Car Problems You Should Consider Before Buying a Used Car

I recently bought a pre-owned car to help me get to work a lot faster and I’m extremely happy with it so far. Luckily for me, I had my dad with me who was a mechanic so he knows what to check when buying a used car. Without an experienced car checker (like my dad) present, buying a car can be a daunting task. When you are buying a used car that task turns into an all-in gamble. How are you supposed to know whether or not the previous owner drove the car into the Thames or if they filled it with high-octane fuel or some low-grade spirits? Although you might not be able to get a complete history of the car, by getting a car check, MOT check and being away of common used car problems, you can help guarantee that the odds are in your favour. Here are common issues with used cars and how to identify them.

Rust and Body Damage

This is the simplest inspection that you can make. All you have to do is walk around the car, look at the paint job, and look around common rust areas like around the lights and doors, under the wheel wells and under the hood and bottom of the body. Make notes of scratches, dents and nicks that you see. Rust and body damage is almost guaranteed with older cars but it is something that you need to consider. Because while rust is not a big deal, it can spread and become a bigger deal than you signed up for. Rust on the engine is a big warning sign and proceed with a buyer beware mind-set.

Frame Damage

The car’s frame is its skeleton. Everything else, the wheels, engine and door rely on it to be a stable foundation. In the event of an accident, the frame is what is going to protect you and your passengers. It’s important that you do a car check to determine any previous accidents. It’s also a good decision to have a trained mechanic inspect the frame. If you don’t have the resources to have a mechanic inspect the car, inspect the car thoroughly yourself. Check along the car lines and determine if there are any unnatural bends in the frame, if there are, this should be a warning sign.

Brake Degradation

You can’t be sure if the previous owner thought his vehicle was an F1 formula racing car or came to a slow stop every time. Regardless of how hard or easy the driver was on the brakes, it takes a lot of energy to stop a moving vehicle and that means brakes wear out and become less effective. When you are test-driving the car make sure that you listen for whining when slowing down. Take not of how quickly the car comes to a stop and how it feels. If you have the opportunity to take the car to an open car park then try accelerating and stopping quickly.

AC/Heater Problems

When you’re purchasing a new used car, it’s easy to overlook details like climate control, but once winter or summer are at their peak, you’ll want those things to work. There are multiple reasons that your AC or heater might not work properly. The climate gages are easy to check. Simply turn on the air during your test drive and wait a few minutes and see how it feels.


A car needs a various number of fluids to keep it running smoothly. Without them, you’re guaranteed to experience complications including an overheated engine and weakened brakes. The simplest way to check for leaks is to look underneath the car. Do you see any puddles or stains on the asphalt that might indicate a leak? Keep in mind that a car that has recently been driven might not have had the time to show their leaks yet. It’s advisable to bring a mechanic with to check MOT criteria.


There are common problems with the clutch and even the transmission in used cars including chipped or worn gears, leaky seals, slipping or popping out of gear and transmission failure, which usually results in the car being inoperable. It depends on the symptoms your clutch is showing to what is and how severe the problem is. The most common repairs and service to manual transmissions are the replacement of pressure plates and the throw out bearing used to disengage the transmission.

When you go on a test drive make sure that you use your senses: listen for grinds, feel vibrations, notice unusual smells and see leaky puddles under the car on the asphalt.


Although worn tyres might not be a make it or break it factor when choosing a car, you probably don’t want to spend another £500 in a month on new tyres. Make sure that you check the tyres for possible prior patching, uneven wear patterns and excessive wear around the edges. Make sure that you inspect the side wall and examine for adequate tread.

In addition to a DIY inspection and possibly having a mechanic evaluate the car, you can use car checks including the MOT check to verify the cars past. Make sure that you ask the seller for the registration number, model, tax disc details and MOT number. Check that the vehicles MOT is up to date and that it’s MOT history check matches the information that you have been given.

Healthy Menu Tips for Fussy Eaters

When you’re trying to feed a family it can be difficult to satisfy everybody’s finicky taste buds. Your youngest hates vegetables, your oldest is a vegetarian and you just want something that fits in the budget. Whatever your situation is at home with your fussy eater(s) you have to figure a thrifty way to provide a meal which includes the important Food Groups For Kids who are developing. Here are tips that will help you with Kids Meal Ideas.

Begin with Starches

Starches are versatile and inexpensive. Start your meal with pasta, rice, and potatoes as your starting point. These are the staple of hundreds of dishes but you can leave them plain and offer 2-3 different types of sauces and whichever isn’t eaten you can freeze for a later date.

Use Small Stuff

We often focus on making the chicken and potatoes and don’t supply a lot of add-ons but they can encourage your fussy eaters to eat more and actually save you some cash. Breads, olives, cheeses, cut up vegetables, etc. are favourite finger foods and they fill up your plate fast without taking away from the budget.

