Secrets Under the Hood – Understanding OBD2 Diagnostics

On-Board Diagnostics – a day-to-day activity for professionals but a novelty to beginners. With the development of automotive software, daily drivers are becoming more interested in performing DIY diagnostics as the market has become saturated with different OBD2 scanners. But what do we actually know about OBD2 diagnostics, and why have OBD2 scanners become so widespread in recent years? Let’s quickly dive into the basics and cover the main key points.

What Is the OBD2 System and How Does It Work? 

OBD2 diagnostics (On-Board Diagnostics Second Generation) is the latest diagnostic standard introduced in the late 90s. OBD2 systems use digital communication to access control units via the vehicle diagnostic port, better known as the OBD2 port, which can usually be found under the dashboard, right under the steering wheel.

Once a diagnostic tool is connected to a vehicle, it then uses the OBD2 system to scan different car components. The transmitted data then shows different standardized DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes), which make It easier to identify specific problems by relaying specific trouble code information.

Why Is It Important for Modern Cars?

OBD2 diagnostics do more than vehicle maintenance and repair. By becoming something that daily drivers can perform on their own, it fosters a transparent and efficient relationship between vehicle owners, technicians, and regulatory bodies – especially when new car models have improved software. OBD2 ensures that vehicles operate within the defined performance and emission standards. This promotes road safety, environmental protection, and consumer confidence.

Diagnostic tools have also vastly improved in terms of their compatibility and features. Various scanning tools are available that plug into the OBD connector to access OBD functions. Some are very advanced, heavy, and expensive, while others are more beginner-friendly. They can be sorted into PC-based scan tools, analysis platforms, and even hand-held or mobile device-based tools. These are the most easy to use, but be careful before buying. Make sure to research what features these devices can offer for your car. Some are basic OBD2 readers, others offer extensive features, like car coding and easy car feature customizations from smartphones via dedicated mobile apps. If that sounds like something you’d prefer, take a look at OBDeleven, maybe it’s what you’re looking for.

Benefits of OBD2 Diagnostics 

  • Enhanced troubleshooting – ability to real-time data on vehicle performance, making it easier to identify problems, leading to faster, more accurate troubleshooting.
  • Cost and time efficiency – no more trial-and-error repairs. OBD2 diagnostics minimize the time and cost of fixing automotive issues by pinpointing exact issues.
  • Emission control – by detecting emission-related problems and triggering warning indicators, OBD2 helps ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Preventive maintenance – regular diagnosing allows to identify potential issues earlier which in turns prevent those issues from becoming major problems.

Wrapping up 

OBD2 diagnostics have changed the way we diagnose and understand vehicle issues. That’s why OBD2 scanners have become an essential tool in most drivers’ glove compartments. And as technology continues to advance, we can expect even more advanced and user-friendly OBD2 scanners to become available to professionals and everyday drivers.

Battery neglect and poor maintenance stalls 70,000 motorists per year and costs up £28 million

October 5th 2023 is ‘Charge Your Car Day’ and CTEK, the world’s leader in battery charging solutions, has released research that finds that half of the vehicle batteries currently on the road aren’t performing nearly as well as they should. Battery related breakdowns are on the rise caused by people driving less due to the rising cost of living costing motorists upwards of £400 per year.

According to research by the RAC, up to 40% of all breakdowns in the UK are caused by battery failure, with a significant proportion of these batteries being drained or flat. Even when it comes to electric vehicles, one of the main reasons for breakdown is a discharged 12V battery, according to breakdown rescue provider Start Rescue. CTEK is calling on motorists to consider the health of their battery this Charge Your Car Day to help prevent costly and inconvenient breakdowns.

The cost of charging

High energy prices mean many people are concerned about the cost of living but recharging your battery requires minimal amounts of power and is more cost effective than a battery replacement that can cost up to £130. The energy required to recharge your car battery is the same as watching TV for five hours, less than it would cost you to cook in an electric oven for an hour, play on game console for three hours or do two loads of laundry.

