EASR’s Best UK Road Trips

We’re at that point of the year now – the longest day has been and gone, spring has sprung and now all we’ve got is time to enjoy the perfect warm and sunny weather, and what a summer it’s turning out to be. If you were with us a few months ago, we used the excitement of the beginning of spring to talk about how anybody in the UK (with a car of course) can have a crack at the great American pastime of road-tripping! 

While here in the UK, we might be a bit limited for overall space, we’re lucky to have some of the most beautiful scenery, some of the best roads in the world and the brilliance of being just a bit smaller than most other counties are, is that everywhere is pretty much a stone’s throw away. 

Here at EASR, we’ve done our fair share of scenic driving and real road-tripping, so we’ve gathered together some of England, Scotland and Wales’ best road-tripping tours and roads to explore with friends, family or even solo!

Let’s jump right in!

Atlantic Highway – Devon to Cornwall

 

We’re kicking off our list today with one of the most beloved road-trip destinations in England, which always seems like a good place to start!

The Atlantic Highway denotes a stretch of the A39 from Barnstable in Devon until it reaches Fraddon in Cornwall – however, many road-trippers like to cap this trip off in the seaside town favourite of Newquay in Cornwall.

 

This stretch of coastline, in a lot of people’s eyes, gives some of the road trips in different continents a run for their money – while the road itself doesn’t run that much alongside the coast, the views of the Atlantic from Bude, Camelford and Wadebridge are some of the best in the world. 

While perfect for surfers as there are some of Cornwall’s best spots along the way, this road trip is really for anyone who needs any justification that England has some of the finest views in the world.

Land of the Lakes – Lake District

 

Lake District has always been shrouded in the mystery of magic, history and sheer natural beauty, and at a staggering 2,632 square kilometres, this magnificent national park is the second biggest in the UK. 

It’s hard to describe the beauty of the Lake District to someone who has never experienced it, but if it is enough to enrapture the hearts of the likes of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth then surely it’s worth a shot.

So, let’s plan out this incredible Lake District road trip – we’re going North from the town of Kendal, up through the National Park following the A591 toward Windermere – from there it’s your choice, as the picturesque beauty of the Land of the Lakes is really all around you, however, we suggest visiting Grasmere, and visiting Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage home.

 

Village Hopping Norfolk 

 

This one is definitely a bit of us! If you couldn’t already tell, we absolutely love Norfolk, and when you drive about it as much as we do, it’s quick to realise why. The diversity of our beautiful countryside scenery and our magnificent coastline, make visiting the some of the oldest towns and villages in the UK feel like stepping into a dream.

 

 

The beauty of a village hopping road trip is that it’s really all up to you – there are so many spots all over the county to visit, all with their own unique characteristics, which means if you’re travelling with family or friends it’s easy to choose where to go, just ask what do you want to do?

If you want to get a headstart on the planning process, however, let us refer you back to a Norfolk Village Hopping Guide that was put out a couple of months ago, there is a small selection of some of our favourite spots from all over the county, you can also find some other recommendations for activities or food and drink!

Black Mountain Pass – Wales 

Taking it out of England now, and to one of the most scenic countries in the world – that’s right, we’re going to Wales! Specifically, we’re trekking up the A4069 that traverses the winding and rising roads that cross the Black Mountains from Llandovery to Gwuan-Cae-Gurwen. 

We’re going to just throw out a warning here, however, that this particular stretch of road, while not overtly dangerous, should be taken with a bit of caution due to its hairpin turns, bumps on the road and of course a few drop-offs! 

That being said, Black Mountain Pass is widely considered to be the best driving road in Wales – however, even in the passenger seat, you are sure to be in for a great ride when looking out at some of the most postcard-ready scenes in the UK has to offer!

So there you have it!

We hope you’ve found a little bit of inspiration to get out in your motor and take a brand new adventure, maybe even somewhere closer than you thought possible! At EASR, our aim is to keep your automobile running as smoothly, and as stylishly as possible – from our bespoke alloy diamond cutting services to our paintless dent repairs and re-sprays, our services are here for you!

Safe Travels!

EASR’s Summer Car Care Guide

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog for a few months now, you may have noticed we like to keep all our customers informed about every piece of seasonal automobile information that crops up as the year goes on – over the Christmas season we gave you our Winter Car Care Guide, and now as the seasons have shifted on we think it’s time for something a little bit more relevant!

We tend to think of the summertime as being a care-free sort of season. A time to really enjoy the driving experience and take the motor out on the open road. Picnics, road trips, romantic drives across the country – however, things are not as safe as they seem. In fact, the summer months can really be quite taxing on many vehicles. Due to the shifting of temperatures overall from the chilly winter and early spring seasons, many aspects of our vehicles change, and not always for the better.

This month we’re going to walk you through all the of the changes your vehicle might be experiencing as the heat gets turned up, and what you can do to make sure things stay running smoothly!

The pressure is on

First things first, we’ve got to talk about one of the most overlooked parts of our vehicles – we mean, without them we wouldn’t have anything more than a heavy bit of stationary machinery, of course, it’s the wheels.

We usually don’t tend to think about our wheels until we get a dreaded tyre pressure warning, or worse, the awful feeling of a flat – however, did you know that your car’s tyres are affected by the heat much more than any other part of your vehicle? According to Rubber Manufacturers Association, your tyre increases by 1 – 2 PSI per 12-degree increase and with the heat we’ve been experiencing this year so far, that can have a big impact.

Seemingly counterintuitive, an under-inflated tyre is more likely to blow, as the bulging caused by the expanding tyre will force unnecessary strain on the side walls. Over-inflation reduces contact with the road, meaning hydroplaning is more likely and general manoeuvrability will be affected.

Check your car or tyres owner’s manual or information for the recommended tyre pressure of your vehicle, and remember to keep that spare around, just in case!

