September 2017

Mechanics CornerTips

Upgrading Headlight Bulbs – Which is the best for you?

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Let’s face it, nobody likes eye strain while driving in the dark. The scenario of driving in a storm with rain lashing down and very little headlight visibility isn’t a situation that’s ever one to be desired. Upgrading your headlight bulbs can make all the difference between spotting hazards earlier while also keeping you more alert thanks to less eye strain.

We’ve put together a guide to help you through this somewhat mind boggling process.

Mechanics CornerTips

How To Check Your Car Battery With a Multimeter

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Knowing how to perform a simple test of a car battery with a multimeter can save a lot of time and hassle over the winter. Car batteries lose about 20% of their capacity at 0°C compared to 25°C, so it’s vital to give them a periodic check to stop you getting stranded.

How to Test Your Vehicles 12v Battery

  • First the battery needs to be in a resting state, so leave the car overnight. This allows the alternators given charge to the battery from driving around to drop to it’s ‘resting’ voltage, which is the measurement you want to take. The resting charge is what starts the engine on freezing mornings don’t forget!
  • On some vehicles you’ll need to know your cd/radio players unlock code, as when the battery is disconnected and reconnected, it will reset.
  • Open the bonnet
  • Remove the positive red terminal safety cover from the battery
  • Set your multimeter to 20 DC volts. The DC Volts symbol looks like a V with 3 dots above it with a horizontal line on top. See below:dc voltage symbol
  • Don’t use the symbol with a V and a squiggly line next to it, as that’s AC volts.
  • Before you begin testing, make sure the ignition and all of your vehicle’s lights are off.
  • Connect the red or positive multimeter test lead to your battery’s positive terminal.
  • Then, connect the black or negative multimeter test lead to your battery’s negative terminal.
  • Jot down the reading given by the multimeter

Any reading below 12.2v is very bad, bear in mind that this reading means the battery is only charged by about 50% which can be surprising for many people. A reading of 12.4v may just need an overnight recharge if it’s an old battery. However note that a 100% charged battery should read a healthy 12.6v+. If your battery won’t charge overnight to anywhere near these figures, then it’s completely bust.

Use the guide below to distinguish your batteries charge state:

  • 12.66 volts = 100% charged
  • 12.45 volts = 75% charged
  • 12.24 volts = 50% charged
  • 12.06 volts = 25% charged
  • 11.89 volts = 0% charged

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is the battery specification you want to look for when buying a new battery, as the higher the number means it’s better equipped to deal with colder weather.

Mechanics CornerTips

How to Change Your Spark Plugs & Why You Shouldn’t Use Copper Grease

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Should You Use Copper Grease/Slip/Anti-Seize on Spark Plug Threads?

With it being one of the most asked questions on the Internet when it comes to spark plug changes, we wanted to make things far clearer. With even walk-in stores trying to use this as a tactic to sell their copper grease products, we dig to reveal the truth. So what what is actually correct and what’s wrong?

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OSRAM’S NEW GOLF Mk6 Road Legal Black Edition Halogen to HID Headlights

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The 100% Road Legal Golf Mk6 Halogen to Xenon Conversion

OSRAM has unveiled a solution for VW Golf Mk6 enthusiasts who’ve yearned for a road legal halogen to xenon headlight upgrade, without the need to retrofit headlight washers or automatic levelling systems. The brand new OSRAM LEDriving Xenon GOLF VI Mk6 HID Black Edition headlights are just what they’ve been looking for; a completely legal conversion which requires absolutely no modifications necessary. Yes, no modifications at all, not even headlight washers or automatic beam levellers are needed.

Confused? So were we! That is until we asked Osram’s Speciality Products Business Unit Manager John Lancaster, how it was made possible:

“Headlight wash wipe systems and or self- levelling (HID) is required under ECE regulations if the light source (dipped beam) emits over 2000 lumens. So normal headlamps with D1 and D2 HID systems would require these to be road legal. The new Osram Golf Mk6 Black headlamp is under this level (main lighting D8 HID is just under 2000 lumens) so this does not require a wash wipe or self- levelling system to comply. A D8 HID system is 25W compared to the more commonplace 35W output of D1 and D2 systems. So the Black headlamp complies with ECE and is fully road legal, even though it has a HID bulb incorporated”

So there you go, a very clever design indeed.

With such a big advantage over any halogen bulb upgrade or projector retrofit, these will certainly make any Mk6 enthusiasts knee’s go weak. Also, as these headlamps are far cheaper (£749.99) than a full OEM Xenon conversion where headlight levelling and wash wipe systems are necessary, they ooze temptation.

You can order from our online shop here. We work very closely with OSRAM and are an official Approved Partner (see here), so you can be assured that you’re in good hands.

Order Here