Car insurance. Every driver has to have at least some form of it, and with 17,158,195 registered cars in Australia, that’s a lot of insurance policies. And realistically, not many of us can be bothered to do the research in order to cut costs. However, car insurance can be extremely expensive – thousands of dollars in some cases. So how can you cut these costs?

 

#1 Stop being brand loyal

So many of us stick with a certain bank, insurer or even supermarket because we feel obliged to be loyal to them. But this can be extremely expensive if you’re not getting the best value for your money there. So cut out the loyalty. It might be nice and convenient that you’ve been with the same insurer for 10 years, but they’re probably not rewarding you. Meanwhile, other brands are offering new customers discounts that you aren’t receiving! So shop around.

 

#2 Keep up a safe driving record

Insurers love it when their policyholders have a good driving record. Why? Because it means they’re probably less likely to crash, and therefore less likely to make a claim. And because plenty of Australian drivers admit to risky behaviour behind the wheel (e.g. eating takeaway… we’ve all been there), insurance companies get even more excited when you don’t do things that result in you crashing. This is where no-claim bonuses come in. The longer you go without making a claim, the more eligible you are for certain discounts on your insurance policy. There are six tiers of discounts, and typically the lower your rating is, the higher your discount.

 

#3 Take advantage of multi-policy discounts

On a similar note, insurers also love it if you take out multiple policies with them. For example, if you have home insurance with certain companies and you decide to take out car insurance with them too, you can get up to 15% off your car policy. Plenty of brands offer discounts like these, so make sure you look into it.

 

#4 Change where you park it

If you park your car on the street, you’re charged more. This is because it’s deemed to be a more risky place to park, compared to a garage or even a carport. So to save money – change where you park it. If you have a garage but your insurer has your car registered as being parked on the street, you should give them a call and have that changed. You’ll probably see a bit of money shaved off the price of your premium.

 

#5 Pay as you drive

There are policies available through some brands that only cover you for as far as you drive the car. So if you only drive 10,000 to 15,000 a year, you can let the insurer know and they could potentially drop you down to a lower-priced policy. Similarly, those who drive further usually end up paying more. However, not every insurer offers this, so make sure you check.

 

At the end of the day though, the best way to make sure you’re getting the best deal out of your car insurance is to do your research. Review your policy regularly, make sure it still fits your needs, and compare online to see whether any better deals come up.

 

 

 

Contributed by Richard Laycock — insurance expert at finder.com.au.

When it comes to using your mobile phone while driving, do you know the law?

 

In 2017, NSW Police handed out more than 42,000 fines to drivers caught using mobile phones while driving, an offense that attracts a $330 fine and four demerit points.

 

Despite the hefty penalties and huge risks associated with using a mobile phone while driving, it seems that motorists still aren’t getting the message.

 

A recent survey by Finder found that 28% of drivers admitted to sending text messages when driving, while a further 27% said that they have answered calls directly to their ear.

 

A disturbing report from the NSW Centre for Road Safety found that mobile phone use was a factor in 41% of serious casualty crashes between 2008-2016 in drivers under 26-years old.

 

In an attempt to make the law surrounding using mobile phone while driving clear for all Australian motorists, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, an industry body that represents carriage service providers, handset manufacturers, retailers, support industries and infrastructure suppliers, have created the website Keep Your Eyes on The Road, as a definitive reference point.

 

Keepyoureyesontheroad.org notes that the road rules for mobile phone use in Australia vary according to your state or territory. For a detailed report of the laws in your state, your best reference point is your state body.

 

All Australian States and Territories require drivers to have their mobile phone completely handsfree or safely mounted in a dock if they want to make calls while driving.

 

Drivers in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory are permitted to use their mobile phone as a GPS navigation device while driving provided that the driver doesn’t touch the phone and the handset is mounted to the windscreen or dash using a commercially approved cradle.

 

Strangely, drivers in the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia are not permitted to use their phone as a GPS device but are permitted to use a portable navigation device for the same purpose.

 

Learner and P-Plate holders are not permitted to use their mobile phone or handsfree under any circumstances.

 

It’s not just mobile phones that Police are cracking down on. Smart watches are the latest target for police with drivers prohibited from making calls, receiving texts, playing music, or using social media.

 

Artificial Intelligence features such as Apple’s ‘Siri’ mean that drivers can use voice commands to get help with everything from texting, reading texts and making phone calls.

 

Aside from completely abstaining from mobile phone usage while driving, motorists are encouraged to arm themselves with a commercially approved mobile phone cradle.

 

Cygnett make a range of MagMount mobile phone holders that use a magnetic disc to attach your phone to its cradle. The MagMount phone cradle attaches directly to your windscreen. Alternatively, the Cygnett MagMount 360 Vent clips directly into your cars air conditioning vent.