Time for a charge?

Another overlooked part of our vehicles, and yet the most common cause for break down, is the one that almost certainly stops working when you least expect it – the battery. We’ve all been there, especially in the winter, those early morning jumpstarts in the cold hours of the dawn – but did you know that the summer really takes a toll on our batteries?

That’s right – if you know how batteries work then it makes a little bit more sense, but effectively inside the battery there is a chemical reaction, the by-product of which produces a current which outputs power to your vehicle. The main problem with batteries and heat is that heat is really good at speeding up chemical reactions.

Make sure the contacts of your battery are not corroded, as the heat can really have an adverse effect on that reaction too. If your car has a ‘wet cell’ battery, make sure that your electrolyte refill cap is screwed on properly as the heat will cause your battery’s fluid to evaporate!

Watch your fluids

While this is really an all-year-round kind of quick tip – it’s always important to remember to check your car’s fluids!

Your coolant and engine oil should be checked ideally once a week, and really for such a quick and easy job, it can significantly increase the lifespan of your vehicle.

Brake, clutch and power steering fluids can be checked a little less regularly, approximately once a month, however, like most things in this list, if the weather is particularly hot, while unlikely to massively impact your car, it’s always good to keep on eye on the liquids in your vehicle.

Don’t get conned by air-con

This one is a biggie, and while it is not essential to the running of your vehicle, it’s certainly essential for the running of you!

We’ve been working and enjoying our vehicles for a long time, and if you ask us, we really can’t think of a feeling worse than sitting in our cars at the height of summer without the air-con running. The experience is made even more hellish when you are bumper to bumper in traffic, and the windows don’t make a lick of difference!

Unfortunately, air-conditioning systems are rather finicky, and by finicky we mean incredibly complicated. Leaks can occur in many different locations, and if you are driving around in an older vehicle, there may be chemicals (like Freon) inside your systems that only a licenced professional should be dealing with, for your and your car’s safety

We hope this helps

And speaking of professionalism, have you considered getting your car all ready for the summer driving season? At EASR, all of our automotive experts approach car bodywork with the care and professionalism you would not find anywhere else! From diamond-cut alloys to re-sprays and paint repairs and paintless dent removal, we have you covered.

To book a consultation or get a quote, fill out our contact form, email us at [email protected], or call us on 0330 111 0203.

And as always,

Safe Travels!

monochrome photograph of a vintage electric vehicle

The Best Guide to EV History!

 

As you probably already know, the auto industry has a very dense and rich past. If we think back to what many consider to be the first mass-produced automobile, the Ford Model T, in 1908 and compare it with the race of innovation and technological advancement, what we get is a history that matches its subject. Like cars, their history is fast, and always getting faster. We’ve taken a crack at some auto-history on our blog in the past, although just like everyone else, we’re always ready to learn more, so today we want to dive into some more of the secret history of our vehicles!

We think of electric cars as a futuristic response to their environmentally unfriendly predecessors. It seems that only now, with the technological advances companies like Tesla, Volkswagen and Chevrolet have been making in recent years that electric cars are within the grasp of almost everyone – but what if we told you this is just history repeating itself? What if we told you that even before the Ford Motor Company, over one hundred years ago, electric cars ruled the roads?

Well, strap in because this month we’re looking at some ancient-automobile history, and exploring the wild world of early electric vehicles!

A Spark of Inspiration

Before we can dive into the early years of motoring, where electric cars ruled – we have to begin at their genesis. The idea of a ‘motorised’ or ‘horseless carriage’ was of immense interest to many inventors of the 19th century – although it was a case of what tools these thinkers had at their disposal.

In 1860, the new internal combustion engine was had only unveiled –  a huge meatal beast used to power factories, definitely not cars. It was only one year earlier, that Gaston Planté changed the world with his own source of power – the lead-acid battery!

While these two sources of power were developed further, it became apparent that a small (by 19th century standards) battery was far better suited to fit in a carriage than a behemoth internal combustion engine. By 1881, another French inventor by the name of Camile Alphonse Faure made some significant improvements to the capacity and ability to mass-produce lead-acid batteries.

Faure’s improvements were so significant in fact, that in April of 1881, a third French innovator by the name of Gustave Trouvé created what many believe to be the first predecessor to what we know today as an electric car. Trouvé’s “Electric Tricycle” basically consisted of a tricycle developed by the English inventor James Stanley, retrofitted with his improved lead-acid battery. The first test of Trouvé’s invention took place on the 19th of April that year, through the streets of Paris, reaching around an estimated ten miles per hour. Although he was unable to patent the design, he set the gears in motion for a new wave of electrical transportation fascination.

First of its Kind

While the groundwork laid out by the likes of Faure, Trouvé and others across the channel was instrumental, it would not be until 1888 when technically the first electric car would be made. With a name far less sleek than the likes of modern vehicles S Class, the Flocken Elektrowagen is considered to be the definitive ‘first electric car’. 

Not much is known about the developmental stages of Floken’s work – however, by the time his first Elektrowagen was unveiled, it had all the hallmarks of what would be considered a genuine electric motor car! When tested, the vehicle could reach a whopping one horsepower and apparently reached a top speed of nine miles per hour!

Electrifying Records 

Due to the electric motor being far more compact and versatile than the clucky ancestors of the modern internal combustion engine, they were well known for setting early land speed records! 

La Jamais Contente was perhaps the most well known of all of these vehicles, and definitely was the most futuristic-looking vehicle for its time. Its aerodynamic body was indicative of that of a torpedo and was crafted out of an alloy known as parthenium, a lightweight alloy formed of aluminium, tungsten and magnesium (so thank goodness it did not set alight!).

