Anything you need to know about safe driving!
Tips for safe driving and proper maintenance of your vehicle.

What signs should you look out for once your car has covered 100,000 km?

If your car is or is about to enter its middle age (80,000-100,000 km), there are certain signs you should look out for!

Your car won’t start? Dead or dying battery.
Car batteries don’t last forever! On average, depending on their type (agm, gel or liquid), car batteries last between 4 to 6 years. If you can’t start your car, there’s a good chance it’s time. You’ll find out by visiting a garage for a check-up.

Temperature is stuck at 130 degrees.
You should always check the temperature indicator on your car’s dashboard. If the temperature is too high or too low, there may be an issue with the engine cooling system. This could mean that there’s something wrong with the water pump or the thermostat. In any case, you’ll need an expert assessment, as soon as possible!

Fuel light won't switch off.
Don’t freak out, but don’t ignore it. Book an appointment at a garage to check if there’s something wrong with the fuel pump supply system. The thing with the fuel pump system is that it could at some point overheat, without giving any signs! This is why experts recommend that you preemptively check this part of your vehicle.

Failing timing belt.
Unfortunately, most of the time, a timing belt will fail without a warning. To prevent this from happening and causing any damage to your car’s engine, you should always follow the manufacturer's services. Alternatively, it is recommended that you replace the timing belt every 4 to 5 years or at every 60,000- 80-.000 km.

Engine leak?
The engine has different sized head flanges to ensure that there will be no leaks of fluid. Over the years, some of them harden, resulting in leaks. Usually a visual inspection or a "compression measurement" to spot any leaks, by a professional engineer, is enough to specify if there is any damage to the engine.

Trouble changing gears?
It’s probably not your driving skills, but your transmission’s state. In fact, any change or abnormality in your car's transmission behavior should be immediately checked by a mechanic.

What to check in your car before you go on vacation

Car’s Engine Oils
The frequency with which you should top up your car engine oil depends on the model, so you should check the car manual. If you want to check the engine oils yourself, you will need to use the car’s dipstick that indicates the level of filling.

Brake fluid
It is used to squeeze the brake hoses and make the brake pads tighten, in order to slow down. If you notice that the pedal feels like a sponge, it means you have to refresh the fluid because it has probably got air in the brake hoses.

Windshield fluid
In general, during long journeys, the weather can be very unpredictable. You should always have enough windshield wiper fluid. You know, just in case.

Power steering fluid
For cars with power steering, this fluid is needed to make driving and handling the wheel easier for you. Check its level and you will be fine.

Emergency items
The emergency box is mandatory. And apart from the first aid kit, this also includes tools you may need in case of damage: screwdrivers, keys, flashlight, fire extinguisher, jack, power cords, warning triangle, etc.

Battery charge
You need a multimeter or battery meter to do the right test. A regular tool does not cost more than €10. At 12.6V volts or above, your battery is healthy and fully charged.

Tire pressure
It is necessary to control the air pressure of the tires, to check if they need to be inflated. This check must be done when your tires are cold. Keep in mind, that your vehicle will be loaded with a heavier load than usual. That is why the tires should be 10-15% more inflated than usual, to be able to respond properly. The vehicle operation manual explains in detail the pressure levels that fit your tires.

Air conditioning
It is necessary to check if the car air conditioners are working properly. Research has shown that high temperatures while driving adversely affect driver performance.

When is it ok to stop using a car seat/ booster seat?

Children must use a child car seat until they're 135 centimetres tall, according to experts and Cyprus law. You should always ensure that the belt is not loose-fitting.

  • Where is the safest spot in your car for your car seat?
    The safest place for your car seat is the rear middle seat, due to its distance from each side of the car and from the passenger-side air bags. However, if your car is not equipped with seat belts for the rear middle seat, the best spot would be the seat behind the passenger, as studies have shown that collisions on the right side of the car are slightly smaller in number.