Snow foaming car cleaning products are one of the fastest growing segments in aftermarket car care.

 

If, like us, you’ve been sucked into a vortex of car cleaning videos on Instagram or YouTube and come across the snow foam car cleaning technique, you’re probably wondering how it works.

 

To put it simply, snow foam cleaning products are designed to dramatically reduce cleaning time and provide a genuine touchless car wash solution. Snow foam car wash products are the perfect way to reduce swirl marks and micro scratching when washing modern, clear-coated paint.

 

At Sparesbox, we’ve been inundated with car care enthusiasts looking for a smarter, faster way to clean their car. Now, thanks to Autoglym, we have the perfect product for reducing car cleaning time and regaining your Saturday afternoon, Autoglym Polar Blast.

 

To make things easy, we’ve compiled a list of the products and hardware that you’ll need to reduce your car cleaning time.

 

 

What you’ll need

 

 

Autoglym Polar Blast

 

Autoglym Polar Blast takes the stress (and time) out of washing your car. Designed as a pre-wash or all-in-one car wash solution, Autoglym Polar Blast covers your car in a rich blanket of foam that clings to paintwork and gently loosens dirt and soiling.

 

Autoglym snow foam formula reduces the risk of scratches and swirl marks and provides a genuinely touchless car wash system. Autoglym’s PH neutral formula will not remove any existing layers of polish or wax.

 

 

Foaming Spray Gun

 

A snow foam gun is specifically designed to create the ‘foaming reaction’ by agitating the foaming properties in Autoglym Polar Blast. Due to the popularity of snow foam products, many pressure washers will include a ‘pressure washer soap dispenser or detergent bottle’ attachment as standard.

 

 

Pressure Washer

 

No pressure = no foam

 

A good pressure washer is the secret to unlocking the full foaming potential of Autoglym Polar Blast. Simply attach the pressure washer to the snow foam attachment with your Autoglym Polar Blast, then spray the car.

 

Pressure washers are one of the most important tools in your car cleaning arsenal. From shifting stubborn wheel grime to removing caked on dirt, pressure washers take the back ache out of cleaning your car.

 

The Jetpower Jet360X Pressure Washer is a great starting point for buddying car care enthusiasts. Featuring 2320PSI of pressure generating 360L/hr of flow, it delivers enough power to tackle just about anything you can throw at it. It also includes a detergent bottle and turbo lance that make it ideal for use with Autoglym Polar Blast.

XFORCE Performance Exhausts have been designed to provide the pinnacle of performance, with an accessible price tag. With distribution networks all over the country, XFORCE are rapidly becoming one of the most recognisable and trusted brands in the industry. But it hasn’t always been this way, we look at the rise of XFORCE and why they’re one of the best performance exhaust options for your turbo-four, V8, 4×4, or custom big engine build.

 

The perception of XFORCE exhausts has changed dramatically over the last decade, previously viewed as a budget option for Australian built V8’s, XFORCE have diversified their range and adapted to suit the changing car preferences of the Australian automotive enthusiast market.

 

XFORCE Performance Exhausts

 

XFORCE understands that having an aftermarket exhaust fitted to your vehicle shouldn’t disrupt the way that your car feels to drive each day. As most enthusiasts can attest, having an aftermarket performance exhaust fitted to your car should enhance performance and noise when you want it, and be virtually indistinguishable from a stock exhaust when you don’t.

 

XFORCE’s focus on research, development, and customer feedback led to them creating the VAREX muffler range. The VAREX muffler range provides performance and pantomime when you want it, and, with the flick of a switch, a subtle growl that is virtually indistinguishable from your stock exhaust for when you need to sneak around under the radar.

 

XFORCE Performance Exhausts

 

XFORCE performance exhausts are specifically designed to suit each vehicle application. After each performance exhaust has gone through extensive research and development, they are subjected to dyno testing on the state-of-the-art Dynapack Evolution 3000 chassis dynameter machine where they are tweaked for maximum performance and efficiency.

 

In addition to recognising the changing nature of performance exhausts, XFORCE have also responded to the automotive industry’s move away from large displacement performance engines by investing heavily in creating bolt-on solutions for the latest crop of performance hatches including the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Volkswagen Golf R.

 

Want to see what an XFORCE performance exhaust can do for your car? Check out the range of XFORCE performance exhausts at Sparesbox.

 

When it comes to deciding which brands make it onto the Sparesbox website, we have a very simple criterion; ‘Are the parts OE or greater in quality and performance?’. For Mann Filter’s, a brand that has been built on quality, performance, reliability, and value, the answer to that question is a resounding YES.