On the 1st of May 1899 near Paris, the Belgian driver Camille Janatzy also known as Le Diable Rouge (The Red Devil) hopped into La Jamais Contente, which was fitted with two 25 kW electric motors, both driving independently chained rear wheels, to reach a horsepower of 68! 

That day, the rocket-shaped vehicle was then the fastest in the world, topping out at 62mph, a staggering speed for a vehicle of its kind, however, it would not be long before the looming progress of the combustion engine would creep upon them!

 

Shocked, or not?

Even though the story of the electric car is only just beginning, let us know if you learned anything new about these old electric motors! We know that electric cars aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay, although whether you’re a petrolhead or a driver from the future – one thing stays the same… quality body working and vehicle servicing!

At East Anglia Smart Repair, we focus on all the parts of your vehicle that make it stand out, that’s why we’ve invested our expertise in the highest-calibre services you won’t find anywhere else, including our Diamond Cut Specialists, Alloy Wheel Restorations, Paintless Dent Repairs along with everything your car or van’s body needs to stay looking sharp!

Take an in-depth look at our services, fill in our online contact form to get a quote or call us on 0330 111 0203 to talk to one of our devoted specialists, and see what EASR can do for you!

 

Safe Travels!

monochrome photograph of a car engine

Ever Fallen for These Car Myths?

When we own our vehicles, we all like to think from time to time we’re the experts of them. In fact, in certain cases you probably are – as people, cars have little quirks, foibles and workarounds that, if you’ve spent any time with them, you learn to understand and in many ways, help make a connection with your vehicle. At EASR, we notice the same little things our customers do – although, we never forget that we’ve always got more to learn about our motors, especially as revolutions in auto-technology seem to rev up each year!

We service enough cars, and meet enough motorheads, to know that people have some pretty strong opinions about automobiles – and of course, we think everyone should be able to have their own thoughts and feeling about cars, but it’s always important to level the playing field. That’s why this month we’re going to bust some automobile myths – let us know if you’ve fallen for any of these motoring fables!

Manual Cars are more fuel-efficient than Automatics

Alright – if there are any older drivers reading this one, we can accept that this used to be the case, but automatic technology has improved a lot since the 80s, and their efficiency is almost the same, and in certain cases better!

Ever wondered why ‘stick-shifts’ were more efficient than their stick-less counterparts? It all has to do with ‘fluid coupling’. In short, what made manual transmissions easier on the wallet was the fact that all you had to do to change gears would be a step on the clutch, choose your gear and then leave it there. Simple right? Automatic transmissions don’t have and don’t want, the ability to stay in one gear all the time so instead of a clutch pedal, they use a thick liquid that can be used to ‘slip’ between gears in lower states.

Back when this technology was a new thing, the ‘slipping’ between the gears at lower speeds would lower the fuel efficiency of the vehicle – nowadays, the fluid coupling has improved to the point where any difference is barely noticeable.

Cold engines need to ‘warm up’

Even though winter seems so far away, here’s a nice little myth to give you something to look forward to this coming snowy season.

This too is another case of ‘it used to be different’ – and be sure, if your car was built before the 90s, or you know it uses a carburettor, you should pre-heat your engine. It all had to do with the limitations of both the hardware in the engine and motor oil at the time. 

Cars before the 90s generally used carburettors, a device that mixes air and fuel, which were pretty good in the right conditions, but were very inefficient when not up to temperature, and would run a mix on the that was fuel heavy through the system when it was cold. One impacting problem was that back in the day, fuel intake manifolds would be made completely of metal, meaning the whole thing would have to heat up for the carbs to run efficiently.

Nowadays with fuel injection systems, these problems barely arise – however, if you like the feeling of getting into a warm vehicle on those cold winter mornings, pre-heat your vehicle.

Filling Up in the Cold Get you More Fuel, for Less Money

Here’s another tall temperature themed tale – this one may have occurred to you if you’ve got a knack for the basic sciences, and have a proclivity for pinching pennies! The myth goes a little something like this:

In colder temperatures, petrol is more dense, meaning you get more fuel per volume than in warmer temperatures – so filling up early in the morning gets you more bang for your buck.

We’ll just like to start by saying that if you came to this scientific conclusion yourself – well done! It is true that petrol does in fact get denser in colder temperatures, and you do in fact get ‘more’ energy per volume. However, it’s really one of those cases of something being technically true – from about 15 to 25 degrees celsius, the energy difference is a measly one per cent – probably burnt off idling in traffic, or driving to get the fuel in the first place.

Secondly, nowadays fuel is kept in specialised temperature-controlled units under petrol stations – so while even if you do manage to catch a really cold day with no one at the pump, you’re probably not looking at any savings. 

Premium Fuel Means Premium Performance 

This one is nice and quick. 

Have you ever been tempted to fill up your vehicle at the hallowed Premium Pump? It’s enticing isn’t it – imagine the possibilities your engine could fulfil if only you had the right fuel.

But let’s be real, if you are driving anything that isn’t a performance car, then the only difference is the price. It all has to do with octane – the hydrocarbon in petrol that gives it its combustible qualities. In the UK, standard petrol stands at about 95 octane, and all car companies are required to make this as efficient as possible. 

The reverse is also true, filling performance cars with standard petrol won’t save you money, and probably only cause ‘knocking’ – a symptom of an engine unhappy with its fuel to air mixture!

 

So there you have it! 

Maybe you’ve fallen for a few of these motoring misconceptions, and if you have, maybe you can make sure others don’t either, or just play the smarty-pants in the passenger seat! What isn’t a myth, however, is EASR’s professional, specialist services. 

From alloy wheel restoration, paintless dent removal, car and van customisation and paint care and so much more, book a consultation to see what we can do for you – fill out the form on our website, call us at 0330 111 0203, or feel free to email us at [email protected]

Safe travels!