Richard Wilkerson, a CTEK customer and car enthusiast, said: “In early 2019, I purchased 2 MXS 5.0s for their de-sulphation capabilities, to use on my aging AGM Optima Redtop and Yellow Top batteries. Our cars are low mileage and are often stored in a garage. The garage isn’t climate controlled, so it can be freezing or also get hot. Modern car ECUs and aftermarket alarms do drain 12v batteries, especially with the lack of usage on low mileage cars. It’s a great feeling to be back from travelling overseas for over a month and to start the car, having the engine fire up without hesitation. The components used have withstood years of use so far.”

“The oldest AGM battery maintained by my CTEK was a 11-year-old Optima Redtop. I retired the Redtop with a battery life of 68% at 11 years. The Red Top was $200 USD. The CTEK saved me $200 since most batteries need replacement at 5 years old. I also have a Optima Yellow Top at 8 years old and CTEK maintained. My CTEK’s have paid for themselves since I’m replacing less AGM batteries as they have longer service life.”

Take care of your hybrid battery’s health

Electric and Plug-In Hybrid vehicles also require battery charging. The 12V auxiliary battery runs important accessories like the car’s lighting, radio heating and air conditioning and will not perform optimally unless routine maintenance is performed. Charged via the car’s internal DC-DC system the 12V battery is only charged to 100% when connected to an external battery charger – like the CTEK MXS5.0 – not when you plug in the vehicle for its normal charge. When it comes to the lithium-ion battery in new EVs that is supported by the vehicle charger, it is important to set a charge limit of 80-90% to stop degradation of the battery, most vehicles have this built in capability but always refer to your car manual.

Care for your battery – even when you need to get going quickly

Regular maintenance charging helps prevent sulfation and keeps the battery in optimal condition, with the aim to avoid any breakdowns. However, if you do breakdown, using CTEK’s CS FREE adaptive booster is a wise choice compared to traditional jump starters. The CS FREE’s adaptive boost technology ensures a safer and gentler start, reducing the risk of damaging the battery or causing electrical system issues. This innovative approach not only gets you back on the road swiftly but also safeguards your battery’s health, providing a more sustainable solution for vehicle maintenance and peace of mind on the go.

CTEK reliably charging the market for 25 years

CTEK has spent more than 25 years focused on charging, maintaining, and protecting car batteries around the world. All CTEK chargers are easy to use, and you don’t need any special automotive knowledge to use them as each intelligently assesses the health of your battery and then applies the correct voltage to recharge your battery and recondition it to ensure it is operating at peak performance.

Tony Zeal, Training Manager at CTEK, said: “CTEK battery chargers are famous the world over for their performance and reliability – we even make branded chargers for over 40 of the world’s biggest and most prestigious car manufacturers. Charge Your Car Day was launched to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work of the humble car battery and to raise awareness of how regular battery maintenance saves you money. Charging your car battery reduces breakdown, extends the life of your battery by up to three time, limits the amount of costly repairs and damage to complex electrical systems. In challenging economic times, a car battery charger saves you money especially given the rising trend to using our cars less. This year we’re keen to reinforce the mantra – get moving, stay moving and keep charging!”

What type of charger are you?

  • Auto Enthusiast – You obsess about the internal workings of your motor. You choose your oil type; your tires are premium and never drop below the required tread depth. Your charger is permanently set up in your garage and you charge daily. You appreciate that the battery is the heart of your car.
  • Conscientious Commuter – You know what you need to check. When refueling or charging, you’ll check your tire pressures and wiper fluid. In your boot you have a jump starter and you know that it damages your battery and could be dangerous but equally you like to be prepared.
  • A to B – You appreciate your car for getting you to where you want to go. Google maps or equivalent is always on and even though you know it’s important, you haven’t yet popped the hood. Battery charging doesn’t cross your mind and if you get a flat battery, you have your breakdown provider on speed dial.
  • Magical Motorists – Your car is magic. You’re unaware there’s a battery in there but the possibility of your car breaking down does briefly cross your mind. You drive only when no other option exists and when you do so your main touchpoints are the steering wheel and the volume button for the radio. Thank goodness for Apple CarPlay.