 

With Fix It Season upon us, we took this opportunity to find out a little more about Mann Filters and what makes them so good.

 

How has Mann Filter changed over the years?

 

From humble beginnings, Mann + Hummel have established themselves as world leaders in designing and manufacturing complete air, cabin, oil, and fuel filtration to suit a broad range of passenger cars, trucks, busses, and industrial applications. Some of their most popular systems include complete air filter systems, injection moulded intake air ducts, air box filters, and engine intake manifold filters.

 

In addition to their extensive range of air filters, Mann also manufacture complete oil filter modules that are supplied to some of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers.

 

Why is Mann Filter the Superior Choice?

 

All Mann Filter products have been manufactured to exact OE quality and performance standards. This means that all Mann Filters are going to perform to the exact standard as the one that was fitted to your vehicle from the factory, for a fraction of the price.

 

While Mann Filters are significantly less expensive than their OEM counterparts, they are not the cheapest option on the market- and they never will be. Mann are designed to be a cost-effective OE alternative, not a cheap, poor quality replacement. As such, you can be sure that all Mann Filters will last the entire filter service interval and thus prevent unwanted and often expensive repairs caused by poor-quality aftermarket replacements.

 

 

How do Mann Filters Retain OEM Standards?

 

Irrespective of the end application vehicle, all Mann filtration systems are designed in partnership with the OEM filter. Before designing an OE quality replacement filter, Mann meticulously research the OEM specifications of each filter.

 

Mann is one of the largest suppliers of OE quality filters to the Australian aftermarket and service industry. Mann Filters boast the richest product application listing by way of ‘equal to OEM quality’ for the entire Australian carpark, no other aftermarket filter manufacturer can make these claims. In addition to servicing the Australian aftermarket, Mann Filters have established themselves as the leading supplier of aftermarket OE quality filters to the European market.

 

Shop the Complete Mann Filter Range at Sparesbox

 

We dragged Sparesbox Co-Founder and Managing Director Leon Saliba away from the ping pong table, locked him in a room, and tried to get to the bottom of one of the most frequently asked questions in the automotive industry: “How Much Will My Car Service Cost?”

 

We all know that regular servicing is a vital part of keeping your car healthy and running. And, as always, prevention is better than a cure, especially when it comes to vital drivetrain components.

 

The good news is the tide is turning. With the help of the ACCC, consumers are being reminded that they do not need to go to the dealer to maintain their new car warranty, instead, they are being empowered to shop around when it comes time to service their car. Increased access to technical information from dealers and manufacturers will dramatically improve transparency and give consumers a better idea of the costs associated with servicing their car.

 

So, how much will it cost to service your car? Unfortunately, there is no fixed rule for how much each individual service will cost, instead, customers should ask for a quote and price breakdown from the manufacturer of their vehicle and then use this quote to shop around.

 

Sparesbox Managing Director Leon Saliba breaks down the cost of servicing into tiers: “Typically, if you were to do a basic service, you are looking at something around the $250 mark. For a major service- which is typically every second or third interval- you’re looking upwards of $500 depending on what’s required.”

 

Saliba concedes that for Japanese and Australian manufactured vehicles, servicing tends to be a little cheaper than their European counterparts: “European cars are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, however at this stage, the costs associated with maintaining them are typically a little higher.

 

Leon encourages consumers to be inquisitive when it comes to the cost of their car service. Have a rough idea of what each service involves, get the mechanic to show you what has been done, and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

 

 

 

Time for a car service? Get a FREE QUOTE with Sydney’s #1 Rated Mechanic Sparesbox Service

Finding the right part for your car can be a minefield. Industry specific terms and debates such as OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket only complicate the issue, so let’s break them down to give you a clearer idea of what means what so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing replacement auto parts.

 

What does OE mean?

 

OE or ‘Original Equipment’ refers to the parts that are used by your vehicles manufacturer when they are building a new car. For example, the air filter that is fitted to your car from the factory would be the OE Air Filter.

 

What does OEM mean?

 

OEM stands for ‘Original Equipment Manufacturer’. The refers to the brand that manufacturers the part that goes into your car from the factory. Some of the most famous OE Manufacturers include Bosch, Hella, MANN Filters and Brembo.

 

What does Aftermarket mean?

 

Aftermarket refers to auto parts that, whilst they may be an ideal fit for your vehicle, are not manufactured in conjunction with the vehicle manufacturer in any way, shape, or form. It is important to note that this does not make them inferior to the OE part.

 

Should I buy OE or Aftermarket?

 

There is a common misconception that having your car serviced through an independent licenced mechanic such as Sparesbox Service may jeopardise your new car warranty. A myth that the manufacturer of your vehicle perpetuates to ensure you return to the dealership to have your car serviced.