  • Should your car seat face forward or backwards?
    According to EU regulations, children must be seated in a rear-facing seat, at least until the age of 2. They can start traveling in a front-facing seat when their head is higher than the top of the seat or when their weight exceeds the seat’s weight limit.

What do you do when driving your car in a thunderstorm?

Unlike other natural phenomena, such as fire or flood, your car can protect you from lightning!
This can happen because your car will work like a "Faraday cage". What is this? Your car is made of metal. This material allows current to flow through it, without affecting what is inside.

This means that it functions as a grid, inside which electric fields and electromagnetic waves are absent.

  • In the case that bad weather “hits” you in the road, if your car is made of metal – including its roof! - you stay inside. You close the windows so that lightning can not pass inside.
  • Avoid parking under a tree or a transformer. The best you can do is to find shelter inside or under a sturdy building.
  • You turn the hazard lights on and the engine off .
  • Do not touch any metal or electrical parts, nor use the phone, even if it is not connected to the car.
  • Do not touch the radio, foot pedals, door handles or steering wheel.
  • Do not get out of the car, for example to clean the windscreen if it is pouring hail, because you may be struck by lightning.

Only after the storm is over can you get out. And before you do, let enough time pass, because lightning can strike the same place twice!

What are the most common driving mistakes?

We all make mistakes while driving and we all adopt bad habits, which can cause discomfort, nervousness or stress to us and those around us - and even put someone in danger.

1. Acceleration at the orange traffic light
The orange light is supposed to be a warning that the red light is about to appear, so you need to start slowing down, not gasping as you normally do! This move has proven to be the most important cause of collisions causing major accidents.

2. You forget to turn off the blinker.
Drivers surrounding you need to know where you are headed and where you are not headed! Leaving the turn signal on, even after you’ve made the turn, won’t help them! Don’t forget to turn it off.

3. Are you sure you are driving in the right position?
You may feel more comfortable with extra legroom, but this can also cause a lack of control and delayed reaction time when a sudden problem occurs on the road or even in the car. The general rule is this: You have to be able to reach the pedals easily, but at the same time have visual access to all the mirrors of your vehicle.

4. Mobile phone use
Cell phone use while driving leads to about 1.6 million accidents each year. In fact, 21% of young drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their phones at the time of the accident.

5. Speeding
The more comfortable you feel, the more likely you are to increase speed. First of all, you are putting yourself and people around you in danger. Apart from that, you are also losing money! The more you press the pedal, the faster you consume your vehicle’s fuel

6. Slow driving while on the left lane
You may have good intentions, but that does not mean you can go as slow as you want, especially when you are driving in the left lane, which is the passing lane. In any case, it is not safe to go slower than the minimum speed limit. Not only do you "upset" the drivers around you, you may end up with a speed ticket!

7. Your mirrors are probably not adjusted properly
Most people are driving with the mirrors out of position or not adjusted properly. The mirrors should be placed in such a way that you can see what is happening behind you, who is coming, where they want to go, how close they are to you. And yes, there will always be a "blind spot" on the side mirrors, but the problem is exacerbated when the mirror is adjusted so badly that you (the driver) only see your own door handle and not the cars driving next to you.

8.Tire pressure: neither less nor more
Maintaining the right tire pressure can also save you money on the gas pump. Obviously deflated or loose tires will cause you problems, from damage and tear to putting you in danger while driving. Over-inflated, on the other hand, reduces the life of the tire, but mainly changes the characteristics of the tire (with the risk of changing the braking limit and the operation of the side wall from too much inflation). In general, it is good to check them regularly, even if the indicator light does not flash.

9. Day or night lights?
In addition to the "high beams" that you use at night, there are also daytime running lights, in most car models at least. Many do not take them for granted or even worse, use them at night. Wrong, as the daytime running lights are lower than the night lights and do not provide the necessary lighting. Rely on their use, because studies have shown that maintaining them (respectively evening or daylight) can help reduce the chances of collision by up to 10%.