For further information on ‘Charge Your Car Day’ and advice for motorists, please visit: Charge Your Car Day |

Best Used Cars Under £5,000

Embarking on an outdoor adventure is a dream many hold dear, and the heart of that dream often revolves around the perfect vehicle. The thrill of a spontaneous road trip, the serenity of a secluded campsite, or the simple joy of a weekend getaway – all are amplified when you have the right car accompanying you. In the UK’s bustling automotive market, used cars have emerged as the go-to choice for many, offering both reliability and affordability. Platforms like Car Plus have revolutionized the journey, ensuring that regardless of one’s credit history, the dream of owning the ideal camping car is within reach.

Why Used Cars are a Smart Choice for Camping Enthusiasts

The allure of the great outdoors beckons many, but to truly embrace the camping experience, one needs more than just enthusiasm; a dependable vehicle is paramount. This is where used cars come into play, presenting a myriad of advantages for the avid camper:

  • Affordability: The financial appeal of used cars is undeniable. With a budget of just £5000, a diverse array of reliable vehicles suitable for camping adventures becomes accessible.
  • Depreciation: The moment a new car is driven off the showroom floor, its value starts to plummet. Used cars, having already faced the brunt of depreciation, offer a more stable investment, ensuring you get more bang for your buck.
  • Reliability: The longevity of modern vehicles is impressive. Many used cars, especially those from trusted brands, can serve faithfully for years, provided they receive regular maintenance.
  • Camping Compatibility: The functionalities of a new car, be it spacious storage, towing capabilities, or off-road readiness, can often be found in used counterparts without the premium price tag.

Navigating the world of car finance can be daunting, especially for those with credit challenges. However, with Car Plus finance services, even those with imperfect credit histories can find feasible financing solutions, ensuring that the dream of outdoor escapades in a reliable vehicle is attainable for all.

Top Used Cars Under £5000 for Camping in 2023

Embarking on a camping trip requires a vehicle that’s not just reliable but also versatile enough to handle the demands of outdoor adventures. For those on a budget, finding the perfect used car under £5000 that ticks all the boxes can be a game-changer. Here’s a list of top contenders that have proven their mettle in the camping realm:

  • Ford Focus Estate: This car is synonymous with reliability. Its spacious boot ensures you have ample room for all your camping essentials, from tents to coolers.
  • Honda CR-V: A stalwart in the SUV category, the CR-V is renowned for its sturdy build. Its off-road capabilities ensure that no camping spot is out of reach.
  • Skoda Yeti: Don’t be fooled by its compact size. The Yeti boasts a roomy interior, ensuring passengers and camping gear coexist comfortably.
  • Toyota RAV4: A name that resonates with reliability. Its adeptness in off-road conditions makes it a favourite among camping enthusiasts.
  • Nissan Qashqai: This crossover SUV strikes a perfect balance between comfort, storage space, and performance, ensuring your journey to the campsite is as enjoyable as the stay.
  • Kia Sportage: Its reputation for durability is well-earned. The Sportage’s spacious interiors make it an ideal companion for those extended camping trips to far-flung locales.
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara: For those who crave off-road adventures, this compact SUV doesn’t disappoint. Its off-road prowess ensures you can set up camp in the most secluded spots.
  • Mazda CX-5: A blend of comfort and space, the CX-5 ensures that the journey to your favourite camping spot is as memorable as the time spent there.
  • Hyundai Tucson: A testament to performance, space, and reliability, the Tucson stands out as a top choice for campers on a budget.
  • Vauxhall Astra Estate: Its generous boot space combined with a smooth driving experience has cemented its place as a camper’s favourite.