 

The truth is, having your car serviced through an independent mechanic or fitting your car with Aftermarket parts that are built to OE specifications will retain your new car warranty.

 

Every part sold through Sparesbox is designed to meet or exceed the OE quality standard set by the manufacturer. That means you can be confident that any part that you purchase through Sparesbox will meet or exceed the quality of the original part that is fitted to your vehicle.

BMC are one of the worlds leading manufacturers of motorcycle and automotive filters. Winning international acclaim for their commitment to performance and innovation, BMC Air Filters are renowned for producing high performance air filters that are fit for racing and street use alike.

 

BMC Air Filters are the most successful filter in the worlds most competitive motorsport categories including nine Formula One World Championships, 11 Le Mans 24 Hours Titles, 8 of the last 9 V8 Supercar Championships and 8 Bathurst 1000 titles.

 

Designed to provide higher air flow than other filters, BMC air filters increase the amount of clean air that is delivered to your engine, thereby improving performance. Designed with no joins that can cause breakages or deformation, BMC Air Filters fit perfectly into any shape box.

 

In addition to the numerous performance benefits of a BMC Performance Air Filter, BMC Filters can be regenerated through a washing process that allows them to be reused time and time again. As a guide, BMC air filters have an expected life span equal to that of the vehicle.

 

Fitting BMC Air Filter

 

Once you’ve received your BMC Performance Air Filter, it’s time to fit it and start enjoying the benefits of a reusable performance air filter.

 

Here’s a few tips for getting started:

 

  • First things first, verify that you have the correct filter that is listed on the BMC catalogue for your make, model, year, and engine size.
  • While you’ve got your engine cover off, us this opportunity to clean any extraneous dust or dirt that may have built up around your stock air box
  • Ensure there is no debris that will inhibit the flow of clean air to your engine

 

What’s Required?

 

  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Philips Head Screwdriver
  • 10mm Socket & Long Extension

 

Fitment Time

 

15min

 

Fitment Difficulty

 

Beginner

 

Fitting BMC Performance Air Filter to Mini Cooper S

 

  1. Locate the air filter box at the top right side of your engine.
  2. Unplug the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF).
  3. Loosen the clamp that connects the intake tube to the air box using a flat head screw driver. Once loosened, the intake tube should easily move away from the air box.
  4. Using a 10mm socket wrench and Philips head screw driver, remove the nuts and bolts that hold the airbox housing together.
  5. Remove the air box housing and air filter. They should easily pull away, if you are tugging- something hasn’t been loosened properly!
  6. Drop in the new BMC Performance Air Filter.
  7. Repeat steps 1-5 in reverse order.
  8. Enjoy the new-found performance of your Mini Cooper S!

 

BMC Mini Cooper Air Filter Fitment Video

 

Have you started dreading a light downpour? Have streaks, smears, and reduced visibility become a problem of late?

 

Stop avoiding it. It’s time to change your worn wiper blades.

 

Don’t fret, you don’t have to go back to the dealer or pay an arm or a leg to have someone do it for you, changing your wiper blades is one of the simplest automotive maintenance jobs.

 

 

What you’ll need to change your wiper blades

 

 

Now that you’ve got all the tools you’ll need to change your wiper blades, let’s have a look at the process.

 

 

How to Replace Wiper Blades

 

  1. Lift the wiper arm away from the windscreen. Note that in some European cars you will need to keep the key turned in the ignition to release the wiper blades from the ‘hold position’.
  2. Push down on the small tab on the underside of the wiper blade where the wiper meets the wiper blade arm (the metal part of the assembly).
  3. Remove your worn wiper blade
  4. Insert the new wiper blade into the existing wiper assembly claws. Lock the metal retaining clip at the end of the claw and ensure the new blade is sitting securely in place.
  5. Cut any excess rubber from the end of the wiper claw.
  6. Lower the wiper blade back to its resting position- job done!

 

 

Hints for Changing your Wiper Blades

 

  • Always test your wiper blades once you have replaced them. The middle of a downpour on a congested road is not the time that you want to find out that you haven’t changed your wiper blades correctly.
  • Be sure to check your wiper fluid level. Many people don’t realise that adding some Windex or other brands of conventional glass cleaner to your windscreen fluid reservoir can harm the reservoir and your paintwork when it inevitably meets it. We recommend Bosch Windscreen Washer Fluid.
  • There is no set period for how long your wiper blades should last. We recommend checking them regularly for signs of wear. They are one of the cheapest, yet more important safety components in your car.

 

 

Check out our Bosch Wiper Blade Fitment Video

 

Have a question about your vehicle?