Man cleaning black sports car with soap and water from an orange bucket

Spring Cleaning… Your Car!

 

It’s that time of the year again!

 

An end to the dreary days of drizzle and driving with the windows up! Winter has been and gone, no need to worry about the gritters, and better yet, no fear of ice on the roads – it’s springtime in England, and we can finally get back on track, and enjoy driving the way our cars intended – with the top down, enjoying the sun and the scenery.  Here at EASR, we strive to help our customers, even when you’re not in our specialised repair garages, that is why we like to offer some of the best advice for you and your vehicle!

If there is one thing we notice during the winter period, it’s that our cars tend to turn into safe havens from the cold and the rain – they’re perfect for it when you think about it, almost like your own house on wheels! Cosy and warm on the inside, the ability to listen to the radio or a podcast as you drive through sleet and snow – however, there is always one caveat to being comfy in our cars – they do get rather ‘lived in’! 

After a while, the comfort and convenience of our vehicles start to show, and without the weather to do a deep clean ourselves, and often not having the luxury of taking it to the cleaners, our once pristine motors are transformed into harbingers of empty food packages, muddy shoes and a seemingly endless amount of crumbs – and that’s not even mentioning the effects of grit, dirt and sleet on the exteriors of our vehicles.

So to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and join in with this year’s homemakers, we want to make sure you can enjoy the return of spring, the sun and the breeze with our own spring car cleaning guide!

 

Upholstery and Fabrics

There’s really nothing worse than looking over your upholstery and catching a glimpse of what managed to hide its way in the crevices, let alone the muckiness of your car’s footwells if you have carpeting.

You want to start dry – get rid of any large crumbs or clumps of dirt with a brush, and suck them up with the hoover! The last thing you want to do is rehydrate all that dried dirt!

After you’ve gotten the main culprits out the way, just prioritise the smaller jobs first – any general scuffs, stains or scratches, maybe from muddy shoes or food items, can be lifted right off the upholstery with a damp cloth. Then move on to stains that require a carpet cleaner, perhaps a spilt drink made its way into the footwell, or a particularly muddy walk stained the carpet!

From this point, slowly tackle the more invasive stains, perhaps a broken ink pen has leaked on your seat – it is here a dilute mixture of rubbing alcohol might be applied to lift those spots right out – just remember to wipe down the spot after with pure water.

 

The Dashboard

The amount of dirt and grime that can gum up our vehicle’s dashboard is really quite surprising – other than the steering wheel or the gear stick, it’s the part of the interior our hands come into contact with the most!

This is where we start having to be a bit more careful – electronics and water are famously not very good friends, and the last thing we want to do is short out any of our car’s interfacing systems. 

Photo of the interior of a classic car through the window

Lightly dampen a cloth, and wipe down all the surfaces – but do not forget to dry! Remember to get behind the steering wheel, cotton buds or toothpicks are really good at getting the grime out of rubber trimming and tight corners!

 

The Boot

A brown dog hanging it's head out of a bright orange car window

People seem to always forget about the boot – often, we think, because people realise how dirty it can get back there, especially if you are a pet owner! Often carpeted, our tips from the upholstery and fabric section apply here too. 

If your car has a spare wheel well or compartment that can be accessed via the boot, make sure you lift the hatch and clean that out, as a lot of dirt and detritus often get vibrated down in there, and sometimes even worse, liquids, which can eventually rust through the bottom, or ruin a spare tire! 

 

The Exterior and Wheels 

Here comes the big job – if you’ve read our Hidden Hazard Helper, you’ll know how winter-time road debris, including grit and natural material, can really impact your vehicle’s exterior – while many of us settle for just a light cleaning of the paintwork and windows, without the proper care and attention, our cars can suffer if the remnants of winter are not properly cleaned!

Make sure the first clean is a deep one – mix speciality car cleaner or detergent with water – never use solvents not made for your car’s exterior, as it will strip the coating clean off your car!

Many people often overlook the cracks and crevices of the exterior of our cars – i.e. the wheel arches, the interiors of the doors, the gaps around the bonnet and beneath the rear and front bumpers – make sure to hit these parts hard, as these are always where dirt and moisture get trapped and lead to rusting.

 

So there you have it!

Hopefully, there’s something here to inspire you to get back on track and get your vehicle in tip-top shape! However, there are some things we just can’t do at home, those dents, scuffs and scratches on your car’s bodywork and alloys won’t disappear with any home care technique!

That’s why all our specialists at EASR are the best in the business when it comes to alloy wheel restoration, paintless dent removal, car and van customisation and paint care and so much more – if this winter’s been too hard on your vehicle, book a consultation to see what we can do for you – fill out the form on our website, calling us 0330 111 0203, or feel free to email us at [email protected]

Safe travels!

car with dent and scratches in door

EASR’s Hidden Hazard Helper

Driving means many different things, to many different people! Some motorists can’t get enough of the thrill of jumping behind the wheel, while others find comfort and relaxation in the repetitive nature of long journeys – some unfortunate few even find the whole driving experience just a bit too much, and keep their enthusiasm relegated to the contents of books and walks around the workshop! 

 

Here at EASR we believe that everyone has the right to enjoy the amazing world of automobiles in their own way, just as much as we do – we see it from both sides, and often we see the results of the hidden hazards many motorists fail to even consider! 

 

Our solution? Compile a list of the more elusive hazards that you can look out for – some are more serious than others, like all things. However, we feel that whether it will save you a few quid, or even save something a little more serious, we’re happy to help keep people passionate about our vehicles, so here’s our EASR handy-hidden-hazard-helper (we’re working on a better name!)