In the ever-evolving world of cars, these models have consistently proven their worth for camping aficionados. Whether you’re heading to a well-trodden campsite or charting your own path in the wilderness, these vehicles, especially when acquired through budget-friendly options like used car finance, ensure you’re well-equipped for the journey ahead.

The Role of Car Plus in Your Car Financing Journey

Setting out on a camping escapade demands the ideal vehicle, and Car Plus is dedicated to making that vision a tangible reality. As a premier UK platform, Car Plus simplifies the car financing maze, offering a seamless and personalised experience. Regardless of whether you boast a pristine credit record or grapple with the intricacies of bad credit ccj car finance, Car Plus extends a spectrum of services. From furnishing competitive finance quotes to forging connections with a cadre of reputable lenders, Car Plus’s mission is to ensure everyone can finance their dream camping vehicle.

Challenges to Consider When Buying Used Cars

While the allure of used cars is undeniable, it’s imperative for prospective buyers to tread with caution. Vigilance is key: from unearthing concealed mechanical flaws and ensuring thorough documentation to confirming the vehicle’s past, due diligence can avert unforeseen hassles.

Conclusion: Driving Forward with Confidence

Possessing a dependable used car is more than just a means to an end; it’s a passport to boundless adventures and cherished memories. Platforms like Car Plus have revolutionised the car financing landscape, empowering individuals to embark on their automotive journey with confidence. So, gear up, hit the road, and let every journey be a story waiting to unfold, all while making astute decisions tailored to your distinct credit backdrop.

The Best Auto Shipping Companies When You Need To Move A Car

Want to ship your car? Well, you’re in luck. In today’s world, finding a car moving company in almost any corner of the globe is easy.

But which ones are the best? And how do you find the right company to help you transport your vehicle? And how can you avoid bait and switch scams that are common practice in the auto shipping industry?

Below we’ll break down the top 3 shipping companies, where they excel, and what to avoid.

Let’s get started.

Best Auto Shipping Companies to Help Move Your Vehicle

1. A1 Auto Transport

A1 Auto has been in business for over 20 years and is loaded with car shipping experts. Considering that the automobile shipping industry sees a lot of churn, staying in business for that long is an impressive feat. They accommodate many types of vehicles from ATVs, boats, planes, and anywhere between.

What’s great about A1 Auto is that they can also help you move your home’s belongings if you are moving domestically or internationally. They also offer insurance as well as open and enclosed trailers depending on how much protection you want when moving your vehicle.

What’s great about A1 is they’re also well-reviewed on multiple platforms and have a ton of online presence. They are also licensed, which you can check on the DOT’s website as well as the FCMSA.

If you’re looking to ship any type of vehicle, A1 Auto can help. As they’re one of the top-rated car shipping companies, it’ll be hard to beat the pricing and service that they provide.

2. Amerifreight

Amerifreight is another top car shipping company to consider. They guarantee their quotes (which is a big deal in the brokering industry) and don’t ask for any money upfront. They also are BBB accredited and are well reviewed throughout the internet.

If you’re a military veteran, first responder, medical personnel, student, or senior citizen, they offer discounts to help you ship your vehicle to where it needs to go. They can help you ship not only your vehicle but luxury car, golf cart, and boat and even help you relocate.

Amerifreight is also capable of helping manufacturers ship their vehicles to where they need to go. While Amerfreight is a broker, it means they rely on other shipping companies to provide the service while they connect you to the drivers. This can save you a ton of time, although you do have to do your due diligence when the time comes to research the company you’ll be working with.

AmerFreight 100% covers your vehicle with insurance (although, some limits may apply), which is great as it gives you protection no matter what company your vehicle is handed off to. Once you’re ready, you can ask their customer support on their site for help or call their 1-800 number.

3. Sherpa Auto Transport

Sherpa Auto Transport is an expert in auto shipping. They offer a price lock promise, which will prevent any jacked-up prices on the arrival of your vehicle. Many brokers use bait-and-switch pricing, which leaves you in a bit of a pickle once it comes time to receive your vehicle.

