.....Balls!

You're either going to need a jump start, a bump start or you're going to have to call a man in a van to come and rescue you, he'll probably want to be paid for his troubles too. For the majority of people, calling the man in the van is not a problem especially if you have AA cover or breakdown assist on your insurance policy but if you're a car guy, calling the man in the van is tantamount to treason, it's the absolute last resort & shame will be bought upon your family!

Carrying a simple set of jump leads or a power pack in the boot will solve all your problems and once you get the car running again will reinforce your status to your mates/wife/children etc as an all round, good, handy guy to keep around the place.
Joking aside, keeping a set of  jump leads or a power pack in the boot is going to save you a load of time, possibly money and stress and they're not expensive, they start at under €20.00 - and the ones we sell at MicksGarage are good ones, not cheap, plasticky ones with hardly any copper in the cables like some companies sell.

So let's assume you have jump leads and your going to jump start your car. It's a very simple process but there are some extremely important safety precautions which must be followed and a strict order in which the cables should be connected and disconnected. To make the procedure as simple as possible to understand we've created this infographic:

Jump starting requires a 2nd car, but what if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere or it's the middle of the night and nobody's around?

That's where this bad boy comes in....

This is the iSparQ600 from Stark Power. (we're not 100% certain but we think the design was leaked from Tony Stark's lab) It's a massively cool piece of kit in a tiny little box that packs enough punch to start an engine of up to 6 litres in capacity!....and it'll fit in your glovebox. 
it will also recharge mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc multiple times. What's really cool is that unlike traditional, heavy and bulky booster packs, once it's charged, it will stay charged for up to 3 years, so it's always ready when you need it.

I've been using one for the last couple of days just to get familiar with it before we shoot a product review video, so far I'm very impressed. Out of the box it was fully charged, which was nice. It has charged up my Galaxy S4 from empty twice (in an hour and a half each time) and also a Galaxy S3 and an iPhone 5. The display says it still has 50% power left. I'm heading to the NEC in Birmingham tomorrow to the Autosport International show & i'm going to bring it with me on the plane so I have a source of power for the laptop and the phone. When it gets down to about 20% we're going to try and jump start a car and see how it gets on. We did try jump starting the van at work which has a 2.8 litre diesel engine and it fired up straight away, that was on a full charge and we completely removed the battery...so we can certainly vouch that it packs a decent punch!

Watch this space for more news on the Stark Power iSparQ 600 

Click here for another super informative blog about how to Bump Start your car!

oh wait,  I actually haven't written that one yet, but in the mean time you could click on some of these sharing buttons below!