Red and White warning lights

We want to start our guide with something a little less serious and scary, and possibly could save you the scuffs and scratches that bring us down when we notice them on our vehicles

We tend to notice the glaring obstacles that might cause damage to our cars, for example, other vehicles, obstructions in the road (fallen trees, bits of damaged vehicles), but what if we told you there are more than a few elusive car-scuffer and scratchers that we fail to notice every time, and while some are unavoidable, with the right techniques and mindset we’re confident you can significantly mitigate the effects of some of the invisible nasties!

Let’s Start!

Most of the time, we envision the road as being of the most solid parts of driving – at the end of the day, it is what we are literally driving on motorways especially lure us into a false sense of security, especially when they have recently been worked on or touched up!

If we take a closer look, however, there are a handful of variables that, while sometimes inescapable, can be worked around to save the stress from chips, scuffs and scratches! Let’s have a closer look:

Grit

Salt grit box

We should have maybe mentioned this one at a more relevant time of year, however, better late than never, right? The bane of windshields worldwide, we’re sure you’ve seen them roaming the streets early in the morning, or late at night – the dreaded gritter! When the weather gets to a point where moisture on the tarmac could freeze, councils and highways may decide to grit the roads. Foremost, try to avoid driving behind them as much as you can – perhaps note their schedule and plan journeys before they have gritted, or at least an hour after – if this is impossible, and you find yourself behind one of the big yellow beasts, try and keep a wide berth, potentially the length of two or three cars to avoid ricocheting rocks.

 

Country roads & tracks

rolling hills with winding road

Roads that are less well maintained obviously harbor many more hidden hazards, and not simply on the road surface itself – here are a couple of things to note:

Hazards are not limited to the road

fallen tree in road

Overhanging trees or a dense canopy can cause serious damage to your vehicle – you wouldn’t walk anywhere by staring at the floor, so why would you drive like that. After a strong storm, listen out for cracking branches by lowering your window a tad.

Watch your speed

Car speeding concept

Unlike motorways, bits of natural debris (pebbles, rocks and even some small bits of wood) can blend into the floor much more easily on country roads. It is also important to understand that the faster your speed, the faster a piece of debris will fly from under your wheel (or the wheel of the car in front of you!) – keep your speed down and save your chassis, and set a precedent to stay safer on winding country roads.

Road Debris

Hidden hazards may not always be natural, and more often than we’d think, our very vehicles (or the vehicles of others) may actually be the reason we have to break into the wallet to fix up dings and dents. Some vehicles have suffered to the point where they begin to shed pieces of themselves and litter the road – unfortunately, after years of use, the bottoms of cars match the colour of the road, making them hard to spot, and sometimes bits of broken auto-mobiles will lay dormant on motorways, ready to cause damage. We would strongly suggest keeping an eye out for cars or motor-cycles that look a little on the ‘shabby’ side – telltale signs are cars that are excessively scratched on the bottom, protruding parts from the base of the vehicle, exhausts that are hanging too low and tires that seem to spin inconsistently. 

We hope that at least a few of these might have opened your eyes to a little more than before, and remember to take all of this with a grain of salt! A nervous driver can be a dangerous one, and at the end of the day, we want everyone to enjoy the experience.

Let us know if there are any more hidden hazards to watch out for, and remember, if your car has fallen victim to any of these secret scratchers or deceptive dingers, book a consultation with our dedicated team of car care professionals, from paint repairs to wheel restoration, we always have you covered!

 

Image of forest in autumn

EASR’s Quick Start Guide to Road Tripping

While the holiday season is over, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that we never really got our full opportunity for a getaway! With all the restrictions and mindful shieldings we’ve endured over the Christmas period, many people, maybe even yourself, feel as if they have not had the opportunity of a well-deserved break from the stress of the past couple of years! But at EASR, we quite frankly think that having that opportunity to get away from home, and to relax from our ever more complicated lives, is more important than ever! 

But you may be asking yourself about the difficulty of travelling abroad at the moment – or the expense of hired travel, and while they are fair points, what if we told you that there was a way to cheaply take on an adventurous getaway, by yourself or with your family or friends, without having to deal with travel agents, or even if you want, not even one hotel receptionist?

If you’ve been paying attention to our quality car maintenance and repair services, you’ll know that our getaway solution has to do with our cars! That’s right, it’s the road trip – and while it’s a leaf we’ve taken out of the book of our North American driving buddies, there are still plenty of beautiful and exciting road-tripping destinations around Great Britain that can really give you the breather you deserve!

Let’s just cover the basics of road-tripping for those who haven’t been lucky enough to experience it before!

What is Road Tripping?

EASR’s Quick Start Guide to Road Tripping

 

This one is pretty simple, but for those who haven’t even encountered the term, don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Road tripping quite simply is the activity of visiting location to location using your own vehicle, and treating it like a holiday or adventure! The activity really took off in the United States. As the country is so vast and it could take days to drive across the nation, some bright spark realized you could use that time in between to get some rest, relaxations or activities in!

In the UK, we do not have access to a landmass as large as our American friends, however, this may serve as a blessing to some. The main detractor from American road trips, ironically, is the driving – there’s a lot of driving, and sometimes it’s through places that don’t have an awful lot going on, leading to semi-monotonous sessions of staring out of the window and listening to the radio. The UK on the other hand is positively pea-sized compared to the States, meaning that interesting locations are not only closer together, but we also have more control as to where we want to go! Want to hop from coastal town to coastal town? No problem! Want to take a tour through WWII Britain? Easy peasy! Like any road trip, these excursions can take however long you’d like them to, but most can easily be done at a weekend, or long weekend, with plenty of stops in between!

What Should I Take While Road Tripping?

EASR’s Quick Start Guide to Road Tripping

When planning a road trip, you have to take the fact that this is not your run-of-the-mill holiday into consideration, and your personal wants and needs can be catered for, which is really exciting. If you’ve been following our blog, you may have seen our Christmas Car Safety Guide, which contains a mix of both car checks and must-brings on your trips, especially in the winter! We recommend taking a look through and picking up the essentials, like spare blankets, map and light source, a warning triangle etc. 