If your car gets dirty along the way, they even offer a free car wash after delivery. With thousands of reviews over ConsumerAffairs, Google, and the BBB, it’s going to be hard to find many faults with Sherpa Auto Transport.

Sherpa Auto uses data-driven pricing to help keep it fair for their consumers. They also have an extensive vetting process to help identify which carriers are worth working with, and which ones to avoid. Once you’re ready, simply send them an email or call their number to receive a free quote.


In the vast world of auto shipping, discerning the best from the rest is pivotal. With numerous options available, three companies distinctly rise to the top: A1 Auto Transport, Amerifreight, and Sherpa Auto Transport. A1 Auto Transport’s longevity in the industry and comprehensive service range, from transporting ATVs to moving household belongings, highlights their reliability and expertise.

Their reputable online presence and licensure add further credibility. Amerifreight stands out with its unique guarantee system, vast discounts, and an unmatched assurance of vehicle protection through insurance. Their status as a broker provides customers with convenience, though necessitating careful consideration when selecting the actual shipping service. Sherpa Auto Transport brings innovation to the fore with its data-driven pricing and robust vetting system, ensuring that clients receive only the best service at a fair price.

Moreover, their commitment to customer satisfaction, as evidenced by a complimentary car wash, showcases their dedication to excellence. To sum it up, if you’re looking to move your car, these three companies have proven their mettle in ensuring safety, affordability, and quality service.

Why Drivers need to check the Brake System on Their Car Regularly

Home / Auto Blog / Why Drivers need to check the Brake System on Their Car Regularly

Guest Blogger

4 days ago
Auto Blog

The most important safety feature on a car is its brake system. If it ever fails, the consequences could be deadly. That is why car and truck drivers have to make sure that they are always functioning well, either by having them checked in a garage or by doing so themselves if they have the know-how. Here are a few reasons that can justify a regular verification.

For Commercial Vehicles

A car or a truck that is constantly on the road will use its brake system more than a vehicle for personal use. It means that the chances of an air disc brake failing, are greater than on a regular car, placing the driver at risk, but also people walking down the streets or other drivers on the road. In most companies, regular visits to the garage are scheduled for the fleet. But for a single person working with his commercial vehicle, it is key to be vigilant and to also keep track of the state of the brake system by indicating their next appointment on their mobile phone alarm reminder, so that they don’t forget.

The Various Reasons to have the Brake System Verified Regularly

Checking the brake system regularly is important to ensure the safety of the vehicle and everyone on the road, since a malfunctioning brake system can put drivers, passengers and other drivers at risk. Here are some of the reasons why checking the brake system regularly is essential.

For Safety Purposes

The brake system is the part of the car that makes it stop, whenever it is needed. If it functions well, it reduces the risk of collisions and keeps the driver and his passengers safe while traveling on the road. Regular brake checks can help prevent accidents caused by brake failures. The reverse can have dramatic effects, which can also cause important legal issues to the owner of the car, if it can be proven that he was negligent in regards to the maintenance of the vehicle.

Since regular maintenance keeps the brake system up-to-date and functioning optimally, there is no use in playing with fate. All that is required is to visit a garage to check the brake system once or twice a year (according to the age of the vehicle and the last repairs on the break system), in order to identify problems that may have started with that part of the car, before they become bigger and thus dangerous.

To save Money

When you are meticulous about the state of your car parts, it enables you to save money on repairs that could become costly if they are not done in time. Minor problems that are identified and fixed early, will prevent wear and tear on other parts of the brake system. It can be the difference between replacing a single part of the system or all of it, which won’t come at the same price.

Having a brake system that works well will also provide the car with a better fuel efficiency. That is because a poorly performing brake system will cause the engine to use more gas, in order to compensate for the extra effort required to operate the system.

Check Also


How to take care of an electric car battery

Electric vehicles (EVs) are steering the auto industry towards a greener future, gaining traction with …