Tapas-Style Meals

Similar to the tip listed above, serving a bunch of smaller dishes such as finger-sized sandwiches slices of sausages, fruit, and bruschetta, rather than a few large dishes. This offers the variety your family demands but you can simply use the extra ingredients from the smaller dishes for innovative meal ideas for later in the week or freeze it for later in the month.

Offer Soup

One of the easiest and thriftiest way to satisfy taste buds and hunger stomachs is with soup. You can keep it simple with classic soups that you know everyone will love or switch it up with something such as Butternut squash soup to expand their palates.

‘Build Your Own’ Nights

This is a great way to use up leftovers or purchase some inexpensive ingredients and have a ‘build your own night.’ Whether you’re building pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, etc. This will get your young fussy eater involved in the cooking process and they’re more likely to eat what they’ve built.

Look for Sales

Always look for bargains in your supermarkets. Always try to buy produce that is in-season and purchase items with the future in mind. For example, if there is a sale on chicken breast, is it worth buying more and freezing it? It can be worth it to go around to several different stores to pick up your produce at one and meats at another.

You want to be frugal but you also want to make sure that your family is receiving meals from quality ingredients. All you have to do is get a little creative to find Simple Recipes For Kids to feed a variety of taste-buds without breaking the bank.

What Are Interest Rate Swaps?

Even as a teacher, you learn new things every day. Yesterday, a student asked me about OTC Derivatives Clearing and I had no idea what it was. So I researched and found the answer; it’s pretty interesting stuff so I thought I’d share it.

There are many different types of investments that can be used to increase your profits. However, there are certain investment opportunities that are more specified and have a more distinct purpose.An Interest Rate Swap is a form of OTC Clearing and is done through the use of a clearing house and are the exchange of cash flows between two parties. The swap rate that is exchanged is either fixed or floating. Why are interest rate swaps becoming so popular?

Basics of Interest Rate Swaps

It is important to understand that the principal amount of the payment is never exchanged between the two parties. The only exchange is in the interest rate, which is determined by the specified amount of the principal. The most common exchange of interest rate swaps involves the swap of a fixed rate for a floating rate. This means that instead of paying a fixed amount the rate will fluctuate based on the LIBOR.

Why Opt For Floating Over Fixed?

Exchanging a fixed interest rate for a floating interest rate may seem risky, but it is an investment opportunity that many firms, banks and corporations find appealing. Many parties that look to the Swap Rate find that predicting the LIBOR can be difficult, but it can also be a lucrative opportunity if you guess wisely. Trying to predict the LIBOR is contingent on many factors, but if you exchange a fixed rate for a floating rate when the LIBOR is most favourable you will have the ability to amass extensive savings and earn profits from the other party involved in the interest rate swap.

What About Fixed?

The advantage of swapping a floating rate for a fixed rate is all about risk management. If you want the ability to lessen the amount of risk that you face, it can be beneficial to swap interest rates with another party that has a fixed rate. Knowing your fixed rate gives many firms, companies and banks stability knowing that the rate will be consistent and will not fluctuate.


This type of investment opportunity is more specialized and not really ideal for individuals. It is often used by firms, companies and banks as a means of risk management or for calculated risk growth. The best part about these swaps is that they are overseen by a Clearing House and are completely guided by restrictions designed to protect both parties involved in the swap.

Common Injuries in Marathon Runners

Ideally every stride a runner takes would be free of painful twitches, aching knees, stiff hamstrings and lingering soreness. But runners know that we don’t live in an ideal world and running disturbances both major and minor are part of the sport that you adore.

Injuries in marathon runners range from severe injuries such as stress fractures to moderate injuries such as aches in the knees that come and go. How you respond to ailments and aches will determine how quickly you are in great shape for your best performance and for your body’s safety.

There are common injuries that plague runners and if you don’t give them the medical attention that they need then they can take a turn for the worse and force you to take time off. Here are 3 of most common injuries, according to a Physiotherapist, so that you are aware what to keep an eye out for while accessing your running performance.

1. Runners Knee

About 40% of runner’s injuries are knee-related making it a very common injury. This happens when the cartilage around the kneecap is worn down and becomes irritated. You may feel pain when you are going up and down stairs, squatting or sitting.

2. Achilles Tendinitis

This is when your Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects the two calf muscles to the back of the heel, is under too much stress and tightens. This can be caused by adding too much distance too soon to your training or inadequate calf stretching. The pain and stiffness is generally worse in the morning and during activity.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

It’s not surprising that more than 15% of runner’s injuries are to the foot. With every stride out feet absorb a force that can double or triple our body weight.  The plantar fascia is the thick tissue band on the bottom of the foot that reaches from the heels to the toes. When that band tears or becomes inflamed it is a real struggle for runners. It’s more common in individuals with high foot arches and tight calf muscles but also caused by increased distance.

A Chiropractor would recommend that you RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) but in addition to this, visiting a Chiropodist, a medical professional who specialises in the foot and lower extremities, can limit your recovery time so that you are running at your full potential as soon as possible. An Osteopath can also offer long-term treatment or prevention plans so that you can enjoy your passion 100% pain-free.