However, we are going on a trip, remember, so we can afford to take some more luxurious items in the car, especially if your trip is a little bit longer, and boredom is almost sure to strike!

  • Make sure you bring some entertainment along for the ride – prepare a playlist or pre-download some audiobooks! Firstly it will stave off boredom, and also by preparing before you leave, you won’t be fiddling with your phone on the journey
  • If you’re travelling with little ones, maybe figure out any car games they might like, eye spy, or any verbal game can be a great pastime and keeps them engaged with the wold going buy, rather than a screen in the back
  • Travel pillows and eye-masks (obviously not for the driver) can also be great, long drives often have a sleepy effect on passengers, and a quick rest can make the time fly by
  • A travel mug or flask is almost a necessity, especially for drivers, keeping just a little tea or coffee could make the world of difference when setting off early in the morning or late at night, but of course, remember never to drive when excessively tired

How To Plan A Road Trip 

EASR’s Quick Start Guide to Road Tripping

Now we’ve skimmed over some road-tripping tips and must-brings, let’s get started by looking at the planning of an effective and fun road trip! While it is fun to just jump into the car and see where the roads take you, sometimes things can become very difficult and less enjoyable without just a little bit of a plan! 

  • Pick a destination – this one is obvious, but can really be helpful. Sometimes the destination might be for a work meeting far from your home, and in that case, leave a day before to plan a route with interesting stops along the way, and turn it into a get-away with a friend or loved one!
  • Do your research – nowadays, it’s tremendously easy to find things to do by using search engines and travel websites – however, what these resources are not good for is going off the beaten track. Pick up some old guide books, or talk to people in the area to find those once in a lifetime spots
  • Always take the scenic route – what’s the point in taking a driving holiday, when if you look out the window, all you see is the motorway? Of course, we have to take the fastest route from time to time, but sometimes A roads and even smaller country roads, while less efficient, can reveal some of the most beautiful parts of our country, and it is always fun to get a little lost!
  • Book campsites in advance – obviously, if you decide not to camp this does not apply to you, however, camping on a road trip can significantly reduce the cost of your trip, and in turn, elongate it! If you are planning on camping, do not expect all campsites to have space, and in recent years many sites have adopted booking policies, so be wary, as sleeping in the car is really not as comfortable as it sounds!
car shaped christmas decoration

EASR’s Automotive New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! 

After the first of each January, we hear the same old adage – “new year, new me”, but here at EASR we stand by our own new year’s resolution, “new gear, new me!” If you’ve spent any time reading our blog, you know we take our favourite rides very seriously – so seriously in fact, that in the spirit of the new year, we want to offer a few new year resolutions, both for the sake of our cars, and more importantly, our valued drivers like yourself!

We’ll kick off our resolutions with a few ones for you, our dedicated customers, and more importantly, dedicated motor heads! Let’s start the new year in the right gear!

 

Driver’s New Year Resolutions

 

1. Brush up on a few driving tips

When it comes to driving, we were all learners once – and for some of us, learning was much longer ago than we’d care to admit! Driving and road etiquette has changed a lot since then, so why not do yourself a favour and stay ahead of the curve (or should we say curb) – brush up on a few driving tips, flick through a newer edition of the Highway Code, and most importantly stay safe!

 

2. Take a road trip

EASR’S AUTOMOTIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

In the UK, the idea of a ‘road trip’ is not as well established as it is across the pond in the Americas, but that’s not to say you can plan a great cross country tour around our historic island nation! In fact, now might be a better time than ever to start your own road trip, with travel restrictions abroad being as unpredictable as they are, now is the perfect time to jump in the car with friends and family and explore all the roads our country has to offer!

 

3. Keep your calm 

We understand that not all drivers can be level headed and calm, and we know how easy it can be to lose your temper on the road, be it at a reckless driver, or the painful crawl of traffic! However, getting wound up whilst driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents worldwide, and if left unchecked over a period, can lead to ‘road rage’, which can be host to a whole gamut of problems. Put the stoic behind the steering wheel this year! 

 

4. Understand your vehicle better 

EASR’S AUTOMOTIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Cars are complicated! We hand pick our dedicated automotive engineers, simply because they are the best of the best, and we are always appreciative of customers who share the same passion and understanding behind the way these miracles of the motorway work! A clear, and even basic understanding of how your vehicle works can prevent thousands (yes, thousands) of pounds in damage, and can keep your car running for much longer. Have a look online, and don’t be afraid to ask anyone who knows a little more than you – your mechanic will love it.

 

5. Scrap the SatNav

“There was a time where we didn’t need a computer to tell us where we’re going”, we’re sure if you’re a younger driver on the road, you’ve heard this one before. The fact of the matter is, it’s true, and while we’re not saying to throw your TomTom out the window, invest in a current road map, or plan your route from home, and use your memory and road signs. Not will it improve your sense of direction, it might help you learn the right shortcuts to get you out of a jam.

Of course, these resolutions are here as just a little recommendation, if you can already pass the Knowledge, or are as cool as cucumber on the roads, then look out for some helpful resolutions for yourself this year. However, if you’re like many of our valued customers, then you’re up there with some of the best on the road, but here at EASR we reckon we can always do more for our vehicles – so for the start of 2022, here are a few resolutions for our rides!

 

Vehicle New Year Resolutions 

 

1. Spruce up your interior 

EASR’S AUTOMOTIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Why should we wait till spring for our cleaning? I’m sure we’ve all been there – the fateful day when a friend or relative offers you a ride, and you can’t see the floor for all the Coke cans, used mugs, receipts and god knows what else! Our cars are like our homes, so for the sake of yourselves and your passengers, let’s give them a real clean.

 

2. Make those alloys sparkle

 

Sometimes the start of a new year is an opportunity to show off your new self, there’s nothing wrong with a little peacocking once a year – the same goes for our cars. At EASR we offer a range of specially catered services for you and your vehicle – and our alloy wheel restoration service is no exception. We can almost guarantee a restoration back to factory quality, shine from your alloys, and use specialized techniques and equipment, tailored to your needs. 

 

3. Keep that paint pristine 

Speaking of sprucing up your vehicle, why stop at just the wheels – at EASR we have more than simply just alloy restorations! Throughout the past year we’re sure your vehicle’s paint job has sustained a few dents and dings along the way – perhaps even something more serious. At EASR there is no need to worry, as our talented and passionate paint restoration team have seen it all, from light touch ups, to some deep scratches. Even if the damage has extended to more than the paint level, book a consultation with our quick and easy paintless dent removal team – and keep that baby clean!

 

ATV driving in the snow

EASRs Christmas Car Safety Tips

Here we are again, that special time of year – the start of the Christmas countdown! Can you feel it in the air? Well, we’ll tell you one thing, your car certainly can. Wintertime brings a lot with it, the festive spirit, cosy days inside, warm blankets and mulled wine, but of course that’s not everything. Here in the U.K, we tend to get something a little bit different to the Lapland-like idyllic Christmasses – something a little more grey.

While we have the luxury to stay home and snug up indoors, for our cars it’s a bit of a different story. Often cars, roads and motorways aren’t designed for our comfort, especially in winter, and as our need to travel increases around this time of year, we thought we would present to you the gift of peace of mind!

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you can probably tell we really care about our cars! That’s why we’ve compiled our wintertime car care tips to stave off any Christmas crisis, both at home and on the road! So let’s get in the spirit and start driving home for Christmas! 


Store a blanket or sleeping bag in your vehicle.

We want to put this one first because as it goes, warmth is one thing we really can’t afford to lose. We’ve all been there, on the edge of turning into an icicle, with the heater packed in – blankets are overlooked nowadays, especially in cars, as we are so accustomed to high-quality super air-con units, however, sometimes you just can’t beat the old ways. In a situation where your car may break down in winter, or even worse at night, waiting for assistance in a stationary car is surprisingly dangerous, more so if you need to exit the vehicle if on a motorway or main road! 

 The beauty of the car blanket doesn’t simply extend to just emergencies you know! Blankets can be a great way to liven up your car’s interior a little bit if the home-vibe is your thing. Having a blanket or sleeping bag also opens the opportunity to rest in your car when necessary, and take a sensible nap to re-energise. They are also a great companion if you have little one’s along for the ride, especially on a long journey.

 

Keep a light source and a map.

We could see how these first two tips could be described as ‘fuddy-duddy’, but isn’t Christmas all about tradition? Sometimes the old ways are the best, and we’re sure that just having a few of these super simple items in your glove compartment or boot, might just save your holidays!

We can almost hear it now, the chorus of “why do we need a light and a map? We already have that on our phones!” Of course, that is a hard case to argue, however in these months of festivities it’s almost too easy to forget to keep those things charged, or while travelling to a roast dinner, find yourself in a data dead zone! A good torch could mean the difference between a Merry Christmas morning, or a miserable country-road accident, it may help to find your way around hazards in the road, or perhaps even more useful to signify your presence to other drivers in a broken down car!

 

The map should be pretty self-explanatory, although reading maps has recently become a bit of a lost skill – it’s certainly helped us out a few times in the past! Be aware though, never try to read a map and drive simultaneously, pull over and consult, or have a passenger read for you and direct. A good travel map also doubles up as a great stocking stuffer!

Keep your headlights clean
Close up of a car headlight

Here’s a quick one, but one very easy to overlook! Christmas time tends to mean two things – new socks, and dirty cars! With the constant threat of the roads icing over, roads tend to receive a healthy dose of grit – which then tends to cover your car. It has been estimated that drivers can lose up to 40% visibility due to grit, mud and ice on the car, so why not take a little time to add this to your pre-journey checklist. 

Right after scraping down your windshield, why not give your headlights just a bit of attention, and while you’re at it, walk around your vehicle,  take a look at your brake lights and indicators to make sure everything is shining bright!

 

Other essentials to consider 

While we want to get onto the topic of our cars, we have to realise: what are cars without their drivers? So alongside our blanket, torch (with batteries) and map, here are a few more items to keep around, just in case:

  • A good pair of wellies or some rugged, strong gripped shoes – English winters usually mean rain, and sometimes we might have to exit our cars in less than ideal conditions – don’t walk the hard shoulder, mid-shower, in heels!
  • An umbrella – We think you’re starting to get the idea – keep the rain off yourself!
  • Ice scraper – They occupy the junk drawer in almost every house in the country, but do you have it in your car? When away from home, or just when it gets that cold, a good windshield ice scraper will make your life so much easier. Don’t waste any more fuel or power trying to defrost your windows, get as much off with a good scrape.
  • A warning triangle – This one should be in everyone’s cars all year round, and actually if you haven’t really explored your car, you may find you already have one of these hidden by the manufacturer somewhere! A reflective warning triangle has been known to be a lifesaver, especially this time of year when we drive in the dark so much more!

Well, there you have it! Hopefully, some of these tips have inspired you to make sure you’re stocked up on all your Christmas car essentials items, and if you know of someone without any of these, you might just be able to help with a stocking stuffer! Don’t forget EASR are here for all your paintless dent removal that may be required from your winter driving.  We offer a range of car and van paint repair services as well as other SMART repair services for your vehicle so scuffs and marks are no issue.  Drive safely, and most importantly, let’s remember to keep the festivities in our homes, never bring the party into your car, and know your limit! 

Merry Christmas and safe driving!

 

stylised concept of blue cadillac

The Vibrant History of Auto-Paint Part 2

Here at EASR, we take everything auto-related seriously – so seriously in fact that we think that the history of our favourite vehicles, and how they came to be, should be celebrated just as much as machines themselves, especially their often-overlooked stories.

If you’ve been following our blog, you may have noticed the first half of our car painting odyssey, starting just before 1924, and rolling into the 1950’s – the basics, if you will! In the spirit of showing how dedicated we are to both our happy customers and their vehicles, the time has come to reveal the second chapter of the vibrant history of auto paint!

Perhaps we need a little catch-up – we’ve followed DuPont’s rise to nitrocellulose power following a fortunate accident in 1921 and traced how the effects of the Second World War affected the use of gun cotton in paints, specifically following sanctions clamped on the defeated axis powers after the victory in Europe. We left off on the developments made in High Solid paint systems developed in Germany and Italy and set the stage for a very different kind of invasion in the US.

 

Any Colour You Like (1950s-1960s)

In the United States, the symbol of the automobile had transformed in the eyes of both manufacturers and consumers. The purpose of vehicles as simply a means of transportation had transformed into the idea of the car as an extension of the self – a means of expression, of style and of social standing. The use of nitrocellulose lacquers, with its inefficient application and drying process, paired with its limited colour pallet meant that it was ill-equipped to suit the needs of the more stylistically motivated auto-industry! Recalling the end of our previous article, the sanctions set in Europe had set in motion the discovery and development of acrylic lacquers, which surely could not have come at a better time. 

Stylised photograph of the front of a vintage car

 

Fundamentally, the improvements that came with using thermoplastic acrylic lacquers were twofold: firstly, the ability to apply a base coat, before a clear acrylic topcoat, opened the possibility for a far broader spectrum of colours! Secondly, the clear top-coat itself had made massive leaps in the protection of the base layer, acting as a powerful shield against UV light that tended to bleach and wash out previous coating methods.

 

Kustom Kulture (1960s-1970s)

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the development of acrylic painting techniques and how their introduction has shaped the art (yes, art) of auto-painting even up to this very day. By the early 1960s, the creative potential of car manufacturers had expanded, and due to acrylic paints becoming more readily accessible, the car paintwork industry had been extended into the hands of the general public, and custom paint jobs became a viable means of business and a national pass time. In turn, the self-expression that a custom finish of an auto-mobile allowed was granted to more people than ever before.

 

Ed Big Daddy Roth Cars

Ed Big Daddy Roth Cars

It is abundantly clear that when a creative tool is made convenient for more people, it is only a matter of time before cultural influences make their mark. It can be seen following the mass production of cameras, and the ensuing art of photography – the same can be said for auto-painting. “Greaser” culture of the 1950s had standardised the modification of motorcycles and cars as a cultural pastime – the rise of drag race culture in the early 60’s further solidified this passion within the hearts and minds of Americans. 

The shifting cultural tides of this period, and the new accessibility of auto-paint, left the doors wide open for artists like Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, Dean Jeffries and Kenny Howard (to name but a few) to kick start the wild period of ‘Kustom Kulture’! 

 

 The Kontinuation (1970s-1980s)

 

Never before were the likes of cartoonists, tattoo artists and designers granted access to entirely new canvas for their work so quickly. The seemingly immediate ability to harness these new painting technologies resulted in an explosion of new styles of auto-art, and as Kustom Kulture expanded, newly formed subcultures began to form. The drag racing scene of the 1960s began a new wave of iconographic designs – cars were now beginning to appear as individuals: their names being embellished on their doors and bonnets, some even sporting mascots, like Ed Roth’s ‘Rat Fink’, harking back to the nose art of WWII aircraft.  

By the time the 1970s rolled around, custom car culture (or should we say kulture?) was no longer reserved for the racetrack, and the “low and slow” appeal of lowrider culture was springing out of California and hitting the streets of the US. Auto-paint was getting ever closer to being in the hands of more consumers, and improvements made to base coat acrylic, and enamel technologies, along with further durable topcoats, allowed for the iconic metallic-coated, suspension bopping style of ‘lowrider’ cars to take form. 

As time drove on, and more subsets and subcultures branched out from under Kustom Kulture’s umbrella, the late ’70s and early 80’s suddenly witnessed a newly affordable renaissance for auto-paint – the price to customise your vehicle was now no longer a luxury worth several months of pay, and the average driver could express themselves with their own designs.

 

Wrapping Up (1990’s – Present)

 

It may be clear at this point, that the richness of auto-painting culture, especially after the 1950’s, is far too broad to cram into one post alone – and surely trying to do so would be an injustice in itself. We would rather save the time to explain the in’s and out’s of our favourite vehicles, for another opportunity to share them in our blog!

The progression of auto-paint has rolled onwards, with an unyielding passion that doesn’t appear to want to stop. The technologies have moved so far in fact, that the paint element of auto-paint has seemingly been removed from the equation. With the development of ‘car wrappings’ that grace the chassis of the most coveted supercars, sporting wild and intricate designs, brilliant colours and sometimes other-worldly metallic and pearlescent shimmers! But perhaps that is an opportunity for another auto-history lesson? 

 

EASR is not only motivated but passionate, about how your vehicle represents you – and we thrive off the sharing of that passion with our customers. Our cosmetic, and mechanical solutions are tailored to you! We are proud to offer the newest advancements in repairing any paint damage that may come to your vehicle, along with Alloy Wheel Restorations, Diamond Cutting Services and Paintless Dent Removal! To get a quote from our automobile experts, you can fill out the form on our website, call us 0330 111 0203, or feel free to email us at [email protected]